We could see five quarterbacks selected in the first round, but I don’t think there are any slam dunks. All of these guys (I think) look below average in comparison to what you would typically expect to get with a top-5 pick.
With Baker Mayfield, he’s small, and he’s coming out of a college spread system. It’s reasonable to wonder if his game will translate.
With Lamar Jackson, we could be looking at the best athlete to play the position since Michael Vick. Insane mobility and a strong arm. But there are some who think he can’t play quarterback – doesn’t have the accuracy and decision-making feel. One school of thought is that he should just give up on playing quarterback right now, moving to wide receiver.
Josh Allen has a rocket-launcher arm and has shown flashes, but he played his college ball at Wyoming. More troubling, he completed only 56 percent of his passes last year. In the last 10 years, only four quarterbacks have completed fewer than 61 percent of their passes in their final season. Matt Ryan (59 percent) has been a good pro. Josh Freeman and Jake Locker finished lower than Ryan and busted. (Sam Bradford completely only 57 percent his final season at Oklahoma but suffered a season-ending injury in his second game – he posted huge numbers in his previous season.)
Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold probably will be the first two quarterbacks taken, but neither wowed in their final year of college.
Below, I’ve got these five prospects interspersed with the quarterbacks selected in the first round in the last 10 years. They are ordered by completion percentage, and by that measure, Mayfield (playing in a numbers-inflating spread system) is near the top, and the other four are all below average.
For teams looking for a quarterback, the safest route might be to sign Kirk Cousins (or even Drew Brees, if he’s truly available), allowing them to steer clear of possibly misfiring with a premium draft pick.
|FIRST-ROUND QUARTERBACKS (last 10 years)|
|2012||Robert Griffin III||71.7%||4,293||37||6|