College Football

2018 NFL Draft Preview

Out of forty four million males in the United States between the ages of twenty and forty, there are approximately fifteen capable of sustaining reasonably high level Quarterback play in the National Football League. There are thirty two teams.

Consider: In the past two drafts, five of the six Quarterbacks selected in the first round were by teams that traded up to get them. Two teams have already traded up in the first round of the April, 26, 2018 draft. This has never happened in March. The Jets just gave up three second round picks to move from #6 to #3, without even knowing who the first two picks will be. This is also unprecedented. Obviously, the Jets must be comfortable with at least three Quarterbacks,
and they apparently wanted to beat others to the punch.

The 2018 draft has been billed as the “Year of the Quarterback” for a couple years now, and one in which the first, second, and third picks in round 1, may be Quarterback. This has only happened twice since 1960. Four will likely go in the top ten – which has never happened.  Oddly enough 2018 is the Year of the Dog and the Cleveland Browns have the #1 selection.

I rate this as the fifth best QB class since 1960: (Based as prospects, not based on careers)

Number 1: 1983

John Elway
Todd Blackledge
Jim Kelly
Tony Eason
Ken O’Brien
Dan Marino

Number 2: 1971

Jim Plunkett
Archie Manning
Dan Pastorini

They went one, two, three – which is an automatic qualifier to be on this list.

Number 3: 1999

Tim Couch
Donovan McNabb
Akili Smith
Daunte Culpepper
Cade McNown

(The second of the two QB classes that went one, two, three overall)

Number 4: 2004

Eli Manning
Philip Rivers
Ben Rothlisberger
J.P. Losman

Number 5: 2018 (in alphabetical order)

Josh Allen Wyoming
Sam Darnold USC
Baker Mayfield Oklahoma
Josh Rosen UCLA
(Lamar Jackson – a Mike Vick like player, and Mason Rudolph, the big control pitcher, follow)

These are their official Combine measurements:

Josh Allen 6′ 4 7/8” 237 lbs. 10 1/8” hand
Sam Darnold 6′ 3 3/8” 221 lbs. 9 3/8” hand
Baker Mayfield 6′ 5/8” 215 lbs. 9 1/4” hand (proving he’s a big game performer, Mayfield measured a quarter inch taller at the Combine than he did at the Senior Bowl.)
Josh Rosen 6′ 4” 226 lbs. 9 7/8” hand

In recent years, based on overwhelming Quarterback performance data, it has become universally accepted that a College Quarterback with a completion percentage under 60% is very likely to struggle in the NFL. Of the top guys in this draft, only Josh Allen (56.2%) is under the completion minimum. Of the present QB’s in the League, only Mathew Stafford (57.1%) and Matt Ryan (59.9%) are considered franchise QB’s who were under the dreaded 60 % marker in College. (It should be noted that Stafford’s completion percentage improved every year and topped the 60% marker his final year).

What I find intriguing, is there is almost equally strong evidence that a Quarterback under 6′ 1” is unlikely to excel in the NFL. However, this statistic is not embraced by fans and analysts. In fact, in this case, the exceptions are cited to disprove history.

Since 1960, there have been 645 Quarterbacks drafted. Of those 645, here is a list of the signal callers who have had NFL starting careers at 6′ 1” or under:

Billy Kilmer 1961
Fran Tarkenton 1961
John Hadl 1962
Bill Nelson 1963
Bob Griese 1967
Joe Theismann 1971
Brian Sipe 1972
Pat Haden 1975
Dave Krieg 1980 (undrafted)
Jim McMahon 1982
Doug Flutie 1985
Rodney Peete 1989
Jeff Blake 1992
Mark Brunnell 1993
Jeff Garcia 1994 (undrafted)
Michael Vick 2001
Drew Brees 2001
Rex Grossman 2003
Tyrod Taylor 2011
Russell Wilson 2012

These twenty QB’s make up 3% of 645. So, it is possible. In this draft, Baker Mayfield is under 6′ 1”

This QB draft class is a very challenging one to assess and draw player comparisons. This is so for two reasons: The four top QB’s are so vastly different in their style of play and in their dimensions, and each of them has something very, very special, but also something else which could be a major flaw.

