END OF AN ERA: EVALUATING THE QB CLASS OF 2019
So the time has come, it is the end of an era in Jacksonville. At the end of this season it is highly likely that the man under center will no longer be Blake Bortles. If one were to compare the emotions that Blake put the city, the fans, and more than likely those withing the organization through can best be described as a bad relationship that probably lasted longer than it should have. Jacksonville stuck with him because of the potential (a 3rd overall pick who in his 2nd year in the league threw over 4,200 and 35 touchdowns) and when potential was starting to lapse and he really needed to deliver Blake came just short of giving us what we always desired (taking us all the way to the AFC championship, and almost out dueling Tom Brady). Then right when we started believing in him, right when we started thinking that he could be the one, Blake broke our hearts once more. Now it is time for Jacksonville to move on. Whether it's a seasoned veteran or a ambitious rookie, Jacksonville will be moving in a different direction. We here at Jags Fans United have taken a look at the QB class of 2019 and there are certainly some options available to us with the 7th overall pick. Now it is time to break down all the top QB prospects of the 2019 draft.
Passing: 373 - 533 ( 70% CMP % ), 4,831 Yd's, 50 TD's, 8 INT's
Rushing: 79 ATT - 108 Yd's ( 1.4 AVG ) 4TD's
Accolades: 2018 Heisman finalist; Defeated Washington 28-23 in the Rose Bowl
Projected: Day 1, Possibly first QB taken, could fall to Jacksonville at 7 but other teams will have interest
PROS: Dwayne Haskins has good arm talent, he has great placement of the football and stellar arm strength. Especially on short and intermediate throws. He delivers the ball with great zip allowing for throws in tight windows. Will throw his receivers open. Does a good job climbing the pocket, allowing for the play to develop. Goes through his reads and when given time will find the open man. Has very good arm strength, just needs to work on his accuracy downfield a bit.
CONS: He can get a little flustered when pressured by the defense, but does not let the big moments get to him. Will sometimes force a throw when feeling a pass rush. Only one year of starting experience (Could be beneficial if under the correct system with good coaching, no bad habits he is stuck with). Not extremely mobile, isn't going to wow anyone with his rushing ability. Has a tendency to throw without setting his feet. Has a somewhat slow delivery. Isn't always consistent on the deeper throws, but he has the arm strength to throw the ball deep.
OVERVIEW: Dwayne is a great prospect who looks to have NFL level arm talent. He has good, but not great arm strength, but has great timing with receivers. He fits with Jacksonville's system which is important. Dwayne had a good receiving core at Ohio State but that shouldn't hurt his draft stock, he made those receivers better. He doesn't have much experience as a starter, but when given his chance was one of the best QB's in college. Exceptional on short to intermediate routes. With coaching on his mechanics the deep ball should come easier. He isn't perfect, his release is a bit slow, he throws off his back foot sometimes, and when faced with a heavy pass rush will force some throws. There is going to be more talented players available at 7, but the Jags may draft based off of need rather than talent. With those negatives in mind however, if he falls to the 7th pick Jacksonville should feel like they have their franchise QB with some coaching.
Ceiling: Philip Rivers
Base: Alex Smith
Floor: Byron Leftwich
Passing: 260-377 ( 69% CMP% ), 4,361 Yd's, 42 TD's, 7 INT's
Rushing: 140 ATT - 1001 Yd's ( 7.2 AVG ), 12 TD's
Accolades: 2018 Heisman winner, Lost to Alabama in the Orange Bowl 45 - 34
Projected: Day 1 - Round 2, but could go anywhere from 1st overall to late 1st round early 2nd round.
PROS: Kyler has elite play-making ability, there is no doubt in that. He has a rare ability to make something happen when there is nothing there. His mobility is without question a huge asset. Kyler is not just a runner however, he has a good arm and delivers the ball quickly. His baseball background can be seen when looking at just how fast the football arrives to the target. He has good pocket awareness, but at times will tuck and run before letting a play develop. Didn't face very good defenses in the Big 12, struggled early against Alabama but seemed to relax more as the game went on. Has good accuracy, but not pinpoint accurate. A good leader, and strong competitor.
CONS: One glaring issue is his size, Kyler does not have the typical frame for an NFL QB standing at 5'10 and weighing in at 190 lbs. This will make it hard for him to see over his offensive line sometimes, and can also lead to injuries if he doesn't protect himself. He can get greedy, opting to go for the risky home-run ball instead of the easy throw. He has a tendency to run when he doesn't need to. Sometimes will lower his head and run before a play even has a chance to develop. Doesn't always go through progressions. Lacks anticipation, meaning he does not throw to where the receiver will be instead and waits for him to get there. His decision making can sometimes come into question. Obviously there will always be questions about his baseball career, but has stated that he is fully committed to being an NFL Quarterback.
