2019 NFL Draft Rookie Prospects - Quarterbacks

January 27, 2019

By Matt Bruening (@SportsFanaticMB)

It’s our favorite time of year especially for those in dynasty leagues. We have moved past the declare date for all incoming NFL prospects and have made it through the Shrine game as well. The Senior Bowl is about to finish wrapping up as well, followed by the NFL combine. While many people will tune in and pay close attention to the combine and all its happenings, for most of us it just helps confirm what we have already thought about most of these players. While it is still fairly early on in the process its always good to try and get a leg up on the competition, and see how players stock moves up and down throughout the process up until and after the NFL draft. For this article I will focus on all of the incoming quarterbacks. I will place them in tiers and breakdown their strengths and weaknesses moving toward the draft. These will be the first set of rankings for the quarterbacks, the next set will come before the draft after the combine and pro days. Lastly after the NFL draft is completed, I will release my final set of quarterback rankings for fantasy. Without wasting anymore time lets start breaking down the quarterbacks.

  1. Dwayne Haskins- The Ohio State

Height- 6’3

Weight- 220LBS

Class Games Cmp Att Pct Yards Td Int Rate

RS-SO 14 373 533 70.0 4831 50 8 174.1

For starters I am a huge Ohio State fan so I have watched every snap that Haskins has taken this year. He is the clear one of this class even though he’s only been the starter for 14 games. Haskins has the prototypical size and arm for the NFL and will likely be the guy everyone is gunning for. The New York Giants will be hoping he falls to them at pick six, but I would say there is a high chance they will be jumped by another QB needy team.

Haskins has a talent for fitting the ball into tight windows, especially in the short and intermediate area. He has shown great pocket awareness avoiding rushers and moving up and around the pocket to bide time for his wide receivers. While he hasn’t had to be TOO mobile at times, he can get outside the pocket and run when needed. He does a good job working through his progressions and does a great job on anticipation throws.

Haskins biggest issue is accuracy on his deep throws. He also showed at times he needs to speed up his decision making. Throughout the season he struggled when get pressured at times to move and force the ball down the field or to a receiver who wasn’t open. He’ll be a great fit in an offense that has predetermined throws and decisions while he develops. If he can improve his accuracy, he could be an elite option at the position.

2. Kyler Murray- Oklahoma

(latimes.com)

Height- 5’10

Weight- 195LBS

Class Games Cmp Att Pct Yards Td Int Rate

JR 14 260 377 69.0 4361 42 7 199.2 

Murray is an extremely interesting prospect and also a very concerning one. His height and weight will be the main questions throughout the process, and something that could truly determine his NFL fate. Many will be worried about his size as many, including myself.. believe he is shorter than what is listed above. In the entirety of the NFL very few quarterbacks have thrived being 6’0 foot or shorter. While two undersized QB’s have been thriving, Russell Wilson and Baker Mayfield, the latter which has had one year of success. Drew Brees is the for sure Hall of Famer of the undersized current crop of QB’s, and Wilson in my opinion is on his way there. All that being said that’s only three players at the position out of many that have tried. Murray will attempt to do something no one has ever been able to do. However, his skill set makes him intriguing because for many it seems like a realistic possibility.

While Murray will be praised for his legs and his ability to make big plays on the ground, he does use his legs smartly and doesn’t just run for the sake of running. His short and intermediate accuracy is top notch and he can accurately throw on the move. He is very sure handed and rarely turns the ball over. Extremely effective on RPO and creating plays that have been blown up.

Size and frame will be his biggest concerns, though he does fail to progress through all of his reads when pressured he tends to just go with the safest option even if a player is open downfield. When pressure is consistent, he will tend to bail out of the pocket more frequently and become more aggressive running the ball. Baseball is a legitimate option for him and he could leave football at the first sign of issues.

