Brett Rypien: Late Round QB has 3 Star Potential

Brett Rypien (6’1, 210), Quarterback, Boise State

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full database of 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer. All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

15.3 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Brett Rypien is one of the smaller QBs in this less than savory draft, but the size takes nothing away from how good he can be. He did all the right things in college, ranking in the top 30 in several categories. On tape, he looks really good and reminds me of a shorter Drew Lock (who I love) and rightfully so. I came away with the feeling I rarely get with some of these prospects; he’s got the full package and I’m here to tell you why I believe he’ll be a top 5 QB from this class when it’s all said and done.

Arm Strength: Aggregate Score 4 (Personal Score 4)

Rypien doesn’t have that effortless rocket launcher like Haskins and Tyree Jackson, but he’s no slouch. Wherever the ball needs to be, he can get it there and with great velocity, especially on short routes. What this score of 4 says to me is that Rypien has got an above average arm and will do just fine in an NFL setting. You don’t need immaculate arm strength to succeed in the league.

Accuracy: Aggregate Score 3 (Personal Score 4)

Rypien was voted to have just an average arm and even received a 2 (below average) from one of our evaluators. I am not of the camp that thinks he isn’t above average with his accuracy. His issues lay in the fact that his receivers were not making the catches that they should have. It reminded me again of Drew Lock, who when Hall went down, the “other guys” struggled to make plays at the same level. His ball placement is one of the best in this class and will help separate him in the long run.

Decision Making: Aggregate Score 2.3 (Personal Score 3)

His decision making is not the best, but it’s not the worst either. I don’t think he’s below average as his aggregate score suggests, I just think he’s trying to force his options into plays that they can’t complete. It kind of goes into his accuracy “issues” where he’s trying to make up for what he doesn’t have on the field by making them better but he’s not quite there yet. I’m thinking he needs average to above average weapons early on to succeed until he gets better here. However, I absolutely think that he will be fine going through his progressions on the next level and does not struggle with that side of his game at all.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score 2.3 (Personal Score 3)

This is a metric I’m not too worried about given the style of QB I think he is (a pocket passer), but it is worth noting that he can “get out and boogey” similar to some other QBs in this draft. What I mean by “get out and boogey” is that these guys have the capability to escape when the pocket breaks down as well as run for some short yardage when a play breaks down.

Mechanics: Aggregate Score 3.6 (Personal Score 4)

Rypien is pretty good here but isn’t going to blow evaluators away. The only little red flag I have on him is that he doesn’t keep consistent in some games and ends up throwing wobblers. Those tight spirals you want to see get lost on him sometimes but again, I think that has to do with the same reasonings I had with his decision making. Trying to force the issue pulled him out of comfort zones in a bad way and caused his mechanics to be off. This is my issue with him and I know it’s something that can be corrected on the next level.

Conclusion: 4th-Waivers

There’s prospects that you want to let fall because there’s no way they get drafted. Rypien is not one of those prospects. I say that because in a few years (meaning he still needs to sit and learn) Rypien will easily be a starter in this league. He has patience, has the right ideas when operating out of the pocket and has enough mobility to not be excessively sacked. My best comp I can give for him in terms of career is this: He’ll be the QB12-15 most of his career with a pro bowl or two here or there and you can take that to the bank. I don’t feel like many of the QBs in this draft will even sniff that.

Easton Stick: 3 Star Upside

Easton Stick (6’1, 224), Quarterback North Dakota State University

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

15.6 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Stick may be from a small school, but the Bison are no joke. Stick took over for Carson Wentz at North Dakota State University-a FCS program. Stick is the winningest player in NDSU history; totaling 41 wins of his tenure there. He consistently improved throughout his time as a starter; finishing his senior season with 2,752 passing yards, 28 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 677 rushing yards, and 17 rushing touchdowns.

Arm Strength: Aggregate Score 3.3 (Personal Score 4)

Stick keeps the ball primarily in the short and mid field. He has a great zip on his ball and hits his targets with strong throws. He also isn’t afraid to air the ball out; he can get the ball 50/60 yards downfield. On multiple occasions, Stick threw the ball 2-3 times in a row over 50 yards. I’m a bit higher on his arm strength than my fellow writers; it’s possible his big throws get me a little too hyped up.

