First things first, let’s get something straight, there’s no doubt that Kyler Murray is the #1 QB prospect in this draft. The combination of talent, athletic ability, and explosiveness make him the surefire #1, making it hard for a team like Arizona to pass up on the opportunity to draft him. Then comes the question, who’s #2?
The obvious answer is Dwayne Haskins, the prototypical Ohio State QB being compared to guys like Stafford and Roethlisberger as a result of his size and arm strength. What Haskins brings to the table is the ability to process defenses quickly and distribute the ball on time to his targets. While he does this quite efficiently, there are other areas of his game that hold him back from being the best version of himself. Primarily his lack of mobility. The concern isn’t his ability to scramble for yards as he’s a tough runner you can occasionally call a designed run for. The issue is his inability to avoid pass rushers and maneuver the pocket to find throwing lanes and elude pressure. Haskins is often stagnant in the pocket causing his accuracy to falter, ultimately limiting his capabilities as a passer. It’s also worth noting that he only has 1 season as a starter under his belt at OSU, and it may be in his best interest to learn behind a veteran in his first year in the league.
The next QB on the board is Drew Lock, what does he provide for an offense? Lock’s strengths are his raw arm talent and ability to fit the ball into tight windows. While his accuracy isn’t cream of the crop he has a certain natural knack for the deep ball, always giving his receivers a chance to make a play on the ball. The knock on Lock is definitely his inconsistency in getting through progressions. He often tends to lock on to his first read which can be attributed to his collegiate system at Missouri, as well as the lack of a good supporting cast around him. The team drafting Lock has to make an effort to expand his playbook and utilize his gifts as a thrower of the football. Lock will tremendously benefit from a coach that can game plan to his strengths, while still giving him the freedom to extend plays with his feet and use his instincts to make plays off script.
Looking at Lock holistically brings to mind the likes of a QB like Nick Foles. Although this isn’t a perfect match, Lock is much like Foles in that he has the ability to sit back in the pocket and carve up defenses in the short and intermediate passing game. At the same time, he can wind his arm back and throw 50-50 balls down the field on the money to give his receivers a chance to make big plays. While Lock has a long way to go, he can thrive in the NFL with a good running game as he excels in the play action with his ability to commit to his reads and deliver the ball with conviction.
Now looking at the draft if Haskins is #2, Lock is certainly #2a and a team could surely see value in drafting Lock in the mid-first rather than having to trade up to an expensive top 5 pick for Haskins. The Washington Redskins at 15 perhaps could be a fit for Lock as he has experience as a 4-year starter at Missouri and could come in ready to compete for the starting job. In addition, Jay Gruden is phenomenal in working with QBs and could definitely be able to put a system in place that will benefit Lock and get the most out of him.
Looking back on this draft, Haskins, and Lock both may go on to have prolific NFL careers, at the moment Haskins may feel like the safer pick but Lock has a very high ceiling that could make him a very special quarterback. In the NFL successful teams take risks that pay off in the end, with that said it’ll be interesting to see what team decides to take a chance on Drew Lock.