Fantasy Football 2020 NFL Draft Profile: Jacob Eason has prototypical QB traits, but is that enough?
Jacob Eason is ranked as the No. 5 quarterback prospect by our draft team. What type of Fantasy production can we expect?
If you're looking for a guy who looks like an NFL quarterback, Jacob Eason may just be your guy. He's tall, strapping, and can throw the ball over them mountains. If you're looking for a guy who statistically looks like an NFL quarterback, you may want to keep looking. That's not to say that Eason was bad in his junior year at Washington, just that his performance doesn't exactly inspire confidence that he's ready for the next level.
Numbers to Know
Height: 6-5 7/8
Weight: 231 pounds
Hand: 9 1/2 inches
2019: 13 games, 64.2% passes completed, 3,132 yards, 23 TDs (5.7%), 8 INT (2.0%); 7.7 Y/A, 8.0 AY/A
In three early games against Eastern Washington, Hawaii and Brigham Young, Eason threw for a combined 901 yards, 10 touchdowns, and one interception. In conference, he averaged just 7.1 yards per attempt and completed 59% of his passes with a paltry 12-to-7 TD:INT ratio.
Career: 29 games, 59.8% passes completed, 5,590 yards, 39 TDs (5.0%), 16 INT (2.0%), 7.1 Y/A, 7.2 AY/A
Eason started as a freshman at Georgia and performed about as well as you would expect for a true freshman in the SEC. The following year, he lost his job to fellow 2020 NFL Draft prospect Jake Fromm. He then sat out the 2018 season after transferring to Washington.
Known Injury History
- Sprained left knee, September 2017
Eason's main strength is his pedigree. He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, rated by 247 Sports as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in his recruiting class. He has NFL size, NFL arm strength and acceptable accuracy. His accuracy was actually very good when he had a clean pocket according to Pro Football Focus, and that's often a better indicator of future accuracy. We know he can be accurate, he just has to be protected. One other thing that will help is that Eason is exactly the type of prospect who will be more popular with old-school football guys. That could give him more opportunities than he earns.
Eason will turn 23 midway through his rookie year yet he's still inexperienced and unpolished. He's also not the least bit mobile, which means he'll have to be elite as a passer and he really never showed that in college. Statistically he was "good" in his only year at Washington, but certainly not great. And while I lauded his accuracy from a clean pocket he was flat-out bad when he was pressured. He would have been far more enticing if he'd come out a decade ago.
Ryan Wilson's Take
No. 5 QB
First things first, Eason passes the eyeball test with flying colors. He looks like a franchise quarterback, and he'll undoubtedly draw comparisons to Carson Palmer and Matthew Stafford in the coming months. In related news, he can throw the ball out of the stadium. And while he hasn't played a lot of football in recent years, you wouldn't have known it to watch him against Eastern Washington in the Huskies season opener. And Eason was the best quarterback on the field when the Huskies hosted Justin Herbert and the Ducks on Oct. 19.
Not surprisingly, Eason struggled with consistency, particularly over the second half of the season. He had 10 touchdowns and two interceptions through the first four games. In the nine games since, he had 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. Over the first eight games, only once did Eason complete fewer than 60 percent of his throws and on four occasions he had a completion percentage north of 70 percent. In his last five games, he twice completed fewer than 60 percent of his passes and didn't eclipse the 70 percent mark once.
Because of the lack of experience we thought Eason might return to school. He didn't, of course, and now the question is if he can sneak into the first round.
In 2020, the best Fantasy comparison for Eason is likely any number of backup quarterbacks around the league. I do not expect him to have an NFL impact, much less a Fantasy impact, in his rookie year. If everything goes right and Eason earns a starting job we could be looking at someone like Joe Flacco, which was mostly not great from a Fantasy perspective. Flacco's ceiling was a streamer or a high-end No. 2 in superflex.
Favorite Fantasy Fits
If you want to cheer for Eason to find success at some point you need him to land somewhere with a quarterback guru and an established veteran in front of him. New Orleans would certainly fit. New England might as well. If you told me Philip Rivers went to Indianapolis on a two-year deal and they drafted Eason to learn from him, I wouldn't hate that. There's not a fit that is going to make Eason Fantasy-relevant in 2020. You're hoping someone turns him into something he's not yet become.
Fantasy Bottom Line
Barring a jarring development in the next two months, Eason should not be drafted in a one-quarterback startup and is a late-round flier at best in rookie-only drafts. In the two-QB format, Eason could be worth a third-round rookie pick if he sneaks into the first round. More likely, he belongs on a practice squad or the waiver wire until he shows signs of development.
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