QB Prospects Still Jockeying For Positioning In NFL Draft

Written by Jeff Legwold at ESPN.com

The quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL draft class have heard the naysayers.

If teams are looking for a sure thing at the top of the draft — say a Terry Bradshaw, John Elway, Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck — it’s probably not happening this year.

But don’t tell that to the draftees.

“If you ask all the guys that are other quarterbacks in this draft class, they’ll probably say the same thing,” Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson said. “It’s just going to make the documentary and the story in five, 10 years even better whenever they start talking good about us. It’s a motivational tip and a humbling tip, and they can say what they want to say, but that’s just opinions, not facts — because we haven’t stepped foot on an NFL field yet, so they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

In most draft years, the pecking order at the top for quarterbacks is set by the time they report to Indianapolis in February for the scouting combine. This year’s class is different, as the opinions vary widely on the best available passers. As a result, those players might actually change their stock significantly between now and the draft’s opening night on April 27.

It also means every interview, clip of video, private workout and even offhanded comment could move one of the quarterbacks to the head of the class.

“All the guys are great, all the guys are very competitive,” Watson said. “All the guys have had success, are going have a successful career in the NFL. Everyone works hard, everyone is motivated to be the guy in that franchise.”

Watson, North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes II, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer, Pitt’s Nathan Peterman and Cal’s Davis Webb are on many teams’ draft boards. But how they’re ranked differs widely around the league, as the beauty of this class of passers is truly in the eyes of the beholder.

The group has more riding on these last-look workouts and visits than many of its predecessors. In previous years, quarterback prospects were trying to move up a few picks in the weeks leading up to the draft. This group could move entire rounds as they leapfrog each other based on tryouts.

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Davis Webb Might Move Into First Round Discussion

Written by Emily Kaplan at MMQB.com

Upon arriving in Mobile, Ala. in January, I asked Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage if he believed any quarterbacks were poised to break out during the week.

“Davis Webb,” Savage, the former Cleveland Browns GM, said without hesitation.

I had heard moderate buzz about the Cal quarterback throughout the fall, but never considered him a top-tier prospect. He couldn’t beat out Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech, so he transferred to Berkeley. He followed Jared Goff in Cal’s Bear Raid offense, meaning the same steep learning curve (learning to command a huddle, taking snaps from under center) that kept the Rams rookie off the field until late November will likely apply to Webb, too. But back in January, Savage was sensing momentum, and now it’s tangible. Six weeks before the draft, Webb is a legitimate second-round candidate and it’s feasible that, come the last weekend in April, he will be billed as someone’s quarterback of the future.

In January, Webb flew into Mobile two days earlier than his Senior Bowl peers to adjust his body clock, and arranged a throwing session with local University of South Alabama receivers. The more you learn about the 22-year-old, stories like this become common. He’s the son of a coach and, after his playing career, wants to be a coach himself. When he watches football on TV, he splays out 50 index cards in front of him, scribbling down plays he likes. He has already authored the framework for his eventual coaching playbook—down to situational red zone plays—in a binder he keeps at home. He had keys to the high school gym, and yes, janitors found Webb running cone drills past 9 p.m. more than once. He packed up his car the day after Texas Tech graduation and drove the 20 hours to Berkley with his mom so he could get started as soon as possible. He out-clocked a few coaches in the Cal football building, self-imposing a 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. workday. He rehearses play-calls in the mirror. He stayed up an extra two to three hours at Senior Bowl practices to study the exhibition game playbook.

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Davis Webb, Texas Tech QB, Transferring to Cal


Written by Travis Haney and Jake Trotter at ESPN.com

Former Texas Tech quarterback Davis Webb is transferring to California, Webb confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

Webb, a graduate transfer, will be eligible to play this fall and will compete to replace Jared Goff, who was selected by the Los Angeles Rams with the first overall pick in the NFL draft last month.

The 6-4, 230-pound Webb committed in January to play at Colorado. However, because he was still enrolled at Texas Tech for the spring semester, his commitment was nonbinding.

Darrin Chiaverini, who recruited Webb for Colorado, took to Twitter on Wednesday to say he supported Webb’s decision.

Webb himself has NFL potential. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Webb as his No. 1 senior quarterback prospect.

Sources told ESPN that Webb began to have a change of heart in February, around the time that Cal coach Sonny Dykes hired Jake Spavital as the team’s new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Spavital is from Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” coaching tree, as is Dykes and Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Dykes’ pass-heavy offensive system is similar to the one in which Webb threw for 5,557 yards and had 46 touchdowns (22 interceptions) over three seasons with the Red Raiders. Webb started the bulk of games over his first two seasons before being overtaken by current starter Patrick Mahomes, a rising NFL draft prospect.

In addition to losing Goff, Cal also lost receivers Kenny Lawler and Trevor Davisand running back Daniel Lasco, who were selected in the draft’s later rounds.

Some of those departures were offset by the recent announcement that ESPN 300 receiver Demetris Robertson had picked the Bears over Georgia and Notre Dame. He will enroll this summer.

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