By Staff Writer, Noah Walraven
**Updated Sept 28, 2019*
Justin Herbert, Senior, Oregon, 6’6”/237
Herbert was widely considered to a top five pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, if he had decide to come out after his junior year: some had him projected as going number one overall. Barring any unforeseen disaster, Herbert’s name should be on the tip of every draft-fan’s lips next April.
Herbert possesses prototypical size and is more an your old school pure pocket passer. In 2018 Justin threw for 3,151 yards with 29 touchdown passes and 8 interceptions. His 512 yards of total offense broke Bill Musgrave’s 1989 school record. In that same game, Herbert’s 489 yards passing matched Musgrave for the best in school history, as well.
Herbert also tied Marcus Mariota’s Oregon record for six touchdown passes in a single game. Herbert has a strong arm, good touch and stays relaxed and composed in the pocket. I do not expect Herbert to drop any lower than the fifth pick when he declares for the draft.
Tua Tagovailoa, Junior, Alabama, 6’1”/218
Tua Tagovailoa has shined since replacing (the now-departed) Jalen Hurts as the Crimson Tide’s starting quarterback. But the road to glory wasn’t glamorous or quick. Tua had to ride the pine behind Hurts, who was 26-2 going into the 2018 National Championship game. During that season, Tua’s playing time was limited to mop-up duty in Alabama’s one-side victories.
Although, Tua was being pushed as a starter by then-Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffen, it was hard for Saban to justify replacing a starting quarterback who had only lost 2 games in 28 contest. .
It wasn’t until Hurts struggled in the National Championship game that Saban finally decided to let Tua take the team on his back. Tagovailoa looked a little rusty when he first stepped into the game; he threw a terrible looking interception; and took a sack with time running down late in the 4th quarter.
Then, in dramatic fashion, Tagovailoa threw a beautiful 41 yard dart to DeVonta Smith to win the National Championship in OT.
Since that moment, Tua has been one of the most prolific quarterbacks in Div I. Last year, Tua threw for 3,966 yards with 43 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He completed close to 70% of his passes – and still, unbelievably, failed to win the Heisman Trophy.
Tua shattered the Alabama single season pass yards record by nearly 500 yards. On three different occasions, Tua has thrown and tied the Alabama single game passing touchdown record with 5 touchdowns in a game. In his career, he is already just 6 touchdowns away from A.J. McCarron’s Alabama career passing touchdown record. Tua has fit in well with the Alabama offense and his numbers certainly show for it.
Jalen Hurts, Senior, Oklahoma, 6’2”/219
While Hurts lost the starting job in Alabama to Tagovailoa, he has re-emerged at Oklahoma – taking over for the departed Heisman winner, Kyler Murray.
Hurts, my personal favorite quarterback, has put up steady numbers throughout his college career. Hurts threw 2,780 yards, 23 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in 2016. In 2017, he had tossed 17 touchdowns with just 1 interception.
During that season, Hurts was working on making smarter decisions when throwing the ball. Known for his ability to scramble and turn broken plays into positive years, Hurts as rushed the ball for an impressive 29 touchdowns in his career. Hurts has done an incredible job at transitioning himself through college as overtime he has gone from a running quarterback to a pocket passer. Hurts has shown that he is confident and smart with the ball. He has taken it upon himself to work on his game and develop himself overtime as he continuously betters himself.
Jake Fromm, Junior, Georgia, 6’2”/220
Fromm entered his true freshman year at Georgia in 2017 as the backup to Jacob Eason. In the first game of the season, after Eason suffered an injury, Fromm replaced him and completed 10-of-15 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown.
Later in that same year, he led Georgia from behind for a 20-19 victory over Notre Dame. In 2017 Fromm had thrown for 2,615 yards with 24 touchdowns and 7 interceptions while in 2018 he had thrown for 2,749 yards with 30 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Fromm is third on Georgia’s single season passing touchdown list. He has been reliable in the quarterback position of a run first offense for Georgia. Fromm’s numbers have not quite popped out to this point so staying for his senior year would not be a bad idea to help increase his draft stock.
Joe Burrow, Senior, LSU, 6’4”/216
Ex-Ohio State Buckey, Joe Burrow has really shined for the LSU Tigers in 2019. Just 4 games into this season and Burrow has already thrown for 1,520 yards with 17 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He played extremely well against the Texas Longhorns team as he threw 31/39 for over 450 yards to help pick up the win for the LSU team. Burrow is off to a hot start in his senior season attracting the attention of scouts heading into next year’s NFL Draft. Burrow has a calm stance as he can deliver the ball accurately at any range of the field and has been smart with the football in his hands.