Mayfield's Big 12 dominance & Jackson the dual threat - The 2018 Quarterback class in Opta numbers
The 2018 NFL Draft could see as many as six quarterbacks could be drafted in the first round with several teams having an urgent need at the position.
It remains unclear who the Cleveland Browns will select first and fourth overall, while the New York Giants could be looking to the future under center with Eli Manning in the twilight of his career.
The New York Jets traded up to the third overall pick with the apparent aim of taking their quarterback of the future, and the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and even the New England Patriots could be in the market for a new signal-caller.
That sets the stage for one of most chaotic and important drafts in years, but how does this quarterback class stack up. Using Opta numbers, we compared their performances at the collegiate level.
Sam Darnold, USC
Seen as a candidate for the Browns with the top pick, Darnold led the Pac-12 in passing yards (4,143), yards per pass attempt (8.6) and total touchdowns (31).
The USC star was also second in passing touchdowns with 26, and ranked third in completions with 303.
Since 2010 Darnold has been a top-ten signal caller in nearly every major statistical category, ranking eighth in passing yards (7,229), ninth in completions (549) and tied tenth in passing touchdowns (57) in the FBS.
Josh Allen, Wyoming
Despite playing in the less heralded Mountain West Conference, since 2016 Allen has not ranked number one in a major statistical category. With 44 passing touchdowns - fourth in school history - Allen ranks second.
He also ranks second in rushing touchdowns among Quarterbacks with two.
Allen finished fourth in both passing yards (5,015) - which is eighth in school history - as well as passing completions with 361. The team that takes him will hope for a significant improvement in production at the highest level.
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Mayfield had an outstanding 2017 season, claiming the prestigious Heisman Trophy as well as being named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and a Consensus All-American.
The former Oklahoma QB has ranked in the top three in all major passing statistics since 2016.
Mayfield finished third in both passing yards (12,292) and pass completions (808) as well as finishing second in completion percentage with 69.8 per cent of his passes being caught.
Since 2016 Mayfield has also led the FBS in passing touchdowns with 119.
As if that weren't enough, Mayfield also ranks first in total touchdowns (153) and yards per attempt (9.8) in the Big 12 since 1996. In the same period he ranks second in passing touchdowns (131) and total yards (15,690), third in passing yards (14,607) and fifth in completion percentage with 68.5 per cent.
With such impressive numbers under his belt, it is no wonder he is reportedly in the running to be the first guy off the board.
or ?— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 16, 2018
The case for and against QB Baker Mayfield: pic.twitter.com/UANwh9bWqq
Josh Rosen, UCLA
Rosen finished his college career second in school history in completions, with 712 of his passes being caught.
He also finished third in passing yards with 9,340 and fourth in passing touchdowns with 59.
Rosen used his big arm to great effect, producing six games in which he threw for over 400 yards, the sixth-most of any Pac-12 QB since 2000, performances that are said to have intrigued the Patriots among a host of other teams.
Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Jackson is as athletic as they get at the quarterback position, since the start of 2015 he leads the nation in rushing touchdowns at the position with five and is third in rushing yards - racking up 4,132.
The Louisville star became the first player in school history to win the Heisman Trophy in 2016 after passing for 3,543 yards, adding another 1,571 on the ground and 51 total touchdowns.
Jackson finished his college career with 119 total touchdowns, the second-most by an ACC player since 1956, with his remarkable skill set giving him arguably the biggest upside of any player in the class.
Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
Rudolph led the NCAA in passing yards in 2017 with 4,904 and was also fourth in passing touchdowns with 37.
The Oklahoma State product finished his collegiate career with four games of at least five passing touchdowns between 2015 and 2017. Only three players in the FBS had more.
He has not been a big part of the first-round conversation but, with the demand for quarterbacks so high, those are the kind of statistics that could see Rudolph go much higher than anticipated.