Quarterback is by far the hardest position to play in all of the sports. GM’s put so much into the process it is maddening. The truth is there are not 10 prospects that will stick around in this year’s class. There rarely is. Regardless let’s get to work
Top 5 QBs
1) Joe Burrow: Joe Burrow is proof of what can happen in just one year. Not only were his numbers off the chart, his all-in approach to the game seemed to do a complete 180. He was light years above all others in tight-window throws. It was clear he put in the time as his overall football IQ seemed to make a meteoric rise year to year. Borrow excels at the little intangibles that most prospects coming out of college struggle with. He is mechanically sound, not afraid to check down, finds the right receiver, and moves around in the pocket well. His detractors say he lacks that “rocket arm.” My feeling about playing quarterback at that level sounds simple although it may be the toughest thing to do in sports. Making the right throw to the right person at the right time is an accomplishment only a few can perform. Nobody did it better than this guy in 2019. The big question is can he continue to play at this level or was it just one year? Most of the time GM’s just fall in love with the wrong player in their desire to find the next Tom Brady. Burrow is worthy of this number one pick and rarely is that said.
2) Tua Tagovaviola: Again what a difference a year makes. Entering 2019 there was no QB I was more in love with then Tua. I have seen him play live multiple times and he never disappointed. I was actually screaming for him to start day one of his freshman year. There is a short list of all-time great left-handed quarterbacks in the NFL but this kid has all the physical skills to be the next. I am a bit closer to the program and what most do not talk about is a few of the surgeries he had were to speed up recovery to play in the playoffs. Granted yes they were surgeries but I wonder what would have happened if Alabama was a 500 team not competing for a National Championship every year? He is a precision thrower of the football. Great vision, throws his receivers open. Not afraid to make the big or deep throw. Tua is competent in the pocket and will wait to throw it to the right player. The negatives are obvious. With all of the lower body surgeries he has undergone, can he stay healthy for 16 games? I have to be honest, I have my doubts but can a team afford to pass him up in case he stays healthy? I am sure anyone with a high draft pick still is going back and forth. Someone will grab this kid early and I hope it works out.
3) Justin Herbert: Herbert has the size and arm strength you would want if you were building the perfect NFL quarterback. He comes from an NFL ready offense and passing schemes. Justin reads his progressions as well as sells play action. He is more athletic then he gets credit for. So why isn’t everyone in love with this kid? I don’t want to pass judgment on someone’s heart as I am sure this kid wants to win as bad as most. But I don’t see that killer instinct you see with the greats. This kid could easily prove me wrong and become a 12-year starter. as I hope he does. Truth be told, he is 3rd because of his enormous physical potential but I am not sure some guys behind him don’t thrive more than him.
4) Jalen Hurts: Needs the right fit but I see Hurts as a shadow of Dak Prescott. Hurts can play in this league if you put him with the right talent. Anyone who takes him needs to scheme around his legs as well. I think if you gave Hurts a few years behind a veteran like Big Ben, Brady, Rivers or even Matt Ryan he would get the time to develop. He has experience in huge games in college and extraordinary leadership skills. I think Hurts has as much chance as turning into a starter as did Tim Tebow. There is a risk but if you have the luxury of time he may be worth the risk.
5) Jordan Love: Most likely he should be ahead of Hurts on this board but I could also make an argument that I like a few behind him better. Love is an extremely interesting prospect. He came into this year with huge expectations. The talent is most definitely there. He has a really quick release which is important at this level. What I can’t reconcile is, was he trying to overcompensate for the lack of talent with all the picks or was it more poor judgment? Make no mistake this kid has a big-time arm. It is just making sure the ball is going to the correct colored jersey is what I worry about. Also, I looked at his deep throws which he completed only 31% of the time but again was it a result of a lack of a supporting cast? This guy has a HUGE upside but also a HUGE downside. I keep hearing his name in the top 10. If you get him in round two he may be worth the risk but someone will fall in love with him (and granted there is a lot to love ) and reach for him way too early. Let’s just hope that gamble has its rewards because if you take him top 10 he may be the biggest gamble in the draft.
5-10 Ranked QB Options
6) Jacob Eason: He had an up and down college career. Eason is more of an old school pocket passer ( Matt Ryan ) with the new wave of quarterbacks being a bit more versatile. He has the size and a cannon of an arm to play at this level. The problem is he tends to take off when is being pressured. His arm makes up for being behind the top guys who read through their progressions quicker. Jacob throws the deep ball accurately but will need to learn to get rid of the ball when nothing is there. Again fit will be everything.
7) Anthony Gordon: Threw for over 5000 yards making the most of his one season as a starter. He has a quick-release and throws the ball from different angles. Some question whether he can handle an NFL pounding. A lot of drafts have a guy come out of the shadows to become a very good player. This kid has something different in his game. He will come in with no pressure and once he gets on a roster can work his way through. If there is a sleeper in this class it is Gordon.
8) James Morgan: Morgan is another interesting prospect that could be available day three. He loves to throw the deep ball and has a big arm but currently lacks the necessary touch. Morgan needs work on his footwork and pocket awareness. He is very raw with a huge arm but needs time to develop. If he slips to round 6 a team could stash him for a few years and try and develop.
9) Jake Fromm: If this was 1987 Fromm would be an ideal prospect. The position just calls for more mobility these days but he does have talent . Much like Hurts is a great locker room guy, Fromm knows the position but lacks the physical skills it will take to be a starter. Fromm reminds me of a Kellen Moore. One day he may be a coordinator or a career backup. You can’t have too many intelligent football minds around so if he is ok playing a backup role a team may sign him.
10) Bryce Perkins: Honestly Perkins could be higher up on this board. The way the NFL is played today Perkins seems to fit. He will never be a starter but should be on a roster. Reminds me of a streak shooter in the NBA who can come in and burry 7 in a row but can also miss a bunch. He doesn’t stay and read his progressions well and tends to take off if his primary option is not open. Perkins is another quality person and leader. He can be that guy to come in a few times a game and mix things up.
Sleepers Who Could Stick on a Roster
Tyler Huntley: Not just a runner but can extend a play with his legs finding the open receiver. He has a solid arm but tends to throw off his back foot a bit. Will go through his progressions but is nor afraid to tuck out and run. I think a lot of his issues come from his footwork which tends to throw off other mechanics. Huntley’s game is much like the game is played today which makes him valuable playing the opposing quarterback on the scout team. Don’t knock it, could give Huntley a long career where he could always be a play away.
Cole McDonald: I understand there has not been a great history of Hawaii Quarterbacks at this next level but this kid definitely put up the numbers. He has solid touch but lacks a ton of arm strength. Highly intelligent and reads defenses well. Climbs the pocket well and has the touch to drop it in on the intermediate throws. He has a quirky release that I am sure NFL coaches hate. One thing he absolutely needs to improve is his deep ball which probably gets hurt by the lack of strength. Will most likely be a late-round pick for a look or free agent.