GRIDIRON: Senior quarterbacks show potential

first_imgTen years ago, Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf were leading their respective college football teams, impressing professional scouts with every pass they threw. In the 1998 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts were subsequently left with the seemingly impossible, at the time, task of choosing between Manning, the Volunteer and Leaf, the Cougar. Imagine that.Each year, NFL scouts try to predict which NCAA signal callers will become future Pro Bowlers and which will become the next Leaf, Tim Couch or Akili Smith.This year, scouts and fans alike have a lot to dissect, as this 2007 senior quarterback class is loaded with talent. Could it really compare to the 1983 class featuring three Hall of Famers: John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino? Let’s take a look:Brian Brohm, LouisvilleWhen you watch Brian Brohm manage the quarterback position, the names Tom Brady and Carson Palmer come to mind. The 6-foot-4-inch Louisville native is a true pocket-passer, a characteristic NFL scouts drool over. He stands calmly poised in the pocket, plus he’s got the body, height, arm strength and accuracy needed to succeed in the NFL.Brohm has thrown for 2,765 yards, 23 touchdowns and only four interceptions this year, while completing more than 67 percent of his passes. Needless to say, Brohm has not been the reason for the Cardinals’ struggles this season; it’s been the Louisville defense. He has already tied a Big East single-season record by throwing his sixth 300-yard game of the season.Prediction: Top 5 PickPossible Fit: Chicago Bears. If the Bears don’t earn a top-five pick they could likely trade up to get Brohm, the most NFL-ready quarterback of the bunch. Brohm is accurate enough that he could immediately step in for Chicago and manage a conservative offense while making few mistakes, something Rex Grossman couldn’t do.Andre’ Woodson, KentuckyAndre’ Woodson’s stock was already high, but a triple-overtime, come-from-behind victory over No. 1 LSU sent it through the roof. Combined with Daunte Culpepper size (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) and a rocket-launcher arm, Woodson has all the tools necessary to compete in the NFL and complement his natural leadership abilities.His over-the-top ball delivery makes it difficult for batted balls at the line of scrimmage. Along with his sheer strength, Woodson also has great touch on balls over the middle and throws one of the nicest deep balls in college football. Woodson’s accuracy is somewhat of a concern, but his raw talent is as good as anyone’s in the country.Prediction: Top 10 PickPossible Fit: Minnesota Vikings. Tarvaris Jackson just doesn’t cut it in Minnesota. They are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback. Woodson seems just right.Matt Ryan, Boston CollegeFans in Chestnut Hill will tell you, if former BC quarterback Matt Hasselbeck could become a Pro Bowler, there’s no reason Matt Ryan can’t. Ryan has led the once-unranked Eagles to No. 3 in the nation, and is on pace for more than 3,600 yards passing and 29 touchdowns this season. More importantly, though, Ryan’s a winner. He’s got a quick release and, like Brohm and Woodson, stands a tall 6 feet, 5 inches in the pocket and delivers the ball accurately and on time to his receivers. Although he’s not a running quarterback, Ryan has excellent mobility in the pocket and can also scramble for first downs and throw on the run when necessary.Ryan’s stock continues to rise and a quality performance in a BCS Bowl (like we saw with JaMarcus Russell against Notre Dame in last year’s Sugar Bowl) would certainly help his draft status.Prediction: Top 20 PickPossible Fit: New York Jets. Chad Pennington’s reign in New York should come to an end after this season. The Jets need a pocket passer that can throw a consistent deep ball to wide receivers Laveranues Coles and Jericho Cotchery. Ryan would be a perfect fit.John David Booty, USCCarson Palmer has become one of the elite quarterbacks in football, Matt Leinart has shown glimpses of greatness since leaving Los Angeles, and even Matt Cassel, Palmer and Leinart’s backup, now plays behind Tom Brady in New England. John David Booty has shown that he too has the skills to go from Trojan to NFL starter. His stock suffered somewhat since throwing four interceptions against Stanford, but his performance against Michigan (a defense full of future NFL starters) in last year’s Rose Bowl was enough for NFL teams to give him a chance.Booty has the arm, accuracy and leadership to win consistently on Sundays.Prediction: Early Second Round PickPossible Fit: Kansas City Chiefs. Neither Damon Huard nor Brode Croyle are likely franchise quarterbacks. If Booty is around for KC in the second round, they won’t be able to pass him up.Colt Brennan, HawaiiColt Brennan is the wild card in this quarterback equation. His decision to return to Hawaii for his senior season may have been a mistake, given the intense competition in this year’s class compared to a mediocre 2006 class featuring only Russell and Brady Quinn.Brennan has shattered every WAC passing record, but WAC defenses aren’t exactly equivalent to those of the SEC, Big East, Big Ten, Big XII or ACC. However, if Hawaii remains undefeated and can sneak into a BCS Bowl (much like Boise State last season), Brennan would be able to show off his talents in front of a national audience against what would most likely be a formidable defense. If he could lead the Rainbow Warriors to victory on that stage, NFL teams would be more inclined to gamble on him on the first day of the draft.Prediction: Late Second, Early Third Round PickPossible Fit: St. Louis Rams. Marc Bulger’s health is a main concern in St. Louis. That said, they need a new franchise quarterback who is accustomed to throwing 35-plus attempts consistently. After a year on the sidelines, Brennan could revive Kurt Warner’s Greatest Show on Turf.last_img read more

