2016 GZL DRAFT PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
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 | 6’6” 239lbs
: 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. He’s also got a prototype frame for the QB position. It’s 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.
: Joe Flacco | Ravens
: Potential #1 Overall
Doug Perkins | Miami (OH) | 6’1” 229lbs
: 62AWR, 96THP, 81THA – Pocket Passer
Take away the accuracy, a little football IQ, and the prototypical QB frame from Higgins, and you’ve 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.
: Jimmy Clausen | Packers
: Early-Mid 2nd
Dana Osborne | Maryland | 6’5” 219lbs
: 84SPD, 88ACC, 81AGI | 60AWR, 97THP, 81THA – Scrambler
Project QB Alert! A 6’5” QB with 97THP? Yes! Oh, he’s got 60AWR? Oh, whammy. He’s a scrambler, too? Double whammy. Dana Osborne is an incredible athlete. He’s 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?
He’s obviously got the tools to be an elite-level GZL player, but it’s 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 doesn’t have the football IQ to thrive in the GZL right now. But with the growing number of GZL teams building around scramblers, he’ll 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 it’s 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.
: E.J. Manuel | Jets
: Mid 2nd – Early 3rd
Mark Cameron | Florida | 6’2” 230lbs
: 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 GZL’s 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.
: Ricky Stanzi | Cowboys
: Late 2nd – Early 3rd
Derek Pope | SMU | 6’2” 233lbs
: 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 Pope’s 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.
: Brian Hoyer | Patriots
: 3rd – 4th round
Check back next week for the next position group!