Draft talk tends to pick up early when your team struggles out of the gate as badly as the Rams have. We've seen it in comments and in FanPosts, so I figured it might be useful to take stock of the QBs coming out and how they've fared over the first five weeks of college football.
In case you're not a college kind of guy, here's an update from ESPN's odd couple, Mel Kiper, Jr., and Todd McShay:
My top 10 QB prospects for the 2010 NFL draft as of October 6th after fold.
Just for reference, here's my first 2010 mock draft from back in May once this year's draft closed. I'm not so sure we're going to have the 10th pick anymore, but time shall tell.
This is how my top 10 QB board looks with their performances thus far graded by the All-Knowing Thumb of Power (* denotes eligible underclassmen):
1 Sam Bradford*, Oklahoma
Since injuring his shoulder in the Sooners' season opening loss to BYU, Bradford has yet to step on the field, so his stock remains relatively unchanged. It looks like he'll make his return Saturday against Baylor, but with the damage done to Oklahoma in his absence (2-2 through the first four games), his chances of bringing a national championship to Norman are pretty much out the window. That leaves his legacy and draft stock as the two things to play for. Both rest on how he responds to the injury.
Next notable evaluation: Oct. 17 vs. #2 Texas (neutral site), 12:00pm ET (ABC)
2 Jevan Snead*, Ole Miss
Snead has played very poorly this year, but I'm not willing to drop him to number 3 yet. His QB skills are still too high: quick release, above average arm strength & good footwork to start with. His problem this year has been his decision making. The Rebels' last game against Vanderbilt is a great example. Snead threw for 3 touchdowns, but matched those with 3 interceptions. Granted, his wide receivers don't compare to the better offenses in the SEC, but given his experience, he shouldn't be making some of the throws he has this season.
Next notable evaluation: Oct. 10 vs. #3 Alabama, 3:30pm ET (CBS)
3 Jake Locker*, Washington
Unlike Snead whose stock has dropped significantly, Locker's has exploded, evidenced by his rise to #6 on McShay's big board (ESPNinsider). He's big, strong, fast, and most impressively this season, smart. Whereas Snead has made far too many questionable throws, Locker has made the right decisions game in, game out.
Next notable evaluation: Oct. 24 vs. #13 Oregon, time and broadcast TBD
4 Colt McCoy, Texas
McCoy has played fine so far, but Texas has had a very easy road to start their 2009 campaign. They've won their first four by an average of 34.25 points, so they're not facing great competition. Beating up on Louisiana-Monroe, UTEP and Wyoming (sorry, Van) doesn't make for the better teams Texas will face as they get into Big XII play and drive towards a BCS Championship game.
Next notable evaluation: Oct. 17 vs. #19 Oklahoma (neutral site), 12:00pm ET (ABC)
5 Jimmy Clausen*, Notre Dame
Jimmy, the third Clausen to grace the college football stage this decade, has a great trio of blatant skills: defense identification, accuracy and football intelligence. He has developed well each year at Notre Dame, but he does have two great receivers to work with in Michael Floyd and Golden Tate (A+ name). His arm strength is suspect as well, but his accuracy has been able to overcome that deficiency so far this season. Had Michigan not beaten the Irish with some late game heroics, Notre Dame would be a hot team going into their next game, the annual clash between ND & USC.
Next notable evaluation: Oct. 17 vs. #7 USC, 3:30pm ET (NBC)
6 Tony Pike, Cincinnati
Next notable evaluation: Oct. 15 at #23 South Florida, 7:30pm ET (ESPN)
7 Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan
Next notable evaluation: Oct. 17 at Western Michigan, 3:30pm ET
8 Tim Hiller, Western Michigan
Next notable evaluation: Oct. 17 vs. Central Michigan, 3:30pm ET
9 Jarrett Brown, West Virginia
Next notable evaluation: Oct. 10 at Syracuse, 12:00pm ET
10 Zac Robinson, Oklahoma St.
Next notable evaluation: Oct. 17 vs. Missouri, 9:15pm ET (ESPN2)
There ya go. The chances one of these guys is drafted by the Rams next year are pretty damn high at this point, so this is definitely something I'll be keepin tabs on throughout the year. Holler.