Early reviews of the projected 2019 quarterback class continue to paint a grim picture for the immediate future of sports’ marquee position. The four trades teams made to land first-round passers this year could be a reflection of what’s to come.
“That’s why you see so many teams giving up the farm to get a quarterback this year. You’d rather trade up for an Allen or Rosen than bet on one of these guys,” a scout told Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller about the players expected to comprise the 2019 draft-eligible quarterback group.
Every scout with whom Miller has discussed the ’19 class said each member of the Baker Mayfield/Sam Darnold/Josh Allen/Josh Rosen/Lamar Jackson 2018 first-round quintet would have entered next year’s draft as the top-rated passer. With Darnold, Allen, Rosen and Jackson declaring for the this year’s draft early, Miller notes that’s depleted next year’s talent pool.
In the past two years, the Bears, Chiefs, Texans, Jets, Bills, Cardinals and Ravens all sacrificed draft capital to move up and select their long-term hopeful solutions. Teams like the Patriots, Jaguars, Giants or Chargers, and select others may be waiting for the 2020 draft, per Miller, who has previously discussed the interesting predicament QB-needy franchises could be in next year. That could be dicey for some teams. Save for 2013, every draft since 2002 has seen at least two signal-callers be chosen in the first round.
While recent drafts have produced late risers like Mayfield or Carson Wentz, this one’s immediate top tier — as of now consisting of players like Missouri’s Drew Lock, Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham — has scouts “terrified”, per Miller.
“There’s maybe three — Herbert, Drew Lock and the Auburn kid —who look like dudes. But there are a lot — a lot — of issues here,” another scout told Miller. “I’m terrified of this class. I hope everyone got their guy last year.”
However, a silver lining may be coming via the 2020 class, with a scout mentioning Georgia’s former duo of Jake Fromm and since-transferred Jacob Eason (now at Washington) as much better bets. Fromm could enter the draft in 2020, while Eason could do so in 2019. But the 2016 Bulldogs’ starter is not eligible to play for his new program, Washington, until the 2019 season because of NCAA transfer rules. It’s fairly early to project that far ahead, but scouts were doing that with Rosen and Darnold back in 2016. And considering the stakes associated with Round 1 quarterback picks, it’s probably not too soon to assess possibilities.
“That kid at Georgia and the one that left are legit dudes,’ this scout said of Fromm and Eason. “They could go 1-2 and they were at the same school! Those are the ones to watch.”
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