Many eyebrows were raised a couple of weeks ago when Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler announced he was passing up his senior season with the Sun Devils to enter the NFL Draft.
Osweiler did become the first quarterback in ASU history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a single season, but the Devils lost five straight games to finish the year a disappointing 6-7 and the junior from Kalispell, Montana only has 15 career starts on his résumé.
There seems to be some uncertainty as to where Osweiler could fall in the draft, but one of the foremost experts in the business, Todd McShay of ESPN and Scouts, Inc., thinks the ASU product could rise into the late first round come April.
McShay and Mel Kiper discussed on ESPN's Sportscenter Thursday morning which quarterbacks could follow Andrew Luck of Stanford and Robert Griffin III of Baylor in the pecking order of this year's first round.
"Brock Osweiler, the more tape I watch out of him coming out of Arizona State, the more impressed I am with him," McShay said. "He's got a unique delivery and he's not very fundamentally sound yet, but he's got unbelievable physical tools and he's a very good leader. I think he could move into that first round."
McShay also mentioned Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M and Arizona's Nick Foles as candidates to improve their stock enough to hear their names called in the first round, but Kiper disagreed.
"I'd say right now, I can't see any of those quarterbacks going in the late first, based on grade. We thought Andy Dalton was going to be a first round pick and he didn't go until the early second round," he said. "If Andy Dalton's not a first round pick, I can't see Osweiler, Foles or Tannehill, and Tannehill's got an injury right now, I can't see how any of those guys goes in the first round if Dalton's not a one, because these guys are not in the league in terms of grade where with what Dalton had going into this draft."
The NFL Draft begins April 26th.
Osweiler/QB discussion begins at 4:17 mark of video