Re-Drafting the 2018 Quarterback Class

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The 2018 quarterback class has been one of the most significant classes in recent NFL history. There were five quarterbacks drafted in the first round. The first overall pick was a quarterback when the Cleveland Browns selected Baker Mayfield, and the last pick of the first round was a quarterback when the Baltimore Ravens selected Lamar Jackson. There are many questions now about the order the quarterbacks were selected. Many people are wondering if it all could be done again, would it have gone down in the same order? I will re-draft the top-five quarterbacks that were selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, assuming that the five teams that picked a gun-slinger will still do that, even if they have to select someone they did not want. My Re-Draft of the 2018 Quarterback Class goes as follows:

Pick #1: Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield

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Nov 14, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Original Selection – Baker Mayfield

Yes, I still believe that the Browns will select Baker number one overall. Baker is their guy. He is everything Cleveland needs. He is a guy that can lead the whole team, and the city, to the promised land. It may take more time than people thought, but if anyone can do it, I believe it is Baker. He struggled to start his second season and the Browns fell to 2-5. However, since the bye week, the Browns have played much better. The Browns have won three in a row, including a dominating performance against the Miami Dolphins, and have turned it around to 5-6 and actually have a shot at the playoffs. He is turning the season around at just the right time and is proving he is still a good selection at number one.

Pick #3: New York Jets – Lamar Jackson

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Oct 13, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) warms up before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Original Selection – Sam Darnold

The New York Jets have the first shakeup in my re-draft. The Jets still feel that Darnold is the quarterback of the future in New York, but given the chance, I think they would jump all over Lamar Jackson. Jackson is a serious contender for the MVP in just his sophomore season. Combining Lamar with Le’Veon Bell this season could be a dangerous combination and I would be very interested to see how that would turn out. Jackson is putting up crazy numbers this season and has proven that he is way more than just a runner. I think he would put up as much, or close to the same amount of productivity in New York.

Pick #7: Buffalo Bills – Josh Allen

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ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 24: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills holds the ball during the first quarter of an NFL game against the Denver Broncos at New Era Field on November 24, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Original Selection – Josh Allen

This one is a toss-up to me. With Lamar Jackson off the board, I think the Bills would definitely consider Darnold here, but I still think they go with Allen, based off of the good season the Bills have put together. Buffalo is 8-3 and in second place in their division behind the Patriots. They also seem to have the top AFC wild card spot locked up. Given all of this knowledge, I think they would select Allen here still. Allen is a better running quarterback than Sam and has a big arm. Darnold may be more of a prototypical NFL quarterback, but Allen has more to offer. If Josh can boost his completion percentage a little, and limit a couple of his interceptions, then he would be getting a lot more hype around the league.

Pick #10: Arizona Cardinals – Sam Darnold

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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Original Selection – Josh Rosen

The Arizona Cardinals, in my opinion, would be the winners of this re-draft. Darnold has struggled at times, but has also been very impressive and promising at other times. I think he has tremendous upside and could end up being a pro-bowl quarterback in a couple of years. He shows signs of being young, like the time he saw ghosts, but he still has a bright ghost-free future ahead of him. Since the Cards would have picked Darnold, they would not need to draft Kyler Murray in 2019. This would have given them a chance to draft Nick Bosa, who is one of the best young stars of the rookie class this season. Pairing Darnold and Bosa as young cornerstones to build around, I think the Cardinals could be a playoff contender.

Pick #32: Baltimore Ravens – Josh Rosen

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Original Selection – Lamar Jackson

The Ravens are the clear losers of this re-draft. It is almost certain that the Ravens would not have selected Rosen as the final pick in the first round, but as I said I’m doing this re-draft under the assumption that every team that picked a quarterback, would still do so. Without Lamar, I don’t think the Ravens would be where they are today. They would not be on a six-game winning streak and far ahead of the rest of the AFC North. Although, maybe with a different situation in Baltimore, Rosen would thrive. Rosen was never really given a fair chance in Arizona before being traded to Miami. I am curious to see if the Dolphins select a quarterback in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, or if they give Rosen a chance to prove himself. Either way, Rosen was not given long enough to thrive in Arizona and that is the reason that I have him falling to the last quarterback selected in my Re-Drafting of the 2018 NFL Quarterback Class.

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