The following are 20 of the upcoming QBs who will be eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft. The ranking is based on my personal opinion on their NFL readiness and development level in regards to going pro.
This is not a list of which QBs are the best at the college level.
Note: The following are not scouting reports, but rather impressions gained from the standard eye test. In Depth scouting reports will not be written on these players until after their 2019 football season is concluded.
The prerequisites to make the list:
1) QB must be an upcoming Senior, Junior, or otherwise be potentially eligible for the NFL draft in 2020
2) QB must have thrown for over 2500 yards last season
3) QB must have “_____ vs. ” videos uploaded on youtube, I am only one man so bear with me on this please
#20) Brady White – Memphis
What I like: Shows good athleticism and innate ability to escape pressure. He also displays good accuracy on the run.
My Concerns: Shows little understanding of what types of throws to toss to his receivers, forces passes when they do not need to be thrown, does not go through his reads.
Why he’s not higher: Aside from his gambling ways, White does not give the impression he really knows what he is doing out there on the field. Of all the QBs I looked at, few I would consider lower than White when it comes to potential in the NFL.
#19) Sam Ehlinger – Texas
What I Like: Good at creating opportunities to make a play for his receivers, Not afraid to stand in the pocket and continue to look downfield when lesser men would leave.
My Concerns: Poor decision making with unnecessary forced passes, Overthrows deep passes when open.
Why he’s not higher: Ehlinger is definitely going to be one of those guys that moves up by the end of the season, but currently his habitual act of forcing throws really hinders what he can do on the field. As it stands, he would be another strong arm QB that goes mid draft.
#18) Stephen Calvert – Liberty
What I Like: Proactive approach to reading what the defense is running, Shows good awareness of the play and moving pieces on the field
My Concerns: Easily startled in the pocket, Only eyes his first target and his checkdown, making it easy to get stalled on the play
Why he’s not higher: Calvert shows a good level mentally in terms of QBing, which is why I have him higher than Ehlinger currently. What keeps his intelligence from ranking him higher is his tunnel vision from getting rushed in the pocket. He is easily startled and can severely alter the play.
#17) Ryan Willis – V Tech
What I Like: Plays aggressive and is not afraid to attack the defense and force them to beat him, Also deceptively accurate on the run.
My Concerns: Inconsistent on when he leaves the pocket, follows the play exactly as it is drawn up, rarely breaks from the intended receiver.
Why he’s not higher: Willis is a classic gunslinger. He is not afraid to throw the ball into coverage if it means a potential momentum shift, but that attitude is also what digs his grave.
#16) J’Mar Smith – Louisiana Tech
What I Like: Plays smart and is efficient with the football, Comfortable standing in the pocket and reading the play.
My Concerns: Slow going through his reads, tends to stare down receivers longer than he needs to, targets sideline routes too often leaving the middle of the field barren, can rely too much on 1v1 gambles.
Why he’s not higher: The intelligence is there, but the swiftness of using that brain hinders him. If he can learn to read defenses quicker, he will be a valuable prospect for NFL teams.
#15) Cole McDonald – Hawai’i
What I Like: Aggressive play and excellent sleight of hand make fakes and Play Action deadly with him. Shows he can make throws anywhere around the field.
My Concerns: Stares down receivers for too long, accuracy is inconsistent from drive to drive.
Why he’s not higher: his mobility can get him out of trouble, and his quick hands make any sort of play action deadly, but he does not wow in terms of pre-snap reads or intelligence on the field. He is a Strong Arm who likes to throw deep when able, but his accuracy can be hit or miss on those throws he loves. When looked at as a prospect, he shows little in terms of advanced proficiency, or anything that really differentiates him from the next man.
#14) Mason Fine – North Texas
What I Like: Great Accuracy, Smart with the ball, never gambles with throws and plays methodically consistent.
My Concerns: Is not a focal point to the offense, lacks evasive skills in the pocket, slow to react to the blitz
Why he’s not higher: His last name is a great example of Mason Fine’s play: fine. He gets the job does and does not overstep his role. You can rest easy knowing the ball is in safe hands when Fine is under center, but development time will be needed to add that aggressive mindset into his play. He would be a safe prospect, but not a very noticeable one.
#13) Jordan Love – Utah State
What I Like: Not afraid to challenge the secondary, Shows good patience with letting plays develop
My Concerns: Not elusive in the pocket, gets complacent lobbing up passes to 1v1 streaks down field, will try to squeeze passes into tight windows downfield
Why he’s not higher: While he does possess that levelheaded demeanor you would love to have under center, he is a gambler on the field. a significant portion of his passes will be well passed the first down mark. It’s not the worst problem to have, but further development would mean killing bad habits.
