Five quarterbacks were selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Five more could go in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft thanks to another strong class led by two SEC quarterbacks, Drew Lock and Jarrett Stidham.
The Cleveland Browns kicked off the quarterback parade when selecting Baker Mayfield with the first pick. The Heisman winner was the first of four quarterbacks chosen in the top 10 and the first of five chosen in the first round, the most since 1983. And though it's highly unlikely any of those five teams will take another quarterback in the 2019 draft, there will still be some quarterback-needy teams, who, in a very early look at next year, may consider Lock, Stidham or another intriguing prospect.
Lock is a former four-star prospect who passed on big-time offers to sign with Missouri, his home-state school. He was atrocious as a true freshman in 2015, completing just 49 percent of his passes for four touchdowns and zero interceptions, but rebounded with a promising sophomore campaign.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder has thrown for 77 touchdowns and more than 7,000 yards the last two seasons and particularly thrived in Josh Heupel's system as a junior in 2017, completing a career-high 58 percent of his attempts and registering a 3.4:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He's big with a strong arm that throws the deep ball as well as any returning quarterback in the country.
Like Lock, Stidham passed on the 2018 draft for another year in the SEC. In his first season at Auburn, the Baylor transfer didn't post monster numbers but he was efficient, throwing just six interceptions on 370 attempts. He did average 8.5 yards per attempt (14th nationally) and is satisfied with check-downs but you'd to see him take a few more aggressive shots and put his receivers in better position to run after the catch.
Elsewhere, Shea Patterson, Justin Herbert, Trace McSorley and Will Grier are also potential first-round prospects, with Patterson being the most likely to challenge Lock and Stidham as the top passer off the board.
A former five-star recruit and top-ranked pro-style passer in the 2015 class, Patterson was good, not great, in two seasons at Ole Miss before transferring to Michigan, where he's immediately eligible as a junior. Arguably the most physically gifted quarterback in the 2019 class, Patterson is 6-foot-2, 205 pounds and is comfortable inside and outside the pocket. He can make any throw on the field and though he occasionally throws into tight windows, the risk-reward balance is fine for now and should only improve.