Top Five 2019 NFL Draft Prospects- Quarterback
These young men will be tasked to be the future leaders of an NFL franchise. Today I rank the top five quarterback prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft.
1. Dwayne Haskins- Ohio State
Bio: After redshirting as a freshman, Dwayne Haskins served as JT Barrett's backup in 2017. He saw his first serious game action against Michigan when Barrett left the game due to injury and helped led the Buckeyes to the victory. Haskins became the starter the next season and it became a record setting year. He claimed the single season passing and touchdown records for Ohio State and the Big Ten. His 2018 performance earned him six Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week awards, First team All–Big Ten honors, the Griese–Brees Quarterback of the Year award, and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting. Haskins decided to forgo his final two years of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft.
Strengths: Groomed to be a quarterback from a young age. Rare passing production. Well educated and knows how to protect himself. Willing to take risks to win. Confident in his arm and capable ac makings game changing throws. Can read the whole field. Straightforward throwing motion. Able to get the ball out quick with a flick of the wrist. Goes through progressions with ball tucked in close and feet moving from receiver to receiver. Ball blasts out of his hand when going deep down field. Has the arm strength on long bombs to beat coverage and hit speedy receivers in stride perfectly. Able to alter flight path of passes depending on coverage and separation. Willing to stand in the pocket and take the hit to deliver the pass. Capable of making all the throws unconventionally. Can feel pressure coming off the edge and able to climb in the pocket to avoid pressure. Solid build for the position. Phenomenal clutch production down the stretch last season. Mentored by NFL receiver Mohamed Sanu, who coached him in Pop Warner.
Weaknesses: Only one season as a starter. Faced little adversity, in terms of challenging defenses. Front end can slide open too early causing throws to sail a bit. Follow through motion a little unorthodox. Still learning on how to deal with zone defenses. Was baited into bad throws on curl routes. Needs to show awareness of linebackers dropping into coverage. Has to improve anticipation on throws for intermediate routes. Must learn to take what the coverage gives him and check off prime receiver when needed. Internal clock needs to speed up in the face of the blitz. Could improve touch for easier, catchable balls. Accuracy is below average when moving outside the pocket. Not very graceful when scrambling. Fumbling issues due to carelessness and lack of concentration on snaps.
Pro Comparison: Teddy Bridgewater
Projected Round: 1
Possible Landing Spot: New York Giants
2. Drew Lock- Missouri
Bio: Midway through his freshman season, Drew Lock became the starter in 2015. The following year, he led the SEC with 3,399 passing yards and finished second in passing yards per game and yards per completion. In the 2017 season, Lock led Missouri to a 7-5 record and its first bowl season since 2014 while throwing for 3,695 yards, 44 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. His 44 touchdowns broke an SEC record for touchdown passes in a season which also led the FBS.
Strengths: Prototype combination of size and arm. Can scan the field and process quickly. Sudden and twitchy movements inside the pocket. Able to take the snap and get it out quickly at the blink of an eye. Throws with ideal anticipation. Confident and shows no fear when making challenging throws downfield. Launches balls on a rope up the seam and into holes in cover 2. Able to get safeties to move with his eyes. Isn't fixated on primary target which prevents defenders from jumping on routes. Nice touch and accuracy on deep balls to give receivers a chance to make a play. Was rarely sacked due to his mobility and feel for edge rushers coming. Keeps eyes downfield when on the move. Completion percentage a casualty due to high number of drops.
Weaknesses: Frustratingly inconsistent at times with accuracy and touch. Throws fastballs on short throws when touch is required. Arm thrower with shortened follow through. Throws behind his receivers on slants and crossing routes. Drops release point, causing passes to be batted down. Footwork needs more discipline inside the pocket. Production level drops when moving in the pocket. Doesn't square up his body when throwing on the move. Poise and decision making decline when faced elite defenses. Played well against mediocre teams but just average at best against SEC opponents in 2018. Was confused and erratic against Alabama and Georgia and had multiple turnovers.
Pro Comparison: Jay Cutler
Projected Round: 1
Possible Landing Spot: Jacksonville Jaguars
3. Daniel Jones- Duke
Bio: After redshirting in 2015, Daniel Jones became the starter the following year after a season ending injury to Thomas Sirk. In his three years as a starter, he threw for 6,201 yards, 52 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions while rushing for 1,323 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Strengths: Above average size for the position. Benefited learning under QB guru David Cutcliffe at Duke. Accomplished a lot with little help from skill position players. Quickly goes through his progressions. Sees opportunities for deep passes early and floats it on target. Able to change the play a the line when reading blitz and exploits the weaknesses in the defense. Great footwork inside the pocket and. Phenomenal accuracy on intermediate throws. Capable of delivering fastballs, but typically throws with touch. Delivers sideline throws with nice velocity. Brave enough to hang in the pocket and throw despite incoming defenders. High drop count hurt his completion percentage. Can sense when pressure is coming off the edge. Good athlete with scrambling ability to make a first down when a play breaks down. Smooth pocket mover to keep looking for an open target or run for yardage.
