where he interviews the top four QB prospects in this year's draft: Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy, and Tim Tebow. I watched each video twice and here are some of my thoughts for each prospect after the jump
Sam Bradford: I like his toughness. I've heard so much about this guy being brittle, but it's completely unwarranted. He may be physically brittle, but the guy is mentally tough. That being said, he can be a little reckless with his body. He needs to realize that wherever he goes, the entire franchise and city he plays for will be on his shoulders. He can't be running head first into an NFL linebacker on Sundays if he wants to be that franchise guy. His accuracy, timing, and pocket discipline is the best in this year's draft. He's certainly worthy of the #1 pick, despite his injury concerns.
Colt McCoy: He's a passionate guy with some limited physical tools. He's not the X's and O's guy that Bradford is, but he'll give 110% effort every snap. He'll have to get used to taking a lot of criticism at the most important position on the team. And he's already experienced a ton of that after being labeled a 1st round QB at the outset and now his stock has dropped down to the 2nd round. He knew what to do at Texas, but now he has to learn why he has to do certain things mechanically. He needs to become more of a student of the game.
Jimmy Clausen: He's an interesting prospect. He's got tons of production at the college level, at a big-time college program, in an NFL-type offense. But there's still something that is holding me back from being completely sold on him. And it's not his so-called "attitude" or "leadership" issues that everyone seems to clamor about. He actually takes criticism really well. Gruden points out a play during the year against NC where he audibles at the LOS to his WR to run a fade using hand-signals and the guy ends up staying on his original route (a post pattern) and Clausen just heaves the ball up for the fade and gets it picked off easily. Now this is a play that probably occurs every Saturday in college, but Gruden really lays into him telling him that he's disrespected Weis, Notre Dame, and his teammates by being lazy on the communication. The kid just takes it all in, he starts writing down what Gruden's steaming about. I like that. What I think is holding me back from calling this guy a franchise guy is that I just haven't seen him be a student of the game. It's along the same lines of what I was saying about McCoy before, except Clausen has other positives that make him a 1st round pick - his arm strength, accuracy, mental toughness, and experience in a pro-style offense. I like him, and could even justify taking him at 9. I can tell he wants to be great. But "wanting to become great" and "being great" are two different things so we'll see if he's reached his ceiling yet.
Tim Tebow: He's obviously the most intriguing QB prospect (at least in my eyes) that we've had in the past few years. Mentally, he should be the 1st overall pick. He knows his weaknesses, in kind and degree. He not only knows what he has to do, but he knows why he has to do it. I think he's leaps and bounds ahead of McCoy and Clausen mentally. Physically, he's got a strong arm, an NFL arm. He needs time to work on his mechanics. This might be no surprise, but it becomes more and more obvious every time I watch him interview and participate in throwing drills. Without a pass rush, in sweats, he looks like a good QB mechanically. But obviously the real test is when the bullets start flying - does he revert to his old habits or will he be mentally tough to stick to the program. Whoever gets him will be getting a QB that only has "fixable" issues. Everything else that is needed at the QB position he already has: leadership skills, poise, work ethic, passion for the game, and mental toughness. He just needs to fix his mechanical issues and he is not in a position to start right away (we already knew that). But going to a team like the Bills might actually be better for him than say going to the Patriots where he won't take an NFL snap until his 3rd year or so (barring injury of course). If he is able to get a start or two under his belt in 2010, it'll go a long way in helping and evaluating his improved mechanics. He's a top-flight athlete, and I wouldn't bet against him.
Here's the link to the Gruden videos if anyone's interested: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft10/columns/story?id=5033690