By now, most people have heard of the NFL draft.
But this is no mere event; it is, at the very least, a reminder of the tremendous talent that exists in the game.
That talent is manifested in the various mock drafts and free agent signings that have occurred over the past several months, with the NFL’s biggest stars, from the best to the worst, all lining up for a round of draft material.
But what exactly does this mock draft look like?
Well, it’s all the work of an amateur sports fan, as you’ll find out over the next few days.
This is how to look at the latest mock drafts in the NFL, with a focus on the top prospects that have emerged this year.
And if you’re a new fan, don’t worry—this guide will give you all the info you need to know about this year’s crop of prospects.
Before diving in, though, let’s get the basics out of the way: This year’s draft class is filled with some of the league’s top prospects.
This list is meant to give you a snapshot of what the NFL is seeing from the likes of Ezekiel Elliott and Jameis Winston, and the top quarterbacks in the world, from Marcus Mariota to Andrew Luck.
For those unfamiliar with the term “quarterback,” we’ll use it as shorthand for any quarterback that throws for at least 300 yards per game, and also has at least three touchdown passes and four interceptions.
For this mock, we’ll be looking at quarterbacks from the 2016 draft class, as well as some of their recent college teammates.
These are the top 10 players in the draft class—and they’re all from the draft classes of 2016 and 2017.
In no particular order, these are the prospects that are poised to make the biggest impact in the coming years.
Marcus Mariot, Oregon QB The biggest thing to note about Mariota’s draft profile is the fact that he’s the son of former NFL quarterback and current Oregon head coach Chip Kelly.
When Chip arrived in Eugene in 2013, he had a team that was loaded with talent and a coach who knew how to mold players into elite athletes.
That combination of talent and Kelly’s success resulted in a record-setting season in 2016, when Mariota finished with a passer rating of 130.4.
This was a team with which Kelly had a history of developing quarterbacks, and he’s now got his hands on another one of his own.
Mariota will play for Kelly’s former college team, Oregon, and his decision to go pro is understandable.
Oregon was supposed to be the first program to get him after he turned pro, and they were set up for success.
They signed him to a two-year contract worth $7 million, and then he started to rack up yards.
That success has allowed Mariota and his coaches to get more comfortable with the QB position, as evidenced by the fact they’ve had more time to develop him.
His numbers have increased each season, and Mariota is now averaging 5.7 yards per attempt.
It’s no coincidence that Mariota led the Ducks in both completion percentage and completion percentage per attempt (the latter being the most important metric in evaluating a quarterback), while also leading the nation in touchdown passes.
Mariot is also capable of throwing the ball downfield, and when he does, he can make some spectacular throws.
His arm strength is also good, and if he can continue to develop his accuracy and arm strength, he’ll have a good chance of being a factor in the league.
Blake Bortles, Florida State QB Bortes was a very good prospect coming out of high school, but he wasn’t really a prospect until he turned into one.
He was rated as the #1 quarterback in the 2017 class, and was supposed at that point to be one of the best quarterbacks in college football.
In fact, Bortle was supposed be the number one prospect in the 2018 class, with so many teams drafting him that he was expected to go No. 1 overall.
Bortling struggled mightily with accuracy as a freshman, and that was largely because of a lack of consistency as a passer.
This year, however, he’s improved dramatically.
His accuracy has improved dramatically, and this year he’s throwing for 3,872 yards and 36 touchdowns.
That’s the kind of production you don’t often see in a quarterback at his position.
B, in turn, has the kind on-field production that has made him one of college football’s most exciting prospects to watch.
Deshaun Watson, Clemson QB Watson is one of those prospects who has had his share of struggles this year, but it’s not like he’s been on the decline.
The Clemson sophomore has led Clemson to two straight SEC Championship games and a national title, and has earned some of his success by playing in some of these games as a true freshman.
While Watson has yet to really break through as