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Prospect Profiles: The Quarterbacks Class

In order to familiarize fans with some of the top names in the 2017 NFL Draft, Chargers.com will be highlighting top prospects by position each week leading up to the first day of the draft on April 27th.

First up is a look at some of the premiere quarterbacks according to pundits.

DeShone Kizer

School: Notre Dame
Height: 6-4
Weight: 233 pounds
NFL Network Pro Comparison: Steve McNair

There may not be a more physically gifted QB in this year's draft than DeShone Kizer.

The Notre Dame star completed 212 of 361 passes last season (58.7%) for 26 touchdowns and a 145.6 passer rating.  He started last year on fire, accounting for six total touchdowns in the season opener before throwing for over 300 yards in consecutive games against Michigan State, Duke and Syracuse.

However, Kizer is far from a finished product as the Fighting Irish split time at quarterback between the 6-4, 233 pound passer and Malik Zaire.

Kizer boasts a powerful arm, making all the throws with force and touch. He is also is capable of catching fire at a moment's notice to singlehandedly win a game.  However, he struggled with decision making at times and that led to a second-half dip in his production in 2016.

Should he put it all together many pundits believe Kizer has the tools to be the NFL's next great young QB.

Combine Metrics
40-Yard Dash:4.83 seconds
Vertical Jump: 30.5 inches
Broad Jump: 107.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 7.40 seconds

Patrick Mahomes

School: Texas Tech
Height: 6-2
Weight: 225 pounds
*NFL Network Pro Comparison: Jay Cutler *

Perhaps no quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft has a higher ceiling than Patrick Mahomes. 

After all, it's almost impossible to comprehend his performance last season against Oklahoma.

Mahomes completed 52 of 88 passes for 734 yards and five touchdowns, adding another 85 yards on the ground with two rushing scores.  His 819 yards of total offense were the most in NCAA history, while his 734 passing yards tied the all-time collegiate mark.

The son of a former MLB pitcher, Mahomes possesses a rocket right arm and plays with an undeniable swagger.  He is fresh off an impressive junior season in which he threw for 5,052 yards and 41 touchdowns while completing 388 of 591 passes (65.7%).  Mahomes was a second-team All-Big 12 pick in 2016 as he led FBS with 421 passing yards per game.

However, draft experts believe the Texas Tech product will need a few years of seasoning in order to maximize his potential.  They believe his best option would be to go to a team with an established quarterback, allowing Mahomes to adjust at his own pace for a couple years before taking over as a starter.

Combine Metrics
40-Yard Dash:4.80 seconds
Vertical Jump: 30.0 inches
Broad Jump: 114.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 6.88 seconds

Nathan Peterman

School: Pittsburgh
Height: 6-2
Weight: 226 pounds
NFL Network Pro Comparison: Derek Carr

Peterman transferred to Pittsburgh in 2015 after two seasons at Tennessee, which began in auspicious fashion when he broke his hand in his first start.

From the moment he suited up for the Panthers, he showed why he was a hotly recruited QB coming out of high school.  He started 11 games in 2015, throwing for 2,287 yards and 20 touchdowns.  Peterman followed that up with another strong season in 2016, totaling 2,866 yards and 27 touchdowns for a 163.5 QB rating. Overall, he threw for 47 touchdowns over his two seasons in the Steel City while tossing just 15 interceptions.

Peterman's top game came against the eventual national champions when he led Pittsburgh to a 43-42 win over Clemson in early November.  The senior completed 22 of 37 passes for 308 yards and five touchdowns as the Panthers pulled off the upset.

A polished passer, pundits rave about Peterman's ability to go through the progressions to find the open man. While most college programs run a spread offense, he thrived in the pro-style system that is run by most NFL teams. He also has a proven track record when it comes to the deep ball, completing 46.2% of his passes downfield.

