NFL Draft 2020 Positional Top Tens: Quarterbacks

Hey NFL Draft Lounge readers! I’d like to take the time to introduce myself to you. My name is Walker Kelly and I have been scouting NFL Draft prospects for four years. It is an honor to have been approached to be a contributor for NFL Draft Lounge and I look forward to providing draft content for the foreseeable future.

My first contribution to the site will be a series of articles on my top ten prospects at each position for the 2020 NFL Draft. They will consist of an ordered list of prospects along with their strengths, weaknesses, and my overall grade for each player. 

I’m beginning with the most important position in football: the quarterback. This year’s QB class is loaded with big names, so let’s take a look at whether these high-profile NFL draft prospects live up to the hype, starting at #10 and working up to #1.

NFL Draft Quarterback Prospects 10-8

The following quarterbacks are all seniors, and are likely late round selections.

10. Anthony Gordon, Washington State, Sr., 6’3″, 210 lbs

Strengths:

  • Strong arm, easily throws the deep ball.
  • Shows an understanding of where to place the ball to give his receivers a chance.
  • Exciting statistical profile.

Weaknesses:

  • Prone to overthrowing receivers.
  • Can be too aggressive at times, leading to interceptions.
  • Not mobile.
  • Only a one-year starter at Wazzu.

Grade: 6th round; Comparison: Sean Mannion

9. Bryce Perkins, Virginia, Sr., 6’3″, 215 lbs

Strengths:

  • Enough arm to make all the throws required of an NFL quarterback.
  • Good touch on the deep ball.
  • Tough and reliable runner.
  • High level of leadership, and teammates believe in him.

Weaknesses:

  • Accuracy can be quite spotty.
  • Does not work through progressions quickly.
  • Pocket awareness needs work, and seems oblivious to pressure at times.
  • Poor decision-making often leads to turnovers.

Grade: 6th round; Comparison: E.J. Manuel

8. Tyler Huntley, Utah, Sr., 6’1″, 205 lbs

Strengths:

  • Very accurate in the short and intermediate game.
  • Protects the ball well.
  • Not a running QB, but certainly has enough mobility to get by.
  • Experienced starter with 36 college games under his belt.

Weaknesses:

  • Limited arm strength.
  • Too risk-averse at times.
  • Likes to see the receiver come open instead of throwing the receiver open.
  • Very low upside compared to other 2020 QB prospects.

Grade: 6th round; Comparison: Chase Daniel

NFL Draft Quarterback Prospects 7-5

This stretch of the list features two juniors, one of which has already declared for the draft, and one senior. 

7. Jake Fromm, Georgia, Jr., 6’2″, 220 lbs

Strengths:

  • Impressive accuracy on short and intermediate throws.
  • Ball placement is good, especially so on back-shoulder passes.
  • Very experienced, with 40 starts in three years at Georgia.
  • Rarely turns the ball over.

Weaknesses:

  • Limited arm strength prevents him from being an effective downfield passer.
  • Incredibly risk-averse, to the point of avoiding downfield throws altogether at times.
  • Severe statistical regression recently, ending the 2019 season by completing less than 50% of passes in five consecutive games.
  • Not a statue, but not what you would call mobile either.

Grade: 4th round; Comparison: Case Keenum

Third-Tier Prospects

6. Jordan Love, Utah State, Jr., 6’4″, 225 lbs

Strengths:

  • Huge arm, makes long throws look effortless.
  • Adept at escaping the pocket and making plays on the run.
  • Can fit the ball into windows most quarterbacks wouldn’t dream of.

Weaknesses:

  • Completely unable to read underneath coverage, and as a result has thrown too many interceptions
  • Reads the defense far too slowly to get through his progressions effectively.
  • Trusts his arm too much at times, and forces throws that simply aren’t there.
  • Significant statistical regression from 2018 to 2019.

Grade: 3rd round; Comparison: Jameis Winston

5. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma, Sr., 6’2″, 225 lbs

Strengths:

  • Extremely hard worker, and teammates and coaches love him.
  • Accurate passer who shows impressive touch at times.
  • Talented runner with the ability to both evade and punish tacklers.
  • Made the College Football Playoff every year of his college career, both at Alabama and Oklahoma.

Weaknesses:

  • Average at best arm strength.
  • Deep ball floats on him as a result of improper mechanics.
  • Prefers to see the receiver come open before throwing. Anticipation is lacking.

Grade: 3rd round; Comparison: Vince Young

NFL Draft Quarterback Prospects 4-1

This final section features two seniors and two juniors. The juniors have not officially declared, so they could conceivably return to school.

Second-Tier Prospects

4. Justin Herbert, Oregon, Sr., 6’6″, 237 lbs

Strengths:

  • Outstanding arm strength.
  • Willingness to attack tight windows without being overly aggressive.
  • Plus mobility and extremely intelligent.
  • Experienced player with 41 career starts.

Weaknesses:

  • Intelligence does not translate to on-field awareness, and is woefully unaware of pressure at times.
  • Makes too many boneheaded decisions for such an experienced player.
  • Frustratingly inconsistent in terms of accuracy.

Grade: 2nd round; Comparison: Ryan Tannehill

3. Jacob Eason, Washington, Jr., 6’6″, 227 lbs

Strengths:

  • Best arm in the class; reminiscent of Matthew Stafford in terms of arm strength.
  • Makes off-platform and on-the-run throws look preposterously easy at times.
  • Accurate to all levels of the field.

Weaknesses:

  • Not mobile.
  • Needs work in terms of decision-making, and still forces too many passes at this stage.
  • Occasionally shows nice touch, but defaults to the fastball too often.

Grade: 2nd round; Comparison: Joe Flacco

Top Two Prospects

2. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama, Jr., 6’1″, 218 lbs

Strengths:

  • Incredible touch, especially on passes downfield.
  • Pinpoint accuracy both in the pocket and on the run.
  • Consistently makes smart decisions with the ball.
  • Good understanding of when to tuck it and run.
  • Experienced player with a track record of winning.

Weaknesses:

  • Injuries are a major red flag, as Tua has suffered injuries to both ankles as well as a serious dislocation of his hip.
  • Lacks elite arm strength.

Grade: mid-1st round; Comparison: Russell Wilson in Sam Bradford’s body

1. Joe Burrow, LSU, Sr., 6’4″, 216 lbs

Strengths:

  • Extremely accurate to all levels of the field.
  • Incredible pocket presence and seems to know where the rush is at all times.
  • Excels outside the pocket, dropping dimes on the run consistently.
  • Great athlete and effective runner.
  • Natural leader, and teammates gravitate toward him.

Weaknesses:

  • Not as much starting experience as other top prospects.

Grade: early 1st round; Comparison: Tony Romo

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