Early Look At 2012 Quarterback Prospects and Where They Would Fit

Andrew Luck is the Kingpin of the 2012 NFL Draft.  Where does he fit in with the NFL teams?  I have watched tape and wrote scouting reports for Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, and Landry Jones as quarterback prospects.

Andrew Luck is a can’t miss quarterback prospect.  Matt Barkley and Landry Jones will also be highly coveted quarterbacks in this draft.  There are 7 0-2 teams. St. Louis drafted Sam Bradford with the #1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.  Carolina and Minnesota drafted quarterbacks in 2011. By process of elimination that leaves the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, and the Miami Dolphins as the sole 0-2 candidates at this moment to land Luck, Barkley, or Jones.  I will discuss how each quarterback would fare on the Chiefs, Seahawks, Colts, or Dolphins.

Were going to try to get a poll up in a bit so fans can decide who they like the best after reading this piece.  For now just enjoy the piece and submit your opinions in the comments section.

Andrew Luck and where he would fit

Andrew Luck Summary: Andrew Luck is the most complete quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning in 1998.  Luck has the scrambling ability also.  Unless Luck’s production declines significantly or another rival can best him its hard not to crown him the top pick at this point.  Andrew Luck already stated that this is his final season at Stanford.  Luck shocked the nation returning to school in 2011 when he was a clear cut lock to go #1 overall to Carolina.

Andrew Luck On the Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs have all the playmakers in place to be a potent offense for the next decade.  They just need an upgrade at quarterback over Matt Cassel.  Backup Tyler Palko is clearly not the answer.  2011 5th round pick Ricky Stanzi has the ability to develop into a starter.  He is not an immediate answer like Andrew Luck.

The Kansas City Chiefs have been outscored 89 to 10.  The Chiefs have allowed the most points in the league and have scored the fewest.  Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is gone.  Star running back Jamaal Charles is out for the year, tight end Tony Moeaki is also out for the year, Dwayne Bowe is in a contract year, 2011 first round pick Jonathan Baldwin needs to develop this year, and strong safety Eric Berry who is the Chiefs version of Troy Polamalu is out for the year.

The Chiefs are going to be a lost cause as long as Todd Haley is head coach and as long as Matt Cassel is quarterback.  Just finding an upgrade at quarterback to Matt Cassel makes Kansas City a playoff contender in the AFC.  Getting a quarterback with Andrew Luck’s skill set can make the Chiefs a Super Bowl contender.

The Chiefs will have Luck and the offensive playmakers on offense allowing them to take an offensive tackle in round 2 for depth who could develop into Luck’s blindside.

Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli used the 2010 and 2011 NFL Drafts to model a 3-4 defense exactly like the Pittsburgh Steelers 3-4 defense.  By the time the Chiefs add Luck they will have a younger version of the 3-4 and could even have the personnel in place to leapfrog the Steelers as the top 3-4 defense in the league with some of Pittsburgh’s players aging on defense.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Andrew Luck are a match made in heaven.  Keeping Todd Haley at head coach and Matt Cassel at quarterback makes this team an irrelevant lost cause.  Finding a new regime at Head Coach and handing a team with so many Super Bowl pieces in place who just needs a quarterback like Luck makes Kansas City a dynasty team that could end up winning back to back Super Bowls.

 Andrew Luck On The Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks need a quarterback.  The Seahawks starters are so bad that part of me wishes that they would talk former Seahawk Trent Dilfer out of retirement so we wouldn’t have to listen to his commentary on games.  The Seahawks have 2 first round pick offensive tackles who can protect Andrew Luck and be Luck’s bookends for the next decade.  Left Tackle Russell Okung is going to establish himself as a pro bowler by the time Seattle drafts a quarterback in 2012.  Right Tackle James Carpenter has the potential to become a deadly right tackle in Seattle even though he has struggled for Seattle so far.

The Seahawks have Sidney Rice, Mike Williams, Ben Obomanu playing slot receiver, Golden Tate, and tight end Zach Miller.  The Seahawks also have Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett who they can utilize in the running game.

Luck could get the Seahawks to the playoffs with this supporting cast.  He may even be able to help the Seahawks contend for a first round bye until their division gets more competitive.   Luck will not get the Seahawks far in the playoffs until Seattle rebuilds their front 7.

I cannot see Andrew Luck being a bust.  Until Seattle’s front 7 improves he may be a Matt Ryan, or Peyton Manning type quarterback with a playoff monkey on his back early in Seattle.

Andrew Luck On The Indianapolis Colts: If the Colts draft Andrew Luck then Peyton Manning can retire and coach him as a quarterback coach or he can play out his contract and mentor Luck in Indianapolis the same way Brett Favre mentored Aaron Rodgers.

