A lot can change in college football. Players who burst onto the scene can fade very quickly. Players who look great one year, can look very average the next year. Players who are seen as surefire 1st round picks, can falter and end up dropping in the draft. Saying that, it looks as though the draft will have plenty of talent at the QB position. I'm not going to say it's stacked, because a lot can change.
I've been asked for my thoughts on the QB's a couple of times. Mainly in the same breath as being asked if the Jets should tank. There are no guarantees in the NFL draft, especially this far ahead. However I'm going to put down a list of guys who could enter the draft in 2018 and a few thoughts on each. It doesn't mean they will enter the draft, but they'll all worth watching.
Who knows what the Jets will do at QB. Maybe Hackenberg develops in 2017 into a competent starter, maybe even a franchise guy (Hey! No laughing in the back). Maybe it's Petty. Maybe we trade for someone that comes in and grabs the starting role and makes it their own. Maybe! Just in case that doesn't happen and the Jets end up with a top 5 selection next year, here are a few guys you should pay attention to. This isn't an exhaustive list, so if you've got a guy you like, pop him in the comments.
Sam Darnold - USC - RS Sophomore
2016 Stats: 67.2% completion. 3086 yards. 31TD/9INT. 250 Rushing Yards, 2 TD.
Darnold is widely considered to be the cream of the crop. He's only played a single year in California, but what a year it was. He's an accurate guy, with a quick/clean release, he has mobility and excellent size (6'4 225lb's). He reads the game well, and already goes through progressions quickly. He looks like the real deal, I can't wait to see year two.
Josh Rosen - UCLA - Junior
2016 Stats: 59.3% completion. 1915 yards. 10TD/5INT. 2 Rushing TD (6 Games)
Rosen will be an interesting one to watch. He had surgery on his throwing shoulder after suffering an injury in week 6 of the 2016 season. He has excellent size (6'4 220lb's) and is highly regarded for his football IQ. He's very outspoken on many issues, which rub people the wrong way. However he's got a lightning release, he reads the whole field and he's got tremendous touch.
Josh Allen - Wyoming - RS Sophomore
2016 Stats: 56.0% completion. 3203 yards. 28TD/15INT. 512 Rushing yards. 7TD
Allen is an impressive looking QB, he stands at 6'5 and weighs 222lb's. He runs well and he's got a cannon for an arm. He's got a nice efficient over the top delivery and seems to be comfortable throwing on the run too. The problem with Allen is consistency, he can look great but then force balls into coverages and look awful in the space of 3 drives. He has everything you need to develop though, it's a big year for Allen.
Baker Mayfield - Oklahoma - RS Senior
2016 Stats: 71% completion. 3965 yards. 40TD/8INT. 177 Rushing yards. 6TD
There are some maturity issues with Mayfield, he was arrested on charges included public intoxication, disorderly conduct, fleeing and resisting arrest. However there is no disputing his talent. Oklahoma run a variation of the air-raid offense, so Baker runs exclusively from the shotgun. He does show good ball placement, accuracy and enough velocity to push the ball down field.
Mason Rudolph - Oklahoma State - Senior
2016 Stats: 63.4% completion. 4091 yards. 28TD/4INT. 6 Rushing TD.
I've got so much time for Mason, he's one of my favourite prospects heading into 2017. Great size (6'5, 235lb's), with a good arm and underrated athleticism, he also plays in a spread offense. He plays with good mechanics and looks after the football, he's shown a good ability to get through his progressions and he often takes whatever the defense gives him. Expect another big year for the Oklahoma State star.
Luke Falk - Washington State - Senior
2016 Stats: 70% completion. 4468 yards. 38TD/11INT.
Falk plays for Mike Leach's air-raid offense in Washington, so it's hardly surprising that he's put up some gaudy numbers. However he's got a lot of talent which translates to any system. Good size (6'4, 216lb's), lightning quick release, good accuracy and an ability to stand in the pocket and scan the field. He'll put up another good year of statistics, but I'm sure he'll get a lot of love from scouts for his pro potential.
Trace McSorley - Penn State - Junior
2016 Stats: 57.9% completion. 3614 yards. 29TD/8INT. 365 Rushing yards. 7 TD.
Penn State hired Joe Moorhead to be their offensive coordinator in 2016 and he installed a spread system which has allowed Trace McSorley to showcase his talent. McSorley is a little smaller than you'd like (6'0, 200lb) but he moves well in the pocket and keeps his eyes downfield. Penn State do have a few running plays designed for their QB. I also quite like his ability to push the ball down field.
Max Browne - Pittsburgh - Senior
2016 Stats: 62.4% completion. 507 yards. 2TD/2INT.
Max Browne transferred to Pittsburgh after losing his spot to Sam Darnold in 2016 at USC. As a graduate transfer, he'll be able to play immediately. Things didn't work out for Browne at USC, but he's an interesting guy to watch. He's 6'5, 220lb's with a very strong arm. This is the kind of situation where no-one is expecting much, but by the end of the year, he has the intangibles to be intriguing NFL scouts.
Lamar Jackson - Louisville - Junior
2016 Stats: 56.2% completion. 3543 yards. 30TD/9INT. 1571 Rushing yards. 21 TD
There are many people who don't think that Jackson can come become an NFL passer, I think it's fair to say that at the moment, he's not a polished passer and probably isn't a good enough passer to be an NFL starter. However he does have incredible athleticism. Jackson will need to land with a team who know's what to do with him, like the Falcons did with Vick. Jackson doesn't really read defenses, but he does have a decent if innacurate arm. Everyone knows he's got natural athletic ability, everyone will be watching to see how much improvement he's made in the passing game.
Jake Browning - Washington - Junior
2016 Stats: 62.1% completion. 3430 yards. 43TD/9INT. 4 Rushing TD
There will be a lot of eyes on Browning, and the hope is he'll continue to put up the numbers that will get him noticed. Jake has average size at 6'2 and 210lb's, but he has good touch, a decent arm and good poise in the pocket that will impress anyone who watches him on tape. Apparently he is a film hound, who absolutely loves breaking down tape and it shows on field with his ability to read defenses too.