Below will be a fatal flaw of each quarterback with possible first round value.
DeShone Kizer: Accuracy
Despite suffering a 4-8 record, Kizer still maintains first round value according to most draft experts. Despite a rough season, Kizer’s 6’4 frame bodes well in the pocket. In addition, he arguably possess the best arm in the draft. However, the quarterback for the Fighting Irish still possesses a fatal flaw, accuracy.
Kizer completed 60.7% of his passes throughout his college career which raises serious questions. Quarterbacks rarely experience an improvement in accuracy at the NFL level. Better players on the defensive side of the ball means tighter windows across the board. Additionally, defensive schemes become more complex which doesn’t help any rookie’s case as a signal caller.
Some real life examples include Teddy Bridgewater whose 68.3 completion percentage dropped to 64.9 when he reached the NFL. Sam Bradford completed 67.6% of his passes at Oklahoma, but he’s only managed to complete 62.3% of his passes as a pro. A couple of players who experienced a small improvement in accuracy include Aaron Rodgers who ascended from his 63.8 completion percentage to a 65.1 NFL completion percentage, and Kirk Cousins who went from 64.1% to 65.9%, but those numbers hint at something further.
Deshaun Watson: Turnovers
46 total touchdowns and a shot at a national championship!? What’s not to like!? Yes, Watson could be the most explosive quarterback in this year’s draft, but he’s also the most careless with the football. Sure, 38 passing touchdowns looks great, but 17 interceptions on the other hand, not so much. As mentioned earlier, defenses only get better in the NFL, so ball security won’t get easier. To put Watson’s interceptions in perspective, he has thrown at least 7 more picks than any quarterback who appears on this list. Patrick Mahomes threw 10 interceptions this season, and he threw 30+ more passes than Watson this season.
Mitch Trubisky: Pocket Presence/decision-making
Mitch Trubisky represents many qualities of a pocket passer. First of all, Trubisky stands at 6’3 and possesses one of the best arms in the draft. He delivers deep balls with relative ease and surprises many with his athleticism. However, Trubisky still needs to work on a few things if he wants to be a successful quarterback in the NFL.
To begin, Trubisky’s pocket presence is suspect to say the least. Whenever Trubisky feels pressure, his feet go everywhere. In this respect, he mirrors Jay Cutler in a number of ways, both good and bad. His athleticism and arm strength allowed him to make a wild 40-yard pass in the Sun Bowl, but it also led to a few poor throws and unnecessary sacks. So far, Trubisky tends to roll out to his right and spin back towards the middle of the field when facing pressure. It worked when he delivered a late touchdown in the Sun Bowl, but it also got him sacked on the game-tying two-point conversion.
Unfortunately, Trubisky’s decision-making draws another parallel to Cutler. His arm allows him to make virtually every throw, but it also baits him into making poor decisions. The junior had two or more turnovers in three separate games and the Tar Heels coincidentally lost all three. Once more, the Sun Bowl showed Trubisky’s shortcomings in this area. He threw a pick on a crossing route that a safety baited him into. Trubisky stared down his target and forced the throw despite the safety breaking on the ball. Trubisky’s second interception came on zone coverage. He lobbed a ball to his running back on a wheel route which the cornerback easily intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Trubisky should have delivered the ball far sooner if he wanted to target his running back. If not, he should have waited for his receivers to pick apart the zone coverage.
Brad Kaaya- Arm Strength
The Chicago Bears were linked to Brad Kaaya in the early weeks of the NFL season, and there’s good reason for it. Kaaya possesses great accuracy on short and intermediate throws. At 6’4, Kaaya is able to stand tall in the pocket and generally makes good reads. However, Kaaya falls dreadfully short when it comes to the deep ball.
Sure, not every pass goes for 50 yards, but deep ball accuracy is essential in the NFL. Peyton Manning’s waning arm strength in 2015 shows exactly why an NFL quarterback needs to deliver on the deep ball. Unfortunately for Kaaya, he hasn’t proved that he can consistently hit on the deep ball. Some of that blame has to be shifted on the offensive line which was below average this season, but Kaaya relies on short throws. That doesn’t mean that Kaaya can’t throw the ball deep, but he doesn’t possess the same touch that a Big Ben or even an Eli Manning has on the home run ball.
A good NFL comparison for this season would be the Minnesota Vikings. Sam Bradford excelled with short and intermediate passes, but struggled with big plays. Part of the blame belongs to the offensive line, but Bradford missed on a fair share of opportunities as well.
Drafting a quarterback with suspect arm strength in the first round is a gamble, to use a third overall pick on one is suicide.
Patrick Mahomes II: College offense
There’s no other way around it, 41 passing touchdowns in a season simply jumps off the page. 6 passing performances over 400 yards and at least 4 touchdowns sounds more like a game of Madden than college football. Patrick Mahomes’ gaudy numbers will put him on every draft board, but the offense which was so kind to Mahomes in college will do him little good in the pros.
Remember when Johnny Manziel took football by storm a few years ago? He could sling the ball, scramble with the best of them, and put up tons of points. However, the NFL provided a rude awakening with complex defenses along with bigger, better, faster, and stronger defenders. Sprint options were quickly snuffed out, and scrambles quickly became sacks. Mahomes will face a similar adjustment to the NFL.
While teams in the NFL are spreading it out more than ever before, 5 receiver sets are still a rarity. Even more rare are receivers running wide open down the field. Mahomes’ highlight reel features great deep balls, but also a number of busted coverages. Can Mahomes sling the ball down field? Absolutely. Can he run a true NFL offense with a complicated NFL defense staring him in the face? I sure wouldn’t bet the 3rd overall pick on it.
Well there you have it, they all have risks, which one will end up succeeding in the NFL? Imstill am leaning to Mitch Trubisky.