OVERVIEW: So far Kyler Murray is the talk of the NFL draft. Teams will question his commitment to football because of his ability as a baseball player, but if he says that he is fully committing to football then I believe him. He is a spectacular athlete and someone who can make plays when nothing seems there. When looking to see if he fits in with the Jags current system, it is tough to answer. Kyler will be able to extend plays, much like Russell Wilson does for the Seahawks. This will allow our mediocre receivers time to get open. It also means he can escape the pocket when our O-Line eventually breaks down. He's not a traditional QB by any means, but he does make plays happen, and with an offense that really couldn't make any big plays last season Kyler may be a welcome site. If Jacksonville decides to go with Murray then it will be a boom or bust pick, with either a load of potential that turns the Jags into one of the most exciting teams in the NFL, or a team that once again can't seem to get their footing on offense.
Ceiling: Russell Wilson
BASE: Marcus Mariota
Floor: Johnny Manziel ( Without the drinking issues, but with concerns over baseball)
Passing: 275 - 437 ( 62.9% CMP% ), 3,498 Yd's, 28 TD's, 8 INT's
Rushing: 55 ATT 175 Yd's ( 3.2 AVG ), 6 TD's
Accolades: 38 - 33 loss to Oklahoma State in the Autozone Liberty Bowl
Projected: Day 1 (Probably a mid to late round pick unless QB's go early)
PROS: Drew Lock has ideal NFL size, at 6'4 about 225 lbs he is built like a NFL QB. He has very good arm strength and can really launch the ball down the field. He makes the 40+ yard throws look effortless. He is athletic enough to extend plays or get decent chunks of yards but not going to make any game breaking runs. Drew throws the ball with great velocity and can fit the ball into tight windows. He has solid mechanics and a good release. Has confidence in his arm and doesn't shy away from any throw. Every QB class seems to have a gunslinger and Drew Lock is this years. Experience is important and Drew started in the SEC for more than one year.
CONS: Isn't the most aware quarterback and will sometimes miss his reads. When faced with a heavy blitz can crumble under pressure. Has a bad tendency to throw off of his back foot. When his rhythm is thrown off he will get flustered and force throws. Not the most accurate in the middle, and can let some of his throws down the middle get intercepted, though he does have good accuracy on throws to the sideline.
OVERVIEW: Drew Lock is not a sexy pick by any means. He has a very strong arm and with that he has the potential to make a lot of plays. It seems like in every draft there is one QB who everyone raves about their arm strength, and for the class of 2019 Drew Lock is that player. With such a strong arm of course there is potential, and of course there is a chance he makes big plays. The problem however is figuring if this potential is worth the 7th overall pick. Jacksonville already whiffed on a QB with potential from Missouri (Blaine Gabbert with the 10th pick in 2011) early on in the draft and it set them back tremendously. I couldn't see Jacksonville taking a chance on Lock this early on, especially since the situation seems so similar to 2011. If they do decide to go with Lock, perhaps they're thinking lightning could't strike twice.
Ceiling : Patrick Mahomes
Base : Derek Carr
Floor: Blaine Gabbert
Passing: 270 - 430 ( 62.8% CMP% ), 2,674 YD's, 22 TD's, 9 INT's
Rushing: 104 ATT 319 Yd's ( 3.1 AVG ), 3 TD's
Accolades: Defeated Temple 56 - 27 in the Walk-On's Independence Bowl
Projected: Day 1 - Round 2
PROS: Daniel is fantastic when working shorter routes. He delivers the ball quickly and when making short, quick throws he is usually on target. Daniel has very good athletic ability, he isn't a scrambling QB but has the ability to tuck and run when he see's a lane. He has ideal size for an NFL QB. Daniel does a good job stepping up into the pocket and delivering the ball instead of fading backwards. Puts nice touch on the ball, especially on short fades, corners, or passes over the linebackers down the middle. He reads the field well and looks off the safety opening up other receivers. He has good mechanics and a very good coach in David Cutcliffe who has worked with both Eli and Peyton Manning. Has experience as a starter for more than one year.
CONS: While he is very good at the short and intermediate routes once he goes beyond 20 yards he struggles with accuracy. He is inconsistent when trying to push the ball down the field. When the receiver is wide open he can get the ball to the target but if the receiver is covered he has the tendency to under throw the receiver and throw an interception or overthrow them both. Will sometimes force throws that he shouldn't. His stat's aren't eye popping, and isn't a QB that will wow anyone.