End of tier 1

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3. Daniel Jones- Duke

Height- 6’5

Weight- 220LBS

Class Games Cmp Att Pct Yards Td Int Rate

FR 12 270 430 62.8 2836 16 9 126.3

SO 13 257 453 56.7 2691 14 11 112.0

JR 11 237 392 60.5 2674 22 9 131.7

 

Daniel Jones has the typical size for an NFL quarterback and is someone who wasn’t high on many pundits’ radars until this year. His junior year was very comparable to his freshman year outside of the increase in touchdowns. Jones much like multiple guys in tier two, have many supporters and detractors. He is considered to be a very smart football mind and is also getting some recognition for working with the Manning family. His stock has dropped some due to his lack of high-end performance during Senior Bowl week. However, he’ll still likely to be no worse than the 4th quarterback off the board.

Jones is known much more for his legs and is one of the quarterbacks in the ACC with 2,500 passing yards and 500 rushing yards. He compliments his rushing ability with a strong arm that can sling the ball all over the field. Quick passing game schemes are his bread and butter and the quicker he can get rid of the ball the better he looks.

Outside of the quick passing game, Jones unfortunately struggled in all other aspects of the game. His deep ball was very inconsistent. He struggled at times to read defenses and move through progressions. Jones wasn’t particularly great when rushed and throwing on the run, and didn’t show well in anticipation throws. Jones does have the desired size and skill set for the NFL however, and his landing spot and oppurtunity could truly determine is NFL career.

 

4. Drew Lock- Missouri

Height- 6’3

Weight- 225LBS

Class Games Cmp Att Pct Yards Td Int Rate

FR 12 129 263 49.0 1332 4 8 90.5

SO 12 237 434 54.6 3399 23 10 133.3

JR 13 242 419 57.8 3964 44 13 165.7

SR 13 275 437 62.6 3498 28 8 147.7

 

Drew Lock is another prospect in the second tier that has some considerable upside, but many fear he won’t live up to that potential. He is a very physically gifted quarterback and his junior year showed us his upside. Lock is a player who could get into tier one of this class, especially if drafted by a team that will develop him just a bit more. Though he was a four-year player in college many including myself believe he still needs to develop a bit more.

Lock consistently shows good accuracy down the field and good touch on back shoulder throws and sideline throws. His arm strength is one of the best in the class and can throw the ball deep and fit it into tight windows as well. While Lock isn’t the fleetest of the group, in many cases he showed he can escape the pocket and create extra time. He also showed he can pick up some decent yardage when needed.

While Lock has shown good deep ball accuracy he struggles in the short game, and he needs to work on his touch passes in the short and intermediate area. He seems to struggle at times reading the field and tries to throw open receivers deep into double coverages. When under pressure he consistently showed he would rush decisions and, in many cases, would fumble or make bad throws.

5. Tyree Jackson- Buffalo

Height- 6’7

Weight- 245LBS

Class Games Cmp Att Pct Yards Td Int Rate

FR 10 165 311 53.1 1772 9 9 104.7

SO 8 143 237 60.3 2096 12 13 148.8

JR 14 225 407 55.3 3131 28 12 136.7

Tyree Jackson is one of my favorite prospects in the quarterback class. While many will bring up the fact that no QB prospect has succeed over 6’6 Jackson has the raw ability to. When I say raw, I mean raw ability, Jackson has some of the most unique talent in this class. Phenomenal arm strength the best in the class. He can move in and out of the pocket and make any throw needed. Jackson has only played one full season in college so his durability will likely be questioned as well. Out of everyone in this class Jackson needs the most time to develop. As I stated before he would be best suited to go to a team with an aging quarterback where he can sit for a couple years and then be promoted to the starting position.

Jacksons arm is by far his greatest asset. He can throw the ball while standing or on the run without much effort. At times can fling the ball 50-60 yards with what looks to be just the flick of a wrist. His pocket presence is outstanding. When being rushed he does a good job of moving up in the pocket to get off throws. He also uses his big frame to shrug off arm tackles and charging defenders as well. He has steadily shown improvement over his past season.