Josh Allen’s combination of size, athletic ability, and arm strength are jaw dropping, as are some of his throws, but his feet are all over the place, and too many of his throws and decisions are all over the place.

Sam Darnold’s ability to get out of trouble, with eyes down field, and throw accurately on the move from an array of off balance platforms, is uncanny, but he has fumbled too much, and this past year, missed too many throws.

Baker Mayfield’s completion percentage and fiery demeanor are off the charts, but he’s under 6’1”, is not a great athlete for someone his size, and he’s awfully cocky.

Josh Rosen is the rare College QB who does not need any tinkering with any of his mechanics, from his feet to his pure throwing right hand. He does it all naturally – easily. But he takes a lot of hits and shows some inability to side step a free rusher.

We’ll get back to the QB’s with much more in a minute.

Another discussion is the question of bypassing a higher rated player for a Quarterback. The two highest rated players in this draft are Penn State Running Back, Saquon Barkley, and Notre Dame Guard, Quenton Nelson. Nelson is being mentioned in the same breath with Gene Upshaw, Hogs Hanna, Bob Young, Dean Steinkuhler, and Larry Allan. What is the value of a Guard?

Saquon Barkley’s coach, James Franklin, calls Barkley a 230 lb Marshall Faulk. Others have referenced Barry Sanders. Backs were devalued about ten years ago due to their abundance, and for the shortness of their careers. Then, in the past three drafts, Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliot, and Leonard Fournette came off the board early, and made a major impact for their team. Some think Barkley is better than these three, which is saying something. Pass catching Running Backs are at a mismatch premium in the League and he catches like a Wide Receiver. There is a thought that he has not run with power and is more of a dancer and bouncer. He should easily learn to lower his shoulder, though. The money is made in the NFL for a Running Back five yards on each side of the line of scrimmage. NFL backs are now met in the backfield multiple times per game.

Pro Football Focus, the stats/analytic gurus, claim that a top fifteen Quarterback is of significantly more value than the best Running Back.

New Browns General Manger, John Dorsey, quite candidly laid out his position priorities as follows:

1 Quarterback
2 Pass Rusher
3 Corner Back
4 Offensive Left Tackle
5 Wide Receiver.

He allowed that there were slight differences within the building in the order from two through five.

Based on this, and on Dorsey’s history in Green Bay and Kansas City, I don’t think the Browns are taking a Running Back high in the draft – especially since this draft is loaded with good Running Backs in the next tier, and the Browns have three second round picks. Dorsey also said the game tape that means the most to him is how a guy plays against the better competition. Dorsey’s QB history is with Brett Farvre, trading for Alex Smith, and trading way up last year for the rocket armed, wild stallion, Patrick Mahomes, for the Chiefs.

(The two highest rated premium position Defensive players in this draft are Ohio State Corner Back, Denzel Ward, and North Carolina State’s Defensive End, Bradley Chubb. I expect the Browns to select one of them with their second first round pick at #4. Both rate as first year Pro Bowlers).

Another discussion centers on how good does a Quarterback have to be to be selected number one, overall.

Bill Parcels has said that when he was with the Dolphins, one of the biggest mistakes of his career was taking Jake Long, who became a premier Offensive Left tackle, 1st overall, rather than Matt Ryan, whom he did not consider worthy of the first overall pick. In 1979, legendary Giants GM, George Young, responding to criticism that he took Phil Simms too high at # 7, said simply, “I need a Quarterback, and he’ll be a good one”

Let’s look at the Quarterbacks who have been selected first overall since 1960:

