- Todd McShay, Scouts Inc.
There hasn't been a clear-cut No. 1 quarterback like Matt Ryan is to the 2008 class since Carson Palmer (Bengals) in 2003. The only real knock on Ryan is that he forces some throws, as evidenced by his 19 interceptions as a senior. But keep in mind, he carried Boston College's offense with 654 pass attempts behind a mediocre offensive line and a pedestrian group of receivers. Regardless, Ryan has the best combination of intelligence, leadership, size, accuracy, arm strength and competitiveness in this year's quarterback class.
The second tier of quarterback prospects includes Louisville's Brian Brohm, Michigan's Chad Henne and Delaware's Joe Flacco, all three of whom should be gone by the 45th pick. Brohm lacks any elite physical qualities, but is the steadiest and most accurate of the three. Henne lacks mobility but makes up for it with excellent intangibles and a strong arm. However, no quarterback in this class can wing it like Flacco, who reminds us a lot of Ben Roethlisberger, but isn't quite as accurate and needs to make a big transition to the NFL from a shotgun system at the small-school collegiate level.
Some of the most intriguing Day 2 quarterback prospects include USC's John David Booty (West Coast fit), Kentucky's Andre Woodson (big, strong-armed quarterback with slow release), Tennessee's Erik Ainge (ideal frame and SEC background), San Diego's Josh Johnson (athletic, former Jim Harbaugh protégé from a small school), San Diego State's Kevin O'Connell (outstanding combination of size and athleticism), Hawaii's Colt Brennan (undersized gunslinger from the June Jones spread offense) and Oregon's Dennis Dixon (rare athleticism, but raw passing skills and still recovering from an ACL tear).
Scouts Inc. examines the 2008 quarterback class and breaks down the best QBs in a variety of areas.