Accuracy: Aggregate Score 2.3 (Personal Score 2)

This is not Stick’s strong suit. He can hit wide outs consistently on slants and drags over the first level of the field. Although I like his arm strength his ability to be dangerous downfield is limited because he loses a lot of accuracy past 40 yards downfield. He consistently overthrows his targets. Stick does not have the ability to make throws on the run; which is frustrating from a running quarterback. Even more frustrating is that in-between overthrows and wild deep balls are beautiful dimes with perfect touch. Stick has the upside, but inconsistent with accuracy is a big red flag.

Decision Making: Aggregate Score 2.6 (Personal Score 2)

Stick protects the ball well, leading to a 4:1 touchdown to interception ratio his senior year. He does well to move the pocket and set himself before throwing (which helps offset his inaccuracy) and makes quick decisions to tuck the ball and run. Stick, though, throws a lot of passes into traffic and leaves his receivers out to dry consistently. If Stick was playing higher level competition, I’m sure his ratio would be much lower.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score 4.3 (Personal Score 5)

Here’s where I get really excited; Stick is an athletic freak for his position. He’s quick enough to beat linebackers to the edge and turn upfield and bolt. He’s also not afraid to run between the A gap and swipe defenders off of him. There’s multiple occasions on tape when Stick drags defensive backs forward with him while he extends the play. It’s not unreasonable to get Stick confused for his running back on tape-he is dynamic and breaks off big plays. He extends plays and makes broken players into 40-yard gains with his feet. Stick’s athletic upside makes him unique and a versatile talent in this draft class.

Mechanics: Aggregate Score 3 (Personal Score 3)

Here’s one category where the three rankers hit consensus. He’s light on his feet, has solid mechanics but nothing too impressive. Stick moves a pocket well and has a high level of awareness for when to set his feet and throw the ball, and when to take off running. He scares you, though, when he puts his head down to take on linebackers.

Conclusion: Late Round Flyer

I get seriously hype when watching Stick’s tape. It’s exciting, there’s a ton of dynamic plays, and you can tell he’s a serious gamer. Still, he’s very raw and even in a great landing spot he looks to be a taxi squad asset for at least a few years. In superflex formats he’s more appealing; and could even sneak into the back end of the third round. In most formats, though, he will go in the fourth round-or not at all.

Daniel Jones: A Very Divisive QB Prospect

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

Daniel Jones (6’5”, 221 lbs) Quarterback, Duke University

15.6 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Daniel Jones has become the most polarizing quarterback prospect in this class. Does he have what it takes to play quarterback in the NFL? Short answer? Who knows. He has a lot of good and bad on film and his numbers say about the same.  The good, the bad and the ugly is what you get with Jones and we will try to get a cross section of that here.

College Production

His passing numbers are not very exciting, but looking at his numbers across the board gives a little hope. After redshirting his freshman year, Jones put up intriguing numbers through the air in his first year on the field with almost 3000 yards and 16 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. Add 7 touchdowns on the ground and you can make a case for Jones looking like a guy who could play professionally. He most certainly had a sophomore slump with yardage and efficiency dropping.  He didn’t improve much over his original freshman numbers in his final season. Yardage very similar overall with a slight efficiency increase. He did get his TD/Int ratio well above 2 which is promising. His rushing touchdowns went down as his passing touchdowns went up though so this wasn’t as much the result of a more efficient offense, but a more efficient passer certainly.

Arm Strength: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

He can makes NFL level throws and his arm is passable, but nothing more. He does not often make wow throws on tape and won’t often trust his arm when deciding whether to push the ball downfield or fit the ball in tight window.

Accuracy: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 3)

Again, not great, but he hits his target on the throws you need to see. He is often conservative so you don’t get too see the accuracy on the more difficult throws.

Decision Making: Aggregate Score: 2 (Personal Score: 2)

Normally a guy who makes the safe decision and keeps things relatively calm on a play to play basis would be counted as a good decision maker. We do not believe this is the case. There is more to the game than taking the safe yardage and keeping drives alive.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

A bit of a surprise here, but Jones is a good athlete. He ran a 4.8 flat at the combine and 7.00 three cone.  Both of those numbers are strong for a quarterback of his size. Solid numbers in the vert and the broad jump show enough explosiveness to go with those speed and agility numbers as well.