Jared Goff 2016
Jameis Winston 2015
Andrew Luck 2012
Cam Newton 2011
Sam Bradford 2010
Mathew Stafford 2009
JaMarcus Russell 2007
Alex Smith 2005
Eli Manning 2004
Carson Palmer 2003
David Carr 2002
Michael Vick 2001
Tim Couch 1999
Peyton Manning 1998
Drew Bledsoe 1993
Jeff George 1990
Troy Aikman 1989
Vinny Testaverde 1987
John Elway 1983
Steve Bartkowski 1975
Jim Plunkett 1971
Terry Bradshaw 1970
Joe Namath 1965 (AFL)
Terry Baker 1963
Roman Gabriel 1962 (AFL)

Obviously, you are hoping to get a Hall of Fame player, but to me the bare minimum is to come away with a good NFL starting Quarterback.

The stats for this year’s top guns:

Josh Allen
Games 27
Completion % 56.2
Yards 5,066
44 TD to 21 Int.
48 sacks
237 yards rushing.

Sam Darnold
Games 27
Completion % 64.9
Yards 7,229
57 TD to 22 Int.
35 sacks
332 yards rushing

Baker Mayfield
Games 48
Completion % 68.5
Yards 14,607
131 TD to 30 Int.
107 sacks
1,083 yards rushing

Josh Rosen
Games 30
Completion % 60.9
Yards 9,339
59 TD to 26 Int.
53 sacks
-153 yards rushing

I don’t watch much college football, so I went back and watched the following games:

Josh Allen: Central Michigan 2017 Bowl Game. Iowa 2017. Hawaii 2017.

Sam Darnold: Penn State 2016 Rose Bowl. Ohio State 2017 Cotton Bowl. Texas 2017.

Baker Mayfield: Ohio State 2017. Georgia 2017 National Championship semi final.

Josh Rosen: Texas A&M 2017. USC 2017.

I’ve also watched their highlights, but those can be deceiving. Watching a whole game is more telling.

My notes:

Josh Allen.

Physically, looks like an AFC North Quarterback. Sets up too narrow, then over strides. Can climb the pocket. Nolan Ryan rocket throws. Can escape and throw on the run – amazingly for someone his size. Effortless 60 yard TD. Sheds rushers like Roman Gabriel did. Feet all over the place…lot of fastball bad misses. Not showing anticipation, but not a lot of open Receivers. (Rocket armed Qb’s often do not show good anticipation in College). A couple throws Elway like. Ball looks like a softball in his hand. Takes multiple guys to bring him down. Lot of dropped passes. Shows deep ball accuracy. Too quick to leave the pocket. Some misses by a mile. Gets stuck on Receivers. Same staff and Offense Carson Wentz played in – no bubble screens. Getting mauled against Iowa – doesn’t quit, or show exasperation. Playing under Center a third of the snaps. Can run for first downs. Runs well. Has some open field moves. Can jump pass. Couple bad interception decisions. Can throw moving to his left or right. Throws a tight window rocket touchdown to the back left end zone after shaking off rusher, moving to his left, from the fifty, that is hard to believe. At times, towers over the field. Looks like he can throw the ball as far as he wants to.

Sam Darnold.

Quick feet. Strange – has long appearing motion yet very quick release – a little like Sonny Jurgenson. Ball jumps out of his hand. Not great arm strength, but good. Moves his eyes around the field. Ball can come out right now when back foot hits the ground. Touchdown throw against Texas – after looking left, slides out of the pocket moving to his right, a strike to the back of the end zone over defender, from the twenty, is Aaron Rodgers like. Carry’s himself well. Doesn’t draw attention to himself. Quick hands, feet, and eyes on rpo’s. Can throw from various platforms. Unusual ability to throw accurately with his feet opened up. May be the cause for some bad misses – like high throw Int. against Texas. Often does not have left hip pointing at his target. Can throw moving to his right or left. Can throw without stepping into it. Tremendous pocket awareness and escapability while keeping eyes down field, but a little jumpy in the pocket – maybe from playing behind a porous Offensive Line. Unflappable. Late game performer – late game comebacks – at only 20 years old. Can get hot. Can create. Fourth down, spontaneous jump throw under pressure against Texas – clutch. Can run. Too often one hand on the ball in the pocket. Is so used to getting out of trouble, when he doesn’t, is not ready for contact, like fumbles against Ohio State. (21 career fumbles 14 lost). A couple blind spot interceptions in the middle of the field. Was hit 27 times with 15 knock downs against Ohio State, but stays with it. Durable. Sturdy. More physical than his weight suggests. Throws with anticipation. Leads Receivers way better than advertised. Can make every throw. Exceptional outside the pocket.

