We're about halfway through both the college and NFL regular seasons (college obviously further along than NFL), and this is usually the part where we say "the quarterback class is shaping up."
But is it really?
When I look at this upcoming 2019 NFL Draft quarterback class, I still see a lot of question marks. Not only do I see question marks on the field in terms of performance, I see question marks in potential availability of the class, as a whole, due to the fact that some of these underclassmen quarterbacks could very well not even declare for the draft.
With all kinds of scenarios possible, I figured I'd map out the five potential realities that could exist for this quarterback class, as it stands right now.
Reality No. 1: All declare
Let's start off with the ideal reality -- for the NFL, that is -- and that would be that all of these quarterbacks, at least the ones regarded in the Top 10 of positional rankings, decide to declare and the NFL has their pick of the bunch.
Justin Herbert highlights the group as the No. 1 quarterback, and would likely be taken in the Top 10 of the draft. Behind him, another underclassman, Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins might have the most potential as just a redshirt sophomore, so I'd expect him to be a first round quarterback, too. After that you'll have likely one of Will Grier or Drew Lock go near the end of the first round.
If all quarterbacks declare, I'd expect three or four of those guys to be first rounders (even if it's a stretch for some based on their grades), and I'd expect a handful more to be selected during Day 2.
That would be ideal for the NFL.
Reality No. 2: No Herbert
Though Herbert could be staring a Top 10 selection in the face, just due to how coveted the position is, there are some reports that the junior may not even declare this year. His brother is set to play at Oregon next season, and there are some indications that he'd like to stay one more year with his brother.
Now, if that happens, what happens to the quarterback selection in this draft? It might not be as "on in, one out" as you think.
Unless Haskins really balls out for the rest of the year, it might be hard for a team to take a 20-year-old, one-year starter in the Top 10. That makes me think that a guy like Grier or Lock could instead be the first quarterback taken, and more in the range of 8-15. I still think three quarterbacks would go in the first round, but as a chain reaction, there may be less picked in Day 2.
Reality No. 3: Senior Studded
Now, let's build off of the Herbert theory and talk about the reality that both Herbert and Haskins don't declare for the draft.
If that were the case, I could actually see teams fighting over Grier and Lock higher in the order and both quarterbacks being gone by pick No. 12, just due to the situation and scarcity of guys to like after that. I would still vote that three quarterbacks would go in the first round, and Daniel Jones or Ryan Finley would be the ones to benefit off that. But I think there would be more round two quarterbacks taken than round one quarterbacks taken, in this reality.
Reality No. 4: Unclassmen Save The Day
Okay, let's paint another reality, one that is similar to the first one, but let's say all of the underclassmen not only declare but play their best ball in the last half of the season.
If that were to be the case, I could see both Herbert and Haskins going in the Top 10. Due to how quick both come off the board, I'd expect Grier and Lock to go between 10-25, and I'd even say that there would be a chance for a guy like Finley or even Jarrett Stidham to sneak into the back end of round one, as it seems the NFL is higher on them than I am, and would likely jump at the chance to be high on them again, if they played better.
I believe this is the scenario in which you could see the most quarterbacks be selected in the Top 100, but also the one that is furthest from our current reality.
Reality No 5: The Senior Scaries
You've heard of the Sunday Scaries, right? Well this is the Senior Scaries. It's when NFL GMs have to look at the upcoming QB class after the declaration date and see that it's only seniors.
If that were the case, we're looking at Grier, Lock, Brett Rypien, Jordan Ta'amu and Trace McSorley as the best of the bunch. In normal circumstances, most of those guys wouldn't even be drafted in the first round. But, if this were the case, Lock and Grier would be the only first round quarterbacks with those other three going sometime in Day 2.
Is that a probable reality? No. The chances are we're going to have more underclassmen than that. But I paint that picture to highlight the fact that this quarterback class isn't really sorting itself out. In fact, the longer the season plays out, the closer to the edge we get.
Which will be the reality that comes to pass? We'll have to wait and see.