Senior Bowl Quarterbacks: Head to Head
The college football season is rolling to its conclusion, and the annual all-star games are coming in the next few weeks. The largest among them, of course, is the Reese's Senior Bowl. Anthony Licciardi and I have come together to give you our complete takes on the quarterback group that will be at the Senior Bowl. Strap in and enjoy the ride, because we've got some takes on this class.
Notes: Grading scales are different between us, so the color coding is not uniform.
You can access the full reports for prospects by clicking on the report text.
One of the most buzzed about seniors who decided to return to school, Drew Lock has taken steps forward from his 2017 tape. While he still struggles with mechanical and accuracy issues, he is a different quarterback having worked under Derek Dooley for a season. His arm talent and athleticism will be the talk of the town in Mobile, and could propel him into a top ten selection in April, assuming his combine performance matches expectations.
At one point considered a first round prospect, the buzz has cooled around North Carolina State's Ryan Finley. His short game is ready to go for the pros, but there are reasons for concern. He hasn't taken the next step in regards to going through his progressions, and there are questions about how good his arm really is. Throwing live in front of scouts is going to be a big deal, and could be the difference between going on day two or day three.
Minshew's road to the Senior Bowl has been a long and winding one, but he's deserving of a spot amongst the top seniors. A former East Carolina quarterback who did not stand out among the crowd, Minshew nearly transferred to Alabama for a third string job in hopes of snagging a graduate assistant job following his final year of eligibility. Then Mike Leach gave him a call and the rest is history. Mustache mania rolls on, as the social media sensation will be looking to use a lightning fast release to dice up defenses throughout the week.
Considered to be one of the top quarterbacks in the country before a lackluster season sent his stock spiraling, Stidham's physical tools aren't in doubt. His ability to effectively lead an offense from the mental side of things is the key to his stock. If he shows up slinging dimes in Mobile it could lead to a potential first round selection. It's not out of the question for Stidham to work his way into the top quarterback spot conversation, if Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins goes back to school.
A name that was discussed quite frequently heading into the season, Will Grier did not disappoint in regards to team success. He operated a high-flying West Virginia offense that played their way a couple games shy of a playoff appearance. His arm strength will the biggest question to address during the week, but Grier is accurate and mobile. His floor is already set, and it's likely as a career backup.
A potential early declaration last year, Thorson decided to return to school after a torn ACL put him out of commission following Northwestern's bowl game. His tape is anywhere from excellent to unwatchable, it just depends on the situation he's faced with. A full week of consistently good play may take him out of the back of this group for most evaluators.
The selection of Trace McSorley to this year's Senior Bowl came as a surprise to most draft media, as he saw a significant decline in his performance following the underclassman declarations of playmakers like Saquon Barkley and Mike Gesicki. He saw his completion percentage dip from 66.5% in 2017 to 53.2% in 2018, a stunning regression even with poor talent in the receiving group. There is a fair chance he goes down a similar path as Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers did, receiving the invite to the Senior Bowl but going undrafted.
Here's how this entire group of prospects stacks up compared to the rest of the class.
Drew Lock: QB1 (Anthony), QB3 (Mark)
Ryan Finley: QB2 (Anthony), QB6 (Mark)
Gardner Minshew II: QB3 (Anthony), QB4 (Mark)
Jarrett Stidham: QB6 (Anthony), QB2 (Mark)
Will Grier: QB5 (Anthony), QB8 (Mark)
Clayton Thorson: QB4 (Anthony), QB10 (Mark)
Trace McSorley: QB7 (Anthony), QB17 (Mark)
If you have any questions or comments, shoot us a tweet. Anthony is @ALicc_Scout and I'm @WhatsOnDraftNFL. Thanks for reading!