- 1. Josh Rosen (UCLA): 6’3″ 220 lbs. Junior
Career Stats: 30 Starts.
Passing: 711-1169 (60.8%) 9,301 yds. 57 TD, 22 Int, 139.9 passer rating.
Rushing: 109 rushes, -154 yds. (-1.4), 6 TD.
2017: 2nd Team All-Pac-12, 2015: Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year.
Pros: Mechanics especially footwork, Smooth & Quick Release, Intelligent, Arm Strength to make all the throws, Footwork, Instinctive field progressions, Pocket poise, Showed toughness by playing through injury and taking many hits.
Cons: Durability (Two concussions, partially torn rotator cuff), Tends to hold the ball for too long, Decision-making out of the pocket, Possible personality and coachability concerns.
Analysis: Rosen possesses arm talent, intelligence, and mechanics to be able to have a smooth transition into the NFL. His personality concerns from many scouts seem to be a little too dramatic, but either way it will be crucial for Rosen to establish a strong first impression to the team that drafts him answering any leadership or coachability concerns right away. His only real significant concerns to me is regarding his long-term durability, which at least we know he has demonstrated that he is able play through injuries. Rosen played his entire last season in a knee brace, and his supporting cast around him was not very talented, but spite that he proved he was the best player on the field every game.
Projection: Rosen needs to establish ways to avoid the pressure in the pocket, and improve his decision making out of the pocket which he can benefit from if he sits for some or most of his rookie season. If he can improve upon that then the sky is the limit for Rosen. Rosen is the best QB of this year’s class, his game translates perfectly with the NFL, and has traits that are comparable with Matt Ryan, and Aaron Rodgers. If Rosen is put into the right system with a coach that believes in him, he has can no doubt be a face of a franchise, and has the potential to turn a team around quick just like Jared Goff did with the Rams.
2. Lamar Jackson (Louisville) 6’2″ 215 lb. Junior
Career Stats: 38 Starts.
Passing: 619-1086 (57 completion %), 9,043 yds. 69 TD, 27 Int, 142.9 passer rating.
Rushing: 655 carries, 4132 yds. (6.3) 50 TD.
2017: 2nd Team All-American, 1st Team All-ACC.
2016: Heisman, Maxwell, 1st Team All-American, 1st Team All-ACC.
Pros: Incredible Athlete, Rare Speed/Agility, Velocity, Comfortable throwing in tight windows, Played in a Pro-Style Offense, Quick Release, Defenses forced to scheme for him.
Cons: Decision Making, Mechanics, Thin Frame, Durability, Deep Accuracy
Analysis: Jackson has the rare ability to beat a defense with both his arm and legs, demonstrating an elite athletic ability for a Quarterback. He’s the the best running quarterback since Michael Vick, and his running ability would cause an issue for defenses making them have to over-prepare for him. Jackson’s thin frame with the amount he runs is the only concern towards his durability, but he had no issues with it in college.
Projection: Jackson’s unique skill set is quiet similar towards Michael Vick. Jackson’s mechanics are going to need to be addressed from whichever team selects him, and the team also will need to establish a game plan around his skills. It will be intriguing to see if Jackson will be used in games as a rookie even he’s the backup due to his speed threat, but Jackson could definitely benefit spending a little time as a backup. If Jackson goes to a team with talent and a game plan that fits around his skills, Jackson could absolutely develop into one of the most dynamic players in the entire NFL.
3. Josh Allen (Wyoming): 6’5″ 235 lbs. Senior
Career Stats: 25 Starts (Transferred from Reedley Community College).
Passing: 365-649 (56.2 completion %), 5,066 yds. 44 TD, 21 INT 137.7 passer rating.
Running: 237 carries, 767 yds. (3.2 avg.), 12 TD.
2017: Senior Bowl, Honorable Mention All-Mountain West.
Pros: Rare Arm Strength, Tremendous Size, Mobility in the pocket, Athleticism to extend plays, Can easily improve (only played 2 years of D1 Football), Very comfortable throwing on the run without having to set his feet, Played in a Pro-Style offense and worked under center at Wyoming under the same coach who coached Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz.
Cons: Accuracy Concerns (56% career completion %), Missed throws or threw them too hard, Poor Decision Making, Pocket Poise, Timing, Anticipation, Mechanics, Reaction to Pressure, Lack of Competition at Wyoming, Didn’t excel against better competition.
Analysis: Allen is the biggest boom-or-bust QB in the draft. He has the tape of a late-round Prospect, but his rare arm strength to go along with his size is tough to overlook. Although he struggled with his completion % and decision making, it appeared on tape that he was affected a lot by the lack of playmakers on his team, especially with a lot of them turning pro, or graduating the season before. Allen was not a highly coveted recruit alike some of the other QB prospects, and is still very raw with a ton of room to grow. Allen is also a solid athlete, who demonstrates it by extending plays with his legs, and avoided the rush in the pocket. Despite his concerns there is no question that Allen makes special throws and has a ton of potential but the mental part will determine if he’s a good NFL starter or just another big, strong-armed guy.