Week 17 Fantasy PPR Rankings: Tight end

first_imgThe Week 17 fantasy tight end rankings for PPR leagues are what they are — pretty similar to most weeks and pretty similar to the non-PPR rankings. It’s just been the nature of the position this season — either you have a stud or you don’t. The start ’em, sit ’em decisions in Week 17 fantasy championships can’t be too difficult this week because you’ve surely gotten to the title game with a good TE in tow.Maybe that tight end was initially a stream, like Tyler Higbee. But since lighting up the Cardinals in Week 13, he’s continued his torrid finish to the season and topped 100 yards in four-straight games. And now look who is on the schedule in Week 17 — the Cardinals! Higbee could very well reach the century mark for a fifth consecutive week and help win some fantasy championships. WEEK 17 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerIf you’ve somehow made it this far and still need to stream, look to Dallas Goedert. He caught 9-of-12 targets Sunday and has elevated his game with the Eagles lacking many of their top WRs. He’s not as good a play as Zach Ertz, but there’s a non-zero chance Goedert outscores Ertz again. Other possible streams include Kaden Smith (vs. Eagles) and Noah Fant (vs. Raiders).So basically, start your studs. The only sticky spot to watch at the top of the rankings appears to be in Baltimore, where the Ravens could choose to sit players with the AFC’s top seed locked up. If they sat Mark Andrews, that’d be disappointing for owners he’s carried most of the season, but you could potentially just plug in Hayden Hurst and hope his connection with RG3 is half as good as Andrews’ connection with Lamar.(Update: Be on the lookout for Zach Ertz’s status, as well, as he may be a true game-time decision Sunday. Dallas Goedert would be a strong TE1 if Ertz sits against the Giants.)WEEK 17 PPR RANKINGS:Running back | Wide receiverReminder: Check back for updates during the week.  MORE: Which players are sitting out Week 17?Week 17 PPR Rankings: TEsWEEK 17 DFS:DK Cash | DK GPP | Y! GPP | FD Cash | ValuesThese rankings are for full-point PPR leagues.RankPlayer1George Kittle, SF @ SEA2Tyler Higbee, LAR vs. ARZ3Austin Hooper, ATL @ TB4Travis Kelce, KC vs. LAC5Dallas Goedert, PHI @ NYG6Hunter Henry, LAC @ KC7Mark Andrews, BAL vs. PIT8Darren Waller, OAK @ DEN9Jared Cook, NO @ CAR10Greg Olsen, CAR vs. NO11O.J. Howard, TB vs. ATL12Jonnu Smith, TEN @ HOU13Noah Fant, DEN vs. OAK14Jack Doyle, IND @ JAX15Kaden Smith, NYG vs. PHI16Kyle Rudolph, MIN vs. CHI17Jacob Hollister, SEA vs. SF18Jason Witten, DAL vs. WAS19Mike Gesicki, MIA @ NE20Jimmy Graham, GB @ DET21Benjamin Watson, NE vs. MIA22Cameron Brate, TB vs. ATL23Darren Fells, HOU vs. TEN24Tyler Eifert, CIN vs. CLE25Vance McDonald, PIT @ BAL26Dawson Knox, BUF @ NE27Logan Thomas, DET vs. GB28Jordan Akins, HOU vs. TEN29Irv Smith Jr., MIN vs. CHIlast_img read more