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2018 NFL Draft Class Preview - Quarterbacks (Part 2)

Part one of my 2018 NFL Draft quarterbacks preview featured the five most exciting quarterbacks from this upcoming NFL draft, but this class does have a bit of depth so this is part two of my QB breakdowns.

Most of these blurbs will be slightly shorter than part one because they're unlikely to be drafted high enough to contribute for fantasy. But we'll dive a little deeper into the draft to see if there are any sleepers who could surprise.

In case you missed it you can see the rest of my series, 2018 NFL Draft Previews for Fantasy Football, including columns and analysis on every skill position.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


The NFL Draft Prospects - Quarterbacks

As a reminder, as part of my  player analysis, I'll be using the following statistics:

  • Adjusted Yards Per Attempt (AYA)
  • Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt (ANYA)
  • Net Yards Per Attempt (NYA)

These three stats factor in sacks, touchdowns, and interceptions to properly describe a QB's level of play. The equations for these statistics can be found here. Now, let's meet the prospects.


Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

There's a case that can be made for Rudolph to be a first round selection alongside the five mentioned in part one. His production in his final season surpassed everyone except for Baker Mayfield. Whether it's fear of the college system or questioning the defenses played, Rudolph is seen as a member of the second tier of QBs.

2014 3 57.00% 7.94 9.22 8.57
2015 13 62.30% 7.95 8.93 7.91
2016 13 63.40% 8.92 9.98 8.13
2017 13 65.00% 9.99 10.71 9.34
Career 42 63.23% 8.93 9.87 8.50

As a full-time starter, Rudolph had three seasons over 8.0 AYA and improved his ANYA, AYA, and NYA each season. Rudolph led the NCAA in passing yards, with a 65 percent completion percentage. While some scouts are concerned that Rudolph thrived simply due to the prolific Oklahoma State offense, he improved in every category shows a strong development as a players.

Currently Rudolph is viewed as a second round pick in the NFL draft, but a strong combine performance and overall draft process could lead to him sneaking into the back end of the first round. Rudolph is likely only viable in superflex leagues or deep dynasty leagues where QBs are at a premium if he's drafted as a backup. However, of any in the class, Rudolph stands the best chance to be the new Jimmy Garoppolo as the back-up owned in 100 percent of leagues.


Kyle Lauletta, Richmond

Lauletta is a small school prospect who has seen his stock rise. Whether it's his production or ideal NFL size, Lauletta earned a Senior Bowl and Combine invite despite playing against lower competition than his peers.

2013 4 76.20% 6.41 7.05 4.59
2015 14 61.60% 7.67 8.45 8.39
2016 11 63.00% 8.14 9.00 7.81
2017 11 64.90.% 7.87 8.68 7.82
 Career 40 63.50% 7.86 8.67 7.95

Similar to Josh Allen, there's concern about Lauletta's caliber of competition and team success, but unlike Allen, he made up for it with a career completion percentage over 60 on an equally lower caliber team. While his team's never performed at an elite level, it wasn't because of Lauletta manning the helm.

On a positive note, Lauletta's invitation to the Senior Bowl and Combine were very important for his chances at success. On a negative note, there's little reason to believe he'll be drafted before round three at the earliest. Lauletta doesn't hold much value in a normal size dynasty league, but could be an interesting stash in deeper leagues if he joins a team with an ageing starter.


Luke Falk, Washington State

Falk had some buzz surrounding him before the 2017 season as a potential option beyond the known upper tier, but he took steps backward that have raised serious questions about how well he can perform.

2014 5 64.20% 6.49 7.42 6.70
2015 12 69.40% 6.86 7.70 6.27
2016 13 70.00% 6.84 7.48 6.44
2017 12 66.90% 5.84 6.76 5.81
Career 42 68.31% 6.54 7.35 6.25

Falk's ANYA is consistently low due to his propensity to take sacks, but three seasons over 7.0 AYA show that he's at least a competent QB. Falk clearly regressed during his final season and was regularly being discussed as a player who could be benched, but even in a down year, he passed for a 66.9 percent completion percentage and for more than 3500 yards. This is a sharp decrease from his back-to-back seasons over 4000 and that's why he's not in the discussion for the first round.

