With what looked like a cemented list of top four Quarterback prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft, NCAA football saw it’s highlighted gunslingers struggle. Nick Fitzgerald and Mason Rudolph decided to put in their candidacy for the first passer off the board.
USC’s Sam Darnold is still the guy. His physique and talent are unquestioned and continues to show out as the best Quarterback prospect in the draft. This weekend saw a two-overtime game against Texas that had fans across the country on pins and needles. Darnold’s two interceptions were questionable mistakes on his part, including a pick-six caused by a deflection from the receiver. Darnold at this point, looks to be the first player off the board in April.
Josh Rosen had some moments en route to coming back against Memphis, but his laissez-faire attitude should scare NFL teams. Having one of the better touches and release points in the NCAA leads Rosen to get lazy and trust his tools. This showed to be a threat to himself against a surprisingly talented defensive backfield in Memphis. Rosen and UCLA lost to a small school and Rosen’s draft status (No.2 QB across the board) should be in question if you watch the film.
Wyoming is not a big time school and it showed this weekend, much to the detriment of QB Josh Allen’s draft stock. Oregon flat out embarrassed Allen at times with phenomenal coverage, allowing Allen to complete only nine passes. This was a message to scouts everywhere, showing what a gap there is between Wyoming and big time programs like Oregon. The second coming of Ben Roethlisberger (Allen) did not help himself this weekend.
Lamar Jackson is probably the best athlete in the draft. That said, you would expect to hear negatives about his passing to make a counterpoint. Being compared to Michael Vick is a legitimate oversight when you see how advanced Jackson is with his mechanics and accuracy in traffic situations. His listed weight and height are questionable and will be updated at the combine. Clemson was an overall better team and made Jackson’s contributions as minor as possible last saturday. There is little to nothing derogative to say about Jackson besides his slightly less than desirable arm strength at times. He will have ample chances to move past Rosen and Allen for the number two QB spot in this year’s draft.
Mississippi State was not supposed to be this good. Nick Fitzgerald is making the Bulldogs this good. Not only did Fitzgerald show off an improved accuracy and pocket presence, he displayed what scouts already are drooling about, a 6’5 frame that can get mobile and find holes in exotic defensive packages. Two touchdowns in the air and two on the ground. Scouts cannot wait to see what this team and the native Georgian passer can do with a tough SEC schedule.
Pittsburgh had no idea what they were getting into. Mason Rudolph and Oklahoma State had everything queued up to run the Panthers into the ground. A renewed commitment to stand up pocket passing and terrific accuracy showed that Rudolph can prepare with the best of them. Pitt was not supposed to be this bad, but Rudolph undressed them on the way to adding to his hype for a first round pick in the 2018 draft.