- The first round of the 2019 NFL draft will be held on Thursday, April 25.
- This year’s draft class features another group of talented quarterbacks who could be leading teams shortly.
- Heisman winner Kyler Murray is projected as the first pick in the draft, and as many as five QBs could go in the first round.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The 2019 NFL draft is set to begin on April 25, when teams will get their first chance to claim players of this year’s draft class.
For teams looking to rebuild, no position is more important than quarterback, and this year, there is another talented group of players who could be taking snaps in the NFL very soon.
Kyler Murray is projected as the first overall draft pick to the Arizona Cardinals, and as many as four more quarterbacks could be taken in the first round of this year’s draft. Behind them, another set of players could land on teams looking to develop their star of the future, or fill-in as a suitable backup for a few years.
Take a look below at the 14 quarterbacks to watch heading into the 2019 NFL draft.
14. Gardner Minshew — Washington State
2018 stats: 468/662, 70.7% completion, 4,779 yards passing, 38 touchdowns, 9 interceptions
One thing to know: Minshew excelled in Washington State’s high octane offensive attack, which gave him twice as many pass attempts as many quarterbacks in this draft class. In the past, a quarterback coming from a pass-happy college offence might have given teams pause, but with the NFL looking more like the Big 12 with each passing year, Minshew’s experience could be seen as a plus for a team looking for a late-round flier.
Key expert quote: From Brady Quinn of Fox Sports: “He’s the quarterback in this draft that reminds me most of Baker Mayfield. Minshew came out of Washington State, he was a grad transfer, went there one year, and he was phenomenal in Mike Leach’s Air Raid system.”
13. Nick Fitzgerald — Mississippi State
2018 stats: 145/281, 51.6% completions, 1,767 yards passing, 16 touchdowns, 9 interceptions
One thing to know: Nick Fitzgerald’s first shot at the NFL was derailed last year after a gruesome ankle injury ended his season and caused his draft stock to plummet. He didn’t have a great year in 2018, but still sports the build and skills that had many experts pegging him as a mid-to-late-round pick at last year’s draft.
Key expert quote: From Charlie Campbell of Walter Football: “Fitzgerald has pro size and will need to develop his accuracy and pocket passing.”
12. Easton Stick — North Dakota State
2018 stats: 175/281, 62.3% completion, 2,752 yards passing, 27 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
One thing to know: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz showed that North Dakota State signal callers could make it in the NFL. Stick has a similar winning pedigree, leading the Bison to the FCS championship the past two seasons.
Key expert quote: From Charlie Campbell of Walter Football: “Stick has generated some media buzz after three nice seasons at North Dakota State. The senior has a quality arm and also has mobility.”
11. Tyree Jackson — Buffalo
2018 stats: 225/407, 55.3% completion, 3,131 yards passing, 28 touchdowns, 12 interceptions
One thing to know: Tyree Jackson’s clearest NFL comp is Josh Allen – both players are huge, and sport a cannon of an arm. At the combine, Jackson was throwing so hard that NFL Network’s Steve Smith had to pull him over and remind him that the receivers needed an easier ball to catch, as they were working on getting drafted as well.
Key expert quote: From Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports: “Jackson is exactly the type of quarterback who generates some excitement when he gets drafted in the middle rounds. He’s big, extremely fast for his size, looks strong and has an arm live enough to put some pressure on the guys in front of him.”
10. Trace McSorley — Penn State
2018 stats: 192/361, 53.2% completion, 2,530 yards passing, 18 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
One thing to know: Trace McSorley was asked to participate in drills with the defensive backs at the NFL combine, but declined the offer, choosing instead to work out solely as a quarterback.
Key expert quote: From New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton: “When I looked at him, my first thought was, ‘I wonder if he can be [Julian] Edelman?’ I wondered if he could be a versatile kind of guy.”
9. Brett Rypien — Boise State
2018 stats: 301/447, 67.3% completion, 3,705 yards passing, 30 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
One thing to know: Brett Rypien was a four-year starter for the Boise State Broncos, and could be a solid day-two or day-three pick for teams looking to develop a talent.
Key expert quote: From Gavino Borquez of Draft Wire: “Rypien is a pocket quarterback who displays excellent pocket mobility. His dropbacks are crisp, and his movement within the pocket is efficient. He has a quick, compact release and relies on clean legs and hip torque to generate velocity.”
8. Clayton Thorson — Northwestern
2018 stats: 299/489, 61.1% completion, 3,183 yards passing, 17 touchdowns, 15 interceptions
One thing to know: Clayton Thorson has shown an ability to step up in big games, leading Northwestern to impressive wins over four ranked opponents this year, including Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Iowa in 2018.