Mechanics: Aggregate Score: 3.6 (Personal Score: 3)

Meh-canics. I don’t love the throwing motion here. While he can get rid of the ball quickly, which is very important at the next level, he isn’t very tight with his wind up. The ball comes away from his body and well outside of his shoulder as he is winding up exposing it to defenders in a big way.

Conclusion:  Not Drafting in 1 QB, Late 2nd/Early 3rd Round Target in SuperFlex

I see a whole lot of Alex Smith when I watch Daniel Jones play football. Given a good situation and some high level weapons, Jones has a shot to game manage his way to some wins the NFL. He does not look to have a very high ceiling without many of the physical tools to create big time plays and opportunities. However, for fantasy, Alex Smith has been a serviceable asset, especially in Superflex. The rushing upside is there with the athleticism for Jones and I could see that playing into his fantasy value. If I end up with Jones on a fantasy roster, it is because he was drafted high and he will get a chance to start early in his career. If that does happen and he flashes in one of those first few games, I am shipping him for any semblance of a profit. Jones won’t win you any fantasy championships.

Drew Lock: The Argument for QB1

Drew Lock (6’4, 228), Quarterback, Missouri

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full database of 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer. All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

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19.6 Aggregate Score (4 Star Prospect)

Lock is the top overall rated quarterback in our database at this point and he is my QB1. He was a 4-year starter at Missouri; throwing for over 3,000 career yards in his last 3 seasons. In those seasons, he has thrown 95 touchdowns to just 21 interceptions. An impressive feat in a conference known for it’s pro-ready defenders. There’s a lot to like about Lock; he’s well rounded, has a fiery confidence that perfectly walks the line of arrogance, and has proven production against the closest thing to NFL level defensive talent.

Arm Strength: Aggregate Score 4 (Personal Score 4)

Lock has good velocity on his throws. He weaves balls into tight windows in the short field. He also gets the ball downfield with ease. He consistently works the ball into the 3rd level of the field and his tape shows multiple drop-in-a-bucket passes to receivers as they burn downfield. Lock’s arm strength is 3rd best in the class to me; with just Tyree Jackson and Kyler Murray showing the ability to get the ball down the field further.

Accuracy: Aggregate Score 4 (Personal Score 4)

Lock is precise in the short and mid field passing game. He gets the ball into tight windows well and rarely puts his wideouts in a situation where they get hit by defenders. Instead, his receivers get hit in the chest and hands consistently. He reads the field well and beats double coverage by putting the ball in a position where only his receivers can get it. He leads receivers well, can pinpoint along the sideline, and consistently finishes off drives with well-placed touchdown passes.

Decision Making: Aggregate Score 4 (Personal Score 4)

Lock doesn’t throw the ball in dangerous spots. He reads the field very well and works through progression at a much higher level than I see with Haskins; often finding his 2nd or 3rd read on plays. He rarely takes sacks, despite facing constant pressure. Lock sets his feet consistently while throwing the ball, avoiding inaccurate passes on the run.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score 3.6 (Personal Score 3)

Lock’s athleticism doesn’t impress me; he’s certainly no Kyler Murray. Lock, however, also isn’t Haskins. His athleticism is solid; he can scramble but thinks to stay in the pocket first. He won’t burn defenders, but he has solid burst and can run north/south to avoid taking a hit. He showed the strength to stay up after taking a hit and finish the play forward but chooses to slide often. Lock may not thrill you with his athleticism, but it is good enough to allow him some creativity inside the pocket.

Mechanics: Aggregate Score 4 (Personal Score 4.3)

Lock has a good release, and solid throwing motion. He’s light when moving around the pocket, keeps his feet moving, and steps up and through the pocket when throwing deep. It leads to a pretty spiral on his passes and he sets his feet consistently. Lock, though, often throws off his back foot. More times than not, it comes from “phantom pressure”; Lock perceives a defender to be closing in on him while he actually has time to throw. He has some developing to do, but Lock is a moldable prospect.

Conclusion: No Rush to take the Top QB

Lock is my QB1, and clearly my fellow rankers agree with me. I expect, however, for Kyler Murray to go off the board before Lock in most fantasy football rookie drafts. I can live with hat, given Murray’s upside. What I can’t understand, however, is taking Haskins over Lock. Haskins is less accurate, has a tougher time reading the field, is less accurate, and less proven. Regardless of which one goes first, no QB should go earlier than the back end of the second round of fantasy football rookie drafts. I’m not leaping at any of them this year, but if Lock falls to me in the third round, I would not be able to resist.

