The 2018 draft featured five first-round quarterbacks, from five unique situations. There were proven college winners, a unique talent hiding in Wyoming, a Heisman trophy winner, and the man slated to be the cleanest NFL prospect of them all.
However, it is safe to say that through a few seasons, each of the quarterback’s careers has been a complete roller coaster. With no true definitive rankings of this class, here are the undisputed rankings of the 2018 NFL Draft quarterbacks.
1. Josh Allen
Josh Allen was a test case in which tv personalities actually watch football. Regular talking heads who never watched a snap of his at Wyoming looked at his completion percentage and said the kid was a bust before he stepped foot in an NFL locker room. Boy has he proved them wrong.
The reality is that because of a lack of talent around him, Josh Allen was asked to make unbelievable throws time after time in his college offense. Once Allen was surrounded by competent talent, he took off with the Buffalo Bills.
Allen is a unique talent. From arm strength to Cam Newton-like athleticism, Allen is the real deal.
Also, it is fair to say that Josh Allen has yet to reach his ceiling as an NFL quarterback, which is scary for the rest of the league.
2. Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson won an MVP in his second year in the NFL and a Heisman trophy in his second college season. His talent is undeniable.
Baltimore has been contenders each year with Jackson under center and should be in the same spot for years to come.
Although there is a gap between him and Josh Allen, there is an even bigger gap between Lamar and the next best quarterback in his draft class. Jackson is unfairly criticized at times and should be appreciated for his unique skill set.
3. Baker Mayfield
After a great run at Oklahoma, Mayfield was taken first overall by the Cleveland Browns. A surprise to most, but it would be unfair to call Baker Mayfield a bust. Given the fact that the decision ultimately came down to Mayfield or Darnold, the Browns made the right pick.
He is not on the same level as Allen and Jackson, but his accuracy and arm talent leave him with the potential to be an elite NFL quarterback.
Cleveland has proven they can win with Mayfield under center. The Browns are on the shortlist of teams that can win the Super Bowl this year, and their quarterback is a big part of it.
Yes, Mayfield is surrounded by a wealth of talent, but he does a great job throwing the ball downfield to open up holes in the run game. Mayfield does not get nearly enough credit for his arm strength. Kevin Stefanski is able to use Mayfield’s abilities to make life easier for the entire offense.
4. Sam Darnold
Through 4 weeks, Sam Darnold leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns. The change in scenery has given Darnold life in his career. The 3-1 Carolina Panthers are an interesting team, and a lot of their potential is based upon their quarterback’s development.
Pegged as the number one pick coming out of college, Darnold struggled in New York to live up to the hype.
Darnold does not have an elite arm like some of the other quarterbacks in his draft class, but through four games he has proven himself as a serviceable NFL quarterback.
Carolina has the potential to become a playoff team this season and a lot of their jump this season is because of Darnold’s progression.
5. Josh Rosen
There should be a book written about the career of Josh Rosen. Rosen, clearly a bust, was a great player at UCLA. Many labeled Rosen the cleanest prospect of them all. He had the potential to become a great pocket passer in the NFL, but a multitude of factors led him to a backup role in Atlanta.
The introduction of Kyler Murray helped lead Rosen out of town, but something else is clearly up with him.
Rosen has been given multiple opportunities but has yet to sniff a starting position in the NFL.
Rosen was a bust, but his quick fall from the peak of college football to the depths of the NFL is a fascinating case of how quickly things can go wrong for a player.
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