Pre-Combine: Top 5 Quarterbacks
The 2020 draft is deep at Quarterback. That is music to the NFL’s ears, as they are always looking for the next Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. So I took a look at some prospects pre-combine and picked out the 5 I believe have a chance in the league:
Tua has “IT”. That indescribable factor that certain guys have that allow them to elevate the players around them and make a play where there isn’t one. Tua has all the prerequisite traits that you’d want in a franchise Quarterback. Arm strength, accuracy, intelligence, poise, leadership….it’s all there. He makes quick decisions with the football and won’t fall into a mindset of trying to play hero ball and do everything himself. Some knocks on him would be size and injury concerns. His season ended with a nasty hip injury. Despite these concerns, I think Tua Tagovailoa is a plug and play QB from day 1.
2. Joe Burrow
The LSU Quarterback had a phenomenal season. The leadership and playmaking ability he showed were all top-notch. With Burrow pulling the trigger, the LSU offense ran like a well-oiled machine and looked downright dominant at times. This wasn’t your LSU offense of yesteryear either. This was a nuanced pro-style offense, not unlike that of the New Orleans Saints. Burrow took the reins of the team and led them to a National Championship. Now Burrow won’t wow you with arm talent. He won’t be doing any Michael Vick impressions, but there is so much more than to playing QB than that. Burrow’s arm is strong enough to make all the throws, and he has enough functional mobility to escape the rush and extend the play. When the play breaks down, he can calmly escape the pocket, direct traffic, and deliver the pass. I believe Joe Burrow, like Tua is a day 1 starter.
3. Justin Herbert
Traits, Traits, and more Traits! If you’re building your ideal QB, physically, they will look something like Justin Herbert. Standing at six foot six with a rocket arm and good mobility, he resembles a created player on a video game. Physical ability isn’t the limit to Herbert’s game, though. During his limited time in the Senior Bowl, he proved to be one of the best players on the field. He stands tall in the pocket and delivers strike after strike with accuracy and good velocity on his throws. When the play breaks down, Herbert has no trouble escaping the pocket and running away from defenders with impressive speed. Herbert tends to stare down his targets, which will lead to interceptions at the next level, and he needs to show consistency in his mechanics on a play by play basis. Each issue can be resolved with good coaching, and Justin Herbert should be another rookie starter next season.
4. Jordan Love
Another guy with great physical tools to work with. Jordan Love throws well on the run and has a lightning-quick release. Love also has good mechanics that allow him to throw accurate passes on a consistent basis. Love has a ton of upside to work with. Now some of his issues come from him not playing with the most talented players at Utah State. His receivers didn’t get open a lot, which forced Love to hold on to the ball looking to make a play. A bad habit that’ll get him killed against an NFL caliber defense. Jordan Love would be an ideal candidate to sit behind an established starter as the heir apparent. This way he can take the necessary time to improve his eye discipline and pocket awareness.
5. Jacob Eason
Boy is it fun to watch this kid throw the football. He has effortless arm strength. The ball explodes out of his hands and travels with great velocity. Jacob Eason is definitely capable of the WOW throw. The kid is fearless as well. He has no trouble firing into a tight window to make a play. Deep ball accuracy is also a strength of Eason. That great throwing ability is a gift and also a curse. Having a strong arm has caused Eason to totally ignore his mechanics, often throwing flat-footed in the pocket. His poor mechanics sometimes lead to high passes, and when you miss high in the NFL, it often turns into an interception. Eason also has a bad habit of locking in on receivers and completely missing other open targets. Jacob Eason would be best suited sitting behind a veteran while he works on mechanics and masters seeing the entire field.
Next up on my top 5 list: Running Backs