- Tom Luginbill, ESPN Staff Writer
In my opinion, the quarterback position is not only the most difficult position to play in all of sports, but it is also very difficult to evaluate, especially at the high school level. Even with college quarterbacks eligible for the NFL draft, there are always going to be unknowns. With many 17-year-old quarterbacks, there can be more unknowns than there are certainties.
Obviously, the physical characteristics are the easiest to see and project down the road. Size, arm strength, release quickness, speed and athleticism are very evident at a young age. It's the mental makeup that recruiters have to project the most. Intelligence, natural football awareness, a feel for the game and philosophy and, most important, mental toughness, are the intangibles that set the best players apart. However, these intangibles might not manifest themsevles until a player competes at the college level.
The 2006 class of quarterbacks features players of all different shapes, sizes and, of course, ability levels. There are big pocket passers who are, for the most part, immobile, as well as players who can beat you with their legs and arm. The dual-threat quarterback at this stage probably lacks overall skills as a passer, but his ability to make things happen outside of the pocket or as a legitimate runner often overshadows passing deficiencies. If an athletic quarterback doesn't work out at the college level, he can help you at another position, which could make him a can't-miss prospect.