Official Grades and Scouting Reports: 2019 Quarterbacks

Welcome, to the first of my official draft reports for the 2019 NFL draft. I will be going position by position giving a full report and grade on every player that I have scouted this season. Obviously, I can’t scout every single prospect in the entire country since I am a one man army and a full-time college student. I’ve tried to get at least 20 done at each position, so I think I’ve covered a pretty good chunk of the players who will be drafted. Each article will start with the worst and get to the best, so if you want to skip down to some of the better prospects you can do that.

Each profile will have some biographic data including name, school, year, height, weight, and “Red Flags”. It will also include a numerical value between 1 and 10 that will dictate there placement in the rankings. The number is calculated based on my own personal grading formula for draft prospects. The profile will have a “round grade” that is based on a scale that I will put at the end of this introduction. Round grades are not a prediction of where a player will get drafted, but where I think they should be drafted! Last but not least, the profiles will include a small paragraph on my overall thoughts on the prospect and some explanation on their NFL outlook. I’ll try to explain some of each players strengths and weaknesses as well.  

As always you can hit me up on twitter (@DanteCollinelli) if you want to discuss my rankings further. I love talking ball with people so please let me know what you think.

 

Grading Scale

First-round: 8.75-10

Second-round: 8.74-7.45

Third-round: 7.44-6.15

Fourth round: 6.14-4.85

Fifth round: 4.84-3.55

Sixth round: 3.54- 2.25

Seventh round: 2.24- .095

UDFA: 0.94-0.0  

 

 

Number 18: Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State

IMG_1990
Nick Fitzgerald

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height/ Weight: 6’4 and 230

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.87

Red Flags: Suspended at the start of his senior season.

 

Nick Fitzgerald is the definition of a quarterback who would be better off switching positions at the NFL level. Fitzgerald excels as a runner where he can use his big frame and deceptive speed to pick up good yardage. Fitzgerald lacks the needed arm strength and mental processing to be a successful quarterback at the next level. His tape is littered with inaccurate throws and terrible ball placement. I am not kidding when I say this, but I actually think Fitzgerald could be a successful running back in the NFL.

 

Number 17: Jake Browning, Washington

Image result for Jake Browning

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 205

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.90

Red Flags: None

 

It feels like Jake Browning has been the quarterback for the Washington Huskies forever now. He won a lot of games there, but I don’t see a lot of NFL traits on his tape. Browning lacks the needed arm strength to play the position and has a long delivery that makes the problem worse. His balls usually lose velocity when he has to throw outside the numbers or when he’s moved off his spot. Browning does typically make good decisions with the football, and he did have a couple of nice touch throws during the season. For Browning to make an NFL team, he would have to go to a West Coast System that is looking to hold onto a third quarterback for the 2019 season.

Number 16: Taylor Cornelius, Oklahoma State

Image result for taylor cornelius

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height/Weight: 6’6 and 232

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.92

Red Flags: None

 

Cornelius spent most of his college career sitting behind Oklahoma State legend Mason Rudolph who is now on the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is easy to look at Cornelius and see the mold of a prototypical NFL quarterback. He has a big frame and a decently strong arm that a lot of teams will love. The problem for Cornelius comes when he actually has to throw the football. There are really bad interceptions all over his tape from last season where it didn’t even look like he tried to read the opposing defense. His accuracy wasn’t very good to any part of the field either so you are really just praying whenever he throws the ball. It wouldn’t surprise me if he gets drafted in the seventh round, but I wouldn’t do it.  

 

Number 15: Easton Stick, North Dakota State

Image result for easton stick

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 220

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.03

Red Flags: A lot of injuries at the college level that made him miss games.

 

I felt like everybody in the draft community really wanted to fall in love with Easton Stick this year. It’s easy to see why at times. He won championships for North Dakota State and played his heart out every snap for that team. The problem with Stick is that he just lacks the required football IQ and accuracy to be effective at the next level. Stick consistently attempted to throw into windows that were not open which lead to interceptions. He would also miss a lot of receivers, with high throws, who were open throughout his time at NDSU. I know my opinion might not be the popular one but it’s the unbiased and objective one. Stick can be a backup in the NFL and that’s it.

 

Number 14: Trace Mcsorley, Penn State

Image result for trace mcsorley

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 201

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.15

Red Flags: None

 

So, this is another profile where I think my grades will probably get me a lot of heat because people love Mcsorley. I know he won a lot of games at PSU and played on some great teams but I just don’t think he is gonna have enough to be anything more than a third-stringer in the NFL. He doesn’t have the needed arm strength, frame, football IQ, and accuracy to play much in the NFL. He will get some team to fall in love with him because of his athletic abilities as a runner and his strong leadership skills, but he will have an uphill battle to be drafted and remain on a team.

