The quarterback class for the 2019 NFL draft grew to become clearer Wednesday, as Oregon’s Justin Herbert, who was ranked the No. 1 QB by ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., introduced that he’s returning to faculty for an additional yr. Herbert will be a part of a loaded 2020 class with the likes of Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Georgia’s Jake Fromm and others.
When: April 25-27
The place: Nashville, Tennessee
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• Projected draft order: Picks 1-32 »
• McShay’s Mock Draft 1.Zero: Going 1-32 »
• Kiper & McShay: 2019 draft primer »
• Kiper’s Huge Board » | McShay’s Prime 32 »
• Monitoring underclassman declarations »
• Gamers skipping bowl video games for draft »
• Extra NFL draft protection »
The 2019 class, although? There’s nonetheless a lot to be determined in the 4 months till April’s draft.
After 5 quarterbacks went in Spherical 1 this previous April, the 2019 class is not as top-heavy, partially as a result of the NFL’s worst groups all took QBs in 2018. The Giants and Jaguars are the solely groups projected to choose in the prime 10 which have obvious wants at the place (except Jon Gruden decides to dip his toes into the water).
Who’re the prime QBs in the 2019 class now? Let’s meet the 11 candidates who’re jockeying for place, with notes on every from Kiper and Todd McShay, perception from expertise evaluators in the NFL, and every part else you want to find out about the 2019 rookies:
Leap to a QB:
Haskins | Jones | Grier | Lock
Finley | Stidham | Murray | Better of the relaxation
12 months: Third-year sophomore | Ht/Wt: 6-foot-Three, 220 | Profession begins: 13
Whole QBR: 86.9 (Fourth in FBS) | Full stats
Who he’s and the place he ranks
So lengthy, Herbert. Whats up, Haskins? In another yr, Haskins might need been a lock to win the Heisman Trophy. As a substitute, he completed third behind two of the best QB seasons of all time. He threw 47 landing passes and simply eight interceptions whereas main the Buckeyes to a Huge Ten title. Moreover Alabama defensive sort out Quinnen Williams, Haskins is the largest draft riser in the Class of 2019. He has an easy throwing movement, and he was clutch in Ohio State’s season-defining wins over Michigan and Northwestern. Try this stunning bomb in the convention title sport. Like Herbert, Haskins might return to faculty for an additional yr (or two).
The most important query about him? Pattern dimension. These 13 begins are far fewer than NFL groups would really like to see earlier than they put money into a first-round quarterback. There’s a current precedent, nonetheless, as Mitchell Trubisky began simply 13 video games at North Carolina earlier than the Bears took him No. 2 total in 2017. Haskins, by the approach, obtained a first-round grade from the NFL’s school personnel advisory board, in accordance to a report by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
Main the nation in passing yardage and touchdowns, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins has put collectively a Heisman-caliber season.
Kiper’s draft rating: No. 2 QB (behind Herbert) and No. 7 total prospect. From Kiper’s Huge Board: “He has a giant arm, shows nice anticipation on his throws, takes care of the ball and has strong athleticism.”
McShay’s draft rating: No. 1 QB and No. 18 total prospect. From McShay’s Prime 32: “Primarily based solely on his bodily instruments, the bar is absolutely excessive for the Ohio State starter regardless of a restricted school profession.”
What the NFL thinks of Haskins
“I like Haskins. He jogs my memory of Teddy Bridgewater as a prospect, when he was a first-round choose [No. 32 overall in 2014]. You may give you the chance to get Haskins later in the first spherical. I believe he is a bit more identified than a few of the others when it comes to projecting what he can be.” — NFL evaluator, as advised to ESPN’s Mike Sando
Haskins will make begin No. 14 towards a tricky Washington protection in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 (5 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN app). That provides him lower than two weeks to resolve about his NFL future, as underclassmen should announce their intentions by Jan. 14. If Haskins returns, the 2020 class might be completely loaded. If he decides to enter the draft, we’ll see him subsequent at the NFL mix, which begins Feb. 26. McShay pegged Haskins to the Giants in the prime 10 of his Mock Draft 1.Zero.
Study extra about Haskins: Video: Taking part in QB at Ohio State a ‘dream come true’ … Haskins was destined to choose Ohio State. Subsequent up: Change into the subsequent Peyton Manning … Is Haskins the Huge Ten’s greatest quarterback ever?
