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MMQB: ranking the last 3 years QB draft picks

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HOW WOULD THE LAST THREE QB CLASSES HAVE GRADED OUT AGAINST EACH OTHER?

We’ve spent so much time over the last couple months looking at this year’s quarterbacks vs. the potential bumper crop coming in 2020 that I figured it was time to get some perspective on the whole thing. The best way to do that, I thought, would be to compare this year’s class vs. the previous two, to see how the quarterbacks of 2017, 2018 and 2019 would have stacked up against each other.

A couple notes before we get into it: First, the 2018 class was really held above the others from a perception standpoint. The 2017 group was seen as full of risk, and this year was thought to be a down year for quarterbacks. Second, what we’re trying to ascertain isn’t where these players are now, but where they were in scouts’ minds when they were coming out.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
NICK CAMMETT/DIAMOND IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

With that established, I sent out texts late Friday asking scouts and coaches who’d evaluated quarterbacks each of those years to rank their top five QBs over the last three drafts, based on where they had them graded coming out of college. I then took each of those lists and awarded points: five for a first-place vote, four for a second-place vote, and so on.

We got 11 ballots back, from 11 different teams. The results:

1T: Baker Mayfield, Browns 2017, 35 points (4 first-place votes)
1T: Sam Darnold, Jets 2017, 35 points (4 first-place votes)
3: Deshaun Watson, Texans 2016, 33 points (1 first-place vote)
4: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs 2016, 26.5 points (1 first-place vote)
5: Kyler Murray, Cardinals 2019, 18 points (1 first-place vote)
6: Josh Rosen, Cardinals 2018, 8.5 points
7: Mitch Trubisky, Bears 2017, 6 points
8: Daniel Jones, Giants 2019, 2 points
9: Dwayne Haskins, Redskins 2019, 1 point

Some more on the vote …

• Buffalo’s Josh Allen (2018) and Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson (2018) were the only first-round picks not to get mentions. Jones and Haskins appeared on one ballot apiece. Rosen and Trubisky appeared on three each.
• Mayfield was the only quarterback to show up on every ballot. Darnold and Watson were both on 10 of 11. Mahomes missed the cut on two ballots (appreciate the honesty from those guys! Remember, this is how the scouts had these QBs graded entering the draft) and got half a fifth-place vote on another.
• An NFC exec—not from the Cardinals—had Murray No. 1. His explanation: “On tape, he was the best—the best combo of arm talent and dynamic athletic ability. Obviously you have to factor in size. But on tape, he was the best.” Pretty straightforward. Murray was in the top three on three ballots, and didn’t appear on four ballots.
• Only one non-first-round pick’s name was raised: Drew Lock (Denver 2019). Another exec told me he’d have had Lock sixth on his list.

This wasn’t meant to be scientific. It was 11 evaluators in a league with hundreds of them. So take it as a fun exercise that reflects the way a group of NFL types who study quarterbacks for a living would have stacked up the prospects from the past three years if grouped together.

 
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Another tidbit from the article...

asked Senior Bowl chief Jim Nagy for his first impression on the 2020 class after his team’s initial study, and he came back with this: “It’s going to be thin on the offensive line.” That would help explain the OL land rush in this year’s draft—12 of the first 48 picks were offensive linemen. The logic, of course, is simple. If you know next year’s going to be wasteland, you better get your guys this year, and teams did that aggressively.

 

Macc sucks.

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Thanks for sharing.  Interesting, but it's rear view mirror stuff now....more than half those guys have played a year in the NFL, some have played 2.

I wonder where they had Tim Couch (too high), Tom Brady (too low), and Ryan Leaf (too high)?

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1 minute ago, T0mShane said:

It’s interesting if only because you’d expect those personnel guys to lie and say they had Mahomes ranked higher than they did. 

To quote the immortal Jimmy Dugan(Tom Hanks)...."lying, there's no lying in the NFL."😎

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Mayfield

Darnold/ Rosen

Murray

Watson

Mahomes

A BIG GAP

Jackson

Trubisky

Haskins

Allen

Jones 

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5 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

It’s interesting if only because you’d expect those personnel guys to lie and say they had Mahomes ranked higher than they did. 

I think that's why he's even at 4. If he was a bust he'd be off the list. 

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4 minutes ago, kdels62 said:

Mayfield

Darnold/ Rosen

Murray

Watson

Mahomes

A BIG GAP

Jackson

Trubisky

Haskins

Allen

Jones 

I think Rosen in Miami is interesting. They hired the Pats long-time WR coach as their OC, so it’ll be that annoying short passing game with Albert Wilson being their Edelman and Kenyan Drake being James White. If Combine freak TE Mike Gesicki can play at all, that might not be a terrible offense

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3 minutes ago, JoJoTownsell1 said:

I think that's why he's even at 4. If he was a bust he'd be off the list. 