Jordan Ta’amu: 3 Star Prospect & Late Round Flyer

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full database of 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer. All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

Jordan Ta’amu (6’2″, 212), Quarterback, Ole Mis           

14.1 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Ta’amu is equally fascinating and difficult to evaluate. Ta’amu was not heavily recruited out of high school in Pearl City, Hawaii-where he threw for 1,779 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions in his senior season. He chose to enroll at the New Mexico Military Institute (JUCO). After two seasons in Roswell, Ole Miss was his only Power 5 offer. Ta’amu chose to head to Oxford, even though he was expected to spend his time on the team backing up then Ole Miss starting quarterback Shea Patterson. Patterson sustained an in jury in 2017, which allowed Ta’amu to play in 7 games. Patterson then chose to transfer to Michigan and Ta’amu capitalized on the opportunity to lead an offense with D.K. Metcalf, DeMarkus Lodge, AJ Brown, and Dawson Knox.

College Production: Doing a Lot, with a Lot

Ta’amu jumped in and began contributing immediately, following the Patterson injury, as a junior. He threw for 1,682 yards, 11 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and completed 115 of his 173 attempts (66.5%). Ta’amu is a dual threat: rushing for 165 yards of 57 attempts and 4 touchdowns in his 7 games during the 2017 season. In 2018 his success against SEC defenses continued. He threw for 3,918 yards (2nd in SEC), completed 63.6% of his passes (3rd in SEC), threw for 19 touchdowns, 8 interceptions. Ta’amu also piled up 342 rushing yards on 116 attempts, and 6 rushing touchdowns.

His ability to jump in and immediate contribute against SEC defenses is impressive, and it speaks volumes to his football IQ and leadership ability. Still, when evaluating Ta’amu it can’t be ignored that he had one of the best receiving corps. of any quarterback in this draft class. A.J. Brown is a yards after catch (YAC) monster and it’s hard to ask for a better redzone threat than Metcalf. Lodge gave Ta’amu a lethal downfield option once Metcalf went down with injury, and Dawson Knox supported Ta’amu as both a receiver and blocker.

Ta’amu was invited to the 2019 Shrine Bowl. I believe this speaks to what NFL scouts think of him: intriguing but not necessarily screaming “starter”. His performance during practices was generally considered to be positive and he went 7-10 for 98 passing yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions. For me, he passed the eye test: he looked comfortable in the pocket and made some good throws. His performance didn’t up his stock at all, but it certainly didn’t hurt him either.

Arm Strength: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 3)

Ta’amu has great velocity and it makes him effective when throwing short and in the mid-field. When throwing deep, he puts a nice touch on the ball and the combination can make for a great highlight clip. Ta’amu, though, rarely pushed the ball more than 30 yards down field. I believe Ta’amu could do more, making his tape a bit frustrating, but from what we can see pre-combine/pro day his score has to be capped in this category.

Accuracy: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 3)

Ta’amu is accurate when throwing short and within 25-30 yards, starting to see a pattern here? On the rare occasion when he did air it out, though, he rarely connected with his target. He benefitted a lot from AJ Brown making plays after catching 7-10-yard slant routes and catching passes at/behind the line of scrimmage. He is successful finding his man on first reads, but once he has to progress past that he becomes inconsistent. Ta’amu is not poised under pressure, and it results in a hit to his accuracy.

Decision Making: Aggregate Score: 2.3 (Personal Score: 3)

Ta’amu has a calm pocket presence to him, and it helped him achieve the high accuracy numbers discussed earlier, playing weekly against some of the best defenses in the country. The Ole Miss offense ran a lot of run-pass options (RPOs) and Ta’amu was successful when he could hit his first progression. When the play broke down, though, he made some poor decisions-especially against tougher defenses like Alabama. Ta’amu often let the play break down, too-he holds onto the ball too long and allows the pocket to collapse on him. Although he can be effective on designed runs, he’s less effective running when the pocket has broken down. Ta’amu also struggles when facing pressure, often leading to poor decisions and turnovers (in the form of interceptions and fumbles).

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 3)

Ta’amu is a good athlete, but he has limited upside as a rushing quarterback in the NFL. He can move the pocket and scramble when necessary but isn’t able to get to the edge or break tackles. He can gain 20+ yards on broken plays, though, when running north/south. He has some burst out of the pocket but lacks the acceleration necessary to be a big play threat. Ta’amu also struggles with balance-he rarely stays on his feet after contact.

