As it currently stands, the super-hyped 2018 quarterback class has not lived up to expectations, and none of the three best signal-caller prospects had particularly good games Saturday.
Mason Rudolph threw for 459 yards yet wasn't especially accurate, Sam Darnold also had accuracy issues and Josh Rosen was picked off three times.
Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson threw relatively well from the pocket and was amazing as a runner. He accounted for 512 yards of total offense (332 passing, 180 rushing) and five touchdowns. Also, Ryan Finley was his usually efficient self in NC State's win over Pittsburgh.
Here's a look at the updated stocks of the draft's top quarterback prospects.
Rudolph was just OK against Baylor despite what his numbers indicate. I mean 459 yards on 31 attempts is absurd, yet it has kinda-sorta been par for the course for the Oklahoma State quarterback this season. The ripped sideline throws and perfectly placed deep shots were there, but a handful of his downfield throws were underthrown, and there were wobbly tosses over the middle.
There was a pass into the end zone between the numbers that should have been intercepted. It seemed like Rudolph didn't see the middle safety. I've seen better performances from him in his illustrious collegiate career.
2. Josh Rosen, UCLA
Given Rudolph's down afternoon, Rosen could've narrowed the gap in the quarterback rankings. Yeah, that didn't happen. All three of his interceptions were of the ugly variety. They were late and off target. The UCLA juinor was pressured often and had issues eluding that pressure in the pocket to spread the ball all over the field like he normally does.
Rosen is put in some precarious situations due to his defense, yet he's supposed to be the player to mask flaws. While he's done that to a certain degree this season, he hurt the Bruins against the Wildcats.
3. Sam Darnold, USC
The first half for Darnold wasn't impressive by any stretch of the imagination, as he sailed passes over his receiver's heads, threw and interception and should have thrown another that was dropped by a Utah defender. In the second half, Darnold settled down a bit, yet the myriad "wow" throws we saw in 2016 just weren't there. He did a fair amount on quick inside slants, and I did like his accuracy on the run as well as when plays broke down.
Darnold is an above-average athlete for the quarterback position, and he showcases that often when moving away from pressure. Against the Utes he had a quality scramble for a first down that featured open-field acceleration. Not an absolutely horrid night for Darnold. Not tremendous though. It really lacked sound decisions and passes from within the original structure of the play.
Stock Up (slightly)
Well into the fourth quarter against Boston College, Jackson hadn't reached double-digit completions. Then, when Louisville went down 35-21, Jackson took over. He had a 40-yard touchdown pass on a play in which he looked left, then fired the football to the front right pylon from the pocket.
He had two rushing scores after that. He clearly didn't see the underneath linebacker on his interception, but other than that, Jackson only had a few poor throws on the afternoon, and he continued the display of awesome pocket poise he's repeatedly shown all season.
5. Ryan Finley, NC State
Finley's interception-less streak has reached 313 passes. That pops. And he's stretching the field a reasonable amount of times per game. He moves well, has a strong arm and has NFL size. Finley isn't flashy. Doesn't matter to me though. Thus far in 2017, Finley's gotten it done at every level of the field as a passer, and he's done most of his work from the pocket. He's currently completing over 69 percent of his passes at 7.94 yards per attempt with 11 touchdowns.
All season, Finley has: repeatedly checked two or three of his options across the entire field from the pocket; made assertive, accurate passes to all levels of the field; and even displayed some scrambling ability. Right when the announcers were calling for some deep passes against Louisville, Finley delivered. There's plenty to like about his game, and his strengths translate to the NFL level.
Honorable Mention: Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Mayfield was Mayfield in a thrilling Red River rivalry game. He improvised behind a lot and found open receivers down the field often. His long touchdown throw put his arm strength on display, and he certainly escaped a variety of Texas pass-rushers in Dallas. The Longhorns' secondary was iffy at best, and many Sooners wideouts created plenty of yards after the catch. Mayfield is undersized and is reminiscent of Johnny Manziel. He's pieced together quite the 2017 campaign thus far.