#12) Charlie Brewer – Baylor
What I Like: Shows promising accuracy to attack all across the field including into tight windows, great ball placement keep DBs away from potential interceptions, Good vision when scanning the field, can find the open man relatively quickly, Was given a sizable number of plays to make things happen.
My Concerns: Still young and shows some impatience with his handling of the football on key plays, gets aggressive in moments that require even-keel, Will try to force plays to happen causing some questionable throws to be made.
Why he’s not higher: Discipline with the ball is the key when comparing Brewer to those above him. He possesses great accuracy and vision that many teams would love to further develop, but as we get higher on the prospect list, the question turns from potential to how far their game has developed so far.
#11) Justin Herbert – Oregon
What I Like: Great athleticism and playmaking ability, Good accuracy and ability to position the ball in advantageous positioning.
My Concerns: One track minded at times, only really looks at one side of the field, does not show advanced proficiency in field vision during plays, gets caught eyeing single receiver. Team playstyle does not help to develop intelligence.
Why he’s not higher: Herbert has solid foundation physically, but development would need to be made in his discipline and pocket passing in order to make an impact at the next level. Oregon is a team that relies on playmaking abilities of it’s offense, which shows off Herbert’s physical abilities, but does little with developing his passing game from a mental level.
#10) Joe Burrow – LSU
What I Like: Has a solid understanding of his own abilities and limitations, Shows adequate accuracy, playstyle is quick and can hit defenses before they have an opportunity to set up their play.
My Concerns: Disappointing completion percentage when compared to others, Is not exceptionally athletic enough to make plays with his feet on a consistent basis, too dependent on his first read.
Why he’s not higher: Burrow shows flashes of potential to be a promising pocket passer, but because of LSU’s offense, he rarely gets to show off. The up tempo nature of his team’s playstyle increase the impact of receivers dropping the ball when compared to others. Burrow has reached the end of his development in college unless LSU changes the pace of their offense.
#9) Kellen Mond – Texas A&M
What I Like: Great vision allows him to find the open man quickly, seems to understand coverage schemes of defenses he plays against, athletic enough to make something happen with his feet.
My Concerns: Lacks a feeling of urgency when under pressure, does not seem to be able to detect when blitzes are coming or when the pocket breaks, Inaccurate on the deep ball.
Why he’s not higher: Mond’s initial intelligence and athleticism make him a great prospect to develop his game. Accuracy issues on the deep pass can hinder him for a few seasons until he works on it, but his lack of ability to sense danger will (and has) gotten him killed in the backfield. Development of pocket awareness should be his next step before making the jump to the NFL.
#8) Peyton Ramsey – Indiana
What I Like: Accurate on shorter routes, excellent at running play action and fakes
My Concerns: Poor TD/INT ratio, too dependent on his first read
Why he’s not higher: It’s unknown from the quick look I gave Ramsey whether or not his level of football IQ is high or not. What is however, is his understanding of where he sits in terms of the offense he plays. Ramsey is a good example of what a west coast QB should look like in college, though his INTs do hinder his appeal. From what I have seen so far, Ramsey throws these when asked to do something outside of the initial play or style that is expected of him (ie. Throwing deep when consistently setting shoter routes.) While my feel for him places him in the top 10, he is definitely one of the first who would be prone to dropping on the board based on his level of improvement. It all comes down to this: he looked decent as a Sophomore, but what will he look like as a Junior?
#7) Steven Montez – Colorado
What I Like: Shows a strong arm with a quick release, Stays calm under pressure while keeping his eyes downfield.
My Concerns: Does not dissect plays consistently because of the tempo of the offense he plays in, lackluster pass yardage compared to others with similar numbers of attempts.
Why he’s not higher: Montez shows great promise with his throwing and pocket presence, but he is also a larger unknown when it comes to his intelligence and vision. Colorado ran an offense that used screens as a sizable portion of it’s offensive capabilities. While screens can help to boost stats, they do not show much from the QB’s side aside from accuracy toward the sideline and/or against a moving target. As we get closer to the top, playmaking becomes secondary to traits such as intelligence, vision, and pocket presence, and in the case of Montez, two of those are fairly unknown.
#6) Jake Bentley – South Carolina
What I Like: Shows he can navigate the pocket, good pocket presence, shows promising awareness and play recognition on the defense, seems to possess a blitz radar, improved vision.
My Concerns: Quick playstyle makes reads to premature, can bite on defensive misdirection, can get caught staring down first receiver instead of progressing through his reads.
