April 9, 2010 at 7:37 pm

NFL draft: Quarterbacks

Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen the only QBs who are first-round locks

Quarterback Sam Bradford of Oklahoma -- having eased concerns about shoulder surgery that ended his junior season -- is the heavy favorite to go No. 1 to St. Louis. (Getty Images)

This is the first in a series of previews covering the top prospects at each position in the NFL draft.

Allen Park -- The Lions still have plenty of holes to fill, but there's one area that won't be addressed early in this year's draft.

"Yeah, I don't think we're going to be taking a quarterback," laughed coach Jim Schwartz, who found his franchise signal-caller in Matthew Stafford with the No. 1 overall pick last year.

Good thing, too. Because the demand certainly outweighs the supply at the top of the 2010 class.

Oklahoma's Sam Bradford -- having eased concerns about shoulder surgery that ended his junior season -- is the heavy favorite to go No. 1 to St. Louis. Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen looks like the next best thing, thanks in part to his experience in a pro-style offense in college.

But that's it for the first-round locks.

Florida's Tim Tebow has an impressive resume as a two-time national champ and Heisman Trophy winner, and he boasts what Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo calls "off-the-charts" intangibles. But he's still viewed as a developmental project as an NFL quarterback because of his throwing mechanics and footwork.

Like Bradford, Texas' Colt McCoy is coming off shoulder surgery. And like Tebow, the winningest quarterback in NCAA history faces questions about making the transition from a shotgun spread offense.

Other mid- to late-round prospects include more prototypical, strong-armed quarterbacks such as Fordham's John Skelton, Mississippi's Jevon Snead and Cincinnati's Tony Pike, along with more athletic types such as West Virginia's Jarrett Brown and Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour, who has drawn interest from Tennessee, Carolina and Cincinnati.

Western Michigan's Tim Hiller is another late-round hopeful who'd be a priority free agent if he doesn't hear his name called.