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Nation's top 3 QBs: Connor Cook, Christian Hackenberg ... and Nate Sudfeld?

5/15/2015

We’ve covered just how special this QB class is for the B1G -- just look here, here and here -- but another interesting projection was thrown into the mix Thursday.

According to Scout.com’s most recent 2016 NFL mock draft, the top three quarterbacks in the nation include Michigan State’s Connor Cook, Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg … and Indiana’s Nate Sudfeld.

Sorry, Cardale Jones, you read that correctly. Here’s the explanation of Sudfeld’s No. 26 overall ranking from Jamie Newberg:

This player is technically as sound as they come. He has a beautiful and quick release and nice mechanics. In this area of the position he's further along than most. He can make all the passes, throw with velocity of change speeds. Sudfield [sic] has also shown the ability to throw with anticipation and to spots.

Most mock drafts, such as ones from ESPN.com’s Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr., tend to disagree. I’m not so sure, either. But that’s not what is important here. The fact is that Sudfeld is a talented quarterback that, yes, has been relatively overlooked this offseason. He got off to a slow start in 2014 before his injury, but he’s still the same signal-caller who threw for 2,500 yards and 21 TDs as a sophomore -- while helping the Hoosiers to the best passing offense in the conference.

Think of him as the 2016 edition of Jeremy Langford. (There are plenty of parallels, after all, with three historically talented players overshadowing him and both being labeled “sleepers.”)

If anything, this only adds more perceived strength to the B1G’s already Herculean quarterback class. Sure, it’s early and anything can happen -- fifth-round UCLA QB Brett Hundley was a projected top-15 pick less than six months ago -- but, even in a worst-case scenario, this should end up as one of the three best QB classes that the B1G has ever produced.

Now, thanks to Sudfeld’s addition as a projected first-rounder, the best-case scenario for the Big Ten just got a little better.