Baker Mayfield.

Dominating Ohio State. Playing catch. Lot of open receivers, but he is perfectly on target. Extremely quick feet, eyes, and arm. Doesn’t miss. Plays from the pocket. Ball fakes, pulls the ball out then throws on target like a Swiss watch. Accurate down field throws. Throwing with touch. Arm is stronger than I realized. Can move around and throw, and run, but not a great or fast athlete. Can flip his hips in an instant and throw. Is it him or Lincoln Reilly’s offense. Guys rally around him. Fiery leader. Extreme confidence. Border line idiot behavior. Playing behind outstanding Offensive Line. Shows core strength that torques through to his throws. Looks smallish, but with strong core. Has frenetically, good feet. Throws on balance, but can throw off balance. Is dominating Georgia in the first half. Asks side line reporter when the guys on the other side are going to start playing. Some Houdini to his game. Loves to compete. Competes angry. Georgia looks helpless on D. In the second half, Georgia is playing man and blitzing. Oklahoma Offense is slowing down. Big lead is slipping away. Windows are tightening. Misses several tight window throws in the fourth quarter. Where is Baker Mayfield. Oklahoma coaches are running the ball. Never under Center.

Josh Rosen.

Natural. Easy. Effortless. Throws on balance, properly aligned, bent stride knee, perfect stride length – on every throw. A natural pure shooter. Underrated athlete – can slide and slip and deliver throw – still aligned and balanced. Stands tall in the pocket – front knee always bent. Nice ball. Good arm strength. Makes every throw easily. Innate ability to throw. Very talented Middle of the Field thrower. Timing and touch. Stays calm. Cerebral appearing. Takes a lot of hits against Texas A&M. Too often appears unable to sidestep a break free rusher against USC – especially up the middle. May be why has had multiple injuries. Appears thinnish. Brings UCLA back to incredible victory after being down 44 to 10 with 4:08 to go in the third quarter against A&M. Can shred a Defense. Looks great in the pocket. Eyes are down field. Can look off Defenders, but sometimes locks on. Several batted balls against USC. Can drive it, feather it, or drop it down the chimney. Can throw at different speeds. More incompletions than would think for such a natural thrower. Every throw same arm slot. Was born with it. Mechanically as perfect as any prospect you will see. Hard to read on-field personality – kind of in that same way Eli Manning didn’t appear inspirational in College. Very bright. Audibles. Calls out protections. Possibly could be a play caller on the field. A throwback to the classic pocket passer.

Player Comparisons:

This has proven to be so challenging with these guys that I’m going to take the easy way out and give a ceiling and a floor.

Josh Allen.

Ceiling: John Elway.

Floor: Jake Locker.

Sam Darnold.

Ceiling. A cross between Brett Farvre, Steve McNair, and Andrew Luck.

Floor: Tony Romo. Don Majkowski

Baker Mayfield.

Ceiling: I’ve seen comps from Brett Farvre to Doug Flutie. I honestly can’t think of anyone like him. Maybe Deshaun Watson. Maybe a Joe Theismann later on.

Floor: James Dean

Josh Rosen.

Ceiling: Eli Manning.

Floor: Sam Bradford.

