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Luck, RGIII best QB prospects in years

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Say what you will about the flaws of some of the top five quarterbacks in this draft, but this is looking like a much stronger draft at the upper end of the class for the position than last year. "I think there’s five of them that are better than any of them last year," said one of the two scouts I talked to over the weekend about the quarterback class. Last year, Carolina selected Cam Newton No. 1 overall, and he ended up being an immediate impact player even though most scouts projected he'd be more of a project, though an incredibly gifted project. After that, Jake Locker went to Tennessee at No. 8, Blaine Gabbert to Jacksonville at No. 10, Christian Ponder to Minnesota at No. 12, Andy Dalton to Cincinnati at No. 35 and Colin Kaepernick to San Francisco at No. 36. This year it's a given that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will go Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, to Indianapolis and Washington. One of the scouts said both are elite prospects, better than the Eli Manning-Philip Rivers-Ben Roethlisberger class that went Nos. 1, 4 and 11, respectively in the '04 draft and that has won four Super Bowls combined. "(Luck and Griffin) are so much better (than the '04 quarterbacks) athletically and as good or better with the regular quarterback stuff," the scout said. " So these guys have a chance to really be high-end players, both of them." Both scouts rated Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill as the next-best. One then had Michigan State's Kirk Cousins next followed by Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden, whereas the other had them vice versa. Cousins' strengths are he reacts fast and he's an impressive athlete. The big issue with Weeden is his age -- he played minor-league baseball and will turn 29 in October of his rookie season. He's got plenty of arm talent, but that age matters. The Packers won't be looking for a developmental quarterback prospect until at least the fourth round and more likely later. We'll get into the details on that in the Press-Gazette's position-by-position series on the draft that begins Thursday, April 19.

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