I know this blog has Michigan bias but Devin Gardner's career as a starting QB is all of 5 games - 2 of which you can say showed mixed results. Did I miss the part where he is a guaranteed 1st rounder with a solid season next year? There are guys like Teddy Bridgewater, Tajh Boyd who are 'locks' at that level. There are a host of other players (probably 6-8) who are more or less in Gardner's position - some potential, need at least another year to assess. Gardner has less experience at QB at the CFB then all of them. I get we are homers but there is a whole landscape of college QBs, many of which have a similar or potentially better fit for a pro style offense. To wit:
Miami's QB: 58% completion, 3300 yds, 21 TDs, 7 INT
Georgia's QB: 65% completion, 3900 yds, 36 TDs,10 INT (ran for 3 TDs)
Oregon QB (very similar physical skill set to DG): 68% completion, 2700 yds, 32 TDs, 6 INTs, ran for over 700 yards
Fresno St QB (brother of David Carr): 63% completion, 3500 yds, 26 TDs, 9 INTs (ran for 3 TDs)
Alabama QB: 67%, 2900 yds, 30 TDs (3!! INT)
UCLA QB: 66%, 3700 yds, 29 TDs, 11 INT (can run too)
DG projected to 60%, 2700-2800 yds, 22 TDs, 10 INT and can run but less yds than some of the guys above. I am not saying if he played the whole season (including some creampuffs) his stats would not be inflated but there is not much differential between him and the group above. I hope DG is a championship QB and wins the Heisman next year. He will improve - so will all (most) of the kids above. But be realistic - there a lot of DG type QBs out there who would be drafted at or near his level - aside from the top 2 kids the rest are all 2-4 rounders most likely unless they just turn on another gear altogether. Lets not put cart before the horse over this fear of losing him and same if he beats ND and beats MSU and beats whomever. I am sure the NFL, getting burnt on so many QBs would like to see him put in a 2 full years to show what he really is. Last, he has waited a long time for this opportunity - doesnt strike me as a kid who is going to say 'well I can go be a 3rd rounder based on 1 year and physical tools' rather than be the face of the program for another year.