OVERVIEW: Jones is a very safe QB to pick in the later rounds. He doesn't have the cannon arm Drew Lock has. He doesn't have the game breaking athleticism that Kyler Murray has. He doesn't have the eye popping stats Dwayne Haskins has. What Daniel has is a little bit of everything but not a lot of anything. His experience and coaching will hold a heavy weight with some coaches, and seeing him throw during the combine and pro day will prove a lot to scouts who doubt his down field accuracy. 7 seems very high for a QB who probably isn't going to win games for you with his ability, but then again maybe Jacksonville is just hoping for a QB who won't lose games for them and Jacksonville will rely on their defense and run game to win games.
Ceiling: Mitchell Trubisky
Base: Ryan Tannehill
Floor: Blake Bortles
Passing: 266 - 397 ( 67% CMP % ), 3,864 YD's 37 TD's 8 INT's
Rushing: 48 ATT -90 YD's ( -1.9 AVG ), 3 TD's
Accolades: Opted not to participate in a bowl game to focus on training for the combine and draft
Projected: 2nd or 3rd round
PROS: Will Grier is a polarizing draft prospect who has loads of potential. Opting out of a bowl game may ultimately hurt his draft stock. Came into the season as a Heisman hopeful, but other players seemed to outshine him. Throws with anticipation and has very good accuracy. He puts good touch on the ball, especially on deep throws. When given time he has the potential to be one of the best QB's in the class. Mechanics and the West Virginia spread style of play will probably scare off some scouts, doubting his ability to read the field but there is no denying his arm talent. Can throw the deep ball with accuracy and placement, but lacks consistency. If his mechanics are fixed he would probably have the best arm in the class, because even his off balance throws are on the money (ex. 33 yard throw against Texas perfectly placed in the back of the endzone).
CONS: Grier suffers from the type of offense that he is in. The spread offense means that there is plenty of man coverage and he doesn't see much zone. He doesn't have the best mechanics, his throwing motion is sort of a 3/4 throw instead of a full range of motion. He doesn't always set his feet, which means that some balls will be inaccurate. He could put some muscle on him, which will allow for easier deep balls. Sometimes will run around the pocket instead of stepping uparound the defenders and keeping his eyes down field. His footwork is in question because most of his plays were from the Shotgun.
OVERVIEW: Grier is a very underrated QB, someone who has jumped all around the draft board but now seems to be settled on a second round to third round talent. Drafting him with the 7th overall pick will be extremely unlikely, but he would be a steal in the third round. If Jacksonville decides to pick up a QB in free agency or via trade, molding Grier behind him would be a fantastic idea. Picking more talented players in the first and second round would be a dream scenario for Jacksonville in a class with weak QB's. There is a chance he might not fall to the third round so perhaps Jacksonville jumps on him in the 2nd round but some may say that is a little high. Grier, however would love to prove those doubters wrong.
Ceiling: Matt Ryan
Base: Case Keenum
Floor: AJ McCarron
Passing: 326 - 484 ( 67.4 % CMP % ) 3,928 YD's 25 TD's 11 INT's
Rushing: 42 ATT - 21 YD's ( AVG 0.5 ) 1 TD
Accolades: Lost 52 - 13 to Texas A&M in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl
Projected: 3rd to 4th round (Unless a team like New England believes he will fit in their system)
PROS: Finley has good footwork in the pocket and has very good accuracy when throwing short routes. He has a quick release and delivers the ball with good balance. Finley understands his limitations and has plenty of experience as a 6th year senior. He throws with decent anticipation, and has a quick enough release to work short routes and dink and dunk down the field. Finley has a good frame and good size for an NFL QB, and has nice touch on throws towards the sidelines.
CONS: Finley is a limited QB, he lacks arm strength and doesn't throw the ball with much velocity. He hangs the deep balls and is reliant on his receiver to make the play rather than putting the ball where the defender can't get it. Finley isn't fast enough to outrun any lineman and will take sacks rather than trying to escape. He won't be able to push the ball down the field and this might limit the offensive play calling.
OVERVIEW: Finley will most likely be drafted and spend his career as a backup QB. Unless he falls to a team that is willing to mold their offense around him. He would probably only be a starter for a west coast offense, which is going to work the field with short passes. Jacksonville may take him in the 4th to serve as a backup QB until they find a permanent choice but I don't see them drafting him much higher than that.
Ceiling: AJ McCarron
Base: Colt McCoy
Floor: Kellen Moore