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2012 NFL Rookie Profiles: QB

2012 NFL Draft Coverage: A look at the Signal Callers

As the NFL becomes more of a passing league, the chase to get a franchise QB has gotten even more intense. That makes Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III the headliners of the 2012 Draft Class. Behind the two elite prospects, there are a number of intriguing but flawed QB's that could make a Dynasty impact. Most will require patience, but just as we saw last season, teams are not afraid to throw rookies into the line of water and see if they sink or swim. Whether you have solid depth at QB or not, you want to keep tabs on these prospects as we head into Draft weekend. 

Beast Potential - A cornerstone only reserved for the truly elite prospects. Example from 2011 - Cam Newton
Starter Potential - Will never be elite but a long term, reliable starter is a high probability. Example - Andy Dalton
Raw Product - This player has tremendous upside, but also a huge amount of risk. If things break right, though, a Beast or definite starter could be had. Example - Colin Kaepernick
Developmental Product - These players are extremely raw talents but possess the upside necessary to eventually grow into legit flex options and maybe someday weekly starters on your Dynasty roster. Example - Ryan Mallett



Andrew Luck

College: Stanford (Redshirt Junior)
Height-Weight: 6'4" 234 lbs.
Upside: Beast Potential
Player Comparison: Philip Rivers
Comments: Andrew Luck has the look and resume of a protoypical QB prospect. He's got a classic skillset, garnering comparisons to John Elway and Peyton Manning. His collegiate numbers are impressive, but not video game stats like Cam Newton's 2010 season. He threw for almost 10,000 yards, 82 passing TD's, and another 957 yards and 7 TD's on the ground. He threw just 22 INT's in over 1,000 pass attempts. What's not to like about Luck as a fantasy prospect? He has a high football IQ, excellent footwork and accuracy. You have to look very hard to try to find a flaw in his game. Might have been the no. 1 overall pick last season over Newton if he declared. No prospect is can't miss, but his floor is extremely high. The total package. 
Tools/Skillset: Elite signal caller upside. May struggle as the Colts rebuild, but has massive upside and should be a franchise cornerstone. Fantasy upside just as high. 
Dynasty Rookie Draft Grade: Top 5 Selection

Robert Griffin III

College: Baylor (Junior)
Height-Weight: 6'2" 223 lbs.
Upside: Beast Potential
Player Comparison: Mike Vick
Comments: The 1b to Andrew Luck's 1a. He had almost 5,000 yards of offense last season, along with 47 total TD's and only 6 INT's on his way to the Heisman Trophy. Racked up 33 rushing TD's and over 2,200 yards in his career. RGIII can do it all on the football field, flicking the ball with ease 50 yards downfield or scrambling 35 yards on a broken play. He's a natural passer with improved accuracy Confident in his abilities and character concerns appear to be overblown draft hype. He worked out of the spread in college, but has the ability to easily transition to a pro style offense. Also needs to read defenses better and pick his spots when he leaves the pocket to protect his body. A projectable talent with otherworldly upside and the leadership skills to be the face of an NFL franchise for the next decade. 
Tools/Skillset: Fantasy potential is higher than Luck's, but he also has a lower ceiling and is not without risk. At his best, he could be the top scoring fantasy QB.
Dynasty Rookie Draft Grade: Top 5 Selection

Ryan Tannehill

College: Texas A&M (Senior)
Height-Weight: 6'4" 221 lbs.
Upside: Raw Prospect 
Player Comparison: Mark Sanchez
Comments: A QB in high school, Tannehill had 55 catches for 844 yards and 5 TD's as a freshman. That made him an intriguing WR prospect, but after another season at WR, he made the switch to QB in the middle of 2010. The tools are there for him to be a legit starting QB, from the big arm, pocket presence to his intangibles. He's extremely athletic for the position, but will need to continue to learn his craft and adjust to the speed of the game. Still raw as a QB, it would benefit Tannehill to sit for at least half of a season, possibly more. Will get overdrafted in the NFL Draft because of the demand for potential franchise QB's. 
Tools/Skillset: A boom or bust type, Tannehill could propel a franchise forward to become a perennial playoff contender or it could set them back years. 
Dynasty Rookie Draft Grade: 2nd Round Selection

Brock Osweiler

College: Arizona State (Junior)
Height-Weight: 6'6" 242 lbs.
Upside: Raw Prospect
Player Comparison: Derek Anderson
Comments: Only a one year starter, many thought Osweiler should have gone back to school for his senior season. With over 4,000 yards and a 26:15 TD to INT ratio last season, he flashed his immense upside and raw skills. He has impressive measurables, above average athleticism and a big arm to make all of the throws. A frustrating player to watch at times, as he will miss on easy throws and shows inconsistent accuracy. Needs to polish his game, not ready to start probably for his entire rookie season. In the right system and without pressure to get him on the field immediately, he could be a major Dynasty asset. 
Tools/Skillset: An upside selection and extremely risky, Osweiler has major potential. Will need time to develop and adapt to the NFL, but could pay dividends if properly brought along. High bust factor.
Dynasty Rookie Draft Grade: Late 3rd / Early 4th Round Selection