Before we get to our concluding summary, let’s look at quotes from three people, who I find to be really on the ball when it comes to understanding Quarterbacks: Trent Dilfer, Brady Quinn, and Greg Cosell:

Trent Dilfer – from his first hand experience from his Elite 11 Camp:

“Darnold has special stuff. Tremendously special kid. Will play in the Super Bowl some day. Hate the narrative around his interceptions. Fumbles do scare me. Historically, fumblers tend to fumble…myself, Eli. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have higher interception ratios than Sam Darnold. He won’t throw a lot of interceptions. He’s incredibly unique. Has a little Romo in him, has a little Farvre in him. Can play from the pocket. He does stuff you can’t teach. You can work on a lot of stuff. Sam has some of that stuff that very few people have – that you can’t teach. That alone makes him special.”

“Josh Rosen. We did not get along. He did not like me. I coached him hard to get the greatness out of him. At 17, he was uncoachable and entitled. He came back as a councilor last year. I could not have been more impressed. A different kid. I think he is tough. I think he wants to be great. Yes, he does have a different personality. But I think it works for an NFL Quarterback. He’s intellectual and he wants the best from his coaches. The great ones are not always easy to be around – they demand a lot from those around them, because they want to be great. He has what it takes to be special. Half the teams won’t like him. They will be threatened by him. Going to hear a lot of unnamed scouts and anonymous sources who, first of all, don’t know squat about anything about Quarterbacks, pretending they do, that will be rubbed the wrong way by him. The really good ones will say, ‘that’s the kind of guy that makes us good.’”

“Everyone will fall in love with Sam”

Brady Quinn:

“Darnold has all the tools. What stands out to me is he is able to fit balls into different sorts of NFL windows. He extends plays. He’s big and durable. This year he forced some balls. Six of his 13 interceptions were poor decisions. Didn’t see that in 2016, so you have to ask why. He’s the top overall prospect to me. He’s only 20. His motion is not a problem. Hand size is fine. Rpo’s can contribute to fumbling.”

“Josh Rosen’s injury history is a concern. He looks tough to me. Always got back up off the ground. He’s the most NFL ready. He’s very smart. He doesn’t need work on anything mechanically. It doesn’t bother me if he’s a bit of a jerk.”

“Baker Mayfield, yes I think he can be successful. I think all these guys can be – in the right circumstance. He might need an Offense that caters more to his skill set – with his height – centered on shot gun – move him around. Very accurate…although against Georgia, tighter coverage, more man, complex blitz schemes, he wasn’t as accurate. Big 12 windows are more open. Fiery competitor. I don’t see Manziel as a player. Reminds me more of Deshaun Watson – his style and ability.”

“Josh Allen is a tough comparison. Played a lower level. Did not have a great team around him. The Iowa game, things went wrong that were not his fault. I’m trying to adjust his stats scales. Rare combination of size, athletic ability, arm strength. Over strider – and other mechanical issues – can be fixed to an extent. Struggles throwing to his left. A lot of taller QB’s do, because it’s harder to align their hips that way. Now, saw big improvement on these things in the Senior Bowl. Sky’s the limit. More of a project.”

“Right now, I would say Sam Darnold. No, I know first hand, and with Tebow, I don’t think you can change your throwing motion at this stage, but I don’t think he needs to.”

Greg Cosell:

“In this draft, because of how different they are stylistically, it comes down to philosophy. Smart people disagree on the value of second reaction plays. (outside of play structure). Coaches coach what they know. It effects their Quarterback evaluation. ‘How can he run my offense?’ Rosen’s traits – natural thrower, timing, anticipation, feel, usually translate to the NFL. Secondary reaction play is much more important to NFL evaluators than ten years ago.”

“Sam Darnold is more baller than technician. His lower body mechanics need tweaking. Missed too many routine throws. Can fix lower body, not upper body. Elongated motion, but quick. He’s a bit reckless at times. This gets into coaching. I’m not a believer in playing into the improvisational. It’s good to have, but not as your base. He has a blind spot between the numbers, but that was also true of Matt Ryan. Only 20 years old. Big – durable. He’s an exciting prospect, but not can’t miss.”

