The year is 2014, Blake Bortles goes 3rd in the NFL Draft, Johnny Manziel goes 22nd, Teddy Bridgewater goes 32nd, Derek Carr goes 36th and Jimmy Garoppolo goes 62nd. Five Quarterbacks of skill (say what you will about Johnny Football’s maturity, he had skill) go in the first two rounds, and four of them have been or are starting quarterbacks. This year, could very likely see a repeat of 2014 if not more skilled quarterbacks being taken in the the first two rounds. Following my Quarterback Free Agent Landing Spots from last week, it is now time to take a look at some potential landing spots for the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft.
Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech – Cleveland Browns
The new front office of the Browns have kept no secret that they like Mayfield giving him comparisons to Brett Favre, so I find it no short jump that the Browns will take Saquon Barkley at No. 1, miss out on Josh Rosen, and then select Mayfield with the No. 4 pick. Whether he starts this year or sits behind whichever veteran they bring in remains to be seen.
Josh Rosen, UCLA – New York Giants
Eli Manning is getting closer and closer to 40 and I don’t think he can hold up as well as his big bro. While Pat Shurmur has said that he wants to keep Manning on for another year, it’s hard to believe he would not want to start to build his own franchise team starting with a quarterback. At No. 2 in the draft, the Giants can grab what is the best consensus quarterback in Josh Rosen. Rosen has the best mechanics and is a natural pocket passer and can make the long throws and the critical ones. With big arm talent and field vision, the Giants will have their quarterback of the future.
Sam Darnold, USC / Josh Allen, Wyoming – New York Jets / Arizona Cardinals
With these two prospects I found it really hard to pigeonhole them into one of the above teams so I am doing a double pick here. One of these gentlemen is going to the Big Apple and one is going to the desert. Whomever goes to the Jets I believe will get a better opportunity to develop behind Josh McCown, and whomever goes to the Cardinals will get a better chance of starting right off the bat with the Cardinals not having or possibly acquiring another quarterback.
Lamar Jackson, Louisville – Buffalo Bills
With the Bills being so open about moving on from Tyrod this season, it’s no long shot that they will attempt to obtain their franchise quarterback and since they don’t pick in the top-half of the draft, Lamar Jackson might just be their best available option. Jackson has been compared to a bigger version of Michael Vick and is being seriously undervalued similar to how Deshaun Watson was a year ago. Jackson has tremendous athletic ability and a powerful arm that is already pro ready. Paired with is running ability, he will fit very nicely into the Offensive scheme already in Buffalo.
Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State – Miami Dolphins/L.A. Chargers
I am projecting Rudolph to be one of the 2nd round quarterbacks to be taken, but as far as his destination goes? It’s hard to say. Both the Dolphins and Chargers have been suspected of looking for someone to sit behind their veterans and learn so that they can take the reigns but they are all over the board on who that will be. Rudolph himself has stated that he would love to “sit behind Phillip Rivers or Ryan Tannehill” so I just have to speculate that one of these teams would love that answer along with his prototypical size, great accuracy, leadership qualities, and play-action play style enough to take him.
Luke Falk, Washington State – New Orleans Saints
While it is perfectly reasonable that Falk might fall to the 3rd round, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the Saints might grab him with their 2nd round pick or trade to get him. Falk has a distinct similarity to Garrett Grayson, another quarterback the Saints drafted to sit behind Brees. Falk has a completion rate of about 63% and possesses great pocket-passing potential.
Mike White, Western Kentucky – Washington Redskins
This one is purely for fun as I don’t think White is going to go in the first few rounds, but with the Redskins trading to acquire Alex Smith, they are surely going to have to get a younger quarterback to develop behind him and White is arguably one of the Top-10 best quarterbacks in this draft. White has said multiple times that it would be a dream to play for the Redskins as it was his favorite team growing up.
How many bulls eyes do you think I am going to hit?