Brandon Weeden

College: Oklahoma State (Senior)
Height-Weight: 6'4" 221 lbs.
Upside: Starter Potential
Player Comparison: Kyle Orton
Comments: Weeden has come a long way from his last draft, where he was taken in the 2nd round by the New York Yankees back in 2002. He was out of baseball by 2007 and playing for the Sooners shortly thereafter. Already 28 years old, Weeden played like a seasoned veteran in the past two years. He passed for more than 9,000 yards and had a 71:26 TD to INT ratio. He has a strong, accurate arm and can make any NFL throw. Needs to learn to handle the rush more effectively and make better decisions under pressure. He's not very athletic and can be a sitting duck in the pocket at times. He's not a developmental type, but one that is expected to come in and compete for a job as soon as this season.
Tools/Skillset: As noted, age is a huge detractor to his Dynasty value. Could step in and play right away, though, making him a potential QB2. Might end up a high quality back-up. 
Dynasty Rookie Draft Grade: 3rd Round Selection

Kirk Cousins

College: Michigan State (Senior)
Height-Weight: 6'3" 214 lbs.
Upside: Developmental Prospect
Player Comparison: Alex Smith
Comments: Cousins was a solid three year starter for the Spartans, showing strong leadership skills that make him a desirable prospect. His physical gifts do not lead to much optimism for more than game manager potential in the NFL. He's a competitor who will make the most of his ability. Has only an average arm, will need to get by on decision making skills and football IQ. The debate with Cousins is whether he can develop into a starter or if he's more of a long term back-up. Much like Andy Dalton last season, Cousins is a candidate to outperform his draft slot. 
Tools/Skillset: Cousins came on strong in the offseason and could be a solid, long term QB2. Limited ceiling, but should be useful fantasy option if he develops.
Dynasty Rookie Draft Grade: 4th Round Selection

Nick Foles

College: Arizona (Senior)
Height-Weight: 6'5" 243 lbs.
Upside: Raw Prospect
Player Comparison: Kevin Kolb
Comments: Foles brings ideal size, arm strength and quick release to the NFL. Had over 4,300 yards and 28 TD's last year in a QB friendly system. Is not a statue in the pocket, but can make bad decisions under pressure. His accuracy is above average and has nice touch on short to intermediate passes. Deep ball needs work. Will need to be drafted into the right system, would make a good developmental west coast offense prospect. Generally takes care of the ball and with time could be a fantasy starter. 
Tools/Skillset: Has starter upside, but is a risk to not reach his full potential. As a late round pick, Dynasty owners and NFL teams alike will need to be patient and allow him to develop. Payoff could be worthwhile. 
Dynasty Rookie Draft Grade: 5th Round Selection

Russell Wilson

College: Wisconsin (Senior)
Height-Weight: 5'11" 204 lbs.
Upside: Developmental Prospect
Player Comparison: Seneca Wallace
Comments: If you looked at the scouting report and intangibles without looking at his size, you'd think Wilson would be a Day 2 pick for sure. Unfortunately, he is under 6' and that is an issue for starting QB's in the NFL. On the positive side, he is dripping with athletic talent. Transferred from NC State after four years to play final season as a Badger. Showed dramatic improvement in accuracy as a senior and impressed with just 4 INT's compared to 33 TD's. He's got a strong arm, clean mechanics and footwork to go along a student of the game mentality. While measurables are not ideal, he has a strong, well-built frame and the ability to pick up chunks of yards with his scrambling. A true leader on the field, Wilson has all of the characteristics teams look for in a potential QB. 
Tools/Skillset: His height is his main detractor, but his arm and legs could carry him to more than a back-up role eventually. He's a roll of the dice type of selection, who could be a gadget type or possibly a QB2 if things break right. 
Dynasty Rookie Draft Grade: 5th Round Selection

Late Round / Free Agent Pick-ups

Ryan Lindley (San Diego State) - A four year starter for the Aztecs, Lindley has a number of enticing attributes besides starting experience. He has ideal size and bulk, along with one of the strongest arms in the draft class. Had 90 passing TD's and three 3,000 yard seasons. Accuracy is suspect and could pigeon-hole him into a back-up role. Not very athletic and can be statue-like in the pocket. Decision making needs to improve. He's worth monitoring to see where he lands, but is very much a raw prospect. Could put it all together and become a QB2 at some point, but needs time and patience will be required. 

B.J. Coleman (Tennessee-Chattanooga) - Another QB with impressive size and frame, Coleman has major sleeper potential as a developmental QB. After transferring from University of Tennessee, Coleman was a three year starter at Chattanooga. He has one of the strongest arms in the draft class. Has limited athleticism and mobility. Decision making and accuracy can be shaky at times. He's raw but has a starter's ceiling. Is at least two years from being game ready. May top out as a career back-up, but if given the chance, the fiery competitor could seize the opportunity. 

Be sure to read the RBWR and TE Rookie Profiles!