Mechanics: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 2)                                                                                                    

This is where Ta’amu needs to develop the most at the next level. He throws off balanced a lot, especially when throwing on the run. In the pocket, he consistently throws off his back foot. Whether inside or outside the pocket he tends to short arm his passes. He also stares down his receivers-leading to tips and interceptions. When running the ball, Ta’amu struggles holding onto the ball.

Conclusion: 4th Round Target

Ta’amu’s tape shows me a career back-up. I think he has the poise, football IQ, and versatility to be a valuable asset to an NFL roster. What I can’t see, however, is him being an impact player in the league-at least not early in his career. Prior to the showcase games, I have Ta’amu ranked as the 9th best quarterback prospect, in terms of fantasy football. Ta’amu is likely a Day 3 pick in the NFL Draft-and he shouldn’t be considered anything more than a flyer on your dynasty rosters.  

Pre-Showcase Games Rankings for the 2019 Quarterback Draft Class

This article is my personal breakdown of the 2019 draft class, pre-showcase games and specifically from tape review. I’m positive these rankings will change as the NFL Draft process progresses, but this makes for a great starting point. Let’s talk about them-let me know what you think on twitter!

For more on the fantasy football values of the 2019 Draft Class, check out the 48 Report: our 2019 Rookie Database

11. Gardner Minshew (6’2”, 220), Washington State

I wanted to like Minshew more than I did-he caught my eye and impressed me in what ended up being a bowl game loss to Iowa State. His 2018 stats will also catch your eye: his 4,776 passing yards were second only to Dwayne Haskins. He also threw 38 touchdowns, just 9 interceptions, and completed 468 of his 662 attempts (70.7%).

What wasn’t impressive is his arm strength and decision making. Minshew’s longest completion in the 3 games of tape I broke down was 48 yards. Other than that, the majority of passes fell in the 8-10-yard range, and his velocity fell off after the ball got 25 yards down the field. He holds onto the ball a while in the pocket and lacks the mobility to avoid defenders collapsing on him. Minshew also throws the ball into tight coverage a lot. His accuracy was his best strength, but it’s built on a foundation of short slants (like, a lot of slants). Seriously, so many slants. You want Minshew in one play? Here it is:

Minshew is raw, playing just one season with a Power 5 school after transferring from East Carolina University. He will be playing in the Senior Bowl, over other QBs I have ranked above him in this group-I think that says a lot about what the NFL believes his potential is. With a successful showing in Mobile, and a strong combine, we will be having a different conversation in April.

10. Jarrett Stidham (6’2”, 215), Auburn

Stidham led Auburn to an SEC West title in 2017, thrusting Alabama into the 4 seed in a move that served as refreshment for the 6 teams that have been held in check by for years by the SEC powerhouse. Since that moment, however, things have gone south for Stidham. In 2018, his production dropped across the board: he completed just 60.7% of his passes (66.5% in 2017), threw for 2,794 yards (3,158 in 2017) and held even with his 2017 total of 18 touchdowns.

Stidham has a great arm-he can throw a pretty, tight, spiral down the field for 50 yards with relative ease. I’m convinced this is why Stidham had 1st round chatter following his 2017 campaign. Although that hype has cooled, he’s still regarded well enough to earn a Senior Bowl bid. I don’t get the hype, though. I saw him struggle to consistently connect with his targets, even though Auburn’s offense is built on a foundation of short slants, curls, and screens. Stidham freezes under pressure and makes taking a sack seem like a routine part of the QB position. He’s totally immobile, but I don’t think anyone has told him that-because he makes a trend of attempting to scramble without getting back to the line of scrimmage.

The mechanics are there, so the potential is there, but I can’t see Stidham climbing up my personal board.

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9. Jordan Ta’amu (6’2”, 212), Ole Miss

Ta’amu is a tough player to evaluate: he led the SEC in passing yards (3,918) in 2018 and tacked on another 342 rushing yards to that total. He combined for 25 touchdowns and threw just 8 interceptions. He also had one of the best supporting casts in the nation: A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, and Dawson Knox.

