MOBILE, Ala. — Who was the biggest winner at quarterback in the first phase of the NFL’s draft process?
He probably wasn’t on hand at the Senior Bowl this week.
Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins looks cemented atop the quarterbacks class. And while the jury is still out on Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, his competition on the second tier seems less threatening than it did last week.
That’s one of the biggest takeaways from the personnel ranks after three days of Senior Bowl practices, which saw streaky QB performances and plenty of cushion for Haskins at the top of his position.
This wasn’t unexpected, mind you. In an overall class of quarterbacks that lacked the elite-level talent of last season, the Senior Bowl wasn’t expected to be an exception to the rule. But it was a chance for someone to grab the spotlight and momentum toward a first-round selection. Instead, that opportunity appears to have fallen flat in the practices.
While evaluators had yet to go over Thursday’s third day of film, a handful who spoke to Yahoo Sports about the QBs suggested the group is heading toward Saturday’s game with the same developmental curve that was expected coming in.
One high-level personnel man may have summed it up best when asked if there was a potential Day 1 starter in the group, replying: “Day 1 of what year?”
That’s somewhat of a departure from the past few Senior Bowls, which produced Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen in 2018 and Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz in 2016. This class might be more along the lines of an upgraded version of 2017, which touted C.J. Beathard, Nathan Peterman, Davis Webb and Joshua Dobbs. The 2019 grouping is still better than that, although nobody lit up the stage all week in practices.
So what was the scuttlebutt? The assessments were fairly vague without the addition of a live game, but four had some consistent takeaways:
• Missouri’s Drew Lock stood out as the guy with the most tools to work with inside the group. Might end up being the third first-round quarterback after Haskins and Murray, depending on how coaching staffs feel about him fitting into their scheme. If you picked a winner from the quarterback derby this week, he was it.
• Daniel Jones got some positive reviews after Day 1 and then struggled on Days 2 and 3. He threw a couple of bad interceptions and had some snap issues. If your front office wants the best arm talent, it’s probably not here, either.
• Jarrett Stidham stood out as the one player who seemed to get a little more warmth as the week went along. Nothing like Josh Allen, who seemed to take huge strides with every practice last season, but definitely a guy who stacked up better with each passing day. Apparently his ball placement wasn’t always perfect, but Stidham sounds like he can help himself if he has a good game Saturday.
• Will Grier adapted solidly to getting under a center and was the one guy who had a little more zip on his ball than expected. He definitely helped himself this week.
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