The St. Louis Rams have elected to pass on contract talks with Sam Bradford prior to Thursday’s NFL Draft, but it is presumed that he will be the first quarterback off the board, and possibly the only one to go within the top-10 picks.
So in a class that can be perceived as both deep or shallow (depending on the analyst), the following few signal callers available will be under a microscope thereafter. Some believed Jimmy Clausen would go to the Washington Redskins at no. 4, but with the recent trade to add Donovan McNabb, Clausen may fall into the second-third of the first round.
Bradford and Clausen are the consensus best two quarterbacks in the field, but riding close behind are Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow, two of the biggest question marks coming in.
Both are proven winners in the college level, but both will head to New York with their own share of baggage.
McCoy was knocked out of the National Championship game just five plays in, and some question his durability as a smaller passer. Still, he has insisted he will prove to be the best quarterback in his class when all is said and done.
“I do feel I’m the best quarterback in the draft,” McCoy told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Every quarterback needs to have that mentality, that competitive edge. I’m driven and nobody’s going to work harder than me. I don’t know where I’ll get drafted, but I do know that whoever gets me is going to get the best.”
Then scouts will have to assess whether his Florida counterpart is even a quarterback at all.
Neither will provide a concrete answer for another couple months, and sportsbooks have jumped on board, creating prop bets for each’s draft position. Bodog is currently listing odds for how gamblers think all three QB’s will fare this weekend.
Clausen’s over/under as of Tuesday is 9 1/2, right around where the Buffalo Bills sit still needing a new quarterback under head coach Chan Gailey. It is presumed Buffalo would like to start the new regime fresh, but other glaring needs may detract from it’s necessity. Gailey would like a new pass rusher to augment Aaron Maybin in the new 3-4 defense, while the departure of Terrell Owens may call for a receiver like Dez Bryant.
If Buffalo passes on Clausen, he may not hear his name called until San Francisco picks at the 13th and 17th spots, the next team with a presumed need for a quarterback. After that, it probably won’t be until Arizona at 26 that Clausen would be considered.
McCoy is projected to be a second-rounder, and was invited by the NFL to attend that frame on Friday night. The Cleveland Browns have the 38th pick, and could use it on him to start Mike Holmgren’s reign in the front office. And so, McCoy’s over/under is 38 1/2, with a -105 on the over and -125 on the under.
It’s no secret that Tebow’s range is supremely wider. Some believe he could revive a franchise like Jacksonville and be worth the risk in the first round. Others fear his downside and won’t touch until Saturday.
Unlike the previous two quarterbacks, a wider range of betting is available. Those who believe at team like the Jaguars will take a risk early on can gamble on him going in the top 29 picks and receive an even payback. Those calling for him to go in the 30-50 range will garner a return of -190, and the longshot is pick 51 or higher at +260 odds.