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Nick Whalen
Post-Draft QB Rankings

Nick Whalen provides his Post-Draft QB Rankings.

May 4th

Whew, what an NFL Draft! I had many jaw dropping reactions in the first round and it continued throughout the entire three days. Which is exactly why I love it! One important thing to remember is NFL teams are picking players to fit certain roles on their teams. They aren’t picking players to put up statistics or for fantasy football purposes. This is why our rankings and expectations rarely match what happens in the draft both before and after the event. Therefore, I’m going to be transparent with my post draft rankings as I adjust to account for what NFL teams said about prospects.

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2019 Pre-Draft QB Rankings

#Name | College Team
1Kyler Murray | Oklahoma
2Dwayne Haskins | Ohio State
3Will Grier | West Virginia
4Drew Lock | Missouri
5Tyree Jackson | Buffalo
6Brett Rypien | Boise State
7Daniel Jones | Duke
8Jarrett Stidham | Auburn
9Ryan Finley | North Carolina State
10Gardner Minshew | Washington State
11Clayton Thorson | Northwestern
12Easton Stick | North Dakota State
13Trace McSorley | Penn State

As you can see the NFL felt very different than I did on quite a few of these rankings and that’s okay. The biggest misses for me would be Tyree Jackson and Brett Rypien going undrafted.

2019 Post-Draft QB Rankings

#Name | NFL Team
1Kyler Murray | Arizona
2Dwayne Haskins | Washington
3Drew Lock | Denver
4Daniel Jones | NY Giants
5Will Grier | Carolina
6Jarrett Stidham | New England
7Brett Rypien | Denver
8Ryan Finley | Cincinnati
9Tyree Jackson | Buffalo
10Clayton Thorson | Philadelphia
11Gardner Minshew | Jacksonville
12Easton Stick | LA Chargers
13Trace McSorley | Baltimore

Tier 1

The NFL just said they didn’t like the rest of the Quarterbacks in this class as much as some anticipated. Murray went with the first pick and Haskins slid to the fifteenth pick, when most thought he was a top 6 selection. In FF, Murray is in this top tier by himself.

Tier 2

Dwayne Haskins is in this tier by himself. The NFL said they didn’t view him as an elite franchise talent. However, the gap between himself and the rest of the quarterbacks is large from an opportunity and talent perspective.

Tier 3

Daniel Jones went higher than expected, so he has to be in this tier. Drew Lock and Will Grier fell, but both are talented enough for deep rosters in superflex or 2 QB leagues.

  1. Kyler Murray – Arizona Cardinals – Round 1 Pick 1

Murray went number one as expected and his FF potential is a high end QB one. His arm talent is underrated with a quick release, accuracy, touch, and arm strength. He can extend plays with his legs and likes to take shots down the field. The better news is by the time the draft had concluded, Arizona added lots of weapons to help Murray. Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and KeeSean Johnson are three receivers I liked going into the draft. Combine them with already rostered Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald to see very good potential in the targets Murray can throw to when he’s scrambling or on scheduled passes. Arizona also added TE Caleb Wilson to add to Charles Clay and Ricky Seals-Jones. I expect Murray to start from day one and grow with this young group of weapons.

2) Dwayne Haskins – Washington – Round 1 Pick 15

Haskins fell further than expected, but landed on a team desperate for a young QB. Alex Smith is still recovery from a bad leg injury and Case Keenum was brought in during free agency. This will allow Haskins to learn from two veterans and grasp the entire playbook. Haskins only started one season and still needs development as a QB. Washington needs to be patient with him. The weapons in Washington aren’t great with Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jordan Reed and Derrius Guice. They added fellow Ohio State Buckeye, Terry McLaurin, and Kelvin Harmon late to help the WR group. Bryce Love was added to a now crowded RB group. Haskins shouldn’t be asked to start until late in the season.

