Shawn Childs’ Top 5 Prospects
Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
After a slow start to his college career, Murray finally earned a starting opportunity in 2019 for the Oklahoma Sooners. His arm played well (4,361 passing yards with 42 TDs and seven Ints) leading to a high completion rate (69.0 percent). The best part of his game came on the ground where Kyler rushed for 1,001 yards on 140 carries (7.2 yards per rush) while chipping in with another 12 TDs. He lacks the NFL profile as far as size (5’10” and 205 lbs.), but his arm is exceptional, and his legs are electric. Murray shows patience in the pocket with a plus feel for the pass rush. When he reaches the second level of the defense, Kyler can get defenders flat-footed creating impact run plays while barely getting touched. His game is built on a laser arm with an eye for the long bomb. At the next level, Murray will need to find a balance of running and passing while making sure to avoid big hits. His explosiveness is a great trait, and he has a winning feel. With more experience and coaching, Kyler will push his way to an elite level in the NFL.
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
As a sophomore for Ohio State with a starting job, Haskins passed for 4,831 yards with 50 TDs and eight Ints. His completion rate (70.0) edged out Kyler Murray while offering no upside as a runner (79/108/4). Dwayne comes to the NFL with a big arm and with prototypical size (6’3” and 220 lbs.). Most of his snaps came out of the shotgun in college while receiving a big passing window on a high-volume of plays. His game gives me a Philip Rivers feel while looking stronger with more rip on his throws. Haskins can extend plays with subtle movements in the pocket, but his lack of trust in his speed kills his chances of breaking many run plays over three yards. Dwayne will be a threat to beat defenses in the deep passing game while needing to improve his decision making when forced to settle for mid-level throws. If he lands on a team with a lousy offensive line, Haskins won’t be a difference maker early in his career. Upside talent who will be best served out of the gate as a game manager than volume passer on a poor team. His style could work very well for the New York Giants.
Drew Lock, Missouri
As a four-year starter for Missouri, Lock improved his accuracy in each season (49.0, 54.6, 57.8, and 62.9) while still falling well below the success of Kyler Murray (69.0) and Dwayne Haskins (70.0). Drew played his best ball in his junior year (3,964 passing yards with 44 TDs and 13 Ints). Overall, he passed for 12,193 yards in his college career with 99 passing TDs and 39 Ints. Lock won’t be a threat in the run game (202/437/9). At times, his setup appears to be lazy with too many throws coming from a flat-footed position creating lag in his timing while trying to overcome his tick window by velocity in his throws. The scouts love his size (6’4’ and 225 lbs.) and his field vision, which is helped by a low sack total and a quick release when under duress. I view him more as a project than a plug and play in 2019.
Daniel Jones, Duke
The strength of the QB position this draft season has a sharp decline after the top two options plus a further step back behind Drew Lock. Jones had a mediocre career over three years as a starter for Duke. He passed for 8,201 yards with 52 TDs and 29 Ints. His best success in yards (2,836) and completion rate (62.8) came in his freshman season while tossing the most TDs (22) in 2018. The quality of his receiving core was below par. Daniel gets bonus points for his size (6’5” and 220 lbs.) and his football knowledge, but his arm isn’t elite. Jones started most of his plays out of the shotgun while taking too much time to unload the ball on some plays. He’ll make some plays on the ground (406/1323/17), which will help extend drives and add value at the goal line. In a way, he’s more of a finesse player which leaves him behind the top quarterbacks in the game. A low-level backup for me who needs a break to earn a starting job in the NFL.
Ryan Finley, North Carolina St.
Over three seasons as a starter for North Carolina State, Finley passed for 10,501 yards with 60 TDs and 25 Ints. His completion rate (67.4) was a career high last year while showing growth in each season as a starter. Ryan won’t be a threat in the run game (214/382/5). His velocity on his passes could be an issue at the next level on deep passes when faced with a tighter pass window. His reads look to be advanced while showing a willingness to stand tall in the pocket. On the move, his passing game doesn’t lose value. Overall, Finley will time to develop while lacking the skill set to be a winning starter in the NFL. His growth will be helped by more strength and bulk.