Top 10 QB Prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft

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Top 10 QB Prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft

By Jack Woodard, Sports Editor

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I am an avid fan of college football and have been obsessed with watching the progression of college quarterbacks since Tim Tebow.  Every year I love to argue and debate with people why my list of quarterbacks going into the draft is the best list there is. In recent years, I have been studying and watching film on quarterbacks nonstop to see the best in the draft.  I knew Gardner Minshew II and Lamar Jackson had upsides and also knew that Josh Rosen had nothing of the sort. This year’s quarterback class going into the NFL draft is going to be exciting to watch in the pros and there certainly is a lot of talent.  These are my Top 10 Quarterbacks going into the 2020 NFL Draft.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Steven Montez: Colorado, Redshirt Senior, 6’5 230 lbs – Montez has garnered attention of many NFL scouts mainly due to his size, as he is the perfect build for an NFL quarterback.  Montez has a very strong arm but never reached his full potential at Colorado. He only threw for 2,808 yards and just 17 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. The numbers certainly do not jump out at you, but Montez does seem to have a big upside.  Montez would need to develop a good amount before receiving any playing time.

Kelly Bryant: Missouri, Redshirt Senior, 6’3, 225 lbs – Bryant had a rough season, battling through injuries as a transfer at Missouri.  He barely threw for over 2,000 yards and had 15 touchdowns with 6 interceptions. Nothing will jump out at you here. Many people know Bryant as the guy who got replaced by Trevor Lawrence at Clemson.  While Bryant did well at times at Clemson, he also struggled at times. Bryant is more of a runner than a pocket passer and it appears that what we have seen from is what we are going to get.

Bryce Perkins: Virginia, Redshirt Senior, 6’3 215 pounds – Perkins was an amazing college football player and he etched his name in the University of Virginia’s record books forever.  He led them to their first ever ACC Championship appearance and was really their whole team. Perkins is a do-it-all quarterback who can run and pass. He threw for 3,528 yards on the season with 22 touchdowns and rushed for 769 yards and 11 touchdowns.  Perkins is great on the run and developed very well under Bronco Mendenhall’s system. Perkins also has an amazing story as he transferred to Virginia from Arizona State after breaking his neck during a practice. He then went on to be one of the best players in Virginia history.  Perkins will be a low-risk high-reward pick if a team signs him undrafted or picks him up in a late round. While he doesn’t really have the size to be a starting quarterback, it would be interesting to see Perkins come in in a Wildcat formation with the option to run or pass every so often.  

Brian Lewerke: Michigan State, Redshirt Senior, 6’3, 216 lbs – Lewerke was a very inconsistent quarterback in his time at Michigan State.  The Spartans underwhelmed pretty much every year with him at quarterback and did not play like the MSU team we are used to seeing.  Lewerke threw for 3,079 yards in his senior campaign with 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Lewerke had four 300+ passing yard games this season but also four games with under 200 passing yards.  He is very inconsistent and was a part of a mediocre offense at Michigan State this season. Lewerke needs to be more consistent to have a chance in the NFL.

Deondre Francois: Hampton, Redshirt Senior, 6’2 215 lbs – Francois had a great season in his freshman campaign at Florida State, throwing for 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns but things went downhill when he suffered a season-ending injury in his sophomore season.  He came back the next year and led a bad Florida State team with little help. Francois was not anywhere near the level he had been in his freshman season. When a domestic violence video surfaced, Francois was removed from the Florida State football program.  He transferred to Hampton for his final campaign and once again had a very underwhelming season against sub-par opponents. Francois threw for 2,522 yards and 26 touchdowns to go along with 14 interceptions. Francois does not seem like a pocket passer that is ready for the NFL.  Francois is an example of what could have been but never was as his injury put his career in decline.  

 

#10. Jordan Love: Utah State, Redshirt Junior, 6’4, 225 lbs

I am making a bold prediction right off the bat and saying that Jordan Love is the lowest player to make the top ten.  Many think Love could be one of the first quarterbacks selected and they are clearly looking at his size and cannon for an arm.  The stats for Jordan Love do not lie and they show mediocre play. Love threw for a solid 3,402 yards on the year, but also threw 17 interceptions to 20 touchdowns.  All of this in a Group of 5 conference. Love has trouble reading his progressions and this results in many of his picks. He has good presence in the pocket but he forces throws too often instead of throwing it away.  Love certainly has the skill set and talent to be a starter in the NFL, but he needs a lot of work. He needs to mature on and off the field. Love was cited for marijuana possession before his bowl game and this may have hurt his draft stock.  Love has a huge upside, but it may take a long time for him to be ready to make NFL reads, which he may never be able to do.  

