With the NFL draft just about a month away, the field is starting to take shape. With the first three teams needing their quarterbacks of the future, it’s starting to look possible that the first three picks could be quarterbacks, maybe more depending any draft or pre draft trades.
As “Macho Man” Randy Savage once said, “The cream will rise to top,” and how true it really is, especially when it comes to draft day. With that said, where will the top quarterbacks in this draft wind up? Here’s some predictions:
Sam Darnold: It’s one thing when a scout goes to a players’ pro day. It’s another thing when the whole front office goes. It’s an entirely different thing when the head coach, offensive coordinator and owner of the team go to it. That was the case for Sam Darnold at USC’s pro day. While it’s possible that the brass of the Cleveland Browns is attending multiple pro days to ensure they finally get “their guy,” seeing owner Jimmy Haslam sitting with Darnold’s parents in the stands was very reminiscent of when a college athletic director or coach sits with the parents during a work out on a scouting trip. At this point, it would be hard to see Cleveland not drafting Darnold.
Prediction: Cleveland Browns
Josh Rosen: This one should be a no brainer for the New York Giants: quarterback Eli Manning is 37 years old, he’s about to go into his 15th season, and he’s showing signs of wear. While trading defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul could potentially open the door for the Giants to draft Bradley Chubb from South Carolina, it’s more than likely the Giants will draft their future quarterback to groom under Manning before it’s too late.
Prediction: New York Giants
Josh Allen: Allen has made the most noise since the end of the college football season. While he has the size and arm power to be a great quarterback, the question of accuracy has still lingered. At the combine, he was able to display his improved footwork, but again, the question of his accuracy still lingered. Allen needs a year or two to work on himself with a good mentor. That could come in the form of the Denver Broncos with John Elway as the vice president of football operations, as well as quarterback Case Keenum,who helped develop Los Angele Rams quarterback Jared Goff. He won’t go there. The New York Jets hold the third overall pick and you don’t trade that high up for anything other than a quarterback. Seeing the two main guys could be gone, their quarterback room with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater could get even more crowded. It may not be the ideal situation but it seems realistic.
Prediction: New York Jets
Baker Mayfield: It’s entirely possible that the first four picks could be quarterbacks. Seeing that the Browns hold the fourth overall and that Buffalo Bills don’t have a quarterback, they could make the move to trade up for their guy. It seems that they have taken a liking to Mayfield. Given that A.J. McCarron will more than likely start the season as the Bills signal caller, it’s entirely possible we could see a Mike Glennon situation here where they change quarterbacks part way through the season. Watch for the Bills to trade up (more than likely both of their first round picks) to the Browns fourth overall so they can get their guy and ultimately leave the Denver Broncos high and dry for first round quarterbacks.
Prediction: Buffalo Bills
Lamar Jackson: Jackson may be the most exciting player in this draft and as such, he should peak some interest. While the New Orleans Saints are an option, as are the Miami Dolphins, the Arizona Cardinals could be patient and grab him. The Dolphins have Ryan Tannehill who wasn’t afforded the chance to build onto a good 2016-17 campaign following an injury. Also given that the Cardinals’ quarterback room of Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon isn’t ideal, especially for a new head coach, Arizona could get their guy in Jackson.
Prediction: Arizona Cardinals
Mason Rudolph: It’s very possible that Rudolph isn’t taken in the first round. It’s also very possible that he is one of the more overlooked quarterbacks in this draft. However, there’s one team that he could end up with and really do some damage, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger is getting up there and has floated the idea of retirement the past two or three years. Seeing as Landry Jones isn’t really the ideal heir to the position, the Steelers could nab him late and store him the way Green Bay did with Aaron Rodgers.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers