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Draft Prospects 18
We’ve been hearing more and more about the 2018 QB class. NFL teams have to make a decision as to when the best time will be to draft their next quarterback. As you’ll see below, there are several promising players who may enter the draft in 2018. The thing to keep in mind with these players is that many may choose to play another year and enter the 2019 draft. We also have small sample sizes on many of them at this point.
Sam Darnold of USC is a player who is believed to be the front-runner as the first QB taken in the 2018 draft. Since he has played only one season, not as much analysis has been churned out, but the kid looks really good on the football field. At 6’4”, 225, he has the desired size. He has a powerful arm and a nice quick release. He has shown good movement within the pocket and can stand in and take the heat. He has the speed to scramble when needed, but he fights to hang in and make the pass.
Josh Rosen from UCLA is 6’4”, 218. He was held to five games in 2016 due to a shoulder injury which required surgery but played a full season in 2015. This guy can really sling it. He has a big arm and throws as nice a ball as you’ll see. He doesn’t appear to have great movement but is effective with it. Great mechanics and that arm will have him near the top of the draft.
Mason Rudolph from Oklahoma State measures in at 6’5”, 235. Rudolph is big and tough and has a cannon for an arm. He’s mobile and isn’t afraid of contact. He has played three seasons already, so he may have more polish than Darnold or Rosen at this point.
Josh Allen of Wyoming is 6’5”, 223. He is nimble, especially for his size and is another great arm to add to this class. He is the complete package at QB. He scrambles more than many in this class, but he isn’t afraid to throw any pass. He and Darnold have a lot in common in their style of play.
Luke Falk from Washington State measures in at 6’4”, 216. Having played three seasons, Falk has more experience than most in this class. His career numbers are solid with an 89 to 26 TD to Interception ratio and almost 11,000 passing yards. Allen made a late decision to return to school rather than entering the 2016 draft. Falk may not have the absolute gun that many in this class have, but he has a very good arm and is arguably the most accurate of the lot.
There are other QBs who could creep into the top five of this impressive class, including Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson and Trace McSorley. All of them have a chance to be special on Sundays.
The Browns have been linked to several quarterbacks for possible trade talks. Three players are most prominent.
Jimmy Garoppolo of the New England Patriots is an intriguing guy, to say the least. He looks really good running the Pats offense, albeit in 94 passing attempts. His arm strength and accuracy seem to be on par with franchise QBs around the league. The question marks with Garoppolo are the small sample size, the fact that the sample is from a great team and the issue of cost. Not only would he cost the Browns high draft picks, he is also due a large free agent contract after the 2017 season.
AJ McCarron has a few more pass attempts in the NFL than Garoppolo does at 160 including a playoff game. McCarron has shown a good ability to get the ball down field. The issues with McCarron remain inexperience, the fact that he was drafted in the fifth round, 100 spots behind Garopplo and he will also be a free agent requiring a large contract after the 2017 season.
Kirk Cousins is in an unusual situation with the Washington Redskins, to say the least. He has posted nice numbers over the past two-plus seasons, yet he continues to play on one year contracts due to being franchise tagged. It’s odd that Washington franchises a guy whom they don’t seem to view as their franchise QB. The issues with Cousins would be the costs associated with a trade and a multiyear contract and his age. Cousins surprisingly will turn 29 in August.
There are several free agents still on the market. Colin Kaepernick headlines a group that also includes Jay Cutler and Blaine Gabbert. Let’s cut to the chase with this group. Kaepernick is the only player who could possibly be considered a franchise QB based on the possibility of recapturing the form that saw him take San Francisco to a Super Bowl. The question is whether he still has that same skill set. One also has to wonder what his market price is.
What It All Means
We’ve been waiting for a franchise QB in Cleveland for almost 20 years. The idea of finding an average NFL QB shouldn’t excite anyone. The reality is that there is a minimal chance that such a player is on the current roster. Players like Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler may be players that should be given a chance to develop. Working with Hue Jackson and his staff for a year may provide answers.
There are many players available in the next two drafts who could become franchise quarterbacks. If the Browns absolutely believe that their guy is available in the 2017 draft, they should go get him. They should not reach for a guy because they feel like they have to draft a QB this year. It doesn’t matter who that guy is. If he is their guy go get him. The cost associated with drafting a player is minimal as long as you hit on the pick. If the Browns aren’t convinced that there is a franchise QB in this class, they should draft a developmental guy late in the draft such as Josh Dobbs and roll.
The 2018 draft class appears to be one that will feature several QBs with franchise potential. Things can change greatly in a year, but the number of QBs who should be available makes 2018 an attractive option. The Browns should preserve enough draft capital to be aggressive in the 2018 draft even if they draft a QB high in 2017. This class may be that good.
The cost of obtaining Garoppolo, McCarron or Cousins would be so much greater than the cost of drafting a QB in one of the drafts. The Browns better be absolutely certain before choosing to invest that much in one player. These types of trades are make or break for a franchise while missing on one draft pick is not.
The Browns need to focus on getting their guy. That guy needs to be the franchise player that we have all yearned for. They are in a position to do so and we should all be behind them regardless of the direction they go over the next two drafts.
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