 

#9. Shea Patterson: Michigan, Senior, 6’2, 202 lbs

Patterson threw for over 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns to 8 interceptions in his senior season at Michigan.  Patterson struggles with accuracy and completed just 56.2% of his passes. He did play in a very good conference against teams with defenses like that of NFL teams.  Patterson is a very mobile quarterback and can scramble when things go bad, however, sometimes he seems to have happy feet and leave the pocket too fast. Patterson isn’t the biggest guy and this could hurt him in the NFL, as he won’t be able to scramble and take shots from linebackers every play.  He was a very inconsistent quarterback but did show flashes of greatness in some games. Patterson needs to work on his pocket presence and accuracy but if he can get those things down, combined with his ability to run, he could develop into a good quarterback.

 

#8. Nate Stanley: Iowa, Senior, 6’4 243 lbs

Nate Stanley is a monster in the pocket, weighing in at over 240 pounds and he is very difficult to bring down.  Stanley was a three year starter at Iowa and had a 59% completion percentage his last two seasons. Stanley is not a mobile quarterback at all but is calm and collected in the pocket and played in a pro-style system under Kirk Ferentz.  Stanley played against very good Big 10 defenses and threw for 2,951 yards on the season with 16 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. His numbers will not jump out at you but Stanley is a mature quarterback who knows how to lead an offense and limit his turnovers.  Stanley could use some work on his accuracy but shows good pocket presence and is mature enough to learn and develop under and NFL system. Nate Stanley could be a late round steal and could either develop into a good pocket passer or a solid backup quarterback.

 

#7. Jalen Hurts: Oklahoma, Senior, 6’2 219 lbs

Everyone knows the Jalen Hurts story, from Alabama to Oklahoma, Hurts was a solid quarterback in college.  This season, he threw for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns. Hurts also did a good job limiting his interceptions, only throwing 8 on the season.  Hurts led a high-powered Sooner offense to the College Football Playoff and also racked up over 1,000 rushing yards on the season with 20 rushing touchdowns.  In total, Jalen Hurts accounted for 52 touchdowns on the season! Hurts can do it all and is a very tough player, however, at times he struggled with reads and accuracy and he has one knock that could hold him back in the NFL: fumbles.  Hurts had 8 fumbles on the year with 6 of them lost. It is dangerous to think that your quarterback could fumble anytime he scrambles to leave the pocket. Jalen Hurts is a very good quarterback but seems to have reached his ceiling. Teams are going to get a persevering player who can run and pass but at times is inconsistent and does not have the best eyes in the pocket.  Jalen Hurts could be higher on this list and he could be lower. Hurts is a high-risk high-reward pick for any team that decides to take him in the draft.

 

#6. Jake Fromm: Georgia, Junior, 6’2 220 lbs

  Jake Fromm is a talented quarterback who benefits from having played in the best conference in college football, hands down.  The SEC is stacked with powerhouse teams and great defenses and playing against the likes of Alabama, LSU, Florida, and Auburn has certainly helped Fromm develop.  He led his Georgia team to three SEC Championship berths, one SEC Championship title, and a College Football Playoff berth. Fromm is an experienced and calm quarterback who can operate an offense at his tempo and control the pace of play.  While he does not have the strongest arm, he can make very accurate throws and knows how to read a defense. From threw for 2,860 yards this year, which was a bit underwhelming, but also had 24 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions. Jake Fromm does not turn the ball over and this is huge.  One alarming statistic on Fromm is that he did not have one game of over 300 passing yards on the season. Fromm does not have a strong arm but his poise in the pocket is what scouts love about him. Fromm never seems to get rattled and truly knows how to control an offense which could turn him into a good starter in the NFL.

 

#5. Tua Tagovailoa: Alabama, Junior, 6’1 218 lbs

Injuries.  Injuries are the only reason that Tua is not top 3 on my list, because he certainly has the talent to be a star in the NFL.  Tua Tagovailoa could arguably be the best quarterback in this draft but his future is questionable because of his history of injuries.  In his time at Alabama, Tua suffered a broken finger, sprained knee, injured quad, two high ankle sprains, and a dislocated hip. It is still unclear how Tua will bounce back from the hip injury in his transition to the NFL and this is why he is a huge risk in this draft.  Tua could be a Pro Bowl player if he stays healthy as he has shown brilliance in games he has played. In just 9 games this season, Tua threw for 2,840 yards and 33 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions. Tua has been to two National Championships with a win in one. Tagovailoa is calm in the pocket, can pinpoint passes, and has a very strong arm.  Tua could be a future Pro Bowler in the league, he just needs to stay healthy. Any team that picks Tua is taking a risk because of the injuries but if he lives up to his potential, he could make that fanbase happy for the next decade. He could be a once in a generation talent.

