All the talk has been about Andrew Luck heading into this year’s draft. There hasn’t been this much pre-draft hype about a quarterback prospect since the league ushered in Peyton Manning in 1998, who ironically may play a huge role in the fate of the Collegiate Standout. With The Colts clinching the #1 overall pick last week (I know it just doesn’t have the same ring as clinching the division title would) rumors intensified regarding who the pick would be used on. Despite the fact that throughout the year nearly everyone’s heard countless stories that he must be picked first, he’s going to be a generational star and that Indy must choose him should they get the pick even though they may not need him until years to come. I fully agree that he’s the best prospect out there, and my opinion was only solidified after watching Andrew Luck (of course I’m talking about him) pick apart The Oklahoma State defense in The Fiesta Bowl just one night ago. Even though Oklahoma State ended up winning the game, Luck put on a show out there going 27-31 for 347 Yds and 2 TDs. He really only made one bad throw which resulted in a costly interception but you can hardly fault him when his team’s defense gave up 41 points. Overall, I think Luck is a good quarterback prospect, but is he really the next Peyton Manning? Will Andrew Luck be a good fantasy football pick for next year? That’s a tough call to make before the guys even lined up behind center in the NFL, but if any one college quarterback from this draft will ascend to such a height it will undoubtedly be Andrew Luck.
On the topic of young quarterbacks I’m going to take a look at the top young quarterbacks in The NFL heading into next season.
5. Colt McCoy, Cleveland Browns – Will Colt McCoy be a good fantasy football pick next year? Playing for a team that hasn’t been relevant for years McCoy is faced with the hardest path to success out of anyone on this list. Although he showed promise in his rookie season in 2010 throwing 14 TDs to only 11 INTs his 2011 campaign was a step in the wrong direction for him. Playing only 8 games and suffering a dangerous concussion from the hands of James Harrison, I’m interested to see how he’ll recover after this setback. McCoy showed us brilliance in the passing game in college and I’m hoping (along with all Cleveland Brown’s fans) he can get back to that level next season and prove all his doubters wrong.
4. Sam Bradford, St.Louis Rams – Will Sam Bradford be a good fantasy football pick next year? Bradford is another guy who took a step back this season due to injuries and a lack of personal around him. Bradford is also burdened with being a number one overall draft pick, so expectations are through the roof for The Oklahoma standout and like McCoy in his rookie season he showed a lot of promise throwing 18 TDs to only 15 INTs. Yet this season he played only 10 games and could never get on a roll offensively, it was tough to watch. A player as talented as Bradford is due for a breakout next year and I’m confident drafting him in Fantasy will pay huge rewards. He wants to prove himself to the league, he has the vision it takes to be great and that’s why 2012 will be the coming out party for Sam Bradford.
3.Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Will Josh Freeman be a good fantasy football pick next year? Freeman is both a gifted quarterback and a gifted athlete, His 6-6 stature is ideal for the QB position and in 2010 he dazzled with a 25 TD and 6 INT season, or in other words a highly effective year that put Freeman on everyone’s radar. However he failed to live up to the hype this year and ended up throwing 22 INTs (2nd in the NFL) paired with only 16 TDs, numbers which are just unacceptable from any starter especially one as capable as this guy. Although The Bucs aren’t the most talented offensive bunch I think if Freeman gets his act together and performs like he can The Bucs have a chance in 2012. If you want to take a gamble on a high risk high reward type guy draft Freeman and expect him to light up the scoreboard for your fantasy squad.
2. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers – Will Cam Newton be a good fantasy football pick next year? Newton jumped onto the scene in 2011 and amazed us all with his well-rounded game. His ability to throw the ball was impressive enough (21 TDs), when you factor in that he had 14 rushing TDs and broke the rookie record for overall TDs you start to understand how special Cam can be. His uncanny ability to get out of the pocket and throw on the run was also a great sign for a young QB as it gives receivers time to get open and when coverages break down Cam has the arm to make defenses pay with a big play. Newton was also a welcome gift to wide-out Steve Smith who enjoyed a huge year with 80 catches and 1,400 yards after struggling in previous seasons due to lack of a consistent starting QB. I expect Cam to do more of the same next year and be a top 10 fantasy player in his sophomore campaign, draft him and watch as he becomes an elite player and a game changing talent in the NFL.
1. Mathew Stafford, Detroit Lions – Will Mathew Stafford be a good fantasy football pick next year? Although Stafford undoubtedly has the best core of talent around him it’s hard to ignore the numbers he put up this year. He threw for 41 TDs (3rd in the NFL) and only 16 INTs. His 97.2 passer rating was good for 5th in the NFL and shows how well he’s managing his position. I rank him ahead of Newton because after all the position is a throwing position and although Stafford is a strictly pocket passer that’s what wins games in today’s NFL. QB’s who frequently try to run the ball have a knack for getting injured; I for one want my franchise QB nice and comfortable behind the offensive line hitting receivers for big gains. Stafford is my number one young QB and in 2012 I look for him to only improve, and to improve his chemistry with Calvin Johnson even more (If that’s even possible). It wouldn’t surprise me to see Stafford finishing the year as a top 5 QB next year or in the very near future, draft him with confidence as he is sure to have a big big year.
Robert Griffin III – Will Robert Griffin III be a good fantasy football pick next year? An athletic specimen, the guy is ranked higher than Andrew Luck on some experts pre-draft rankings. He plays a lot like Michael Vick in the sense that he sometimes gets run happy which has many worried about how durable he can be. However the Heisman Winner put up huge numbers this season at Baylor University and his stock should only rise after scouts get to see him at the combine. In Fantasy I’d suggest drafting him since he probably won’t be that sought after and you can get him cheap. If he plays like he’s capable of you’ll be very happy you drafted him.
Think these are the best 5 QB prospects too? Who did I leave out? Let me know!