Almost all of the hype surrounding the 2017 NFL quarterback class has been dedicated to Mitch Trubisky, DeShone Kizer, and Deshaun Watson. If quarterback-needy teams want to find their next franchise quarterback in the draft, those are the three candidates they’re likely targeting.
It might be time, though, to throw another name into the mix: Davis Webb.
“If I were a team like Cleveland, I would take impact players at (pick Nos.) 1 and 12 and then trade back into the bottom of the first round for Davis Webb,” an NFL executive told NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah. “I think he will end up being the best quarterback of this draft class.”
If you’re wondering who Webb is, well, that’s entirely fair considering most of his draft stock is built on one season at Cal, a school that often finishes their games after midnight. Plus, the last quarterback to come out of Berkeley, 2016 top overall pick Jared Goff, might’ve been a tad overhyped based on his first season in the NFL.
So, here’s what you need to know about Webb: He actually spent the first three years of his college career at Texas Tech, where he posted solid numbers: a 61.4 completion percentage, 7.4 yards per attempt, 46 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions. But Webb eventually lost his starting job and, as a result, transferred to Cal before the 2016 season. The Bears needed a quarterback after Jared Goff left for the NFL and they got one in Webb.
In his one season at Berkeley, Webb completed 61.6 percent of his passes, averaged 6.9 yards per attempt, and threw 37 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. For the sake of comparison, in Goff’s final season at Cal, he completed 64.5 percent of his passes, averaged 8.9 yards per attempt, and threw 43 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. So no, Webb did not outperform Goff in the same offensive system, which is why he isn’t regarded as a first-round pick.
But Webb does ooze potential. Having covered both Goff and Webb at Cal, I don’t think it’d be wrong to suggest that Webb boasts better arm strength than Goff. But I’d also say that Webb was erratic and probably lacked some of the qualities (footwork, reading defenses, and decision making) that made Goff so dominant in college. In a way, he sorta reminded me of Jay Cutler in the sense that he was capable of making the greatest throw and the worst throw on consecutive snaps.
Webb did win the MVP award at the Senior Bowl, going 11 of 16 for 165 yards and a touchdown. The last player to win MVP at the Senior Bowl? Dak Prescott. Of course, that doesn’t mean Webb is the next Prescott, but it’s certainly worth noting.
Webb also doesn’t lack confidence. That much was clear when I covered him and he made that clear at the Senior Bowl, when he told CBS Chicago that adapting to an NFL offense won’t be an issue.
Then, just earlier this month, he said that he was the best thrower in the country.
“Ask the coaches at Texas Tech and now at Cal and they’ll all tell you the same things,” Webb told CSNBayArea.com. “I’m the hardest worker in the facility, I’m a great teammate.
“And I can spin the rock better than anybody in the country.”
All of that -- his arm, his confident personality, his potential -- definitely makes Webb a draftable player, someone a team should take a chance on and develop over time. But it still seems unlikely that he will be selected over the three quarterbacks listed above.
In Dane Brugler’s latest mock draft, he had Kizer, Trubisky, and Watson all going in the top 10. He did not have a team picking Webb, who is ranked as the seventh QB in the 2017 class by NFLDraftScout.com, in the first round.