NFL Draft 2018 – Top Ten Quarterback Dilemma
Scouting Reports, Darnold, Rosen, Allen and Mayfield
Frank Coyle – Head Scout/ Publisher
Quarterbacks – Grade: A
This year’s QB class is one of the most talented groups to enter the NFL Draft in years. The top four prospects are expected to be selected by the early 1st round and probably the top ten selections. This class can rival the great 2004 class of Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger. There could be as many as 10+ NFL starters in time. The top four overall prospects, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield are expected to go in the top 6-12 overall selections. Baker Mayfield is a rising prospect and carries an early 1st round grade as the most NFL ready prospect in the class. Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph could come off the board in the first round, though the latter part. Both carry starting grades and should be selection in the top 40 prospects. Jackson has fallen off concerns about his game translating to the NFL with certain justification. He has a rare athletic skill set that a patient club can benefit from immensely if they give him the critical time to settle into their system. Mike White and Kyle Lauletta carry starting NFL grades, though both need time to settle into the pro game. Both White and Lauletta were impressive at the Senior Bowl. Lauletta is rising up the charts off a developed skill set and the vital intangibles. Unheralded QBs, Chase Litton of Marshall and Brandon Silvers of Troy have NFL starting grades to take the huge step up to the pro game. This class features a few developmental types like Tanner Lee, J.T. Barrett, Chris Streveler and Logan Woodside who need to be in situations to learn a system and settle into a pro offense. This is a strong group with as many as 12-15 prospects chosen over the three-day event.
Best Athlete – Lamar Jackson
Best Arm – Josh Allen
Most Accurate – Baker Mayfield
Best Mechanics – Josh Rosen
Best Runner – Lamar Jackson
Best Leader – Baker Mayfield
Best Intangibles – Sam Darnold
Best Decisions – Baker Mayfield
Most Developed – Baker Mayfield
NFL Premier Player
Aaron Rodgers/Tom Brady
Blue Chip – Sam Darnold
Blue Chip – Josh Rosen
Rising – Baker Mayfield
Falling – Lamar Jackson
Underrated – Mike White
Overrated – Luke Falk
Sleeper – Brandon Silvers
Boom/Bust – Josh Allen
Longterm Gem – Chase Litton
Overdrafted – Kyle Lauletta
Top QB Prospects
1 * Sam Darnold – USC
2 * Josh Rosen – UCLA
3 * Josh Allen – Wyoming
4 Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma
5 * Lamar Jackson – Louisville
6 Mason Rudolph – Oklahoma St
7 Mike White – Western Kentucky
8 Kyle Lauletta – Richmond
9 Luke Falk – Washington St
10 Kurt Benkert – Virginia
Scouting Reports – Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield
1 * Sam Darnold #14 Southern California 6-3 220 – Sp. 4.75
Player Comparison: Matt Stafford Rating 94
Gritty talented redshirt sophomore led the Trojans to postseason appearances during his two seasons. Strong agile athlete with very good arm and quick footwork plus the intangibles to become a top-flight NFL starter. Despite a short resume and some erratic performances, he developed quickly and shows a well-rounded skill set to make the jump to the NFL. Natural physical traits coveted in an elite NFL passer, though not completely developed currently. He has fine intangibles with a blue-collar mentality. Despite his age (21 years old this summer), he shows excellent poise, anticipation, toughness, vision, leadership and competitive desire. Displays the complete physical and mental package with excellent production at a very high-level vs Pac-12 talent. Shows a tight compact delivery and capable of firing strikes from the pocket or on the move. Very good footwork to move in the pocket and create passing lanes and keep plays alive. Developing the experience to go through his check downs faster and finding secondary receivers. Attempted to do too much early in the 2017 season with an average supporting cast. Needs to learn to throw the ball away to live to play another down than forcing the ball into heavy coverage. Slides well in the pocket and can evade pressure well, reset his feet and plant to make a big throw. Maintains his vision down field very well looking for receivers to make their second move. Operated under center, but also spent time from the gun and needs work on his drop back and setting his feet while reading coverage. Shows the smarts and discipline to be a quick study, though must learn to make sound decisions with the ball. Displays the ability to deliver very accurate short and intermediate passes, as well as tossing strikes down the alleys. Possesses fine touch on deep passes as well as inside the red zone. Impressive ability to improvise and make adjustments to game situations. Displays incredible vision and awareness to see the entire field. Makes clutch throws with the game on the line. Shows a quick release and possesses very good arm strength. At times, he can stare down his primary target and telegraph his throws. When under pressure, he will make off-balance throws which has led to turnovers. He shows good ball handling with the ability to fake and draw defenders into false reads.