There were only 2 can’t miss once in a generation quarterback prospects who could keep a franchise in contention for 15 years with John Elway and Peyton Manning until Andrew Luck came along.  The Colts were fortunate enough to draft both Elway and Manning.  Only one of those 2 quarterbacks ended up making a legacy with the Colts while the other got traded to Denver causing Baltimore to relocate to Indianapolis and possibly causing Cleveland to relocate to Baltimore.

Maybe history repeats itself and the Colts get Luck too.  If the Colts do end up drafting Andrew Luck, Bill Polian can be the Colts general manager until he is Joe Paterno’s age.

Andrew Luck On The Miami Dolphins: I do not believe that Andrew Luck has a remote chance of flopping.  If he does flop it will be with the Dolphins.  There was a rumor that Vick wanted to go to the Bills and that Goodell wanted him to play for the Eagles.  Both parties denied the rumor the story got put to rest.  Still it makes you wonder if Luck would fail to deliver in Miami if that yellow page story about Vick could be true.  Since Luck is the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning there may be many overwhelming expectations where too many people expect him to surpass Dan Marino’s legacy in Miami with the big city, fans, and the limelight lifestyle in Miami with South Beach, the Miami Heat, and their casinos.  I cannot see a phenomenal prospect with Luck’s talent failing in Miami, but if Luck flops somewhere Miami would most likely be the place because Miami can have a lot of off the field distractions in such a metropolitan area.  Luck played high school ball and college ball in California and handled that very well.  Why am I foolishly considering the possibility of Luck having a meltdown in South Beach?

I still cannot doubt this quarterback because he will have an offensive line led by left tackle Jake Long who was the #1 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.  He will also have Brandon Marshall at wide receiver.  Miami has the building blocks for Luck on offense and they also have an experienced defensive coordinator with Mike Nolan.

Matt Barkley and where he would fit

Matt Barkley Summary: Matt Barkley was once the #1 overall recruit in the country coming out of high school in the class of 2009.  Mel Kiper Jr. stated in 2009 that Matt Barkley would be the #1 overall pick in 2012 after stating 3 years before in 2006 when Matthew Stafford was still in high school that Stafford would be the top pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.  Kiper gained a ton of credibility from the mainstream media because he was dead on about Stafford.

Thanks to Luck’s decision to return to school Barkley probably will not be the #1 pick in 2012 causing Mel Kiper Jr. to be wrong about another draft prediction.  Kiper has been in the business for years, but he has stated some foolish things like David Carr being the face of the Texans franchise, stating that JaMarcus Russell would be the next John Elway, labeling Clausen a franchise quarterback, labeling Cam Newton a bust, Kiper has become about as credible of a draft source as Wikipedia.  I thought Russell would bust, but most NFL Draft pundits unanimously agreed with Kiper about his assessments about Clausen and Newton heading into the draft process.

Kiper’s still one of the best in the business because even though he has missed on some of his latest draft predictions  he puts a lot of time and effort into evaluating NFL talent.  Kiper cold streak of draft predictions is bound to end at some point.

Matt Barkley has the high upside and potential to be a pro bowl quarterback.  One thing he needs to work on is his ability to respond in the 4th quarter.  Barkley has yet to put a legit opponent away in the 4th quarter when USC had a 3 point lead and they needed a touchdown to seal the deal.  Barkley also struggles to execute 4th quarter comebacks when USC is trailing.

Matt Barkley is so lights out in the first half that you wonder if a defensive coordinator will chuck their headset at Barkley.  Then in the second half Barkley plays so poor compared to his first half performance that you wonder if the defensive coordinators did throw their headset at Barkley and managed to hit Matt Barkley on the helmet as a result of their rage in the first half from what Barkley did to their secondary.

Even if Barkley has endured his fair share of 2nd half struggles, he plays in an NFL pro style offense and he has more upside and potential than former USC signal caller Mark Sanchez.  Despite this Sanchez actually knows how to rally a team in the 4th quarter despite the fact that many fans label Sanchez an overrated quarterback.

Don’t get me wrong Matt Barkley could go on to be a pro bowler just like Luck.  He just appears as a mere consolation prize to Andrew Luck because he has not achieved the milestones that Luck accomplished.

USC will once again be bowl eligible after this year.  That means that top 5 USC Trojan prospects USC quarterback Matt Barkley and USC left tackle Matt Kalil will both go pro this year or they will return for their senior seasons.  Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has stated that he will already go pro after this season.

Barkley stated in a previous interview that he wants to play at USC all 4 years a while back, but so much could change between now and the end of this year.  If Barkley holds his word then Kalil will likely return making USC a National Title contender next fall potentially being one of the favorites for the 2013 BCS National Title Game in Miami FL.  Otherwise were likely going to see two USC Trojans taken in the top 5 of the 2012 NFL Draft.  With this summary of Matt Barkley in mind lets examine where he could succeed.

