2018 Yearbook – Quarterbacks
Draft Insiders’ – 2018 NFL Draft Yearbook
Draft Insiders.com – 27th Season –
Published by NFL scout Frank Coyle and staff
“The NFL Draft Publication Pro Scouts Buy”
Quarterbacks – Grade: A
This year’s QB class is one of the most talented groups to enter the NFL Draft in years. The top four prospects are expected to be selected by the early 1st round and probably the top ten selections. This class can rival the great 2004 class of Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger. There could be as many as 10+ NFL starters in time. The top four overall prospects, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield are expected to go in the top 6-12 overall selections. Baker Mayfield is a rising prospect and carries an early 1st round grade as the most NFL ready prospect in the class. Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph could come off the board in the first round, though the latter part. Both carry starting grades and should be selection in the top 40 prospects. Jackson has fallen off concerns about his game translating to the NFL with certain justification. He has a rare athletic skill set that a patient club can benefit from immensely if they give him the critical time to settle into their system. Mike White and Kyle Lauletta carry starting NFL grades, though both need time to settle into the pro game. Both White and Lauletta were impressive at the Senior Bowl. Lauletta is rising up the charts off a developed skill set and the vital intangibles. Unheralded QBs, Chase Litton of Marshall and Brandon Silvers of Troy have NFL starting grades to take the huge step up to the pro game. This class features a few developmental types like Tanner Lee, J.T. Barrett, Chris Streveler and Logan Woodside who need to be in situations to learn a system and settle into a pro offense. This is a strong group with as many as 12-15 prospects chosen over the three-day event.
NFL Teams in need:
1 Browns 4. Giants
2 Jets 5. Broncos
3 Bills 6. Cardinals
Best Athlete – Lamar Jackson
Best Arm – Josh Allen
Most Accurate – Baker Mayfield
Best Mechanics – Josh Rosen
Best Runner – Lamar Jackson
Best Leader – Baker Mayfield
Best Intangibles – Sam Darnold
Best Decisions – Baker Mayfield
Most Developed – Baker Mayfield
NFL Premier Player
Aaron Rodgers/Tom Brady
Blue Chip – Sam Darnold
Blue Chip – Josh Rosen
Rising – Baker Mayfield
Falling – Lamar Jackson
Underrated – Mike White
Overrated – Luke Falk
Sleeper – Brandon Silvers
Boom/Bust – Josh Allen
Longterm Gem – Chase Litton
Overdrafted – Kyle Lauletta
1 * Sam Darnold – USC
2 * Josh Rosen – UCLA
3 * Josh Allen – Wyoming
4 Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma
5 * Lamar Jackson – Louisville
6 Mason Rudolph – Oklahoma St
7 Mike White – Western Kentucky
8 Kyle Lauletta – Richmond
9 Luke Falk – Washington St
10 Kurt Benkert – Virginia
11 * Chase Litton – Marshall
12 Riley Ferguson – Memphis
13 Brandon Silvers – Troy
14 * Tanner Lee – Nebraska
15 J.T. Barrett – Ohio St
16 Chris Streveler – South Dakota
17 Logan Woodside – Toledo
18 Nic Shimonek – Texas Tech
19 * Kyle Allen – Houston
20 Matt Linehan – Idaho
1 * Sam Darnold #14 Southern California 6-3 220 – Sp. 4.75
Hindu Theory: Matt Stafford Rating 94
Gritty talented redshirt sophomore led the Trojans to postseason appearances during his two seasons. Strong agile athlete with very good arm and quick footwork plus the intangibles to become a top-flight NFL starter. Despite a short resume and some erratic performances, he developed quickly and shows a well-rounded skill set to make the jump to the NFL. Natural physical traits coveted in an elite NFL passer, though not completely developed currently. He has fine intangibles with a blue-collar mentality. Despite his age (21 years old this summer), he shows excellent poise, anticipation, toughness, vision, leadership and competitive desire. Displays the complete physical and mental package with excellent production at a very high-level vs Pac-12 talent. Shows a tight compact delivery and capable of firing strikes from the pocket or on the move. Very good footwork to move in the pocket and create passing lanes and keep plays alive. Developing the experience to go through his check downs faster and finding secondary receivers. Attempted to do too much early in the 2017 season with an average supporting cast. Needs to learn to throw the ball away to live to play another down than forcing the ball into heavy coverage. Slides well in the pocket and can evade pressure well, reset his feet and plant to make a big throw. Maintains his vision down field very well looking for receivers to make their second move. Operated under center, but also spent time from the gun and needs work on his drop back and setting his feet while reading coverage. Shows the smarts and discipline to be a quick study, though must learn to make sound decisions with the ball. Displays the ability to deliver very accurate short and intermediate passes, as well as tossing strikes down the alleys. Possesses fine touch on deep passes as well as inside the red zone. Impressive ability to improvise and make adjustments to game situations. Displays incredible vision and awareness to see the entire field. Makes clutch throws with the game on the line. Shows a quick release and possesses very good arm strength. At times, he can stare down his primary target and telegraph his throws. When under pressure, he will make off-balance throws which has led to turnovers. He shows good ball handling with the ability to fake and draw defenders into false reads.
The Numbers: As a sophomore, he started all 14 games, leading USC to a 11-3 record. Completed 303 of 480 passes for 4143 yards with 26 TDs and 13 interceptions while earning 1st team Pac-12 honors. As a freshman, he played in 13 games and completed 246 of 366 passes for 3086 yards for 31 TDs and 9 interceptions. Over his career, he started only 23 games and threw for 7229 yards with 57 TD passes and 22 interceptions. He rushed for 7 TDs. His career finale in their loss to Ohio St in the Cotton Bowl he threw a pick six and had two fumbles. At the NFL Combine, he came in over 6’3” and 221 lbs. with 9 3/8” hands and 31” arms. He ran a 4.67 time with a 26.5” VJ and an 8’9” BJ and added a 4.40 shuttle and 6.96 three cone. Did not participate in the passing drills. At his pro day, he displayed good velocity, timing and accuracy. He helped his cause with a strong performance. Very similar to Lions’ Matt Stafford in body size, arm strength, delivery and overall temperament and AA.
