It seems like the 2020 NFL Draft just happened, but we move fast here at The Draft Network.
Currently going through summer evaluations for the 2021 NFL Draft class, our scouting team of Kyle Crabbs, Joe Marino, Jordan Reid, and Drae Harris are meeting up every day to discuss prospects, traits, and concepts. New to TDN is a daily scouting roundtable where we go through and identify the most important points of conversation from that day’s meeting.
Recently, our staff began to go through their NFL assessments. On Thursday, they discussed some of the top quarterbacks in the league, providing their input on some of the NFL's best passers.
One of the huge surprises of this past draft was when Green Bay took Jordan Love in the first round to be their eventual successor to Aaron Rodgers. Despite this being the case, Reid is still very encouraged by Rogers’ 2020 outlook.
“Rodgers has fallen off from what we saw from prime Aaron Rodgers, but I still think he’s near-elite at the position.” - Reid
Drew Brees has been the epitome of consistency for more than a decade. Marino detailed as much when describing Brees’ 2019 season.
“Drew Brees quietly had one of the best five seasons of his career last year. I mean, he had the highest completion percentage, highest passer rating, and best touchdown percentage of his career. His deep ball was a little off compared to previous years, but he’s never been more efficient.” - Marino
Although Deshaun Watson was a consensus top-seven quarterback amongst all of our evaluators, Marino did have some concerns regarding his game that he felt were important to point out.
“When you think about Watson, if I were to say anything against him, two things come to mind. I think there was such a difference between the way he performed when Will Fuller was in the lineup versus when he wasn’t in the lineup, and I still think he’s a guy that just holds on to the ball (too long). That leads to a lot of explosive plays, but I don't know if he has that type of comfort in terms of really working (through) his progressions and making quicker decisions. I know the offensive line hasn’t been great, but I think Deshaun deserves his share of the blame for the hits he’s taken. If I was to talk him down, those would be the two points I look at.” - Marino
Lamar vs. Dak vs. Wentz
This is a never-ending debate that is discussed in virtually every NFL circle. Who’s the best out of Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott, and Carson Wentz?
“I evaluated (all of) Wentz, Jackson, and Dak Prescott. Dak is someone (I personally) hold in pretty close regard to Carson. I think that is a fascinating dynamic, between the fact they were in the same draft class and will likely be dueling it out for a decade, but I think Lamar offers a higher ceiling than both of them. He’s so good at anticipating contact and reducing his surface area and he doesn’t take the wear and tear that Wentz does. The peaks and the valleys I’d give to Wentz, the consistency I’d give to Prescott, and Jackson I would give the ceiling to. It’s a really interesting conversation.” - Crabbs
Don’t Disrespect Brady
It’s going to look weird seeing Tom Brady in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform this upcoming season, but according to Harris, don’t think his play is going to fall off as a result.
“I think you discredit all he’s done if he’s not in that top 10. Sure, he’s not the same Tom (as he once was), but the most important stat for a quarterback is winning, and there are very few in the history of the league who have won as much and as consistently as he has. I’d be careful disrespecting him.” - Harris
Stafford vs. Ryan
Two quarterbacks named Matt: Which one is better? Reid and Marino both had different viewpoints on the question.
“I think the biggest differences between (Matthew) Stafford and Matt Ryan are just the running game and the defenses that each has had. We know that Stafford has always had to carry the load and has never had a running game. If we put him in Ryan’s situation, I think he would have the same type of accolades and would have probably appeared in the Super Bowl and had an MVP by now. That’s just my opinion.” - Reid
“I want to give Ryan some props here. That team last year, the offensive line was in shambles all year long, the rushing attack was 30th in the league, and Ryan continued to produce at a high level. No one has (ever) passed for more yards through 12 seasons and he has 64 straight games of 200 or more passing yards. I think Stafford is more gifted for sure, but I want to give Ryan respect.” - Marino
The Dak vs. Wentz debate was highlighted above, but Crabbs further detailed Prescott’s overall game later on in the meeting, singing the praises of the Dallas passer in the process.
“I know I’m going to be in the minority with coveting Dak as closely to Wentz as I do, but I just think about what he was able to accomplish last year and his incredible evolution from game-manager to the engine that makes (the Cowboys) offense run. I think Dak is on the move up and he has all the pieces in place to continue to shine. I think his performances against better teams are (currently) the biggest ding in his resume, but his coaching has been bad and they’ve been way too committed to the run game because of Zeke’s contract. I think it’s a two-sided coin, but the criticism is fair enough to push him (slightly) outside of that top 10.” - Crabbs
Perhaps no one gushed over a QB more in Thursday’s meeting than Reid when Kyler Murray’s name was mentioned. Almost putting him into his own top 10, Reid discussed all of the immense strengths the star sophomore has to offer, some of which are transcribed below.
“It’s a little too early at this point (to put him in the top 10), but y’all know I love Kyler (Murray). I’m going on a tangent here but that tier of guys like Goff, Cousins, Tannehill and Garoppolo—all of them are the same. If I was a betting man, I think Kyler’s ceiling is way higher than all of them, just because they’re so dependent on so many different variables. If you don’t have the right structure in place, you won’t be able to see their full potential. With Kyler, he’s capable of lifting his surroundings. It’s premature and we still need to see it, especially after he struggled down the backstretch of last year, but his peak is still so much better than some of these average QBs.” - Reid