Ranking of Quarterbacks does it determine future success?

Teddy Bridgewater-Miami Northwestern

The one thing that fans get caught up in with is RANKINGS. When it comes to the quarterback position college football fans are always hoping their team signs a 5-star quarterback. ESS has decided to look back on rankings of prior quarterbacks and see how they have done in college. We went back to 2005 to do our study on how each of the top rated quarterbacks each season have fared once in college. This will be a two part series…..We will first take a look at the quarterbacks from 2005-2011. Once we are done then the classes of 2012 to the most recent class will be broken down.


1-Mark Sanchez-(5) USC (1st Round)
2-Ryan Perriloux- (5) LSU
3-Johnathan Compton-(4) Tennessee
4-John Portis-(4)-UF
5-Jake Christian-(4) Iowa
6-Ike Whittaker-(4) Va. Tech
7-Derek Shaw-(4) Arizona
8-Willie Tuiatuma-(4) Arizona
9-Harrison Beck-(4) Nebraska
10-Kyle Neel-(4) Colorado

Thoughts: When you look back at the 2005 Class out of the top ten players ranked only Mark Sanchez played even close to his ranking. He had a short but productive career at USC before going in the first round of the NFL Draft. Perriloux was one of the most talented quarterbacks we have seen in person. Perriloux had 1st round talent but never was able to get on track in college and only had a short stint in the NFL.


1-Matt Stafford-(5) (1st Round)
2-Mitch Mustain-(5) Arkansas> transfer to USC
3-Tim Tebow-(5) UF- (1st Round)
4-Jevan Snead-(4) Texas > Ole Miss
5-Demetrius Jones-(4) Notre Dame > Cincinnati
6-Jake Locker-(4) Washington (1st Round)
7-Isaiah Williams-(4) Illinois
8-Brent Schaffer-(4) Tennessee > Ole Miss
9-Jeremy Ricker-(4) Maryland
10-Josh Freeman-(4) Kansas State

Not ranked top 10…..Sam Bradford (Oklahoma-18th Overall-1st Round), Christian Ponder (FSU-27th Overall-1st Round), Colin Kapernick-(Nevada-42nd Overall), Andy Dalton (TCU-49th Overall)

Thoughts: The top ten in 2006 fared much better then 2005…..but one trend you start to see in 2006 was top rated quarterbacks transferring. Mustain, Snead, Jones, Schaffer are finished their careers at schools they did not choose out of high school. None of them had much success at their new schools. Stafford lived up to his potential and is still one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. Tebow, Locker and Freeman all played at high levels in college, were chose in round one but none made an impact in the NFL. When you look at the non-ranked quarterbacks in the 2006 class they had as much success in college and went on to have better success in the NFL.


1-Jimmy Clausen-(5) ND-(2nd Round)
2-Ryan Mallett -(5) Michigan > Arkansas
3-Tyrod Taylor-(5) Virginia Tech
4-Aaron Corp-(5) USC
5-Cam Newton-(5) UF > Auburn
6-John Brantley-(5) UF
7-Stephen Garcia-(4) South Carolina
8-Will Korn-(4) Clemson
9-Mike Paulus-(4) UNC> William & Mary
10-Pat Bostick-(4) Pittsburgh

Not Ranked top 10….Nick Foles (Arizona-49th Overall)

Thoughts: Jimmy Clausen was considered the Lebron James of High School quarterbacks. Yes he was that highly thought of. Problem was Jimmy was never that good in college. He ended up getting drafted in round 2 of the NFL Draft and the following year the Panthers ended that experiment and drafted Cam Newton in Round 1. Mallett had success at Arkansas. His off the field problems derailed his career. Tyrod Taylor is not a guy we would have thought would have been ranked that high. He has had one of the better careers not only in college but the NFL. Newton was a super star in college and is a star in the NFL. Brantley signed with UF which was an awful fit. He was a pure drop back passer in an offense that was tailor made for Tim Tebow and Cam Newton. Pat Bostick is the single worst quarterback to ever be ranked in the top 10 of a quarterback class. Nick Foles was ranked 49th and ended up winning a Super Bowl last year.