The Numbers: As a sophomore, he started all 14 games, leading USC to a 11-3 record. Completed 303 of 480 passes for 4143 yards with 26 TDs and 13 interceptions while earning 1st team Pac-12 honors. As a freshman, he played in 13 games and completed 246 of 366 passes for 3086 yards for 31 TDs and 9 interceptions. Over his career, he started only 23 games and threw for 7229 yards with 57 TD passes and 22 interceptions. He rushed for 7 TDs. His career finale in their loss to Ohio St in the Cotton Bowl he threw a pick six and had two fumbles. At the NFL Combine, he came in over 6’3” and 221 lbs. with 9 3/8” hands and 31” arms. He ran a 4.67 time with a 26.5” VJ and an 8’9” BJ and added a 4.40 shuttle and 6.96 three cone. Did not participate in the passing drills. At his pro day, he displayed good velocity, timing and accuracy. He helped his cause with a strong performance. Very similar to Lions’ Matt Stafford in body size, arm strength, delivery and overall temperament and AA.
The Skinny: Gifted sophomore makes all the throws. Fast improving talent with only two seasons starting experience vs NFL caliber defenders. Competitor takes command and displays very good football IQ and capable of making a difference in crunch time. Athletic strong frame and size to hold up to the physical demands of the game. Shows the toughness and defense recognition to continue to develop as a winning starter. Needs to sit and settle into a system for a short time especially recognizing coverage and going through his progressions. One of the QB gems in recent years and intriguing raw prospect with huge upside potential to develop into a Pro Bowl performer. Talented blue-chip prospect with the Browns looking to land in the top selection.
Draft Projection: 1st Round – Top overall pick
2 * Josh Rosen #3 UCLA 6-4 225 – Sp. 4.85
Player Comparison: Matt Ryan Rating 92
Well-rounded smooth true junior led the Bruins for the past three seasons, displaying blue chip skills for the position. During his true freshman season, he earned All-American honors when he set UCLA freshman records for passing yards (3668) on 60% completion rate with 23 passing TDs with 11 interceptions. He has all the natural physical traits one seeks for an NFL starting QB – good size and overall athleticism with a fine strong arm and pocket awareness. His intangibles include poise, anticipation, toughness, vision, leadership and competitive desire. Shows the complete physical and mental package with excellent production at a very high level. Displays good footwork to set up and shows a crisp compact delivery with smooth release and capable of firing strikes with fine touch and timing. Quick footwork to move in the pocket and create passing lanes with the instincts to go through his check downs fast and find secondary receivers. Can evade pressure well, reset his feet and plant to make a big throw. Operated mainly from the gun and needs work on his drop back and setting his feet while reading coverage. Shows the smarts and discipline to be a quick study. Usually makes sound decisions with the ball, by displaying the ability to deliver very accurate short and intermediate passes, as well as tossing strikes down the alleys. Possesses fine touch on deep passes as well as inside the red zone. His polished throwing mechanics is the best in this class and ranks among the best in the past two decades. Consistently impresses with his ability to make adjustments and rally his unit, making clutch throws with the game on the line. Possesses good, not exceptional arm strength, though shows the touch to hit receivers in stride consistently to make plays. At times, shows a tendency to focus too long on his primary target and needs to progress to his other options quicker when under pressure. Occasionally, he will backpedal and make off-balance throws, rather than stepping into them. He shows good ball handling and security in general with quick decisions. He needs work on his basic footwork and his follow through while showing more pocket presence.
The Numbers: As a true junior, he started 11 games and had 283 completions of 452 passes for 3756 yards with 26 TDs and 10 interceptions, earning 2nd team Pac-12 honors. As a sophomore, he started 6 games and completed 59% of his passes for 1915 yards with 10 TDs and 5 interceptions. Over his career, he played in 30 games with 9339 passing yards for a 61% with 59 TDs and 26 interceptions. At the NFL Combine, he came in at 6’4” and 229 lbs. with 9 7/8” hands and 31 3/4” arms. He ran a 4.92 time with a 31” VJ and a 9’3” BJ and added a 4.28 shuttle and 7.09 three cone. In the passing drills, he displayed good velocity, timing and accuracy. He helped his cause with a strong performance. He will be compared to Matt Ryan and is similar in size, delivery and overall AA development. Also similar to Tony Romo in body type, accuracy and arm strength.