Jackson has yet to play a full season until this year. His biggest issue is accuracy. From missing wide-open receivers to over throwing them. Jackson will need to improve his accuracy immensely to be successful at the next level. Many including myself wish he would have returned for one more year of college and added another 12 games under his belt. However, he chose to come out this year and will likely need some time to develop more nuances of the quarterback position.

6. Brett Rypien- Boise State

Height- 6’2

Weight- 203LBS

Class Game Cmp Att Pct Yards Td Int Rate

FR 11 272 428 63.6 3350 20 8 141.0

SO 13 244 394 61.9 3646 24 8 155.7

JR 13 218 218 62.6 2877 16 6 143.8

SR 13 301 301 67.3 3705 30 7 156.0

Brett Rypien was one of the last prospects I was able to sit down and watch and he really started to blow me away. He has the ability some franchises will want regardless of his smaller size. Has played well over the past couple seasons and showed well in the Senior Bowl practices and game. Rypien is someone who will be coming into the rest of the draft process with a lot of hype. He is someone I could see over taking Jones as the top prospect in tier two, though not sure he has the skill set to jump into tier one.

Rypien has shown off his accuracy in many facets of the game and is one of his best assets. He does a great job delivering touch passes and fitting the ball into tight windows with velocity. He does a good job showing poise in the pocket and delivering a good ball knowing he’ll take a big hit. He does a good job working through progressions and can deliver an amazing deep ball fitting in between defenders. He can also use his legs to pick up first downs if needed but only uses it when he needs them.

Rypien will again be questioned for his size though as mentioned that stereotype maybe working its way out of the NFL. Struggles at times locking onto his better players and forcing them the ball trusting his arm strength a little bit too much. He doesn’t have the best arm strength in the class, and struggles to make some deep throws. Throws deep to the outside sometimes come up short. He also struggles under pressure he will move and make panicked decisions at times.

7. Will Grier- West Virginia

Height- 6’1

Weight- 214LBS

Class Games Cmp Att Pct Yards Td Int Rate

FR 6 105 160 65.6 1202 10 3 145.6

JR 11 250 388 64.4 3490 34 12 162.7

SR 11 266 397 67.0 3864 37 8 175.5

Will Grier is much like these other tier two prospects, you seem to either love him or hate him. Well I’ll start by saying I’m not in love with him but might be someday if he does certain things. Grier has many physical gifts and had his best year this past season his senior year. He had to sit out his sophomore year after he transferred from Florida due to an off the field issue that caused some issues between him and his coach. While having an interesting college career, the offense he plays in will draw many questions in his game moving onto the next level. His size will be questioned some as well along with his ability to play in and NFL style offense. However, we are seeing some NFL teams moving more toward college concepts which could help him.

Grier is very good delivering the ball on quick release routes. Great arm and can fit the ball in tight windows or holes in the defense. He is much more accurate in the short and intermediate parts of the field than on deep throws. He is very mobile and the pocket and can create yards outside the structure and throws are still accurate while on the move.

Grier struggles with the deep ball and his accuracy there needs some serious improvement. He also doesn’t have what is considered to be the NFL build. However, multiple quarterbacks of late have been kicking that stereotype so he has the chance to do the same. Much like Jones I think if he is able to get into an offense with a quick passing game, he will be able to thrive early on and work on the parts of his NFL game that might struggle.

End of tier 2

8. Gardner Minshew- Washington State

Height- 6’2

Weight- 215LBS

Class Games Cmp Att Pct Yards Td Int Rate

SO 7 119 202 58.9 1347 8 4 124.0

JR 10 174 304 57.2 2140 16 7 129.1

SR 13 468 662 70.7 4776 38 9 147.5

Gardner Minshew has really risen up many draft boards since his phenomenal year at Washington State. He started out at East Carolina in the American Conference on a more run based team. He transferred out and was able to join Washington State and Mike Leach’s air raid offense. He performed admirably in it and has shot his stock up because of it. He has good size for an NFL quarterback but I would be hesitant to get to high on him. Most of his stats coming in his final year where he doubled all of his offensive stats, because his passing plays doubled as well. While Minshew is in tier three for now the rest of the draft process could see him move up.