The Skinny: Gifted sophomore makes all the throws. Fast improving talent with only two seasons starting experience vs NFL caliber defenders. Competitor takes command and displays very good football IQ and capable of making a difference in crunch time. Athletic strong frame and size to hold up to the physical demands of the game. Shows the toughness and defense recognition to continue to develop as a winning starter. Needs to sit and settle into a system for a short time especially recognizing coverage and going through his progressions. One of the QB gems in recent years and intriguing raw prospect with huge upside potential to develop into a Pro Bowl performer. Talented blue-chip prospect with the Browns looking to land in the top selection. Potential elite QB and best in the game.
Draft Projection: 1st Round – Top overall pick
2 * Josh Rosen #3 UCLA 6-4 225 – Sp. 4.85
Hindu Theory: Matt Ryan Rating 92
Well-rounded smooth true junior led the Bruins for the past three seasons, displaying blue chip skills for the position. During his true freshman season, he earned All-American honors when he set UCLA freshman records for passing yards (3668) on 60% completion rate with 23 passing TDs with 11 interceptions. He has all the natural physical traits one seeks for an NFL starting QB – good size and overall athleticism with a fine strong arm and pocket awareness. His intangibles include poise, anticipation, toughness, vision, leadership and competitive desire. Shows the complete physical and mental package with excellent production at a very high level. Displays good footwork to set up and shows a crisp compact delivery with smooth release and capable of firing strikes with fine touch and timing. Quick footwork to move in the pocket and create passing lanes with the instincts to go through his check downs fast and find secondary receivers. Can evade pressure well, reset his feet and plant to make a big throw. Operated mainly from the gun and needs work on his drop back and setting his feet while reading coverage. Shows the smarts and discipline to be a quick study. Usually makes sound decisions with the ball, by displaying the ability to deliver very accurate short and intermediate passes, as well as tossing strikes down the alleys. Possesses fine touch on deep passes as well as inside the red zone. His polished throwing mechanics is the best in this class and ranks among the best in the past two decades. Consistently impresses with his ability to make adjustments and rally his unit, making clutch throws with the game on the line. Possesses good, not exceptional arm strength, though shows the touch to hit receivers in stride consistently to make plays. At times, shows a tendency to focus too long on his primary target and needs to progress to his other options quicker when under pressure. Occasionally, he will backpedal and make off-balance throws, rather than stepping into them. He shows good ball handling and security in general with quick decisions. He needs work on his basic footwork and his follow through while showing more pocket presence.
The Numbers: As a true junior, he started 11 games and had 283 completions of 452 passes for 3756 yards with 26 TDs and 10 interceptions, earning 2nd team Pac-12 honors. As a sophomore, he started 6 games and completed 59% of his passes for 1915 yards with 10 TDs and 5 interceptions. Over his career, he played in 30 games with 9339 passing yards for a 61% with 59 TDs and 26 interceptions. At the NFL Combine, he came in at 6’4” and 229 lbs. with 9 7/8” hands and 31 3/4” arms. He ran a 4.92 time with a 31” VJ and a 9’3” BJ and added a 4.28 shuttle and 7.09 three cone. In the passing drills, he displayed good velocity, timing and accuracy. He helped his cause with a strong performance. He will be compared to Matt Ryan and is similar in size, delivery and overall AA development. Also similar to Tony Romo in body type, accuracy and arm strength.
The Skinny: Talented quick throwing junior makes all the throws. Competitor takes command and displays very good football IQ and capable of making a difference with the game on the line. Athletic lean frame needs to add muscle to hold up to the physical demands of the game. Shows good defensive recognition to go through his progressions and find secondary receivers. Graded out high in the talented Pac-12 with three seasons starting experience vs NFL caliber defenders. Despite average supporting cast, he had excellent production. Two concussions and a shoulder injury leave pressing durability issues. Type can change a franchise, though needs some maturity as an athlete and person. Interesting prospect with the upside potential to develop quickly and start early. True blue chip QB prospect with the Jets, Browns, Bills and Broncos hoping to land in the top selections.
Draft Projection: 1st Round – Top 3 pick
3 * Josh Allen #17 Wyoming 6-5 235 – Sp. 4.75
Hindu Theory Ben Roethlisberger Rating 90
Big strong-armed junior led the Cowboys to back to back postseason bowl games over his two starting seasons. Huge athletic frame with quick feet and the best arm in this class have elevated him to a potential top selection. One-year JC transfer and lightly recruited out of HS. Very raw despite the complete athletic skill sets desired for the position. Continued to improve over his career, taking huge steps with impressive performances at both the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. Productive and athletic with the mental makeup to take the huge step up from a non-power five conference. Naturally strong arm with the ability to drive the ball into windows, though accuracy is a huge issue. He can drop the ball in the bucket on the deep throws when given time. Very good athleticism to run away from defenders even defensive backs. Skilled at fighting off defenders and evading pressure while keeping his eyes downfield. Long quick release that needs work and displays erratic accuracy that demands further time developing whether in the pocket or on the move. Huge powerful arm to make the tough out throws while also displaying a nice touch for lofting passes over defenders down the seam, or to backs and receivers on quick swing or outlet passes. Throws the out and deep ball outside the hashes as well as any QB since Cam Newton. His scrambling ability puts pressure on defenses and shows a legitimate threat for big plays whether by throwing or running. His basic skills such as taking the snap from under center and scanning downfield while dropping back are things where he is still in the developmental stage. Needs to learn to go through his progressions better and avoid locking on to his primary receiver. Dependent on his first read that can turn into mistakes. Savvy mobile athlete with a fine arm to make all the NFL throws with a fairly quick delivery for a long-armed prospect. High release point to avoid deflections, though his footwork needs extensive work on dropping, setup and follow through that will have a huge bearing on his accuracy improvement. Shows good awareness of coverage, but must look off defenders better and find the hot receiver. Learning how to lead a receiver with the right amount of touch on the ball and when to muscle the throw. Shows the speed to make plays outside the pocket with his feet with a big sturdy frame to hold up within the pocket or fighting off linemen. He has developed fine intangibles related to toughness, leadership and poise under pressure in clutch situations with a blue-collar approach after having to prove himself at each level.
