The 2020 NFL Draft season is in full peak. We have made it through the Senior Bowl and we are now fast approaching the Scouting Combine.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be releasing my Pre-Combine position rankings. No score is final because of the lack of athletic testing data. This data will come after combine and pro days are completed.
Today, we will start with the quarterback position. I have watched tape on 22 QB prospects to this point.
|108||7||Jordan Love||Utah State||Jr||6’3||223||8.1||6||6.06|
|120||9||Anthony Gordon||Washington State||Sr||6’2||199||6.7||10||6.02|
|134||11||Broc Rutter||North Central (IL)||Sr||6’2||206||6.6||10||5.96|
|170||14||Mason Fine||North Texas||Sr||5’9||189||7||8||5.8|
|189||16||Jacob Knipp||Northern Colorado||Sr||6’2||213||7.2||7||5.72|
|274||20||Brian Lewerke||Michigan State||Sr||6’2||211||6.73||6||5.238|
Until the athletic scores take hold, three QBs claim the top four spots in my overall rankings. Joe Burrow is likely the only one who will stay where he is. Burrow may be the most polished QB prospect to enter the league since Andrew Luck. He has every trait you look for in a QB except for elite arm strength. Barring some catastrophic accident between now and April 23rd, you can chisel Burrow to the Bengals into a stone tablet.
Tua Tagovailoa has all of the same traits as Burrow but with glaring medical questions. Tagovailoa had some minor injuries before the major hip surgery in November. It is unlikely that Tua will be fully recovered between now and training camp.
Justin Herbert has the same traits as the first two but with a much stronger arm. The issue with Herbert is consistency. He was, by far, the most superior passer in Mobile. Herbert probably wrapped up a top ten selection with his Senior Bowl performance.
Take Herbert’s consistency issues, double it, and you get Jacob Eason. Eason transferred from Georgia after getting Wally Pipp’d by Jake Fromm. Eason has the strongest arm of any QB in this class. He can make throws that will take your breath away. Then Eason will make a throw that will make you want to beat your head against a wall. Some team is going to fawn over his arm talent and take him early in the second round.
Jalen Hurts is going to improve any team and locker room he goes to. I just don’t think it will be as a long-term starter. Hurts intermediate and downfield accuracy is lacking. He makes up for it with tremendous athleticism.
Jordan Love is the wild card of all of the QB prospects. If you went off of his 2018 tape, Love would be firmly in the first round on my board. His splash plays are eye-popping. After a coaching change and mass exodus of skill players, Love struggled in 2019. His production score is currently keeping him out of my Top 100 prospects. Jordan Love is likely going in round one. How high is the question?
If you are looking for a dark horse prospect that can eventually be a top signal-caller, look no further than Cole McDonald. McDonald has some Patrick Mahomes level field savvy. Unfortunately, McDonald is often his own worst enemy. Against Arizona in the opener, he threw three touchdowns and three picks all in the first half. He was benched in that game and a couple of others were similar roller coaster performances. Call me crazy, but I would rather buy a Powerball ticket (Cole McDonald) and a chance to win millions than I would rather buy a scratch-off ticket (Jake Fromm) with a chance to only win thousands.
SOMETHING THERE BUT IS IT ENOUGH?
James Morgan (FIU) has good but not great qualities. He should get a chance to develop. Bryce Perkins (Virginia) has good tape and good pocket escapability. However, he wasn’t invited to a single all-star game and there appears to questions about the severity of his prior neck injury. Anthony Gordon (Washington State) does a great job off-script. He reads defenses quickly and gets the ball out accordingly.
Keep an eye on Division III national champion QB Broc Rutter (North Central). Rutter has a huge arm and was one of the most productive passers in all of college football. His main flaw is pocket awareness. In the Hula Bowl, you could tell Rutter had never truly faced a pass rush capable of getting him off-kilter. The tools to get him into a camp are there.
CAMP ARMS…NOTHING MORE
Tom Flacco, Jacob Knipp, Steven Montez, Nathan Stanley, and Kelly Bryant are passers you bring into camp to throw to rookie wide receivers and maybe stick as the 4th QB on the 90-man roster. Mason will have a damn Fine CFL career, in my opinion. Nick Tiano has great size but is short on other necessary skills. Brian Lewerke and Shea Patterson should start hoping some of these XFL QBs get the NFL callup. Riley Neal should start looking into coaching.
Next up, we will look at the fabulous RB class.