2019 NFL Draft prospect rankings: Quarterbacks

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Here, theScore's Mike Alessandrini and Dan Wilkins break down the top prospects in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft with position-by-position rankings and an overall top 50 big board.

Top 50
QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | iOL
EDGE | DL | LB | CB | S

Quarterbacks

1. Kyler Murray

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School: Oklahoma
Height: 5-10
Weight: 207 lbs

Strengths

  • Natural passer who can make any throw on the field
  • Excellent accuracy and ball placement at all levels
  • Makes good pre-snap reads
  • Can extend plays either by escaping pressure or moving within the pocket
  • Dynamic ball carrier
  • Does a good job protecting himself from taking big hits
  • Has a knack for making the big play

Weaknesses

  • Doesn't read the whole field or go through progressions from the pocket
  • Generally goes into improvise mode if his first read isn't there
  • Height could be an issue from the pocket in the NFL
  • Thin frame raises potential durability concerns
  • Only one year as a starter

Bottom line

Murray has the most upside of any quarterback in this draft. He's a big play waiting to happen in every phase, possesses the arm talent to make any throw on the field with incredible accuracy and touch, and has perhaps the most dangerous running ability we've seen from the quarterback position since Michael Vick. It's a truly tantalizing skill set. He still needs to improve his decision-making process as a passer, as he has a tendency to improvise when his first read isn't there, but his ability to make game-changing plays while freelancing certainly mitigates the downside. His height has never really been an issue for him despite being a great source of debate throughout the draft process. In a more modern, spread-type offense, that'll continue to be the case. His thin frame is more of an issue, creating concern about durability and ball security in the NFL. Protecting himself will be crucial. However, if he ends up in an offense that plays to his strengths, Murray could end up as one of the league's best quarterbacks.

2. Dwayne Haskins

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School: Ohio State
Height: 6-3
Weight: 231 lbs

Strengths

  • Big arm and has the ability to drive the ball to all levels of the field
  • Lightning quick release
  • Flashes touch to drop the ball in over the top of an underneath defender
  • Can deliver passes on target from different arm angles
  • Extremely proficient at going through progressions from the pocket
  • Good movement within the pocket and maintains eye level
  • Not shy about pushing the ball down the field

Weaknesses

  • Touch needs to show up with short passes
  • Has a tendency to sail throws while trying to drive them downfield
  • Bails out of stride, leading to some inconsistent ball placement
  • No mobility to break the pocket and avoid pressure
  • Only one year as a starter

Bottom line

Haskins is far and away the most advanced quarterback in terms of process. After just one year of starting experience at Ohio State, he makes the jump to the NFL already capable of working through progressions from the pocket like a seasoned professional. Combining that ability with his impressive arm talent and ability to make big-time throws to all levels of the field gives him a high ceiling. He can be inconsistent with his accuracy and ball placement, but the hope will be that some minor mechanical improvements can clean things up. Haskins' mental aptitude should make him a starter early on in his NFL career, if not from Day 1, and he's got the upside of a perennial Pro Bowler.

3. Drew Lock

Ed Zurga / Getty Images Sport / Getty

School: Missouri
Height: 6-4
Weight: 228 lbs

Strengths

  • Has the arm talent to make every throw on the field
  • Quick release
  • Willingness and ability to challenge tight windows
  • Generally accurate from a clean pocket
  • Good deep ball
  • Climbs the pocket while maintaining eye level
  • Athleticism to take off and run when a play breaks down

Weaknesses

  • Poor decision-making in general and gets worse under pressure
  • Accuracy and ball placement suffer when facing pressure and on the run
  • Seems to lock in on one receiver rather than go through his progressions
  • Doesn't deal well with pressure in his face
  • Too many fadeaways

Bottom line

Lock is an incredibly talented quarterback prospect dripping with upside. He's got the ability to make every throw on the field, he's a fearless passer, and he has the athleticism to make plays with his legs when necessary. Unfortunately, he's unable to consistently make the most of those abilities, as his decision-making and play against pressure lead to some frustrating issues. Lock could be a productive starter if he lands with the right system and coaching staff, but his weaknesses also give him a lower floor than you'd like for an early-round quarterback prospect.

4. Will Grier

Streeter Lecka / Getty Images Sport / Getty

School: West Virginia
Height: 6-3
Weight: 217 lbs

Strengths

  • Accurate to all levels of the field
  • Excellent timing, trajectory, and ball placement on the deep ball
  • Ultra aggressive and always looking to make a play downfield
  • Always willing to challenge windows and give his receiver a chance
  • Flashes ability to work through progressions
  • Can move within the pocket
  • Consistently made big plays in big moments

Weaknesses

  • Nothing special in terms of arm strength, despite proficiency with the deep ball
  • Struggles under pressure
  • Won't escape the pocket and make plays with his legs
  • Needs to settle for a checkdown or a throwaway when it's the best option

Bottom line

A phenomenal deep-ball passer with a knack for making big throws, Grier is an incredibly interesting prospect. He's the best vertical passer in this draft, and he's certainly not shy about attacking defenses in the way he knows best. His play style is actually quite similar to that of Patrick Mahomes, but without the freakish arm talent. The question is where that leaves him. His floor, given his perceived lack of arm strength and struggles under pressure, is lower than the other top talents at the position. But if he lands with a modern offense that spreads things out and lets him attack downfield, it wouldn't be much of a surprise to see him put together one of the most productive careers of any quarterback in this class.

