Each year since I’ve been with the Texans, I have compiled the Harris 100 – my vertically stacked big board for the NFL draft. My first version will be coming soon, so I figured why not whet your appetite with the Ultimate 11 quarterbacks in this year’s draft class.
11. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
2016 Stats: 205 of 328 for 2758 yards, 19 TD & 8 INT
After a rough start to his college career (plenty of red flags on and off the field), Kelly appeared to have things headed in the right direction until he tore his ACL late in the season. He may not be ready for the start of the 2017 season, so selecting Kelly is more about buying a stock low and banking on it rising in future years.
10. Antonio Pipkin, Tiffin
2016 Stats: 216 of 333 for 2534 yards, 25 TD & 6 INT
Yes, Tiffin is a real place and it was the alma mater of former Texans wide receiver Nate Washington. Pipkin is one heck of an athlete with a plus arm. He has a little funky release at times, but the ball comes out of his hands quickly and with some rpms.
9. Josh Dobbs, Tennessee
2016 Stats: 225 of 357 for 2946 yards, 27 TD & 12 INT
When Dobbs was up, he was tremendous. When he was down, Tennessee lost games that it had no business losing. He was outstanding bringing the Vols back in early season wins in the 2016 season, but his play unraveled a bit over the last third of the season. He made plenty of plays with his legs, but his arm was a surprise at the Senior Bowl, as it was clearly the strongest of any quarterback in Mobile, Ala.
8. Nate Peterman, Pitt
2016 Stats: 185 of 306 for 2855 yards, 27 TD & 7 INT
Peterman started his career at Tennessee before transferring to Pitt to play for head coach Pat Narduzzi. He was really impressive at the Senior Bowl from a game management and leadership perspective and he threw the ball well. He does not have a cannon for an arm, so the lack of arm strength drops him down the list a bit.
7. Davis Webb, California
2016 Stats: 382 of 620 for 4295 yards, 37 TD & 12 INT
He left Texas Tech because of Patrick Mahomes and Webb wanted a shot to start at the college level. He got that opportunity at Cal and put up gargantuan numbers alongside star receiver Chad Hansen. He’s tall and long but has a 3/4 arm/sidearm motion throwing the football. He doesn’t have a howitzer for an arm, but he can spin it well.
6. Brad Kaaya, Miami
2016 Stats: 261 of 421 for 3532 yards, 27 TD & 7 INT
He was born and bred as a quarterback and that can be both good and bad. He has periods of being mechanical and stiff in the pocket, but there are streaky moments when he looks like the next coming of Jameis Winston. The Pro Bowl version, I mean. Now, the bad moments are really bad and make you wonder at times what he’s doing.
5. Jerod Evans, Virginia Tech
2016 Stats: 226 of 354 for 3309 yards, 29 TD & 8 INT
The former Air Force Academy signee eventually took snaps at Virginia Tech for one year and felt he was ready for the next level. I didn’t think I would like Evans when I first started studying him, but he throws a very catchable football and is a competitive son of a gun. He brought Virginia Tech back from behind at Notre Dame for a win and against Arkansas in the Belk Bowl for another victory.
4. Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
2016 Stats: 388 of 591 for 5052 yards, 41 TD & 10 INT
He’s an artist that marches to the beat of his own drum. Critics will tell you that he doesn’t do anything like a quarterback should. But, then again, watch him make plays repeatedly with no protection, scrambling for his life at time and tell me it’s not art, I mean, excellent quarterbacking. Look, his “art”, if you will, is valued by many; it’s just a matter of who loves it most.
3. Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
2016 Stats: 304 of 447 for 3748 yards, 30 TD & 6 INT
He’s only 6-1 and started for only one year, but he has every asset a team would want in a quarterback. He has a quick release. He throws receivers open. He can make plays on the run. He can scan the field to find open receivers. He doesn’t ever seem to get rattled. Isn’t that what any team wants in a quarterback? He reminds me greatly of Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
2. Deshone Kizer, Notre Dame
2016 Stats: 212 of 361 for 2925 yards, 26 TD & 9 INT
If all I had was the 2016 season to go on, I might not even have Kizer in my Ultimate 11. But, his 2015 season was extraordinary when he had some weapons and some protection up front to allow him to do his work. The size, the arm, the traits…they’re all there. He needs some time though to work through his issues on the field. But, did I mention that arm?
1. DeShaun Watson, Clemson
2016 Stats: 388 of 579 for 4593 yards, 41 TD & 17 INT
I look at this way: If I have one game to win, one drive to score, which of these quarterbacks do I want to have the ball in their hands? It’s Watson. He made some awful passing decisions in 2016, but he also showed how much arm talent he has and the chutzpah to lead his team to a national championship.
How many of the quarterbacks will make the Harris 100? You’ll find out next week.