by Greg Gabriel, Buffalo Sports Page NFL Expert

Not all the quarterbacks are first round types. History has shown us that quarterbacks drafted later than the opening round can become productive pros. To name a few, look at Washington’s free agent-to-be Kirk Cousins and Dallas Cowboy quarterback Dak Prescott. Neither got drafted in the first two rounds of the Draft, yet have become very good NFL quarterbacks.

The following are two guys that I have done a lot of work on and I feel will eventually become starting quarterbacks in the NFL.

Kyle Lauletta – QB – Richmond

Size: 6′ 2 1/2″ Weight: 217 lbs  Speed: 4.78 (estimated)

Strong Points –Very productive. Three year starter with 34 starts. Good size. Good athlete with quick feet. Has some speed. Shows a good feel for pass rushers and can extend and make plays with his feet. Has a quick tight delivery with good arm strength. Throws a tight ball. Accurate with good ball placement. Smart and a top leader. Shows he can go through a progression. Processes quickly, is patient and a good decision maker. Has a quick release. Keeps turnovers to a minimum. Lot of upside.

Weak Points –Plays at a lower level of comp. Tore his ACL (right knee in game 11 of the 2016 season and missed the rest of the season. While his arm is good, he doesn’t have a canon. He has not taken many snaps from under center.

Summation-Kyle is a fifth-year senior and a three year starter. Very experienced with 34 starts. His dad played quarterback for Navy. Kyle has strong leadership skills and is a very hard worker. Strong football character. Has good mechanics and a quick release. Throws with accuracy both short and long. Has completed better than 63% of his throws for his entire career. Always shows good ball placement. Able to go through a progression, is patient and makes good decision. He has a good enough arm but no canon. With his athleticism he can extend and make plays with his feet. Makes big plays when needed. Overall, probably the best small school quarterback in the draft. Played well in the Senior Bowl. Has the talent and intangibles to become an eventual starter in the NFL. At worst he is a quality backup a team can win with. A lot of upside to this player.

Brandon Silvers – QB – Troy St.

Size: 6′ 2″ Weight: 224 lbs.  Speed: 4.76 (estimated)

Strong Points –Four year starter. Has a better than 64% career completion percentage. Touchdown-to-interception ratio is excellent. Very good QB size to go along with good to real good athleticism. Strong arm, throws a tight ball. Poised, has a good feel for pass rushers and can extend plays with his feet. Can make the tight window throw. Strong leader. Does a good job reading defenses and makes good decisions. Throws well on the run.

Weak Points –Did not play in a top conference. Age, he will be a 24 year old rookie. Because he trusts his arm, he will force some throws. Plays mostly in a half-field read offense.

Summation –Brandon has been at Troy five years and has been a starter for four of them. He redshirted as a true freshman. In my opinion he is one of the more underrated quarterback prospects in this Draft. Played in the Sun Belt Conference but has played well when up against better competition. He is a mature leader with good physical skills for the position. He has a strong arm, is accurate with good ball placement, makes good decision and is a strong leader. Being a four year starter, he has grown and improved every year and is one of the more experienced QB’s available this year. While he won’t get drafted among the top tier quarterbacks, he should go in that second group. Will need time to develop and learn the NFL game but he has NFL starter potential and traits. A very good mid-round pick.

Greg takes a look at the top quarterbacks in the Draft, including  Baker Mayfield & Mason Rudolph, along with Josh Allen.

Greg Gabriel

Gabriel has spent most of his adult life as an evaluator for various NFL clubs. He started his career in 1991 working for the Buffalo Bills as a part time scout under dormer Bills Director of Player Personnel Norm Pollom. He left the Bills in June 1984 to become the Great Lakes area scout for National Football Scouting. Following the 1984 season, Gabriel joined the New York Giants as their Midwest area scout and was promoted to Director of Player Development in 1996. The Giants went to three Super Bowls and won two during Gabriel’s time with the club.

Following the Giants appearance versus the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV, Greg became Director of College Scouting for the Chicago Bears under General Manager Jerry Angelo. He held that position until June of 2010. During his time with Chicago, the Bears won three Division titles and the 2006 NFC Championship. In his nine Drafts with the Bears, the team drafted 12 future Pro Bowl performers such perennial Pro Bowler Matt Forte, Tommie Harris, Devin Hester, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman.

In the 2012 – 2013 season, Gabriel was a consultant for the Philadelphia Eagles Scouting Department and has since done some small scouting roles for various NFL clubs.

Since leaving the NFL Gabriel has been a contributor for the National Football Post, the Bleacher Report and more recently Pro Football Weekly. He also is both a writer and contributor for WSCR (670the Score) in Chicago. The last three years he has authored the Pro Football Weekly Draft Guide.
Gabriel grew up in Amherst and is a 1974 graduate of Canisius College where he was a member of the football team. He and his wife Robin currently resides in the Chicago area.

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