Matt Barkley On The Kansas City Chiefs: One of Matt Barkley’s weaknesses is that he gets rattled under pressure.  Barkley’s composure has improved, but that is because he can throw on the run and has a quick release.  Matt Barkley is a pocket passer who thinks pass first.  If his primary flanker Robert Woods wasn’t open then I would see Barkley sometimes sit like a duck waiting for a receiver to get open rather than examining his secondary and slot receiver progressions.

This is the problem with Matt Barkley and the Kansas City Chiefs.  Barkley needs a pass blocking offensive line that will buy him time.  The Chiefs have a run blocking offensive line and there is a lack of depth on the Chiefs offensive line if injuries occur.  Plus you have to take into the consideration of Jonathan Baldwin being a bust which would give Barkley only one progression read with Dwayne Bowe.  Bowe is in a contract year.  What if the Chiefs are foolish enough to let him go because they don’t pay him or because he wants out?

Matt Barkley has embraced the limelight his whole life.  For the first time in his life he would have to adjust to being the savior of a small town with a passionate fan base and hefty expectations.  Barkley holds on to the ball too long sometimes and the Chiefs do not have the best pass protection.

You want to believe that Matt Barkley and the Kansas City Chiefs could be a marriage that lasts forever, but the reality is this could be a divorce waiting to occur because the Chiefs do not have the pieces in place to help Barkley succeed as a rookie right away on the offensive line and Barkley does hold onto the ball too long sometimes.

At the end of the day Barkley can scramble and throw on the run.  Barkley also holds onto the football too long sometimes.  The bottom line is Barkley is going to be a boom or bust prospect for Kansas City.  Barkley will be the Chiefs version of Ben Roethlisberger or he will be the Chiefs version of David Carr.  When the Chiefs are paying Matt Cassel a mega monster contract while developing a rookie 5th round quarterback like Ricky Stanzi should they really consider rolling the dice on Barkley despite Barkley’s immense upside and mass potential?

Matt Barkley On The Seattle Seahawks: This is a slam dunk scenario for Matt Barkley and the Seattle Seahawks.  He could be reunited with his college coach from his freshman year Pete Carroll or he could be the Seahawks signal caller for the new regime in Seattle.

Almost all of jigsaw pieces are in place for Seattle’s offensive puzzle.  The problem is the 20 missing pieces in the middle that would solve the Seahawks 500 piece offensive puzzle require a quarterback who can lead this team.  Right now Seattle’s front office is looking for those pieces like a confused person who cannot comprehend the big picture.

Once Seattle drafts Matt Barkley they will find all the lost pieces to their offensive jigsaw puzzle.  If they manage to do this they can shift gears to the defensive side of the football.

Matt Barkley On The Indianapolis Colts: One weakness with Matt Barkley is his ability to respond in critical 4th quarter game scenarios.  Peyton Manning is one of the best game managers in the NFL when trailing in the 4th quarter.  Matt Barkley has the potential to be a legend, but he needs someone to show him how to manage games in the 4th quarter.  Who better to help Matt Barkley get over his 4th quarter phobia than Peyton Manning?  This is the perfect fit for Barkley.

Matt Barkley On The Miami Dolphins: Matt Barkley could thrive in Miami under the new regime.  This is a list of the last 5 quarterbacks excluding rookies and sophomores from the last 2 NFL drafts to make transitions from Eastern timezone climates to Pacific timezone NFL areas.  Vice versa with Pacific timezone College Climates and Eastern timezone NFL climates.

Last 10 College Quarterbacks that went from Eastern to Pacific Timezones Vice Versa

Mark Sanchez QB USC Drafted By New York Jets in 2009

JaMarcus Russell QB LSU Drafted By Oakland Raiders in 2007

Phillip Rivers QB North Carolina State Drafted By San Diego Chargers in 2004

Carson Palmer QB USC Drafted By Cincinnati Bengals in 2003

Kyle Boller QB California Drafted By Baltimore Ravens in 2003

Two of those 5 quarterbacks were colossal busts and only Sanchez and Rivers remain in the league.  The lesson is if a player is too far away from college they have a 50/50 chance of busting for your organization because 2/5 bust is 40 percent and Palmer is out of the league now even though he was productive during the regular season when healthy up until 2010.  Sanchez had an awesome supporting cast his first two years he lost his right tackle and I am not sold on Burress so he may be next, but I am giving Sanchez the benefit of the doubt because he defeated New England on the road in impressive fashion.

I think Matt Barkley being in Miami is more ideal than being in Kansas City because he will not have to adapt to not living in the limelight and because Matt Barkley will have an awesome supporting cast in Miami.  Barkley still seems like a 50/50 gamble for Miami’s front office even though he sounds like a major upgrade over Chad Henne at this juncture.

