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Instant Debate

Carson Wentz, Christian Hackenberg, Dak Prescott provide intrigue in QB class

Saturday is the on-field workout for quarterbacks at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine (watch live on NFL Network, starting at 9 a.m. ET), and NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reports that all of the top QB prospects intend to take part in the throwing drills at Lucas Oil Stadium.

As a whole, this quarterback class is generally viewed as intriguing -- but without the kind of top-end talent that last year's crop had in Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook lead the way for first-round consideration, while guys like Christian Hackenberg, Cardale Jones, Dak Prescott and Kevin Hogan could be in the mix on Day 2 of April's draft.

With the uncertainty surrounding this group, which QB intrigues you the most -- taking into account the potential price in draft currency?

There's a very real argument that Christian Hackenberg would've had an entirely different career had Bill O'Brien coached him for three years at Penn State instead of leaving for the Houston Texans after the QB's promising freshman campaign. Hackenberg looked like a future No. 1 overall pick in 2013 -- while running O'Brien's pro-style attack -- then struggled mightily in the spread offense over the last two seasons.

To be honest, the kid doesn't get enough credit for keeping his commitment to Penn State after the Jerry Sandusky scandal and for grinding it out with an underwhelming supporting cast. Hackenberg likely became a tougher player after what he went through in college. If he can prove that his skill set remains impressive, Hackenberg could have a much brighter future at the next level than people realize. I'm not terribly concerned about what Carson Wentz does at the combine. The thing I know about him is the kid doesn't lose. There's something to be said for a player who is in a position where he's accustomed to winning. You want as many players with a winning mindset in your locker room as you can possibly get, and it's especially important at the quarterback position because he is the leader.

Not to mention, Wentz has the size and skill set NFL teams are looking for. We know Memphis product Paxton Lynch has a strong arm, but we have to find out how accurate he can be before we start talking about potential success at the next level.

Like Marcus Mariota, Lynch worked mostly out of the shotgun in college, so, in Saturday's field workout, we'll see if he can take the ball from under center and still look as athletic. If he can do all of that, then he can establish himself as a mid-first-round pick. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott's combination of arm and athleticism makes him an exciting prospect, and one who won't come with a first-round price tag. As such, he's less likely to be picked by a team that needs to press him into immediate service, which could aid his development and transition away from the read-option offense he ran at MSU.

There might be better quarterback prospects in this draft, but a few years from now, Prescott could look like the best value relative to where he's chosen. Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Paxton Lynch are widely viewed as the top three quarterbacks, but there are more than three teams that need a QB. Christian Hackenberg enjoyed success in his one year under Bill O'Brien. And what do you know? The Texans need a QB. Will O'Brien make a move to get Hackenberg? Do we see an aggressive market develop at draft time because of that? How will Hackenberg measure up in the workouts vs. the aforementioned trio? Dak Prescott is a really versatile QB who you can compare to Cam Newton -- he can be a workhorse if you need him to be. Although he needs to develop his game a bit more, he's not someone who's going to be outworked. When you see him on the field, you can tell he's a natural leader. Jared Goff saying, " I think I'm going to improve a team the day I get there," intrigues me. My mindset says, Hey rookie, you don't have a clue what you're getting into but I like your confidence. I'm interested to see what Goff brings to an NFL team on Day 1 of rookie OTAs. It's a lot more than he thinks it is. I know that Penn State product Christian Hackenberg looks the part (impressive) -- and has the skill set, complete with the ability to make every throw. But he is such a difficult evaluation, due to so many extraneous things -- let alone simply trying to focus on his play. On combine day, I fully expect him to throw it, and throw it well ... He will let it rip.

But, what's the adage? If a QB is not accurate in college, it doesn't usually get better in the NFL, when the coverage ability improves and the windows get narrower. His completion percentage was low for today's football in college. Will I ignore my own reminder about the accuracy adage and buy into this young man?! We'll see as the process goes on, because I know that I want to do exactly that (buy into him).

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