The shortage of first passers-by in the next NFL draft has made the quarterback’s carousel spin faster than ever this spring.
Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Marcus Mariota, Carson Wentz, Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Lock and Deshaun Watson changed teams in 2022.
Franchises still looking for a prized quarterback won’t find much stellar power in this year’s college QBs harvest, though there are possible improvements like Liberty’s Malik Willis, Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, Mississippi’s Matt Corral, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder and Sam of North Carolina. Howell.
None of them will rise to the top of the draft as 16 quarterbacks have done this century, including Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield in the last four years.
This could even be the first draft since 2013 without a quarterback selected in the top 10.
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he took 32 minutes to a press conference before being asked about this QB class.
“That says it’s a slightly different draft,” he said. “None of the quarterbacks just completely surprised you.”
Every prospect has their problems. Pickett put up big numbers but has small hands. Willis ’advantage is intriguing, but he is inexperienced and inaccurate.
One thing that oozes from this QB class is the challenge.
“Someone is always going to think you’re rubbish. That’s how the game goes,” Willis said. “I don’t really care what he and she say.”
Neither did Ridder.
“We’re all overcoming and we all feel like there’s a chip on our shoulders just because they’re saying this kind of draft isn’t as good as others,” Ridder said. “But I think you’ll see a lot of success from all of us in this league.”
Several CEOs share that view.
“I think it’s a quality class,” Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said. “There will be NFL quarterbacks coming out of this class, for sure.”
Panthers GM Scott Fitterer said that while the consensus says this is a weak quarterback class, “we look at it a little differently. We think there are some guys who can come in and help us.”
Pickett is the group’s best plug-and-play prospect despite his small hands worrying some explorers. Though raw, Willis could provide a great reward for a team willing to be patient.
“He has a huge arm,” Jeremiah said. “He’s a powerful guy who can run the ball. We saw him in the Senior Bowl when it was raining and everyone else was fighting. He had no problem.”
Unlike Pickett, whose rulings that day rekindled the debate over hand size.
Burrow also raised red flags when his hands measured 9 inches in the 2020 combined, which led him to tweet in an ironic voice: “Considering the withdrawal after being informed that football will escape my little hands. your thoughts “.
Burrow was No. 1 in the draft six weeks later for the Cincinnati Bengals, whom he took to the Super Bowl in his second season.
No one in this class of quarterbacks is expected to turn a team’s fortune overnight.
Remember, Lawrence was the No. 1 pick in the Jacksonville consensus a year ago and was 3-14 with 12 TD passes and 17 interceptions as a rookie.
“We’re coming to a year where you’ve seen Mac Jones play in New England and you’ll probably see him most of the year with a rookie quarterback and the Patriots still haven’t been able to win a playoff game,” said ESPN analyst Todd. McShay.
Pickett’s 52 college starts are 22 more than Jones in Alabama, and that experience makes him probably the safest bet.
As for Willis, as soon as Commissioner Roger Goodell calls his name on draft night, he is “automatically one of the three most dynamic runners and escape performers in the NFL’s quarterback position,” McShay said. “But he’s not ready for two years at Liberty, and as coach Hugh Freeze said, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know.’
That’s why many scouts believe Willis would be better off sitting a year behind a veteran like Trey Lance did last season when he backed Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco.
Lance, who was selected third overall last year, would have been the first pick in 2022 if he had stayed at North Dakota State and left this year, Jeremiah said: “He’s more talented than any quarterback in this draft, and I don’t think so. that is so close “.
A year ago, five of the top 15 draft picks were quarterbacks, including the top three.
So why is this quarterback class so faltering?
“I think the pandemic is part of it,” Jeremiah said. “It simply came to our notice then. Arizona State played like three or four games. You had a spring ball that the teams lost. You also have how math works. We’ve had seven (rookie QBs) since last year. Last year was a great year. “
Next year also looks very promising, with a class led by Bryce Young of Alabama, CJ Stroud of Ohio State, Spencer Rattler of South Carolina and Anthony Richardson of Florida.
Still, teams shouldn’t fire this year’s class altogether.
“I was as guilty as anyone in 2017,” Jeremiah said, “and we were talking about the excitement of Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen the following year and then we had two of the best young quarterbacks we’ve ever seen. Our noses.”
Those would be Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.
“It’s not easy to evaluate these guys, and most of us feel like this isn’t the best year for field marshals,” Jeremiah said. “But we’ve already been shown to be wrong, so we’ll see what happens.”
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The shortage of first passers-by in the draft caused the QB carousel to spin
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