A total of 10 quarterbacks were selected in the 2017 NFL Draft – three of whom were taken in the first round. While they’re all in very different situations – some will start sooner than others – they’re each transitioning from the college game to the pros, which is difficult in many respects.
Since being drafted, every quarterback has spoken to the media, be it at a press conference or on a call with reporters. To catch you up on what they’ve said, we compiled a list of the best quotes from each quarterback.
He said: “There’s positives and negatives to playing right away and sitting behind someone. You have to learn from the guy in front of you and learn from their mistakes and also what they do well. It’s going to be a huge learning process for me, learning the offense.”
We say: Trubisky probably doesn’t know what he’s stepping into. Bears fans are restless, frustrated and tired of being the laughingstock of the NFC North for the past six years. He got a taste of the impatience fans have when he attended the Bulls game the day after the draft, being “welcomed” to a chorus of boos when he was placed on the big screen.
He’s going to have to learn how to handle adversity and ignore the criticism he’s bound to receive in Chicago. Whether it’s taking his time to develop as Mike Glennon’s backup or stepping in as the starter in Week 1, Trubisky has a long way to go before he’s accepted as “the guy” with fans.
Patrick GorskiPatrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (first round, No. 10 overall)
He said: “Coach (Andy) Reid, you know how well he coaches quarterbacks. Plus, the organization, and how well it’s been run in past years. You know you’re coming to a spot where you’re going to get coached well and get the best out of you, and the team’s going to be a great team.”
We say: Mahomes is right. Reid is one of the best coaches when it comes to developing quarterbacks and maximizing their potential, making it work with everyone from Donovan McNabb to Michael Vick to Alex Smith. He just knows how to get the most out of raw quarterbacks, and Mahomes enters the league as just that.
He said: “My focus is to get in, try to learn as quick as I can and play my role. Having that defense on the other side is going to make me better. Whenever I’m playing and competing against them, it’ll make the whole team better. So it’s a good thing to have as a quarterback.”
We say: Watson is stepping into a great situation with the Texans. Although he isn’t sure whether he’ll be the starter in Week 1, or whether he’ll take the job from Tom Savage at all as a rookie, he’ll be put in a great position to do so relatively early. Why? Because of the playmakers he has around him, and the defense lined up across from him.
As Watson alluded to, the Texans’ defense is outstanding. He’s going to go up against the likes of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney in practice every day, which will certainly make him a better quarterback.
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He said: “I think in this last year and more importantly in these last couple months, having knowledge on how much room for growth there is and to be going into a system in which everyone also acknowledges that around me and is not expecting me to come in and be some all-star right away is pretty cool because I know I can learn a lot. Obviously, the history here at the quarterback position is one that’s been recognized from quite a few people, and I’m just looking to do whatever I can to become a help to that. I don’t know whether that means competing with the guy next to me and pushing him or playing myself, but I’m going to do whatever I can do to contribute to this team as much as I can.”
We say: You’d be foolish to think Kizer doesn’t understand the history of futility the Browns have experienced at quarterback for the past two decades. He pointed it out in a somewhat kind way – it’s “been recognized from quite a few people” – but let one thing be known: Kizer is looking to put an end to Cleveland’s string of terrible quarterback play.
He said: “Eli Manning’s obviously a Hall of Fame quarterback. He’s playing his best football still today. They have a great receiving core, great offensive line, great defense. I couldn’t have gone to a better place, and I’m just very thankful that I did fall to such a good organization.”
We say: Webb was once projected to be a first-round pick, possibly sneaking into the back half of the opening 32 selections. Those reports were obviously false as he wound up slipping all the way to the third round. It was always hard to imagine him being a first-round pick, but the potential is there – and he landed in an ideal situation with the Giants.
It’s fair for Webb to say the Giants have a great receiving core and defense, but proclaiming that their offensive line is also great is … a stretch. Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart are suspect at their respective positions, and aren’t going to provide much protection in the pocket.
He said: “I think I’ll fit in very well. I come from ... a football background, so I know a lot about coaches and things like that. And I have a lot of, you know, my grandpa and uncles have a lot of great things to say about Coach Kyle Shanahan.
"And having watched his schemes and offensive philosophy and style, I think I’ll fit in very well with that."
We say: Beathard comes from a football background, having both an uncle and grandfather with history in the game. His grandfather, however, is the big name – one you’ve probably heard of. Bobby Beathard is a former NFL GM, and it’s not surprising to hear that C.J. talked to him throughout the pre-draft process. He said his grandpa told him great things about Shanahan, who’s somewhat of a quarterback guru.
He said: "(My relationship with Steelers third-round pick Cameron Sutton) really goes back to, like, fourth grade. We played pee-wee football against each other, a little travel football. We found out, of course, when I got to Tennessee. I won one game, he won the other games."
"Then you go into Tennessee, and of course we were roommates as freshmen. We walk in and we got the chance to grow and learn and become leaders and part of the program together as freshmen. We've been great friends over the past four years."
"He's one of the first people who called me and he FaceTimed me, and we were just celebrating on the phone. It was definitely a great reaction. I'll be excited to meet him up there in Pittsburgh."
We say: The Steelers double-dipped into the pool of Tennessee prospects this year, landing both Dobbs and Sutton, a former cornerback for the Volunteers. Having played the past few years together, Dobbs and Sutton got to know each other fairly well. Now, they’ll continue to build their relationship in Pittsburgh.
While Dobbs isn’t expected to play for at least a few seasons, having a fellow college teammate can help him adjust to life in the NFL. It won’t make a huge difference, but Dobbs and Sutton clearly have a great friendship and they can help each other at the next level.
He said: "Right now I am going through transition, where I get to go to a new team. Obviously, it is a lot different from college to the NFL. To already have gone through something like that I think it is going to help me with the lessons I learned there and then just to go in and help as much as I can."
We say: Peterman has the qualities you look for in an NFL quarterback, and he was one of the most pro-ready QBs in the draft, but he just doesn’t have the arm talent that the other players do.
Peterman doesn’t have as much of an adjustment to make from college to the NFL, working in a pro-style offense at Pitt. Like he said, it’s going to be “a lot different,” but compared to the transition Patrick Mahomes has, it should be a smooth jump.
Charles LeClaireCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Kaaya, Lions (sixth round, No. 215 overall)
He said: “Matt Stafford is a guy I’ve watched since he was in college. I’ve always been a big fan of him. He’s one of those guys that when I was in high school I used to play with him on Madden. He was always one of my favorite guys to watch in the league.”
We say: Not only did Kaaya enjoy playing as Stafford in the video game, but he also loved watching him sling it with the Lions.
Now, he gets to learn from him -- not a bad spot for a late-round pick who will need plenty of development time before he's ready to get on the field.
Logan BowlesLogan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
Chad Kelly, Broncos (seventh round, No. 253 overall)
He said: "You're going to have to answer for [off-field actions] in the [pre-draft] process. I have confidence in the way that I handled myself and the way I prepare myself for football games. I think they're excited to get me, and I'm really excited to be a part of a great franchise.''
We say: Kelly has the arm of a first-round quarterback, but the off-field issues of an undrafted free agent. He was taken with the last pick in the draft – Mr. Irrelevant – but he’s hardly irrelevant. He’s the nephew of Jim Kelly and has a past that’s filled with controversy and troubles. He handled them well leading up to the draft, but he’ll need to continue to prove himself in the NFL.