“Baker Mayfield, personality aside, his game is nothing like Manziel’s. He had 125 plays over 15 yards. Almost all of them within structure. Has super active feet – I say that as a compliment. Has excellent timing, compact delivery, good – not great arm. He is an accurate thrower, which is the most important thing. Could he go number 1? Yes, he could. There’s far more to like about him than to dislike. He did struggle with some 3rd down blitzes. I would go Rosen, but I’m an older guy that grew up with the Steve Bartkowski’s.”

“You have to isolate the play of the QB in scouting to offset the varying supporting casts. This year, I broke down all third downs, and all plays over 15 yards. Mayfield was the best in each case.”

“Josh Allen has arm strength, not arm talent. Incredibly strong arm, but not touch, timing, ball placement. His special plays are truly special, but a lot of inconsistency to his game.”

Next, we have quotes from Jim Mora, who coached Josh Rosen, and recruited and coached against Sam Darnold.

Jim Mora:

“The better pro? They’re both going to be great. I’m going to say Josh because he’s a pure thrower. Darnold’s a gym rat. Josh can slip and slide in the pocket. He’s slept at my house, is good friends with my daughter. I have no problem with him. Love him. His affluent background? Josh’s dream growing up was to play center court at Wimbledon. Was the tenth ranked Juniors player. He’s always had high aspirations. He took a huge jump this year on the emotional component of the game.”

“Darnold? Love him. Did he try to do too much this year? I would rather have a guy you have to reign in than push to make plays. NFL coaches can teach him how to be a better decision maker. Sam’s a guy that could go hit em’ out of the park at batting practice with the Dodgers, hit threes and dunk in a pick up basketball game, go surfing. Averaged 25 ppg in high school. He’s not a pure passer yet. But he has the intangibles. He was 16-0 at home. Sam is driven.”

Miscellaneous Quotes:

Five Executives polled on Darnold: He has the “IT” factor.

Dane Brugler: Josh Rosen has to overcome the stigma that he thinks he’s always the smartest person in the room.

The night before the 2007 draft, Offensive coaches Rip Scherer and Rob Chudzinski walked into Phil Savage’s office and told him that they had been watching a lot of film, and Phil had to pick Brady Quinn over Joe Thomas.

Bucky Brooks: Josh Rosen is like a Major League pitcher who has all the pitches and can locate them anywhere in the zone. The purest passer I’ve seen since Matt Ryan – maybe since Peyton Manning. The most polished QB since Andrew Luck. Has a high football IQ.

Daniel Jeremiah: Darnold has some magic to him. Throws with anticipation – actually throws with a little more timing than Josh Rosen. Can buy time. Everything happens quicker for Sam Darnold. Generates torque as a thrower. Has comeback wins. I have him graded as the top rated QB in the past three years, just ahead of Carson Wentz.

Bucky Brooks: I’m still trying to identify the single outstanding trait to help Baker Mayfield overcome his lack of height. Josh Allen is the toughest evaluation I’ve ever done.

Bill Belichick: On being credited with drafting Tom Brady. We missed on him too. If we’d known he was gonna be this good, we would have drafted him a lot higher.

Mike Holmgren: Quick processing, 1-2 seconds, is what separates early on, and it’s a tough measurable.

USC Head Coach Clay Helton: Darnold is the best one on one leader I’ve ever been around. As a Freshman, he told Ju Ju Smth Schuster to tone down his celebration. His work ethic is infectious. He played a pro Offense.

Pro Football Focus: If Mayfield was 6′ 3” he’d be the consensus #1. His tight window accuracy grades highest. He’s clearly the best. He and Darnold have separated themselves from the pack.

Matt Hasselback: Arm strength can fool you the most. Allen is not accurate. Is hard to improve on. Darnold can play in different systems. Mayfield – teammates will rally around him. Russell Wilson? Unfortunately for Baker, he does not have Russell’s arm, or escapability. Does play well from the pocket, and in rhythm. Has looked awkward under Center at the Senior Bowl and Combine. Doesn’t separate from the line quickly, which matters for guys not that big. Benefited from tremendous scheme. Rosen is most ready. Sees things. Gifted thrower. Can change speeds and trajectory. Doesn’t escape well.

