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Green Zone League Articles

2016 GZL Draft Player Spotlight | The QB Edition
By Corey Smith
Special to gzl-football.com

The QB Edition
Corey Smith, GreenZone Media Committee
July 29th, 2013

**NOTE: Player ratings are subject to change over the course of the NCAA season! Nothing is final until the entire draft class is released.

Jonathan Higgins | Ole Miss | 66 239lbs
Breakdown: 73AWR, 94THP, 88THA Pocket Passer
Following his senior year in high school, Higgins was drafted in the 7th round of the MLB draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks to pitch, but ultimately he decided to pursue football and attended Ole Miss to follow in the footsteps of his childhood idol, Eli Manning. Having arrived in Oxford with all of the physical attributes you could ask for, but extremely raw, Higgins redshirted his first year on campus. And after two seasons as the starter, he has decided to forgo his Junior and Senior seasons and enter the GZL Draft.

Higgins is an elite arm talent that will undoubtedly be able to make any GZL throw asked of him. Hes also got a prototype frame for the QB position. Its questionable, however, whether he has the football IQ necessary to start from day one, but other QBs have been just fine with the level of knowledge he has, or less. Given the other QBs entering the draft, now was a great time for Higgins to declare.

Potential Comparison: Joe Flacco | Ravens
Initial Grade: Potential #1 Overall

Doug Perkins | Miami (OH) | 61 229lbs
Breakdown: 62AWR, 96THP, 81THA Pocket Passer
Take away the accuracy, a little football IQ, and the prototypical QB frame from Higgins, and youve got Doug Perkins. The fifth-year senior has enjoyed great success while guiding Miami (OH) through the MAC conference, including one MAC championship.

Perkins will hear his name called fairly early on in the GZL draft, due mainly to the fact that he will have one of the strongest arms in the GZL from the jump. However, he has shown to struggle a bit when playing BCS teams, or teams that run more complicated defensive schemes. Perkins has a bit of a low floor, but his ceiling is very high.

Potential Comparison: Jimmy Clausen | Packers
Initial Grade: Early-Mid 2nd

Dana Osborne | Maryland | 65 219lbs
Breakdown: 84SPD, 88ACC, 81AGI | 60AWR, 97THP, 81THA Scrambler
Project QB Alert! A 65 QB with 97THP? Yes! Oh, hes got 60AWR? Oh, whammy. Hes a scrambler, too? Double whammy. Dana Osborne is an incredible athlete. Hes a shooting guard for the Terps basketball team during the winter, patrols centerfield during the spring, and masterfully orchestrates the Terps spread-option during the fall. But is football where his passion resides?

Hes obviously got the tools to be an elite-level GZL player, but its going to take a lot of time and effort to get him there. Partly due to the spread-option scheme he runs at Maryland, and partly due to him having to focus on too many sports during the year, Osborne just doesnt have the football IQ to thrive in the GZL right now. But with the growing number of GZL teams building around scramblers, hell go, and go rather early.

The Terps by no means throw very often, and when they do, the plays are one or two-read shots off of run action, so its tough to evaluate what Osborne may be able to do in the GZL. But he has made some throws that have flashed amazing arm strength.

Potential Comparison: E.J. Manuel | Jets
Initial Grade: Mid 2nd Early 3rd

Mark Cameron | Florida | 62 230lbs
Breakdown: 67AWR, 90THP, 81THA Balanced
The fact that Cameron is the next guy on this list just goes to show that this QB class is um, not one of the stronger ones in the GZLs history. Which, given the last couple of QB classes, was bound to happen sooner or later. Cameron is experiencing his first full season as the starting QB for the Gators, a feat that took him until his Senior season to accomplish.

Cameron does not have great arm strength, but is a solid game manager for the Gators. He will not be a guy that can be plugged in at a starting sport right away, but does have a decent ceiling if a team is willing to invest in him.

Potential Comparison: Ricky Stanzi | Cowboys
Initial Grade: Late 2nd Early 3rd

Derek Pope | SMU | 62 233lbs
Breakdown: 75AWR, 89THP, 76THA Balanced
Having put up large passing numbers, in large part due to June Jones air raid system at SMU, GZL scouts are skeptical about Popes ability to replicate those numbers in the GZL.

Pope has just an average arm, but understands defensive schemes and how to read them very well for a college-level QB. Where Pope struggles is with his ability to put the ball in the right location. This is something that can obviously be worked on, so he will find a job in the GZL.

Potential Comparison: Brian Hoyer | Patriots
Initial Grade: 3rd 4th round

Check back next week for the next position group!

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