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Chris Bonner 2015 NFL Draft scouting report

You probably haven't heard of this Division II quarterback prospect, but his size, arm, and potential will put him on a scout's radar.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

All of Buffalo Rumblings' 2015 NFL Draft coverage can be found in our NFL Draft section. These scouting reports are part of our 2015 NFL Draft big board, which is also available under the "Library" header on our site's navigation bar.

Chris Bonner

  • Position: Quarterback (QB)
  • Class: Senior
  • College: Colorado State - Pueblo (Division II)
  • Ht/Wt: 6'7", 235 pounds

Scouting Report

Chris Bonner is a Division II quarterback (from the incredibly named CSU-Pueblo Thunderwolves) who will need time to adjust to a much faster game in the NFL. He's a huge guy, standing tall at 6'7" and weighing 235 pounds. The ball explodes out of his hand with excellent velocity, but he only throws fastballs, and that leads to people dropping passes. Bonner has one leg up on a lot of college quarterbacks: he played under center in a pro-style offense in college.

Bonner's accuracy has the potential to be good, but he misses high a few too many times, usually by not setting his feet or just putting too much mustard on the ball. He shows a knack for placing the ball in a favorable position for his receivers to catch it (i.e. away from defenders), when he's on target. He can anticipate some receivers coming open. Bonner doesn't actively read defender intentions well, and doesn't look off safeties enough, both of which led to turnovers in college. In spite of his size, Bonner moves well in the pocket and has good speed. With long, spindly limbs, though, he shouldn't be expected to run for yardage or break tackles. He shows some courage when pressured, but often hurries his mechanics as a result.


To understand how I feel about Bonner, you'll have to understand two of my favorite quarterback prospects in the last five years: Brock Osweiler and Ryan Nassib. Bonner reminds me of both. Like Nassib, he has a fearless attitude to throw the ball downfield and a good understanding of play fakes, but he also has a problematic lack of touch. Like Osweiler, he is a wonderful combination of size, arm, and athleticism, but he needs lots of time on the bench to smooth out his mechanics and refine his ability to read the field.

I've mentioned before how separating Day 3 quarterbacks into different rounds feels like a fool's errand. The number of quarterbacks with successful careers in Rounds 4-6 is so low compared to the ones drafted in the seventh round (and even the undrafted pool) that you might as well not bother selecting one with a more expensive draft pick. Especially in this weak quarterback class, I don't see a reason to inflate the value of a player like Bonner. I have him ranked as a seventh-round prospect, but based on his size and arm talent, he's ahead of Blake Sims and Shane Carden, two other prospects I scouted earlier this offseason.