David Carr on Josh Rosen’s Pro Day: Sometimes he looks like Peyton Manning back there.

Charley Casserly: Darnold’s a franchise Quarterback. He can do everything. He can throw it in the pocket. He can throw it outside the pocket. He’s smart. He can call the game from the line of scrimmage – the plays – the protection. The intangibles are clean. He’s the best QB in this year’s draft. He would be one of the best in every draft. Maybe the best. Take him, if your Cleveland.

 

Summary:

What do you do with Josh Allen? Has a Quarterback ever looked so much better in the post season than he did on film? From the Senior Bowl to the Combine to his Pro day – is this the same guy we saw on film? Is he transformed after working with Jordan Palmer since the end of the season? I mean, from a purely size, athletic ability, speed, arm standpoint, he’s nearing the rarefied air category of Greg Cook, John Elway, or Terry Bradshaw. And he’s clean and he’s smart.

If your scouting approach is what can he do, instead of what can’t he do…

For me, Sam Darnold’s Pro Day sealed the deal. He was smooth. His excellent three cone time translates to the field. He didn’t lose anything in movement, or on his throws, in concentrating on keeping two hands on the ball. He’s mature. He was meticulous in his loosening up routine.

The Cleveland Browns were there to watch. Finally, the Browns are doing this the right way: Owner, General Manager, Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, Todd Haley, and Quarterback Coach, Ken Zampese – all present. In fact, within a five day period, that same contingent met with, went on the white board, and attended the workouts of each of the top four Quarterbacks. That’s the way it should be done. Talked to their parents, coaches, etc. (Tellingly, the first thing John Dorsey did on the job was have his scouts write up and rank the top twelve Quarterbacks in this draft – partly to assess their ability, and to get the ball rolling).

When the Browns concluded their scouting week, with Josh Allen, Eliot Wolf, and a couple of others joined the group. And they saw a memorable show. (I believe Allen could join the 100 yard throw club with Milt Plum, John Elway, and Jeff George.)

Jordan Palmer says Darnold and Allen are blue collar guys who are obsessed with the game. Said they were both excellent communicators. They do appear capable of being the “face of the franchise” (Rosen and Mayfield I wonder about in that regard)

Baker Mayfield, who Browns G.M., John Dorsey, spoke glowingly of back in November, is working out for seven teams. Going back to 1960, the only other first overall pick that would be anywhere near as out on the limb as picking a Quarterback under 6′ 1”, would be the selection of JaMarcus Russell by the Raiders in 2007. I would liked to have attended Baker’s private workout to see if he could drive the ball on the deep outs.

Over the years, the following have listed as number one the trait to being a successful QB:

Bill Walsh: Football instincts.
Andy Reid: Feet.
Roger Staubach: Mental toughness.
Troy Aikman: Accuracy.
Tom Brady: The ability to bring the team back.
Brett Farvre: Arm.
Sean McVay: Not afraid of failure.
Mike Holmgren: Innate ability to throw a football.

You see why there is a 50%, first round Quarterback bust rate.

Josh Rosen, the classic drop back passer, looked good at his pro day. He looked bigger and stronger, and he carried it well. His politics and mine are different, but he can play.

The Browns are going with Tyrod Taylor this year. All the Quarterbacks, except maybe Rosen, need to sit a year. Darnold, the classic play maker, is the most like Tyrod Taylor’s style, if that means anything.

Two years ago, we said if the Browns passed on Carson Wentz and he became good, and the Browns did not have a Quarterback, Sashi Brown would be living in another city.

So, here we are. This time, the stakes are even higher, because the Browns have the first pick, and it’s not a question of taking a guy, or not. There are four to chose from. If Cleveland’s choice does not make it, and one of the others does…

Hopefully, they will pick the best player and not one to fit a certain Offense.

Article written by TJ Masterline for 10StarPicks.

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