With the college football season ending, it’s time to start looking forward to the Draft. While not everyone has declared, we still have a good idea of who will and will not declare by the deadline. The most intriguing position every draft is the Quarterback. Fan bases get hungry for fresh young blood at the position, especially if their team’s QB has struggled throughout the season. Who are the best five going into 2018? After two weeks of charting, I came out with five draft-eligible QB’s going into 2018.
- Ryan Finley/JR/North Carolina State
- Good mechanics, good fluid motion with a quick release
- Very accurate in the intermediate passing game.
- Good arm strength, with ability to throw to all levels
- Good athletic ability, with good speed for his size
- Very inaccurate in the deep passing game
- Can predetermine throws pre-snap leading to interceptions
- Skinny frame; needs to add weight
Ryan Finley has had a good junior year. His size and arm strength make him an intriguing prospect. At 6’4″, 205 lbs., he excels in the short and intermediate passing game, showing good accuracy in those areas. His AA shines when he is able to avoid pressure and run for first downs. He needs to work on predetermining throws pre-snap. He did this on tape quite a bit and it led to some bad interceptions in critical situations. In addition, his deep passing is nonexistent at times with his YPA barley over 7.0. I see him as a day-two guy who works his way into the first.
- Sam Darnold/Redshirt Sophmore/USC
- Accurate to all levels of the field with good timing and anticipation
- Extremely tough player; will be seen doing downfield blocks for teammates
- Great outside the pocket, showing accuracy and playmaking ability on the run
- Handles pressure well, with good pocket movement to avoid sacks
- Bad mechanics and throwing motion can lead to overthrows
- Turnover machine, collecting 19 turnovers so far this season
- Has trouble reading zone coverages post-snap, allowing him to be fooled and throw into traffic
Sam Darnold was the consensus number-one pick going into the season after his top-notch Rose Bowl performance. This year has been a different story for him and the turnovers are the biggest reason some teams are starting to notice his flaws. His mechanics remind you of Blake Bortles, but Darnold is consistently more accurate with his wind up throwing motion that should still work in the NFL. If Darnold decides to come out, I do not see him getting out of the top 10 as we get to the end of April. Teams will love his toughness and his rising to the occasion in the biggest moments.
- Lamar Jackson/Junior/ Louisville
- Freakish athletic ability, dominating off RPO’s, and Zone Reads
- Good arm strength and velocity to throw to all levels of the field
- Great decision maker, rarely throwing into traffic and knows pro concepts
- Handles pressure well, avoiding pressure while keeping his eyes downfield
- Struggles with throws outside the numbers, displaying inconsistent accuracy.
- Struggles to reset his feet after avoiding pressure, causing overthrows.
The 2016 Heisman trophy winner is an intriguing prospect. He is an explosive runner with the football in his hands that reminds you of the glory days of Michael Vick. Jackson is a more developed passer than Vick when he was a prospect. He is still very raw as a passer, but his willingness to hang in the pocket and go through progressions would make me want to take a flier on the freak that is Lamar Jackson.
- Josh Rosen/Junior/UCLA
- Great mechanics, feet always in great position, and displays a quick release.
- Great velocity, able to zip throws into tight windows
- Handles pressure well, slides in the pocket to find room for throws
- Trusts his arm and will attempt to force balls into tight coverage
- Inconsistent on deep passes over 20 yards
Rosen is having a strong senior season and got NFL scout’s attention with his comeback versus Texas A&M. He is a strong-armed quarterback, with great mechanics that you would want to see from any QB throwing the ball. The problem with Rosen is his personality more than his ability. The questions of his leadership abilities and working with coaches will hurt him in the draft. From a pure passer standpoint, he is a for sure top-ten pick.
1. Baker Mayfield/Redshirt Sr./Oklahoma
- Extremely accurate QB who is great at all levels of the field
- Ability to extend plays and make plays with his feet on the fly
- A great leader that teammates love to play with
- Great decision maker, rarely throwing into traffic
- Always trying to make the big play, can lead to unnecessary sacks and pressures
- Fiery personality; can lead to him to making dumb decisions on the football field
If Baker Mayfield was 6’4″, this wouldn’t even be a debate for NFL teams. Baker is the best pure passer draft, displaying accuracy to all levels of the field consistently. He is breaking completion percentage and QB rating records as well. You can see Mayfield making NFL throws every game and his ability to extend plays makes him a quiet dual threat at the next level. The biggest question for Mayfield is his offense, he plays in the Big 12. The only decent QB’s from the Big 12 are Sam Bradford and Ryan Tannehill. That conference has just not produced a lot of NFL QB’s, and we still don’t know if Mahomes is any good yet. However, Mayfield is the best QB in college football and the best QB in the 2018 NFL draft.
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