Ta’amu has great arm strength-he can huck the ball downfield and put a real nice touch on it. His velocity is amongst the best of the draft class and it helped him find success in the Ole Miss offense. Here’s a little taste of what he can do:

He was accurate when hitting his first read, but struggled to progress through his reads-often resulting in a sack. He can be effective outside of the pocket-but his athleticism is capped-he’s limited to be a north/south runner. Ta’amu throws off his back foot a lot, short arms his release, and doesn’t control his body well on the run.

He does a lot good, but I don’t see anything great here. He will have the chance to prove me wrong, beginning with the Shrine game.

8. Tyree Jackson (6’7”, 245), University of Buffalo

You’re going to hear the phrase “I wish he would have gone back for another year” often when you hear talk of Jackson this NFL Draft season. I’ll be standing next to those guys nodding enthusiastically, because I really like what Jackson could be, but he’s seriously raw. Jackson completed just 55% of his 407 attempts his junior season (2018) at Buffalo. He totaled 3,131 passing yards, 28 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Add on 161 rushing yards on 55 attempts (3.8 yards/carry) and 7 rushing touchdowns to his stats.

Jackson very well may have the best arm of the draft class. He makes 50+ yard passes look easy, including a beautiful 60-yard touchdown pass vs Miami of Ohio where he perfectly led his wide receiver down the field and into the endzone (a popular trend for Jackson). Jackson has a great throwing motion, good velocity, and a relatively quick release (for his size) when he throws from the pocket. The issue, though, is that Jackson rarely stays in the pocket-an odd trend for someone who can so easily see over his linemen. Outside of the pocket, Jackson throws on the run and fails to set his feet-often resulting in passes off his back foot. That leads to inaccurate passes and poor decision making. Jackson throws into double and triple coverage a lot (a cringy amount for someone who wants to love his tape). He also has a habit of overthrowing his targets and missing them completely while throwing on the run.

Jackson earned a late bid to the Senior Bowl, and I’m excited to see what he can do with his week in Mobile. I’ll be cheering for him to impress from now until April, but I expect him to be a Day 3 pick that will benefit from a couple years of development in a organization that can hone in his potential.

7. Daniel Jones (6’5”, 220), Duke University

I get the Daniel Jones narrative-he’s big and he’s athletic, what more could you want? That’s what I thought going into my review of Jones, but all I could keep thinking was “I want more”. Let’s start with his stats: 2,674 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions in his redshirt junior season (2018). Jones also ran for 319 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jones was a 3-year starter at Duke, but had a career highs in completion percentage (62.8%) passing yards (2,836) and rushing touchdowns (7) during his redshirt freshmen year.

Jones has good mechanics: he’s got a good release, get’s the ball out quick, is light on his feet, and can control his body when throwing on the run. He’s not particularly quick, but he is athletic. He can move away from the blitz and reset the pocket well. He has some burst and can turn broken plays into 20-40 yard gains but doesn’t have the quickness to beat defenders to the edge in the highlight fashion other quarterbacks in this class can.

His arm strength is less than satisfying for someone with his frame, and his decision-making skills are lacking. He throws into tight coverage often and makes bad passes when under pressure. Although he can move the pocket, Jones often hesitates too long under pressure, leading to sacks. He makes a habit of throwing into double coverage, and although it doesn’t always lead to interceptions and does result in his receivers taking some rough hits.

Jones is a Senior Bowl invite and has the measurables to impress NFL scouts. Chatter from the NFL Draft community has Jones being a candidate for 1st round consideration. Although it’s likely more a result of the weak draft class, a landing spot that presents Jones with an opportunity to start in the NFL will give him a significant bump on my board.

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6. Brett Rypien (6’2”, 202), Boise State

Rypien was a 4-year starter on the blue turf; totaling 13,578 passing yards, 90 passing touchdowns, just 29 interceptions, and a 64% career completion rate. Rypien’s 3,705 passing yards in his senior season was 11th best in the nation, and his 30 touchdowns was 10th best. Rypien’s flying under the radar as a Mountain West prospect, but there’s a lot to like.

Rypien can throw at all three levels-although he appears much more comfortable with slants and short routes, he can also get the ball 40-50 yard downfield by perfectly leading his receiver with a tight spiral. Rypien consistently hits his targets in the hands and chest. He leads his receivers through double coverage gracefully and can drop dimes into the endzone. Rypien holds onto the ball too long, and takes a lot of sacks (that also lead to fumbles). He’s mobile enough to scramble, but isn’t particularly agile and won’t intimidate NFL defenses with his legs. Rypien has a quick drop back, good release, and fantastic velocity.

