College Quarterback Crop in 2018 Could Lead to NFL Teams Tanking Seasons

Published on: 9th September, 2017

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Josh Rosen of UCLA  | read this item

Sam Darnold. LaMar Jackson. Josh Allen. Josh Rosen. 

These are the four best quarterbacks in the country playing in college this year. Make no mistake about it. These kids are good, real good, and unless talent evaluators in the NFL are on the juice or imagining things that don’t exist, these four names are likely to be the first four picks in the NFL Draft in 2018. 

 

Josh Rosen of UCLA

Today, it was Josh Rosen to the rescue once more at the Rose Bowl, this time from UCLA’s opening drive.

Rosen guided the Bruins to touchdowns on their first four offensive possessions on the way to a 56-23 victory over Hawaii. 

Rosen completed 22 of 25 passes for 329 yards and a career-high five touchdowns, with one of the incompletions coming on a dropped pass by Nate Starks.

Rosen is a pure pocket passer with the cleanest release and throwing mechanics we’ve seen in years. He not only makes every throw in the book with ease but he shows exceptional velocity, touch and accuracy to match his textbook footwork/mechanics. With the UCLA star also showing outstanding timing and anticipation, he’s built in the mold of the franchise quarterback that coaches and scouts covet. Although there are concerns about his prickly personality and questions about his love for the game, Rosen’s impressive skills as a pocket passer will make it hard for scouts to bypass his talent whenever he decides to enter the league

 

Lamar Jackson of Louisville University

The sequel to Lamar Jackson’s Heisman Trophy campaign might be even better than the original.

The defending Heisman winner turned in another record-breaking performance in the Louisville Cardinals’ 47-35 win over the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday, throwing for 393 yards and rushing for 132 more. Jackson became just the second quarterback in FBS history — and first from a Power 5 team — to throw for 300 and run for 100 in back-to-back games. Rice University quarterback Chase Clement did so in 2007, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Jackson is the most spectacular athlete playing in the college game, today. How that translates to the NFL remains to be seen but a team in need of a quarterback would be hard-pressed to pass up Jackson. 

 

 

Darnold, of Southern California University, may be the first pick in the 2018 NFL draft

The reigning Rose Bowl MVP displayed an outstanding combination of athleticism, arm talent, poise and confidence as a first-time starter for the Trojans in 2016. Darnold connected the dots efficiently as a passer, exhibiting exceptional timing, anticipation and accuracy as a rhythm passer. In addition, he displayed magical improvisational skills operating outside of the pocket on impromptu scramble tosses. With the redshirt sophomore also showing a knack for playmaking in key moments, he has all of the core traits that coaches and scouts covet in a field general. Although there are certainly some concerns about his long windup/unorthodox delivery, Darnold has been so effective against elite competition that it shouldn’t be a major issue going forward. If the USC standout continues to build upon the momentum he created at the end of 2016, he could cement his spot at the top of these rankings by the end of the season.

 

 

Josh Allen is not as high-profile as the other three but may be the best pure passer

The Wyoming QB is a big, athletic gunslinger with extraordinary arm talent and outstanding movement skills. Allen is the new prototype at the position as a 6-foot-5, 233-pound playmaker with the capacity to work on or off a script. He can make every throw in the book, and is also capable of dropping dimes while fleeing the pocket to either side. As a crafty runner with a strong nose for the goal line, as evidenced by his seven rushing touchdowns in 2016, he’s a threat to score on designed quarterback runs whenever the Cowboys reach the 10-yard line. If Allen can harness some of his gunslinging ways to reduce his turnover rate (15 INTs in 2016) while continuing to shine as an improvisational playmaker, he could shoot to the top of this list by the end of the season.

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