Ed. Note: Bumped from the FanPost section. -BG
There is a very insightful piece running right now in the Washington Post by Thomas Boswell on the kind of QB that is most likely to be successful in the NFL today. Given the ferocity and unpredictability of current defenses, Boswell argues, what's needed is a QB like Ben Roethlisberger or Aaron Rodgers who can escape the pocket when under pressure and improvise to make things happen. He is not really calling for a "running QB" who can consistently rack up big yardage with his feet, but rather someone who is tough, elusive and creative. He points out that such QBs don't necessarily put up great passing stats - in his view the day of the pocket passer who has one 300 yard game after another is about over. Rather, the QBs who are going to be most successful today are the ones who can make big plays at critical moments by escaping the rush.
Boswell doesn't mention it, but I would add that the ideal QB also has to be accurate on the run. He should be able not only to get out of the clutches of oncoming blitzers, but be able consistently to throw passes that his receivers can catch. It's worth noting that Ryan Fitzpatrick has many of the qualities Boswell mentions, but perhaps not the accuracy.
It seems to me that these are the characteristics we should be looking for (and that Buddy Nix should be seeking as well) in judging the current crop of QBs available in the 2011 NFL Draft. Who comes closest to Rodgers or Big Ben? I frankly am not sure how to answer that question; all I'm saying is that it is the right question to ask.