I’ll spare you the speech about how quarterback is the most important position in sports, and if you don’t have one you’re screwed blah blah blah. Unfortunately for the few teams who desperately need a QB (looking at you New York, Miami, Jacksonville, and Washington), this QB class is, well… not good. No quarterback has a 1st round grade for me, though because of positional value there are three players I can see going on day one that I wouldn’t be tremendously upset about.
10) Ryan Finley, NC State
Ryan Finley is the definition of “meh”. He’s been a productive college quarterback in his 3 years starting at NC State, but there is absolutely nothing to get excited about watching this kid play. He’s not very accurate, especially to the boundary, his arm strength leaves a lot to be desired, and his decision making isn’t great. Footwork and throwing mechanics are the things to hang your hat on with Finley but I struggle to see him making it in the league.
9) Gardner Minshew, Washington State
Minshew and his glorious mustache transferred into the Mike Leach offense and flourished in 2018. While he tends to “take what the defense gives him” and threw a lot of short check downs and screen passes, he has the arm to push it downfield, and is actually pretty good under pressure. He makes good decisions with the ball and is relatively consistent in short to intermediate throws he needs to make, that being said he’s not very accurate downfield and he doesn’t have a lot of experience at the college level to lean on.
8) Tyree Jackson, Buffalo
Tyree is an absolute monster of a human being who definitely looks the part of a potential franchise quarterback. He has a literal cannon for an arm and will get people excited launching the ball down the field in warm ups, but playing quarterback in the NFL is all about accuracy and I don’t see it remotely consistently with Jackson. If you believe in your QB coach, take Jackson in a mid-round and hope that you can fix the mechanics and footwork and pray he can hit his ceiling.
7) Brett Rypien, Boise State
A 4 year starter at Boise, Rypien has all the experience in the world, and has put out plenty of tape for NFL scouts. He’s a guy who gives you just a touch of everything. His arm isn’t “live” but he has enough zip to drive the ball downfield, his accuracy is good and he throws a catchable ball, but he isn’t “pinpoint”, he’s athletic enough to extend plays, but he’s by no means an athlete. Rypien will be a very good backup in the league for years, with the ability to be a spot starter when you need him.
6) Daniel Jones, Duke
Daniel Jones seems to be the guy the media is falling in love with and I just don’t get it. He’s a big body with prototype size, strength, and athleticism, and he used that ability to run for over 1,300 yards in his 3 years at Duke. I know he looks the part, but he played in a scheme that allowed him to get the ball out of his hands quickly and limit tough decisions and still couldn’t manage a 2:1 TD-INT ratio more than once in his 3 years starting. He doesn’t have a great arm, and his accuracy worries me especially downfield and to the sideline, he doesn’t throw with great anticipation, and I struggle to see him excelling in even a west coast system that probably suits his skills the best.
5) Will Grier, West Virginia
Will Grier was a heisman hopeful, a 1st round hopeful, and the king of Morgantown coming into the 2018 season. He carried that momentum into a strong start to the season.. then he played Iowa State. There were a few games in his college career that say he can overcome his wacky mechanics and make it work at the next level, but then he ran into some games that showcased all his worst traits all at once. He’s extremely inconsistent with his accuracy, he doesn’t have great arm strength, and he isn’t exactly “NFL size”. He’s a scrappy winner who has a great feel in the pocket and can be aggressive downfield, but I don’t see him being a quality starter at the next level.
4) Clayton Thorson, Northwestern
I’ve seen a ton of Thorson over the years and he’s flashed plenty of NFL ability but he also leaves a ton to be desired. He’s got NFL size, he’s a better athlete than you expect out of his size, he’s got a very good throwing motion and solid mechanics, and if he finds his way into a west coast system I can see him being a quality spot starter. He’s also inconsistent with his footwork, doesn’t have a ton of zip on his throws, and doesn’t handle pressure extremely well. Thorson is a great backup candidate in the league.
3) Drew Lock, Missouri
Finally a guy I can get excited about. Drew Lock starts the run of 3 players I won’t be mad about someone taking in round 1, though I don’t think he’s a “1st round talent”. He’s got a laser arm that can make every throw in the book, he can rip it to the sidelines and push the ball downfield with the best of them. He isn’t phased by pressure in the pocket, and he has plenty of size and athleticism to feel comfortable drafting to be your starter. He also has a lot to work on, for starters his accuracy downfield leaves a lot to be desired. He can lock onto certain reads (as just about every college quarterback does) and make questionable decisions with the ball, but if you can clean up some of the accuracy issues (one of the hardest things to do in football) he can develop into a plus starter at some point in his career.
Late 2nd-Early 3rd round
2) Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
I’m just going to get this out of the way.. he’s 5’9 190 soaking wet, and frankly that’s the only thing holding him back from QB1 right now. Kyler is obviously a great athlete and he possesses absolutely electric arm talent that he showcased in his one year starting at Oklahoma. His mechanics leave a lot on the table, he doesn’t always make great decisions with the ball, and his accuracy can vary from snap to snap, but he’s got the playmaking ability that throws logic out the window. We’re all hoping Kyler decides to play football to see what this kid is capable of at the NFL level.
1) Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
I’ll be honest I’m a Big Ten guy born and raised, and I got to see most of Haskins’ snaps in his 1 year starting in Columbus. His short to intermediate accuracy is tremendous, and he has the arm strength to push the ball downfield, even though he doesn’t know where it’s going sometimes. He’s got a good feel in the pocket, solid mechanics, and he anticipates receivers breaking open and has the nuts to deliver it in the middle of the field. Now the reality check. Haskins has shown some brutal tape under pressure (notably against Michigan State in the middle of the season), his downfield passing is suspect, and he doesn’t have that “aggressive, gunslinger mentality” the NFL craves right now. He’s a quality starter who doesn’t feel like a perennial pro-bowler, but feels like a guy who can win you plenty of games if you surround him with quality play makers.