Dream Landing Spots for the Top 5 Rookie QB’s of 2018 – by Jason Worley

This year’s draft seemingly has no shortage in talent. There is a fair amount of depth at each position with none more so than at quarterback.

In my opinion, the top five quarterbacks in the 2018 draft are Sam Darnold (USC), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Josh Rosen (UCLA), Josh Allen (Wyoming), and Lamar Jackson (Louisville).

Cleveland Browns find themselves with the 1st overall pick after a lack-luster and somewhat miserable 0-16 campaign last season. It’s not likely that we will see them trade away this elusive pick and for once may go after the best quarterback in the draft. For me that is Sam Darnold. The USC product is arguably the most polished QB in the draft after impressing during his two seasons in the Pac-12, winning the 2017 Rose Bowl in the process. I can see the Browns landing him with that first pick. Let’s hope they finally get their man, right Brown’s fans? If Cleveland do decide to go with Darnold, they will hope to see him continue where he left off in his sophomore year where he finished 5th overall in terms of passing yards with 4,143.

sam darnold
Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Jets are hurting big time at the quarterback position with veteran journeyman Josh McCown and the recently returned and unknown quantity Teddy Bridgewater currently the two signal callers occupying their roster. They could find themselves poised to be able to snag Baker Mayfield with the 1.03 pick. They need a playmaker who is explosive at that position. Mayfield possesses both of those qualities. Not only was he the second best QB in passing yards (4,627) only behind fellow first round hopeful Mason Rudolph, he also proved he can be mobile recording 1,083 rushing yards and 21 rushing TD’s over 4 years in the Big 12 conference. The Jets have lacked quality QB play in recent years and their whole offense would be boosted by the all-rounder style of Mayfield . I see them adding the Oklahoma product and letting him run with that offense, especially with the recent signing of Terrelle Pryor at the wide receiver position. It’s possible that the Jets could have something to cheer about this year.

The Denver Broncos are right in the mix too for a potential landing spot for a rookie QB with their 1.05 pick. I know they signed Case Keenum in free agency and he very well may end up being the starter. That, however, won’t deter them from snagging another in the draft and I can see that coming in the way of UCLA’s Josh Rosen. With arm strength, quick feet, and explosive play making ability he would fit great into the existing scheme and will have no shortage of playmakers around him. We could see more downfield throws from Elway’s camp this season and after last year’s 3,756 passing yards with 26 TD’s, Rosen could be the piece this offense has been lacking since Peyton Manning retired at the end of the 2015 season.

Josh Allen
Photo Credit: Aaron Ontiveroz / The Denver PostRick

Everyone has been extremely high on Josh Allen and it’s understandable. He’s smart, talented, and has incredible arm strength. This was proven at the combine when he showed everyone what he is capable of with that impressive 70 air yard pass. The team that I see making a move on him is the Miami Dolphins. Tannehill time and time again has proven he can’t stay on the field. Allen had an incredible pro day too and really improved his stock in this year’s draft. The only problem is, Miami have traded away one of their biggest playmakers in Jarvis Landry and seemingly their downfield options have significantly been diminished. Maybe this is the year of DeVante Parker…again. With analysts predicting Allen may be drafted within the first 10 top picks; Dolphins GM Chris Grier may have to work a deal in order to move up to grab their man.

Last, but not least, I have the Arizona Cardinals taking a flyer and going after Louisville’s Lamar Jackson with the 15th pick. With Carson Palmer suffering a nasty broken arm which led to the veteran signal caller retiring, Drew Stanton stepped up as his replacement but just couldn’t fill that void. They need a young guy that they can develop with an NFL skill set and Jackson possesses those qualities. He has incredible playmaking ability, an accurate arm, and can use his legs to really do some damage if you don’t spy him. Despite being a quarterback, Jackson finished 6th overall in the NCAA in rushing yards with 1,601 in 2017, proving he could be a real weapon with that dual threat ability.

By Jason Worley @JW8605

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