The_Coach: Case Cookus (Northern Arizona)
A former junior college product who struggled to stay healthy during his time at Northern Arizona, when Cookus was firing at full-strength, the 6’ 4”, 210 pound talent was a game-changing, big-arm talent for the Lumberjacks. In 2019 alone, Cookus threw for 4,114 yards and 31 touchdowns, while finishing the season with just 7 interceptions. His 60.3% completion percentage shows his ability to be regularly consistent and with one just game in his senior season where he tallied less than 273 yards through the air, Cookus has the vision to find receivers and progress through reads in an offensive system. He may not be the top prospect, but he’s a likeable, later-round gunslinger, who could be a massive steal for an NFL franchise.
Ross Parker: Jordan Love (Utah State)
I went back and forth between Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts, but I figured going with a first round pick would be more insightful and fun for our readers.
Love burst onto the scene in 2018 with an excellent season that saw him throw for over 3,500 yards and 32 touchdowns. During this time, he looked like a consensus top ten pick and was flying up draft boards. After the 2018 season, nine of the starting eleven players on offense left Utah State and left Love to fight on his own. As a result, Love was forced to make plays to keep Utah State in games. This was reflected harshly in his stat line, as his interceptions rose from six in 2018 to seventeen (!) in 2019. Scouts say that the Utah State coaching staff told Love that he would need to make plays, or the team would be in rough shape. A poor supporting cast and a desperate coaching staff meant Love was forcing plays to try and keep his team in games.
The steep rise of interceptions is concerning, but it’s important to understand the context behind it all. From a prospect perspective, Love might have the highest upside of any quarterback in this class. His arm talent and mobility fit what the NFL is trending towards. His natural talent can open up an entire playbook for a coach. But this also means his floor is possibly the lowest. You are taking a gamble that his statistical regression was a factor of his environment, and not on the player himself. Love absolutely needs a redshirt year to sit behind a veteran to learn, where he can grow. Love’s style and ability make him pretty cohesive to all offenses, but fits best on a team with an established veteran. Watch for Love to be a top 20 pick and go to a team like the Chargers, the Colts or the Saints.
John Severs: Jake Fromm (Georgia)
Fromm has been overshadowed by his fellow SEC QBs Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailo, to say nothing about Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert. Fromm doesn’t have the physical gifts of many of the top QBs, but he makes up for it with excellent decision making and remarkable game sense. After a poor showing at the combine, and the lack of a pro day, he’ll probably fall to the late first or early second round, but some team is going to get a steal on a quarterback that is going to take to the pro game very well.
Hayden Tharp: Anthony Gordon (Washington State)
I know Oregon State fans aren’t going to like this pick after Gordon’s 606 yard and 6 TD performance against the Beavs last season, but I can’t stop thinking about how good Gordon can be if in the right situation in the NFL.
Gordon is around 6-2 and 210 pounds which is a fine frame for an NFL QB; he also finished the season completing 72% of his passes for 5,579 yards, 48 TD’s and 16 INT’s. But size and numbers don’t have as much to do with why I like his game so much. The dude just makes throws.
I mean just look at this throw against Oregon. I was at this game sitting right in front of the video board looking straight ahead at this throw. When Gordon let that ball go I thought to myself that it was getting picked for sure... but no, he puts it perfectly in between three defenders and just over Dru Mathis’ hand. Just nasty.
Another thought process I have here is that I think Gordon is a much better passer than WSU’s last QB Gardner Minshew, and Minshew ended up having a decently productive rookie year in the NFL last season. Now Gordon is no where near as good an athlete as Minshew, but I don’t think athleticism is the biggest key someone needs to be a QB in the NFL, they need to make every throw and I honestly think Gordon is the best late round QB at making those throws (and Jake Luton *wink*).