Falk will need a strong draft process to even garner a second round selection, but he has the right size and has comparable production to any of the second tier QBs. If he can demonstrate the necessary arm strength and interviews well, the door is open for him to raise his stock. He's unlikely to be drafted in single QB dynasty leagues, but could be an option as a stash in deeper leagues.


Kurt Benkert, Virginia

Benkert was a relative unknown prior to the 2017 season, but Virginia exceeding national expectations raised his profile enough to earn a Senior Bowl and Combine invite.  Benkert began his career at East Carolina before eventually joining Virginia.

2014 3 80.00% 1.30 1.30 5.80
2016 11 56.20% 5.18 6.10 5.35
2017 13 58.50% 5.76 6.49 5.58
Career 27 57.73% 5.45 6.26 5.48

I don't really understand the growing support for Benkert as a prospect. His completion percentage and AYA appear to be major red flags and the fact that he transferred doesn't provide for much optimism. Benkert's career high for yardage is only 3207 in his final year. While that's a strong finish, it fails to make up for all of the other concerns.

From a production standpoint, Benkert is a clear notch below many others in the class, but his size is unquestioned and it would only take a strong combine for him to raise his profile. He's a late-round flier in superflex leagues, but should probably be left aside in all other dynasty leagues. Barring a late off-season injury in front of him on the depth chart, he's unlikely to see the field any time soon.


Riley Ferguson, Memphis

Ferguson's draft stock will be hindered by the lack of success shown by Paxton Lynch at the NFL level, but, in his two seasons as a starter, he was productive.

2016 13 63.20% 7.68 8.78 7.28
2017 13 63.10% 9.04 9.73 8.32
Career 26 63.14% 8.37 9.27 7.81

Ferguson finished his career with an AYA over 9.0 and a completion percentage over 60. But while there's little correlation between the offenses run by Ferguson and Lynch, they're very likely connected in the minds of scout because of the lack of success in the NFL.

Ferguson struggled at times during the Shrine Bowl practices, but his collegiate production and ideal size should have him on the radar of NFL teams. He's unlikely to be selected in the early rounds, but, as it stands right now, it would be a surprise if he went undrafted. In deeper superflex leagues, Ferguson could be an intriguing flier for owners looking for the next Dak Prescott. He lacks the ideal mobility, but he should have a place on an NFL roster when OTAs begin.


Logan Woodside, Toldeo

Leading an offense that ran through the Mid-American Conference, Woodside earned some draft buzz as a potential late round sleeper. His height-weight combination may cause him to slip a few rounds, but his production is among the best in college football.

2013 4 51.20% 6.34 6.34 5.85
2014 12 62.50% 7.28 7.71 7.21
2016 13 69.10% 10.50 11.06 9.35
2017 14 64.20% 9.11 9.93 8.65
Career 43 65.09% 9.05 9.65 8.44

Woodside has a career completion percentage comfortably over 60 percent and an AYA over 9.0. While he dipped slightly across the board in 2017, he still maintained high level efficiency as part of a conference champion team. The biggest knock on Woodside as a potential fantasy asset is his fairly limited mobility. For his career, he rushed for less than 100 yards and took 45 sacks over three years.

Unfortunately for Woodside, the final image from his season was a 34-0 loss to Appalachian State where he performed terribly.

Logan Woodside Toledo 16 29 55.2 124 0 3

One game can't destroy a prospects chances, but it's unfortunate that it was the last showing for a QB during a strong final season. He'll need to impress through the draft process to regain the position he'd earned through 2017.

Woodside is probably going to end up a Day three selection which makes him largely irrelevant for fantasy purposes. He'll go undrafted in normal size dynasty leagues, but his production both in his final season and over his career are impressive enough to keep an eye on.


J.T. Barrett, Ohio State

J.T. Barrett has been the QB at OSU for what feels like 14 years and during that time, he's been a very productive QB.

2014 12 64.60% 8.63 9.76 7.95
2015 11 63.30% 6.56 7.02 6.29
2016 13 61.50% 6.34 7.18 5.94
2017 14 64.70% 8.31 9.02 7.55
Career 50 63.50% 7.56 8.39 6.99

Barrett is one of the prime examples of why production comparisons isn't entirely apples-to-apples. While four seasons over 7.0 AYA is impressive and his completion percentage is over 60 percent, he thrived in a short passing offense that largely relied on the athleticism of his receivers to produce yards after the catch.