Weaknesses: Undersized in his lower body. Too many passes batted down at the line of scrimmage given his height. Benefited from a heavy play action and run/pass option scheme at Duke. Repeatedly pats the ball when going through receivers. Too often takes an extra second before cutting it loose. Small windup leads to average release speed. Attempts some throws into impossible spots. Needs better anticipation on next level throws. Throws too many unorthodox passes rather than improving mechanics. Willing to throw passes up for grabs rather than just taking a sack or throwing out of bounds. Poor ball handling in the face of pressure leads to fumbles. Too cavalier as a scrambler. Took some big hits as a runner rather than sliding or running out of bounds.
Pro Comparison: Rich Gannon
Projected Round: 1
Possible Landing Spot: Washington Redskins
4. Kyler Murray- Oklahoma
Bio: After following his Father's footsteps to Texas A&M, Kyler Murray transferred to Oklahoma after one season. After sitting out the 2016 due to transfer rules, he served as the backup to Baker Mayfield as he won the Heisman Trophy. After being named the starter the following year, Murray completed 69% of his passes for 4,361 yards, 42 touchdowns, and seven touchdowns while rushing for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns and winning the Heisman Trophy. While he is expected to report to the Oakland Athletics spring training camp, he still entered his name for the NFL Draft.
Strengths: The moment never seems too big for him. His play elevated in crucial, clutch moments. True dual threat quarterback. Restless ball delivery on run/pass option plays. Isn't focused on primary receiver and goes through progressions quickly. Above average release speed when throwing inside the pocket. Active arm to challenge safeties and throw in tight windows. Throws with touch for a nice, catchall ball. Outstanding, two-sport athlete. Baseball outfielder who can throw 50-yard passes with ease. Accurate and effective when throwing on the move. Takes advantage of tired defenses. Rare ability to extend plays and make game changing throws or runs. Extremely elusive inside the pocket. Was only sacked 18 times. Can slip trough tackles and outrun just about everyone on the field. A defensive coordinator's nightmare on zone reads and when getting outside the pocket.
Weaknesses: Obvious size limitations at 5'9" and 195 lbs. Only one season as the fulltime starter. Faced pretty mediocre defenses in the Big 12. Had just eight touchdowns to seven interceptions before 2018. Durability concerns due to small frame and style of play. Has to implement more open field slides when on the run. Could struggle to see downfield and throw over defenders from the pocket. Unnecessarily reverts to low angle throws at times. Footwork while throwing inconsistent occasionally. Eyes need to be better trained to avoid staring down targets. Challenges double coverage too often. Erratic mechanics causes throws to sail. Has to prove he can deliver throws on time in the middle of the field.
Pro Comparison: Doug Flutie
Projected Round: 1-2
Possible Landing Spot: New England Patriots
5. Ryan Finley- North Carolina State
Bio: Starting his college career at Boise State, Ryan Finley didn't become the starter until his redshirt sophomore year. He transferred to North Carolina State in 2016. In his three seasons at NC State, Finley threw for 10,501 yards, 60 touchdowns, and 25 interceptions.
Strengths: Experienced pro style passer who can read the entire field. Reads defenses and audible when necessary. Uses his eyes to bait safeties and hide his plan. Stands strong against incoming rushers. Good poise king the pocket to make blitz prone defenses pay. Confident in his arm ability. Keeps his accuracy on rollouts and on the move. Keeps receivers safe from defenders by deliver balls past them. Knows how to deliver back shoulder throws. Can adjust his throws to fit the ball between defenders on seam routes against cover 2. Accurate deep ball passer with solid touch. Capable scrambler when the need arises. Knows where his check down receiver is while still looking downfield. Able to direct route changes when on the move.
Weaknesses: Thin frame needs more muscle mass. Field general with low touchdown rate as a passer. Had three touchdowns and eight interceptions in three years of rivalry games against Clemson and North Carolina. Lackluster speed when going through his mechanics. Average release and arm strength will limit his throwing windows at the NFL level. Anticipation has to get better on intermediate and deep throws. Accurate overall, but forces receivers to break stride too often. Made poor decisions when faced with pressure in the red zone which led to interceptions. Suffered a season ending ankle injury while at Boise State.
Pro Comparison: Joe Flacco
Projected Round: 2-3
Possible Landing Spot: Denver Broncos
Other Notable Prospects
Clayton Thorson- Northwestern
- Good size and fundamentals, never played beyond offense's limitations
Will Grier- West Virginia
- Gunslinger mentality, lacks elite arm strength and release
Jarrett Stidham- Auburn
- Good mechanics and mobility, bad 2018 game tape
Kyle Shurmur- Vanderbilt
- Son of Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, project QB
Tyree Jackson- Buffalo
- Great size and arm, poor accuracy
Brett Rypien- Boise State
- Nephew of Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien, developmental prospect
Easton Stick- North Dakota State
- Nice mobility, lacks great arm strength
Trace McSorley- Penn State
- Solid three- year starter, poor man's Baker Mayfield
Nick Fitzgerald- Mississippi State
- Prototype size and arm, poor accuracy and decision making
Jake Browning- Washington
- Four- year starter, lacks clutch and game changing ability