2017 Dynasty Rookie Quarterback Rankings

With a boatload of Armchair Scouting Reports in the books, the time has come to give you my official pre-draft rankings for the 2017 quarterback class. After the draft, I will revisit these rankings and make some changes based on landing spot and opportunity, but this should be a good exercise to talk about the quality of these players.

Before we begin, I want to explain my process. The players are grouped into tiers as well as additional rankings. Tier names should give you an idea of the makeup of the group as a whole. I will also include a projected “arrival date”, which basically means when I think the signal caller will break into the league.

You will also see a “portfolio price”. There I will give you a player whose current dynasty value I think reflects the potential for the quarterback at hand. This isn’t necessarily what I think the player is worth right now, but essentially, if he fully appreciates, what kind of player he will become. Putting a name to the value I think makes it easier to understand. Underneath all of this info will be my thoughts on the player, what I think he needs to succeed, and some other items of note.

Tier 1: Mobilized and Ready for Action

1. Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
Projected Arrival Date: 2017
Portfolio Price: Aaron Rodgers

Mahomes is finally starting to get some considerable buzz, and it appears as though he is a consensus top three quarterback prospect at this point. Of course, he’s my top signal caller, so there is still room to go up, but I expect him to be a first round pick when all is said and done. In fact, going late in the first round may be a blessing for him, as it would increase the chances he lands on a team like Houston who is already set up to win with quality offensive pieces.

My player comp for Mahomes was Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, but I think Mahomes’ true upside is higher than that. I’m basically thinking about Prescott with more pass attempts in going with Aaron Rodgers as the portfolio price. Especially coming from a spread offense in which he was able to sling the ball all over the field, I think there is a decent chance Mahomes is the offense for whatever team drafts him. It is unlikely he finds a team with as good of a running  game as Dallas or Tennessee.

2. Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
Projected Arrival Date: 2017
Portfolio Price: Andrew Luck

Trubisky was impressive in his lone year as the starter for the Tar Heels, going over 9.0 adjusted yards per attempt. He out-played other top-rated quarterbacks from this class against similar opponents, and has cemented himself as the first or second quarterback off the board. He is even receiving some buzz as high as first overall to the Browns.

Perhaps the most surprising part about Trubisky is his athletic profile. While he did run for over 300 yards and five touchdowns last season, it was not expected that would run his 40-yard dash in under 4.7 seconds, or that he would post a three-cone time of 6.87. With marks like that, I’m thinking his upside is closer to Andrew Luck than Matt Ryan. In other words, Trubisky has the potential to not only run an offense via the pass game, but also to be a yearly contributor for a couple hundred yards and a few touchdowns on the ground.

Tier 2: The Disappointments

3. Deshaun Watson, Clemson
Projected Arrival Date: 2017
Portfolio Price: Marcus Mariota

Watson is the last of the quarterbacks I expect to see major time from this season, and is by far my lest favorite of the three. While his sophomore season was remarkable, he took a sizable step back as a junior. Furthermore, he posted a throw velocity under 50 miles per hour, an absolutely terrible mark.

Still, there is some upside to be had with Watson. It is possible that he is able to make great use of his legs at the next level, and that his accuracy can overcome the lack of arm talent he has. That could afford him a Marcus Mariota-type of ceiling. To reach that, it will be imperative Watson goes to a team that understands how to use his skills.

4. DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
Projected Arrival Date: 2018
Portfolio Price: Ben Roethlisberger

I don’t think Kizer is particularly good, but his overall profile is good enough to be drafted by early Day 2 of the NFL Draft. I think the odds are somewhat strong he ends up sitting out his rookie season, unless he goes to a team that has zero options to stop him from playing. Right now I’d say teams like the Chargers and Cardinals are his best bets.

Kizer is a big-framed quarterback who has decent, though often overrated, mobility. He could become more efficient and wind up like Ben Roethlisberger. A Bruce Arians system would increase the odds of this happening.

Tier 3: Upside, Upside, Upside

5. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee
Projected Arrival Date: 2019
Portfolio Price: Tyrod Taylor

Dobbs is one of my favorite draft sleepers and bears a fitting resemblance to Brett Hundley. I also like him as an arbitrage play on Watson. With all of that said, he is expected to be a later round pick and will probably have to wait some time to see his chance in the NFL.