Combine Metrics
40-Yard Dash:4.82 seconds
Vertical Jump: 31.0 inches
Broad Jump: 7.14.0 inches

Mitchell Trubisky

School: North Carolina
Height: 6-2
Weight: 222 pounds
NFL Network Pro Comparison: Matthew Stafford

Reminding many pundits of Carson Wentz, Matthew Stafford and Andy Dalton, UNC's Mitchell Trubisky is the quarterback with the most buzz heading into the NFL Draft.

In his first year starting for the Tar Heels, the dual-threat QB established himself as a top prospect worthy of a high pick.  Trubisky completed 304 of 446 attempts (68.2%) for 3,748 yards and 30 touchdowns for a 158.3 passer rating. He also ran for 398 yards and another six touchdowns

Trubisky cemented his status as a top-flight prospect with three consecutive games early in the year in which he surpassed 400 passing yards and threw at least three touchdowns. His top performance came in a 37-36 win over Pittsburgh in which he completed 35 of 46 attempts for 453 yards and five TDs.

Blessed with a cannon for an arm, Trubisky's ability to elude the pass rush often led to big plays for UNC. Pundits also rave about his ability to make all the throws from in the pocket or on the run.  While he operated mainly out of shotgun in college, his high football IQ and ability to read the field should translate to any system in the NFL. 

Combine Metrics
40-Yard Dash:4.67 seconds
Vertical Jump: 27.5 inches
Broad Jump: 116.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 6.87 seconds

Deshaun Watson

School: Clemson
Height: 6-2
Weight: 221 pounds
NFL Network Pro Comparison: Marcus Mariota

A two-time Heisman Trophy finalist, Watson ended his Clemson career in dramatic fashion by marching the Tigers down the field for the game-winning touchdown to win the National Championship.  True to his calling hard, he was at his best when the team needed him most in order to defeat Alabama, completing 36 of 56 passes for 420 yards and three touchdowns. If that wasn't enough, he also chipped in with 42 rushing yards and another TD on the ground.

Overall, Watson finished his junior season completing 388 of 579 attempts (67.05) for 4,593 yards and 41 touchdowns for a 151.1 passer rating. He also ran for 629 yards and nine TDs one year after rushing for 1,105 yards and 12 scores.

Watson is a nightmare to try to bring down as he was only sacked 32 times over his final 1,181 drop backs. In addition to his rare athleticism, he possess strong vision with the ability to make all the throws.  The biggest knock against Watson is his tendency to throw interceptions as the opposition picked him off 17 times last season. Still, after leading Clemson to back-to-back title game appearances, he is a proven winner and a strong candidate to be the first QB selected in 2017.

Combine Metrics
40-Yard Dash:4.66 seconds
Vertical Jump: 32.5 inches
Broad Jump: 119.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 6.95 seconds

Davis Webb

School: California
Height: 6-5
Weight: 229 pounds
NFL Network Pro Comparison: Brock Osweiler

Perhaps no quarterback saw his draft stock rise more over the past year more than Davis Webb, punctuated by a lights out performance in the Senior Bowl.  He lit up the annual all-star showcase, earning MVP honors by completing 11 of 16 passes for 165 yards including a perfectly thrown 39-yard touchdown.

Now, many pundits believe he'll be among the top five quarters to hear his name called on draft day.

After spending his first three seasons at Texas Tech, Webb transferred to Cal where he authored an impressive senior campaign.  He completed 382 passes for 4,295 yards and 37 touchdowns earning an impressive 135.6 passer rating. His 620 attempts were the most in college football, while ranking second in passing yards, third in completions and fifth in passing touchdowns. 

A strong armed passer, pundits rave about the 6-5, 229-pounder's poise in the pocket.  While most of his throws came between the hashes on short and intermediate routes at Cal, he's shown a knack for dropping the ball in a bucket when going deep. Overall, Webb possesses the raw skillset NFL teams covet when identifying young quarterbacks.

Combine Metrics
40-Yard Dash:4.79 seconds
Vertical Jump: 33.0 inches
Broad Jump: 118.0 inches

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed above do not represent the opinions or policies of the Los Angeles Chargers' front office staff, coaches or executives.

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