Quarterbacks, no team can ever have enough good options at the position. Some teams struggle to find even one good QB. The 2015 draft class doesn't feature a deep well of options at the position. After a trade rumor that Colin Kaepernick was on the trade block, Trent Baalke went on record saying that is false and Colin is the 49ers quarterback. Believe Baalke or not, if Kaepernick stays the option behind him is Blaine Gabbert. The 49ers cannot go into training camp without good competition for the backup quarterback spot. While another option should be added to the mix, it's highly doubtful the 49ers would spend an early round pick on a quarterback. Rounds five to seven make sense to see a quarterback drafted, or signing one via undrafted free agency.
Here are my top ten quarterbacks:
1. Jameis Winston College: Florida State Height: 6-4 Weight: 231
Winston had as many Heisman trophies as losses at Florida State... one Heisman, one loss. NFL scouts have compared Winston's football IQ to Peyton Manning. That is a bold statement, but Winston understands opposing coverages very well. The knocks on Winston are because of questionable decisions he has made off the field, not because of his production on it. Both seasons as a starter Winston completed over 65 percent of his passes while accumulating 7,964 passing yards and 25 touchdowns.
2. Marcus Mariota College: Oregon Height: 6-4 Weight: 222
Mariota is a dual threat quarterback that can beat you with his legs or arm. Mariota has extreme escapablity scrambling out of the pocket, and can make many highlight reel plays. Jon Gruden said that Mariota reminds him of Russel Wilson. That's high praise but I don't agree with Gruden completely. Mariota can scramble in the Wilson tier, but his pocket presence is nowhere near the level of Wilson's at any point in his NFL career. The NFL speed may prove to be too much for Mariota, or he may be able to handle it just fine and flourish in the pros. Not a sure thing, but far and away the best bet to draft after Winston.
3. Brett Hundley College: UCLA Height: 6-3 Weight: 226
Adam Schefter reported last month that the Browns would have considered Hundley with their top ten pick if he declared for the draft. While Hundley may not go in the top ten this year, he remains a first round talent. Hundley doesn't commit many turnovers, and threw just five interceptions in 392 pass attempts, with 22 going for touchdowns. A tremendous amount of athleticism, Hundley rushed for 644 yards and 10 touchdowns. Hundley's pocket presence may be better than Mariota's, and it will be interesting to see down the road which player was the better pick.
4. Bryce Petty College: Baylor Height: 6-3 Weight: 230
Out of any quarterback in the draft class, Petty has put up the most impressive number on paper. In two seasons as the starter for Baylor, Petty threw for 61 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. Petty doesn't have top tier speed, but is functionally mobile and can scramble enough when things break down. Last month before the combine, Jim Harbaugh helped Petty prepare for the combine. Petty was in a spread offense
5. Garrett Grayson College: Colorado State Height: 6-2 Weight: 213
Grayson doesn't pack a big time arm, but does make good decisions when he passes. He would be best served in a play-action, run first based offense. His arm strength is a concern, as the throwing windows in the NFL are much smaller than college. Grayson played in a pro system and has a jump on a lot of other prospects in that regard. He passed for 4,006 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions in 2014.
6. Sean Mannion College: Oregon State Height: 6-6 Weight: 229 lbs
Mannion has great size and vision to go with it. His arm strength is great and knows when to take some off and put some heat on the football. He is strictly a pocket passer, but the good news is he hails from a pro system at Oregon State. Mannion has experience under center and in shotgun. Highly accurate on deep and intermediate throws, Mannion could prove to be a bargain pick in this draft.
7. Cody Fajardo College: Nevada Height: 6-1 Weight: 223
Fajardo would be a great option to draft in hopes of being Colin Kaepernick's backup, as they both are mobile and ran the read-option for Nevada. Fajardo struggles with progressions currently, but gets rid of the ball quickly, being decisive passing and running the option. While Fajardo is still a work in progress, he is worth a long look in round six or later as a project.
8. Connor Halliday College: Washington State Height: 6-3 Weight: 196
A broken leg cut Halliday's season short, a season in which he was passing at a prolific rate. In just nine games for the Cugars, Halliday passed for 3,873 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. The injury may ultimately get in the way of being drafted, but a team will sign him if Halliday can prove he is healthy.
9. Tyler Heinicke College: Old Dominion Height: 6-1 Weight: 211
A smaller school can produce a gem now and then, and I really like the attributes Heinicke has. He goes through reads quickly, as a smaller quarterback his footwork is excellent and shifty because he always needs to find open holes to throw through. Heinicke is 4th all time in FBS history with 16,279 yards passing, and 4th with 132 touchdown passes. Heinicke has the potential to have a career in the NFL, I see him coming into a camp and making his presence known.
10. Brandon Bridge College: South Alabama Height: 6-4 Weight: 229
Bridge is built like Cam Newton, and when scrambling can shed tackles and push defenders forward with a stiff-arm like Cam. That's where the Newton comparison ends. Bridge only started a year for South Alabama, where he completed just 51.9 percent of his throws, while only recording 14 touchdowns with six interceptions. Bridge has an above average arm and great toughness and athleticism, but the experience needs to season much more. A complete project Bridge would be and would be a number three quarterback at the very most year one.
Who are your personal favorites of this draft class?