With many of being forced to work from home, or stay inside as much as possible, including us at Pro Football Magazine, I thought now would be a good time to summarize why I have the 2020 NFL Draft top 5 quarterbacks graded the way I do. Now these rankings could, theoretically, still change between now and the draft, but there won’t be much variance. To be clear, I think any of the top three quarterbacks in my rankings are first-round talents and have franchise quarterback potential.
1. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
At 6’6″, Herbert obviously has the size of the classic, prototypical NFL quarterback. That doesn’t matter as much in today’s NFL, but he has the other tools you look for in a franchise QB as well. People that have been around him praise his calm demeanor, high football IQ, and great decision-making. And that shows on tape, too. Herbert is accurate with the football and doesn’t often make bad decisions. Yes, he hasn’t thrown much down the field in the Oregon offense, but when he did, he didn’t miss. The arm strength is there, the only thing I’m not sure about is if he possesses that competitive fire, but time will tell how bad he wants to win.
2. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Let’s get the injury concerns out of the way first. If Tua’s hip is healthy and everything checks out, which it seems like rehab is going well so far, then Tagovailoa has the making of a franchise QB. He’s incredibly accurate, a tough competitor, and loves the game of football. There might be concerns about the fact that he’s left-handed, but in watching the tape, I saw that more of a slight competitive advantage, since it’s quite unorthodox. Arm strength isn’t really a concern here either, and I think Tua could break the stigma of Alabama quarterbacks. He doesn’t make many mistakes with the football, and can make throws in the tightest windows.
3. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Many people have Burrow as the number one QB in the draft, and that’s definitely fair. He completed over 77% of his passes and led LSU to a national championship victory. There are slight concerns about Burrow’s arm strength and velocity, but that isn’t an issue for me. The reason why I have Burrow as my third-ranked quarterback is the questions I have about him playing at a high level consistently. I’m not sure yet if Burrow can sustain the kind of high-level play he had last season. Could it have been a result of playing in Joe Brady’s offense? I’m not sure, but I’m just not ready to declare him the slam dunk first overall pick.
4. Anthony Gordon, QB, Washington State
I’ll be honest here, I could spend more time watching Gordon’s film, but from what I’ve seen, he has the traits to be a successful quarterback in the NFL. Air raid QBs have been getting more looks in recent years, and throwing for over 5,500 yards in a season definitely deserves a second look. Gordon was on target with 80% of his throws, and there were concerns about turnovers, but I think those come with playing in the style of offense that he was in. I’m not ready to consider Gordon a first-round pick, but I think he’s worth the risk in the early second round.
5. Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Ditto for Jordan Love. He’s a second-round pick that could really thrive in the right offense and with the right coaching staff. Rocket arm, and prototypical size are definitely pluses here, and the raw talent could be molded by the right coach. The turnovers are a little concerning, with the interception rate of 3.6% last season, but he’s a gunslinger, much like Jameis Winston. I liked the competitiveness that Love brings to the table. I think his success really depends on where he lands, and that’s why for me, he’s a second-round guy.