With his outstanding mobility (4.64 forty, 6.75 three-cone), I could see Dobbs one day becoming a Tyrod Taylor kind of player. That comes with the understanding that it will take some time for him to break out, as Taylor had to wait until he was on his second NFL team to receive a chance to start. However, I do think Dobbs will be worth the wait, and that he can run an NFL offense.

6. Chad Kelly, Mississippi
Projected Arrival Date: 2018
Portfolio Price: Jameis Winston

Kelly is easily one of the riskiest quarterback prospects on the year. He is coming off his second ACL tear, and wasn’t allowed to participate at the Combine due to off-field issues. As a result, we know next to nothing about his athletic profile, nor will we, as Kelly did not run at the Ole Miss Pro Day either. He will almost certainly be a late-round pick.

With all of that said, there is still a tremendous amount of upside to be had with Kelly. A good argument could be made he is a better passer than Watson, and he does have some rushing success in his profile. If things break right for him, and he keeps himself out of trouble, he could be likened to someone such as Jameis Winston. Ideally, he winds up on a team like Kansas City who has a quarterback-friendly head coach and mediocre competition (Editor’s Note: Ouch) to beat.

Tier 4: Simply Vanilla

7. Brad Kaaya, Miami
Projected Arrival Date: 2018
Portfolio Price: Derek Carr

Kaaya didn’t particpate in any of the drills at the Combine, which gives us a murky idea of his athleticism, and his throw velocity was less than idea. However, he was a three-year starter in college, which brought about some quality comps. Kaaya’s upside isn’t as high as the quarterbacks ahead of him, but he may stand a better chance to reach it.

If Kaaya can land in a spot that has some quality receiving options around him, he could ascend to Derek Carr status. For me, that would make him a perennial low-end QB1/high-end QB2.

8. Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh
Projected Arrival Date: 2018
Portfolio Price: Andy Dalton

Peterman has zero arm strength, but was highly efficient at Pittsburgh. That makes him a bit of a mixed bag to evaluate. If he were to end up in the right offense, he could have a couple of high-end seasons, but his ceiling is probably that of someone like Andy Dalton, who is more of a QB2 option most seasons. It is unlikely to me that he starts in 2017.

9. Davis Webb, California
Projected Arrival Date: 2018
Portfolio Price: Jay Cutler

Webb is essentially the opposite of Peterman. He wasn’t efficient at all in college, but possesses elite arm strength. Does that remind you of a particular, chain-smoking quarterback? Jay Cutler had a couple of strong seasons, but has been overall a QB2 option throughout his career. I don’t think it is particularly likely Webb ends up even that good.

Tier 5: There Could Be Something Here

10. Jerod Evans, Virginia Tech

Evans has quality throw velocity and posted an 8.9 AYA in 2016. He is a quality prospect worth considering in the late rounds.

11. Seth Russell, Baylor

Russell has a career AYA of 9.7, and went over 12 in 2015. We have no measurable data on him as he has been recovering from injury.

12. Zach Terrell, Western Michigan

Terrell had an AYA over 9.0 for three straight seasons, and hit 10.6 in 2016. A lack of a Combine invite is troubling for his prospects, but was nonetheless impressive while throwing to Corey Davis.

Tier 6: Why Am I Even Including Them?

13. C.J. Beathard, Iowa

Beathard was terrible in his final season at Iowa, but posted an 8.1 AYA in his junior year. That and a Combine invite probably get him drafted.

14. Alex Torgerson, Pennsylvania

Torgerson is a sleeper for some out of the Ivy league, but his numbers there are pretty pedestrian. He’s a long-term backup at best.

Anthony Amico

Anthony is a former football coach and possesses two different mathematics degrees. He uses his combined knowledge in those two fields to dominate the fantasy landscape across a variety of formats, including daily fantasy, dynasty, and 2QB. Anthony is currently a contributor for RotoViz, Fantasy Insiders, and TwoQBs, and has a pure passion for the game, both in real life and fantasy. 

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