Probably. That had to be a brutal evaluation and I think Murray is reaping the benefits of all that missing. Not that they’re similar players, but Mahomes played QB at Texas Tech like he was being controlled by a seven year old playing Madden

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Mine would look like:

Watson

Darnold

Mahomes

Mayfield 

Rosen 

Haskins

Murray 

Trubisky

Jackson

Allen

Jones

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35 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

I think Rosen in Miami is interesting. They hired the Pats long-time WR coach as their OC, so it’ll be that annoying short passing game with Albert Wilson being their Edelman and Kenyan Drake being James White. If Combine freak TE Mike Gesicki can play at all, that might not be a terrible offense

I have zero belief that Gesicki will put it together. He was bad last year and vaulted by his combine. I’d take Herndon and Leggett over Gesicki.

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Baker and Sam tied? Nice. People outside of our team, and more importantly, legit scouts think that Sam is still the man.

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5 minutes ago, kdels62 said:

I have zero belief that Gesicki will put it together. He was bad last year and vaulted by his combine. I’d take Herndon and Leggett over Gesicki.

Gesicki is one hell of mockdraftables Star prospect lol 

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53 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

It’s interesting if only because you’d expect those personnel guys to lie and say they had Mahomes ranked higher than they did. 

Sounds like a few posters here getting all salty because we “passed” on him. 

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Not to be a homer but strange that Sam didn’t show up on every ballot. 

Like HOF votes in the past where guys like Seaver Mays Aaron etc didn’t get voted in first ballot. 

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Bullsh*t/revisionist history. Almost no one had Mayfield that high 

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12 minutes ago, kdels62 said:

I have zero belief that Gesicki will put it together. He was bad last year and vaulted by his combine. I’d take Herndon and Leggett over Gesicki.

Trevon Wesco is my all-time favorite Jet. 

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1 hour ago, T0mShane said:

It’s interesting if only because you’d expect those personnel guys to lie and say they had Mahomes ranked higher than they did. 

Well, think about it - At least 10 teams still have a reason to lie and keep him lower.  The 10 that passed on him in 2017.  

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1 hour ago, freestater said:

Another tidbit from the article...

asked Senior Bowl chief Jim Nagy for his first impression on the 2020 class after his team’s initial study, and he came back with this: “It’s going to be thin on the offensive line.” That would help explain the OL land rush in this year’s draft—12 of the first 48 picks were offensive linemen. The logic, of course, is simple. If you know next year’s going to be wasteland, you better get your guys this year, and teams did that aggressively.

 

Macc sucks.

Or you can just be like Mac and not bother with the O-line this year or next.  I mean can they even play Safety or DL? 

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1 minute ago, #27TheDominator said:

Well, think about it - At least 10 teams still have a reason to lie and keep him lower.  The 10 that passed on him in 2017.  

I don't think these guys are ashamed to admit Mahomes surprised them.  He surprised everyone, possibly except Andy Reid who obviously saw something in him that no one else did, hence why he moved up so aggressively to get him.  There was nothing to indicate he would go off in his first year as a starter like he did.  The big question is, without Hunt or Hill, will he be able to repeat what he did.  Gonna be fun to watch.

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34 minutes ago, nico002 said:

Bullsh*t/revisionist history. Almost no one had Mayfield that high 

Lol, yes they lied about Mayfield but were honest about Mahommes

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This is pretty much how I would see it although with the benefit of hindsight you would have to put Mahomes first.

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1 hour ago, CTM said:

Lol, yes they lied about Mayfield but were honest about Mahommes

Apparently yes ... 

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I don't understand the disrespect towards Haskins. I hope he shocks some people

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3 hours ago, nycdan said:

I don't think these guys are ashamed to admit Mahomes surprised them.  He surprised everyone, possibly except Andy Reid who obviously saw something in him that no one else did, hence why he moved up so aggressively to get him.  There was nothing to indicate he would go off in his first year as a starter like he did.  The big question is, without Hunt or Hill, will he be able to repeat what he did.  Gonna be fun to watch.

It's a good question. I loved Mahomes out of college and was completely unsold on Watson (who I still think is overrated). I was screaming at the TV to pick Mahomes. That said, I really couldnt even insert Darnold because I was so sure that he would be gone when we picked I didnt even look into him until the morning of the draft. I was sold that Mayfield>>>>>>Allen>Rosen (who I never liked). I think now Darnold is the best of last years QBs though I think Mayfield Darnold and Mahomes are really the big 3 of the next 10 years (depending on if Trevor and Tua still develop than it may be a Big 5

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4 hours ago, nico002 said:

Bullsh*t/revisionist history. Almost no one had Mayfield that high 

I guarantee far more had Mayfield that high than Mahomes or Watson. If more teams had Mahomes/Watson ranked that high they wouldn't have fallen that far. 

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2 hours ago, BroadwayBen said:

I don't understand the disrespect towards Haskins. I hope he shocks some people

Cardale Jones says hi!

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Mahomes and Watson being that much higher than Trubisky is definitely revisionist history.

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12 minutes ago, Welp said:

Mahomes and Watson being that much higher than Trubisky is definitely revisionist history.

Agreed. The Watson hindsight ranking/point total is especially ridiculous.

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In Sam I trust 

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