Sports Column: The new generation of quarterbacks is here

NICK MERSCH
SPORTS EDITOR

The quarterback position is very special. A quarterback is responsible for the entire offense and can attain all the glory for the win or all the blame for a loss. There isn’t anything else like it in sports other than a coach, and even a coach isn’t on the field playing.

This past year in the NFL draft we had five quarterbacks taken in the first round. Something like this doesn’t happen very often because of the skill and poise it takes to properly play the position. These are five 22-year-old men that will be in charge of 10 other 22 to 40-year-old men at a time. All of these guys are good and will probably start very quickly. Let’s look at who’s who and get to know these young QBs.

Baker Mayfield:

Mayfield is probably the best college quarterback in the draft. However, going from college to the pros in any sport is very different. Mayfield is a guy who had a lot of success at the college level and does have a game that should translate to the pros, but it’s way too early to tell if that will happen.

What I do like about Mayfield is his killer instinct. The dude just has the x factor and finds ways to win. He played well after the Tyrod Taylor injury and managed to get Cleveland their first win, but continue with caution when talking about Mayfield.

Sam Darnold:

After playing his collegiate tenure at USC, this guy had a lot of buzz coming into the draft, and he’s had his moments thus far in the league. Week one, he got the Jets their first win after immediately starting.

However, since then it almost seems as if he’s second guessing his throws and thinking too much when trying to make plays. He’s got a good arm and has shown ability to make big throws under pressure, but the drop off since week one has been substantial. Having all the tools of a solid pocket passer with good mobility, I’m not really worried about him. It’s really just a matter of time until he puts it all together.

Josh Rosen:

Another California quarterback is set to start in week four. Rosen, from UCLA, has been confident heading into his pro career, and personally, I think he has a chance to be the starter in Arizona for a long time.

A better passer than Darnold in college, Rosen is more of a pocket presence guy that could really succeed in a pass heavy system. They’re going to need more than Larry Fitzgerald at the receiver spot to give Rosen more options, but that is something that can be built with time. Like Mayfield, Rosen just has that sort of moxie that all winners have. I’m very curious to see what that looks like this Sunday after getting starting reps at practice all week.

Josh Allen:

I am a bit of a Bills fan and a Josh Allen fanatic, so I will try to put my bias aside and speak the truth. Josh Allen is the best quarterback in the NFL.

Okay, maybe not the best in the league, but I think he’ll be the best in this draft class. Allen has shown poise and promise since coming in for Peterman after that horrific week one start against Baltimore. We all know Allen can throw the ball nearly 100 yards, but what has really surprised me thus far is his ability to make plays on his feet.

So far, Allen has put together a few nice runs for first downs, scored two rushing touchdowns and hurdled someone. This is a 6-foot-6 quarterback who is launching balls out of an RPG on his shoulder and can also hurdle pro linebackers effortlessly. I guarantee you that Sean McDermott told him to never do that again because he’s going to get lit up eventually, but holy cow, the dude is pretty darn athletic for his size. I’m very excited to see how good he is moving forward and I hope he continues surprising me.

Lamar Jackson:

This guy is definitely the biggest question mark of them all. He is by far the most athletic but is really a college quarterback that is trying to make it in the pros. People argue that he could be similar to Cam Newton in his playing style, but the difference I see is the build between the two of them.

Jackson stands at 6 feet 3 inches and weighs in at 212 pounds while Newton is 6 feet 5 inches and 245 pounds. Newton is a tank and still finds himself getting hurt because of the way he plays. Lamar is 30 pounds lighter and plays the same way. I don’t think his body will be able to take the punishing hits that are dealt out at the NFL level. I like what the Ravens have done thus far with him, shaking it up on third downs, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw him playing wide out next year.

That’s all I have for now. Until next time, be well and watch football.