Courtesy of ESPN
Jon Gruden’s QB Camp series, a signature element of ESPN’s annual pre-NFL Draft coverage, returns for its eighth year this spring. In all, 50 quarterbacks – including 15 current NFL starters – have participated in the series. Notable players include Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson, former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck, 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton, two-time Pro Bowler Derek Carr and 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott, who was mentored by Gruden just a year ago.
In the coming weeks, Gruden will welcome seven quarterbacks to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando where he’ll spend time with each prospect in the film room and on the field. Excerpts of the visits will be featured the same day on SportsCenter, NFL Live and other shows.
Two-time Heisman Trophy finalist Deshaun Watson, who led Clemson to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship, headlines this year’s QB Camp class. Watson is the most decorated college player the past two seasons, winning both the Dave O’Brien Award and Manning Award twice (2015 and 2016), as well as the 2016 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
Watson and fellow QB Camp participant Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina are both projected as first-round picks by ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay in their latest NFL Mock 2.0 projections.
In all, the 2017 Gruden’s QB Camp class includes:
- Joshua Dobbs (Tennessee)
- Brad Kaaya (Miami, Fla.)
- DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame)
- Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech)
- Nathan Peterman (Pittsburgh)
- Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina)
- Deshaun Watson (Clemson)
ESPN’s Super Bowl-winning coach and Monday Night Football analyst discusses each of the quarterbacks who will be part of his eighth Gruden’s QB Camp:
On Kaaya: “Kaaya is interesting. The Hurricanes combine the I-formation with the college spread system, and he’s an accurate passer. He got hit a lot this year, but when he has protection, he can throw the football. He relies on timing and he’s going to be a pocket-passer for someone who really wants to accentuate that.”
On the overall 2017 QB Camp class: “There’s some unknowns this year, but this class starts with Deshaun Watson. His body of work is as impressive as any quarterback we’ve had come through QB Camp. I got the chance to see him live and I think he has a ton of ability. There are some underclassmen coming out who have questions that need to be answered. That’s why this process is exciting. But three or four years from now, I expect people will be saying this is a pretty good quarterback class.”
New episodes of Gruden’s QB Camp begin Tuesday, April 11 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2) with additional shows airing across multiple ESPN networks and ABC leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft, including the Best of Gruden’s QB Camp on Thursday, April 13 (7 p.m., ESPN). (Note: The entire Gruden’s QB Camp TV schedule will be released later this month and available on ESPN Media Zone.) In addition, all past QB Camp shows will be available via ESPN Classic Video on Demand from April through June.