The 2017 NFL Draft is just over two months away, and that means ESPN and NFL Network draft programming is about ready to go into overdrive. ESPN announced on Thursday that Gruden’s QB Camp will be back for an eighth season. The show returns on Tuesday, April 11, with the debut episode airing at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN2. The full schedule will be released later this month.
There are a lot of questions about the 2017 quarterback class, so it will be interesting to see how Gruden analyzes them. He can be effusive in his praise, but he does not ignore a given quarterback’s weaknesses. It is certainly not a complete analysis of a player, but it is interesting to see what a player evaluator like Gruden has to say, and also how players react.
The program will include seven quarterbacks. The notable names not included are Davis Webb (Cal), Jerod Evans (Virginia Tech), and Chad Kelly (Ole Miss). Here are the quarterbacks, along with some comments from Gruden on each player.
Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee: “Dobbs is a dual threat. He’s from a no-huddle offense. He can really create plays with his legs. He played some of his best football when the team was behind and when the game was on the line. He brought the Volunteers back to win from double-digit deficits more than any guy in the country. He’s a great kid, very intelligent, and I think he caught peoples’ attention at the Senior Bowl.”
Brad Kaaya, Miami (FL): “Kaaya is interesting. The Hurricanes combine the I-formation with the college spread system, and he’s an accurate passer. He got hit a lot this year, but when he has protection, he can throw the football. He relies on timing and he’s going to be a pocket-passer for someone who really wants to accentuate that.”
DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame: “Kizer is an underclassman like a lot of these guys. He has perhaps the biggest arm in this draft. He can really throw the football. Notre Dame had a difficult season and I am a little bit surprised that Kizer is coming out, but he can do some damage with his arm and he has some athleticism.”
Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech: “Another underclassman, Mahomes is the guy who has really popped off the film for me. He’s very athletic – a baseball player. They throw it every single play at Texas Tech. He can get rid of the ball from awkward positions with a lot on it. He’s a gunslinger.”
Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh: “Peterman is a transfer from Tennessee. Coach (Pat) Narduzzi at Pitt recruited Kirk Cousins to Michigan State and I heard he compares Peterman to Cousins. He’s a pocket-passer. They run a very creative offense at Pitt and this is the one guy who beat Clemson – and they did it on the road. He’s one of the most improved quarterbacks in the country this year.”
Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina: “Trubisky is a lot more athletic than people think. He can run for first downs and touchdowns. If you look at him on tape, he displays some real courage. He’s stay in the pocket under intense fire and throws strikes. I just wish I had more film of him. He’s had just one year of work, but I am impressed with him.”
DeShaun Watson, Clemson: “Watson has the best resume of anyone. He has an unbelievable amount of production and an impressive record – 32 wins in three years as a starter. He shredded some of the best teams in the country. He’s a dual threat with loads of intangibles. I am really looking forward to working with him to see how he spins it.”