Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Position Breakdown: '14 B1G QBs

Wisconsin Commit D.J. Gillins supposedly used to have about a 13 minute highlight tape. Unfortunately that got taken down and no subsequent highlight film has been uploaded onto the internet. Therefore, he goes unranked here, though he sounds like a good player. Iowa also does not currently have a QB commit for the '14 class from my understanding.

Baseline Rank

  1. Chris Durkin - Michigan St - 6.5
  2. Will Ulmer - Maryland - 6.25
  3. Zack Darlington - Nebraska - 6.25
  4. Wilton Speight - Michigan - 6.0
  5. Michael O'Connor - Penn St - 6.0
  6. Clayton Thorson - Northwestern - 6.0
  7. Tyler Wiegers - Rutgers - 6.0
  8. David Blough - Purdue - 5.5
  9. Chayce Crouch - Illinois - 5.5
  10. Stephen Collier - Ohio State - 5.0
  11. Dimonic McKinzy - Minnesota - 4.75
  12. Alex Diamont - Indiana - 4.25

Ceiling Rank
  1. Chris Durkin - Michigan St - 8.25
  2. Wilton Speight - Michigan - 8.25
  3. David Blough - Purdue - 8.25
  4. Michael O'Connor - Penn St - 8.0
  5. Will Ulmer - Maryland - 8.0
  6. Clayton Thorson - Northwestern - 8.0
  7. Tyler Wiegers - Rutgers - 8.0
  8. Zack Darlington - Nebraska - 7.5
  9. Chayce Crouch - Illinois - 7.5
  10. Stephen Collier - Ohio St - 7.0
  11. Dimonic McKinzy - Minnesota - 6.75
  12. Alex Diamont - Indiana - 6.5

Floor Rank
  1. Chris Durkin - Michigan St - 5.0
  2. Will Ulmer - Maryland - 4.5
  3. Wilton Speight - Michigan - 4.0
  4. Clayton Thorson - Northwestern - 3.75
  5. Tyler Wiegers - Rutgers - 3.75
  6. Michael O'Connor - Penn St - 3.5
  7. Zack Darlington - Nebraska - 3.5
  8. David Blough - Purdue - 3.0
  9. Chayce Crouch - Illinois - 3.0
  10. Stephen Collier - Ohio St - 3.0
  11. Dimonic McKinzy - Minnesota - 3.0
  12. Alex Diamont - Indiana - 2.0

Average Ceiling: 7.67             Average Ranking: 5.67               Average Floor: 3.5

  • Best Pure Passer: David Blough - Purdue
  • Best Running Threat: Will Ulmer - Maryland
  • Best Dual Threat: Chris Durkin - Michigan St
  • Best Fit for Program: Zach Darlington - Nebraska
  • Best Deep Ball: Tyler Wiegers -  Rutgers
  • Best Mechanics: David Blough - Purdue
  • Solid looking class with lots of contributors
  • Lacks potential stars
  • Chris Durkin looks to be the top of the class
So for an overall field, I think the B1G recruited some good QBs this year. My belief is that a lot of them will end up playing for their teams and contributing, and if they do, most teams will be relatively happy with their QB play. However, there is a real lack of "star" or big time prospect in this class. I think the closest is Michigan State's Durkin, who can be a true dual threat at the next level with some improvement in mechanics and really bring something new to the B1G. Depending on your opinion of Denard Robinson, Ulmer also has a high ceiling. He is a superb athlete who will threaten defenses whenever the ball is in his hands.

On the flip side, outside of Durkin and Ulmer, I don't see a sure fire player in this group. A lot of them could end up being backups if they don't pan out. Of course, a lot of this depends partially on the players brought in around these recruits.

I think the biggest surprise of the group was David Blough. Since I've seen his film I've really raved about him. If he was a few inches taller he'd likely top this list, particularly at the baseline. I have a bad feeling that I've undervalued him, but the worries I have for him are significant. If he can't see the middle of the field, much of his passing windows will be closed down which makes success that much harder. Still, Purdue picked up a very good looking QB. Nebraska's Darlington looks good on film but not superb. But because of his fit in the Nebraska system, expect him to be a real pain in the side of many B1G schools. He looks a bit like Taylor Martinez 2.0, slightly less athletic, but with a slightly better arm. If he goes one way, I believe it will be toward his ceiling.

Michigan's Speight is a guy I haven't touched on much. Speight has great touch and can really throw the deep ball. His mechanics are good and he can move the pocket some to make up for a lack of mobility. He needs to improve how he throws the ball underneath, but with his size and big arm, he has a lot of potential going forward. Out of Michigan's own back yard, Wiegers is a similar QB. I think Wiegers right now has a better deep ball and post pass, but I worry about his ability to read defenses. At the end of the day he doesn't quite have the same upside, but could be a very underrated pick-up out of Michigan.

As for some of the guys lower on the list, I was actually pretty impressed by guys like Crouch. Crouch likely won't be a star at the next level, but he has an arm to get it to the play makers around him. Thorson is the same way and is easily one of the quicker underneath passers in the class, both in terms of release and zip. But he needs to be able to get defenses to respect him deep to maximize his potential at the next level. Collier in his own right isn't a bad prospect, he just doesn't have anything that really stands out, as an upside, baseline, or downside. The way OSU has recruited around him, I wouldn't be surprised if Collier was a career backup, and honestly, he wouldn't be a bad back-up if that's the case.

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