Hey, NFL Draft fans!
It’s November, and the NFL Draft season is just beginning to heat up. I’ve been watching a ton of college tape these past several weeks trying to get a feel for the NFL Draft prospects and where they stand. This is the debut of a series of articles, one that I hope will become a staple during the Draft season for you to use.
Each week, I will introduce a new positional board, as well as update the old boards. This will go until February, when I will be unavailable due to my recent venture in joining the National Guard where I will be shipping out to Boot Camp.
That means that all of my draft work will be done old school – Before the Combine.
Here is the first piece in this series: The Quarterback board.
What are we looking for in these prospects?
The first question one must ask when scouting a quarterback is the simple, age old question. Can he throw the football? Often times scouts get caught up in numbers, running ability, maybe the footwork from the pocket and overlook simplicity. If a quarterback can’t throw the football, he can’t be a successful quarterback in the long term. 20/100.
If the quarterback prospect indeed can throw the football, we move onto the next question. Can he throw the football where he needs to? So many quarterbacks come out of college with cannon type arms that can throw a football over 90 yards, but can’t hit the side of a big red barn to save their life. I want to see a quarterback throw the ball consistently into the places it needs to go. 18/100.
The third question: Can the quarterback see the play open up down field and anticipate his receivers? Vision is key. A quarterback has to properly diagnose the play as it unfolds around him, and find his receivers while they are getting open. This means that I want to see his timing on point with timing routes. I want him to throw receivers open. I want a quarterback to see the post opening up in cover three. 15/100.
Now that we have answered three questions on the quarterback, it’s time to move into the fourth: How fast can he release the football? Some quarterbacks check the first three boxes but have a very slow release. This hurts the quarterback in a crowded pocket. A few milliseconds could be the difference between completing a pass and taking a sack. This also hurts quarterbacks when they have quick throws to the perimeter, a part of the offense that has become a huge part of football. 15/100.
A quarterback can throw the ball anywhere, if he has passed the first four questions. Now, the next question is how well can the quarterback move in the pocket? Sometimes, the pocket breaks down, and there is a little escape lane that the quarterback can take to get out of the jam and extend the play to make the throw down field. If a quarterback can’t do that, sometimes that limits his ability to keep an offense moving. 12/100.
Running quarterbacks are all the rage in football. They don’t have to be able to run a zone read or play running back. As long as they can run with decent speed, and get down the field and turn a negative play into a positive one. That’s by gaining yardage with his legs or throwing a dime while on the run. Mobility is huge in the modern NFL. 10/100.
Arguably, leadership is the most important trait a quarterback needs to have. Every play is going to start with the center snapping the ball to him, so he needs to have the right mentality, the right attitude and courage as he sets the tone for the rest of the team. 10/100.
The Quarterback Prospect Board
(+1) 1 Daniel Jones, Duke
(-1) 2 Will Grier, West Virginia
3 Justin Herbert, Oregon
4 Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss
5 Dwayne Haskins, Ohio St
6 Shea Patterson, Michigan
7 Brett Rypien, Boise St
8 Tyree Jackson, Buffalo
9 Eric Dungey, Syracuse
(+4) 10 Gardner Minshew, Washington State
(+4) 11 Drew Lock, Missouri
(-2) 12 Trace McSorely, Penn St
(-1) 13 McKenzie Milton, UCF
(-1) 14 David Blough, Purdue
(+1) 15 Ryan Finley, North Carolina St
(+3) 16 Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
(+1) 17 KJ Costello, Stanford
(-7) 18 Brian Lewerke, Michigan St
(-2) 19 Nate Stanley, Iowa
20 Deondre Francois, Florida St
21 Easton Stick, North Dakota St
22 Jake Bentley, South Carolina
Last Updated: November 15th, 2018
Added: Gardner Minshew (Washington State)
Removed: Clayton Thorson (Northwestern)
This board will change, and fluctuate. These are all of the players that I think are draft-able right now. A few of the borderline guys will probably get knocked off at some point of the season, while others will be removed for not declaring. Stay tuned to keep up with the board! Links to each players articles on this website are listed below!
2019 Preseason Top 5 Quarterback Prospects (Via Ryan Dunbar)