The countdown is on as the NFL Draft is a few days away. While the quarterback class of this year hasn’t generated the buzz as last time around, there is still much intrigu. The NFL Draft is an exact science. With the right team, talent, and system a QB can prove his worth.
Most first round QBs are expected to play right away instead of waiting and learning the position as in the past. Here are the QBs who could see themselves taken in the 1st round.
#1 Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
Murray has a dynamic arm despite his size and he has the escapability of Russell Wilson. He’s an explosive athlete who had the ability to play professional baseball. The ability to be an athlete at the QB position is special in today’s NFL. He makes up for his lack of height with high football IQ and quick feet to avoid the rush in the pocket. The knock against him is post breakdown of the play. In college, most of his decisions were made pre-snap.
When Murray resorts to scrambling around, he’s at his best. His accuracy stays intact. To become an elite QB, he needs to work through progression reads consistently. He’s quick to scramble and pass rushers will adapt. Murray definitely has the tools to be an NFL starter.
#2 Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
If you’re looking for the prototypical QB look no further than Dwayne Haskins. He is the most pure pocket passer this year. He has the strongest arm in the draft, he’s poised and has production under the brightest lights in college football. He can drive the football into tight windows, he would fit best in the north and north east of the country during the winter months. He has a beautiful touch on his deep ball.
The knock against Haskins is he has a tendency to get a little aggressive at times and throw into coverage he shouldn’t. With as strong as an arm he has, he thinks he can squeeze in every throw which is good and bad.
His biggest issue arises when he’s forced to move off his spot in the pocket. Throwing on the run, his accuracy is average. He’s used sparingly on designed QB runs. Overall, Haskins has the necessary tools to win games from the pocket and must learn to use his legs to escape pressure, lest he become a standing target.
#3 Drew Lock, Missouri
Drew Lock has the size and ability the NFL dreams of. Lock stands at 6’4” and 225 lbs, like Haskins he is your prototypical QB. He has one of the best pump fakes and quickest release to get the ball away before taking sacks. He’s tremendous at placing the ball between coverage. While he can avoid sacks with his quick release, Lock gets sloppy with his footwork when the pocket breaks down. This causes him to be off target with his throws.
He’s very aggressive, which leads to explosive plays, but a high volume of turnovers. You’ll have to take the good with the bad with Lock. He’s an excellent athlete. Overall, Lock needs to polish his footwork and tone down turnovers but he has the making of starting QB.
Honorable mentions: Daniel Jones (Duke) and Will Grier (West Virginia)
The other two QBs who could sneak into the 1st round are Jones and Grier. Grier is a confident leader who has a big play mindset instead of marching down the field with time consuming drives. He can climb the pocket and avoid the rush. His lack of plus arm talent and release quickness are reasons he is not a lock.
Jones was a three-year starter who’s team got better the moment he was named the starter. He has a high level of quality mechanics. While his arm is not special, he can make most of the pro throws. Look past his 59.9 percent career passing percentage, his receivers dropped 38 passes this past year.Published 23 Apr 2019, 14:25 IST