Sam Darnold – USC
“And the number one pick goes too…”
Going into this season as a sophomore, the Trojans QB was certainly the focus of many scouts. All of which are waiting to snap up this almost certain NFL elite prospect in Sam Darnold. The 6ft 4, 220 lbs, cool headed precision throwing man under centre has dazzled his opponents as well as peeking everyone’s interest in him since his junior year. Finishing on a high with an excellent, NFL elite calibre performance to win a rose bowl for USC. Coming into his 2018 season Darnold has put a few doubts over his head with a few poor games under his belt. Whether it is his shaky OL teammates or his attempt to ‘try and do too much’ attitude resulting in poor outings as of 2018. Although his critics will try and play to these weaknesses there is no denying the kids got talent to play at the next level. With his size, accuracy and vision downfield he cannot be ignored as the top prospect going into this draft. Congratulations on a nice pick Browns, please don’t mess this up.
Draft Prediction: EARLY FIRST ROUNDER, TOP
Josh Rosen – UCLA
Josh Rosen, the ‘Born to play’ quarterback out of UCLA is next on our list as one the elite prospects that may enter this upcoming draft. With his crisp footwork, controlled game management and level head in key moments, Rosen came into this year hyped by many to take the top spot on this year’s QB rankings. The bruins QB is coming off of a season ending injury in his first year but not before showing scouts his true potential. Many scouts are now left pondering at his seemingly average start to this season but understanding that this may be due to his poor performing blockers and limited options out wide. This resulted in UCLA having an early 3-3 start to the season and a few poor decision making moments at times that left scouts unsure about his readiness for the NFL. Rosen who is credited for his 44-10 comeback to win 45-44 against Texas in week one, still looks like the real deal and depending on his next few performances will be itching for that top draft spot.
Draft Prediction: EARLY FIRST ROUNDER, TOP 5
Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma Sooners
Of all the college pro prospects, junior quarterback Baker Mayfield might be the most interesting. His drive, competitiveness and success as a college quarterback is hard to question. But listed at 6-foot-1, can he turn into a more mobile Drew Brees? Or is he just another undersized QB not quite cut out for professional football? There is no doubt that the 2018 Heisman trophy winners got talent. In recent weeks Mayfield led Oklahoma to its third straight Big 12 championship with Oklahoma beating the TCU Horned Frogs 41–17 in the championship game. He also picked up the MVP for this game and is now waiting on Oklahoma’s play-off berth
to cap off a Steller year before hitting the pro level. With 86% of the highest voting percentage of this year’s Heisman Trophy he has undoubtedly proved that he can do it at the college level. The next question is can he transfer this success into the pro level. With off the field issues and questions about his size in comparison to the average NFL QBs, Could this be another Johnny Manziel like character? Or could we actually have an under estimated “diamond in the rough player” giving the NFL a new lease of life coming into 2018. After all, if this doesn’t work there is always Canada, right Johnny?
Draft Prediction: FIRST ROUNDER, TOP 10
Josh Allen – Wyoming Cowboys
Next on our list is another exciting and promising young junior out of Wyoming with aspiration of making the next leap into Pro level. NFL scouting reports have him everywhere in the draft with no easy answers on this young single caller. From reports that he is in contention with Darnold and Rosen at the top to a below average 3rd rounder with the potential needing work. Allen has the physical tools, pocket awareness, quickness off his feet and ability to do it outside the pocket in his arsenal. Even for someone his size, he has speed to make plays on the run and extend drives. But making the next step into the NFLs level tends to highlight your weaknesses more so than your strengths. There were times throughout his last season where
Allen would bail from the pocket instead of completing a pass. While a strength is his speed and velocity, his touch and placement on certain passes needed improvement. At 21 years of age Allen is one of the youngest QBs in the draft and may turn out to be a nice project. Overall assessment is this guy needs to build on experience and maturity but with the right couching and players to surround him there is no reason for this man not to succeed.
Draft Prediction: MID FIRST ROUNDER
Lamar Jackson – Louisville Cardinals
To complete the top 5 of this highly talented QB draft class of 2018 is the second of our Heisman trophy winners Lamar Jackson. The highly talented, record setter from Louisville runs in as a long shot to many as an elite QB. In the right coaching system with time to develop, we could see Lamars raw talent unleashed and brought to the next level. With his size, quick feet, awareness and ultimate clutch abilities its hard not to be tempted. Jackson finishing in the top 12 in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, passing yards and passing touchdowns last year shows just how unique of an athlete he is. But the question on everyone’s mind is can he transfer this over to the NFL. In the eyes of many scouts his poor accuracy ratios and 1st option play has left people wanting. The sophomore is still a ways away from being an NFL passer and this will reflect on his draft stock. Lamara will need to dig deep and progress in his development in a few areas of his game but if given time he might get his shot.