NFL Draft: Top five QBs as the draft nears
RELATED: What we learned from Kyler Murray
The NFL Draft runs April 25-27. With the NFL Combine and pro days in the rear-view mirror, here is our ranked list of quarterbacks heading into the draft:
Recruiting: Murray’s recruitment was full of intriguing storylines, but it eventually came down to Texas and Texas A&M, with the Aggies landing his commitment. After marginal success as a freshman, Murray decided to transfer to Oklahoma and he sat behind eventual No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield before winning the starting job in Norman.
Buzz: Murray could be the first pick in the NFL Draft if the Arizona Cardinals want him, which would include trading current quarterback Josh Rosen, the franchise’s first-round selection last year. First-year coach Kliff Kingsbury could get the quarterback he wants in Murray, who should be perfect for the offensive vision Kingsbury will bring to the Cardinals.
Murray put up huge numbers for the Sooners this past season, won the Heisman and took Oklahoma back to the College Football Playoff.
Farrell’s take: Murray was in the discussion as a five-star prospect a few times during the rankings process but his lack of size always held him back. I remember seeing him for the first time and thinking he was even smaller than expected. That was when size at the quarterback position was more important than it is today, but it certainly wasn’t that long ago. He played like a five-star in his only season as a starter and could be the No. 1 pick so those five-star discussions we had probably should have lasted a bit longer. I’ll tell you this though, I was very impressed with his game speed – he could absolutely fly.
Recruiting: Haskins committed to Maryland in the spring before his senior season, but he always planned to take other visits. The four-star quarterback took trips to Florida and Ohio State before flipping to the Buckeyes in mid-January a few weeks before signing day. LSU was also involved late in his recruitment.
Buzz: A lot of mock drafts have Haskins going to the New York Giants with the sixth pick and making the former four-star the heir apparent to Eli Manning. With only one season as Ohio State’s starter - a good one at that with 4,831 yards and 50 touchdown passes - Haskins could use his first NFL season learning behind Manning before being thrust into a starting role.
Farrell’s take: I first saw Haskins at our Maryland/DC Rivals Camp Series event when he was a complete unknown and he came away winning MVP honors. He was actually invited as a favor to the family of a high-level recruit who swore we would be impressed and he was right. We had him in our Rivals100 and he was never really discussed higher than that but, like Murray, he played like a five-star in his lone season as a starter.
Recruiting: Lock committed to Missouri in April of his junior year over Ohio State, Tennessee, Michigan State and others. His father and grandfather also played for the Tigers. Late pressure from Michigan added intrigue to Lock’s recruitment but he stuck with the Tigers.
Buzz: By most measures, Lock is going to be selected somewhere early in the first round probably in the 10-13 range by teams that need a quarterback among those picks. After Murray and Haskins, it would be surprising if Lock wasn’t the next QB taken off the board. In four seasons at Missouri, Lock threw for more than 12,000 yards with 99 touchdowns and 39 picks.
Farrell’s take: Lock has a much longer resume as a starter than Murray or Haskins and it doesn’t surprise me that he emerged as an early starter because of his maturity out of high school. He was a tall, skinny kid with a very live arm and a lot of confidence, so we liked him quite a bit. He’s exceeded our expectations a bit but not by much. We thought he would be good.
Recruiting: Jones put up impressive numbers at Charlotte Latin, but received little to no recruiting interest and decided to walk-on at Duke. His Rivals profile shows interest from NC State, but that is all – with no offers.
Buzz: The range of where Jones is going to be picked is far and wide as there doesn’t seem to be a completely solid spot where the Duke quarterback will go. For example, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper, Jr., has Jones going No. 15 overall where Todd McShay takes him off at No. 56. In three seasons with the Blue Devils, Jones threw for 8,201 yards with 52 TDs and 29 picks although there are questions about his arm strength.
Farrell’s take: I don’t have much on Jones because I never saw him in person or on film because he wasn’t being recruited as a FBS prospect. He’s gone from walk-on to potential first-rounder and it’s not the first or last time that will happen.
Recruiting: Grier committed to Florida following his sophomore season in high school and the Gators held on despite pushes from Auburn, North Carolina and others. He ended up winning the starting job in Gainesville, but after a failed drug test he missed half the season and chose to transfer to West Virginia.
Buzz: There is certainly no guarantee that Grier will be picked in the first couple rounds - and some would argue Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham will be taken before him - but the West Virginia QB has all the tools to make an impact in the league. In two seasons with the Mountaineers, Greer threw for more than 7,300 yards with 71 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.
Farrell’s take: I saw Grier for the first time at one of our VTO Camps a long time ago as an underclassmen and was impressed with arm, accuracy and vision despite the fact that he wasn’t very big back then. The son of a coach, you could tell he knew what he was doing and I remember he a grasp of things from the very start of camp. He went on to impress at numerous other camps and events and put up big numbers and we projected him as a college standout.