The Numbers: As a junior, he started 11 games missing time due to a shoulder injury. For the season, he completed 152 of 270 passes for a 56% rate for 1812 yards with 16 TDs and just 6 picks that earned him MWC honorable mention. Went 1-3 vs Power 5 conference clubs with 1 TD and 8 interceptions. Won Senior Bowl MVP award with 2 TD passes during 2nd half comeback. As a sophomore, he started all 14 games and completed 209 passes of 373 attempts for a 56% rate for 3203 yards with 28 TDs and 15 picks, earning 2nd team MWC honors. Over his career, he threw for 5066 yards for a 56% rate with 44 TDs and 21 picks. He is similar to QB Ben Roethlisberger in raw skills set – size, mobility, arm strength and AA. Lacks a high level of development and little experience in a pro-style offense. Good intangibles. At the NFL Combine, he came at 6’5” and 237 lbs. with 10 1/8” hands and 33 1/4” arms. He ran a fine 4.75 time and added a 33.5” VL and 9’11” BJ with a 4.40 shuttle and an impressive 6.90 three cone times. He performed well in the passing drills. He set up quickly with good footwork in the pocket to move laterally and create passing lanes. He was very good on deep throws. Needs work on his foot work and set up to plant and drive the ball down the field with better accuracy. Takes too long a stride when setting up. Relies on a quick release and the touch to drop the ball into holes in coverage
The Skinny: Fast rising prospect with a level of development that demands sitting initially after only two starting years in a spread offense. Good field awareness and a top football IQ that should accelerate his progress within a pro offense. Continually improved over his career especially over his final season from the start through the critical postseason. Talented early 1st round pick with definite big time starting potential after gaining experience and learning a system. Savvy QB with an awesome skill set, especially his arm, though not ready currently to produce early. Huge ceiling if he gets in the right situation to refine his core throwing mechanics and footwork. Risen into the top selections and possible top five overall prospects. Excellent addition with skills to be NFL franchise type leader. Good fit for the Browns, Giants, Jets and Bills. Excellent intangibles to make a difference and a fine mature leader with the skills set to be an elite NFL starter in time. Future Pro Bowl caliber passer.
Draft Projection: 1st Round -Top 6 pick
4 Baker Mayfield #6 Oklahoma 6-1 215 – Sp. 4.80
Hindu Theory: Russell Wilson Rating 88
Slick senior gunslinger put up record setting numbers in the Sooners’ prolific passing attack which earned him the 2017 Heisman Trophy award. Transferred from Texas Tech as an underclassmen due to being in a class with QBs Patrick Mahomes and Davis Webb. Strong athletic frame with a good arm and quick release. Very good feet to setup, move in the pocket, slide to create new lanes or scramble to throw on the move or for a first down. Savvy athlete with a great sense of field presence and situations. Combines keen instincts with good athleticism to be both a leader and playmaker. Stepped up in big situations with big performances in the national playoffs as well as winning at Ohio St. Few clubs go into Columbus, Ohio and come away with a victory. Baker was instrumental in the Sooners’ win that marked them a national contender. Tight quick release with a natural throwing motion with the ability to release the ball from several positions with fine velocity and quickness. Played in the spread Sooner passing game putting up amazing numbers annually while showing the ability to throw the complete route tree. Shows the ability to drive the ball down the field and consistently fit into tight windows. Progresses very well as a pocket passer, though mainly operates in an offense with quick simple reads geared for the primary receiver. Gunslinger mentality with a cocky attitude that at times takes too much risk on plays. Savvy thrower can re-cock his arm quickly and deliver fast into new windows. Learning to be patient and look for other receivers and go through his progressions. Limited work from under center and faces a learning curve and needs to sit and adjust to the game. Needs to refine his setup and footwork under center and learn to go through his reads and adjustments to make the proper calls. Shows fine touch and accuracy on intermediate and vertical routes, though needs some refinement. Able to consistently place the ball with nice trajectory over the shoulder of receivers to catch in full stride. Within the pocket, displays a crisp natural throwing motion to get the ball out fast. Able to really drive the ball when required and the ball can explode from his hand with good velocity on the outs and tight seam routes. Deceptive mobility to be effective on the move without losing his accuracy. Shows the toughness to sit in the pocket and take a hit to complete the pass.
The Numbers: Over the 2017 season, he started 14 games and completed 285 passes of 404 attempts for a 71% rate for 4627 yards with 43 TDs and 6 picks. Won Heisman Trophy, in addition to three time Big 12 Player of the Year honors, Manning award, O’Brien award and Maxwell award in 2017. Over his junior season, he threw for 3965 yards while completing 71% with 40 TDs and 8 picks in 13 starts. Over his career, he posted a 39-9 record including several bowl victories and impressive road wins at Ohio St. Threw for 14,607 yards with 131 TDs and 30 interceptions and a 68.5% completion rate. Similar to NFL starter, Russell Wilson in size, AA, arm strength and LOD. At the NFL Combine, he came in at over 6’ and 218 lbs. with 30 1/4” arms and 9 1/4 hands. He ran a 4.84 time and added a 29” VL and a 9’3” BJ with a 4.28 shuttle and 7.00 three cone.
