The biggest mystery and intrigue in regards to the direction of the 2017 NFL Draft is going to be the decision some of these kids have about whether to stay in school and utilize their last year or two of eligibility, or come out and declare for the draft. Namely the QB’s.
It is especially interesting when it comes to a few of these kids that still have eligibility and limited starting experience. Guys like Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, Mason Rudolph, Brad Kaaya and Patrick Mahomes all could conceivably be top 10 or 15 draft picks in the 2017 NFL Draft. Scouts right now differ greatly on the evaluations and thoughts on each of those mentioned. But what do I think?
Let’s start with Mitch Trubisky. He’s a bit of a one year wonder, who wasn’t highly thought of until early on this year. While he has limited starting experience, his upside is through the roof. Teams and scouts are already drooling at the arm talent of this kid. He possesses the ability to make every throw and will only get better. Despite having limited starting experience, I think Trubisky should come of the draft. Sit a year or two behind an experienced QB and learn that way.
Deshaun Watson had an incredible sophomore season, but this year as a junior he’s came back down to earth. Before the year started, many evaluators talked about him in the same category as Andrew Luck. Sadly, I think he’s been dropped by many because of his accuracy concerns and small bone/body structure. I think Watson should and will come out following the year. He will only get better and has a chance to prove his worth in the last few weeks of the college football season.
Another interesting player is underclassman DeShone Kizer. He’s a bit of a dilemma for evaluators. Some, like me, think he needs to stay in school and has a LONG ways to go. He’s a bit of an up and down player who is very inconsistent and struggles with accuracy at times. But similarly to Trubisky, he has an outstanding arm and has a very solid NFL build. I think he should stay in school for another year. Needs more playing time.
Mason Rudolph is a junior who displays outstanding height and arm talent similar to Kizer. I believe Rudolph is a much better QB right now then Kizer. Has much better touch and accuracy on his throws. Plays in a very simple college 1 read offense, but I believe Rudolph should come out this year. Sit on an NFL bench and learn the mental side behind a starter for a year or two.
Another junior, Brad Kaaya, is highly thought of by many because of his ability to read defenses and has gotten better each year at Miami. He’s a bit conservative, and not going to necessarily WOW you, but he is proficient and reliable. Kaaya is ready to come out and play a role at the next level.
One of my absolute favorite players in the whole draft is Patrick Mahomes. Many are concerned and downright negative because of his background playing for Texas Tech in their gimmicky college offense. I understand that. But I would stand on the table to draft Mahomes. He has elite feet, arm talent and poise. He is such an intriguing prospect. I think some teams are going to overthink him, and pass and make a HUGE mistake. If he comes out, I believe he will go in the 1st round. I think he is ready.
The only one I am convinced needs to stay in school is Kizer, the rest I believe are ready. Some would do well sitting on the bench and learning the mental side of the game. But as a whole, if all these kids come out, it is going to be a very very good QB draft.