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State Of Play: 2018 QB Class

NCAA Football: Arizona State at UCLA Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

After a promising start to the season the Jets have now lost four of their last 5 games. They’re sitting at 4-6 on the season and look to be a long-shot to make any playoff contribution. As a result, many fans have asked whether the Jets may turn to either Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg. The young signal callers have been sat behind veteran Josh McCown, who’s having somewhat of a career renaissance in the big apple. Although Josh has done nothing to lose the starting job in New York, the Jets will learn very little about their future by continuing to run out a 39 year old QB.

As John mentioned yesterday, the Jets have indicated that they have no intention of making a QB switch against a good Carolina team after the bye week.

I have to admit that I don’t think that Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg will have a successful NFL career as a starter. I wouldn’t write them off completely as they haven’t played a great deal, and many QB’s had slow starts to their career. However, from the little I have seen, it doesn’t look good.

At the moment the Jets have the 11th selection in the 2018 draft and with a class that is set to be QB heavy, they’re still in position to grab the potential QB of the future. They can move up or down if need be, but even if they do end up picking 11th, they should still be able to grab a high ceiling QB.

Now that we’re deep into the season, I thought it was worth taking another look at some of the top-tier QB’s and how they’ve performed this year.

Lamar Jackson:

3,003 passing yards, 60.2% completion, 21 TD, 6 INT
1,176 rushing yards, 6.61 average, 15 TD

There were some concerns about whether Jackson could be an NFL QB. He’s made strides this year with his accuracy and his duel-threat skill-set will impress anyone. He needs to improve his ball placement, especially on deep sideline passes, but he is dangerous, and in today’s game he’s a weapon. He scores for run and he’s largely careful with the football. Fun fact, he’s only thrown 1 INT in the 4th quarter all season.

Josh Rosen:

3,094 passing yards, 62.2% completion, 21 TD, 9 INT
-29 rushing yards. 2 TD

There is a lot to like about Rosen, he’s got a great throwing motion and he’s comfortable under centre. Unlike a lot of college QB’s, he has excellent footwork and he throws from a good solid base. He’s thrown some pretty rough INT’s this year after trying to do too much, but he’s definitely a talent that has a very high ceiling at the next level. He spots the ball well and he can make all the throws. There are some character concerns with him, he’s outspoken in the media, scouts suggested his teammates don’t like him and his high school coach didn’t sound too fond either. Make of that what you will.

Sam Darnold:

3198 passing yards, 63.4% completion, 24 TD, 11 INT
89 rushing yards, 4 TD

It always surprises me that so many people criticise Darnold this year while praising Rosen, but their numbers are very similar. I think there was an unrealistic expectation on Darnold this year, people expected him to be perfect. You can’t escape the fact that he started slow, he lost some important receivers this year and he struggled to get on the same page as his new teammates. However he’s thrown only 2 INT’s in the previous 5 games while throwing 12 TD’s. I still think he’s head and shoulders the best QB prospect in this draft and I think he’ll finish the season strong. If he does elect to enter the draft, he’ll wow people in the pre-draft process.

Josh Allen:

1658 passing yards, 56.2% completion, 13 TD, 6 INT
207 rushing yards, 5TD

It’s not been easy for Allen this year, he’s had some accuracy problems and he’s thrown some pretty terrible INT’s, however I wouldn’t write him off just yet. He’s still young and he still has more arm talent than anyone else in this draft. He can make every throw in the book, he can throw the football a long way and with ease. He’s tough to bring down and he moves well for a man his size. It’s hard to watch Allen and not think of Big Ben. Could he take a year to develop? Yeah, more than likely. However a patient team could well end up with a bargain in Allen.

Luke Falk

3224 passing yards, 66.8% completion, 29 TD, 10 INT
-109 rushing yards, 0 TD;s

Falk’s stats can be absolutely eye-watering and many people attribute the Mike Leach air-raid offence for that. I can’t disagree that some of the reads are very simple and the system gives his numbers a little boost. However to just write him off completely as a product of the system would be a mistake. Unlike a lot of QB’s who come from a similar system, there is a lot to like about Falk’s mechanics. He doesn’t have a huge arm, but he’s a leader and well respected. His game against Stanford earlier this month showed me that you had to take him seriously. Completing 34/48 passes for a 70.8% completion percentage for 3 TD’s and 1 INT against Stanford is no joke.

Baker Mayfield

3559 passing yards, 71.2% completion, 31 TD, 5 INT
231 rushing yards, 5 TD

A lot of the time when you hear Baker Mayfield mentioned, most will indicate that he’s a good college QB, but won’t amount to much in the NFL. Whether it’s the perceived personality issues or the fact he’s only just over 6 feet tall, he’s not taken that seriously by a lot of NFL fans looking to the NFL draft. However this year he’s excelled and he’s definitely in the conversation for Heisman. Winning a Heisman doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed success at the next level, does it Tebow. However Mayfield has really improved this year, and although he comes from a spread system, he does read the field and he does work his progressions. He’s mobile, he’s accurate and he can stretch the field with his arm, he also has that “It” factor about him, personally I think he’d be the perfect fit for the Morton offence in New York.