Since the 2001 NFL Draft, there has only been one year (2013) that saw the quarterback position go untouched in the first three picks. Unquestionably the premium position in the NFL today, it has never been safer to assume that at least one quarterback will be gone in the first five picks of the draft, with a strong chance that two come off the board in that range.
The potential 2019 class is currently lacking one thing: any established, consensus order or value amongst the quarterbacks. We’ve got edge pass rushers, interior defensive linemen and offensive tackles that would be first round picks if the draft started today, but the quarterback room hasn’t been this up-in-the-air for a long time.
Each week I’ll be looking at the quarterbacks with potential to be high draft picks in the 2019 class, evaluating where their stock has moved based on their performance the previous week, and highlighting the important upcoming matchups for their evaluation that should be on our radar.
Drew Lock, Missouri
I wish the actual numbers were published somewhere, but it’s hard for me to believe that any of the top quarterbacks in this class had more passes dropped than Lock did last season. That trend continued on Saturday, as Emanuel Hall had a nine route touchdown pass bounce right off his hands just over a minute into the game.
Overall though, I thought this was a very up-and-down performance for Lock. He wasn’t as accurate as I’d like to see, but he made some gorgeous throws down the field at the same time. The pocket was clean all night, yet he seemed to process a little slowly. I’d like to see him be more decisive, but without the All-22, it is hard to know what he was seeing down the field. I do know Purdue dropped 7-8 a lot, which likely made things a little bit tougher.
Lock plays Georgia in a noon kickoff this Saturday. Last year he gave them fits at times, and this year he has a chance to really elevate his stock with a monster performance.
Will Grier, WVU
WVU-N.C. State was sadly canceled due to Hurricane Florence. Kansas State is up next for Grier.
Ryan Finley, N.C. State
WVU-N.C. State was sadly canceled due to Hurricane Florence. We’ll see Finley in action next week on the road against Marshall.
Sleeper: Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State
I like Rypien’s quick release and fearless mentality in the face of pressure enough to include him on this list for the second week in a row. No, he’s not perfect, nor should he be thought of as a top-tier quarterback prospect. There were a couple throws in this game I’m sure he’d like to have back, but in the face of a fierce pass rush all game long, Rypien did a lot of good things to keep Boise State in the game.
The Redshirt Juniors
Brian Lewerke, Michigan State
Bye week for the Spartans after their loss to Arizona State in Week 2. They’ve got Indiana on the road Saturday night.
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
This was it for Stidham. Facing a huge measuring stick against a ferocious LSU defense in a game where Auburn needed to win on his arm, Stidham fell on his face time and time again. His first pass of the game was a late throw on a rollout that was across his body, right into the arms of the breaking safety. Stidham later threw another interception in what looked like a miscommunication with his receiver, and had another pick go through the hands of a defender.
Late in the game, Stidham missed open receivers while panicking in clean pockets when his first read wasn’t open. He’s given Auburn little reason to trust him late in games with the ball in his hands, why should the NFL feel any different? The more responsibility the Tigers give him, the more he wilts.
Sleeper: Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
We all know Murray is going to play baseball after his college football career is over, and it’s just as well. At 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, the NFL probably won’t look favorably on him anyway. But Murray was 21-29 for 348 yards and three touchdowns against a tough Iowa State defense without Rodney Anderson. Better tests will come, but Murray has been excellent this season in Lincoln Riley’s offense, showing accuracy and poise under pressure.
Justin Herbert, Oregon
I’m going to be honest, I didn’t see a second of this game live, and I can’t find it anywhere online right now. I’m going to keep checking to see if someone posts it up, and if they do, I will watch and add notes on Herbert’s performance later today.
Shea Patterson, Michigan
So. Shea Patterson was actually good against Southern Methodist. Michigan opened up the offense, protected him well and Patterson responded by making a couple of pretty throws down the field. He varied touch and velocity well, while also showing impressive escapability. Tougher tests remain, but Michigan should win their next three, with a chance to get into a groove by the time Wisconsin rolls around on October 13.
Nate Stanley, Iowa
Stanley’s best game of the season. Northern Iowa didn’t sniff him in the pocket, and he made a number of impressive throws, including finally getting a few shots down the field. His tools are impressive, but he’s not the quickest processor right now. I can’t wait to see how he plays against Wisconsin this weekend.
The Redshirt Sophomore
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
TCU was Haskins’ first test, and boy did he pass it with flying colors. Despite a ton of dropped passes and some early pressure, Haskins maintained his composure and made some great throws in clutch moments. I was particularly impressed with his ball placement on a number of throws, including his ability to successfully complete passes on a variety of routes. Penn State looms in two weeks.