NFL.com senior draft analyst Gil Brandt has released his list of the nation's top 100 seniors, and a quick look makes you wonder if junior quarterbacks such as Teddy Bridgewater, Braxton Miller, Marcus Mariota and Devin Gardner are paying attention.
The first senior quarterback on the list is Alabama's AJ McCarron at No. 15, and there is just one other quarterback (Miami's Stephen Morris, at No. 17) in the top 32 -- i.e., the first round. Given the relatively lackluster senior class of quarterbacks, would it be that big a surprise if a handful of junior quarterbacks (and maybe even some draft-eligible third-year sophomores, such as Mariota and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel) decided to go pro early?
Hot 100 seniors
There are other senior quarterbacks in the top 100, such as Tajh Boyd, Aaron Murray, Logan Thomas, Derek Carr and David Fales, and those guys obviously can climb on draft boards. Still, there seem to be an inordinate amount of questions surrounding the senior quarterbacks this season, lack of height and lack of arm strength chief among them.
Some other observations after reviewing Brandt's list of the top 100 seniors:
-- There are a lot of linemen (offensive and defensive) on Brandt's list. A lot -- like the top two, six of the top 10 and 16 of the top 30. One reason, of course, is that a lot of the top skill-position players left early for the NFL after last season.
-- There are just three running backs (including a fullback) in the top 50. Is that because some junior running backs went pro early last year or that NFL teams no longer seem to place an early-round premium on backs? Or both?
-- Four of the top seven are SEC players, which should surprise no one. But there is just one other SEC player in the top 20.
-- There are just three inside linebackers in the top 50 and only five in the top 100 (and one of those is from Western Kentucky). By contrast, there are three outside linebackers in the top 10 and five in the top 18.
-- There are seven non-FBS players in the top 100, including players from Belhaven and Lindenwood. ($5 if you know where those schools are. Belhaven is in Jackson, Miss., and Lindenwood in St. Louis.)
-- There's a MAC player in the top 10, Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack. He's one of two MAC players in the top 100, with the other being Kent State RB Dri Archer. Both have a chance to make some national noise early in the season.