My top 5 senior QBs include three potential first-round picks, an intriguing wild card and a I-AA star with considerable upside. A synopsis of each QB follows:
1. Matt Ryan -- 6-foot-5, 228 pounds (Boston College)
Should be a top 5 pick. He has the rare combination of natural ability and the critical intangibles of leadership, work ethic, toughness and football intelligence. He has a big arm and an ideal frame for a quarterback. He also has an ability to get bigger and stronger and possesses deceptive athleticism. He won't win any races, but understands how to move in the pocket to create throwing lanes. He had tremendous accuracy but has an annoying habit of forcing the ball into coverage. This results in a higher number of interceptions. His stock will continue to soar as coaches and general managers interview him at the Senior Bowl and combine.
2. Andre Woodson -- 6-4, 210 pounds (Kentucky)
A potential first-round pick given his tremendous arm strength and upside. He has excellent size and throws a great ball when given a clean pocket. However, his accuracy and decision-making diminish when forced to move within the pocket. Additionaly, Woodson has a long delivery which must be accelerated at the pro level or he will always struggle to deliver the ball on time. Woodson is tough and has played well in an extremely difficult conference.
3. Brian Brohm -- 6-3, 227 pounds (Louisville)
Brohm was a tremendously productive four-year starter at a school with a fairly sophisticated vertical passing game. He also benefited from NFL-style WRs Mario Urrutia and Harry Douglass and dependable TE Gary Barnidge. Brohm can process information and deliver the football on time. He has good, not great, arm strength and very good accuracy when he can step into his throws. Brohm is not very athletic and not as consistent with his decisions and accuracy when forced to redirect his feet. He showed good toughness throughout a difficult senior season with a new coaching staff and porous defense. His value warrants late-first to mid-second round consideration.
4. Dennis Dixon -- 6-3, 200 pounds (Oregon)
Knee injury against Arizona further complicates a difficult evaluation. He elevated his game as a senior by completing 68 percent of his passes with 20 TDs and only 4 INTs. Improved his decision-making and accuracy despite playing minor league baseball last summer. Dixon throws the ball better than Vince Young did in college and is almost as athletic with his legs. He is a a raw prospect with tremendous upside, but the knee must be evaluated prior to the draft.
5. Joe Flacco -- 6-6, 235 pounds (Delaware)
The transfer from Pitt has opened eyes with his size and arm strength. Flacco can make every throw with touch and accuracy. I watched him practice earlier this season and came away highly impressed with his arm, but felt like he needed significant work with his feet. With a good postseason (all-star games, individual workouts, etc.), Flacco has a chance to go in the second or third round.