Looking at these points of evaluation, we find quarterbacks Luck and Griffin III at the top of the list for the 2012 NFL Draft. Also found are Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson. These players were touted as top prospects and were expected to be taken early. So who are some of the hidden gems?
Best 2012 NFL Draft Value: Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois – While Harnish was considered Mr. Irrelevant, he has the most value for a drafted quarterback on my list. A four year starter, Harnish improved every season, was accurate, and limited his mistakes. He made plays with his legs and was an overall weapon. He took his team to another level (taking the Huskies from 2-10 in 2007 to 11-3 in 2011), and did so with little support. He performed well against top teams and while he won’t be pushing Andrew Luck for starting time, the Colts most likely picked up a very reliable back-up quarterback and, after last season, Colts fans can understand the value of a top level back-up.
Best 2012 NFL Draft/Undrafted Value: Austin Davis, Southern Mississippi – Davis was the #2 quarterback in my ratings, behind Andrew Luck. He has ideal size, was a four year starter, was accurate, and posted fantastic TD:INT numbers. His throwing motion was slightly off, but he worked on his deep ball during the post-season process. He was mobile enough to make plays with his legs and took his team from 7-6 in 2007 to 12-2 in 2011 with little supporting help. While he could have performed better against top teams, he still did an admirable job and deserved to be drafted.
Worst 2012 NFL Draft Value: Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M – Tannehill meets the quarterback prototype with fantastic athleticism and plenty of potential. However, he was extremely over-drafted if he is expected to play this season. If the Dolphins plan for Tannehill to sit for a season or two, he may develop into a top prospect, but at the time of the draft, Tannehill was far from certain. He is limited in starting experience and has had a bad habit of throwing interceptions. He didn’t improve his team (6-7 in 2009 to 7-6 in 2011) and had plenty of weapons around him. Additionally, his performance was no better than Jerrod Johnson’s- so what is Tannehill’s true value? That’s unknown, but seeing the player Tannehill was on draft day and seeing his draft placement leads me to call him poor draft value. However, he has a chance if he sits and is given time to grow.
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