12 months: Fourth-year junior | Ht/Wt: 6-foot-5, 220 | Profession begins: 35
Whole QBR: 68.Zero (42nd in FBS) | Full stats
Who he’s and the place he ranks
Keep watch over quarterback whisperer David Cutcliffe’s newest challenge, who might be the largest beneficiary of Herbert’s staying in class. The Duke coach has raved about Jones, a three-year starter who took a giant step ahead in 2018. His profession numbers do not scream first-rounder — 47 landing passes and 27 interceptions, whereas finishing 59.5 % of his passes, with a QBR of 60.7 — however Jones did not play with high-end expertise. He is a dual-threat signal-caller. Jones rushed for 186 yards (and threw for 361) in the Blue Devils’ win over rival North Carolina. Want proof of his toughness? Jones broke the collarbone in his left, non-throwing arm in September and missed solely two video games. If he chooses to forgo his remaining season of eligibility, Jones is predicted to be in the combine to be the prime QB off the board.
Duke QB Daniel Jones confirmed sufficient flashes this season to be thought of a first- or second-round prospect in the draft.
Kiper’s draft rating: No. Three QB and No. 25 total prospect. From Kiper’s Huge Board: “… the most spectacular trait I’ve seen from Jones this season is his capacity to purchase time in the pocket and use his toes to get sq. and make a throw.”
McShay’s draft rating: No. 7 QB and No. 71 total prospect. From McShay’s preview of the Independence Bowl: “[Jones has] been correct and proven loads of toughness, particularly in that Clemson sport.”
Subsequent yr’s draft is loaded alongside the defensive position, and a few of the greatest have already determined to enter the class. Here is the full checklist.
Arizona is in pole place for the prime choose in subsequent yr’s draft. Listed here are our projections for picks 1-32.
Who will draft a quarterback? How does Oakland use its three Day 1 picks? Todd McShay goes 1-32 in subsequent yr’s draft.
What the NFL thinks of Jones
“There are similarities to Carson Wentz — nice child, nice household, massive physique, makes all the throws, fairly good, however does have an damage historical past. What he is acquired going for him is the man teaching him [David Cutcliffe]. That’s going to play a lot in his favor. He might find yourself being the prime quarterback drafted.” — NFL evaluator, as advised to ESPN’s Mike Sando
Jones is undecided about taking part in yet one more season for the Blue Devils, however he already has a level, and he might be a late invite to January’s Senior Bowl, during which many of those quarterbacks will compete towards each other. Catch Jones and Duke towards Temple in the Stroll-On’s Independence Bowl on Dec. 27 (1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN app).
Study extra about Jones: From Three-star to first-rounder: Jones peaking at simply the proper time … How Jones performed by means of ache and acquired his workforce to a bowl sport
12 months: Senior | Ht/Wt: 6-foot-2, 221 | Profession begins: 27
Whole QBR: 81.6 (10th in FBS) | Full stats
Who he’s and the place he ranks
Grier may not be the most well-known member of his instant household — critically, his siblings have hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers — however he might be a first-round choose in April. After redshirting at Florida in 2014, he led the Gators to a 6-Zero begin in 2015 … after which was suspended for testing constructive for a performance-enhancing substance (an over-the-counter complement, he mentioned). Grier determined to switch, ending up at West Virginia, the place he put up bonkers numbers (76 complete TDs) in Dana Holgorsen’s unfold assault the previous two seasons. Grier does not have excellent measurables, however scouts love his accuracy and moxie. Kiper and McShay price him as a Day 2 choose with the potential to transfer up throughout the pre-draft course of.
Try some highlights from the 2018 season of West Virginia QB Will Grier.
Kiper’s draft rating: No. 5 QB.
McShay’s draft rating: No. Three QB and No. 39 total prospect. From McShay’s preseason scouting report: “[Grier] has common zip on intermediate throws however can drive the ball vertically, though it requires full-body effort.”
What the NFL thinks of Grier
“I believe it is going to be a skinny crop of quarterbacks in the finish, and so a man like Grier might go sooner than he ought to. I believe most of the league goes to have a look at him as a low-end starter or high-end backup.” — NFL evaluator, as advised to ESPN’s Mike Sando
Grier is skipping West Virginia’s bowl sport to put together for the draft, and he has accepted an invitation to take part in the Senior Bowl. He’ll jockey for place in practices in Cellular, Alabama, with a couple of different quarterbacks and compete towards extra of the nation’s greatest upperclassmen prospects.
Study extra about Grier: Grier’s household is Instagram-famous, however he’s scrambling to duck the highlight … How Grier acquired into the Heisman dialog … Grier balances soccer, fatherhood
12 months: Senior | Ht/Wt: 6-foot-Three, 228 | Profession begins: 45
Whole QBR: 82.Four (Ninth in FBS) | Full stats
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Who he’s and the place he ranks
Lock burst onto the draft radar after a 44-touchdown season in 2017, and he was the first quarterback off the board in McShay’s way-too-early mock draft in early Could. McShay even known as him a “poor man’s Patrick Mahomes” earlier than the season. His inventory has fallen a bit, however he has been extra environment friendly (improved QBR and completion share with fewer picks) in 2018. Critics, nonetheless, will level to a horrid three-game stretch towards Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama during which Lock had seven turnovers (5 INTs) and only one landing cross whereas finishing solely 48.2 % of his throws. Activate the tape of Missouri’s upset of Florida, although, to see Lock exhibit what scouts see in him. You may also bear in mind him from his distinctive trash discuss in the 2017 Texas Bowl.
