The official source for NFL news, video highlights, fantasy football, game-day coverage, schedules, stats, scores and more. Even nitpicking him is hard, because he only put a small collection of bad plays on film last season when he completed over 67% of his passes with 41 touchdowns and only three interceptions at 9.2 yards per attempt. At the time, Darnold looked like "the safest pick", "checking more boxes" in terms of talent and intangibles than Allen, who played at less pedigreed Wyoming, and Jackson, an explosve but inconventional dual threat QB. He completed over 67.2% of his passes with 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions at 8.4 yards per attempt as a 19 year old. But in reality, the Jets weren't attached much to Jackson. 7 to No. (Getty Images) 1 overall pick in 2011. 12. In comparison, Josh Allen, whom the Bills took at No. At 6-3 and 221 pounds, Fields has a filled-out, athletic frame and scrambles with ease when receivers aren't open. https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-re-drafting-the-2018-quarterback-class He finished as my QB4 in that class with a late first-round grade. Howard's 16.6-yard average was better). MORE: Why Sam Darnold or Trevor Lawrence can't save Jets from themselves. The No. Darnold was a #DraftTwitter darling during the 2018 pre-draft process. Although teams such as the Patriots and Cardinals since also have been OK tailoring their offense around their quarterbacks' running ability, the Ravens were best equipped to do so then, making them the perfect fit to maximize Jackson's unique skill set. Burrow emphatically checked all the quarterback evaluation boxes in a legendary 2019 season at LSU, a campaign nearly impossible to see coming. But in reality, the Jets' real regret is not taking somewhat of a swing at either alternative. The elite-level flashes were there, but they were few and far between. With a cannon arm and fine athletic talent, Herbert checks the two boxes easiest to uncover on film. Jury is still out on ...: Tight end Hayden Hurst. Most of those occurrences happened in Oregon's biggest, most marquee contests. Jackson is rare cat athletically. At the same time, Mayfield, who was sensational as a junior at Oklahoma, followed that up with a spectacular senior season as the Heisman Trophy winner in 2017, succeeding Jackson. As a runner, he accumulated 510 yards on 109 carries and scored nine touchdowns. There was a growing sense that the Jets preferred to take Mayfield most, given how much they liked his playing style and big "made for New York" personality. 4) Lamar Jackson, Louisville: Jackson is the ultimate playmaker in this draft. The Colts, with Andrew Luck, were out on Allen at No. The Buccaneers, with 2015 No. Huge arm, solid accuracy to all levels, fast processing of coverages, natural pocket presence, a tendency to keep his eyes up with chaos around him, and high-level athleticism to create with his legs. In contrast, Darnold, not nearly the same kind of athlete, is lacking that "it" factor and hasn't gotten the same dedicatoin from the Jets to help make him better. Love is the ultimate long-term project at the quarterback spot. The Jets took Sam Darnold at No. He had a phenomenal, unprecedented true freshman season in 2018 when all those advanced skills were on full display every week en route to a championship. As a senior, he stepped out of the limelight offensively, as the Ducks went full ground-and-pound with one of the best and most experienced offensive lines in the country. https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/c6/c9/josh-allen-sam-darnold-lamar-jackson-ftr_n9223b1xyyob1pq6wx8xjf4mz.jpeg?t=-401089036&w=500&quality=80, https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/ed/0/jets-pats-10212019-getty-ftrjpg_1syzz2qatyeqx1edvlbih4aigr.jpg?t=-241578035&w=500&quality=80, https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/f6/9f/josh-allen-010420-getty-ftrjpg_ktk1u6cytz4d1l90kq8r601eb.jpg?t=1928078671&w=500&quality=80, https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/5b/1c/lamar-jackson-011120-getty-ftr_gcl3dhv8vnsb133dqgszpqmzw.jpg?t=-1747086089&w=500&quality=80, Why Sam Darnold or Trevor Lawrence can't save Jets from themselves, Trevor Lawrence goes to Jets; Broncos, Vikings also grab franchise QBs in top five, The 10 best fits for Trevor Lawrence in the NFL, if comedian Larry David had his way in 2018. Even with Odell Beckham added to the roster in 2019, Mayfield took a big step back. Lock was difficult to peg in these rankings because he only appeared in five games in 2019. His film was littered with high-level throws fit into tiny windows down the field. Once the Steelers (No. There's no perfect way to rank a collection of players mixed between the NFL and college. He became only the third quarterback since the 1970 merger to win at least six times in his first seven starts (Ben Roethlisberger and Dak Prescott were the others). But in the NFL, his unreliable downfield accuracy, mostly hurried play against pressure, and a tendency to stand in and take gigantic hits inside the pocket as opposed to avoiding them catalyzed a terrible rookie campaign. Even his 18-of-40, 208-yard, one-interception showing in a 23-3 loss to the Chiefs came during a 24-degree snowstorm and featured a handful of impressive throws. His 16.2-yard-per-catch average ranked second among all tight ends with at least 30 catches (only O.J. Darnold looked like a can't-miss pro-style QB during his stellar redshirt freshman season at USC in 2016. But he has been dealt a bad hand twice in two seasons on different teams. But again, Gase, even with his Tim Tebow experience in Denver, wasn't about to drastically change his offensive ways again for Jackson in Miami. © 2004-2020 CBS Interactive. He was mostly comfortable in the pocket too. To his credit, amazing throws did happen early in the season. I'm comparing across levels based on everything we know about each quarterback's talent today, and what they've shown on a field to date. 12. With the Jets as a rookie, Darnold took a fair amount of time to acclimate to the NFL as such a young starter -- mostly struggling mightily against pressure -- but ended on a three-game tear with five touchdowns, no picks at 7.5 yards per attempt and 63.1% completion. 6. Behind a sturdier offensive line than what was provided to him in 2018, Allen was more patient standing and surveying yet didn't become a statue, as that would be a failure to accentuate his entire skill set. He has tantalizing arm talent and a quick, smooth delivery. 3 overall, and so far have gotten limited returns. 28) and Patriots (No. His situation in Arizona was atrocious, yet Rosen rarely if ever flashed the ability to overcome, and he's not the type of athlete to make off-script plays on a regular basis. As someone who thought Jones was drafted much too high, I was impressed by his downfield ball placement -- not a strength at Duke. The talent around him at Clemson is certainly among the best in the country, yet Lawrence is not simply a product of his environment. Darnold was sure to be a top-three pick with none of those teams trading down and the Bills accepted he wouldn't be available at No.
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