It seems that every year, quarterbacks dominate the top of the NFL Draft. Finding a great QB is rare, and the teams selecting at the top of the draft usually don’t have one. If they did, they likely wouldn’t have fared so poorly the previous year. A great quarterback can transform a franchise to a contender in a short period of time, making this the most coveted position in the game.
Despite flaws in all of the guys on this list, they will all be taken in the first round of this year’s draft.
Sam Darnold, USC
Darnold is considered to be the most polished and pro-ready quarterback in the 2018 draft. Perhaps his most positive asset is his accuracy, even when throwing on the run. He is very elusive and has surprisingly effective mobility, enabling him to escape pressure, extend plays and also make plays with his feet.
In 2017, Darnold threw for 4,143 yards and 26 touchdowns, completing 63 percent of his passes in the process. He did throw 13 interceptions, which is something he will need to improve at the next level.
Ultimately, Darnold seems to have that X-factor. What do I mean by that? When his team is backed up into their own end zone, he made great plays for big gains on numerous occasions. He also is able to turn “broken plays” into highlight reels by improvising and letting his instincts take over.
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Mayfield is not expected to be drafted in the top 5 of the draft. But when you look at the numbers he put up last season at Oklahoma, you might think that he is currently underrated relative to some some of the other big name QB prospects. Mayfield completed 71 percent of his throws for 4,627 yards, and 43 touchdowns and just six picks. He also added five rushing touchdowns. He throws a great deep ball, illustrating his ability to hit his receivers in stride, leading to a lot of yards after the catch.
NFL teams have expressed concerns over his size, as he lacks the desired height of a QB at just 6’0. However, Mayfield has apparently impressed many teams with his passion for the game, and his strong desire to improve and win at the next level.
Josh Rosen, UCLA
Allen embodies what NFL scouts look for in a starting NFL quarterback. He has the size, at 6’4 and 210 lbs. He has a very strong arm, enabling him to make most throws on the field, and he has great instincts as a pocket passer. Allen’s height makes it easier for him to see over the line, and scan the field for open receivers.
Another interesting factor that should raise Rosen’s pro stock is that he often took snaps from under center at UCLA, something that is not common at the collegiate level, but could help him transfer his skills in adjusting to the NFL game. Despite suffering two concussions last season, Rosen threw for 3,717 yards, to go along with 26 touchdowns and ten interceptions.
Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Jackson has incredible athleticism and immense upside coming into the league. He is often described as a right-handed version of Michael Vick. The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner has the chance to take the NFL by storm as soon as next season.
Jackson won the Heisman following an incredible 2016 season, and he followed that by putting up even better stats last year, with 3,660 yards, 27 touchdowns and ten interceptions, adding 1,601 rushing yards and another 18 rushing touchdowns. This type of player can change the dynamic of any offense, as his athleticism at the QB position is very rare.