Quarterbacks always leads the discussion around the NFL Draft. How many will get drafted in the first round? Who will take quarterbacks early?
The current topic is whether or not Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert will declare. He would make this class certainly more potent. There are the usual suspects in West Virginia’s Will Grier and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins. However, there are a overlooked few quarterbacks that have the tools to be quality starters in the NFL.
Drew Lock, Missouri
Lock is one of the more polarizing quarterbacks in this class. He has the ceiling of a first rounder, but the floor of a Day 3 guy.
Lock is interesting because the box score doesn’t tell the whole story. His stats aren’t the best but he has some nice traits. The Mizzou star produced last season even after losing deep threat and favorite target Emmanuel Hall. Lock is accurate and delivers under pressure but he also knows when to bail out and check it down. Also, he’s also not afraid to make plays with his legs if he needs to.
Lock has the skill set to make his transition to the NFL smooth, but he has his fair share of flaws. That will increase his value and make him a first rounder.
Daniel Jones, Duke
The Duke signal caller is arguably the most pro-ready quarterback in this draft. Most college quarterbacks run one-read offenses in college. Yet, Jones actually goes through his progression. Credit David Cutcliffe who coached both Peyton and Eli Manning in college.
Jones isn’t afraid to let one rip and throw the ball deep. He’s mobile, which is something this current class lacks. Jones has what it takes to be a great quarterback if he’s with a coaching staff that utilizes his strengths. He won’t be taken in the first round, but he definitely has the talent.
Gardner Minshew, Washington State
Minshew is by no means a finished product. He has a lot to work on but he also has the potential to succeed at the NFL level. The Wazzu standout throws what may be the best looking deep ball of anyone in this class. He, like Jones, runs an offense where he goes through progressions rather than just throwing to the first read.
Unlike Jones, Minshew’s biggest problem is he holds onto the ball too long. That’s not an issue in college with less defensive mavens rushing him, but it will get him pulvarized in the NFL.
Minshew is not mobile. He can move inside the pocket well but he’s not very fast. He’s a guy that will be taken late Day 2 or maybe early Day 3. If it comes to that and he is groomed behind someone for a couple years, Minshew would surprise many.
It’s also important to note that the draft tends to surprise fans all the time. The 2017 class was pegged as sub-par one, but it ended up producing Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, and Patrick Mahomes. Sports are unpredictable and they can surprise us sometimes. So, maybe this class will do much of the same.