Last year was a rather thin year for college quarterbacks who declared for the NFL Draft, but the 2020 class is expected to be loaded with talent. Five weeks into the college football season we are beginning to see a few quarterbacks start to separate themselves as potential first-round picks.
While many NFL teams may not yet know if they are in the quarterback market, we’ve paired some of this season’s top performers with their potential NFL team.
The Alabama quarterback continued to put up impressive numbers in his team’s latest victory over Ole Miss. The southpaw completed 26 of 36 pass attempts for 418 yards and six touchdowns, and also rushed in for another touchdown in the 59-31 rout. He now has 23 touchdowns and zero interceptions through five games this season.
NFL team: Miami Dolphins
This may not be so much what the better fit for Tagovailoa is, but rather the inevitable. The Alabama QB has established himself has the clear-cut best quarterback talent in the draft and the Dolphins do not appear as if they are built to win any games this season. Tagovailoa appears destined for Miami where the Dolphins can build their team around him.
The Oklahoma quarterback could very well be en route to the school’s third consecutive Heisman Trophy winner this season. The 21-year-old completed 17 of 24 passes for 415 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown on nine carries as he proves to be the best dual-threat quarterback in the class. Hurts now has 1,295 passing yards, 12 TDs and five rushing TDs as he has put himself in the conversation as a potential first-round pick.
NFL team: Cincinnati Bengals
Through just three games, new head coach Zac Taylor has the Bengals as the third-best passing offense in the league. Andy Dalton is under contract through the 2020 season, but bringing in Hurts could give Taylor a more dynamic quarterback to flex his offensive prowess and open up more possibilities with the playbook.
Herbert opted to skip the NFL Draft last season and stay for his season year at Oregon, and his numbers seem to indicate he has taken a bit of a jump. Herbert has completed 96 of 129 pass attempts (74.4 percent) for 1,127 yards, 14 touchdowns and no interceptions. His reductions in turnovers has certainly been Herbert’s biggest step forward this season as he is primed to be a first-round selection.
NFL Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs’ patience with Jameis Winston may be running thin as he fails to establish any consistency and continues to turn the ball over at an alarming rate. With Winston on his fifth-year option, the Bucs can easily move onto another quarterback and Herbert could be an ideal fit for head coach Bruce Arians, who likes to air the ball out downfield.
The Washington quarterback has been quietly moving up draft boards and putting himself in the conversation as a potential first-round pick.
However, he is coming off a bit of an underwhelming game against USC in which he did not throw any touchdowns, but also did not turn the ball over. The 6-foot-6 transfer from Georgia has completed 71 percent of his pass attempts and has 10 TDs to two interceptions. His combination of size and mechanics make him an interesting option for teams.
NFL Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
The jury is still out on Mason Rudolph, and no one is quite sure what the future holds for Ben Roethlisberger, but the Steelers may be in need of Big Ben’s successor. Eason is similar in stature to both Roethlisberger and Rudolph — so he certainly fits the mold in the type of quarterbacks the Steelers like, and has the arm strength to accompany it. Eason could be an ideal fit for Pittsburgh, but they also do not have a first-round pick and may need him to slip.