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Scouts assess top QBs in 2018 NFL Draft class

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NCAA Football: Southern California at Arizona State
Sam Darnold
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in the week, we learned that the New York Giants are reportedly “looking closely” at the 2018 NFL Draft quarterback class. In that post, Chris gave you his thoughts on the guys he believes to be the top five prospects.

For a little more perspective on the group I turned to a variety of scouts and talent evaluators. Following are some early thoughts on the QBs who might be available in the first round.

“The prize of this draft”

Despite 2017 not being the equal of his eye-opening 2016 season, that is what Scott Wright of Draft Countdown called Sam Darnold of USC. A red-shirt sophomore, Darnold might stay in school for another year, which is exactly what the scouts I contacted believe he should, and will, do.

So, what is left at the top of the class if Darnold doesn’t declare for the draft? A group one scout called “average with a lot of holes in most.”

SB Nation draft analyst Dan Kadar summarized the class, including Darnold, this way:

“I think the class is going to get overdrafted. (Josh) Rosen is good. Kinda like Matt Ryan. Darnold is risky -- he can look great and is clutch but he makes some real bad decisions. I think he needs another year. (Baker) Mayfield is solid and fun but risky. (Ryan) Finley at NC State is Kirk Cousins. Lamar Jackson needs another year.”

Another scout said “Rosen/Mayfield/Jackson, are all going to have red flags in the eyes of NFL GMs. Rosen (off field) Mayfield (size) Jackson (size/frame/style of play).”

Rosen, from UCLA, might be the most purely talented of all the quarterbacks in this class in terms of physical ability to deliver the football accurately and into the smallest windows. As Chris indicated, we know Giants’ Vice President of Player Evaluation Marc Ross has personally scouted Rosen.

There is, though, a huge red flag with Rosen. Two veteran scouts dropped the “a-word” when I asked about him.

One said simply “biggest a——— on the planet.” The other compared him to Jay Cutler and said “He isn’t a “character” guy, he’s an a———. Is smarter than everyone in the room and lets you know it. Has some entitlement to him.”

Decide for yourselves if that’s what you want as the Giants’ quarterback of the future.

Another quarterback many consider a first-round talent is Josh Allen of Wyoming. Like Darnold, though, many believe he should return to school for another year.

Mark Schofield, quarterback analyst for Inside The Pylon, isn’t an Allen fan.

“He's Nuke LaLoosh (from the movie Bull Durham). Million dollar arm but can't do the other things besides throw a fastball,” Schofield said.

So, there you have it. Some early thoughts on the 2018 quarterback class. Doesn’t exactly leave you begging for the Giants to draft one of them.