NFL scouts disappointed by Senior Bowl QBs per Breer: ‘I don’t think there’s an above-average starter in the group’

American squad quarterback Sam Howell of North Carolina (14) drops back to pass in the first half against the National squad at Hancock Whitney Stadium.
Feb 5, 2022; Mobile, AL, USA; American squad quarterback Sam Howell of North Carolina (14) drops back to pass in the first half against the National squad at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Lock has consistently played below NFL-caliber and Teddy Bridgewater is a ticket to nowhere. As has been the case for several years, the Denver Broncos are in search for a quarterback.

Unfortunately for them, the draft is widely considered to be remarkably talent-poor at the position relative to past seasons. It appears those beliefs were further cemented this week, as the Senior Bowl quarterbacks were deeply disappointing, according to the reporting of Sports Illustrated and the MMQB’s Albert Breer.

In his latest edition of the MMQB, Breer reports what he’s been hearing from multiple front-office employees from around the league about this year’s quarterback class, and their performances at the Senior Bowl.

“The group, compromised of all the top guys outside of Ole Miss’s Matt Corral, came in perceived to be an average lot. It left Mobile with a lot of NFL folks convinced of that,” Breer wrote. “A couple of veteran NFL evaluators told me late in the week that they don’t believe there’s a single NFL starter in this year’s quarterback class. Not everyone was that harsh, but it was unanimous that these quarterbacks aren’t close to last year’s—and most agreed that all five of last year’s first-round signal-callers would’ve been the top guy at the position in the 2022 draft.”

Despite some falling in love with the performance, the reviews Breer heard were pretty harsh.

“What’s your threshold for a starter,” One AFC college scouting director told Breer. “It’s kind of a broad term. I don’t think there’s an above average starter in the group. Maybe there are a couple of average starters. … If there’s two guys you can make an argument helped themselves it’s Ridder and Willis. Ridder almost by default, just by being consistent. I’m not saying he had a great week, but he comes out ahead by just looking steady. And he was very steady. The highs weren’t that high, but there was no Whoa, what was that? Willis has an absolute cannon; he can rip it. He doesn’t read the defense, but his arm even more live than on tape.”

One consistent theme with Breer’s reporting was the praise Malik Willis’ athleticism got, but even those small doses of praise were heavily qualified.

“You might have some people who’d take Malik [Willis] over Mac [Jones], just because of the physical stuff,” one AFC front-office executive told Breer in regard to how this year’s class compared to last. “But comparing them to Mac’s résumé, [Kenny] Pickett had nice stats, but he wasn’t Mac. So yes, I’d say all these guys are behind those five. … Pickett and [Desmond] Ridder look more ready to go. They’re playing a calmer brand of football. The ceiling’s not as high, but they’re more confident, they’ve played a lot, they’ve been on good teams, they’re pretty consistent players. Willis is a wild card. He could be something, but also could be nothing. That one would scare me. … Even the way he played this week, he holds the ball, runs around a lot, and it’s gonna take him a long time to get adjusted.”

Now, this certainly doesn’t reflect the sentiment of every front-office employee of the league, but it definitely should give fans a good read of just how dismal the young quarterback market is this season.

Those scathing reports should cement the Broncos’ desire to avoid this quarterback class entirely, and instead target a veteran superstar like Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson.

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