Teams that traded down in this year’s draft for picks in 2018 will be thrilled with their investment. Teams that couldn’t wait to find their future signal caller and gave up 2018 picks to try and get one will be kicking themselves next spring. Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, and Josh Allen are the top passers in the crop of golden boy quarterbacks these teams won’t be able to get their hands on.
Teams like Houston and Kansas City will likely find themselves wanting to turn back the clock and get their 2018 first round picks back, as they won’t have a shot at this promising crop of passers. While Deshaun Watson has plenty of potential and Patrick Mahomes could succeed in Andy Reid’s offense, the projected top three quarterbacks in the 2018 class all have as much promise as any quarterback from this year’s draft.
The real kicker is that while teams could have just tanked to get a franchise quarterback next year, they chose to sacrifice some of their future in hopes that a flawed quarterback would pan out. The Bears may be upset with their decision to go for a quarterback this year, even though they kept their first rounder in 2018. Everyone knew Mitch Trubisky was far from a perfect prospect, and if he doesn’t pan out, they’ll have to stick with him and won’t be able to pick from next year’s high-upside QB class.
Trubisky has good mobility, a great combination of accuracy and arm talent, and composure that could make him a franchise quarterback. He’s a good prospect. He very well might be the answer for Chicago at quarterback, but they just had better options than to give up their first-round pick, two third-round picks and a fourth for a guy with only 13 starts and potential character issues.
Deshaun Watson has often been referred to as a ‘winner’ with great intangibles, on top of having great mobility and big time arm strength. However, he has legitimate issues in his accuracy and decision making. We see a lot of highly drafted quarterbacks fail because of these issues.
Mahomes has similar mobility and arm talent, but shares those accuracy flaws and has little experience reading the whole field and throwing with anticipation. He comes from a very unprofessional offense at Texas Tech, and was pretty much drafted because he ran around and made some crazy throws, like the one at the 2:40 mark in the video below. Teams need more than a rocket arm and mobility to succeed in the NFL.
Guys like Rosen and Darnold however, some of the top prospects in the 2018 class, don’t have these issues. They are both comfortable standing in a chaotic pocket and reading the entire field. Darnold especially impresses with his poise in the pocket and ability to throw receivers open.
Josh Rosen has a rare combination of arm strength, accuracy to all levels of the field, and a quick release. He appears to have natural leadership ability as well, showing excellent body language on the field. He also has good pocket presence. Tt’s hard to find any weaknesses in his game.
Wyoming’s Josh Allen isn’t as polished in his decision making as the other two, but he has an ideal build, running ability, and very surprising accuracy for a guy with what just might be the best arm in football. That’s a bold claim and a crazy thought, but you can be the judge. Check out the laser he throws at the 0:53 mark in the video below. There may not be more than a small handful of passers that can throw with that velocity to the sideline, flat footed, from the opposite hash, and from thirty yards out.
Teams like Buffalo and Cleveland, now armed with multiple first round picks next year, will be in position to significantly upgrade their quarterback situations. Deshone Kizer might also just pan out in Cleveland and Tyrod Taylor could excel again for the Bills, in which case they will collect on a king’s ransom for whoever does need a quarterback. The 49ers also might be one of the teams thrilled to see their patience pay off when the 2018 draft rolls around.
Patience is so key when making personnel decisions in the NFL. If Mitch Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes, or Deshaun Watson don’t pan out, the GMs that gave up extra picks to draft them won’t be able to sleep next April. Teams like Cleveland and San Francisco however, might have a very bright future at the quarterback position, even if the answer isn’t on the roster yet.