Though some NFL fan bases have playoff football to look forward to, others have already turned their attention toward the draft. Of course, many of those teams find themselves on the outside looking in due to their poor play at quarterback and many will look to resolve that with the new influx of signal-callers.
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen finds himself as the -120 favorite to be the first QB taken in the draft in April. Rosen has one of the most beautiful throwing motions we have seen in college football for some time, which he combines with excellent field vision that helps him project well at the next level. In addition, Rosen has worked under center at UCLA, something few elite college quarterbacks do very often.
Teams might still prefer to take Sam Darnold, who has seen his stock drop slightly as the season wore on. The USC quarterback has every physical trait you could want in a passer but has had issues with decision-making and turnovers.
The biggest riser has been Baker Mayfield. The Heisman Sportsbook is a love-him-or-hate-him type of prospect. The Oklahoma quarterback is a leader with a tremendous ability to throw anticipatory routes and get his receivers open. However, Mayfield is undersized for the NFL and doesn’t have much in terms of arm strength.
Sure, we are only one week into the NFL season but fans of some teams are already looking forward to the 2018 draft. And for those teams picking near the top of the draft come next April, quarterbacks will be in high demand.
There is no doubt that the 2018 NFL draft is going to be loaded with signal-callers – assuming everyone we think will declare chooses to do so. We could see Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and many more all in the next crop of quarterbacks entering the NFL. But who is going to hear their name called first?
Online sportsbook Sportsbook has pegged Darnold as a +175 fave to be the first QB off the board in the draft. The USC product has all the size and strength you could want from a quarterback and has shown the ability to throw the deep ball like few others in college. That being said, he is coming from a spread offense and is still relatively raw.
Rosen has the next-best odds at +350. The UCLA QB has some of the best mechanics and throwing motion I’ve ever seen in the college game. The technical aspects and football IQ are the highest in the class – assuming he declares – but he is small in stature and doesn’t offer much with his feet.
The guy to keep an eye on is Allen out of Wyoming. The junior is your typical small-school prospect that we have seen teams reach for in recent years. He is big, athletic and tough but will also need major refining if he is to stick at the next level.
The curveball? All of these players could opt to remain in school. It’s unlikely that all three do – of all of them, Rosen seems the most likely to stick it out through his senior campaign – but who is the top senior coming out? Odds say that distinction belongs to Mason Rudolph. Though the Oklahoma State quarterback has thrown for massive yards in Stillwater, Rudolph needs to work on his field vision and footwork or else NFL defenses will pick him apart.