OT - Mel Kiper and QB prospects

Submitted by AC1997 on February 18th, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Mel Kiper was just on ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike show talking about the NFL draft prospects of quarterbacks this year.  I'm paraphrasing here, but this is what he had to say:

  • Cam Newton should be about the 7th rated overall prospect, but the demand for QB's, the lack of Andrew Luck, and the possibility of a rookie wage scale could push him up to #3.  (He thinks the Panthers should give Claussen another shot this year rather than drafting Newton.)
  • Blaine Gabbert is clearly the #2 rated QB and should go by the middle of the first round at the latest.  (Why have I barely heard of this guy and he's a top pick?)
  • He has Ryan Mallett's stock falling pretty fast, even out of the first round.
  • He also has never liked Jake Locker as a first round pick.
  • The guy who he thinks is rising on draft boards, and who he could even see being taken ahead of Locker and Mallett, is none other than Ricky Stanzi.  I would never picture Stanzi leading an NFL team as a 2nd round pick.....wow.

(Note - when considering the credibility of Mel Kiper in 2011 please note that he had Obi Ezeh listed as a draft prospect at MLB for much of the 2010 season.)



February 18th, 2011 at 9:23 AM ^

He's never liked Locker?  Didn't he have Locker at the top of his big board LAST YEAR before Locker withdrew?

As far as Stanzi, I agree, but then who ever thought Stanton would be picked as high as he was, let alone hang on with that team and help them win a few games this year?  As much as it pains me to say it, he's one of the better 3rd string QB's in the league.  (which is still basically crap when you're drafted as high as he was)


February 18th, 2011 at 9:26 AM ^

I don't prize Kiper's individual take on things, but it's worth listening to someone like him or McShay because their opinion are 5% informed by their own film study and 95% informed by what dozens of scouts tell them.  And I am interested to hear (even regurgitated) what dozens of scouts are thinking, even if it's just a rough gauge.

I still don't know how the Ezeh thing can be explained...

MI Expat NY

February 18th, 2011 at 10:10 AM ^

I think the explanation for the Ezeh thing is that as the draft draws nearer, Kiper starts to receive more information from nfl organizations.  

I doubt scouts are on the phone with him every day year round giving opinions on guys who are clearly not leaving early, so guys like Kiper and McShay take their stab at their own lists early each season, based on personal observations and the culling of what others are saying, and then refines/drastically changes the list once teams start actually giving him infoormation.


February 18th, 2011 at 9:29 AM ^

I'm convinced, based on two points, that sports journalists automatically fall in love with QBs west of the Mississippi named Jake.

The late '90s might be too long ago for some readers here, but Jake Plummer (of Arizona State) got all kinds of positive press back then (out of proportion to his ability).  It followed him for much of his pro career, too.

So, it seemed natural to me that *Jake* Locker would have a similar experience.

If you live in the west and your kid plays QB, change his name to Jake.  You'll thank me later.


February 18th, 2011 at 9:49 AM ^

He QB'd the only Cardinals playoff victory in like a 20 year span, threw for 4,000+ yards one year for the Broncos and was an All-Pro with the Broncos the following year (18TDs vs 7 picks that year)...As a Lions fan, I think the late 90's and 2000's would have been a lot better with Plummer versus whoever the hell we had under center.  And Jon Gruden threw $5 million a year at him to coax him out of retirement...


-someone who read last weeks Sports Illustrated


February 18th, 2011 at 9:34 AM ^

In re:Obi Ezeh, the NFL puts a huge premium on physical tools over college production or accolades, because of how good the coaching is in the league.  Obi has those.  I would not be surprised if he was an undrafted free agent, found a team that had good coaching and experienced veterans in front of him, and ended up with a decent NFL career.

His Dudeness

February 18th, 2011 at 9:37 AM ^

Didn't the sheep skin get pulled back on these guys in a 30 for 30? Aren't they basically paid by agents to "elevate" or "drop" the stock of these guys or am I not remembering that correctly?

Didn't Mel Kiper call up a kid and tell him how awesome a pro he was going to be because an agent paid him to?



February 18th, 2011 at 9:39 AM ^

I tend to follow the draft closely. Even past drafts to see who busted and who panned out and why. If the Bills take Cam Newton at 3 they will be making a HUGE mistake. Nothing about the offense Cam Newton has run at Auburn prepares him for a NFL system. Whoever drafts him will have to start from scratch on his ability to read defenses.

