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NFL Draft: Top 5 QB prospects

Burrow
Joe Burrow is the top quarterback prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. (Twitter // @Complex)

The NFL Draft is inching closer. With a serious lack of sports-related events on the calendar, there’s extra excitement surrounding the draft. Although the draft won’t be happening as usual, I’m completely ok with that. The virtual draft will keep everyone safe and give me some sports. It’s a win-win.

With Draft Day inching closer, I will be listing my top-5 players at each fantasy football relevant position. The first position on the list is Quarterback.

Here you can find the top 5 running back prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft.

1. Joe Burrow, Louisiana State University (6’3″, 221 lbs)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2dnemsUZDA

Combine results: Did not participate

2019 stats: G: 15 CMP: 402 CMP%: 76.3 YDS: 5,671 Y/A: 10.8 TD: 60 INT: 6

What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about this guy? The 2019 Heisman Trophy winner led arguably the greatest offence in college football history to a national title. His 60 passing touchdowns in 2019 set a new FBS record for major schools. While he benefitted from the elite receiving threats at LSU, I don’t believe that should be a knock against his prospect profile. He has a great sense for the game and can move well in and out of the pocket. His arm strength is solid, but he’s by no means a gunslinger.

Player Comparison: None

The closest comparison I could come up with when factoring build and skill set was Andy Dalton. There’s no doubt that Burrow is much more talented than Dalton, especially in terms of pocket awareness and mobility, and should be a much better player in the NFL than his likely predecessor.

2. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (6′ 1″, 218 lbs)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2uuOkudkgs

Combine results: Did not participate.

2019 stats: G: 9 CMP: 180 CMP%: 71.4 YDS: 2,840 Y/A: 11.3 TD: 33 INT: 3

Instead of discussing how talented and special a player Tagovailoa is, all of the talk regarding the 22-year-old surrounds his health. The quarterback is accompanied by a concerning injury history, most recently highlighted by a serious hip injury he suffered in November. When he’s been on the field, Tagovailoa has been absolutely electric. He moves extremely well in the pocket and has great accuracy. The talent is not an issue, it’s his durability.

Given the circumstances with COVID-19, teams have not been able to bring Tagovailoa in for evaluations, which brings an increased amount of risk. All that being said, I still believe he is the second-best QB prospect in this draft class.

Player comparison: Kyler Murray

Both players move extremely well and have great arm talent. Murray will scramble more, but Tagovailoa is a better decision-maker and durability aside, the better prospect coming out of school.

3. Justin Herbert, Oregon (6’6″, 237 lbs)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlpQ8vTic74

Combine results: 40-yard dash: 4.68 sec, vertical jump: 35.5 inches, broad jump: 123 inches, 3-cone drill: 7.06 seconds, 20-yard shuttle: 4.46 seconds

2019 stats: G: 14 CMP: 286 CMP%: 66.8 YDS: 3,471 Y/A: 8.1 TD: 32 INT: 6

Just watching his highlight reel alone, you’d wonder why Herbert isn’t the top QB prospect. His excellent size, arm strength and mobility worked extremely well in Oregon’s spread offence, but he’s still a raw talent. There are some issues with his throwing mechanics which sometimes leads to overthrows. Going through his progressions is another area of concern, but both are teachable and can be corrected in the right situation.

Player comparison: Josh Allen

Herbert’s skill set is certainly unique which makes finding a direct comparison difficult. He and Allen match in terms of size, arm strength and athleticism. Coming out of school, Allen certainly relied more on his rushing abilities than Herbert, although Herbert (4.68) ran a faster 40-yard dash than Allen (4.75).

4. Jordan Love, Utah State (6’4″, 224 lbs)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jemZwuc81Sw

Combine results: 40-yard dash: 4.74 seconds, vertical jump: 35.5 inches, broad jump: 118 inches, 3-cone drill: 7.21 seconds, 20-yard shuttle: 4.52 seconds

2019 stats: G: 13 CMP: 293 CMP%: 61.9 YDS: 3,402 Y/A: 7.2 TD: 20 INT: 17

The football world had never seen a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes prior to the 2018 NFL season. So when a QB like Love comes around, who has shown the ability to make Mahomes-like plays, people’s imaginations are going to run wild. Love can make the flashy throws on the run like Mahomes, has the arm strength and mobility, but there’s still a fair bit that separates the two. Love needs to work on his accuracy as well as awareness – both in the pocket and when surveying his passing options – before being appointed the next Mahomes.

Player comparison: Patrick Mahomes

As mentioned earlier, it’s easy to watch Love’s highlights and see Mahomes. His ability to throw on the run and throw across his body is very reminiscent of Mahomes, but he’ll need to make some significant adjustments to have similar success in the NFL.

5. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma (6′ 1″, 222 lbs)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yxJFTZNFIY

Combine results: 40-yard dash: 4.59, vertical jump: 35 inches, broad jump: 125 inches

2019 stats: G: 14 CMP: 237 CMP%: 69.7% YDS: 3,851 Y/A: 11.3 TD: 32 INT: 8

Since his stellar performance at the Senior Bowl, Hurts has seen his draft stock continue to rise. He was an electric college football player that was always a threat to burn defences with his mobility. Hurts also has great awareness for the pocket and can use his athleticism to extend plays. In order to make the jump to the pros, he’ll have to work on his accuracy, ball security and his decision making to become a better passer in the pocket.

Player comparison: Dak Prescott

At Mississipi State, Prescott relied on his mobility. Since taking over as the starter for the Dallas Cowboys, he has improved his decision making and accuracy to become a much better pocket passer. Hurts’ strengths and weaknesses seem to mirror Prescott’s. Similar adjustments at the next level could lead to similar results.

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