Landry Jones and where he would fit

Landry Jones Summary: Landry Jones is the starting quarterback to the Oklahoma Sooners who currently have the #1 ranked team in the country in college football.  Jones showcased his ability to be Sam Bradford’s successor at Oklahoma when Sam Bradford got injured.  Jones started as a redshirt freshman before Bradford returned.  Then once Sam Bradford suffered a season ending injury Jones was the Oklahoma starting quarterback and the rest is history.

Bradford was a 5 star recruit in the eyes of some pundits while Landry Jones was a unanimous 4 star recruit coming out of high school.  In 2010 Bob Stoops landed a consensus 5 star recruit who had Sam Bradford’s football IQ and mental toughness in Blake Bell.  Bell was redshirted as a freshman weighing in at 6 foot 6 215 pounds.  He added 30 pounds during his freshman campaign and now weighs 245 pounds.  If he can keep his weight where its at he should be fine.  Otherwise Bell will balloon up like former LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

Sam Bradford left when it was his time and passed the torch down to Landry Jones.  I expect Jones to do the same leaving Blake Bell the starter for Oklahoma in 2012.

Landry Jones On The Kansas City Chiefs: Everyone believes that Landry Jones would fail in this situation.  Jones can respond in critical 4th quarter situations.  Even though I believe Landry Jones is going to flop this is a small market situation where Jones would thrive because many critics would doubt his ability to lead the Chiefs.

In Kansas City Landry Jones would be close to Oklahoma just like Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. Bradford turned out pretty good being nearby and the same thing could happen with Landry Jones.  Maybe its just me, but Landry Jones seems like he would have a better shot to succeed in Kansas City because it would be the kind of city where many people would dismiss his chances of success.

Landry Jones On The Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks run a complex west coast offense.  I cannot see Landry Jones thriving in an climate like Seattle because he would face too much scrutiny in Seattle.  He would have to play his predecessor Sam Bradford twice a year and fans would watch him lose to Bradford the same way Joe Flacco lost to arch rival quarterback Ben Roethlisberger early in his career.  Fans would give Landry Jones heat about that and he may not be able to handle that because sometimes Jones sends mixed signals in his interviews.

Whoever drafts Landry Jones to play for Seattle is either possessed by Matt Millen or their turning in their pink slip and they just don’t know it yet.

Landry Jones On The Indianapolis Colts: I cannot see the Colts drafting Landry as a successor to Peyton when he does not even run a pro style offense.  If Indianapolis does take that direction and groom Jones to be Manning’s heir in Indianapolis then he could succeed as the Colts quarterback after Manning the same way Rodgers succeeded once Favre left.

Landry Jones On The Miami Dolphins: Landry Jones runs a spread offense at Oklahoma.  He does not run a west coast offense.  Jones has never been in a city like Miami with tons of limelight.  Jones played high school football in New Mexico and committed to Oklahoma.  Go ahead and tell me that Jones played in BCS Bowl game and won.  He played in the Tostios Fiesta Bowl in Arizona which is near where he grew up.  He also played a measly Connecticut team that probably should not have even been invited to a BCS Bowl game to begin with.

Landry Jones gives me the impression that he is cocky sometimes.  Putting someone who may or may not be cocky who has never been in a limelight metropolitan area like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, or Miami may be a disaster waiting to occur.

The Miami Dolphins would have a better chance of succeeding with a quarterback who displays a high football IQ, accuracy, GPA, and some understanding of the wildcat offense with his dual threat ability like Baylor’s Robert Griffin.

Its been 20 years since the Dolphins drafted a quarterback destined for Canton and nearly a decade and a half with out him.  Drafting Landry Jones a kid who has never performed under the big stage in a metropolitan state like New York, California, or Florida would be a huge mistake in my eyes because Landry Jones has displayed signs of being impatient on the field against Florida State last saturday and he has even displayed some signs of being impatient off the field which is a bigger concern.  Quarterbacks have to be patient if they succeed in the NFL period.

Drafting Jones is probably the most fiscally irresponsible thing the Miami Dolphins can do.  The Dolphins front office would be handing in their pink slip because Jones is not used to this atmosphere.  Miami would start Jones right away and expect him to be Dan Marino 2.0.  That is way too much pressure for someone to handle when they have never played in a huge climate.

If you would like more information about the players you can read my scouting reports about the 3 quarterbacks below.  I did not want to reveal every detail by detail about these quarterbacks in this piece because I already watched tape of these quarterbacks and wrote scouting reports of them.




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Tags: Andrew Luck Landry Jones Matt Barkley Oklahoma Sooners Stanford Cardinal Usc Trojans

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