Minshew has shown great poise in the pocket in his year at Washington State. He has good arm strength and can drive the ball with decent velocity in the short game. He does a very good job manipulating the pocket to allow him as much time as possible to throw the ball. He also can move outside of the pocket and deliver balls down the field when needed.

Minshew much like others in this class struggle with accuracy. While he does a decent job with some deep balls showing a good touch for those balls, he consistently struggles with short passes.  He tends to make erratic throws more often than not and doesn’t always make the smart throw.

9. Jarrett Stidham- Auburn

Height- 6’3

Weight- 215LBS

Class Games Cmp Att Pct Yards Td Int Rate

FR 10 75 109 68.8 1265 12 2 199.0

SO 14 246 370 66.5 3158 18 6 151.0

JR 13 224 369 60.7 2794 18 5 137.7

Jarrett Stidham was considered a top quarterback prospect coming off his sophomore year in 2017. As we entered the 2018 season many still had Stidham near the top of this class, but as the season played out, he slowly started dropping toward the bottom of everyone’s lists. He showed well through the Senior Bowl practices and might move up some list if he continues to remind us what he was in 2017.

Stidham has great ball placement and accuracy they are by far the best assets of his game. He throws a beautiful deep ball that is usually placed for the wide receivers to continue running under the ball. He also does a good job on back shoulder throws as well. Very good in the quick throwing game. He is also very adept at moving away from the pocket and throwing the ball accurately on the run as well.

Stidham’s biggest questions seem to come all from the football smarts side of things. Auburn runs a fairly rudimentary offense. It’s all about the quick throws and designed plays to get someone open quick. While he rarely misses guys in the short area he does struggle to throw deep out routes, most of the time missing his receivers and leaving the ball too often in the middle of the field. There were multiple late game situations where it seemed Stidham fell apart and would make multiple bad plays over and over again.

10. Ryan Finley- NC State

Height- 6’4

Weight- 210LBS

Class Games Cmp Att Pct Yards Td Int Rate

FR 4 12 27 44.4 161 2 1 111.6

SO 3 46 70 65.7 485 1 4 117.2

JR 13 243 402 60.4 3059 18 8 135.2

JR 13 311 478 65.1 3514 17 6 136.0

SR 13 326 484 67.4 3928 25 11 148.0

Ryan Finley started his career at Boise state before transferring to NC State. While some have fairly high opinions of Finley for me, he ranks as likely a career backup at the quarterback position. Being a season and by far the most seasoned starter of this class an NFL team might take a chance on him to be their starter, but I think he lacks a little bit too much to reach that height.

Finley doesn’t really thrive in any certain area. His best attribute would be his accuracy. He has more experience than most playing the position for five years. However, its also concerning considering he has played so long and still struggles in most of his game. When moving in the pocket and able to get his feet set, he can deliver a good ball.

Finley doesn’t have a strong arm and struggles to vertically stretch the field with the ball. He tends to lock onto one receiver at times and still force the ball to them even if they are covered. While he has good accuracy, he doesn’t do a good job driving the ball to his receivers.

Those are my top 10 quarterbacks in the 2019 NFL draft for fantasy as of right now. As we continue to move through the process those will continue to change and update. Check back on February 9th as I will release my running back ranks. I will be taking the extra time as I do feel there are close to 20 running backs in this draft that could end up with fantasy value. Continue to check out The Back Row Fantasy Show for all your fantasy football talk. Thank you for reading this article and of course if you have any questions or would like to debate me some on my ranks you can always find me on twitter @SportsfanaticMB enjoy the rest of your days, and remember the Super Bowl is almost here!