I’m not sure Rypien can be the best quarterback in this class, but I think he may be the first to earn a starting job. Rypien will be playing in the Shrine game, and with more exposure has a chance to impress throughout the draft process.

5. Easton Stick (6’2”, 222), North Dakota State University

Fair warning: I get real hype on quarterbacks that can run the ball. I’m higher on Stick than most, and I have no intentions of backing off the hype train. Stick took over for Carson Wentz at North Dakota State University-a FCS program. Stick’s stats have consistently increased over his three years as a starter there-a tenure in which he led the Bison to 41 wins. His progress led to a senior season where he threw for 2,752 yards, 28 touchdowns, and just 7 interceptions. He also racked up 677 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns.

Stick finds his receivers consistently in the short and mid field. He has good velocity on his ball and isn’t afraid to throw the ball deep-at one point in his tape review, I saw him throw 3, 50-yard passes in a row. Stick makes some stunning plays-including leading his receivers perfectly downfield on beautiful verticals and dropping 30 yard passes into the corner of the end zone through double coverage. Stick, however, is inconsistent with his passes; he tends to overthrow his receivers and miss throws when he’s on the run. Here’s what he can do with his arm:

I saved the best part for last: he’s seriously quick for a quarterback. He can burn linebackers to the edge and burst up the sideline, and he’s powerful enough to swipe defensive tackles off him when running through the A gap. He elusive too, he scored on two read options in the redzone in the 2018 FCS Championship game-once in between the tackles and once to the outside-he wasn’t touched on either run. Stick has a little too much confidence in himself, though; he often puts his head down and tries to power over defenders-leading to too many unnecessary hits. Still, Stick does a great job of looking to pass first, and deciding when to run. Here’s what what he can do with his legs:

Stick is an upside player to bet on, but if you watch the tape I think you’ll fall in love with his potential too. If we’re talking fantasy football-he’s a guy I need on all my dynasty rosters.

4. Kyler Murray (5’10”, 195), Oklahoma

Okay, I get it: I get why people are hype on Kyler Murray. He’s electric, and I’m not one to judge anyone for falling in love with an athletic quarterback. His stats look great, too: the 2018 Heisman winner completed 260 of his 377 attempts (69%), 42 touchdowns just 7 interceptions, and 4,361 passing yards. Murray also put up 1,001 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Murray doesn’t come without drawbacks, though. Try not to drool:

Murray doesn’t come without drawbacks, though. The conversation with Murray will likely always start with what I mentioned above, and then quickly transition to his size: at just 5’10” and 195 there’s legitimate concern for his ability to translate to an NFL offense. Watching him at Oklahoma, you can see he rarely throws from inside the pocket-and I believe he benefitted enormously from one of the best offensive lines in the country, great wide receivers, and some of the worst defenses in the Power 5 to play against weekly.

Murray is accurate when passing into the flat and short slants-which often times go for big plays based on the yards after catch (YAC) accumulated by receivers. Murray holds onto the ball a long time, a very long time-it’s a luxury he certainly won’t have at the NFL level. On most plays, Murray has the time to work through 2-4 progressions, another luxury he’s not likely to have. Even with more time in (out) of the pocket, Murray throws into double coverage often, and is bailed out by his talented wide receiving corps. Kyler also throws off his back foot consistently, short arms pass, and throws off balance-which all compound the issue he has throwing over his offensive line.

Those are the hesitations, and as fun as Kyler is-they need to be said. Here’s the upside: he’s got great velocity; when he whips a tight spiral downfield, he reminds me of a center fielding firing a ball to the cut off man. He can get the ball 60 yards downfield and makes it look easy. Those beauties are the reason people love Kyler, and why his highlight film is so tempting to cave in to. Even better: his athleticism. He can burn Big 12 linebackers to the edge and quickly work his way up a sideline. He has good vision and has the agility to bounce from the A gap to the outside-where he excels. He does well to avoid major hits, and has a great slide-almost like a baseball player would go hard into a shortstop turning a double play.

I’m not saying Kyler won’t end up as a top 3 quarterback drafted, but I’m skeptic of his ability to translate to the NFL-so for now, he’s outside of my top 3.

