NFL Draft: Analyzing the Top QBs
The NFL Draft is right around the corner and before we get to who will take who and what your team will take, we 1st have to go through the players. For the next few weeks, I will be going over every position in the upcoming NFL Draft. Today, we’ll be going over what many consider the most important position in the sport, the QB. So, without further ado, let’s begin highlighting the top QBs in the draft and what they bring to the table. (Listed players are in order of my rankings)
Sam Darnold – USC
Darnold had a much better red-shirted freshman year than he did last year. Going into the year, he was considered the #1 QB and some, including myself, still have him there. Darnold makes throws that I don’t think any other QB in the class can make. He’s 6’3 220 pounds and is very athletic for his size. He has a strong arm and plays similar to who Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger played in college.
Darnold’s biggest knock is the turnovers he had last year. He had 13 INTs and 9 lost fumbles. I am of the belief that the fumbles can be easily coached out of him by where he holds the ball and making sure he keeps 2 hands on the ball before throwing. When people look at all the throws he can make, his size, and his athleticism, it leads him to where we are now, the likely #1 picks in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Josh Rosen – UCLA
Rosen was arguably the most impressive QB on the field this year. He is 1 of the favorites of #DraftTwitter and he throws probably the most beautiful deep ball of any QB in the draft. Rosen throws with great touch and has very good footwork. It’s very obvious he will be a top 10 pick, the question is will it be #2 or someone coming into the backend of the top 10.
The 2 things bother me about Rosen. He’s not a great athlete and I’m not sold on his ability to get too much better. Rosen was a starter for 3 years at UCLA and if you look how he played as a freshman, compared to how he played last year, I don’t see that dramatic of a difference. Rosen is 6’4 226 but doesn’t have near the escape-ability that Darnold has, something that’s very important in the NFL.
Josh Allen – Wyoming
The whipping boy for #DraftTwitter has many attributes that many teams covet. He has the strongest arm in the draft. At 6’5 233 pounds, he is the biggest of the top QBs. And for a guy his size, he’s a darn good athlete with over 700 yards and 12 rushing TDs his last 2 years as a starter at Wyoming. He has even caught a pass each of the last 2 years with 1 of them being a TD.
Despite having everything you could physically want in a NFL QB, many do not view Allen as the top QB in the draft. Why you may ask? Allen hasn’t shown the touch or accuracy you want as your franchise QB. I feel that he throws the ball too hard o every play, including short and intermediate routes. If he can work on that, the sky is the limit to what he can do. His ability is too much for him to fall outside the top 10.
Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma
Mayfield is 1 of the most accurate passers in the draft on short and intermediate routes. He is a fierce competitor and despite a couple of on-field issues, he has proved to be a great leader, and more importantly, someone who people want to follow. Oklahoma coaching staff trusted him to control the entire offense and he did everything they could ask of him.
One thing that has me hung up on with Mayfield is his height. He is only 6’1 215 pounds and at that size, the only 2 starting NFL QBs that have success and are similar in size are Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. He can’t play like Brees, so he will have to be successful in playing like Wilson. That is a very hard thing to do, or count on as a team drafting him. Despite that, he will likely also be a top 10 pick.
Lamar Jackson – Louisville
Jackson has probably been the most controversial player in the entire draft and it has nothing to do with him. The former Heisman Trophy winner has a dynamic running ability, a good arm, and within the right offense, could have the quickest impact of all the QBs. Some “analysts” have suggested that he could or should be a WR, in my opinion, that’s lazy, irresponsible, and an ignorant suggestion.
Don’t get me wrong, Jackson has a lot of things to work on. His accuracy is not great. He ran an offense that pretty much gave him limited reads and the rest was backyard football. And at only 200 pounds, he honestly needs to put on 15-20 pounds just to take the normal pounding that a QB typically gets without constantly getting hurt.
Mason Rudolph – Oklahoma State
If there is a sleeper QB in this draft, it’s Rudolph. Throughout his 3+ years of experience, he’s shown to have a very good arm, good accuracy, and he rarely turns it over. He even has the size you want for your QB at 6’5 230 pounds. Rudolph is arguably the best pure pocket passer in this draft. He projects to be a 2nd round selection. Nonetheless, I have a feeling someone may trade into the back of round 1 to snatch him.
The biggest knock on Rudolph for me is his competition. The Big 12 isn’t exactly known as the biggest defensive conference. As a matter of fact, it’s arguably the worst defensive conference of all the power conferences. I know it’s hard to push someone down due to the unknown, but without seeing him top defenses on a regular basis, his video game numbers will always be in question.
There are other QBs that teams will select in the draft, however, the 6 above are the ones that expect to make an impact. We could, and will likely see all go within the 1st 40 picks. In fact, as many as 4 could go in the top 5. The power of having a QB will be fully on display early and often in this draft. Are they the top players overall, probably not. However, teams don’t give up future 1st and 2nd rounders to get a RB, DE, or an OL. The center of the football world will continue to revolve around the Quarterback position.