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2018 NFL Draft Position Rankings: Quarterbacks

The quarterback position in the 2018 NFL Draft is a very deep position this year. In fact, there are five guys projected to go in the top-ten. Several other guys have the ability to become very good passers in the NFL and the majority were the best quarterbacks in NCAA football last year. Here are my top twelve quarterbacks in this year’s NFL draft.

2018 NFL Draft Quarterback Rankings

 

Lamar Jackson NFL Draft

1. Lamar Jackson – Louisville Cardinals

Jackson racked up the awards in 2016 that included winning the Heisman Trophy. What makes him scary is that his numbers improved in the 2017 college football season. His explosiveness was in true form, accounting for 5,261 total yards and 45 touchdowns. Accuracy has been an issue for him, but that improved as well. Jackson is an elite playmaker and is capable of striking for big gains on every possession. He’s the best athlete in this quarterback class, often being compared to Michael Vick. In reality, he may just be better than Vick when he gets settled in. If Lamar Jackson finds the right system, he may be the best quarterback in this class.

Sam Darnold NFL Draft

2. Sam Darnold – USC Trojans

Darnold is a fearless passer. He seldom second guesses himself and can get rid of the ball quickly. The 6-foot-3, 221 pound junior finished fifth in NCAA football with 4,143 passing yards. He’s an accurate passer and shows great poise in the pocket. With 13 interceptions, he needs to settle down and make better-throwing decisions. Regardless of his weaknesses, Darnold has the arm strength and tangibles to be the first quarterback off the board. His ability to avoid sacks makes him valuable to teams with an early pick in the NFL Draft. The PAC-12 had some very good passing defenses in 2017 and Darnold was able to keep his composure and perform at a high level.

Josh Rosen NFL Draft

3. Josh Rosen – UCLA Bruins:

Rosen kicked off the 2017 college football season throwing for 491 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-44 comeback victory over Texas A&M. After that performance, the senior never looked back. Rosen finished the season with 3,756 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He’s impressed NFL scouts with his excellent mechanics and strong decision-making skills. Good field vision causes him to rarely miss an open receiver. With all of his positives, there are a few concerns though. Durability and lack of mobility are his biggest weaknesses. However, he reads blitzes well and can get rid of the ball quickly. Rosen always seemed to be just behind Darnold in the PAC-12, but he has a promising NFL career ahead of him.

Baker Mayfield NFL Draft

4. Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma Sooners: 

The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner has several teams knocking on his door. Mayfield has been the most accurate passer in college football for the past two seasons. He has great on-field instincts and it shows with a career 68.5 completion percentage. His pin-point accuracy led to him throwing just 30 picks in 1,497 career pass attempts. Mayfield has above-average mobility and uses that to buy time to find the open receiver. He’s also a natural-born leader. Mayfield struggles to read blitz packages correctly and arm strength is suspect. Being undersized has also drawn skepticism, but shouldn’t be an issue. Big-12 defenses weren’t good overall in stopping the pass, so his numbers could be artificially inflated. His upside outweighs his faults though, and Baker Mayfield should have a prominent career in the NFL.

Josh Allen NFL Draft 

5. Josh Allen – Wyoming Cowboys

Allen is sort of a hard read when it comes to projections. He has all of the qualities of a star quarterback, but on-field production hasn’t matched his potential. Allen had a solid 2016 campaign with 3,203 passing yards and 28 touchdowns. Those numbers declined in 2017, throwing for just 1,812 yards and 16 touchdowns. Good mobility and a powerful arm are his strong suits. His weaknesses are lack of field-vision and accuracy. He relies too much on his velocity. If Josh Allen can work on his timing, he could become a productive NFL quarterback. He’ll go high in the draft, but he is definitely a project that won’t be ready to start for some time.

