Is there a late round quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft that may fly under the radar, but also has similar talents and skills comparable to Dak Prescott?
It would be easy to think that some of the top quarterback prospects in this upcoming draft, players like North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer, Cal’s Davis Webb, or Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes, could find similar success as Prescott had his rookie season. But with Dak already in house, Dallas has no need to draft a quarterback early.
Instead, the Cowboys should wait until the third day of the draft to try to find a developmental player under center, which can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. So, let’s use a magnet.
The 6-foot-2, 238 pound Prescott went to Mississippi State and competed at the highest level in college football. The SEC is arguably the toughest conference in the NCAA, so all mid-major and Division II quarterbacks are eliminated in this argument.
How do the rest of the viable quarterback prospects in this draft class measure up physically with Prescott, along with any accolades and records they have obtained in the NCAA? Let’s break down each one as compared to the NFL’s reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami – 6’4″, 209 lbs
Taller than Prescott but almost 20 lbs. lighter. His slight frame alone could remove him from consideration. But Kaaya’s accolades and records speak volumes. Although Miami was never ranked higher than tenth in the nation, Kaaya earned the ACC Rookie of the Year in 2014 and he named to the All-ACC team in 2015. Despite the honors, Kaaya has been an average quarterback since starting as a true freshman.
Nathan Peterman, QB, Pittsburgh – 6’2″, 225 lbs
Almost the exact same frame as Prescott. Peterman never led Pitt to being a top team in the nation and his lack of awards along with average stats eliminates him from consideration here.
Josh Dobbs, QB, Tennessee – 6’3″, 210 lbs
Again, slightly taller than Prescott. But significantly lighter. Dobbs earned several weekly awards but very few yearly and major accolades. His biggest honor was being named to the 2016 All-SEC second team. Another lackluster record and average stats eliminate Dobbs in my opinion.
Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss – 6’2″, 224 lbs
Another quarterback prospect with almost the exact build as Prescott. Kelly was impressive in 2015, leading Ole Miss to a 10-3 with great stats and victories over Alabama, Auburn, and LSU. With so much promise Kelly followed that up with an average 2016 campaign. Throw in a torn ACL late last year and I believe we can eliminate him from draft consideration as well.
Trevor Knight, QB, Texas A&M – 6’1″, 215 lbs
Both height and weight are slightly smaller than Prescott. Knight finished the 2014 season with a Bowl victory over Alabama and was named Sugar Bowl MVP while playing for Oklahoma. He would eventually lose his starting job in 2015 and transfer in January of 2016.
In Knight’s only season with Texas A&M, shoulder injury kept him on the sidelines for much of the season. A truly talented player but without any statistics or awards Knight is eliminated using this criteria.
Seth Russell, QB, Baylor – 6’3″, 213 lbs
Weighs slightly less than Prescott. Russell is another extremely talented player and very efficient. But like Knight, his career lacked enough statistical reference. Only until recently was Russell medically cleared after an ankle fracture. With so many red flags concerning his health, this prospect is also eliminated.
Jerod Evans, QB, Virginia Tech – 6’3″, 238 lbs
Physically bigger than Prescott, which isn’t a bad thing. Many experts believe Evans needed to return to Virginia Tech for his senior season. He has raw talent and tons of athletic ability but overlooked by many, like Prescott was before him.
In his only season at Virginia Tech, Evans finished with school records in passes completed in a season, touchdowns thrown in a season, touchdowns thrown in a game, and highest completion percentage. Although Jerod only has a single season in division I football, he has proved to be an elite talent.
Evans isn’t expected to be drafted until the fourth round or later. Considering the Cowboys will more than likely use their first three picks on defense out necessity, the former Hokie may fall right into the window where they will be looking to add depth at other positions.
Owner and general manager Jerry jones, and the rest of the Cowboys staff, also draft majority of their players that have visited on either their Pro day or Dallas day. Evans is a Dallas native who claims he is scheduled to meet with the Cowboys prior to the draft.
Evans seems to be a special talent who could definitely slide down draft boards into the later rounds. And Dallas certainly seems to be interested in him. The only question that remains unanswered is will the Cowboys see the same in Evans as they did in Prescott and take a chance on yet another late round quarterback?