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Big fall-off after Vick


Virginia Tech's Michael Vick is the premier quarterback in the draft. His talents are worthy of the number one overall selection, which San Diego is poised to make.

Vick has all of the ingredients the contemporary game demands. He has a strong arm, a quick release and adequate accuracy. His mobility is legendary, and that makes him a prototype quarterback in the modern game.

His upside is enormous, but the Chargers will have to dedicate themselves to his development. Vick only has two years of major college football under his belt, and he played in an offense that featured his running more than his passing.

After Vick, there is a major fall-off at the position. Purdue's Drew Brees would seem to be the only other quarterback with a first-round grade.

Brees is the exact opposite of Vick. Brees lacks Vick-like athletic ability, and his arm strength is suspect. Some have compared him to Eric Zeier. The team that drafts Brees will do so because they've fallen in love with Brees' instincts for the position, which are very strong.

Rutgers' Mike McMahon has really moved up the charts since he posted an impressive 40 time at the Indy scouting combine. McMahon has nice size, mobility, athleticism and arm strength. He played in a bad college program and was able to endure weekly beatings. With development, he could become a plum pick.

Florida State's Chris Weinke played in a big-time program and was most impressive in his ability to manage and direct an offense. That may be a product of his age, 28, which won't help Weinke in the draft. He has great size and a good arm, but he's not as mobile as teams want in a quarterback today. He is thought to carry a fourth-round grade.

Jesse Palmer has moved up the charts. The Florida passer showed well at the Senior Bowl. He has adequate size, arm strength and mobility, and has already had his game developed by Steve Spurrier. Palmer is a fourth-round prospect.

Washington's Marques Tuiasosopo offers great intangibles. He knows how to win. Of course, that's another way of saying he lacks NFL-caliber skills. He'll be a late-round pick for a team looking for a backup.

The same can be said of LSU's Josh Booty, Georgia's Quincy Carter, Iowa State's Sage Rosenfels and Oklahoma's Josh Heupel. Booty and Carter have big-time arms but lack instincts for the position. Rosenfels and Heupel have less-than-desirable arms.

There are some interesting candidates who don't carry draftable grades: Penn State's Rashard Casey is a great athlete with a lively arm, but little else; Kansas State's Jon Beasley has a powerful arm, but is erratic; Arizona's Ortege Jenkins is a good enough runner to be considered a running back prospect.

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