Jan. 17, 2017 at 01:27 p.m.
Jan. 17, 2017 at 01:32 p.m.
Our panel of experts reveal who they have rated as the No. 1 QB on their board at the outset of 2017 NFL Draft season.
Kizer atop my list
As of right now, I have DeShone Kizer as the top QB prospect in the draft. Although Notre Dame really struggled this year, I was pleasantly surprised after studying him on tape. He has ideal size, arm talent and mobility. He routinely works deep into progressions and he's an accurate passer. He did have some poor decision making at times, but his surrounding talent was less than ideal in 2016. He needs some time to develop, but he has a very high ceiling at the next level.
ND QB No. 1
DeShone Kizer is the top quarterback in this class. He has prototypical physical dimensions, "wow" arm talent and outstanding athleticism. While some will knock him for his inconsistent play during his final season at Notre Dame, he has shown flashes of being a big-time playmaker in several moments and scouts will dismiss some of his struggles due to the lack of talent around him on offense. Sure, you don't like the up-and-down level of his play, but it's hard to ignore his tools as a potential franchise quarterback.
Trubisky deserves top billing
I think Mitch Trubisky will be the first QB taken. In fact, I think he'll be Cleveland's choice with the No. 1 overall pick. Trubisky has a history in the Cleveland area -- he's from Mentor, Ohio, which is about a half hour away from Cleveland. He was the Ohio offensive player of year 4 years ago. He wasn't a starter until this past season, but he has good size, throws the best ball of the QBs in this draft and has pretty good accuracy.
UNC QB the clear choice
This is an easy call for me. When it comes to projectable physical and play traits, I have to go with Mitch Trubisky from North Carolina. Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer has size and arm strength, but the tape is just way too uneven to get behind. Clemson's Deshaun Watson has a legitimate claim based on how he plays in the biggest moments in the biggest games. However, his issues with deep-ball accuracy and decision-making are holding him back. Trubisky has size, a big arm and is simply better at reading the entire field than most of the quarterbacks I've studied. He's the guy to beat in my opinion.
Watson a proven winner
Deshaun Watson is my top-rated quarterback going into the draft process. North Carolina's Mitch Trubisky has traits that give him a shot at the top spot, but when looking at the career of Watson, I'm not sure what more he could have done to earn the lead. NFL teams will have concerns because Watson missed some pro-caliber throws and made a few decisions that resulted in turnovers. He also needs to consistently stay in a closing pocket to find a secondary target instead of looking to run (like many other young passers). But Watson possesses the mental toughness to command an offense down the stretch of a game, as well as the willingness and physical ability to throw deep, or into tight windows, when necessary (remember that incredible seam pass during the national championship game). There is no guarantee that any college quarterback's game will translate to the NFL, so questions about his accuracy and interception total are valid. But if I need to right my NFL franchise's ship, I'll take my chances with a battle-tested, physically gifted team leader like Watson.
Follow College Football 24/7 on Twitter @NFL_CFB.