Saturday, October 24, 2020

NFL 2020 Draft: Top quarterback prospects

It’s that time of year again, folks, as the world get’s ready for the NFL 2020 draft amid one of the most uncertain climates in history.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the world and has seen all sport, from the NBA to the Premier League, brought to a standstill.

But NFL fans have been counting themselves fortunate that this crisis has hit during the off-season and are hoping things will stay on track for the start of the season in September.

Earlier this month, the NFL announced the draft would go ahead but would be completely virtual, with league staff, personnel and players communicating via digital means only.

READ MORE: NFL 2020 Draft will go ahead in virtual format

So, here at the Sports Despatch, we will be bringing you everything you need to know for the NFL 2020 draft which is set to take place between April 23 and 25.

Today, we will be taking you through the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft.

NFL 2020 Draft top quarterback prospects

Joe Burrow – LSU
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 221lbs
40-yard time: 4.83 secs

Joe Burrow made a splash in the 2019 season with phenomenal play which carried his team to a National Championship and saw him bag the Heisman Trophy for good measure.

The 23-year-old completed 76 per cent of his passes for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns with just six interceptions.

Burrow, who was easily the most talented quarterback in college last year, also managed a not unimpressive 368 yards and five touchdowns and looks ready to start his NFL career with a bang.

Sceptics point to LSU’s elite receivers and offensive line for aiding Burrow in his phenomenal season, and it’s true he is unlikely to enjoy the same level of production we saw at college level.

But Burrow, whose strengths include his accuracy and his mobility, has proved he can excel under pressure, completing 81 of 122 attempts for 17 touchdowns.

Through these passes under pressure he only threw one interception and 11.4 yards per attempt and also has an incredible deep passing game, with 26 touchdowns coming on 83 deep pass attempts.

Burrow is expected to be the top pick of the draft and should be heading to the Cincinnati Bengals to be their franchise quarterback.

Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 217lbs
40-yard time: 4.7 secs (projected)

A talented draft class was made even more so when 22-year-old Tua Tagovailoa declared for the NFL 2020 draft.

A former runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, Tagovailoa is a proficient dual threat with the ability to pick incredible yardage with his legs.

But Tua is also an accurate passer and completed 71 per cent of his passes for 2,840 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2019 before suffering a catastrophic and unusual hip injury.

All reports suggest he is now on the mend after surgery and, although coronavirus means he can’t work out with teams, he’s expected to be a top 10 pick in the draft.

Tagovailoa is an impressive prospect with the ability to get the ball to his play-makers while protecting the ball.

He does this through his exceptional skill inside the pocket, moving his feet to buy milliseconds of time, escape sacks and complete the pass.

Justin Herbert – Oregon
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 236lbs
40-yard time: 4.69 secs

Many expected Justin Herbert to declare for the 2019 draft class after a superb junior year which saw him throw for 3,151 yards and 29 touchdowns.

But Herbert decided to stay for his senior year and it paid off – the 22-year-old threw for 3,471 yards with 32 touchdowns and six interceptions.

He is an athletic and well-rounded quarterback with a cannon for an arm, mobility to extend plays and relative accuracy.

On top of that, given his superior size and field vision, should make an impact on the league when he turns pro.

Some critics say Herbert needs to have a stronger presence in the huddle and on the sideline but that could be something that comes with time in the pros.

Herbert is expected to be a top 10 pick and reports suggest he is heavily linked with the LA Chargers.

Jordan Love – Utah State
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 224lbs
40-yard time: 4.65 secs

Jordan Love seems to be one of the most polarizing players in this year’s draft class with some heralding him as one of the most talented while others say he is overrated.

This is largely because his production at Utah State last season left a lot to be desired.

Because of this, he is still not expected to go before the top three quarterback prospects and is considered a first-round wild card.

Love is physically gifted with ideal size and an elite arm combined with strong athleticism which makes him a threat outside the pocket.

In 2019, he completed 62 per cent of his passes for 3,401 yards with 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions – a decline from his 2018 season.

NFL teams looking for a quarterback that needs time to develop could take a gamble on Herbert and he is still expected to go in the first round.

Jacob Eason – Washington
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 227lbs
40-yard time: 4.9 secs

In 2019, Eason completed 64 per cent of his passes for 3,132 yards with 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

The quarterback is a solid pocket passer whose frame gives him a strong presence but has had problems with consistency and is not the most mobile player so struggles to extend plays.

The 22-year-old is the best of the rest in terms of this year’s quarterback prospects at the NFL 2020 draft.

He is in the second tier of quarterbacks and without many voids at that position in the league right now, he could fall further than anticipated.

It is likely Eason will be drafted as a long term back-up for an existing NFL starter.

So there you have it – the top five wide receiver prospects in the NFL 2020 draft class.

Do you think there are players missing from this list? Let us know by joining the discussion on our Facebook page.

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