Mason Rudolph NFL Draft

6. Mason Rudolph – Oklahoma State Cowboys:

Rudolph led FBS football last season with 4,904 passing yards in a pass-happy Oklahoma State offense. His decision-making skills are one of the best in the NFL Draft. Rudolph has never thrown more than nine interceptions in a season and threw just four interceptions in 2016. He leaves Oklahoma State as the all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. Reading zone defenses is a specialty of his and a good physical frame makes him a fit in the NFL. Rudolph has been compared to Ben Roethlisberger by many NFL scouts. Scrambling is his biggest weakness. He has trouble rolling out and securing the ball on the move. Any team that drafts Mason Rudolph could get a steal in the draft. While he doesn’t have as much hype as the top-five, he does have the ability to be a top quarterback in the NFL.

Kyle Lauletta NFL Draft

7. Kyle Lauletta – Richmond Spiders:

Not many people even knew of Kyle Lauletta until his performance in the Senior Bowl. The MVP threw for 198 yards and three touchdowns in that game. A three-year starter at Richmond, Lauletta put up big numbers in several games in 2017. He threw for 546 yards against Sam Houston State and followed up with a 497-yard performance against Elon a couple weeks later. He finished the 2017 season third in FCS football, averaging 339.7 passing yards per game. He also had a 65 percent completion percentage, 28 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions last season. Lauletta can throw on the run well and throws, crisp passes. The problem with him is arm strength. He lacks velocity and often puts too much air on his passes. He’s a good late round pickup for a team that is willing to develop him.

Riley Ferguson NFL Draft 

8. Riley Ferguson – Memphis Tigers:

Ferguson had solid numbers in his two years with the Memphis Tigers. He completed 63 percent of his passes (in both seasons) and threw 38 touchdowns to just nine interceptions last season. Ferguson broke the single-season passing TD record at Memphis held previously by Paxton Lynch in 2016. A record that he broke again in the 2017 college football season. The former JUCO transfer became the leader for the Tigers on offense. He uses proper mechanics and is excellent at timing passes. A slow release and forces his throws at the sign of pressure. Durability is also a concern. Any team that drafts Ferguson, will basically be planning to develop a solid backup.

Luke Falk NFL Draft

9. Luke Falk – Washington State Cougars:

Looking at Falk’s numbers, one would be surprised that his ranking isn’t higher. Falk finishes his collegiate career as the all-time passing leader for the Cougars. With 14,481 yards, 119 passing touchdowns, and a 68.3 completion percentage will put him on the radar of several teams during the mid-draft rounds. Falk is accurate and has an above-average arm. He only operated out of the shotgun at Washington State, so that could be an issue. Quarterbacks that play for Mike Leach struggle in the NFL. His system doesn’t fit in well with the next level. Someone will take a chance on him around the fifth-round in hopes of being mentored by a veteran quarterback.

Mike White NFL Draft

10. Mike White – Western Kentucky Hilltoppers:

White had a terrific career at WKU. He became the second-best passer in school history in just two seasons. His numbers are favorable among NFL scouts. However, those numbers were down from 2016 which could draw concern. White has a cannon for an arm and has the strongest arm among any quarterback in the 2018 draft. He doesn’t scramble well and takes a lot of sacks. Can’t roll out and throw. If he learns to maneuver and read blitz packages better, White could become a solid NFL quarterback.

Logan Woodside NFL Draft

11. Logan Woodside – Toledo Rockets:

As the all-time passing leader for the Rockets, Woodside shows the poise to make it as a quarterback in the NFL. He has a career 65 percent completion percentage and recognizes coverage very well. His combine performance wowed some scouts. Woodside shows a lot of grit on the field and has been the underdog his entire football career. And that’s what teams are getting with him. Logan Woodside may be the sleeper of the draft.

Jeremiah Briscoe NFL Draft

12. Jeremiah Briscoe – Sam Houston State Bearkats:

The two-time Walter Payton Award winner was not invited to this year’s NFL Combine. In college, Briscoe was a true gunslinger. His completion percentage dipped significantly last year, but he still managed to lead the FCS with 357 passing yards per game. He also led the FCS with 5,003 passing yards and 45 touchdowns. Briscoe can put a nice touch on his throws and will go after the secondary. If he is going to make it in the NFL, he needs to improve his accuracy (26 INTs in two seasons) and release the ball quicker.