The Skinny: Highly productive QB with strong frame and rare arm to become a high-quality starter with some development. Needs improvement in his footwork to step up to play in a pro-style offense. He can throw the deep ball with accuracy, drive the ball down the field and make the tough intermediate throws and can fit the ball into tight windows when given time. High 1st round and probable top 10 pick. Top 5 QB prospect with the skill set to win a starting job within a few seasons after learning a system. Needs further work on reading defenses and going through his progressions. Must prove up to the call of leadership to be successful in the NFL. Some behavior must be addressed, though not criminal offenses. Rising top 10 prospect.
Draft Projection: 1st Round
5 * Lamar Jackson #8 Louisville 6-2 216 – Sp. 4.45
Hindu Theory: Michael Vick Rating 88
Athletically gifted true junior completed an excellent short career which included the 2016 Heisman Trophy award. Lean athletic frame with good arm, quick feet and sound decision making. Amazing toughness and leadership combined with sprinter speed and instincts to be a threat as either a passer or runner. Highly productive blue-chip athlete with the mental makeup to succeed in the NFL. Excellent mobility and a game changer in the open field the equal of any running back. Fine arm with the ability to fit throws into tight windows along with good touch on the deep passes. Top athleticism to run away from defenders even defensive backs. Skilled at fighting off defenders and evading pressure while keeping his eyes downfield. Excellent field presence with a quick release His accuracy is inconsistent whether in the pocket or on the move and needs extensive work on his delivery and footwork. His scrambling ability places pressure on defenses and is a legitimate threat for big plays whether by throwing or running. Some NFL basics such as taking the snap from under center and scanning downfield while dropping back are things where he is still in the developmental stage. Still can lock on to his primary receiver and at times too reliant on his first read which can turn into mistakes. Mobile athlete needs to prove he can make all the NFL throws for his game to translate to the pro game. Fairly long delivery needs strong coaching on basics which can improve his average completion rate. Fails to go through his progressions and tends to pull the ball down when his first read is covered and lacks patience to wait for secondary moves for receivers to clear zones. Needs to spread the ball around, showing more awareness of coverage and looking off defenders. Over his career, his accuracy did not improve despite some impressive passing numbers. Inconsistent accuracy in the deep game. Learning to lead a receiver with the right amount of touch on the ball as well as when to power the throw. Shows very good speed to make plays outside the pocket with the mobility to move in the pocket and create throwing lanes. With big game experience, he developed fine intangibles related to toughness, leadership and poise under pressure in clutch situations.
The Numbers: As a junior, he started 13 games and completed 254 of 430 passes for a 59% rate for 3660 yards with 27 TDs and 10 picks that earned AAC first team honors. As a sophomore, he started 13 games and completed 230 passes of 409 attempts for a 56% rate for 3543 yards with 30 TDs and 9 picks. Earned the Heisman Trophy award for that performance. Rare athlete and probably the best pure athlete at the position since Michael Vick. In three seasons, he ran for 4132 yards and 50 TDs as one of the greatest running QBs in history. Similar to QB RG3 in size, mobility and AA and level of development. At the NFL Combine, he came at 6’2” and 216 lbs. with 9 1/2” hands and 33 1/8” arms. He did not workout. He performed well in passing drills. Set up quickly with good footwork in the pocket and moved well laterally to create passing lanes.
The Skinny: Talented prospect with a good work ethic to get the most of his outstanding AA. His level of development under center is a concern and he faces a critical learning curve. Good field awareness and a top football IQ that should accelerate his progress within a pro offense. Limited experience under center, though he continually improved over his career. Needs technique work in his set up and plant and drive the ball down the field along with defense recognition. An above average arm and good fundamentals. Relies on a quick release and the touch to drop the ball into holes in coverage, though rarely goes through his progressions to locate secondary receivers. Depends on his exceptional running skills to make plays with his feet, though it hinders his development as a pro QB. Talented 1st round pick with definite starting potential after gaining experience and learning a system. Savvy experienced passer and good fit for the Cardinals and Chargers where he can sit for at least one or two seasons and adjust to the pro game. Excellent intangibles to make a difference and a fine leader. Nice upside if given vital time to learn.
Draft Projection: 1st Round
6 Mason Rudolph #2 Oklahoma St 6-5 235 – Sp. 4.85
Hindu Theory: Joe Flacco Rating 85
Big senior pocket passer put up record setting numbers for the Cowboys spread offense, earning Big 12 honors his three starting seasons. Strong frame with good arm, though not a gun expected for his dimensions. Played in spread offense where he put up amazing numbers in one of the most potent air attacks in the nation. Little experience under center with time from the gun to scan the field and go through his progressions nicely. Displayed the touch to make all the throws and lead receivers to make a play after the reception. Slightly above average arm strength with a big smooth delivery to throw a textbook pass. In his three seasons as a starter, he totaled 13,618 yards passing with 92 TDs and 26 interceptions. He has all the physical tools, ideal size, and solid athleticism. Displays adequate feet in his setup. Deliberate over the top release with good zip on short or intermediate throws, while using touch and timing well. Sound fundamentals, mechanics and proper footwork. Good pocket presence with a sense of pressure and timing with good patience. Little threat as a runner, though aware of the markers and will go all out to make the 1st down. Smart with the football and good leader. Accepts when the play is not open and will throw the ball away rather than take a sack. Shows fine accuracy, timing and air under the ball when throwing deep. Gives his receivers room to run under the pass and drops it in the bucket nicely. Very effective working the short routes with a tight delivery and release point with the ability to led receivers and make plays after the catch.
