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Rookie Roulette - Which QB Goes After Kyler Murray in Dynasty Drafts?


Asking the question "which first-year quarterback should go first in rookie drafts" is, basically, a bad question. You don't need to read a 1000 word piece from me about why to pick Kyler Murray over the other quarterbacks in this class. No way. Kyler should be the first quarterback off the board in 100 percent of rookie drafts, even if you think he's not as good as advertised.

But what about the battle to be the second quarterback off the board?

There are three quarterbacks who you could make a case for as the second quarterback that gets taken. Let's look at those cases for Dwyane Haskins, Daniel Jones, and Drew Lock. (Apologies to Will Grier fans who insist that the Panthers are going to move on from Cam Newton.)

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The Case For Dwayne Haskins

Haskins has the easiest case of any of these quarterbacks. He was arguably the second-best quarterback prospect in this year's draft, even though he wasn't the second quarterback drafted. He ends up on a Washington team where he shouldn't have too much competition to be the team's quarterback before the end of the 2019 season.

And, maybe most importantly, Haskins is extremely talented. Before this year's NFL Draft, SB Nation put up some numbers ranking the 22 quarterbacks from this class with the best chance of making the NFL by various metrics. Haskins ranked first in college completion percentage, second in success rate (to Kyler Murray), second in passer rating (again, to Murray), and second in adjusted net yards per attempt (again, because there seems to be a pattern here, to Kyler Murray). As a pure passer, Haskins is either the best or second best player from this draft, a guy who can make any throw. He's got to improve some of his reads, but Haskins has the makings of an above-average NFL passer.

The problem with Haskins is with his legs. You (mostly) want a modern NFL quarterback to be a guy who can escape the pocket when he needs to. Haskins runs a 5.04 40-yard dash, a number that's just...not very good. Haskins is going to have to rely on his arm to give him value and while that's probably fine in the real-life world of the NFL, it does lower his fantasy ceiling, as he's unlikely to be much of a factor in the run game.

Still, Haskins' arm strength and accuracy are up there, and with only Case Keenum and Colt McCoy to beat out, Haskins should be in a position to succeed fairly quickly.

 

The Case For Drew Lock

Lock was the big loser on draft night in the "went later than expected and lost out on money" sense, but he actually ended up in a pretty good situation with the Denver Broncos.

Denver's current quarterback is Joe Flacco, but Flacco has transitioned into the "temporary placeholder" portion of his career, so his presence in Denver shouldn't be a long term impediment for Lock.

There are some concerning numbers for Lock. Of the aforementioned 22 quarterbacks, his completion percentage was the third worst, while he was in the middle of the pack in most of the other categories. Lock's got to figure more things out as a passer than someone like Haskins does.

Lock's did issue is that while he's got the arm strength to make whatever throw he needs to, he struggles with ball placement. He's shown signs of being able to zip the ball into small windows, but he didn't do it consistently enough at Missouri for us to assume that he'll be able to quickly get up to NFL speed as a thrower.

What Lock does have going for him over Haskins is that he's a more effective runner, but does that make up for his accuracy issues? Or his struggles under pressure? He's got a decent bit of development left to do, but his arm strength is there.

 

The Case For Daniel Jones

Jones was the actual second quarterback taken in this year's draft, even if the decision to take him over Haskins was...questionable.

Look, it's no mystery that I'm not a fan of Jones. While his 59.9 completion percentage is better than Lock's, Jones ranked last in this draft class -- and again, I'm talking about of 22 potentially draftable quarterbacks, not just the ones who were drafted -- in yards per completion and marginal efficiency and second to last in adjusted net yards per attempt. As a passer, the Duke version of Daniel Jones was just really poor in a lot of ways.

But look, I've been trying to keep it more positive lately, so let's talk about things Jones could d0 right in the NFL.

First, he's fine in terms of accuracy when throwing short balls. If the Giants employ a ton of short passing routes, Jones is more than capable of putting the ball in the right spot, which means that the Jones to Saquon Barkley connection could be very dangerous.

His arm is also pretty strong. Yes, his deep ball accuracy needs a lot of work, but he can throw the ball deep, which is a good sign. And Jones has some mobility to him -- he gets compared a lot to the Manning brothers, but Jones can actually get out of the pocket and do a little damage with his legs. He isn't Peyton Manning on the run.

Now, do these positives outweigh the negatives, which are that Jones doesn't throw with accuracy beyond 10 to 15 yards, has trouble making reads, and struggles immensely when pressured in the pocket? Nah, but you can at least see the upside that made the Giants take him where they did.

 

And The Winner Is...

Dwayne Haskins. Yes, his mobility is concerning, but he's the best passer of this bunch and is in the best situation to have both a short and long term impact. I think there's actually a pretty big gap between Haskins -- who should turn out to be an incredibly solid NFL quarterback -- and the other two, who both have much bigger question marks surrounding their ability to stick around the league.

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