Projection: Despite being projected as a top five pick in the draft, Allen needs to sit for at least one season and develop his skills to be ready to play against NFL competition. If the right team invests in Allen he has all the potential to succeed as a Pro-Bowl caliber QB, but if he doesn’t improve his accuracy he will end up just being a backup.
4. Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State): 6’4″ 230 lbs. Senior
Career Stats: 42 starts.
Passing: 915-1447 (63.2 completion %) 13,618 yds. 92 TD, 26 INT, 159.7 passer rating.
Rushing: 225 rushes, 28 yds. (0.1 avg.) 17 TD.
2017: 3rd Team AP All-American, 2nd Team All-Big 12, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, Sandy Baugh Award, O’Brien Finalist.
2016: Honorable Mention All-Big 12.
Pros: Arm Strength, Accuracy, NFL Size, Outstanding Production, Deep Ball Touch, Pocket Poise & Tough in the Pocket.
Cons: Groomed in a simplified offensive system, Small Hands, Needs more Velocity.
Analysis: Rudolph is a true pocket QB with the ideal size that fits in any style of offense in the NFL. He has shown consistent improvement as a passer, and can win with his precision & arm strength.
Projection: Rudolph is currently projected as a late-first, early-second round pick, but he definitely has all the tools to be the most underrated QB prospect of this year’s class. Rudolph may land late in the first round with a good team looking to replace a veteran which could really benefit his NFL career. If Rudolph can land with a team and learn from a veteran in front of him for a year or two, there would be a great chance that Rudolph eventually becomes a reliable starting QB and has a career comparable to Kirk Cousins.
5. Sam Darnold (USC): 6’4″ 220 lbs. Redshirt-Sophomore
Career Stats: 27 Starts.
Passing: 549-846 (64.9 completion %) 7,229 yds. 57 TD, 22 Int, 153.7 passer rating.
Rushing: 137 rushes 332 yds. (2.0 avg.) 7 TD.
2017: 1st Team All-Pac-12, 2016: Honorable Mention All-Pac-12.
Pros: NFL Size, Accuracy, Anticipation, Mental Toughness, Leader (Team Captain), Poise in Pocket, Mobility, Excels against Zone.
Cons: Long wind-up Throwing Motion, Decision Making (11 fumbles in 17′), Deep Ball Touch, Ball Placement, Poor Performance in Bowl Game vs. Ohio-State.
Analysis: Darnold has the tools to thrive in any system, and the mental toughness to compete in the NFL. There is no question Darnold has the potential to be a Top-Tier NFL QB, but he also has the floor of a poor starter. Although Darnold has demonstrated a ton of talent at USC, he has faced a ton of issues with mechanics and decision making that appear to be a bit concerning.
Projection: Darnold is currently projected as a Top-5 pick, but whatever team selects him should consider sitting him a year in order to develop with improving his mechanics and decision making. He definitely appears to have all the tools to be a solid starter for many years, but he sometimes does too much with the football which causes him to force turnovers that really affect his overall play. Darnold easily has what it takes to develop quickly into a player like Carson Wentz, but he also may never take that next step, and perhaps may just end up becoming another USC QB disappointment in the NFL.
6. Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma): 6′ 215 lbs. Redshirt-Senior
Career Stats: 48 Games Played: (Transferred from Texas Tech)
Passing: 1026-1497 (68.5%) 14,607 yds. 131 TD, 175.4 passer rating.
Rushing: 404 rushes, 1083 yds. 21 TD.
2017: Heisman Trophy, Maxwell, O’Brien & Walter Camp Awards, Senior Bowl, 1st Team AP All-American, Big 12 OPOY, 1st Team All Big-12.
2016: 3rd Team All-American, 1st Team All Big-12, O’Brien & Maxwell Award Finalist.
2015: 2nd Team All-American, 1st Team All Big-12.
Pros: Fierce Competitor & Leader, Quick Delivery, Excellent Accuracy in tight windows, Outstanding Production, Playmaking ability, Succeeds Outside of the Pocket & On the Run Throws.
Cons: Lacks NFL Size, Maturity & Character concerns, Often tries to be the hero and forces throws, Oklahoma’s scheme gave him huge passing windows.
Analysis: There is no questioning whether Mayfield has demonstrates leadership on the field, but there are tons questions whether his maturity and long-term durability are a concerning or not. Mayfield has the necessary passing traits to play in the NFL, but his lack of size and character concerns make him as a top five pick with a bit of a risk factor. Mayfield arguably possess the best accuracy of any QB prospect in the draft, but it’s unclear whether or not his game will be able to translate to the NFL.