The Numbers: In 2017, he threw for 4904 yards with 318 completions on 489 attempts for 65% rate, 37 TD and 9 picks for Big 12 second team honors. Comes off a January 2018 foot injury that limited his postseason. In 2016, he started 13 games yards with 284 completions of 448 passes for 4091, 28 TDs and 4 interceptions on 63% rate for 2nd team Big 12 behind Baker Mayfield for the first time. Over his three starting seasons, he helped OSU post three straight 10-win seasons. At the NFL Combine, he came in just under 6’5” and 235 lbs. with 32 3/8” arms and 9 1/8” hands. He ran a 4.90 time and had a 26” VJ and no other events. Similar to Joe Flacco and Mike Glennon in size, arm strength and LOD.
The Skinny: Talented passer faces a learning curve especially technically in his setup when working from center with limited career reps there. Shows the ability to scan the field, read defenses properly and find the hot receiver. Displays leadership to direct an offense, but must develop under center which will determine any starting time. Skill set and intangibles to win a backup role and move up the charts. Potential starter with the intangibles necessary to compete in the NFL. With development and overall improvement, he could start within a few seasons. Top 40 prospect and probable mid-2nd round pick with definite tools to move up depth charts and compete for time. Possible late 1st round pick. Good talent to continue to develop and surprise as a starter.
Draft Projection: 2nd Round
7 Mike White #14 Western Kentucky 6-5 225 – Sp. 4.90
Hindu Theory: Nick Foles Rating 75
Big accurate senior was highly successful over his two starting seasons with the Hilltoppers, earning first team C-USA honors both years. Transferred from South Florida and went 17-10 as the WK starter. Thrived in the spread offense where he displayed well developed talent as a traditional pocket passer. Good size with developed passing skills and average athleticism. Tough passer holds up well in the pocket with the ability to stay on the field despite taking hits. Played well during the Senior Bowl week, displaying a good arm, touch and understanding of the pro style game. Extensive experience as a starter, though in an offense where the reads were simple and usually easy crossing routes. Displays fine accuracy and touch to drop the ball to receivers with timing to make plays after the reception. Possesses a strong frame for the next level with good arm strength to make every throw. When he is protected in the pocket, he can throw the full route tree. Shows touch on the vertical routes in big situations. Able to consistently place the ball with nice trajectory over the shoulder of his receivers to get it in full stride. Shows nice accuracy to lead his target away from defenders. Can lock on to a target and draw cover men to the play. Will throw into heavy traffic at times losing basic upper and lower body technique. Within the pocket, displays a crisp throwing motion and good delivery to get the ball out quickly. Rarely took snaps from under center with most from the shotgun formation. Able to drive the ball when required, though some of his passes seem to glide, rather than explode from his hand. Some concerns about his velocity on the outs and tight seam routes. Moves fairly well in the pocket, though subpar foot speed and mobility. When he misreads coverage and his primary receiver is taken away, he tends to retreat in the pocket, rather than climb it. Shows the willingness to take a hit to complete the pass. Good overall leadership qualities.
The Numbers: Over the 2017 season, he started 13 games and completed 368 passes of 560 attempts for a 66% rate for 4177 yards with 26 TDs and 8 picks. Over his junior season, he threw for 4363 yards while completing 67% with 37 TDs and 7 picks in 14 starts. Over his two-year WK career, he started 27 games, and threw for over 8500 yards with 63 TDs and 15 interceptions and a fine 66% completion rate. Similar to Super Bowl MVP and starter, Nick Foles in size, AA, arm strength and LOD. At the NFL Combine, he came in just under 6’5” and 224 lbs. with 31 7/8” arms and 9 1/2” hands. He ran a 5.07 time and added a 27” VL and an 8’ BJ, a 4.40 shuttle and 7.40 three cone.
The Skinny: Highly productive QB with good frame and arm to become a quality starter with development. Needs improvement in his footwork to step up to play in a pro-style offense. Throws the deep ball with accuracy and can drive the ball down the field and make the tough intermediate throws. Needs clean pocket to be effective. Emerging talent with starting talent, though definitely a learning curve to be more than a #3 passer the first few seasons. Probable 3rd day pick with the skill set to win a starting job within a few seasons after learning a system. Needs further work on reading defenses and go through his progressions. Must prove up to the call of leadership and the physicality to be successful. Clubs like Bengals, Ravens and Saints interested.
Draft Projection: 3rd-4th Round
8 Kyle Lauletta #5 Richmond 6-3 220 – Sp. 4.80
Hindu Theory: Andy Dalton Rating 70
Proficient fifth-year senior was highly successful over his three starting seasons with the Spiders’, earning CAA honors annually. Good size and overall athleticism with the footwork to move in the pocket and the frame to add muscle. Went 24-12 as a starter, throwing for over 10,000 yards. Over his small college career, he progressed very well as a traditional pocket passer in this pro-style offense. Earned invitation to the Senior Bowl off a fine career. Performed well at the practices which elevated his stock significantly and maybe into the top 100 selections. Deceptive athleticism and holds up well in the pocket with the ability to stay on the field despite taking hits. Extensive experience as a starter in a pro-style offense which helped develop his setup skills along with reading coverage while dropping in the pocket. Worked from under center often and was quick to setup and slide in the pocket and keep his eyes down the field. Possesses a good frame for the next level, with the arm strength to make every throw. When he is protected in the pocket, he can make all the throws. Shows touch and accuracy on intermediate and vertical routes in big situations. Able to consistently place the ball with nice velocity and location to give receivers a chance to catch in full stride. Can lock on to a target and throw into heavy traffic at times. Within the pocket, displays a natural tight throwing motion and is well-developed in a pro-style offense that contained elements of the West Coast offense. Took snaps from under center as well as in the shotgun. Some concerns about his velocity on the outs and deep passes outside the hashes. Deceptive mobility to escape and make a play with his feet. Good leader showed fine poise and preparation at the Senior Bowl on the big stage.
