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Road to the Draft: Quarterbacks

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Well, this is my first blog for Stampede Blue.  I've been here for about 15 months, and it feels good to be on the front page of the website I read constantly.

Quarterback isn't regarded as a need for the Colts.  However, we just saw where Mark Sanchez worked out for the Colts.  It caught all of us by surprise no doubt.  Peyton still has at least four or five more great years ahead of him, but we are scouting a first round prospect?  This changes the outlook on this draft entirely.  It's impossible to get into Polian's mind.  Maybe this is a way to confuse other teams about Peyton or else Polian and Irsay are really scared of injury.  Either way, it was startling to say the least.  Get the prospect analysis after the jump.

When it comes to the NFL draft, I like three sites: DraftTek, Walter Football and SBNation's own Mocking the Draft.  Here are their QB rankings.

Mocking the Draft Walter Football DraftTek
1. Matt Stafford, Georgia Matt Stafford Matt Stafford
2. Mark Sanchez, USC Mark Sanchez Mark Sanchez
3. Josh Freeman, Kansas St. Josh Freeman Josh Freeman
4. Nate Davis, Ball St. Pat White Nate Davis
5. Tom Brandstater, Fresno St. Nate Davis Rhett Bomar
6. Rhett Bomar, Sam Houston St. Rhett Bomar Stephen McGee, Texas A&M
7. Drew Willy, Buffalo Mike Reilly, Central Washington John Parker Wilson, Alabama
8. Hunter Cantwell, Louisville Nathan Brown, Central Arkansas Tom Brandstater
9. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech Mike Teel, Rutgers Hunter Cantwell
10. Pat White, West Virginia Graham Harrell Graham Harrell

These prospects can be broken down to four distinct groups.

First rounders (Stafford, Sanchez)

Second to third rounders (Freeman, Davis)

Fourth to sixth rounders (White, Bomar, Harrell)

Wild card as in can go anywhere from round 3 to undrafted (Willy, Reilly, Brown, Teel, Wilson, Brandstater, Cantwell)

The Colts have a distinct need for quarterbacks.  They need to be intelligent, be a natural leader and have an accurate arm.  Since this is a small need for the Colts, I would put this in the Fifth to Seventh round zone.  The Colts will be looking at QB prospects to challenge Sorgi, but will they pass up a good special teams player for someone?  It depends on who they think fit the system.  After looking at projected rounds and scouting reports.  Here are five draft prospects I believe will be looked at by the Colts.

John Parker Wilson, Alabama: Wilson was a natural leader at Alabama.  He took a young team to the Sugar Bowl while playing in a very tough SEC.  Wilson didn't have great stats, but the balanced attack at Alabama won't produce Texas Tech or Division 1-AA passing stats.  He is a project and has poor arm strength.  I don't see the Colts taking him in the draft, but if he slides and doesn't get drafted, he would be a nice practice squad player.

Mike Reilly, Central Washington: Reilly is coming from Division II, but at the Combine he drew some attention.  He interviewed very well and may have the mental attitude to go along with his amazing stats.  Obviously as a Division II player competition level is a concern, but if he falls to the seventh round, he would be worth a look.

Curtis Painter, Purdue: He's a local prospect who collapsed over his senior year.  Now he may not be drafted after being a mid-round prospect going into the season.  He always had great production and comes from the same system that Drew Brees and Kyle Orton came out of.  His lack of game management skills are a concern however.  If he doesn't get drafted, he could compete for a practice squad spot.

Cullen Harper, Clemson: Harper had a pretty pathetic senior season for a pathetic Clemson team.  Even after poor production as a senior, he is a great pro prospect for the later rounds.  He has good accuracy on short routes, suitable arm strength and is mobile, although he doesn't run a 4.6 forty like Jim Sorgi.  I wouldn't be disappointed with him as a seventh round prospect.

Chase Daniel, Missouri: At his size, Daniel isn't gonna be drafted.  However, he had amazing production in a good conference while having good accuracy.  He is just at 6 feet, but if he can see over the line, he could be great.  In fact, I think he could be the top undrafted quarterback as long as no team thinks he is worth a selection.  Jim Sorgi could be in trouble with Daniel.  He is one of the biggest sleepers in the draft.

So to sum it all up, the Colts will not spend a high draft pick on a quarterback.  Mark Sanchez will not be a Colt.  However, Sorgi may need a little competition in training camp to push himself, and our practice squad QBs Adam Tafralis and Josh Betts have moved north to the CFL.  This means that the practice squad may need a reloading.  Quarterback will be an interesting position to monitor this offseason.  The Colts haven't spent a draft pick on a quarterback since Jim Sorgi, so maybe this is the year we have a backup QB without a 4.6 forty.