Projection: Whichever team decides to draft Mayfield has to construct an offense that fits his style of play. An offense that features a spread passing attack with quick timing release routes would help benefit Mayfield’s style of play especially with his lack of average NFL height. Mayfield has the potential to be a successful NFL starter if everything comes together, and the skill set now to do so, but there are other QB prospects that have bigger arms that display more potential to develop into a better long-term quarterback option over Mayfield.
7. Kyle Lauletta (Richmond): 6’3″ 215 lbs. Redshirt-Senior
Career Stats: 40 Starts.
Passing: 758-1194 (63.5 completion %) 10,465 yds. 73 TD, 35 INT.
Rushing: 198 carries, 186 yds. (0.9 avg.), 12 TD.
2017: Senior Bowl, Phil Steele’s 2nd Team All-American, Conference Offensive POY, 1st Team All-CAA.
2016: 2nd Team All-CAA.
2015: 2nd Team All-CAA.
Pros: Arm Strength, Leader, Footwork, Anticipation, Decision Making, Throwing on the move, Experience in various offensive systems.
Cons: Arm Strength, Perception of Pressure, Lack of Competition.
Analysis: Lauletta may come from a small program like Richmond, but there is plenty of evidence that Lauletta has what it takes to play in the NFL. Lauletta won the MVP of the Senior Bowl, and proved to scouts that he can perform well against stronger competition. Lauletta moves very well in the pocket, and has great anticipation when searching for open receivers.
Projection: Lauletta is projected to go early as the second round, and if given the right opportunity he has tremendous upside to potentially become a starter in this league. Lauletta will benefit greatly by sitting and learning from a veteran QB, and eventually prove he can become a starter in the future.
8. Luke Falk (Washington State): 6’4″ 210 lbs. Redshirt-Senior
Career Stats: 42 Starts.
Passing: 1403-2054 (68.3 completion %) 14,481 yds. 119 TD, 39 INT, 142.8 passer rating.
Rushing: 251 carries, -400 yds. (-1.6 avg.) 4 TD.
2017: Senior Bowl, Honorable Mention All Pac-12.
2016: 2nd Team All-Pac 12.
2015: 1st Team All-Pac 12.
Pros: Excellent Timing, Deep Ball Touch, Toughness, Intelligence, Catchable balls at a high completion %.
Cons: Velocity, Doesn’t trust arm in Tight-Window Throws, Inconsistent anticipation, Holds ball for too long, Indecisive eyes when rushed with pressure.
Analysis: Has some workable NFL traits, but lacks arm and anticipation to be a tight-windowed passer, average starter may be his ceiling.
Projection: Luke Falk had a tremendous productive career at Washington St. but it would be surprising if his game translates to an NFL starter. Falk has the tools to be the best backup QB in the draft, and could have a long NFL career as a backup.
9. Chase Litton (Marshall): 6’5″ 230 lbs. Junior
Career Stats: 34 Starts.
Passing: 728-1198 (60.8 completion %) 8355 yds. 72 TD, 31 INT, 133.9 passer rating.
Rushing: 111 carries, -77 yds. (-0.7 avg.) 2 TD.
Notable Awards: None.
2017: East-West Shrine Game, 1st Team All-American Conference.
Pros: NFL Size for a Pocket QB, Release Time, Good Touch near Goal Line, Arm Strength.
Cons: Decision Making, Deep Ball Accuracy, Ball Placement, Reading Defenses.
Analysis: He has enough arm talent to potentially pique the interest of an NFL team looking to develop a big pocket passer. His issues with decision-making and locking onto targets need to improve to make an NFL roster.
Projection: Litton is a very raw prospect, with potentially the most upside for a late-round QB prospect. Litton’s 6’5″ stature with some athletic ability and a very strong arm makes a him a very intriguing prospect, but at worst he can at least be a reliable backup.
10. Mike White (Western Kentucky): 6’4″ 220 lbs. Redshirt-Senior
Career Stats: 44 starts (Transferred from South Florida).
Passing: 863-1393 (62.0 completion %), 11,262 yds. 74 TD, 31 INT, 142.9 passer rating.
Rushing: 136 carries, -460 yds. (-3.4 avg.), 6 TD.
2017: Senior Bowl, 1st Team All-Conference USA.
2016: 2nd Team All-Conference USA, Conference USA Newcomer of the Year
Pros: Fast arm, Ability to get through multiple reads, Pocket Poise, Tough.
Cons: Staring down primary target, Baseball influenced wind-up, Feeling Pressure, Below-Avg. Competition.
Analysis: Good size and live arm, but needs to do a better job of recognizing blitzes and making decision faster or his arm talent won’t matter, has a shot as a backup.
Projection: White is projected to be a mid-round selection in the draft, and his best chance to make it in the league is sticking somewhere as a backup. White and Falk are the two best backup caliber QB’s in the draft, and as Nick Foles showed last season backups are still a valuable asset for any NFL franchise to have.