The Numbers: Over the 2017 season, he started 11 games and completed 281 passes of 433 attempts for a 65% rate for 3737 yards with 28 TDs and 12 picks. Over his junior season, he threw for 3022 yards while completing 64% with 24 TDs and 8 picks in 11 starts. Over his career, he had a 24-12 record and threw for 10,465 yards with 73 TDs and 35 interceptions and a 64% completion rate. Similar to NFL starter, Andy Dalton in size, AA, arm strength and LOD. At the NFL Combine, he came in under 6’3” and 222 lbs. with 30 5/8” arms and 9 ¾” hands. Ran a 4.81 time with a 31” VL, 9’5” BJ, 4.07 shuttle and a 6.95 three cone. He performed well in the throwing drills.
The Skinny: Highly productive QB with the arm and intangibles to become a quality starter with time and development. Needs further improvement in his footwork to step up to play in a pro-style offense. Must prove he can throw the deep ball with accuracy, drive the ball down the field and make the tough intermediate throws under pressure. Can fit the ball into tight windows in coverage when given a nice pocket. Rising good talent in this quality class. Probable early 3rd day. Prospect with the skill set to win a starting job within a few seasons after learning a system. Needs further work on reading defenses to go through his progressions. Must prove up to the call of leadership to be successful at the NFL level. Clubs like Dolphins, Giants, Bengals and Patriots interested.
Draft Projection: 3rd-4th Round
9 Luke Falk #4 Washington St 6-3 215 – Sp. 4.85 Rating 68
Highly efficient three-year starter for the Cougars completed a fine career in the Pac-12, earning conference honors three times. Fifth year senior put up huge numbers operating the WSU ‘Air Raid’ attack. Set Pac-12 career records for TD passes and passing yardage. Spreads the ball around well, showing a quick delivery and fine accuracy to hit receivers. Lanky frame with adequate size and core strength to hold up in the pocket. Quick feet and good functional strength to shrug off pass rushers, slide in the pocket and reset to make a play. Throws well on the run. Accurate from the pocket or on the move. Keeps his eyes downfield and waits for routes to develop. Prefers to pass in those situations, rather than pulling the ball down and running where he shows marginal skills. Fails to extend plays with his feet when necessary and lost 400 yards rushing in his career. Good pocket presence with the strength and feel for pressure to fight off rushers. As a runner when scrambling shows marginal foot speed to make a play. Good decision making and a very competitive fine leader. Motivated with a strong work ethic. Displays enough NFL arm strength to be effective on all types of routes. Can put heat on his passes to fit them into tight windows, or use touch and timing. Shows the ability to loft the deep-balls and drop them into the bucket. Makes smart decisions with the football most of the time and able to read the field well from the pocket. Fine anticipation for throwing windows as they develop. Durable and has taken hits and bounced right back. At times, throws off his back foot and often looks to the check-down sooner than necessary. Deep-ball accuracy can be inconsistent at times. With over 2000 passes attempted, he keeps his interception numbers low because he takes what defenses give him. Takes the safer shorter throws rather than pushing the ball downfield into tight coverage and finished with a career completion pct. of 68%. During the 2017 season, he completed 443 of 633 passes for a 67% rate, 3593 yards with 30 TDs and 13 picks in 12 games. Missed time with a broken non-throwing hand. During the 2016 season, he completed 293 of 460 passes for 64% rate and 4468 yards with 38 TDs and 11 picks. Over his career, he started 41 games with a 27-14 record and threw for 14,486 yards and 119 TDs with 39 picks. At the Senior Bowl event, he looked sharp throwing the ball early in the week, but had to leave to attend the funeral of a WSU teammate who committed suicide. At the NFL Combine, he came in under 6’4” and 215 lbs. with 32” arms and 9 1/4” hands. He did not run but had a 26.5” VJ, 8’7” BJ with no agility drills. Faces a definite learning curve in his setup and reading defenses under center. Good leadership and development. Talent to progress further, though needs a strong supporting cast. Highly efficient, experienced QB with above average physical skills and intangibles to win a #3 role in camp. With development, he could move up to a #2 role in time and possibly challenge for starting QB. Top 125 prospect and probable mid 3rd day pick with tools to move up depth charts. Long-term project with talent.
10 Kurt Benkert #6 Virginia 6-3 215 – Sp. 4.90 Rating 68
Gritty intelligent senior two-year starter showed steady improvement and solid production during his short career with the Cavaliers. Transferred from East Carolina where he was set to start in 2015 before a training camp knee injury ended his season. Good frame made nice progress in a pro style attack that spread the ball around and relied on accurate timing passes. Average athlete with decent mobility to get to the outside and move within the pocket. Fairly good pocket awareness to operate in tight spaces and able to adjust and use his legs when necessary. Good arm though lacks exceptional strength, but has acceptable velocity when able to step into throws and follow through. Usually gets the pass off quickly and is fearless in the pocket when under pressure and willing to hold the ball if needed. Attempts to test small windows and has the confidence to make tight throws, but can be late to decide and throw into traffic. Generally, he shows good field awareness and seems to understand matchups and where the soft spots are in coverage. Shows good football IQ and is diligent in his preparation. Fine leadership traits and mental toughness. Productive vs D1 talent. Arm strength is less than ideal and throws too many passes with too much air. Struggles to add mustard to his throws especially the out and has a slight hitch at the top of his delivery. Struggles controlling his touch and ball placement is inconsistent when forced from his original spot. At times, he will predetermine his throws and forces it into congested areas. Field vision and decision-making are sound when he gets a clean pocket. As a senior, he passed for 3207 yards, completing 58 % on 298 of 509 passes with 25 TDs and 9 picks. As a junior, he started 11 games and completed 228 of 406 passes for 2552 yards and 21 TDs and 11 picks. At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.95 time with 16 reps. He added a 31” VL and a 9’4” BJ with a 4.33 shuttle and 7.15 three cone. Physical and mental makeup to win a #3 job with the skill set to move up with development. Type of prospect a club needs to settle into the offense and develop the finer points of the position. Good Senior Bowl week helped his cause. Prospect with smarts and physical talent to surprise in time. Skill set to develop and marginal top 175 talent with make it grade. Good 3rd day guy with upside.
