Each week during the college football season, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay kick off the week by settling a debate, and then look at emerging NFL prospects and peek ahead to next week.
The discussion: Could the 2014 NFL draft give us one of the all-time great QB classes?
McShay: In answering this question, I think it's very important not to confuse depth with quality. Where the 2014 class of quarterbacks is potentially very strong is in its depth; but when it comes to top-shelf talent, this group isn't on the same level as the 2012 class.
There's no Andrew Luck in the 2014 draft class, and while I think that Oregon's Marcus Mariota has an extraordinarily high ceiling (and he has been more durable to this point in his career), I would argue that Robert Griffin III was playing at a higher level at this point in his senior season than Mariota is playing right now as a redshirt sophomore. The biggest difference is that RG III was making a lot more deep vertical throws than Mariota is asked to attempt in the Ducks offense, and Griffin's improvement with his touch and ball placement on downfield throws during his final season at Baylor was remarkable.
If we were to merge the 2012 class with the 2014 class (note that the grades on the 2014 guys are far from final) and stack them up based on the ratings (out of 100) I gave them, this is how the top five would look: