Monday, July 17, 2006

CFB's Best Quarterbacks

Time to start my All-American picks and there is no better place to start than with the quarterback. Notre Dame's Brady Quinn is going to be "everyone's" first team preseason All-American quarterback. Quinn is a great quarterback and very well may be the first pick in the 2007 NFL draft, but is he the best "college" quarterback?

Last year Matt Leinart was hands down the best quarterback heading into the season. He was the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, the best pro prospect, and arguably the best college football player to ever play the game. However, by season's end Texas' Vince Young proved to be the best college quarterback and surprisingly was the first quarterback taken in the 2006 NFL draft.

This quarterback list is not necessarily the best pro prospects, but in my opinion the best quarterbacks in the college game.

1. Troy Smith, Ohio State- Smith is this year's Vince Young. He is quick, mobile and can just flat out make plays.
2. Sam Keller, Arizona State- Keller missed half of last year due to injury, but should 100% this fall. When healthy there is not a better college quarterback in the nation.
3. Brady Quinn, Notre Dame- Head coach Charlie Weis has turned Quinn into a remarkable player. Quinn will win the Heisman if the Irish wins at least nine games and he passes for over 3,000 yards and 30 scores.
4. Drew Tate, Iowa- It seems everyone is forgetting about Iowa and Tate this year. He is still the quintessential college quarterback, undersized with little or no pro potential yet is a leader and finds a way to win games.
5. Pat White, West Virginia- White is not the best thrower, but he is the best dual threat quarterback in nation. White had 952 yards rushing last year, despite not starting until mid-October. He could be the first quarterback, ever, to rush for 1,500 yards and pass for 1,500 yards in the same season.
6. Brian Brohm, Louisville- I was skeptical about him last season, but he proved me wrong. He not only proved to me to be a great full-time starter, but to be one of the best quarterbacks in the nation.
7. Drew Stanton, Michigan State- Few quarterbacks have the on and off switch like Stanton. When he is on, he is arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, but when he is off...
8. Chad Henne, Michigan- Henne had a bit of a letdown in 2005 compared to his great freshman year. Was Braylon Edwards that big of a difference? I think not.
9. Bret Meyer, Iowa State- Meyer is a virtual unknown that takes the torch from Young as the best quarterback in the Big 12.
10. Tyler Palko, Pittsburgh- Palko had a pretty bad season last year. He should rebound nicely and just may be the best quarterback in the Big East, and that is saying a lot.
11. Colt Brennan, Hawaii- It's a good bet Brennan will shatter the NCAA record for passing yards in season this year. The Warriors will play 14 games if bowl eligible.
12. Matt Ryan, Boston College- The most underrated passer in all of college football. A great season by Ryan could land the Eagles in the BCS.
13. Chris Leak, Florida- Leak would be a much better quarterback in a different offense. The spread is just not his thing.
14. Trent Edwards, Stanford- Edwards could be the Pac 10's best quarterback.
15. Jeff Rowe, Nevada- The unorthodox pistol offense is run to perfection by the experienced Rowe.
16. Brandon Cox, Auburn- He just gets the job done, and makes few mistakes.
17. Luke Getsy, Akron- An excellent passer that deserves more notice.
18. Drew Weatherford- His improvement could be the difference between another five loss season and possible national title.
19. Paul Smith, Tulsa- A tough, gritty quarterback that is a great team leader.
20. John Beck, BYU- Beck is a throwback to the great Cougar quarterbacks of the past.
21. Rudy Carpenter, Arizona State- He could start for most teams in the nation, but will ride the pine behind Keller.

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