Now that the NFL Draft Combine has come and gone, it is time for me to release my final list of rankings at each position.
I believe this is not only the best class of quarterbacks in recent years, but there are also some diamonds in the rough who have a chance to develop into solid starters down the line.
Best qb 2018 Draft
1. Sam Darnold – USC
Darnold is not the most polished qb, but he makes up for it with his athleticism, aggressiveness and leadership qualities. Last year’s Rose Bowl game proved that he can make all the throws at a high level, which will only improve after working out all offseason. As Darnold gains more experience in reading coverages and making pre snap reads, he will grow into one of the elite qbs in this draft.
2. Josh Rosen, UCLA
The local product from the University of California, Los Angeles is both a gifted passer and playmaker. He has been destined to be a top pick ever since he was four years old when his parents made him write down that he would one day become an NFL quarterback. He has a high football IQ and a strong understanding of the game. Rosen possesses very good mechanics, with a quick release and an excellent throwing motion. He has been pushed by his father to be successful from an early age which you can see when he is on the field. His arm strength is above average but not elite which limits him in some areas such as when he tries to throw from a wide base.
Good qb 2018 Draft
1. Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma
Mayfield is not the ideal height for an NFL quarterback at 6 feet 1 inch, but his accuracy and mobility should compensate for that flaw. Most notably, Mayfield’s accuracy was validated by his 71% completion percentage last year. He is not afraid to take chances down the field, but he also has the ability to play the safe game with the way he manipulates secondaries with his eyes. Even though Mayfield played in a Big 12 offense that accentuated his mobility, he still performed well under pressure and should be able to handle the blitz.
2. Josh Allen, Wyoming
In an era where the qb with the most arm strength succeeds, this advantage will help Josh Allen rise higher on draft boards as we approach April even though his decision making is poor and he has a weak grasp of the mental side of the position. People seem to forget that Allen did not even have a scholarship from a major program coming out of high school. He has improved exponentially in each season and finished last year with 3,203 passing yards and 28 touchdowns.
While he does not possess elite accuracy, I believe his outstanding arm strength helps to minimize this flaw.
Why Are This Year NFL Drafts Especially Important
This year’s NFL Drafts are especially important because each team has a chance to solidify the future of their franchise. The quarterbacks in this class have both elite level talents but also major flaws making many mock drafts unreliable for predicting which players teams will actually draft.
Some teams will agree with my rankings and others will not but as we get closer to the draft it is important for everyone to keep an open mind. After all, each player has four years worth of tape that you can study!
Who Will be the Best Quarterback in the NFL in 10 Years
While it is nearly impossible to predict the future, these are my rankings based on every factor I think is relevant in predicting how successful each player will become.
The most important ingredient for becoming an elite qb is having high level accuracy with an ability to throw at all three levels (short, intermediate, deep). One of the best ways to measure this is by using 3-cone drill times which measures agility, footwork, and ability to change direction.
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield landed in an ideal situation with the Cleveland Browns after they traded for the number one overall pick.
While many fans will be skeptical about a Heisman Trophy winner who stands at 6 feet 1 inch, I believe he landed in a great spot with a very good wide receiving corps and just enough weapons on defense to allow him to have success as a rookie.