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2016 NFL Draft rankings: Top 10 quarterbacks

Ranking the top 10 quarterbacks in this year's NFL Draft.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
1. Jared Goff (California) | 6-foot-4, 210 pounds

Goff tops this ultra shitty quarterback class for me despite earning just a second-round grade. In fact, I haven’t given out a first round grade to any QB over the past two years. Goff absolutely lit the world on fire and dominated during Cal’s bowl game, which ultimately cemented him as my No. 1 QB. He has an average arm in terms of strength and velocity, but he’s extremely accurate, especially on deep balls where he puts the right amount of touch on his throws.

Goff’s top redeeming quality is his footwork. He put a ton of work into moving around in the pocket last offseason, and it definitely showed on tape. He doesn’t have nearly as much upside as the next guy on this list, but he may have the highest floor of any QB in this class.

2. Paxton Lynch (Memphis) | 6-foot-6, 230 pounds

Compared to other top prospects at his position, Paxton Lynch is a goliath at 6-foot-6. He’s raw as hell, but he just looks like an NFL QB and teams are going to fall in love with that. But the most important thing here is that Paxton Lynch is far from ready to start for an NFL team. He’s got all of the tools to be a star someday, he just needs to put it all together.

3. Carson Wentz (North Dakota State) | 6-foot-5, 233 pounds

No one had a better January than Carson Wentz. Like Lynch, he’s not exactly pro ready, though he has plenty of upside. Excuse my racial profiling, but Wentz is athletic as hell for a white QB. I mean, the way he’s able to escape from the pocket and turn a broken play into a positive is remarkable. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself:

To be an effective QB in the NFL, Wentz needs to work on his accuracy and timing routes, as well as improving on working through his progressions. He also has a bad habit of locking onto his primary target and forcing the ball into tight windows.

4. Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) | 6-foot-2, 226 pounds

Admittedly, I’m a lot higher on Prescott than most. Over a year ago he was labeled as just a "college QB" with "no NFL future," and he must have heard all of his critics because he transformed into a whole new player last year.  Where he improved the most is from his shoulders up. He did a much better job of being a pass-first QB by having a good feel for the pocket and reading through his progressions. I really like Dak as a developmental guy in the early/mid rounds. If he goes any later than the third round, he’s a steal in my book.

5. Connor Cook (Michigan State) | 6-foot-4, 220 pounds

What?? A Michigan State fan that’s not a big fan of Connor Cook? Yup. While I’m not going to sit here and knock him all that much for his character or his "bad teammate" qualities (I’m not quite sold on that yet), I just don’t think Cook has what it takes to be a solid starting QB in the NFL. But then again, I didn’t think Kirk Cousins would be all that great either.

Cook is a polarizing QB prospect that’s due for about one colossally poor decision a game, and the rest of the game he’s dropping his passes into buckets. He exhibits remarkable deep ball accuracy, dishing out plenty of NFL throws in MSU’s offense and showing great anticipation. What Cook really needs to work on his footwork and to quit throwing off of his back foot. Cook is also rarely willing to dump it off to his check down and would rather go for the home run, leading to poor decisions and consistently high throws.

6. Cardale Jones (Ohio State) | 6-foot-5, 250 pounds

Cardale Jones wants you to remember one thing: He didn’t come here to play SCHOOL, he’s here to play FOOTBALL. Your rankings are pointless to him. Having Cardale this high on my list speaks more to how awful this QB class is than how much I like Cardale.

Jones was so bad for OSU last year that he was benched for J.T. Barrett about halfway through the season. Still, he has NFL tools that teams might like. For one, he can really rip the ball and has a cannon for an arm. He’s also very nimble for a big QB and does a nice job of escaping pressure, as well as picking up first downs in short-yardage situations.

7. Christian Hackenberg (Penn State) | 6-foot-4, 236 pounds

Like Jones, Hack’s arm strength is his best quality. Some have compared it to other gunslingers like Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler, however, there are hardly any other redeeming qualities for Hack. While the supporting cast around him didn’t do much to help his stock, I was very turned off by his constantly poor body language on the field and his bad attitude toward his teammates on the sideline.

Hack has tools and if he can fix up his attitude and accuracy issues, then I believe he would be a nice project for a team to take on in the middle/late rounds.

8. Kevin Hogan (Stanford) | 6-foot-3, 217 pounds

My lord, Kevin Hogan has just about the ugliest release I’ve ever seen. If he wasn’t so effective with it, I don’t think we’d be talking about him at all right now. Regardless of the weird mechanics and slow release, Hogan made great strides as a QB in 2015 and may get a legitimate shot in the NFL because of it. Among the things he improved on was his poise in the pocket and ability to escape and make throws on the run. Many consider him borderline undraftable, but my gut tells me that there’s at least one team out there willing to spend a late-round pick on Hogan.

9. Nate Sudfeld (Indiana) | 6-foot-6, 236 pounds

Nate Sudfeld is a tall drink of water under center as well as arguably the most inconsistent QB in this class. He had a bit of a rough time during Senior Bowl practices and struggles with his accuracy at times, but when he’s on, he’s on. Sudfeld will project into the NFL as a developmental QB that has desirable size and arm strength.

10. Jake Coker (Alabama) | 6-foot-6, 236 pounds

Coach Saban didn’t exactly instill a ton of confidence in Coker’s ability early in the season, but Coker soon took over as the Tide’s starting QB when their other option (Cooper Bateman) shat the bed against Ole Miss. Since Coker earned the job, he only got better as the season progressed, including an absolute beatdown on Michigan State (fml) and a 335-yard performance against Clemson to secure a National Championship.

Coker’s inexperience is a big concern, but he also has the size and some tools that scouts will admire when transitioning to the next level. Another plus for Coker is his athleticism. He’s very nimble for his size and isn’t afraid to tuck the ball and pick up a few yards on his own.

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