Barrett projected as a late-round pick before any of the Shrine Game practices, but he was, reportedly, the clear stand-out at the QB position. The Shrine Game is typically seen as the secondary Senior Bowl option so while his performance is good, it likely didn't help his cause significantly. Barrett's likely best-case scenario is a Josh Dobbs-like draft process that increases his stock from late-round pick to fourth round. Barrett is only a fantasy option in the deepest of leagues.


Kenny Hill, TCU

Kenny Trill, I mean Hill, started off his first season as the full-time starter with a big game and immediately earned himself the nickname Kenny Trill as the replacement for Johnny Manziel.

Year School Cmp Att PCT Yds TD Int
2014 Texas A&M 44 60 73.3 511 3 0

However, things took a turn when he was suspended and subsequently benched for Kyle Allen. Following the 2014 season, he transferred away to join TCU where he started for two seasons.

2013 4 72.70% 8.38 9.23 7.54
2014 8 66.70% 7.84 8.56 7.54
2016 13 61.10% 5.94 6.73 6.47
2017 13 67.30% 7.52 8.13 7.28
Career 38 64.92% 7.03 7.75 7.05

With a career AYA over 7.0, Hill's production points toward a prospect that shouldn't be ignored, but he lacks ideal size in the eyes of NFL scouts and, despite playing well at TCU, his transfer raised eyebrows enough to lower him on draft boards. Hill will need a good draft process to earn a roster spot in the NFL. Ignore him during rookie drafts.


Quinton Flowers, USF

Flowers was the productive leader on a USF team that performed well in 2017, but there are plenty of questions about him which have pushed him into the late rounds, if he even gets selected.

2014 5 40.00% 1.05 1.05 5.55
2015 13 59.10% 7.73 8.61 7.46
2016 13 62.50% 8.42 8.99 7.94
2017 12 53.10% 8.19 8.87 7.57
Career 43 57.70% 8.00 8.68 7.62

The red flag for Flowers is his completion percentage. His AYA and ANYA are both comfortably within the good range for a prospect, but two seasons under 60 percent completions and a career under 60 percent is reason to be concerned. In addition to concerns about his accuracy, Flowers is a small QB prospect. Despite being listed as the same size as J.T. Barrett, Barrett towered over Flowers in the Shrine Game practices. He measures five-foot-ten and was questioned by several scout whether he'd consider a position change. He also spent time returning punts during the drills which points towards a player without long-term hopes for playing QB in the NFL.

Flowers isn't going to be an NFL QB. Whether you're concerned with his size or his accuracy, he has enough red flags to warrant going undrafted as a QB prospect. However, if he runs a strong 40 time and is open to a position change during the combine interview process, he might be a late round athlete selection, but he can be ignored in all rookie drafts.


Nick Stevens, Colorado State

Stevens is a relatively unheralded prospect with decent production at a non-Power Five school. He has the ideal height and weight to become a potential NFL player and his production appears to hit all of the necessary marks to succeed.

2014 5 60.00% 5.38 6.24 4.62
2015 13 60.80% 6.80 7.37 7.14
2016 10 64.20% 10.03 10.40 9.27
2017 13 61.90% 8.17 8.56 7.89
Career 41 61.92% 7.99 8.46 7.82

Stevens only had one season over 3000 yards passing, but his AYA was over 7.0 for his final three seasons. There are no concerns with Stevens' completion percentage and his 2016 season was a marked improvement following his first season as the full-time starter.

Currently, Stevens isn't projected to be drafted before Day three, but he can improve that stock in the draft process. For fantasy purposes, he can be left undrafted in almost all leagues.


Kyle Allen, Houston

Once upon a time, Kyle Allen was an intriguing prospect at the QB position. Sadly, that time is not 2018.

2014 10 61.50% 6.14 6.91 6.12
2015 10 56.50% 6.83 7.90 6.75
2017 4 76.20% 5.90 6.39 6.82
Career 24 61.72% 6.44 7.30 6.55

2014 was the peak for Allen. Not only did he replace the aforementioned Kenny Hill, but the expectation was for him to be the starter for the next three years. And then he failed to live up to expectations in 2015 which led to his eventual transfer. With some renewed hope, Allen joined the Houston Cougars and was subsequently benched midway through the season.

Allen entering the NFL draft rather than returning to school was almost assuredly a mistake. He's unlikely to get drafted and has no fantasy value.


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