Why he’s not higher: Bad habits hinder otherwise solid QB foundation when talking about Bentley. He shows great promise and is a prospect that any team would be excited for, but bad habits such as staring down receivers or throwing on a premature play hold him back. We will see how he improves coming into his Senior year.
#5) D’eriq King – Houston
What I Like: Shows intelligent play with the ball, good situational awareness on drives, possesses solid foundation at the QB spot, does not rush plays, understands positioning and different throw trajectories, does not overly gamble on big potential plays, has the ability to make plays happen with his feet.
My Concerns: Potential is overshadowed by poor receivers constantly dropping passes, lack of opportunity to play elite level programs or strong defensive teams, unknown how well he would perform if he competed in a more prestigious conference.
Why he’s not higher: King is an unknown in terms of his ability to play the position against more stringent defenses. What he shows at Houston definitely reveals much potential in his game at the next level, but it does not show that against tough enemies.
#4) Nate Stanley – Iowa
What I Like: Makes pre-snap reads, intelligent passer, possesses a blitz radar.
My Concerns: Poor at play action, shows streaky accuracy making tough throws but then missing simple passes, inaccurate on throws he should make.
Why he’s not higher: The intelligence is there, but his inaccuracy during stretches of games make him somewhat of a gamble. That being said, the intelligence aspect of the game is among the more difficult aspects of a QB’s play to develop, and the fact he already is showing positive growth it a major plus.
#3) Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama
What I Like: Takes time to read the play after the snap, does not look for excuses to leave the pocket despite being a mobile threat, Can be physical when needed, Athletic enough to make plays with his feet, show potential in pocket presence.
My Concerns: Forces throws when it would be better to throw it away, Inaccurate on the midrange throws, tends to gamble when throwing deep, has a habit of staring down receivers on long plays, Injury concerns.
Why he’s not higher: Tua has been named the top college QB coming into the 2019 football season, and when it comes to being a weapon, he deserves a large portion of the credit. When looking at him from the perspective of a draft prospect, I would not consider him the top guy before the start of the 2019 season. This mainly falls into his mindset when he is passing the ball. He does not usually try to mainly positioning and would more likely take a sack than throw the ball away and fight another play. His gambling on deeper and midrange passes in addition to his bad habits bring into question his level of intelligence in his play. Whether he can read a defense remains to be seen as well.
#2) Jake Fromm – Georgia
What I Like: Shows good accuracy across the entire field, excellent vision and play progression, does not gamble with the ball, prioritizes possession of the ball over big plays, shows potential in intelligent play.
My Concerns: Lacks evasive skills to escape the pocket, does not have the athleticism to prolong plays or take off for significant yardage, does not gamble on plays even when behind or in situations where it would be acceptable.
Why he’s not the top guy: Fromm shows excellent understanding of game situations and the awareness to keep the offense on the field. His accuracy can be a large selling point and his ability to see the field in the pocket is a strong asset for him going into the season and beyond. What keeps him from being the top guy currently is his reluctance to gamble on plays. there is a fine line between being a playmaker and being reckless, but Fromm prefers not to walk anywhere near that line. As an NFL prospect, his protection of the ball and mental capabilities really give him a good light, but his reluctance to be aggressive may be a turn off.
#1)K.J. Costello – Stanford
What I Like: Shows he possesses a blitz radar, stays strong in the pocket, excellent vision, solid understanding of plays and when to improvise, plays with exemplary intelligence, makes noticeable pre-snap reads against the defense.
My Concerns: Slow drop back make him an easier target for strong blitzes and pass rushes, throws bullets on every throw including short range passes that would ask for more touch, Makes questionable pass decisions at times.
Why he’s the top guy: Costello displays a complete fundamental mental game when looking at his play style. He is asked and has made corrections and calls under center that shows his knowledge of his opponent. He possesses a blitz radar and good vision of the field while in the pocket. His pocket presence and ability to navigate the pocket are solid. When comparing him to Tua or Fromm, Costello has the edge in intelligent play, and while his decisionmaking can be questionable at times, he does not gamble as much as Tua, and he is more aggressive than Fromm. Whether he maintains my top spot is determined by his level of development and progression by the end of the season.
Note: This is not a ranking of who I think is the best college QB, or who I think will have the best season. This is a list that was made in regards to each player’s potential development at the next level. Likewise, none of these players were heavily scouted, but only put through the eye test.
In Depth scouting reports will not be written for these players until their final season and they have declared or are expected to enter the NFL draft.
Thank you for reading.