Fantasy football season is year-round entertainment for a number of Dynasty Leagues and many 2010 Fantasy Rookie Drafts have already started. I am in one such league where we set up the draft to start in the beginning of May with only rookies available for the picks. Sifting through all those rookies can be a daunting experience for your fantasy football league. These picks can make or break your dynasty team for years to come. I’m going to look at a position that is a complete crapshoot for most fantasy players, the quarterback. For every Peyton Manning there is a Ryan Leaf. I’m going to look into my crystal ball and pick out the Top 5 2010 rookie quarterbacks you might want to take a chance on.
Check out my look at Rookie Running Backs
Check out my look at Rookie Wide Receivers
1. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
If any quarterback in this draft class is a sure thing, it is former Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. He is going to a team that is desperate for a franchise quarterback. The Rams just jettisoned Marc Bulger after underperforming but how much of his troubles were his fault and how much of it was an offensive line that gave up 44 sacks, or one for every twelve times their quarterback dropped back to throw the ball? That is dangerous for Bradford, who is coming off shoulder surgery. Bradford worked out for NFL Scouts during the offseason and dazzled them with his precision. If he can survive through the 2010 season with a rebuilt offensive line, he has a better chance than anyone in the draft of developing into a star.
2. Jimmy Clausen, Carolina Panthers
Clausen has been labeled arrogant by some, but that is a perfect attribute for an NFL quarterback, a position that requires thick skin. Clausen left Notre Dame following his junior season after his head coach, Charlie Weiss, was fired. He leaves Notre Dame following a season where he threw 28 touchdowns with only four interceptions. Clausen was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round, a drop attributed to his attitude, but he landed in a spectacular position. The Panthers just released their franchise quarterback Jake Delhomme. Clausen is now competing with Matt Moore, another young quarterback who played well last year but has a lot to prove. Clausen brings a huge ego to the Panthers but that might be exactly what helps him compete at this level. Of course, he could just be another Ryan Leaf.
3. Colt McCoy, Cleveland Browns
Colt McCoy comes into Cleveland after the team dumped both its starting quarterbacks and reloaded the entire offense. Competing for the starting job is Jake Delhomme, just released from Carolina, and Seneca Wallace, a career backup. Colt McCoy is not expected to be an NFL star but he is on a team that might have no choice but to turn to him for help. Head coach Eric Mangini flip-flopped last season with his starter numerous times and don’t be surprised to see a repeat of that this year. Delhomme is the best quarterback on the squad but Wallace is not the answer. People are knocking McCoy’s height but he is only once inch shorter than Delhomme and he led the Panthers to the Super Bowl. If Delhomme falters, McCoy will get a chance and you shouldn’t count the Longhorn out.
4. John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals
John Skelton has the possibility of being granted the Golden Egg of the 2010 NFL Draft. He is competing on a team that just lost their future Hall of Fame quarterback, Kurt Warner. Arizona is a passing team and has the weapons on offense to allow almost any quarterback the chance to be a star. Skelton’s competition for that position is former USC star Matt Leinart. Leinart had the chance to be the starter at Arizona but never caught on to the NFL system and lost out to Warner, who led Arizona to the best years of the team’s existence. Skelton is tall (6’6″) and, in his senior year, led the NCAA in passing yards while ranking second in total offense at Fordham. The problem here is that he never played the best of the best in college and will have bigger, faster, more athletic players coming at him in the NFL. It’s going to be Skelton or Leinart and, if Leinart continues to falter, watch out for Skelton.
5. Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos
Tim Tebow could be left off most lists such as this. It was a shock when his name was called in the first round of the NFL Draft. He is compared by most critics to quarterbacks like Josh Heupel and Charlie Ward, great college quarterbacks who are not NFL quality players. Tebow might be the wrong person to underestimate. He has been called the greatest college quarterback of all time. He plays for a Denver team that is relying on Kyle Orton to be their starting quarterback and lacks weapons at wide receiver. He is the ultimate underdog. He also might be worth taking a chance on for success down the line. Tim Tebow isn’t the biggest, strongest or best NFL prospect, but he has that “something” that might make him special later in his career. At worst, he might be the next Doug Flutie.