Kiper’s draft rating: No. Four QB.
McShay’s draft rating: No. Four QB and No. 49 total prospect. From McShay’s preseason scouting report: “If developed correctly, he has the pure instruments to begin in the NFL.”
Missouri’s Drew Lock confirmed off his arm energy throughout the 2018 season.
What the NFL thinks of Lock
“He is one among the extra gifted quarterbacks on this class and may go in the first couple rounds. He’s able to wanting like an NFL starter however has simply been inconsistent when it comes to his accuracy and his decision-making. Someone will like him as a result of he has all the bodily instruments. Taking part in in additional of a pro-style offense this yr will assist him. He may want some growth, however he has extra upside than most of those different guys.” — NFL evaluator, as advised to ESPN’s Mike Sando
Lock will end his school profession towards Oklahoma State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on New 12 months’s Eve (Three:45 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN app). You may see him subsequent at the Senior Bowl, during which he ought to flip heads in observe together with his robust arm.
Study extra about Lock: How Lock’s sixth-grade workforce formed him … Lock does not care should you like him; it is respect he is after … The rise of Lock into one among NFL’s hottest QB prospects
12 months: Senior | Ht/Wt: 6-foot-Four, 208 | Profession begins: 40
Whole QBR: 81.Four (11th in FBS) | Full stats
Who he’s and the place he ranks
Is it potential for a sixth-year senior to be underneath the radar? That might be Finley, who spent three years in a crowded quarterback room at Boise State earlier than graduating and transferring to NC State, the place he has began 37 video games and led the Wolfpack to back-to-back nine-win seasons. Finley started the season at No. 16 total on McShay’s rating of the greatest 2019 prospects, and like Lock, he has dropped as Herbert and Haskins have moved up. Finley, nonetheless, had an improved senior season, throwing 24 landing passes and simply 9 interceptions. He has stellar contact on his throws — try this landing towards East Carolina — however is inconsistent down the discipline and is simply a mean athlete. Finley has an opportunity to rise in the class.
Kiper’s draft rating: No. 6 QB.
McShay’s draft rating: No. 5 QB and No. 61 total prospect. From McShay’s preseason rankings: “He will get by means of progressions shortly and shows good poise and really feel inside the pocket.”
Try some highlights from the 2018 season of NC State QB Ryan Finley.
What the NFL thinks of Finley
“He’s correct, he’s good, however simply from a bodily standpoint, I believe folks will see him as a backup, simply due to his dimension, his expertise, arm and people issues.” — NFL evaluator, as advised to ESPN’s Mike Sando
Finley is headed to the Senior Bowl in Cellular in late January, however you’ll be able to catch him and NC State in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl towards Texas A&M on New 12 months’s Eve (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN/ ESPN app).
Study extra about Finley: Finley is not losing any of his additional time at NC State … Distinctive path has Finley prepared for what comes subsequent … Finley making ready to take his place amongst NC State QBs in NFL
12 months: Fourth-year junior | Ht/Wt: 6-foot-Three, 215 | Profession begins: 29
Whole QBR: 57.Three (74th in FBS) | Full stats
Who he’s and the place he ranks
Stidham, the 2017 SEC newcomer of the yr who entered the season with 20-1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy, took a step again in 2018 (as did 7-5 Auburn). The Baylor switch started the season as one among the draft’s prime prospects — “I believe that is a good evaluation,” coach Gus Malzahn mentioned in August — however now finds himself in the center of the pack in the class. Stidham accomplished 63.Four % of his passes and threw 31 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in two seasons at Auburn in Malzahn’s run-heavy unfold offense, however he is not a lot of a working menace and seemed out of kinds at occasions with the Tigers. May he make a leap over the subsequent few months and light-weight up the mix?
Kiper’s draft rating: No. 10 QB.
McShay’s draft rating: No. 6 QB and No. 67 total prospect. From McShay’s preseason scouting report: “[Stidham] can match the ball into some tight spots and shows the capacity to drive the ball vertically.”
Jarrett Stidham double-clutches and throws a deep cross to Seth Williams for a 45-yard Auburn landing.
What the NFL thinks of Stidham
“He has a great arm, however his decision-making, anticipation and a few of these stuff you want as a quarterback in all probability should not the place you want to them to be. To me, his ceiling is as a backup. He has been actually inconsistent this yr.” — NFL evaluator, as advised to ESPN’s Mike Sando
Stidham has already introduced that he’s coming into the draft, and he’ll play his remaining collegiate sport towards Purdue in the Franklin American Mortgage Music Metropolis Bowl on Dec. 28 (1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN app). Stidham will subsequent be seen at the mix in early March.
