1. Jared Goff, California
The best quarterback to come out of California since Aaron Rodgers, Jared Goff has the look of potential franchise quarterback at the next level. He’s got the accuracy you look for, and while his arm isn’t the strongest, it’s more than good enough to get by at the next level. Unlike many other young quarterbacks, Goff has very good footwork in the pocket, and that will serve him well his as he adjusts to the NFL game. There are flaws here for sure, his tendency to get a bit nervous under pressure, as well as the fact he comes from a spread system are certainly concerns, but overall, Goff is the type of quarterback prospect a team shouldn’t think twice about selecting.
2. Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Athletically, Paxton Lynch is everything you look for in a quarterback. Lynch has the size, strength, and mobility to stand out in the pre-draft process, and coming off a very impressive season for Memphis, Lynch is all but guaranteed to go in the top half of the first round during the 2016 NFL Draft. It’s very clear when watching Lynch that he has an excellent arm as he makes throws that some quarterbacks can only dream of, but there are red flags that need to be addressed with Lynch as well. He’s very raw at this stage in his career, and though he likely won’t get the luxury, he would be better off sitting on the bench for a year or two and learning. Also, most of Lynch’s production came against inferior competition, causing a bit of concern over how he will handle going against the best the NFL has to offer. With that said, in the right system, Lynch is going to be an excellent professional quarterback.
3. Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
Easily the top senior quarterback in this draft class, Carson Wentz certainly looks like he will be a starter at the NFL level. Like Lynch, Wentz has mostly feasted upon inferior opponents in college and will need to prove he can hold up against tougher competition. With that said, Wentz has prototypical size, above-average arm strength, and good mobility. He displays an ability to fit throws into very small windows, and he reads defenses pretty well for the most part. Wentz needs to clean up the mental side of his game a bit, but if he lands in the right situation, he could be a very good starter.
4. Connor Cook, Michigan State
Coming into the season as arguably the top quarterback prospect in the country, Connor Cook has fallen a bit. This is a guy that has the tools to become a good quarterback in the NFL, but he has been severely limited by accuracy issues during his college career. The arm strength, size, and big game experience are all there, but unless Cook improves his accuracy, it’s hard to see him becoming more than a good No. 2 option.
5. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
An excellent athlete, Dak Prescott has always had a reputation as a dynamic running threat, but in 2015, his passing also took a step forward. Prescott was able to read defenses much more efficiently this season, and that, combined with his lively arm, made Prescott a very fun player to watch. Unfortunately, however, Prescott still seems too much like a runner and not enough like a quarterback. He’s got a better arm than Tim Tebow, but there are obvious parallels between the two as run-first quarterbacks with raw passing skills. That said, Prescott’s leadership and improvement in 2015 suggest that a team would be making a sound investment by using a mid-round pick on him.