With the NFL draft a month away, we look at the top quarterbacks in the draft and their potential fantasy impact in 2017 (and beyond).
While as many as three or four quarterbacks could wind up being drafted in the first round in the NFL draft, this is not a QB class that is expected to make an immediate impact on fantasy football in 2017. None of the top QBs project as starters until further down the road, although the QB who lands in Cleveland could be pressed into immediate service (and maybe Houston, if Tony Romo doesn’t end up there). Here is a look at the top quarterbacks on the draft board:
1. Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
Trubisky was a one-year starter at North Carolina, but that was all he needed to skyrocket up the draft chart after throwing 30 touchdowns against just six interceptions last season for the Tar Heels. He also set school single-season records for passing yards (3,748), completions (304), and total offense (4,064). Several mock drafts have the Browns taking Trubisky at No. 12, especially with the expectation that the recently acquired Brock Osweiler will be moved again. That would make him a risky pick in single-season leagues, but an intriguing stash in keeper/dynasty leagues.
2. Deshaun Watson, Clemson
Watson had already put together a solid resume before January’s National Championship game. Then he went out and played like an NFL veteran in leading Clemson to a stirring comeback victory. Watson has drawn comparisons to Tyrod Taylor, only Watson is taller and in better shape. The Jets at No. 6 could be tempted to make the big splash, which would probably hurt his single-season fantasy appeal, at least in 2017.
3. Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
Playing in an up-tempo offense, Mahomes accounted for 5,000 total yards in consecutive seasons and brings a gunslinger mentality to the NFL. Last season, Mahomes threw for 5,052 yards with a 41/10 TD-interception ratio, while also running for 12 touchdowns. Arizona and Houston are two teams who are being speculated as landing spots for Mahomes, which would make him a tantalizing fantasy stash, given the receiving weapons on those teams. Houston doesn’t have a quarterback at the moment and Carson Palmer is well into the twilight of his career.
4. DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
Kizer is another candidate to land as Palmer’s backup in 2017 in Arizona. Kizer threw for 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns last season and has drawn comparisons to Palmer, in terms of physical ability and mental maturity. He is another player best suited for dynasty leagues, as he only played two years of college ball and is probably not ready to take over an NFL team as a rookie.
5. Davis Webb, California
Webb had an interesting journey to the NFL draft, beginning his career at Texas Tech, dealing with injuries, and then transferring to Cal. There he replaced Jared Goff last season and finished second in the nation with 4,295 yards. He also threw for 37 touchdowns and rushed for six more. His 382 completions on 620 attempts set Cal records, as well as his 43 total TDs. He earned Senior Bowl MVP honors to improve his draft stock. Still, he is destined for clipboard duty regardless of where he lands in 2017 and does not need to be considered in fantasy until a path to a starting job comes into view.
6. Brad Kaaya, Miami (Fla.)
7. Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh
8. Jerod Evans, Virginia Tech
9. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee
10. C.J. Beathard, Iowa