 

#4. Jacob Eason: Washington, Redshirt Junior, 6’6, 227 lbs

Jacob Eason has, arguably, the best build for a quarterback out of this whole draft class and his raw talent has many people excited.  Eason is huge in the pocket and has a cannon for an arm. He truly can take a shot to the end zone from anywhere on the field. Eason had a 64% completion percentage and threw for 3,132 yards with 23 touchdowns and 8 interceptions this past season.  He never fully lived up to the hype surrounding him out of high school but he still had a pretty good college career. Eason has shown moments where he looks amazing and has quite arguably the strongest arm in this draft class. He can thread the needle and fit balls into tight windows as well as air it out over the defenders’ heads.  Eason would be able to make good throws into coverage against NFL defenses but he needs to be more consistent and learn to read defenses a little better. He looks very similar to Matthew Stafford and has been compared to him a lot. Eason could be a star in the NFL if he continues to improve his game.

 

#3. Anthony Gordon: Washington State, Redshirt Senior, 6’3 210 lbs

Here it is, my bold prediction on this list.  Anthony Gordon was quietly one of the best quarterbacks in the country this past year and he benefits from having played under one of the best offensive masterminds in college football in Mike Leach.  Leach has developed Luke Falk, Gardner Minshew II, and now Anthony Gordon. Gordon fit right into the air raid offense at Washington State and put up absurd numbers. Gordon had 5,579 passing yards on the year with 48 touchdowns!  He did have 16 interceptions but that is to be expected when you attempt 50-70 passes a game. Gordon had over 300 passing yards in 11 of the 12 games he played, over 400 in 9 of them, and 3 games of over 500 passing yards! Those numbers are unheard of.  Gordon has a 50 for 70, 606 yard game with 6 touchdowns to his credit as well as a game with 570 yards and 9 touchdowns! Gordon is used to throwing the ball a ridiculous amount of times per game and this could help him in the NFL. Gordon clearly knows how to find open receivers and is used to putting up big numbers in a pass first offense.  Many people call air raid quarterbacks system quarterbacks but this is not really a fair statement. I just can’t see how making a read and delivering the ball to a receiver downfield would not translate to the NFL. Gordon will look to do what Minshew did in the draft and surprise the team that picks him. Anthon Gordon is a true talent and will be a steal for whatever team picks him.  Remember Anthony Gordon’s name.

 

#2. Justin Herbert: Oregon, Senior, 6’6 237 lbs

Justin Herbert just looks like an NFL quarterback and that is certainly what he is going to be.  Herbert has an outstanding arm and can launch deep balls as well as fire missiles into tight coverage to his receivers.  Herbert knows how to look off his reads and appears ready to start in his first NFL game come Fall. Herbert certainly benefited from staying at Oregon for one more season as he put up 3,471 passing yards and 32 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions.  Herbert is extremely accurate and he had a 66.7 completion percentage. Herbert does not get rattled in the pocket and can move well, making him hard to bring down at his size. Herbert is mature enough to put the ball where he knows his receivers will be and this will translate very well to the NFL.  He can surprise defenses with his legs on the ground and is willing to get dirty to get a few extra yards. When Herbert waits in the pocket and gets good protection, he is deadly. He could be ready to start for a team this season, which would provide good experience for him. Justin Herbert could be a star in the future and despite how good he is now, he still has a huge upside.  That is a scary thought.

 

#1. Joe Burrow: LSU, Redshirt Senior, 6’4 216 lbs

The Heisman winner, National Champion, and LSU standout quarterback leads this draft class and would you expect anyone else to be here?  Joe Burrow absolutely torched defenses all season putting up 5,671 yards on the season (best in college football) and 60 passing touchdowns as well (also the best in college football).  Burrow played in the best conference in the country and went up against quality defenses who could still not stop him. Burrow is clutch as he played his best games in the playoff putting up 463 yards and 5 touchdowns against Clemson and 493 yards and 7 touchdowns against Oklahoma.  He did all of that with no interceptions in those games. Joe Burrow can read every option he has and extend plays with his legs. He can drop a ball pretty much everywhere on the field and appears to have no weakness. Burrow does not have the strongest arm but still has a pretty good deep ball.  Joe Burrow is going to start next season in the NFL if all goes well and he will develop into a Pro Bowler. Burrow led the best offense in college football to an undefeated season and was one of the best quarterbacks in the last decade of college football. Burrow is undisputedly the best quarterback in this draft class.  His one downside may be the fact that he had a great running back in Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the best offensive line in the country, and star receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson to help him. Burrow is not likely to have those types of players on the team he gets drafted to and he might be under duress in the backfield.  He has shown the ability to keep plays going with his legs and is very fast when on the run. Joe Burrow is NFL ready and he is by far the best quarterback in this class. Whatever team picks him is going to have to protect him and build the team around him. Burrow could be a future Hall of Famer.

 

This class of quarterbacks going into the draft has a lot of talent and it will certainly be interesting to see who ends up where and how they develop over the next few seasons.  Who will be a bust? Who will be a sleeper? Who will live up to expectations? Tune in on April 23 to find out.