Top 5 quarterbacks to watch for the 2019 NFL Draft

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 18: Quarterback Justin Herbert
EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 18: Quarterback Justin Herbert /
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Five quarterbacks were selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Now it’s time to examine five signal callers that could go on day one in 2019.

Five quarterbacks heard their names called during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Even though none of those signal callers have taken a snap of regular season action yet, it’s already time to start examining the 2019 crop.

Most NFL executives will tell you the 2018 group was a special class. Next year’s collection of talent has a lot of intriguing prospects, but may end up lacking the star power up front that made this year’s group so special. In some ways, that makes evaluating this group even more of a challenge for every team that might be in the quarterback market.

Admittedly, this list can change a lot between now and April of 2019. The college football season will be full of twists and turns as usual. Each of these five quarterbacks will see their stock rise and fall depending on how they play this year. Inevitably, several names not on this list will propel themselves into the first round conversation next season too.

After all, Baker Mayfield was absent from most people’s mock drafts at this point a year ago. He ended up being the No. 1 pick of the Cleveland Browns. None of the following quarterbacks project to go quite that high, but anything’s possible with so much time left in the evaluation process.

No matter what, these five quarterbacks have a lot to play for this season. Each of them has put themselves in a position to grow into a first-round pick next April.

5. Will Grier – West Virginia

Grier is probably the quarterback on this list who’s going to put up gaudiest statistics next season. He’s a perfect fit in Dana Holgorsen’s pass-happy attack.

Let’s start with the good news. Grier is one of the most accurate passers in college football. NFL teams looking for a quarterback that can put short throws on the money will fall in love with his film. He “only” completed a little over 64 percent of his passes last season for the Mountaineers but that’s misleading. His real strength is hitting receivers in stride so they can produce yards after the catch.

The question about Grier’s game is whether or not he can adjust to playing under center in a traditional NFL offense. Unfortunately, teams aren’t going to get that answer out of his tape at West Virginia. He’ll need to show that in pre-draft workouts.

The red flags about Grier as a prospect mainly come off the field. The NCAA suspended him for a full season for violating their performance enhancing drugs policy while at Florida. General managers will want to get a clear picture of what that was all about before spending a high pick on the talented signal caller.