 

Number 13: Kyler Shurmur, Vanderbilt

Image result for kyle shurmur

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 223

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.79

Red Flags: None

 

I was actually pleasantly surprised by Shurmur’s tape because I was expecting something much worse. Shurmur has decent arm strength with decent accuracy that both meet NFL thresholds. He also worked in a Pro-Style Offense at Vanderbilt which gives him some mental advantages over other prospects. The problem with Shurmur is that when he is put under any type of pressure everything falls apart for him. His accuracy, mechanics, and decision making just fall off of a cliff when he has to move or readjust. Shurmur has some skills that will make him an attractive developmental prospect for some team picking late in day three of the draft.

 

Number 12: Gardner Minshew, Washington State

Image result for Gardner Minshew

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 221

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.50

Red Flags: None

 

Minshew and his mustache took over college football for a brief time this season with some impressive offensive performances under head coach Mike Leach. Minshew has a nice compact throwing motion and had a lot of success throwing crossing routes over the middle of the field. He even flashed some touch throws on deep passes outside the numbers that make you think he can be developed more. Minshew had every single throw wide open at Washington State and almost never had to drive the battle into a tight window. He struggles with consistent footwork at times which can lead to some underthrown balls down the field as well. Minshew has enough tools to make it as a career backup in the NFL if he continues to improve his game.

 

Number 11: Ryan Finley, North Carolina State

IMG_1988
Ryan Finley

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 190

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade 4.22

Red Flags: None

 

Finley is a prospect who some people in the NFL and in the media will love, but I just don’t really see it. Finley has good accuracy on short to intermediate throws and the height to throw over the top of defenses. I liked his ability to hit receivers with good timing and in stride allowing for yards after the catch. The problem with Finley is mostly arm strength. He doesn’t have the needed power to drive the ball into tight windows, down the field, and outside the numbers. That limits his game greatly because it takes away 50% of the field from him. Finley doesn’t really give you much in the form of movement either and that includes throwing on the run. For me, Finley will play his career as an average backup who can win some games with a great team around him.

 

Number 10: Clayton Thorson, Northwestern

Image result for clayton thorson

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 225

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 4.49

Red Flags: Struggled with injuries the past two seasons.

 

Thorson has been getting some sleeper hype as of late because of some comments from his coach and rumors that NFL teams “love” him. There are some things to like about him like his overall accuracy and good decision making with the football. He has the perfect frame to stand in the pocket and throw over the offensive line. Thorson is a little limited because of his inability to drive the ball down the field. He doesn’t hit a lot of deep balls with accuracy or hit a lot of deep crossing routes. Thorson doesn’t offer much in the form of athletic ability which is something the NFL is moving away from. Thorson has the tools to be a long time reliable backup in the NFL.

 

Number 9: Tyree Jackson, Buffalo

Image result for tyree jackson buffalo

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’7 and 245

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.26

Red Flags: None

 

Jackson is something I like to call an “all upside pick”. Jackson has a lot of natural talent that is built into his massive 6’7 frame. He has a great arm and is capable of making some truly incredible throws at times. The issue with Jackson is that he just isn’t consistent enough to make me feel comfortable making his grade higher than it is. For every amazing throw outside the numbers, there are some bad interceptions or gross overthrows of wide open receivers. He has some impressive movement skills for someone who is his size which will peak the interest of some teams. For me, however, Jackson is a project who isn’t mentally developed enough to warrant spending anything other than a day three pick on.

 

Number 8: Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss

Image result for jordan ta'amu

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 209

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.81

Red Flags: None

 

Ta’amu is someone who I feel like should be getting some more buzz in the draft community. He throws outside the numbers well and was able to fit the ball into some tight windows at times which tells me has good arm strength. Ta’amu does a nice job of executing timing routes and hitting his receivers in stride allowing for yards after the catch. Ta’amu is a pretty good athlete who is able to avoid pressure inside and outside the pocket. My biggest issue with Ta’amu has to do with the simple offense he ran at Ole Miss. He wasn’t asked to read defenses very often or go through multiple progressions to make a throw. It showed up often because most of his interceptions were him throwing into coverage traps. Ta’amu projects as a backup with some starter upside.

 

Number 7: Brett Rypien, Boise State

IMG_2395
Brett Rypien

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 203

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.85

Red Flags: None

 

When people ask me for a quarterback that their team should take in the middle rounds the name that I give them is Rypien’s. Brett is a good decision maker who is one of the most accurate throwers in the entire draft class. Why is he so far down the list then you ask? Well because his accuracy starts to vanish a bit once you get past 30 yards down the field. His deep ball isn’t that great and sometimes he has trouble driving the ball down the field into smaller windows. Rypien is exactly what the word “game manager” implies. He won’t win you a lot of games, but he won’t lose you a lot of games either. With a good team around him, I think Rypien could win between 7 and 10 games every year.