11 * Chase Litton #14 Marshall 6-5 230 – Sp. 4.85 Rating 68
Well-built fourth year junior finished his career, starting three seasons and earning C-USA honors his final season. Huge prospect with a powerful arm and the raw talent to make all the throws with the ability to hit receivers outside the hashes in the deep zone. Good mechanics with a quick high release and a smooth delivery. Possesses the raw skill set to develop into an NFL starter with work. Adequate mobility in the pocket to move outside and throw on the move, though needs work there. At times, he throws erratic passes leading to turnovers when he tries to force the ball. Little experience under center and needs to settle into a system where he is the #3 passer and learn the basics on his setup, reading coverage and his footwork to deliver the ball. His career results were outstanding, throwing for 8332 yards and 72 TD passes and 31 interceptions. He has all the physical tools, ideal size, arm strength and solid athleticism. Displays fairly quick feet into his setup with a tight release and good velocity on his throws. He needs work on his touch and timing and especially his footwork. He is a long strider and needs work to plant with a shorter and better balance which will help his balance and follow through. When he escapes the pocket he lacks the speed to be a threat as a runner. Aware of where the marker is and will go all out to make the 1st down. Must learn to accept when the play isn’t there and throw the ball away rather than take sacks or through into heavy coverage. Gives his receivers room to run after the reception and is usually very effective working the shorter routes. In 2017, he threw for 3115 yards on 266 completions on 443 attempts, 60%, 25 TD and 14 picks. In 2016, he started 10 games and threw for 2612 yards on 231 completions of 371 attempts, 62%, 24 TD and 9 picks. At the NFL Combine, he came in at 6’5” and 230 lbs. with 32 1/4” arms and 9 3/8” hands. He ran a 4.90 time and had a 29.5” VJ, 8’10” BJ with a 4.53 shuttle and 7.49 three cone time. Displayed a sound arm in the throwing drills with a compact release that gets the ball out nicely. Similar to Mike Glennon in size, arm strength and LOD. Talented passer faces a steep learning curve especially in his setup and technique when under center or reading sophisticated defenses. Shows the ability to scan the field, read the defense fairly well and find the open receiver. Displays leadership to direct an offense. Needs to show patience to sit in the pocket to allow plays to develop and find secondary receivers. Size, arm strength and intangibles to win a backup role and move up the charts. Underrated prospect with the intangibles necessary to compete in the NFL. With development and overall improvement, he could be a starter. Top 200 prospect and probable late 3rd day pick with definite tools to surprise and compete for time. Good addition with talent to continue to develop and fine late gamble.
12 Riley Ferguson #4 Memphis 6-3 210 – Sp. 4.85 Rating 68
Slick throwing senior put up incredible numbers over his only two seasons with the Tigers, earning AAC honors during that period. Transferred from Tennessee in 2014 after a coaching change. Guided the Tigers’ offense the past two seasons, posting a 18-8 record while passing for over 7900 yards and 70 TD passes. Adequate size and arm strength and could use weight training to bulk up and add some muscle. Adequate foot speed and quickness in the pocket to move and make plays under pressure. Good throwing mechanics and a tight delivery to get the ball out quickly. Usually shows good pocket awareness and can make subtle moves to avoid the rush and gain a little extra time. His accuracy as a passer is fairly good, though needs improvement to challenge for more than a #3 role. Worked in a spread offense from the gun which asked only simple reads and needs extensive work under center. Shows the agility and footwork to convert to the pro game, though faces a tough learning curve especially with his drop back and setup while reading coverage. Good vision to find the open receiver and takes what the defense gives him. Will play pitch and catch in the underneath zones in a spread game. When throwing just from the pocket, he sits and usually locks on his primary receiver. Needs development going through his progressions till he finds an open man. His adequate mobility allows him to bail out of the pocket when it collapses and try to make a play. Accuracy is not as good when throwing on the move or outside the confines of the pocket. Needs work on his delivery and release, in addition to setting his feet better to improve his accuracy. Likely to miss an open receiver when under pressure and scrambling with an erratic delivery. At times gets happy feet in the pocket when the rush is closing on him and throws wildly. Appears he does not trust his arm and will double pump before deciding whether to make the throw. Can effectively and efficiently guide an offense when given time to throw from the pocket. Many of his throws are high % passes and currently does not throw the full route tree. In 2017, he threw for 4257 yards for 63% for 38 TDs and 9 picks, earning C-USA Player of the Year. In 2016, he threw for 3698 yards for 63% completion and 32 TDs and 10 picks, earning 2nd team honors. At the NFL Combine, he came in under 6’3” and 212 lbs. which is up from his 195 lbs. in December. He ran a 4.98 time with a 29” VL and 9’2” BJ, a 4.40 shuttle and 6.96 three cone. Displays a slightly above average arm with good mechanics and some upside to possibly challenge for the #2 role if he makes critical improvement. Savvy passer can win a #3 role after big game experience. Top 200 prospect and probable 3rd day pick with definite skills. Long-term project with talent to surprise.
