This is the seventh and last in a series of position-by-position stories on the NFL Draft by newyorkjets.com.
And last but not least, the quarterback class of the 2010 NFL Draft.
The QBs are last at least in this forum because the Jets, who have only a few major needs and several positions where they could add some candidates, don't have a need for another young arm. Been there done that, especially last year with the drafting of Mark Sanchez fifth overall and the trading for Kevin O'Connell to add to Kellen Clemens and Erik Ainge. Those four are all still on campus, and the lone addition could be a cost-effective veteran arm (such as Mark Brunell, who visited recently).
But the quarterbacks are never least in any draft, and this year, even though it's not the strongest class at the position, it still features a player who will probably be taken first overall by St. Louis, at least one big name from under the Golden Dome, and everybody's favorite Gator.
One-Two Punch: Bradford, Clausen
Sam Bradford is the candidate to become the next first overall pick. The St. Louis Rams certainly appear to have eyes for the Oklahoma signalcaller (among other QBs). Bradford (6'4", 236) did it all in 2008 — 4,720 passing yards, 67.6 percent accuracy, trigger man for a major-college-best 51.1-points-per-game offense, Heisman and Sammy Baugh trophies. Then he didn't get to do much at all after sitting out the last half of 2009 due to right-shoulder AC joint surgery.
So how that he's been physically and mentally poked and prodded all offseason, and most often has been ticketed as the Rams' next franchise quarterback, does he think we'll all meet him in St. Louis, Louis?
"To be honest, I really don't know," Bradford told Sirius NFL Radio over the weekend about whether he expects the Rams to make him the No. 1 pick on Thursday night. "They haven't told me a thing."
But Pat Kirwan is telling all who check out his current mock draft on NFL.com that Bradford is going to be a Ram. "Bradford is healthy and fits the NFL profile for height and weight," PK writes. "He is reminiscent of Troy Aikman with his poise and accurate passing. According to Phil Simms, it is a clear-cut decision for the Rams when compared to the other quarterbacks in this draft."
Tim Tebow isn't the only QB who's moving up and down the so-called experts' mock drafts. The Golden Domer, Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen (6'3", 222), has been mentioned as possibly headed for the Cleveland Browns with their No. 7 pick. Rams GM Billy Devaney, after ND's pro day, stated, "Clausen looked outstanding. He threw the ball with velocity, he was extremely accurate, he made all the throws."
Then there's a headline today on NFL.com that reads: "Clausen sliding out of first? Experts say it could happen."
Something tells us the fiery, heady guy, who produced in a pro-style offense (3,000-yard passing seasons in 2008-09, Irish offense ranked eighth nationally last year) under noted NFL QB guru Charlie Weis, will find a spot in Round 1.
Much Talk About Tim T
Speaking of Tebow (6'3", 236), what more can be said that hasn't already been said for the past four months — about his strong individual and team achievement at Florida, his long-windup college throwing motion that he's been working diligently to correct for the pros, and on whether he will be a first-rounder, a fourth-rounder or somewhere in between once he's drafted?
Because of this uncertainty, there's indecision from the Tebow camp about whether he'll be at Radio City Music Hall for Thursday night's primetime first round. Last week he said he wouldn't attend. Today rumors are that he's considering showing up because of a sense that he's moving into first-round territory.
Joey Clinkscales, the Jets' VP of college scouting who doesn't appear to have a horse in this QB race, painted the problem a team might face in deciding whether to select Tebow.
"I think it concerns you from the standpoint that you don't know if the change is going to take or not," Clinkscales said of all the offseason work. "First of all, he was a great college football player and he has had to go through some changes in his throwing motion. But given his character, his work ethic, you hope that those changes take hold. Now you never know until the first lick happens whether he goes back to that throwing motion. Given all the hard work and effort he's put into it, he has a chance to be successful. I wouldn't bet against him."
McCoy the Draft's Next Brees?
The Rams are also said to be impressed with Daniel "Colt" McCoy of Texas, who's not huge for the pro game at 6'1" and 216 pounds but has produced at a large level for the Longhorns — career marks of 13,253 passing yards, 112 touchdown passes and 132 TDs responsible for, and 45 victories, the all-time mark for major-college QBs. He's coming in consistently in the second round and some compare him to Drew Brees, who only won a Super Bowl in February at 6'0" and 209.
Tony Pike (6'6", 223), who has great height but a lanky frame, did great things for Cincinnati, leading the Bearcats to a 16-3 record and their first two BCS bowl berths in 2008-09. And is he brittle or is he tough as nails, or both? We know he's tough because three weeks after he broke his left (non-throwing) forearm and had it repaired with a plate and screws, he returned to action.
Dan LeFevour (6'3", 230) did it all for the Chippewas of Central Michigan, as one fact indicates: He and Vince Young are the only two QBs to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in the same season (LeFevour did it in '07). He guided CMU to four straight bowl berths and his career numbers rival all the QBs that will be listed above him.
Jonathan Crompton is an interesting mid-round candidate. At 6'3", 222, he's got the size any team would need. He sat behind the Jets' Ainge for two years, then came on slowly as a junior and senior, and was even benched for one game early last season. But he finished strong and at least one draft site thinks he could be a steal late in day two or early in day three.
And could we end our discussion of the top QBs in this draft without mentioning the taciturn Texan from the Patriot League? No, we could not. John Skelton (6'6", 243) shattered Fordham career records for attempts (1,363), completions (802), yards (9,923) and touchdowns (69) and should get a call sometime Saturday, from Round 4 down.
Jarrett Brown, West Virginia;Zac Robinson, Oklahoma State; Levi Brown, Troy; Jevan Snead, Mississippi; Mike Kafka, Northwestern