1-Terrell Pryor-(5) Ohio State
2-Dayne Christ-(5) ND>Kansas
3-EJ Manuel-(5) FSU (1st Round)
4-Blaine Gabbert-(5) Missouri (1st Round)
5-Andrew Luck-(4) Stanford (1st Round)
6-Mike Glennon-(4) Virginia
7-Landry Jones-(4) Oklahoma
8-Tyler Wilson-(4) Arkansas
9-Kyle Parker-(4) Clemson
10-Nick Crissman-(4) UCLA

Not ranked top 10…. Robert Griffin-(Baylor-18th Overall-1st Round)

Thoughts: This was one year the networks got it close to right…..You could have kept the top 8 quarterbacks on the list but moved them around and added RGIII to the list. Pryor, Manuel, Gabbert, Luck, Glennon, Jones were all had success in college and then were drafted. Their success in college did not translate into the NFL. Overall it was a pretty good class of quarterbacks.


1-Matt Barkley-(5) USC
2-Russell Sheppard-(5) LSU
3-Garrett Gilbert-(5) Texas
4-Aaron Murray-(5) Georgia
5-Tahj Boyd-(5) Clemson
6-Logan Thomas-(4) Virginia Tech
7-Bryn Renner-(4) UNC
8-Richard Brehuat-(4) UCLA
9-AJ McCarron-(4) Alabama
10-Geno Smith-(4) WVU

Not Ranked top 10….Derek Carr-(Fresno State-28th overall) and Brock Osweiler-(Arizona State-50th Overall)

Thoughts: Barkley was a good quarterback in college but not great. Murray, Boyd, Thomas and Smith had some success and all got shots in the NFL. McCarron was not the most physically gifted quarterback but he had the most success in college and is still in the NFL. Both Carr and Osweiler had more success then any of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and signed the biggest contracts. This was a class that did not come close to its potential when these guys signed with their respective universities.


1-Phillip Sims-(5) Alabama
2-Blake Bell-(4) Oklahoma
3-Devin Gardner-(4) Michigan
4-Jessie Scroggins-(4) USC
5-Rob Bolden-(4) Penn State> Eastern Michigan
6-Jake Heaps-(4) BYU
7-Tyler Bray-(4) Tennessee
8-Connor Wood-(4) Texas> Colorado
9-Cam Newton-(4) Auburn
10-Paul Jones-(4) Penn State

Not Ranked top 10….Trevor Simien (Northwestern-50th overall)

Thoughts: This class may end up going down as one of the worst in the past 20 years. Cam Newton went to Junior College after signing with UF and was the only one on this list who came even close to his ranking. Trevor Simien was un-ranked and signed with Northwestern. He is the best quarterback in this class outside of Newton. This is one year that the recruiting experts got dead wrong.


1-Jeff Driskell-(5) UF> Louisiana Tech
2-Braxton Miller-(5) Ohio State
3-Kiehl Frazier-(4) Auburn
4-Brett Hundley-(4) UCLA
5-Christian Lemay-(4) Georgia> Jacksonville State
6-Matt Wittek-(4) USC>Hawaii
7-Teddy Bridgewater-(4)Louisville (1st Round)
8-JW Walsh-(4) Oklahoma State
9-Bubba Starling-(4) Nebraska
10-Jacoby Brissett-(4) UF> NC State

Not ranked top 10…..Zach Mettenberger-UGA>LSU (11th Overall), Cody Kessler-(USC-12th Overall), Johnny Manziel-(Texas A&M-24th Overall-1st Round Pick), Marcus Mariotta-(Oregon-33rd-1st Round Pick),Jake Coker-(FSU>Alabama-Won a NC with Bama, Dak Prescott-Mississippi State-(44th Overall), and Jake Ruddock-(Iowa-45th Overall).

Thoughts: This class was more about the un-ranked players then ranked. When you consider Manziel and Marriotta were both drafted in round 1 and neither was ranked at all coming out of high school it shows you how poorly those two were evaluated by the experts. Coker, Prescott and Ruddock were not even ranked in the top 30 which is crazy. The 2001 class had some big names but overall the top ten did not come close to living up to its potential.

In part I of our quarterback ranking story it shows that that evaluating quarterbacks is something that is not an exact science. You can watch these guys play in a live game in high school. You can watch them at camps, combines and 7 on 7 events. The reality is that until they face college competition it is a total crap shoot as to whether or not these guys will make it or not at the next level. ESS has heavily promoted players like Paxton Lynch, Quinton Flowers and Lemar Jackson and not a single one of them was considered an elite quarterback in high school. The one thing you can’t evaluate on film is how these guys perform under pressure against the best competition. It is the one position that physical talent is not always the sign for success.