2020 NFL Draft Top 10 Prospects: Quarterbacks
By Seth Megginson
The 2020 NFL Draft is this week, and because we all have tons of it on our hands now, I’ve had plenty of time to break down the draft pool.
Let’s start with this year’s quarterbacks.
Joe Burrow, LSU: Overall Ranking: #2
The rise of Joe Burrow in 2019 was quite amazing to watch. Someone that I thought might be a first-round pick going into the year turns into the easiest pick at number one overall that we have had in years. Burrow possesses all the great aspects that you would want from an NFL QB. He is cool under pressure and has one of the most accurate arms of any QB prospect in years. He is easily going number 1 overall now; the question is will it be with Cincinnati, or will the Miami Dolphins throw so much at the Bengals that Burrow finds himself in South Beach?
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama: Overall Ranking: #8
The man that was the favorite to be the number one pick last fall, and inspired a whole movement called “Tank for Tua,” now finds himself wondering what might happen this Thursday at the Draft. He is not going number one, but is he still going to Miami at five? Will the Chargers be able to land him, or will he continue to fall? Without the injury concerns, Tagovailoa would be giving Burrow a run for his money as top pick, and honestly I would see it at 50/50 on who to choose, but the injuries are there, and now teams do not know how to gauge how healthy Tagovailoa will be not just for this season but years to come. If he can return to peak shape, whoever lands him will have drafted themselves a future star with pinpoint accuracy and quick throwing motion.
Jordan Love, Utah State: Overall Ranking: #21
Jordan Love will be an interesting watch come draft day. Rumors are swirling that his stock is rising, and he could possibly be a top 10 pick. Love is built like an NFL QB who can move around and sling the ball all over the field, but also has good pocket presence. His decision-making this past football season does raise some concerns for teams wanting to take Love in the draft, but a lot of that might have had to do with the fact that Love lost a lot of help on the offensive side of the ball from 2018 to 2019. I feel like the 2018 version of Love is the closer of the two in the case of which version we will see in the NFL.
Justin Herbert, Oregon: Overall Ranking: #32
Justin Herbert was my number two QB in this year’s draft going into the 2019 college football season, but now I have him slightly slipping in my rankings to number four. Herbert has all the physical traits you would want in an NFL quarterback and has shown he can make NFL throws. The knock on Herbert is he seems to get rattled easily, and there are moments in games he looks like a different QB than the one who looks like a capable NFL QB who should go in the top five. If Herbert goes in the top five to six to the Chargers, it will be a slight risk for that team, in my opinion. However, with all of Herbert’s physical tools there is a very high ceiling for the Oregon QB.
Jacob Eason, Washington: Overall Ranking: #66
Jacob Eason was the number one overall QB prospect coming out of high school in 2016. Since then, Eason has played for two schools (Georgia and Washington), where at times he showed flashes of a future NFL QB with an NFL arm and an NFL build. Other times, Eason looked off-rhythm, unbalanced and rattled. To me, he is the true wildcard of this QB class, I could easily see him being the steal of this draft five years down the road, but I could also see him as a career backup. For Eason to pan out in the NFL, he will have to go through his progressions better and deal with pressure much better than he did in college, because the physical tools are all there for Eason.
Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma: Overall Ranking: #81
I will be the first to admit that I was never really that high on Jalen Hurts as an NFL QB his entire college career. Over the last few months, however, Hurts has won me over. Hurts’ work ethic alone is enough to love him as a player, and you can tell that he is the ultimate team guy with how he managed his situation at Alabama. Though physically he is not the most impressive prospect, he does have traits that many NFL coaches love. He faces pressure well and has underrated arm strength, in my opinion. His biggest problem is his mechanics (which looked better in draft evaluations) and processing. At the worst, I think Hurts can be a solid backup that can also bring more dynamic plays to your playbook, while his ceiling is a future NFL starter for years to come.
Jake Fromm, Georgia: Overall Ranking: #85
Anyone who has spoken to me about this draft knows how I fell about Jake Fromm’s decision to enter the NFL draft. I think Fromm has the ability to be a starter in the NFL, but I also think he is more physically limited than most of the quarterbacks in this draft. If he would have stayed another year at UGA, I feel like he may have been able to improve his stock and maybe even be a top 10 pick in 2021, but here we are. Fromm does have promising attributes; he is a better processer of the game and his reads than everyone except Burrow and Tagovailoa, and he knows his limitations and never tries to force anything. The problem is his limitations. I feel like watching most of his games when he made a mistake it was because he just physically couldn’t put a ball where wanted with the right amount of zip. Fromm can be a starter in this league with his football IQ and accuracy.
James Morgan, Florida International: Overall Ranking: #145
After the top seven QBs, the prospects at the position take a bit of a fall, but the next best guy to me is clearly James Morgan of FIU. Morgan has the arm talent to rival his piers ahead of him in the rankings, and seems to be calm in the pocket. He honestly makes deep throws look too easy at times, and it really jumped out on the film. His big downfall is his decision-making. At times when you watch him you wonder what on earth was he thinking with a throw, and where he can throw the ball deep, his short- to mid-range throws can use a lot of work. Honestly, Morgan is an exciting prospect, though, because of his arm, and if the right team drafts him, he could develop into a starter three or more years down the road.
Anthony Gordon, Washington State: Overall Ranking: #208
Anthony Gordon is an intriguing QB prospect in this draft. He has a quick release and has a pro QB’s touch with his throws at times, and seems to always be in control. Where he lacks is footwork: it is some of the worst in this class, and that is probably do to being a product of the Air Raid style of offense, where it is about getting the ball out fast to the playmakers. He has arm strength concerns and can make some ill-advised throws at times. Gordon is interesting for the reason that he may find some success on a team that uses him much like how Jacksonville uses Gardner Minshew. Gordon is at best a solid NFL backup.
Jake Luton, Oregon State: Overall Ranking: #262
Jake Luton has the size that you would want in an NFL QB. He also has solid arm strength and has good pocket presence. He, however, lacks in the accuracy department, and at times you can tell he has decided where he is going to throw the ball before the play begins and loses a lot of his mechanics if he is forced to move out of the pocket. Luton has enough appeal to be a late sixth or seventh round draft pick who may find success as a backup in the NFL.
Other QBs to Watch
- Steven Montez, Colorado #298
- Nate Stanley, Iowa #310
- Tyler Huntley, Utah #311
- Cole McDonald, Hawaii #331
- Khalil Tate, Arizona #355
- Bryce Perkins, UVA #361
- Josh Love, San Jose State #374
- Brian Lewerke, Michigan State #376
- Shea Patterson, Michigan #383
- J’Mar Smith, Louisiana Tech #394