Top QB Prospects for 2018 NFL Draft

by Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page

With the Buffalo Bills potentially considering a QB in the 2018 NFL draft, we will keep an eye on the quarterbacks that may be first round picks next year. Expect updates all year long on how these
prospects progress. To start, let’s give a brief overview of what is considered a great QB class.

1. Sam Darnold USC – 6”4 225

Number one on my board coming out because of two things: his presence in the pocket and his ability to
throw people open. These traits were on display in last year’s Rose Bowl performance. USC took off when he took over four weeks into last season. He only has ten starts under his belt, but I can see the comparisons to Andrew Luck. His poise while under pressure is the number one comparable. Darnold had a 101 QB rating while under pressure last year. The only negative I can see is some teams may not like his long delivery. September Games to watch: 9th vs Stanford and 16th vs Texas.

2. Josh Allen Wyoming 6’5 233

Number two QB because of his high ceiling and potential. Some scouts see the next Derek Carr in Allen’s game. He can make all of the throws and is the best QB in the class while throwing on the run. His arm strength is off the charts. The reason he’s not number one on this list is accuracy rate. I believe his accuracy could improve with better footwork. This would cut down on his interceptions as well. He has a few big games in September to prove himself: 9/2 vs Iowa and 9/16 vs Oregon.

3. Mason Rudolph Oklahoma State 6’5 230

Rudolph is rising up the boards after being considered the second best QB in his state last year (Baker Mayfield-Oklahoma). I see a pure pocket passer in the NFL that can throw the deep ball with the best accuracy of any QB coming out in this class. He’s very accurate and can throw the ball with zip outside the numbers. His game really relates well to Sundays. I like that he is a three-year starter with the most experience of anyone in the top of this class. Big September games: 9/16 vs Pitt, 9/23 Vs TCU.

4. Josh Rosen UCLA 6’4 220

Rosen is slipping when you consider coming out of high school he was already labeled as the next Andrew Luck. Injuries to his shoulder last year cut his season short. Even before the injury he wasn’t having the same success he had as a freshman. Rosen could rise up the boards with a better season this year. He has all the physical tools NFL teams look for. His arm strength is top notch, however, scouts are really going to be interested in his off the field interactions. Word is, coaches are concerned about his leadership, commitment level, and relationships with teammates. When I hear this I think of the next Jay Cutler. September games to keep an eye on: 9/3 Texas A&M, 9/23 vs Stanford. 9/30 vs Colorado.

5. Lamar Jackson Louisville 6’3 200

Jackson had an incredible year last season and took home the Heisman trophy. He rushed for almost 1,900 yards and 21 touchdowns. When you see Jackson you can’t help but think of the next Michael Vick. Like Vick, his ability to throw from the pocket will dictate how successful he will be on Sundays. He raised his completion percentage a few points from his freshman to sophomore seasons from 54 to 56 percent. Louisville fans hope he will take another step forward in this area. Jackson’s has great potential. He does make some NFL type throws, meaning good velocity on the ball into tight windows. Key September games: 9/9 North Carolina, 9/16 Clemson.

Others we will keep and eye on for you: Luke Falk-Washington State, Baker Mayfield- Oklahoma, and Jake Browning -Washington.

Bob Gaughan

Bob Gaughan has worked in Buffalo media for over 25 years. He spent 15 of those years as a staple on WGR radio as a talk show host and sports director. Currently, Bob works for UB Athletics on the radio broadcast of football and women’s basketball. Off the air, he has been an adjunct professor for over 20 years at Buffalo State College where he developed and has taught a class on how to be a talk show host.

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