Fantasy Outlook: 2017 QB Draft Class

by Greg Talcott

This year’s NFL draft has come and gone and it wasn’t without teams making major moves to solidify the most important position in sports. Several analysts had 3 quarterbacks going in the first round of the draft, though the exact order and how it all played out left some jaws on the floor. All three first round QB’s were acquired via trading up, which is surprising for a draft class that, according to many experts, didn’t have a franchise QB in the mix. NFL teams always pay through the nose, in more ways than one, when they identify that “can’t miss” franchise QB; often times resulting in disaster. Legendary names like Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell, and Joey Harrington were all supposed to be the saviors of their franchises only disappear from the league in short order with truckloads of money and no results on the field to justify it. The 2017 draft class is almost guaranteed to produce similar woeful results with the most likely bust being…

Mitch “Mitchell” Trubisky

Back in March, I had a total meltdown over the Bears handling of the QB position in the off-season and I specifically referenced the potential of drafting Trubisky being the worst case scenario. I was wrong…it was worse than expected. I simply expected Ryan Pace to reach at number 3 and pick the unproven North Carolina QB, but no… he traded up. Pace traded a kings ransom for a guy who played 1 season at a school where football is a secondary sport. Trubisky produced what is considered a great year by Tar Heel standards and a mediocre result by the standards of any school with a legitimate football program. I have racked my brain trying to come up with 1 example of a QB with Trubisky’s resume being successful in the NFL and I cannot think of one. The Bears spent a fortune replacing Cutler and Hoyer with Beaker and the Sanchize which is problematic enough. But compounding issues by trading up for Trubisky and crushing poor Glennon’s limited confidence will likely doom the Bears to the cellar of the NFC North for at least 5 years. I think the pick is so bad that we should investigate Ryan Pace being a Manchurian Candidate for the Green Bay Packers, sent to infiltrate the Bears and run them into the ground. The fact Trubisky is apparently a Packer fan only adds fuel to the theory. This is without question the worst draft choice in a history of horrible choices by the Bears. If Chad Kelly gets healthy and grows a brain he may well end up a better QB being drafted as Mr. Irrelevant than Trubisky at #2. Grade: F- X Infinity.

Patrick Mahomes

The Chiefs gave up their first round draft pick in 2018 in addition to a third round pick in 2018 to trade places with the Buffalo Bills this year and select Mahomes at #10. While Mahomes has been heralded for his live arm and athleticism he has been criticized for lousy mechanics and being a product of the Texas Tech system. The learning curve is expected to be steep for Mahomes to grasp a pro style offense; but the hope is sitting behind Alex Smith for a couple years will buy Andy Reid enough time to get him ready. It will be a while before we can really evaluate this pick since Mahomes is unlikely to play this year. He doesn’t help the Chiefs at all near term, and from a fantasy standpoint he is to far removed from playing to warrant drafting even in dynasty leagues. Regardless of how this turns out for the Chiefs, the Bears trade for Trubisky is so bad it will forever overshadow this trade unless Mahomes ends up as the next Aaron Hernandez. Grade: C

Deshaun Watson

By far, the Texans move was the best of any of the trades involving a QB. First, the Texans swapped picks and threw in next year’s first rounder. For a guy who has the best chance to impact your team in the near term that is not a bad price. Sure, Watson would benefit by sitting for awhile, but the Texans lack the talent at the position to afford that. Tom Savage is not going to be able to hold off Watson for long and I fully expect him to play this year. The front offices in Chicago and KC will be forever linked to what Watson could have been, assuming he is a success and Mahomes and Trubisky struggle. Watson is a proven winner with a ton of tape against top notch talent. He is the one QB in the draft who is able to play right away and who may end up being a superstar in the league for years to come. Grade: A

DeShone Kizer

Another green room disaster involving a Notre Dame QB. Kizer slid out of the first round like former ND alumni Brady Quinn. Both QB’s were ultimately rescued by the Cleveland Browns. Truth be told, no QB in the modern era has done themselves any favors by being drafted by the Browns. In fact, the rescue is more akin to being lost at sea on a life raft and being “rescued” by Somali pirates. Kiser is full of potential, and has the prototypical QB build. Perhaps comparing himself to the love-child of Cam Newton and Tom Brady was a mistake that caused him to slide as far as he did. The only thing he can do to vindicate himself is become the QB that the Browns have been looking for since Bernie Kosar hung up the cleats. The Browns have no depth or talent at the position, but they do have bodies they can feed to the wolves while Kiser gets acclimated. Maybe the Browns keep Osweiler and let him and Cody Kessler get beat up for 12 games before letting Kiser start the last 4. Kiser will get a chance to be the Browns savior at some point; hopefully he ends up better than Brady Quinn. Grade: B-

Davis Webb

One of the hardest QB’s to evaluate in the draft. Some had him jumping up to the end of round 1 before dropping to the Giants in the 3rd round. A competent backup would be the most likely expectation for Webb as opposed to the heir apparent to Eli “Bogus Memorabilia” Manning. With the exception of Aaron Rodgers; Cal tends to produce lousy QB’s at the next level. Bottom line, don’t expect much. Grade: D+





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