2020 NFL Draft: The attributes of a quality QB class (PFN Film Room)

With every passing season comes an over-publicized group of quarterbacks. However, the 2020 NFL Draft could finally offer a class worthy of the hype.

Quarterback is the sexiest position in football. So it’s easy to see why they play such a significant role in promoting the draft to fans. Every passing year seems to bring an even more talented group of signal callers–at least that’s what the media will have you believe. For this reason, I expect the 2020 NFL Draft class of passers to be no different. But this time around, some guys should live up to the hype.

Every quarterback prospect of the 2020 NFL Draft class will have their moment under the microscope of analysis. By April of next year, I intend to look deep into each one who’s draft eligible. For now, in an attempt to introduce the class, let’s highlight some of the traits they present. Each attribute will be represented by the best of the group, but each quarterback can only appear once.

Size

The prototypical NFL quarterback is about six feet four inches and roughly 220 pounds. However, there’s been some wiggle room in recent years regarding the size requirements for a franchise starter. Regardless of height, a professional quarterback will need to exceed at least 200 pounds. Any less than 200 pounds would make for a leaner body type and susceptibility to injury. But the bigger, the better, right?

Justin Herbert (Oregon)

In Eugene, Oregon, he’s most definitely the big man on campus. Listed at six feet six inches, Oregon’s Justin Herbert is teetering into the “too tall” conversation. But all kidding aside, he’s renowned for much more than being a big bodied college quarterback. At a listed 225 pounds, Herbert can still move well. For that reason, he gets my vote for having the best size of the 2020 NFL Draft class.

A massive quarterback can be intimidating to a defense. Plus you’ll see the added benefit of seeing the field beyond the pocket. There are many positives to being the prototypical size for the position. For that reason, scouts usually sacrifice mobility. But with Herbert, that won’t be the case.

Runner up: Jacob Eason (Washington) 6-5, 235

Speed

In football, speed kills. But if you’re handling kicking duties or calling plays in the huddle, it’s less critical. That doesn’t lessen it’s effectiveness, however. As we’ve discovered every year, quarterbacks with natural athletic ability always find their way onto an NFL roster.

Take recently drafted Lamar Jackson for example. Whatever issues Jackson has regarding mechanics, footwork, or acclimating to the NFL game in general, are given proper time to develop while his athleticism gives him a chance to compete now.

Bryce Perkins (Virginia)

To say he’s naturally gifted would be an understatement. Bryce Perkins is destined to play in the NFL. His father, brother, and uncle all played football at the professional level.

So how’s Bryce’s career gone to this point? He’d redshirt as a freshman, break his neck as a sophomore and underwhelm in his first season playing meaningful minutes. After transferring to the University of Virginia in 2018, Perkins would breakout.

Last season, Perkins completed 64% of his passes for 2,680 yards and 25 touchdowns. But it was his production while carrying the football that has gained the most attention.

In 2018, Perkins rushed for 923 yards and nine scores. When the NFL Combine rolls around, I won’t be surprised to see Perkins run somewhere in the mid 4.4’s. If he can build on an efficient junior season, his mobility will only add to his draft stock.

And if parts of his passing game remain far from improved, his athleticism alone will get him into an NFL quarterback room come 2020. From there, he can focus on becoming the NFL’s next dual-threat QB.

Runner up: Khalil Tate (Arizona)

Arm Strength

It’s a lot of fun watching guys fire the pigskin all over the field. The Brett Favre‘s, John Elway‘s and even modern day guys like Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes come to mind. But many more unsuccessful guys could still whip it around the playground. You see, there’s no genuine relationship between arm strength and success.

The reason arm strength has lost its luster over the past decade when evaluating quarterbacks is that it’s no longer necessary. Being able to zip passes into tight windows and throw the length of the field is nice, but it isn’t practical. The modern game of football is about timing. But that doesn’t make it less fun to watch.

Jarrett Guarantano (Tennessee)

The redshirt junior has a lot of things going for him. The biggest sticking point? Consistency. It seems almost every young quarterback with a live arm has issues controlling it. When it all comes together, however, it sure is a thing of beauty.

While Jarrett Guarantano is eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft, he could still benefit from playing a third year at Tennessee. He’s flashed promising traits for NFL scouts. But that’s all he’s done–flashed. He’ll need to put it all together, consistently for an entire season.

Runner up: Feleipe Franks (Florida)

Mechanics

Throwing mechanics are a reliable indicator of consistency for young quarterbacks. Poor mechanics can wreak all sorts of havoc on a passer. Accuracy, placement, and velocity can all be problematic for a quarterback with poor form.

This creates more problems for scouts as they work to decipher the fixable versus the unfixable prospects. Luckily for this next guy, his drop, setup, motion and release are as fluid as they come.

Jordan Love (Utah State)

Watching him drop back to throw screens, slants and jump balls into the endzone is a relaxing experience. Jordan Love‘s mechanics are as effortless as I’ve seen.

In just his sophomore year, Love would throw for 3,567 yards and 32 touchdowns. With remarkable balance, footwork and effortless throwing motion, Love should impress upon his first full season as the starter for Utah State.

Unlike actual throwing mechanics, fluidity from drop to release isn’t easily attained. For that reason, Love should climb 2020 NFL Draft boards with a solid junior season.

Runner up: Nate Stanley (Iowa)

Efficiency

A passing efficiency rating is given to all college quarterbacks based on performance. This rating is calculated using a player’s passing attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns, and interceptions.

No quarterback in all of college football was more efficient than Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa.

Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama)

Tagovailoa is not just efficient in terms of ratings, but he consistently made wise reads followed by accurate throws. His ball placement was proficient as well.

If I hadn’t given the stipulation that a prospect could only be classified once, Tagovailoa could have topped at least three of the five above attributes. He’s that good, folks.

Does that mean he’ll be the best quarterback to come out of the 2020 NFL Draft? I don’t think so. But he has a rather large head start.

Runner up: Jake Fromm (Georgia)

Shane G. Tyler is the Film Room Director and writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him @SugaShane15 on Twitter.

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