The Skinny: Talented quick throwing junior makes all the throws. Competitor takes command and displays very good football IQ and capable of making a difference with the game on the line. Athletic lean frame needs to add muscle to hold up to the physical demands of the game. Shows good defensive recognition to go through his progressions and find secondary receivers. Graded out high in the talented Pac-12 with three seasons starting experience vs NFL caliber defenders. Despite average supporting cast, he had excellent production. Two concussions and a shoulder injury leave pressing durability issues. Type can change a franchise, though needs some maturity as an athlete and person. Interesting prospect with the upside potential to develop quickly and start early. True blue chip QB prospect with the Jets, Browns, Bills and Broncos hoping to land in the top selections.
Draft Projection: 1st Round – Top 3 pick
3 * Josh Allen #17 Wyoming 6-5 235 – Sp. 4.75
Player Comparison: Ben Roethlisberger Rating 90
Big strong-armed junior led the Cowboys to back to back postseason bowl games over his two starting seasons. Huge athletic frame with quick feet and the best arm in this class have elevated him to a potential top selection. One-year JC transfer and lightly recruited out of HS. Very raw despite the complete athletic skill sets desired for the position. Continued to improve over his career, taking huge steps with impressive performances at both the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. Productive and athletic with the mental makeup to take the huge step up from a non-power five conference. Naturally strong arm with the ability to drive the ball into windows, though accuracy is a huge issue. He can drop the ball in the bucket on the deep throws when given time. Very good athleticism to run away from defenders even defensive backs. Skilled at fighting off defenders and evading pressure while keeping his eyes downfield. Long quick release that needs work and displays erratic accuracy that demands further time developing whether in the pocket or on the move. Huge powerful arm to make the tough out throws while also displaying a nice touch for lofting passes over defenders down the seam, or to backs and receivers on quick swing or outlet passes. Throws the out and deep ball outside the hashes as well as any QB since Cam Newton. His scrambling ability puts pressure on defenses and shows a legitimate threat for big plays whether by throwing or running. His basic skills such as taking the snap from under center and scanning downfield while dropping back are things where he is still in the developmental stage. Needs to learn to go through his progressions better and avoid locking on to his primary receiver. Dependent on his first read that can turn into mistakes. Savvy mobile athlete with a fine arm to make all the NFL throws with a fairly quick delivery for a long-armed prospect. High release point to avoid deflections, though his footwork needs extensive work on dropping, setup and follow through that will have a huge bearing on his accuracy improvement. Shows good awareness of coverage, but must look off defenders better and find the hot receiver. Learning how to lead a receiver with the right amount of touch on the ball and when to muscle the throw. Shows the speed to make plays outside the pocket with his feet with a big sturdy frame to hold up within the pocket or fighting off linemen. He has developed fine intangibles related to toughness, leadership and poise under pressure in clutch situations with a blue-collar approach after having to prove himself at each level.
The Numbers: As a junior, he started 11 games missing time due to a shoulder injury. For the season, he completed 152 of 270 passes for a 56% rate for 1812 yards with 16 TDs and just 6 picks that earned him MWC honorable mention. Went 1-3 vs Power 5 conference clubs with 1 TD and 8 interceptions. Won Senior Bowl MVP award with 2 TD passes during 2nd half comeback. As a sophomore, he started all 14 games and completed 209 passes of 373 attempts for a 56% rate for 3203 yards with 28 TDs and 15 picks, earning 2nd team MWC honors. Over his career, he threw for 5066 yards for a 56% rate with 44 TDs and 21 picks. He is similar to QB Ben Roethlisberger in raw skills set – size, mobility, arm strength and AA. Lacks a high level of development and little experience in a pro-style offense. Good intangibles. At the NFL Combine, he came at 6’5” and 237 lbs. with 10 1/8” hands and 33 1/4” arms. He ran a fine 4.75 time and added a 33.5” VL and 9’11” BJ with a 4.40 shuttle and an impressive 6.90 three cone times. He performed well in the passing drills. He set up quickly with good footwork in the pocket to move laterally and create passing lanes. He was very good on deep throws. Needs work on his foot work and set up to plant and drive the ball down the field with better accuracy. Takes too long a stride when setting up. Relies on a quick release and the touch to drop the ball into holes in coverage
The Skinny: Fast rising prospect with a level of development that demands sitting initially after only two starting years in a spread offense. Good field awareness and a top football IQ that should accelerate his progress within a pro offense. Continually improved over his career especially over his final season from the start through the critical postseason. Talented early 1st round pick with definite big time starting potential after gaining experience and learning a system. Savvy QB with an awesome skill set, especially his arm, though not ready currently to produce early. Huge ceiling if he gets in the right situation to refine his core throwing mechanics and footwork. Risen into the top selections and possible top five overall prospects. Excellent addition with skills to be NFL franchise type leader. Good fit for the Browns, Giants, Jets and Bills. Excellent intangibles to make a difference and a fine mature leader with the skills set to be an elite NFL starter in time.