Study extra about Stidham: Video: Stidham’s lengthy highway to Auburn … Meet the greatest QB in Alabama … Stidham at peace with household, soccer
12 months: Junior | Ht/Wt: 5-foot-10, 195 | Profession begins: 16
Whole QBR: 96.Zero (First in FBS) | Full stats
Who he’s and the place he ranks
Absolutely you understand about the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner, proper? Murray put up one among the greatest seasons in school soccer historical past in main Oklahoma to the School Soccer Playoff, however he may not even play skilled soccer. He was picked in the first spherical in the MLB draft and acquired a $Four.6 million signing bonus with the Oakland Athletics. The explanation Murray is on this checklist? There’s no less than a small likelihood that he tries to play each sports activities or provides up baseball for soccer. If he commits to soccer — and provides up that assured cash from the A’s — McShay believes he can be a first-round choose, whereas Kiper thinks he’d go on Day 2 in April. Murray is a dynamic dual-threat quarterback, however his true peak is a matter for soccer. Not a lot on the baseball diamond.
After throwing for 40 touchdowns and main the Sooners to the Huge 12 title, Kyler Murray acquired Oklahoma again to the CFP.
What the NFL thinks of Murray
“Of all these guys, Kyler Murray might be the rarest when it comes to his expertise as a runner, his pace, his athletic capacity, after which he can cross, however he’s as small as now we have ever seen. He’s smaller than Russell Wilson, however like Russell, he’s good. You see the baseball participant in him — he will get down, doesn’t take massive hits. As the NFL sport goes extra towards the school sport and as the guidelines restrict how defenses can hit, there could also be a spot for him as a result of he’s gifted. He’s the wild card who might go early, however we simply do not know.” — NFL evaluator, as advised to ESPN’s Mike Sando
Now we wait. Murray and the Sooners play top-ranked Alabama for an opportunity at a nationwide title in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 (eight p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN app). In the event that they lose, Murray can be requested about his baseball vs. soccer determination as soon as once more. However he is going to want to resolve soon as a result of the A’s report for spring coaching in February. Murray might enter his identify in the draft whereas becoming a member of the A’s, see if a workforce picks him in April and resolve then. However would a workforce draft a diminutive quarterback who does not go to the mix or work out for scouts forward of the draft? That is really an unprecedented scenario.
Study extra about Murray: Murray balances soccer and baseball whereas changing a legend … After historic season, will Murray nonetheless quit on soccer? … Video: Murray won’t cease till he wins a nationwide title
Better of the relaxation
These quarterbacks are all thought to be doubtless Day Three picks proper now, however they might transfer up earlier than the draft:
Gardner Minshew, Washington State
A graduate switch from East Carolina, Minshew excelled underneath Mike Leach in 2018, throwing 36 landing passes and 9 interceptions and ending fifth in the Heisman race. Minshew has impeccable model, and the fifth-year senior is the No. 9 QB on each Kiper’s and McShay’s draft boards. Scouts will get a more in-depth have a look at him at the Senior Bowl in January.
Subsequent up: Washington State performs Iowa State in the Valero Alamo Bowl (Dec. 28 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN app).
Hint McSorley, Penn State
McSorley does not have nice dimension (6-foot, 200 kilos) or a fantastic arm, however he was one among school soccer’s best quarterbacks the previous three seasons. McShay wrote in early December that McSorley was his favourite late-round prospect to watch. He’ll be amongst the contingent of QBs at the Senior Bowl, during which he’ll get his shot to impress towards a few of the draft’s greatest senior prospects.
Subsequent up: Penn State performs Kentucky in the VRBO Citrus Bowl (Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN app).
Clayton Thorson, Northwestern
Since redshirting in 2014, Thorson has began 52 video games for the Wildcats. He has the bodily instruments (6-foot-Four, 225 kilos) to be an NFL quarterback, he by no means put collectively a constant season, and he threw 30 landing passes and 26 interceptions the previous two seasons. Thorson may also be at the Senior Bowl.
Subsequent up: Northwestern performs Utah in the San Diego County Credit score Union Vacation Bowl (Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1).
Jake Bentley, South Carolina
The true junior has began 31 video games for the Gamecocks, however he is nonetheless uncooked as a passer, and he might return to faculty in 2019. Requested about Bentley in November, McShay, who ranks him No. eight amongst QBs for this class if he enters the draft, mentioned: “I’d love to see him come again for yet one more yr.” Bentley has till Jan. 14 to announce his intentions.
Subsequent up: South Carolina performs Virginia in the Belk Bowl (Dec. 29 at midday ET on ABC/ESPN app).