 

Number 6: Jarrett Stidham, Auburn

IMG_1992
Jarrett Stidham

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 218

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.90

Red Flags: None

 

Jarrett Stidham is a tough prospect to grade because he has flashes of being a great quarterback and plays that make you think he doesn’t belong in the league. Stidham throws a pretty ball and was one of the few quarterbacks in this class to hit some nice touch passes. He has a smooth release and will work on time with his receivers for the most part. Stidham starts to get into trouble when he is pressured because his mechanics just go out the window. His footwork starts to fall off and he ends up throwing inaccurate balls that are intercepted. Auburn’s offense had a lot of scripted throws for him, so I am not sure how developed he is mentally. Stidham has some starter potential but needs to find a way to be more consistent with his ball placement and decision making.

 

Number 5: Daniel Jones, Duke

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Daniel Jones

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 220

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.26

Red Flags: None

 

For a lot of the season, there was round one hype around Daniel Jones and it wouldn’t surprise me if someone took him late in round one. I just don’t see round one talent after watching every single throw he made this season. Jones has a good football pedigree coming from Duke and has the ideal size and movement skills teams will love. He is pretty accurate to the shorter parts of the field and will throw timing routes pretty well. He has some impressive deep balls on his tape but they are few and far between. Jones reminds me so much of Ryan Tannehill and I can’t unsee it now. He is limited down the field and has next to zero pocket awareness which will get him killed at the next level. Look, Jones has some starter potential and on a good team, he can probably get you to the playoffs. With that said, it’s gonna take the right team and a lot of development.

 

Number 4: Will Grier, West Virginia

Image result for will grier

Class Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 214

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.56

Red Flags: Suspended his first year at Florida and was forced to transfer to West Virginia

 

I think the thing that sold me on Will Grier more than most is that he throws a nice deep ball which is rare in this class. I loved his touch down the field and in the red zone where he dropped the ball into a bucket at times. Will also has something I call “the clutch factor” and in quarterbacks, it’s something I value a lot. The comeback that Grier led against Texas that ended with him dropping a touchdown in a bucket down the field and running in the two-point conversion sold me. With that said, Grier does come with some pretty obvious limitations. His decision making isn’t always the best whether he is being pressured or not. There were too many times on tape where he threw into double or triple coverage. He also throws way too flat-footed sometimes. Grier has a lot of traits that make me think he can be a long time starter in the league if given a chance.

 

Number 3: Drew Lock, Missouri

IMG_1987
Drew Lock

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 225

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.69

Red Flags: None

 

Drew Lock has the look of a perfect NFL quarterback in a lot of ways. He has the perfect frame combined with a cannon for an arm and pretty good movement skills. Some people like John Elway might even see a little bit of himself when they watch Lock play. The problem is though that Lock isn’t John Elway at all. Sure, he has some pretty impressive throws but he also has some real accuracy concerns. I’ve seen Lock make some pretty awful over and under throws to wide open receivers. I always worry about his ability to go through progressions because it wasn’t something he had to do very often at Missouri. There is no doubt in my mind that Lock will go in the top 15, come April, just based off his upside. I believe that Lock is a high-risk pick with a lot growing to do before he can make the kind of impact a first round pick should make.

 

Number 2: Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

IMG_2627

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’10 and 195

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.51

Red Flags: None

 

That’s right people I don’t have a first-round grade on Kyler Murray, and he’s not my top overall quarterback. I don’t just hand out first round grades to anybody and Murray just didn’t cut it. I love Murray’s arm strength and ability to place the ball pretty much anywhere on the field from inside the pocket or on the run. Obviously, his athletic ability and running ability is a plus in today’s NFL. My problems with Murray come from two main things and no they are not his height and weight. He makes so many bad throws into double coverage or to covered receivers for my liking. My other big problem is that Murray is always throwing to wide open receivers. I know Baker had success at the NFL level in his rookie year but I saw him go through way more progressions than Murray did this season. I have no doubt Murray will be a top 5 pick but I don’t think he is as much of a finished product as everyone thinks he is.

 

Number 1: Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

IMG_2436
Dwayne Haskins

 

Class: Redshirt Sophomore

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 220

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.72

Red Flags: None

 

I have no idea why the hype has died down on Dwayne Haskins the past couple of weeks. Haskins is accurate to all parts of the field and gets the ball out on time while doing it. He rarely makes a bad choice with the football and will always lead his receivers into open space for yards after the catch. I feel like people forget just how young Haskins is, but I see someone who is already playing way better than his age dictates with more room to grow. Haskins has some downsides, of course, with one being that he can play it too safe at times. He will take the checkdown instead of throwing to an open receiver down the field. At times he can let his footwork get away from him when he is pressured but I think it has more to do with inexperience rather than ability. I don’t know where Haskins will be drafted but he is the top QB on my board, and I think he will have a long NFL career.

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