Draft Projection: 1st Round -Top 6 pick
4 Baker Mayfield #6 Oklahoma 6-1 215 – Sp. 4.80
Player Comparison: Russell Wilson Rating 88
Slick senior gunslinger put up record setting numbers in the Sooners’ prolific passing attack which earned him the 2017 Heisman Trophy award. Transferred from Texas Tech as an underclassmen due to being in a class with QBs Patrick Mahomes and Davis Webb. Strong athletic frame with a good arm and quick release. Very good feet to setup, move in the pocket, slide to create new lanes or scramble to throw on the move or for a first down. Savvy athlete with a great sense of field presence and situations. Combines keen instincts with good athleticism to be both a leader and playmaker. Stepped up in big situations with big performances in the national playoffs as well as winning at Ohio St. Few clubs go into Columbus, Ohio and come away with a victory. Baker was instrumental in the Sooners’ win that marked them a national contender. Tight quick release with a natural throwing motion with the ability to release the ball from several positions with fine velocity and quickness. Played in the spread Sooner passing game putting up amazing numbers annually while showing the ability to throw the complete route tree. Shows the ability to drive the ball down the field and consistently fit into tight windows. Progresses very well as a pocket passer, though mainly operates in an offense with quick simple reads geared for the primary receiver. Gunslinger mentality with a cocky attitude that at times takes too much risk on plays. Savvy thrower can re-cock his arm quickly and deliver fast into new windows. Learning to be patient and look for other receivers and go through his progressions. Limited work from under center and faces a learning curve and needs to sit and adjust to the game. Needs to refine his setup and footwork under center and learn to go through his reads and adjustments to make the proper calls. Shows fine touch and accuracy on intermediate and vertical routes, though needs some refinement. Able to consistently place the ball with nice trajectory over the shoulder of receivers to catch in full stride. Within the pocket, displays a crisp natural throwing motion to get the ball out fast. Able to really drive the ball when required and the ball can explode from his hand with good velocity on the outs and tight seam routes. Deceptive mobility to be effective on the move without losing his accuracy. Shows the toughness to sit in the pocket and take a hit to complete the pass.
The Numbers: Over the 2017 season, he started 14 games and completed 285 passes of 404 attempts for a 71% rate for 4627 yards with 43 TDs and 6 picks. Won Heisman Trophy, in addition to three time Big 12 Player of the Year honors, Manning award, O’Brien award and Maxwell award in 2017. Over his junior season, he threw for 3965 yards while completing 71% with 40 TDs and 8 picks in 13 starts. Over his career, he posted a 39-9 record including several bowl victories and impressive road wins at Ohio St. Threw for 14,607 yards with 131 TDs and 30 interceptions and a 68.5% completion rate. Similar to NFL starter, Russell Wilson in size, AA, arm strength and LOD. At the NFL Combine, he came in at over 6’ and 218 lbs. with 30 1/4” arms and 9 1/4 hands. He ran a 4.84 time and added a 29” VL and a 9’3” BJ with a 4.28 shuttle and 7.00 three cone.
The Skinny: Highly productive QB with strong frame and rare arm to become a high-quality starter with some development. Needs improvement in his footwork to step up to play in a pro-style offense. He can throw the deep ball with accuracy, drive the ball down the field and make the tough intermediate throws and can fit the ball into tight windows when given time. High 1st round and probable top 10 pick. Top 5 QB prospect with the skill set to win a starting job within a few seasons after learning a system. Needs further work on reading defenses and going through his progressions. Must prove up to the call of leadership to be successful in the NFL. Some behavior must be addressed, though not criminal offenses. Rising top 10 prospect.
Draft Projection: 1st Round