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Todd McShay breaks down the senior QBs, small-school prospects worth watching and ranks the QBs invited to the NFL scouting combine. To see this and more, become an ESPN Insider.
The top four quarterbacks selected in the 2009 draft should hail from the ranks of the underclassmen. However, eight of the past 11 underclassman signal callers selected in the first round are either failing to live up to expectations or turned out to be complete busts. That's why NFL teams in search of their Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco will think long and hard before spending a top pick on Georgia's Matthew Stafford, USC's Mark Sanchez, Kansas State's Josh Freeman or Ball State's Nate Davis.
Stafford is the complete package physically, but his inconsistency and lack of ideal touch creates uneasiness for teams considering drafting him in the top five overall. Sanchez is more of a finesse passer who has excellent accuracy and timing in the short-to-intermediate zones. However, he started only 16 games in college and lacks the ideal arm strength to drive the ball downfield. Freeman can be erratic, but he is blessed with a cannon for an arm to go along with his massive frame and deceptive mobility. Davis' marginal height and late-season ball security issues will keep him out of the first round, but he is a playmaker with a strong arm and good overall athleticism. He's a perfect fit in the second or third round for a team willing to spend a couple of years developing him.