- Todd McShay, Scouts Inc.
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Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are at the head of the class among NFL quarterbacks right now, with Super Bowl rings and league-leading yardage totals to their credit. But who are the future stars at QB? These five college passers look like good bets to make the jump and become big names at the next level:alt="Brohm" width="65" height="90" border="0">
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1. Brian Brohm, Sr., Louisville
Brohm wisely chose to return to school for his senior year knowing that he can improve on a junior season in which he missed three games with a thumb injury, not to mention an injury to his non-throwing shoulder that required offseason surgery. There's no arguing that Brohm has benefited in the past from a wide-open, passer-friendly offense and great weapons around him. However, if he can kick the injury bug, I expect Brohm to put up similarly impressive numbers this fall in more of a pro-style attack under first-year head coach Steve Kragthorpe. One thing is certain, though: Brohm possesses the size, accuracy, field vision and mental toughness to succeed as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
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2. Colt McCoy, So., Texas
It's still early in his development, but I saw a lot of promising signs from McCoy as a freshman starter in 2006. He was a bit undersized last season and wound up taking a beating, but when I visited Austin this spring, the 6-foot-3 McCoy had bulked up nearly 20 pounds to 210 and looks much sturdier. Most intriguing about McCoy's game is his natural accuracy. He shows a rare ability to fit the ball into tight spots and his timing and touch as a passer are outstanding.
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3. Andre' Woodson, Sr., Kentucky
Woodson is still very much a work in progress, but no player in college football advanced more from 2005 to 2006. At 6-4, 215 pounds, Woodson has an ideal frame and is mobile for his size. He can drive the ball downfield with excellent velocity, and most importantly, he is finally seeing the entire field. If his decision making and accuracy continue to improve as a senior, Woodson will give Brohm a run for his money as the top quarterback selected in the 2008 NFL draft.
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4. Colt Brennan, Sr., Hawaii
Statistically, Brennan is one of the most accurate passers in college football today. In two seasons as a starter, he has completed 70.4 percent of his throws for 9,850 yards with 98 touchdowns and only 25 interceptions. He also possesses a strong arm, good field vision and confidence as a leader. Unfortunately, the spread system he plays in under coach June Jones is both a blessing and a curse. He has obviously reeled off some amazing stats, but NFL scouts are understandably wary of "overgrading" Brennan for fear that much of his success is merely a product of that passer-friendly system. In my opinion, Brennan can be an extremely successful passer in the NFL so long as he's not drafted in the top half of the first round and expected to contribute immediately. He must also continue to get bigger and stronger in order to hold up physically at the next level.
5. Nate Longshore, Jr., California
Jeff Tedford-coached quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers and Kyle Boller have struggled to meet high expectations in the NFL, but Tedford swears that Longshore is the most talented passer he has ever coached. The 6-5 junior possesses a prototypical NFL quarterback frame and shed nearly 15 pounds in the offseason, which will give him more agility to sidestep pass-rushers from within the pocket. When he has time to survey the field and step into his throws, few other quarterbacks in college football can shred a defense with the same kind of pinpoint accuracy.
1dEric D. Williams