NFL Draft analyst Rob Rang offers his evaluation of the top quarterback prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft class.
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State, 6-3, 231, 5.04
Strengths: Well-built pocket passer with the pre-snap diagnosis skills, leadership and poise of a much more experienced passer. Good rhythm passer with an efficient release, plenty of arm strength and good accuracy to all levels of the field. Can fire the deep out even with defenders near his feet and shows terrific touch on deep passes down the seam and along the sidelines. Set a Big Ten record with 50 touchdowns thrown in his first season as a starter.
Weaknesses: Just one season as a starter and was surrounded by a virtual all-star cast of blockers, runners and pass catchers. Below average athlete, even among quarterbacks, with a 40-yard dash that could have been timed with a sun dial. Lacks the agility and speed to run away from pressure, making him reliant upon blocking and quick decisions with the ball. Has a three-quarters delivery which makes him a shorter thrower than his height suggests.
Kyler Murray, Oklahoma, 5-10, 207, 4.40 (est.)
Strengths: Dynamic dual-threat weapon who combines exceptional straight-line speed, elusiveness to buy time in and out of the pocket and impressive accuracy to all levels of the field. Operated in a quick-hitting attack designed to get the ball out of his hands but was even more accurate on deep throws than short ones, exhibiting the velocity, ball placement and confidence necessary to challenge the tight windows he’ll see in the NFL. Received praise from his former coaches and teammates at Oklahoma for his leadership skills following criticism at the Combine.
Weaknesses: Significantly undersized for the position, lacking ideal body armor as well as height. Only started one season at the FBS level and was in an ideal situation with the nation’s top-rated offensive line, a first-round-caliber deep threat at wide receiver in Marquise Brown, a highly respected play-caller and questionable competition on defense throughout the conference. Some felt that he came across as smug and entitled during interviews, raising concerns about his leadership.
Drew Lock, Missouri, 6-4, 228, 4.69
Strengths: Rocket-armed signal-caller who returned to Missouri for his senior season after setting a new SEC record with 44 touchdowns thrown as a junior. Prototypical frame and athleticism for the position, showing better-than-anticipated speed during workouts. Effortless passer with a lightning-quick, over-the-top release and above average accuracy to all levels of the field. Zips the ball on short routes while demonstrating very good touch down the seam and sideline. Has the confidence to test small windows. Faced tough competition in the SEC, including pass rushers who overwhelmed his offensive line, suggesting that he may be better equipped than some of the less experienced underclassmen to handle the jump in competition he’ll see in the NFL.
Weaknesses: Like most quarterbacks, Lock loses accuracy as he takes shots to the chest, raising concerns for some that he already sees ghosts. Sprays the ball and makes poor decisions when defenders are in his face. Struggled articulating some of the play calls in the huddle at the Senior Bowl. Feasted against weaker competition and struggled against the SEC’s best.
Daniel Jones, Duke, 6-5, 221, 4.81
Strengths: Rare height for the position and is an underrated athlete, especially for his size. Cerebral passer who rarely is fooled by coverage, spreading the ball all over the field to keep the defense honest. Throws a very catchable ball with a clean, over-the-top release and a tight spiral. Good accuracy on short-to-intermediate passes, including to the sidelines, in the flats and down the seam. Named MVP of the Senior Bowl.
Weaknesses: Just average arm strength, requiring space to step into his throws for passes to the boundary and deep downfield. Can get a bit frenetic when the pass rush is getting home, staring down his primary read and patting the ball, providing defenders time to adjust. A bit of a “Check-down Charlie” as a game-manager who may lack the special traits to move the meter as a franchise QB.
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn, 6-2, 218, 4.81
Strengths: Compact frame with good overall muscular development. Clean, over-the-top release with good arm strength and accuracy, including on deep throws to the boundary, downfield and on the move. Athletic enough to buy time and escape. Kept composure despite WR corps that seemingly dropped as many as they caught, at times.
Weaknesses: Played in a heavy RPO system that cut his reads in half. Failed to make strides in 2018 after being recognized as SEC’s Newcomer of the Year the previous season. Too often eyes dropped to watch the rush, before running.