3) Drew Lock – Denver – Round 2 Pick 42 AND 7) Brett Rypien UDFA

Decided to group both of these players together because they’re going to the same organization. Joe Flacco is the current starter and it’s good news for these two young QBs. They can sit and learn behind an established NFL starter until they’re ready. Flacco has no guaranteed money and can be released at any time. Lock has a big time arm with good touch. While Rypien doesn’t have a big arm, but shows good decision making and knowledge. They’ll have some talented young talent around them by the time they’re ready to start in Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, Noah Fant, Phillip Lindsay, and Royce Freeman. Veteran Emmanuel Sanders is likely only there for one more season. Lock has better odds of winning this starting job, but Rypien has a decent chance of being the Kirk Cousins in this situation(referring to the RGIII/Kirk Cousins battle in Washington years ago). Love what Denver did to address the QB position and these two young QBs have potential to start. Their FF upside is more in the QB2 range.

4) Daniel “DJ” Jones – NY Giants – Round 1 Pick 6

I decided to nickname Daniel Jones “DJ” because he needed something cool with all of the hate being thrown at him. The Giants decided to surprise everyone with actually taking him at pick 6, when many thought it was a smokescreen. He will sit behind Eli Manning as he learns to be an NFL player. During this time, he hopefully works on anticipation, footwork and accuracy. Giants GM, Dave Gettleman, indicated DJ could sit for multiple years, which would be interesting and something we haven’t seen from a top 6 pick in a long time. The best news for DJ is he has plenty of talent around him in Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Corey Coleman. If he can learn to dump it off quickly to these talented players, he could be a low end QB2 in FF. But I don’t see a high upside with him.

5) Will Grier – Carolina – Round 3 Pick 100

Grier fell much further than I anticipated in the NFL Draft. He’s now stuck behind Cam Newton in Carolina, which is both good and bad. The good news is he will have no pressure on him if Cam Newton is healthy and he can learn the entire playbook.

Cam Newton had offseason shoulder surgery and most didn’t anticipate them spending an early pick on a QB. Is he healthy? Newton has been banged up several times since his MVP season in 2015 and his numbers have declined. He threw for 35 touchdowns that season, but hasn’t reached 25 in any of his other 7 seasons as a starter. Is Carolina happy with him? Newton’s contract is up in two years, but his current contract carries little guaranteed money. If Grier were forced to play soon, he has weapons around him in Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel, Torrey Smith, and Greg Olsen. Grier’s value took a hit, but definitely worth a roster stash based on his talent.

6) Jarrett Stidham – New England – Round 4 Pick 133 AND 8) Ryan Finley – Cincinnati – Round 4 Pick 104 AND 9) Tyree Jackson – Buffalo – UDFA

These three players get grouped together because they’re long shots to not only become NFL starters, but also to become FF relevant. Stidham is now the developmental QB behind Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer. He won’t play this year, but Brady’s contract is up after this season. I have a feeling that when Tom Brady retires, so will Bill Belichick. Which leaves me very concerned with the prospects of anyone on that team.

Ryan Finley is the developmental QB now behind Andy Dalton with two years left on his contract though Dalton doesn’t have any guaranteed money left on his deal. New HC Zac Taylor hand picked Ryan Finley, which is a good sign. However, Finley’s upside is a low end NFL starter and I see low FF upside as well.

Tyree Jackson has great raw tools to be a FF factor, but he went undrafted and thus tells us what the NFL thought of him. He lands in Buffalo behind a similar QB in Josh Allen, who has between 3-4 more years under his contract. Jackson’s hope is he develops quickly and takes advantage of any opportunity he may get in Buffalo.

10) Clayton Thorson – Philadelphia – Round 5 Pick 167 AND 11) Gardner Minshew – Jacksonville – Round 6 Pick 178 AND 12) Easton Stick – LA Chargers – Round 5 Pick 166 AND 13) Trace McSorley – Baltimore – Round 6 Pick 197

I have large doubts any of these players can be established NFL starters for any duration of time, which handicaps their FF potential. The best hope is some of them are in good offenses, who could aid them if they have to start a game or two.

Insight by
Nick Whalen