5. Brett Rypien

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School: Boise State
Height: 6-2
Weight: 210 lbs

Strengths

  • Accuracy and touch to all levels of the field
  • Throws with anticipation
  • Makes good reads and understands game situations
  • Should thrive in a quick-hit passing game that attacks short and intermediate levels
  • Lots of starting experience

Weaknesses

  • Lack of arm strength results in longer throws hanging up in the air
  • Not a great feel for pressure
  • Too many fumbles

Bottom line

Of all the quarterbacks seemingly in the mid-to-late round conversation heading into the draft, Rypien is the most interesting backup option with starter upside. He doesn't have elite arm strength, which holds him back in a number of ways, but there's a lot to like with just about everything else in his game. The Boise State product is a smart, accurate quarterback who reads defenses well and throws with anticipation. He could produce in an offense that primarily works the short and intermediate levels of the field.

6. Daniel Jones

Grant Halverson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

School: Duke
Height: 6-5
Weight: 221 lbs

Strengths

  • Moves well within the pocket and maintains eye level
  • Great footwork from snap to throw
  • Works through progressions
  • Accurate to short levels of the field
  • Toughness to stand in and deliver a throw
  • Good athlete with the ability to make plays as a runner

Weaknesses

  • Average arm strength limits his ability to make certain throws
  • Accuracy and ball placement suffers when pushing the ball downfield
  • Spotty decision-making
  • Too many batted balls at the line
  • Underwhelming production

Bottom line

It's not tough to see why Jones is getting first-round buzz leading up to the draft. The NFL has its types, and his size, toughness, and an ability to work through progressions certainly check a number of boxes. The issue is that those traits are combined with average arm strength, accuracy issues beyond the short levels of the field, some poor decision-making, and a lack of production in three years under center at Duke. Jones could develop into a solid starter at the NFL level, but his ceiling isn't very high.

7. Jarrett Stidham

Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images Sport / Getty

School: Auburn
Height: 6-2
Weight: 218 lbs

Strengths

  • Decent arm strength
  • Showed accuracy to all levels, good decision-making, and poise in 2017
  • Maintains accuracy when throwing on the run
  • Toughness to stand in and deliver a throw under pressure
  • Can make plays as a runner

Weaknesses

  • Accuracy, decision-making, and poise all suffered last season
  • First instinct is to escape the pocket rather than move within it
  • A lot of wide-open completions, never really had success challenging tight windows

Bottom line

Stidham could be generating a lot more buzz if he had built upon his impressive 2017 season. Instead, he took some significant steps back as part of a disappointing Auburn offense. If a team can get him back to his previous development path, where he showed accuracy and good decision-making to go with his abilities to make plays on the run, he could have a future as a starter. Coaching and team situation will be a major factor in unlocking that potential.

8. Easton Stick

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School: North Dakota State
Height: 6-1
Weight: 224 lbs

Strengths

  • Can both drive the ball where necessary and demonstrate touch
  • Flashes accuracy and ball placement to all levels of the field
  • Maintains accuracy while on the run to either side
  • Works through reads from the pocket
  • Extends plays by moving within the pocket and escaping while maintaining eye level
  • Effective on designed runs and when plays break down

Weaknesses

  • Decision-making can be problematic
  • Accuracy needs more consistency
  • Tendency to put far too much air under the deep ball
  • Rushing production likely a result of lower levels of competition

Bottom line

Stick is the kind of quarterback you want to gamble on at some point on Day 3. He needs to address some decision-making issues and his inconsistent accuracy, but there are a number of other traits that hint at his upside. Decent arm talent, athleticism, and experience in a pro-style offense give him plenty of value as a backup signal-caller.

9. Gardner Minshew

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images Sport / Getty

School: Washington State
Height: 6-1
Weight: 225 lbs

Strengths

  • Efficiently works through progressions
  • Makes good decisions and takes care of the ball
  • Moves well within the pocket and maintains eye level
  • Demonstrates accuracy and good timing to short and intermediate levels
  • Can deliver passes on the run or pull it down and make plays with his legs

Weaknesses

  • Lacks necessary arm strength to make big-time throws in the NFL
  • Accuracy fades at deeper levels of the field
  • Will be limited to short, quick-hit passing games
  • Undersized for the position

Bottom line

Minshew likely won't ever be a long-term starter, as limited arm strength puts a cap on his upside. But he'll still bring plenty of value as a backup. With an ability to work through progressions and throw with accuracy and anticipation in the short and intermediate areas of the field, he could be effective in a quick-hit passing game.

10. Ryan Finley

Lance King / Getty Images Sport / Getty

School: NC State
Height: 6-4
Weight: 213 lbs

Strengths

  • Accurate passer to short and intermediate levels of the field
  • Maintains accuracy when delivering passes on the run
  • Goes through progressions and makes good decisions with the ball
  • Moves well within the pocket and maintains eye level
  • Lots of starting experience

Weaknesses

  • Average arm talent with a long release
  • Accuracy fades when pushing the ball downfield
  • Tight-window throws will be an issue at the next level
  • Decision-making falters when under pressure

Bottom line

Finley is a developmental prospect whose accuracy and ability to work through progressions give him a good foundation. His arm talent limits the throws he can make at the NFL level, though, and he struggles when dealing with pressure. His likely projection is as a long-term backup.

Other notable prospects

Corey Perrine / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Tyree Jackson (Buffalo)
Clayton Thorson (Northwestern)
Manny Wilkins (Arizona State)
Jordan Ta'amu (Ole Miss)
Trace McSorley (Penn State)

Top 50
QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | iOL
EDGE | DL | LB | CB | S

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2019 NFL Draft prospect rankings: Quarterbacks
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