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Overvalued 2019 NFL Draft Targets: QB (Fantasy Football)

by Raju Byfield | @FantasyContext | Featured Writer
Feb 9, 2019

Drew Lock doesn’t have the elite upside of a first-round quarterback.

With the NFL Combine barreling down on us, it is a good time to take a look at the quarterbacks who may be overvalued at this point of the pre-draft process. In a draft that will be full of Day One talent still available on Day Two, and in a year with five potential starters hitting the free-agent or trade markets, the QB position is the one that will suffer the most in the NFL Draft.

In my first mock draft of the offseason, I had only two quarterbacks in the first round, with only one of them assigned a first-round grade. I slotted Dwayne Haskins to the New York Giants, and even though I grade Kyler Murray quite a bit higher than Drew Lock in terms of projecting NFL fit and upside, I mocked Lock to the Broncos due to reports that Hall of Famer turned Denver Broncos G.M. John Elway is smitten with the Missouri QB.

Let me start by saying that all of the quarterbacks discussed below have an NFL arm and have shown flashes of brilliance in college. For the purposes of this discourse, anyone at least had to be in the first-round discussion to be eligible for this conversation. This means only five quarterbacks qualified: Haskins, Murray, Lock, Will Grier, and Daniel Jones.

When judging players for an overvalued list, you have to factor in where other mock drafts or draftniks may peg their landing spots and juxtapose those estimations with their actual value. All of the prospects below have NFL-caliber talent. The question before us is how high of a ceiling and low of a floor they possess. Determining this helps identify which QB’s belong in the Day One mix.

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Drew Lock (Missouri)
Tape evaluated: Memphis, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Wyoming, Senior Bowl
Lock is rumored to be going 10th overall to the Broncos. Notice I didn’t say 10th at the latest. The Broncos are quite likely the only team even considering Lock as a legitimate option at the top of the draft.

As alluded to above, Lock has shown some flashes. He displays a propensity to heat up once he gets into a rhythm but otherwise offers a mixed bag. Lock looked to be at his best when throwing to Albert Okwuegbunam and Emanuel Hall, but there is a good case to be made that their obvious NFL talent made Lock look better than he actually is at this point in his career.

If just watching a highlight package, it’s easy to be tricked. He has enough arm strength to push the ball downfield, as evidenced by his 30 completions and 14 TD’s on deep attempts. And Lock can really get going with quick-hitting, short field reads. However, Lock is often inaccurate in the intermediate game and fails to elevate the talent around him. He often makes questionable, head-scratching reads and had a tendency to sit around and wait for his stud tight end to get open. This may be correctable because he appears to go through his progressions well at times, but at this point, this facet of his game is a liability since he often makes the wrong decision.

Lock has the most upside of this class’ second-tier quarterbacks. He could function as a long-term, low-end starter in the Ryan Tannehill mold, especially if he lands on a team with good talent at wide receiver and tight end. With that said, however, a low-end starter is (hopefully) not what teams are aiming for in the first round.

Will Grier (West Virginia)
Tape evaluated: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas Tech, Senior Bowl
Much like Lock, Grier looks more like a low-end starter or a high-end backup. Grier has shown flashes of talent throughout his tape but does not project as someone worthy of a first-round selection. Especially in a draft class as deep as this one.

Throw on his highlight package and you see a player with NFL arm talent who had some highlight-reel worthy touchdowns. However, even in the package, you can see some of his issues bubble to the surface. David Sills, a receiver who will be drafted late on Day Two or early on Day Three, bailed Grier out of bad throws time and time again, often for touchdowns. Grier looked better throwing to Gary Jennings, also a late Day Two or early Day Three talent, who does not have the size or catch radius of “bail bondsman” Sills.

Sifting through Grier’s college tape, you see a quarterback who is wildly inconsistent and obviously benefitted, much like Lock, from playing with two NFL-ready talents. Grier is a rhythm passer who will need a great supporting cast to reach his potential of a low-end starter. He continuously makes questionable reads and is not good under pressure, as his passer rating dropped from 132.8 in clean pockets to 59.6 under pressure. He has a bit of that gunslinger mentality which I personally value, but the overconfidence in his arm can lead him to force the ball—such as when he threw three first-half picks versus Kansas—an aspect of his game that will not translate well at the next level.

Grier is actually my favorite of the three quarterbacks on this list, but he’s not someone who should go in the first round. From a pure raw talent standpoint, Grier may be the only one of these QBs who looks more like a player NFL evaluators could peg with a third-round grade.

Daniel Jones (Duke)
Tape evaluated: Virginia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Clemson, Senior Bowl
Jones is the biggest enigma of these three quarterbacks. Half of his appeal comes from his ability as a dual-threat quarterback (17 rushing touchdowns in three years as a starter).

As evidenced by his 103.3 passer rating in clean pockets and 19 out of his 22 passing touchdowns coming from them, Jones looks like a much better prospect when clean. Jones, unlike Lock and Grier, did not have the benefit of playing with two NFL-ready talents, and his relative production may have suffered because of it. Jones, like the other two QBs, does have an NFL arm and can throw to a spot and hit open receivers. Yet he seems to have some issues throwing receivers open. More than Grier and Lock, Jones looks like a high-caliber backup as opposed to someone you want running your offense on a weekly basis.

His Clemson and Miami tape made me question why he is even considered a top prospect. Yes, there are his legs, but between questionable reads and poor throws on everything but short passes, there is a lot left to be desired. My initial thought on Jones was that he could be the perfect backup on a team with a dual-threat QB, as he has the tools to run the same offense for the most part. To find success in the NFL, Jones will need to have an offense tailored to his strengths and receivers who can create constant separation. While he won Senior Bowl MVP honors, it was due to very little of his own ability. He took home the honor due to two total touchdowns. One came when Andy Isabella took a pass at the line of scrimmage all the way to the end zone, and the second resulted from a goal-line plunge set up by a pass interference call.

Winning the award could generate more hype than the young QB deserves, but it should not be viewed as a measuring stick of future NFL success. Just ask the past two winners, Kyle Lauletta and Davis Webb. Jones has the type of talent to intrigue NFL evaluators but possesses too low of a floor to truly consider in the first-round conversation.

Under the Radar 2019 NFL Draft Targets: QB

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Raju Byfield is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Raju, check out his profile and follow him @FantasyContext.

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