2020 NFL Draft: Ranking the top eight QB picks, from Joe Burrow to Tua Tagovailoa to Jalen Hurts


The 2020 NFL Draft has introduced all kinds of new players to the pros, but no position has spawned more discussion than quarterback. It’s the most important spot in the game, and after four different signal-callers came off the board during the first round of action, another four found NFL homes in the subsequent two rounds.

How do the top eight QB selections stack up? Truthfully, as is the case with just about every draft pick, only time will tell. And that’s doubly true at QB, where at least one early pick is bound to bust and franchises live or die based on the success of their man under center. From No. 1 pick Joe Burrow to fifth-round flyer Jake Fromm, however, we’ve at least got a knee-jerk feel for who made the right choice, who reached and who outright missed while targeting QB help.

Here’s one opinion on the pecking order of 2020 QB draft picks, assembled with complete knowledge that one or more of these will look stunningly foolish in a few years’ time:

8. James Morgan, Jets

Pick: Fourth round, No. 125 overall

Look, Morgan’s fun to watch, slinging the ball like there’s no tomorrow. But landing in New York with “QB whisperer” Adam Gase isn’t necessarily going to do him any favors, even if the Jets are building up their O-line. Sam Darnold was a top-three pick in 2018, so it’s unclear why the team felt any rush to add a developmental QB. Here’s CBS Sports draft analyst Chris Trapasso’s take: “Picked way too early. The aggressiveness is certainly there. NFL arm, too. But accuracy is wayward.” That last problem? Could be very hard to fix.

7. Jacob Eason, Colts

Pick: Fourth round, No. 122 overall

Trapasso sees Eason as “tremendous value” in the fourth, in part because his “arm strength is elite” but mostly because Indianapolis is the “perfect scenario,” where he can sit and learn behind Philip Rivers. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the Colts taking a mid-round swing now that they evidently do not believe in Jacoby Brissett as either a short- or long-term QB. But we’ve seen time and again you can’t teach poise, and without mobility, he’s still a serious project for Frank Reich. Again, perhaps a gamble worth taking, but there’s a reason he slid past QB-needy teams for three rounds.

6. Jake Fromm, Bills

Pick: Fifth round, No. 167

Josh Allen is the guy in Buffalo, and it’s arguable he could’ve used a more experienced arm as the mentor/No. 2. But at a fifth-round cost, the Bills got an underrated, high-IQ prospect to balance out Allen’s more erratic tendencies in the QB room. Fromm is the kind of smart but unspectacular reserve who doesn’t necessarily ever “take the next step” at the next level, but as Trapasso says, the Bills have liked how current backup Matt Barkley’s strengths — quick decision-making, anticipation — have helped Allen in his weak areas. Fromm is a comparable prospect, albeit younger and cheaper. Nothing wrong with that.

5. Jalen Hurts, Eagles

Pick: Second round, No. 53 overall

This one’s gotten all kinds of flak from Eagles fans, who would’ve rather Howie Roseman used a premium pick to get Carson Wentz immediate help over long-term insurance. And that’s a fair stance. But now that Roseman has added Jalen Reagor, Marquise Goodwin and John Hightower to the WR room, it’s not as if Wentz isn’t better set up for 2020. More importantly, Hurts as his own prospect is too rock-solid to write off. He may not be polished as a passer, but the elusiveness, the poise, the character — that’s all a plus, whether the Eagles get creative with him, simply let him back up Wentz or sell him to a needy team years down the line.

4. Jordan Love, Packers

Pick: First round, No. 26 overall

“This is the absolute finest landing spot for Love,” says Trapasso. Look, it’s fair to criticize Green Bay for its use of 2020 draft resources after the team came within one win of a Super Bowl appearance and still has Aaron Rodgers under contract for four years. But if you’re going to take Love, this is exactly the kind of situation to put him in. A guy with such “freaky arm talent” — and a desire to learn — should do well watching Rodgers for at least a year or two. If coach Matt LaFleur wants to build more around the run, then all the better: Less future pressure on the new guy, who was affected by lots of moving parts while at Utah State.

3. Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins

Pick: First round, No. 5 overall

The medical concerns are valid, and the reality is he’s still walking onto a team with an O-line under construction. So, unfortunate as it may be, his risk factor is probably much bigger than some of the others here. Still, it’s impossible to watch Tagovailoa and not be impressed. As long as Miami allows him to be the reactive, post-snap player he’s meant to be, he should instantly revitalize the Dolphins’ offense for years to come. And that’s not even mentioning his value to the fan base and locker room, where he’ll be a hit.

2. Justin Herbert, Chargers

Pick: First round, No. 6 overall

The Chargers are largely built to win now, so it may have behooved them to prioritize a long-term offensive tackle rather than a QB best suited for sitting and learning to start his career. But Tyrod Taylor can take you only so far, and Herbert couldn’t have found a much better NFL home. Would he have developed quicker by learning from, say, Tom Brady? Duh. Does he need to do better under pressure? Sure. But he also has some of the best physical tools of this QB class and, best of all, “speaks the language” of football like a true pro. In sunny L.A., with a rock-solid supporting cast, he’s set up to succeed.

1. Joe Burrow, Bengals

Pick: First round, No. 1 overall

If you want to nitpick, you can wonder whether he’ll face growing pains coming out of LSU’s loaded offense. But let’s not get too cute. This guy is the first true franchise QB Cincy has had since Carson Palmer, a decade ago. He checks all the boxes. Prototypical size. Big-stage production. Picture-perfect touch. The Bengals would’ve benefited from adding any of the top QBs to kick off their post-Andy Dalton rebuild, but Burrow’s got as much moxie as he does football IQ. Already, he’s the most intriguing prospect of Zac Taylor’s coaching career, and if he gets enough help, he should have Cincy competitive sooner rather than later.





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