Givanni Damico | September 2, 2019
1.) Justin Herbert
Height/Weight: 6’6”, 234 LBs
Watching Justin Herbert made me feel like I was already scouting a professional. He has all of the intangibles that a good NFL quarterback is supposed to have, and his decision to return to Oregon just shows that he wants to improve even more to ensure that he’s ready for the NFL. Herbert has the body of a pocket passer, but don’t let that fool you. The man can still run when he needs to escape trouble. He’s the complete package of arm strength, accuracy, and the ability to run. This is my third year scouting, and I can safely say that Herbert is one of the most well-rounded prospects that I’ve scouted.
Not only is he a physical specimen, but he is also very intelligent and makes great decisions on the field. Rarely does he force a pass or miss a wide-open target. His pocket management is also quite impeccable. As I said, he runs when he needs to, rather than forcing too many designed runs. I’ve always been a sucker for a pure pocket passer, and Herbert is that with mobility. He needs to play consistent football this year with Oregon, who will be a huge contender in the Pac-12 and maybe even for the playoff.
2) Tua Tagovailoa
Height/Weight: 6’1”, 218 LBs
Tua Tagovailoa is the “flashy” quarterback of this draft class, like the Lamar Jackson’s and Kyler Murray’s of the last two years. I wasn’t a huge fan of either of them coming out of college, but I love Tagovailoa. He graded out half a point lower than Herbert for me, but he has the same package of traits as Herbert. He has an absolute cannon, but he also puts great touch on his passes so he can hit the short route, the medium route, or the deep ball with ease. Tagovailoa is faster than Herbert and just more mobile in general, but he carries the same pocket presence.
The flaws that I saw in Lamar Jackson were that he was a run-first quarterback and that he couldn’t accurately throw a deep ball. With Kyler Murray, I hadn’t seen enough of him in just one season to warrant him being taken first overall. I’ve seen Tagovailoa take over for a struggling Jalen Hurts and lead his team to a national championship victory. I’ve seen him lead his team to an undefeated regular season where he did not even have to play in the second half of most games. Despite a hiccup in the national championship game, Tua is a proven winner. You can’t ask for more from a rookie quarterback coming out of college. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of proven winners in college end up being busts in the NFL, but Tua just doesn’t have bust potential.
3) Sam Ehlinger
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 230 LBs
I’m not going to sugarcoat it, there’s a huge drop-off between Tagovailoa and Ehlinger when it comes to the grades that I gave them. This is not to take anything away from Ehlinger, because he is another well-rounded prospect. He is just short of that “wow” factor that Tagovailoa and Herbert have. He is an accurate passer with a great arm, but he lacks the pocket presence that Tagovailoa and Herbert have. Plain and simple, I just need to see a consistent season of football from Ehlinger, just like with Herbert. If he continues to be a good leader and shows better presence in the pocket this year, Ehlinger will be flying up draft boards.
4) Jake Fromm
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 220 LBs
I’m not as high on Jake Fromm as everybody else is. As a passer, he’s inconsistent. He tends to panic in the pocket when he gets in trouble which leads to some ill-advised passes. He does a good job at not turning those passes into turnovers, but I’d like to see some more consistency from him. He is surrounded by weapons at Georgia and will have a chance to prove his dominance in the SEC once again this year. Fromm will lead his team against a very hard schedule this year, including Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Florida, and Auburn. If they make the SEC championship, Georgia will likely have to take on Alabama once again. Nothing will be given and everything will be earned for Fromm and the Bulldogs during the 2019 season.
5) K.J. Costello
Height/Weight: 6’5”, 222 LBs
Costello threw for 3,540 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions during his junior year last season. When reviewing the tape, I saw an absolute diamond in the rough in Costello. His abilities aren’t refined, but his potential is through the roof. He has incredible arm talent, as well as good placement on short routes and deep routes. Costello struggles with mental processing when he’s in trouble. He threw a few too many interceptions last season that took his team out of a couple of games. He lacks the mobility that the four quarterbacks above him possess which limits his range of motion a bit. If Costello matures as a leader and as a passer during the 2019 season, he could easily work his way into the first round.
6) D’Eriq King, Houston
7) Steven Montez, Colorado
8) Jordan Love, Utah State
9) Mason Fine, North Texas
10) Jake Bentley, South Carolina
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