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2020 NFL Draft: Houtz’s Top-5 Quarterbacks

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a lot of time between now and the 2020 NFL Draft, so a lot could change before the Bengals are officially on the clock. With that said, I spent the last several months watching film and compiling my top players at each position. Sure, there may be some minor changes, but things shouldn’t change much between now and April.

So, without further ado, here’s a look at my top-5 quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

Before his season-ending hip injury, Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa was highly regarded by many as a ‘once-in-a-generation’ prospect. A gruesome injury to his hip may have changed things, but not for me. I believe that if his medicals check out—which we will find out in late March—Tagovailoa will still be a top-3 draft pick, and a player, the Dolphins, will should heavily consider trading up.

Tagovailoa is a bit undersized by NFL standards, but that doesn’t make him any less of a prospect than the rest of this class. His pocket presence and mechanics are some of the best we’ve seen in recent years. Furthermore, he can pinpoint the football in places many other QBs simply cannot.

If the Dolphins want to change their recent misfortunes, drafting the Left Arm Of God is the way to do it. No matter where he ends up, Tagovailoa will be one of the best QBs in the NFL for many years to come.

Pro Comparison— Left-handed Drew Brees

Joe Burrow, LSU

If we’re honest, very few people outside of Louisiana even knew who Joe Burrow was before the 2019 season. And although he doesn’t have elite arm strength and there remain concerns about him potentially being a one-year-wonder, Burrow is without question one of—if not the best—QB in this draft.

Now I know this might ruffle some feathers, but hear me out. Two QBs belong in the elite tier of QB prospects this year, and that is Burrow and Tua. I understand that most people will have Burrow ranked higher, but I don’t. That isn’t necessarily a knock against Burrow—who is going #1 overall to Cincinnati anyway. But I’ve seen Tagovailoa play at a high level for several years and even on one leg, looked to be a better natural thrower than Burrow.

There are “reports” that Burrow enamors Stephen Ross, and the Dolphins could potentially trade up. I don’t foresee that happening, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Ross loves Burrow. After all, he’s the safest QB in this draft and would instantly turn this franchise into a contender.

Pro ComparisonTony Romo

Justin Herbert, Oregon

There’s a lot of the hate that surrounds Justin Herbert, and it centers around three things:

A) He was once labeled an introvert by anonymous sources and scouts.

B) He was compared to Ryan Tannehill by a Dolphins beat writer.

C) He has a punch-able face.

I believe that aside from Tagovailoa and Burrow, Herbert is the most talented passer in this class. Yes, he’s a prototypical QB standing at 6’6, 238-lbs. And if it was still the early 1900’s and people believed in Bill Parcells’ 10 commandments, maybe that would mean something. But in 2020, size isn’t everything.

So, then we turn to intangibles. And no one in this class—outside of maybe Jordan Love—has a stronger arm. Yes, his accuracy tends to fluctuate at times, but from a pure talent standpoint, I think he has everything it takes to be a successful QB in the NFL.

However, if you want to find one glaring weakness in his game, it would be his ability to process a defense—which should concern a lot of evaluators at the next level. And despite a change in offensive philosophies, he’s struggled to progress over four collegiate seasons.

Pro ComparisonJosh Allen + Carson Wentz

Jordan Love, Utah

I said a lot of beautiful things about Herbert, but that doesn’t mean I believe he’s the right fit for the Dolphins. No, that’s where Jordan Love enters the equation. Despite his raw skill-set and atrocious 2019 season, I believe that if Miami can’t land Tagovailoa or Burrow, Love should be the guy the Dolphins’ invest their future in.

He fits the mold of a modern-day QB and has shown the ability to beat teams with not only his arm but his legs. The 6’4, 225-lbs Love has a strong arm and the ability to manipulate the pocket. Most importantly, Love would benefit most from sitting a year and learning a behind a veteran like Ryan Fitzpatrick. Though, I believe that whoever the Dolphins draft should not be rushed to make their NFL debut.

In the end, the only QB I genuinely believe has a higher ceiling than Jordan Love is Tua Tagovailoa. So, if Miami doesn’t want to take a risk on Tagovailoa and his injury concerns, the next man up should be Love.

Pro Comparison— Dollar General Patrick Mahomes

Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

It took me a few days to nail down who my #5 QB was in this class. Georgia’s Jake Fromm and Washington’s Jacob Eason were both in consideration, but I decided to go back to where it all started. And that is with Oklahoma QB, Jalen Hurts.

I make jokes on Twitter that Hurts is a running back trying to play quarterback. While I don’t think it’s too crazy to say, it’s a bit demeaning for a guy with the tools that Hurts have. Yes, he’s a bit undersized, and his accuracy and arm strength remain a concern. But one thing Hurts has that some of the other QBs in this class are still trying to find ‘it.’

‘It’ isn’t something you can develop over time; it’s something that builds from within. And no matter how down and out your team might be (vs. Baylor), those QBs that have this factor can overcome even the most significant obstacles. I don’t know that Jalen Hurts has the skill-set to have success in the NFL, but I wouldn’t bet against him.

If the Dolphins decide to pass on a first-round QB in 2020 with their eyes set on 2021, Hurts would be the perfect developmental guy for Miami to poach on day 2.

Pro ComparisonDak Prescott

Oh, and don’t sleep on Anthony Gordon of Washington State.

Like? Dislike? Let me know in the Comments section below!

Josh Houtz wrote this article. Follow him on Twitter (@houtz)