Each draft there are a handful of college QBs that are always in consideration for the top pick in the draft. And then there are the star QBs the Browns will pass on. Maybe there’s some hope for Browns fans this year, and they will finally find their QB. There are 4 top tier QBs in this draft, and each can be argued for going number 1. So here are my rankings of the top 4 QB prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft.
1 – Josh Rosen (UCLA)
Strengths: Rosen is considered by most as the best QB Prospect with the highest ceiling. He can thrive in a pro style offense and is the prototypical NFL QB at 6′ 4″. Rosen has rare arm talent and can make any throw. He possesses great poise in the pocket under pressure, can thread the needle as accurate as anyone, and has the instincts of a true NFL QB while having remarkable toughness.
Weaknesses: Rosen’s durability is a big question as he has had concussions, shoulder, and hand injuries. His leadership ability and interactions with teammates are debated as well. His coach at St John Bosco had complained about Rosen stating that, “Many of his teammates hated him.” Although this report was disputed by teammates at UCLA, his character and relationship with teammates and as a leader remains a mystery.
Stats: Throughout 3 years at UCLA Rosen had a passing efficiency rating of 139.9 with a 60.8% completion rate and 59 TDs to 26 INTs. This was behind a subpar offensive line and supporting cast while sporting records of 8-5, 4-7, and 6-7, and missing 8 games.
Summary: Rosen is most likely a top 5 NFL Pick with a very high ceiling. His strengths outshine his weaknesses, and there are multiple NFL Teams that would love to have Rosen in their system. However, there are reports that he would prefer landing with the Giants than the Browns.
Likely Landing Spots: Browns, Giants, Broncos.
2 – Sam Darnold (USC)
Strengths: Darnold has the ability to dominate teams through the air, and pick up yards on the ground. He was a winner at USC, and is considered an excellent leader and teammate. He carries an above average arm where he is accurate and can lead his receivers well for extra yards. Darnold has received high praise for his work ethic, precision, and moving through his progressions nicely.
Weaknesses: Ball security and turnovers are a big problem for Darnold. He has lost too many fumbles and thrown too many picks at crucial times during big games on horrific throws that shouldn’t have been made. While he is accurate, and can make some above average throws Darnold doesn’t have the greatest arm strength, and struggles with the deep ball.
Stats: At USC, Darnold completed 64.9% of his passes with a 153.7 passer rating. He had 57 TDs to 22 picks and threw for 7,229 yards during his 2 years. He had 7 rushing touchdowns but lost 20 fumbles.
Summary: Darnold is most likely a top 5 NFL pick with a high chance at going #1 to the Browns, and although he has fallen on the draft board through this year at USC he still has good upside and can fit nicely in a west coast offense.
Potential Landing Spots: Browns, Giants, Broncos, Jets
3 – Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)
Strengths: Play-Maker. That’s what Mayfield’s known for. He was one of the most explosive QBs in college football, and perhaps the best, winning the Heisman. Baker has nice touch on his throws across the field, and can have superb accuracy. He’s a high motor, tough player who can extend plays with the best of them and is a dominant two way threat. He showed the work he puts in by starting as a backup at Texas Tech to leasing Oklahoma to the College Football Playoffs.
Weaknesses: Mayfield has a lot of potential but there are some big question marks to his game. The first being his size, and arm strength and if he can make the throws at the professional level. The biggest problem though, is his maturity. He is known to be immature when he planted the flag at Ohio State’s 50 yard line after their game, and all of his actions towards Kansas resulting in a brief suspension.
Stats: Through 1 year at Texas Tech and 3 at Oklahoma, Mayfield put up a rating of 175.4 (127.7 at Texas Tech to 189.9 at Oklahoma). He threw for over 14,500 yards at 68.5 percent with an astounding 4.4 TD:INT ratio. He didn’t miss any games during his 3 years at Oklahoma and led them to 11-2, 11-2, and 12-2 records. He also has over 1,000 rushing yards and 21 TD’s on the ground.
Summary: Baker Mayfield has a lot of upside, and if his game at the college level can transfer to the NFL level while learning an NFL Offense he can be a top QB. He has a chance to go top 15 while most likely falling somewhere in the first round.
Potential Landing Spots: Broncos, Jets, Chargers, Cardinals. Steelers.
4 – Josh Allen (Wyoming)
Strengths: Allen has an excellent skill set and is the ideal size for an NFL QB. He has the best arm of any college QB, and despise his lengthy size is still a dual threat. He’s an excellent athlete and has the ability to stretch the field vertically and use his strength to keep plays alive. He can beat teams in multiple ways, and has one of the highest ceilings.
Weaknesses: Allen has not played the best competition playing at Wyoming, and when he played decent opponents he had struggled. Turnovers were also a problem and he makes too many poor reads and throws. He isn’t very accurate, and needs to improve on that as well as making better decisions.
Stats: Allen had a rating of 137.7 through his 3 years at Wyoming. He completed an atrocious 56.2% of his passes and had 44 TD’s to a lousy 21 picks, throwing for over 5,000 yards. He led Wyoming to records of 2-10, 8-6, and 8-5.
Summary: Allen is one of those boom or bust NFL QBs. With the right QB to mentor him, and coaching staff to teach him, he has the potential to be like Carson Wentz. From a small school, to an above average NFL QB on a winning team. He has a very high ceiling, and a low floor and which ever team that takes him is going to be taking a risk. He is likely a high end first round pick.
Potential Landing Spots: Browns, Giants, Broncos, Jets, Chargers, Cardinals, Steelers.