The biggest plus Cam Newton has going for him is the scout's favorite term for a QB: Upside. If you look at some of the most notable "upside" QBs their careers have been underwhelming (i.e. Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russell).

As far as the rest of the QBs go I think Gabbert is the best and Andy Dalton is the real sleeper of the class.

Yinka Double Dare

February 18th, 2011 at 10:51 AM ^

That's why Newton could work as a mid to late first rounder, but could be bad going that high.  There will be huge pressure to put him on the field too early if he's drafted at 3rd overall.  He probably needs two years on the bench learning.  Buffalo has a viable QB in Harvard, so they don't NEED to put Newton on the field if they draft him, but unless the new CBA changes the salary scale on the draft, they'll feel the pressure to put him out there earlier than he probably should be.

Greg McMurtry

February 18th, 2011 at 9:40 AM ^

If Locker wasn't 6'3" 230 he wouldn't even be considered in the 1st round. Locker has underperformed for 4 years. Gabbert was the #1 rated pro-style QB out of high school a few years back.


February 18th, 2011 at 9:43 AM ^

I can see Ezeh finding himself on some team somewhere in training camp (if there is a training camp).  But I think he will be quickly cut.  He's big and experienced....that's about it.  He isn't fast enough and clearly has shown no natural instincts on the field. 

Look at it this way - Adrian Arrington, Marquise Walker, and Greg Matthews were productive college players throughout their careers and the best they could do is to linger on a practice squad.  Ezeh has not been productive, has been benched each of the last two years, and has not shown the natural instincts of a LB.  There are 100 guys that fit that resume, Ezeh should prepare for his career after football and we should all wish him the best of luck. 

Mouton wil have a shot because he's very athletic, has been productive, and might be able to find a home somewhere with good coaching. 


February 18th, 2011 at 11:21 AM ^

Adrian is probably good enough to make a roster for some team, but I think he enjoys having a fairly secure practice squad job in New Orleans. I also wouldn't mind seeing him get more chances in the future.


February 18th, 2011 at 10:00 AM ^

I think it was more McShay who had Locker very high, not Kiper. Still though... I don't think Gabbert or Mallett are smart enough to be good pros. I only watched a few of Gabbert's games but I didn't think he was so great. I still think Vince Young had more talent than Newton coming out of school and frankly Young only worked out as he did because he was in a good situation with the Titans in my opinion. If Newton finds a good fit he could be OK but I don't think you can win a superbowl with him and frankly the playoffs are probably a stretch.

This year sucks for teams looking for a QB in the draft. Locker might be OK eventually just because of his mentality if he ends up in a good situation. Stanzi should put his money where his mouth is and go join the armed forces. I'm sure he'd do great there. The previous two sentences are not a joke.


February 18th, 2011 at 10:27 AM ^

Cam Newton will be a bust, he simply does not make that great of decisions, and frankly based on his body of work plus character issues I wouldnt touch him with a 10 ft pole. 

It takes me more than 1 year of starting for me to really like someone :Shrug


February 18th, 2011 at 3:34 PM ^

What about his arrest for having stolen laptops and throwing them out a window? And the fact that he was to go in front of the Florida academic board regarding a cheating investigation before transferring?

Even if you ignore all the weird stuff about his recruitment, there are a few other red flags.


February 18th, 2011 at 10:33 AM ^

since when did newton move up the board so much?  I seem to recall that ever since Luck decided to stay Gabbert has been the concensus  top QB.  Now newton makes a few practice throws without any defensive players coming at him and he's the new best QB?  This is why if you need a qb you should trade your first and second round draft pick for a young one that has already shown what he can do.


February 18th, 2011 at 11:19 AM ^

Seriously, the guy has skills, I don't think he's better than Mallett (maybe I'm a little biased) but the guy is very good, and he's more athletic than Mallett.

In my best Fred Jackson impersonation: He's like Chad Henne, but with "speed".


February 18th, 2011 at 1:16 PM ^

The better question is what do the teams that seem to know what they are doing think of various players as opposed to the league consensus.  I'd much rather know what the Patriots or Jets or some organization with a track record of drafting well think as opposed to, for instance, the Raiders as an example of a clueless organization......