Key expert quote: From Charlie Campbell of Walter Football: “Thorson has shown that he has pro potential in terms of his skill set. He can throw the deep out with a fastball that can be fit into tight windows. Thorson also has a quick delivery but is a bit too mechanical. Scouts say that he has a strong arm, is smart and athletic, and improves year over year.”
7. Jarrett Stidham — Auburn
2018 stats: 224/369, 60.7% completion, 2,794 yards passing, 18 touchdowns, 5 interceptions
One thing to know: Jarrett Stidham is one of the fascinating quarterbacks in this year’s draft class. He’s smart, has an impressive arm, and looks incredibly smooth in his throws. But in two seasons at Auburn’s, he never threw for more than 18 touchdowns in a year. If he pans out, he could be the best quarterback of this year’s group, but he’ll have to find the right spot to hone his skills further.
Key expert quote: From Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy: “He throws a beautiful ball. I’ve said it before, he looks like he came out of the womb throwing the football. Mechanically, he’s the best in this class. The ball just comes off his hand really clean.”
6. Ryan Finley — NC State
2018 stats: 326/484, 67.4% completion, 3,928 yards passing, 25 touchdowns, 11 interceptions
One thing to know: Fellow NC State alum and Chargers starting quarterback Philip Rivers helped Ryan Finley prepare for the NFL – don’t be shocked if Los Angeles chooses to pick him up after the first round and groom him behind Rivers for a few years.
Key expert quote: From Charlie Campbell of Walter Football: “He was an accurate game-manager for N.C. State, doing a good job of protecting the football and leading an efficient passing offence. However, Finley has limitations as a passer and is not a dynamic thrower of the football. He could be a less-athletic version of Alex Smith for the NFL.”
5. Will Grier — West Virginia
2018 stats: 266/397, 67% completion, 3,864 yards passing, 37 touchdowns, 8 interceptions
One thing to know: Will Grier was one of the most exciting quarterbacks to watch in college football in his two years with West Virginia, but he’ll likely be seen as a high-risk, high-reward play as a potential draft pick.
Key expert quote: From ESPN’s Todd McShay: “Grier is a good athlete who extends a high percentage of plays with his feet. He’s competitive and tough, but durability is a concern. Grier is a productive and athletic college quarterback with mechanical flaws as a passer.”
4. Daniel Jones — Duke
2018 stats: 237/392, 60.5% completion, 2,674 yards passing, 22 touchdowns, 9 interceptions
One thing to know: With Tom Brady set to be 42 at the start of the 2019 NFL season, and backup quarterback Brian Hoyer now 33, some have projected Daniel Jones as a potential successor in New England, with the Patriots taking him with the final pick of the first round.
Key expert quote: From ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: “The most impressive trait I’ve seen from Jones this season is his ability to buy time in the pocket and use his feet to get square and make a throw.”
3. Drew Lock — Missouri
2018 stats: 275/437, 62.9% completion, 3,498 yards passing, 28 touchdowns, 8 interceptions
One thing to know: Drew Lock has seen his draft stock rise exponentially in the build-up to the draft, with NFL.com’s Chad Reuter now projecting that the Raiders take him with the fourth overall pick.
Key expert quote: From ESPN’s Todd McShay: “Lock shows an ability to extend plays. If developed properly, he has the natural tools to start in the NFL.”
2. Dwayne Haskins — Ohio State
2018 stats: 373/533, 70% completions, 4,831 yards passing, 50 touchdowns, 8 interceptions
One thing to know: Should Kyler Murray wind up going to the Cardinals as many are projecting, don’t be surprised if a big trade occurs for a team to swoop in for Dwayne Haskins. He’s got one of the best arms in the draft class and would appeal to multiple teams looking for their next franchise quarterback.
Key expert quote: From ESPN’s Todd McShay: “Haskins anticipates well, and he has touch on shorter throws and the high-level arm to drive the ball down the field with accuracy. Based solely on his physical tools, the bar is really high for the Ohio State starter despite a limited college career.”
1. Kyler Murray — Oklahoma
2018 stats: 260/377, 69% completion, 4361 yards passing, 42 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
One thing to know: Just a few months ago,no one was even sure if Kyler Murray would enter the draft or choose to pursue baseball professionally. Now, he’s widely considered the favourite to be selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the first overall pick.
Key expert quote: From ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: “[Murray] can make every throw. I’ve said several times that he’s one of the most dynamic dual-threat quarterbacks I’ve ever seen. Murray won’t be for every team and every system, but if he lands in the right spot, he could be a star.”
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