The 2018 quarterback class was one of the most debated in recent memory. Those discussions rage on this weekend as three of the five first-rounders are in action.
It’s a slate that fittingly doesn’t involve the first three to come off the board. If there was a re-draft, a hypothetical that NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah explored, the order would be quite different.
Jeremiah said Josh Rosen, who’s on the 49ers’ practice squad, his fourth team in three years since the Cardinals selected him No. 10 overall, is out of the discussion. In ascending order, Jeremiah’s revised list begins with the Jets’ Sam Darnold, who was the second QB selected in 2018 and the third player overall.
Inconsistency and injuries have defined his first three seasons in New York, which is now on its third head coach since Darnold was drafted.
“This has a lot to do with what’s been around him or what hasn’t been around him,” Jeremiah said.
Next up is the Browns’ Baker Mayfield, the lone first-round QB whose team didn’t trade up for him. Granted, he was the top pick in the draft. But after a record-setting rookie season, sluggish sophomore campaign and rebound in Year 3, he currently ranks third for Jeremiah.
“I thought Baker entered that draft as close to his ceiling as any of these guys and he showed it right away,” Jeremiah said.
The real drama here is between the Bills’ Josh Allen, who went seventh overall three years ago, and the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, the last pick of the first round. There probably isn’t a public consensus between the two, though the winner of Saturday night’s Divisional Round meeting will be closer to what they covet most.
Jackson, of course, already has an MVP. Jeremiah calls him “the best running quarterback in the history of the National Football League.” But he’s No. 2 in the re-draft. Allen, in the midst of his own MVP-caliber season, is the mythical winner of this exercise.
“No. 1 on the list for me right now is the guy who I believe has the best skill set in the National Football League,” Jeremiah said. “When you look at the size, the arm strength, the athletic ability, and the things he’s doing this year, to me I think Josh Allen would end up being No. 1 if you were to re-rank these guys.”
What can’t be argued is Buffalo and Baltimore, and perhaps Cleveland, are happy with who they have at QB.
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