3. Dwayne Haskins (6’2”, 215), Ohio State

Even with Kyler declaring, Haskins is still heading into the combine as the top contender to be the first quarterback off the board in April’s NFL Draft. The 6’2”, 215 lbs. 21-year-old finished as the 2018 Big 10 Offensive Player of the Year, and 3rd in Heisman voting. He totaled 5,396 passing yards and 54 touchdowns in his one season starting as a sophomore for the Buckeyes. Haskins also completed 70% of his passes-impressing most with his ability to control Big 10 defenses.

Haskins is raw-but has the foundation to turn into a long-term NFL quarterback. He is light on his feet, has a great release, and has the frame NFL GMs appreciate. He controls his body well on the run and rarely throws the ball across his body. Haskins’ top feature is his arm strength-he hucks the ball downfield without effort. Haskins works the field with confidence-he can work the ball in the short and mid field with success. He does struggle, however, with accuracy when stretching the ball down the field, which is frustrating since his arm is his best feature.

Haskins looks great in Ohio State’s quick read offense, when he’s able to hit his first or second read. If he doesn’t find either of those two, however, things get tough. The pocket often collapses around and he’s not mobile enough to fight off blitzes with more than a basic 4 man-rush. His rushing attempts (108) are misleading-he’s unable to gain more than 2/3 yards per rush when keeping it on options. Mobility concerns aside, Haskins is a solid prospect who very well may work his way to the top of my list, based on opportunity from landing spot and a strong combine performance.

2. Will Grier (6’3”, 225), West Virginia

Grier is well rounded and can make an impact early on an NFL roster. After being suspended from the University of Florida, he threw for two 3,400+ passing yard seasons in his junior and senior years for West Virginia. In those two seasons, he’s accumulated 71 touchdowns and just 20 interceptions. He improved his 64.4% completion rate in 2017 for a 67% completion rate in 2018. I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to like Grier this much, but here’s what I found:

His arm strength is just as impressive as Haskins or Murray: he leads his receivers flawlessly down field with 50-yard touch passes. Even more impressive: he gets the ball deep while throwing consistently off his back foot. He also has a Tim Tebow-like jump pass, that excited me more than it should excite any Tennessee Vol fan. Grier has great pocket presence: he was sacked just three times in the 3 full games I broke down his film. He consistently gets the ball out of his hand in 3 seconds or less, even though West Virginia’s offense has more pro-style elements than other quarterbacks on this list. Grier has a tendency to overthrows his targets, but consistently hits his man on slants and passes over the middle.

Grier lacks the mobility of other quarterbacks like Murray or even Jones, but he can scramble and move the pocket when needed. He sets his feet while in the pocket, has a conventional arm motion and a great release. Grier doesn’t appear to have too much chatter as a first-round pick, yet, but I believe he will be taken on the back end of Day 1 of the NFL Draft, and it’ll give him a very valuable landing spot.

1. Drew Lock (6’4”, 225), Missouri

Lock has more chatter than Grier as an early first round pick, and it makes a lot of sense. Lock comes off as pro ready: his arm strength, mechanics, and decision-making skills are going to be attractive for NFL GMs. Lock was a 4-year starter at Missouri: throwing for over 3,000 yards in his last 3 seasons. Over those seasons, he’s thrown for 95 touchdowns and just 21 interceptions, against SEC defenses.

Lock has a great arm motion, quick release, and stays on the balls of his feet. He has a great spiral and keeps his feet under him when throwing. He has great velocity and fits balls well into tight windows. He has great arm strength and a perfect touch on his deep ball. He can work a 50 yard vertical or drop a dime into his receivers chest through double coverage 30 yards down field. He can work all three levels of the field, and rarely leads his receivers into dangerous situations.

He makes things easy for his targets-rarely making them extend, and often hitting them in the chest or hands. He rarely takes sacks and controls his body well while throwing on the run. He can progress through he reads well and keeps even contested passes away from the hands of defensive backs. Lock has some mobility but chooses to stay in pocket as a first priority. When the play breaks down, though, he can get 10 yards down field and move quickly north/south. Lock’s tape was the impressive of any of these quarterbacks, and I believe he’s going to excel through showcase games and the combine. I’m not sure which NFL team will fall in love with Lock, but I know one will. Landing spot will be crucial to his final ranking for me, but for now: he’s QB1.