13 Brandon Silvers #12 Troy 6-2 220 – Sp. 4.75 Rating 65
Strong armed senior had an excellent unheralded career starting all four seasons at Troy, earning Sun Belt honors his final three seasons. Well-built physique with a good arm and the footwork to set up and deliver the ball with power, timing and accuracy. Shows the strong frame and toughness to holdup against a heavy pass pressure. Good pocket presence with the footwork to slide in the pocket to avoid the rush and create passing lanes. Powerful arm with deceptive athleticism and foot speed to make plays on the move. His arm ranks above average with a compact delivery which allows him to get the ball out quickly. Physical makeup of a quality starting QB – strong arm with nice accuracy and capable of making all the throws. Shows quick feet to make plays outside the pocket and scored 9 rushing TDs over his final two seasons. Slings the ball out to receivers with good timing and placement. Holds up well in the pocket with the ability to stay on the field and fight off rushers despite taking hits. Winning QB with the intangibles clubs look for in a starter and came up huge in big situations. Shows poise, leadership and composure to direct an offense and lead a team. Extensive experience as a starter in a pro-style offense in which he called plays in the huddle. Worked from under center and called audibles when necessary. When protected in the pocket, he can make all the throws with touch and accuracy on intermediate and vertical routes. Hits his receivers in full stride to make plays after the catch. Displays a compact throwing motion and well-developed footwork to sit in pocket and go through his progressions well to find secondary receivers. Experience working from under center or in the shotgun. Able to really drive the ball when required and many passes explode from his hand. Deceptive mobility. Shows the willingness to take a hit to complete the pass. Good leadership to face pressure situations. Over the 2017 season, he started 13 games and completed 283 passes of 443 attempts for a 64% rate for 3290 yards with 17 TDs and 7 picks. Added 5 TDs rushing. Led Troy to a 11-2 record including a huge victory over LSU. Earned honorable mention Sun Belt. Over his junior season, he threw for 3180 yards while completing 64% with 23 TDs and 12 picks in 13 starts with 4 rushing TDs, earning 1st team Sun Belt honors. Did not attend the NFL Combine. Comes in at 6’2” and 224 lbs. with sub 30” arms and 9 1/8” hands. He runs in the high 4.90 time with a 5.06 pro day clocking. Highly productive QB with strong frame and arm at a D1 level of competition. Potential NFL quality starter with some development. Needs improvement in his footwork to step up to play in a pro-style offense. Throws the deep ball with accuracy, drives the ball down the field and makes the tough intermediate throws when given time. Can fit the ball into tight windows in coverage when given a nice pocket. Underrated talented prospect who is falling through the cracks in this top end QB class. Prospect with the skill set to possibly win a starting job within a few seasons after learning a system. Needs further work on reading defenses and going thru his progressions. Must prove up to leadership to succeed. Sleeper with a big ceiling if he gets in the right situation.
14 * Tanner Lee Nebraska 6-4 218 – Sp. 4.80 Rating 65
15 J.T. Barrett Ohio St 6-1 220 – Sp. 4.60 Rating 65
16 Chris Streveler South Dakota 6-2 220 – Sp. 4.50 Rating 65
17 Logan Woodside Toledo 6-1 215 – Sp. 4.70 Rating 65
18 Nic Shimonek Texas Tech 6-3 220 – Sp. 4.90 Rating 62
19 * Kyle Allen Houston 6-2 211 – Sp. 4.90 Rating 62
20 Matt Linehan Idaho 6-3 225 – Sp. 4.95 Rating 62
21 Max Browne Pittsburgh 6-4 230 – Sp. 4.85 Rating 62
22 Nick Stevens Colorado St 6-3 203 – Sp. 4.85 Rating 62
23 Jeremiah Briscoe Sam Houston St 6-3 220 – Sp. 4.85 Rating 62
24 Danny Etling LSU 6-2 215 – Sp. 4.85 Rating 62
25 Luis Perez Texas A&M-Commerce 6-2 224 – Sp. 4.95 Rating 60
26 Kenny Hill Texas Christian 6-1 215 – Sp. 4.60 Rating 60
27 John Wolford Wake Forest 6-1 200 – Sp. 4.75 Rating 60
28 Brogan Roback Eastern Michigan 6-2 218 – Sp. 4.95 Rating 60
29 Austin Allen Arkansas 6-0 209 – Sp. 4.85 Rating 60
30 Bryan Schor James Madison 6-1 212 – Sp. 4.75 Rating 60
31 Chad Kanoff Princeton 6-4 225 – Sp. 4.90 Rating 60
32 John O’Korn Michigan 6-3 214 – Sp. 4.85 Rating 58
33 Brandon Harris North Carolina 6-2 220 – Sp. 4.65 Rating 58
34 Richard Lagow Indiana 6-5 240 – Sp. 4.90 Rating 58
34 DeVante Kincade Grambling State 6-0 190 – Sp. 4.55 Rating 58
35 Bryant Shirreffs Connecticut 6-1 210 – Sp. 4.85 Rating 58
36 Peter Pujals Holy Cross 6-1 211 – Sp. 4.90 Rating 58
37 Alex McGough Florida International 6-2 218 – Sp. 4.85 Rating 58
38 Malik Zaire Florida 6-0 226 – Sp. 4.65 Rating 58
39 Conor Rhoda Minnesota 6-2 225 – Sp. 5.0 Rating 56
40 Dalton Sturm Texas-San Antonio 6-1 205 – Sp. 4.75 Rating 56
41 Kyle Bolin Rutgers 6-1 212 – Sp. 4.85 Rating 56
42 Brice Ramsey Georgia 6-2 210 – Sp. 4.85 Rating 56
43 Ryan Burns Stanford 6-4 230 – Sp. 4.78 Rating 56
44 Jesse Ertz Kansas St 6-2 212 – Sp. 4.75 Rating 56
45 Cole Davis North Dakota St 6-2 217 – Sp. 4.75 Rating 56
By Frank Coyle & Pro Scouting Staff of Draft Insiders’ Digest –
www.draftInsiders.com – 27th Season