Thursday, December 18, 2003

What they say about Ben

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN analyst: Ranks Roethlisberger among the top five junior prospects in the country, along with Miami safety Sean Taylor, Miami tight end Kellen Winslow, Oklahoma defensive tackle Tommie Harris and Arkansas offensive tackle Shawn Andrews. He does not rank Roethlisberger in the NFL draft because he has not declared that he is leaving Miami early. Ranks Roethlisberger as the No. 2 quarterback (behind Mississippi's Eli Manning) and No. 5 overall for the 2004 NFL draft. Ranks Roethlisberger the seventh-best player in the country.

Mike Gottfried, ESPN analyst: "Ben Roethlisberger has more ability than any college quarterback I've seen in 10 years. He has everything - great athlete, size, composure. He makes it look easy. Great athletes play like they're having fun. That's him."

Jerry Jones, author of "The Drugstore List": "He's surely a first-rounder, a top-10 money guy. He has wonderful size, a lot of arm strength, great field presence, reads the field well, good athlete, pretty mobile for as big as he is.

"It's not inconceivable he could go before Eli Manning, and that's because it gets down to personal likes and dislikes. Ben's bigger and throws well - even out of the pocket. 'Throws out of the pocket' is on every NFL chart you see for evaluating quarterbacks. And when he gets flushed from the pocket, he's still looking to throw, not run. He has nothing left to prove. He's at his highest value right now."

Dave Lapham, former Bengals offensive lineman and radio analyst:

"He has everything they're looking for: size, delivers from the pocket, plenty of arm strength. Gets it there accurately to all quadrants of the field. Tremendous football savvy. Knows what defenses are doing in trying to take things away. Mobile, and elusive enough to make plays. Sees the whole field, even on the run, goes through all his options. It's hard for a right-handed quarterback to throw going to his left, but he does it well. Squares up shoulders every time. Bright, very durable, and yet still has big upside - has started only 60-some games at quarterback. His marketability is at an all-time high. He's no worse than the second quarterback chosen after Manning."

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