It's never too early to start dissecting the upcoming quarterback class. A class where many are comparing it to that amazing 1983 draft. I am not sure it will have a few hall of famers like that class, but this one is pretty darn good. Which, is impressive since many top quarterbacks as they go on throughout the year eventually play themselves off draft boards. Instead, this class has done a great job living up to the hype and some sleepers are even shining through. If I miss any quarterbacks it may be because I have yet to see them, but if I do feel free to give me your own opinions of course.
1) Sam Darnold QB USC 6'4" 225 lbs
- Let's get Darnold out of the way here. If he declares he will be the unanimous number one pick if he continues to play like he is. He may not be the prettiest thrower out of the quarterback prospects, but he just knows how to throw guys open. That's a trait that the best quarterbacks in the league like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are able to do. I would like to see him play more games in college, but unlike Trubisky who had a small sample size Darnold's tape just jumps off the screen. I would much rather see him land with a generally stable franchise with a direction like the 49ers, Redskins, Bengals, Saints, or Cardinals. Even some dark horse trade ups by the Broncos, Chargers, or Giants who could use a new young quarterback the caliber of Darnold.
Draft Range: Top 10
2) Nick Fitzgerald QB Mississippi State 6'5" 230 lbs
- Fitzgerald is my rising sleeper quarterback in this class. To me he is a bigger and better version of Dak Prescott who I loved coming out of Mississippi State. He has a strong arm, solid accuracy, and way above average mobility. There will be detractors that question if he can translate to the NFL coming from Dan Mullen's spread scheme, but Prescott obviously did well. Not to say the two have the same mentality however, every year the NFL incorporates more spread schemes to combat the influx of college quarterbacks. Anytime I watch him he pops off the tape like Darnold and once more people watch him I bet he could rise up draft boards.
Draft Range: Top 10
3) Josh Rosen QB UCLA 6'4" 210 lbs
- I know it was shocking to see me rank Fitzgerald higher than Rosen, but I did that for a few reasons. For one he is just a bigger quarterback who can take a beating better than Rosen. I also think in today's NFL you need a quarterback who can move since o-line's continue to get worst due to limited practice time. No longer can you just sit in the pocket and work you need to avoid pressure from these elite pass rushers. However, Rosen does have the most natural throwing motion and arm strength out of all the quarterbacks. I do worry about his off field antics where he is very outspoken and seems like he loves the glitz of being a star player. If he lands in a big media market like New York I can see him really floundering.
Draft Range: Top 15
4) Clayton Thorson QB Northwestern 6'4" 225
- Another shocking quarterback I think that could rise up draft boards. It helps that former Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian is able to buck the trend of the school being only for smart people and not professional athletes. Thorson is a much better quarterback talent wise than Siemian with a much stronger arm and mechanics. He is also a solid enough athlete to move in the pocket. Sources also say he is a true leader who is close to all of his teammates and makes it a point to know all of them no matter their background. I suspect he will shine in the interviews leading up to the draft. A team like the Saints, Chargers, or a team where he can possibly learn from a veteran. For a guy that smart I am sure he will absorb anything they teach him.
Draft Range: 1st Round
5) Josh Allen QB Wyoming 6'5" 222 lbs
- A lot of people are super high on Allen, but I am a tad skeptical still. He is a talented quarterback, but he still has yet to elevate the program his couple years starting. I know that is unfair to judge on the kid, but guys like Drew Brees, Jay Cutler, and Big Ben all played for small schools and were able to win a lot of games during their time there. Allen has the tools to do that, but he is really struggling this year so far only completing 56 percent of his passes. In the pros that number can dip even further with the smaller throwing windows. I think he may be better off staying in school one more year where he can really stand out compared to this loaded draft class.
Draft Range: 1st to High 2nd round
6) Lamar Jackson QB Louisville 6'3" 205 lbs
- Not that I think he will succeed in the NFL, but I think I am obligated to give my opinion on one of college footballs most explosive players. He without a doubt is a great athlete, but I am not sure he is really cut out to be a quarterback. His accuracy is hit or miss and his first instinct with pressure is to take off. In the NFL, we all know that only leads to injuries. I also worry about his touch when he throws the ball where he only has one pitch basically, which is a fastball. Cam Newton is currently facing that problem where he can hit guys 20 yards downfield, but a short throw to the running back is a big weakness. Some team will draft him in the first round like so many other athletic college quarterbacks, but a smart team will have him rated as a 2nd rounder at best. In fact, a smart team may just draft him to be a gadget receiver instead if he can catch a football.
Draft Range: 1st to 2nd round
7) Mason Rudolph QB Oklahoma State 6'5" 235 lbs
- Rudolph to me is the quintessential developmental second round quarterback from this draft. Much like Patrick Mahomes should have been, but he rose in a bad quarterback class. To me he has a lot of tools you can use as a starter with his strong arm down field and solid accuracy. However, I have seen a bunch of quarterbacks come out of the Big 12 and their meek defensive competition fall flat on their faces in the NFL. I hope the opposite for Rudolph because he looks like a genuinely nice kid, but I think it may take some time for him to develop his ability to operate in a pro style offense.
Draft Range: 2nd round
8) Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma 6'2" 214 lbs
- Much like Lamar Jackson I feel like I am obligated to include Mayfield on this list since he is one of the leading men up for the Heisman so far. To me he is just too undersized to be a consistent starting quarterback at the next level. I know people will say what about Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, or Dak Prescott. Those are just three quarterbacks out of 32 starters and the two younger guys are still not done telling their stories. For all we know Wilson and Prescott might have seen their highs and will now plateau for the rest of their careers. To me he will be a fine back up quarterback with some leadership qualities to be a good locker room guy.
Draft Range: 3rd round
9) Riley Ferguson QB Memphis 6'4" 210 lbs
- Paxton Lynch's inability to translate to the NFL may push Ferguson's draft stock down a bit, but I think he will be properly rated as a possible developmental quarterback. His size is a bit on the small size like Mayfield's, but watching him play against UCLA last week he looked a lot thicker than his measurements. He will need to work on his progressions much like Lynch coming out of Memphis' simple offense. I do like his grit and athleticism. If given time I can see him being a sneaky starter at the next level.
Draft Range: 3rd Round
10) Luke Falk QB Washington State 6'4" 205 lbs
- Much like quarterbacks in the Big 12 I am always skeptical of quarterbacks from Air Raid simple offenses. No one is the king of that more than Mike Leech up in Pullman now. Falk is the beneficiary of easy reads and passing a ton. His arm is very nice, but like the few other quarterbacks ahead of him his size is a little small for the next level. Maybe like Ferguson, or Rudolph he can develop into a solid back up or emergency starter.
Draft Range: 3rd round
|Austin Vershel||I still think Rosen, Allen, and Darnold are the cream of the crop, even if they have not performed like it so far. Of the 3, I like Rosen to be the best.|
|Austin Vershel||Jury is out for me on Lamar Jackson. My guess: Late 1st.|
|Kyle Kunert||Go figure I talk up Fitzgerald and he goes and lays an egg. I agree with those three are gathering a lot of the headlines. To me Darnold is the best due to his level head and size. Rosen to me is a guy who's going care more about stuff off the field than on it. He has the best talent however, to me it depends on where he lands. Jackson, will definitely be given a shot due to his athleticism and tantalizing skill set to be a quarterback. Ultimately, I think he will end up being a receiver.|
|Austin Vershel||A Failed receiver*|