Armchair GM

Armchair GM – 5 at 5 to Watch, the Quarterbacks – Draft 2017

March 20, 2017
11 minutes read
Armchair GM – 5 at 5 to Watch, the Quarterbacks – Draft 2017

Welcome, to a new segment where we will look at VIDEO of five college prospects at five positions that the Steelers should consider on Draft Day. The way this will work is, the five prospects at five positions will be ones that would likely be available to the Steelers and will be spread over a number of Draft rounds. The video will be game footage whenever possible. While game film may be a bit more dry, highlight reels may show you the best but they won’t show you the worst and the stuff in between. Game film is also not accompanied by the highlight video maker’s lousy taste in music, usually some form of rap music, which is so tired and cliched at this point, it only forces eye roll gimbal lock.

I know Kevin Colbert said the team wasn’t necessarily looking for a QB in the Draft and he re-signed the wretched Landry Jones but that doesn’t mean if a quality prospect becomes available the Steelers won’t pull the trigger.

We shouldn’t take ‘the pundits’ word for the quality of a Draft class and should put only a little more stock in their judgement of individual talent. I would put much more stock in the player’s game film. There you can judge for yourself.

This ‘Jimmy Garoppolo is better than any QB in this Draft’, HYPE, is utter nonsense. If you remember a couple years ago these same people were drooling over Matt Cassell (and before him Kevin Kolb). Even Jacoby Brissett did a decent job with the Patriot’s Offense, so the ‘system QB’ the Internet tagged the team with in Tom Brady’s absence is at least partially true. Every QB on this list is ranked by the NFL as higher or the same as Garoppolo was with the exception of Joshua Dobbs and his ceiling is higher.

The Prospects

So that being said I think there are a number of players the Steelers could draft over a range, with expectations tailored appropriately to the round selected.

1st Rd – Patrick Mahomes –  6′-2″ – 220# – If the Steelers go with a Quarterback in the First Round of the Draft the leading candidates, DeShaun Watson, Mitch Trubisky and DeShone Kizer will probably be gone. Be that as it may, the player with the highest ceiling might still be available and the Steelers would be fools not to take him.

Patrick Mahomes is a Brett Favre/Aaron Rogers type in the making. He can throw passes from any angle. He is highly mobile but keeps his eyes down field rather than pulling it down and running. His footwork is horrible and he is real gun slinger. His game closely mirrors an early Ben Rothlisberger. He rarely gives up on a play and constantly looks to make the big strike. Even with his wide open style his mistakes were few, as his low interception total and high QB rating attest. He needs and should have a couple years to get some of the kinks out before he is called on to start.

Stats – 388 comp – 591 att, 65.7% acc, 5052 yds, 41 TD, 10 Int, 157.0 QB rating

2nd  to 3rd Rd – Davis Webb – 6′-5″ – 225 – Oddly enough it was Patrick Mahomes who beat out Davis Webb after he suffered an injury at Texas Tech and sent him packing to the California Golden Bears. There Webb flourished. When he’s in rhythm, there is a crisp, no nonsense feel to Webb’s game. He has a live arm and makes quick decisions. When he’s in pressure or has too much time he tended to bounce on his feet which is a habit he’ll have to be broken of. Webb is a pocket passer but can make plays on the run when needed. He looks to be a solid starter in the NFL and could be more depending on how he develops.

Stats – 382 comp, 620 att, 61.6% acc, 4295 yds, 37 TD, 12 Int, 135.6, QB rating

3rd to 5th Rd – Brad Kaaya – 6′-5″ – 215# – Kaya played behind a crummy O-line most of his career with the Miami Hurricanes. Even still he made few mistakes his Senior year and enjoyed a high QB rating. He’s gotten knocks for not handling pressure well but that’s not what the film shows. Kaaya can make all the throws. He’s a natural pocket passer and though not a scrambler can be very elusive under pressure. Because of the ‘Canes pro-style offense he will have less time adjusting to the NFL. He has problems throwing some ugly passes without his feet set. Kaaya is a natural for a West Coast Offense and projects to be a starting/bridge QB and at the very least should have a long career as a back-up.

Stats – 261 comp, 421 att, 62.0% acc, 3532 yds, 27 td,  7 Int, 150.3 QB rating

5th to FA – Chad Kelly – 6′-2″ – 220 – Having Chad Kelly at this place in the Draft would be crazy if things were only based on talent. Kelly could easily have been in the conversation for going in the 1st Rd if not for his MANY off field issues. Kelly was kicked off Clemson’s team for ‘detrimental’ conduct. He punched a bouncer and threatened to come back and ‘spray’ the bar. There’s some strange porn star ‘direct message’ nonsense. He also has a reputation for being ‘abrasive’. His most excusable misstep has been coming to the aid of his younger brother who was on the losing end of a high school football brawl but the fact that he had to be talked down by one of high school’s coaches shows a lack of control. He also tore a meniscus in November.

On the field, Kelly has got a strong whip of an arm. He is the nephew of Buffalo Bills great, Jim Kelly and you can see a family resemblance in his game. He plays with confidence and isn’t afraid to force a pass into a tight window. Kelly is a scrapper and had many designed run plays, even between the tackles. He has a tendency to lock onto his wide receiver, which will need some work. He’s very intriguing and looks a lot like a Jake Locker type but with much more arm talent.

Because of his off-field issues, Kelly was not invited to the Combine. Coaches will have to see him in April at his Pro Day. He will be limited in workouts but should be able to throw and more importantly, interview. I would hire Uncle Jim to come in every training camp and beat some sense into the kid. If Chad gets his maturity issues behind him he could be the steal of the Draft.

Kelly responds to off-field issues:

Stats (Junior year) 298 comp. 458 att, 65.1% acc, 4042 yds, 31 TD   13 Int, 155.9 QB rating Rushing – 106 att, 509 yds, 4.8 ypc, 10 TD

5th to 6th – Joshua Dobbs – 6′-3″, 215# – Dobbs is an actual rocket scientist, so learning the pro game should come easy. He is something of an under performing blue chip prospect. He’s got all the elements of a NFL QB but as yet, hasn’t put it all together. Dobbs is dual threat who can make plays with his arms and legs. Tennessee ran a variety of plays capitalizing on his mobility, even having him catch passes. He has good long ball accuracy. The reason Dobbs is ranked below Kelly is, Kelly’s ceiling is higher. When you get to later rounds it’s easier to take a risk on potential development. Depending on which way he goes, Dobbs could develop into a solid NFL starting QB or a player who teases with potential but never delivers.

Stats – 225 comp, 357 att,   63.0% acc, 2946 yds, 27 TD, 12 Int, 150.6 QB rating.

Rushing – 150 car, 831 yds, 5.5 ypc, 12 TD

Well, that’s the Quarterbacks. Next up will be Wide Receivers. There’s deep talent in this year’s class as the Steelers look to add a solid #2 to compliment Antonio Brown.

Go Stillers!

Jeffrey Burton

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One Comment

  1. mm Pitt Dude

    I like Nate Peterman of Pitt. He’s got a good arm and plays a smart game.