2017 NFL Draft – QB Preview (Part 2)

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 3
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Chicago Bears playoff hopes all but over and Jay Cutler likely on his way out of Chicago before the 2017 season, I’ve decided to start my NFL draft coverage a little early this year. That way readers get a chance to watch some of these guys in action while there is still some time left in the CFB season.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the Bears will have a high draft pick in the 2017 draft, which should at least give them a shot the top quarterbacks available. Even if Jay Cutler is still on the roster for some reason, the Bears need to draft a developmental quarterback this year. Luckily, it’s considered a deep draft for QBs with anywhere from eight to twelve players having a potential grade in the first three rounds of the draft.

I covered the top eight quarterbacks earlier this week and listed the next tier below in order of preference with a projected draft round and a brief scouting report on each player.

2017 NFL Draft: Quarterbacks

9.) Davis Webb, Cal (6’4, 230) 

Jared Goff’s failure to see the field for the Rams is going to hurt Davis’ draft status at least a little. Playing in the dame offense as Goff, Davis hasn’t been quite as good. His stats are impressive as are his physical traits, but the air raid offense Webb plays in doesn’t seem to translate well to the NFL.

His physical attributes are fairly similar to Goff’s, as is his production, and he has plenty of beautiful throws on tape. Davis has the arm to make all of the NFL throws and looks good doing it most of the time. His decision making needs some work and it will probably take him time to adjust to playing under center, but the skills are there for Webb to be a solid NFL QB eventually.

Davis has the size and all the tools to be a solid NFL quarterback, but whether he can run an NFL scheme is a major question mark. The fact that Goff hasn’t played yet is going to hurt Davis’ draft stock, but it may result in him being a steal for whatever NFL team is willing to take a chance on him in the middle rounds.

Projection: 3rd round

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

10.) Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (6’2, 215)

The shortest QB on this list, but also one of the most productive with 35 passing TDs, just six interceptions, and an impressive 71% completion percentage. The former Texas Tech walk-on has had an awesome career at Oklahoma with 81 total touchdowns and only 13 interceptions in 23 games played.

Mayfield has drawn some comparisons to Johnny Manziel due to his ability to improvise and he’s done a ton of that in 2016 behind an offensive line that hasn’t performed up to expectations. He led his team to a BCS playoff game last season and finished fourth overall in the Heisman voting in his first season with the Sooners. Mayfield is on pace to make another appearance in the Heisman voting this year.

He may lack the ideal build for an NFL quarterback, but he has elite scrambling ability which allows him to extend plays, avoid pressure, and make some big plays. Despite his smallish stature, Mayfield has a good arm with excellent deep touch, unwavering confidence in his ability to fit the ball into tight windows. and can vary his arm angle to avoid too many deflected passes.

Mayfield’s scrambling ability can become a problem at times though as he relies on it a little too often and doesn’t let plays develop from the pocket. His arm is more than good enough in the college game, but would be considered just average at the NFL level.

His lack of size, tendency to ditch the pocket too soon, and lack of elite arm will keep Mayfield out of the top QB tier, but his ability to move the chains despite pressure, make things happen on the ground with his 4.7 speed, throw an impressive deep ball, and hit a high percentage of passes at all levels of the field will get Mayfield drafted at some point in the middle rounds.

Projection: 3rd-4th round