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Quarterback Class Isn’t “Great”

Despite the production and potential displayed by first-round quarterback candidates Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Freeman, their lack of ideal experience as juniors declaring early for the NFL Draft raises concerns for NFL decision-makers. According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, who conducted a poll of 18 NFL personnel executives, Stafford received the most first-place votes as the top quarterback prospects with 11 votes followed by Sanchez with five and Freeman with two. Overall, though, it’s not viewed as a stellar quarterback class. “It’s not the great year,” Buffalo vice president Tom Modrak said. “You can find flies on all these guys. It gets to be a dilemma because there’s certainly a year or two of training. But if the quarterback doesn’t come in by mid-October you’re in trouble with everyone.” Sanchez has started just 16 games, so he doesn’t have the usual body of work to judge. “Sanchez is probably the riskiest,” St. Louis Rams vice president Tony Softli said. “The other guys have been starting since they were freshmen so they got three years in. He has 16 games. That’s really scary.” Concern was also expressed about Ball State quarterback Nate Davis’ supposed learning disability. He scored an 11 on the Wonderlic, which ranks below the NFL average of 19.5 and the quarterback average. According to the report, the lowest scores for starting quarterbacks in the past 15 years have been registered by Vince Young with a 15, Donovan McNabb with a 12, Charlie Batch with a 15, Kordell Stewart with a 15, and backup quarterback Seneca Wallace scored a 10. [Editor’s note: Young got a 15 on his do-over, the day after registering a six or a seven. Dan Marino scored a 13 in 1983.]