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A quick primer on the quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft

Joe Burrow is the headliner this year, but there are a lot of names to know.

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The 2020 NFL Draft is fast approaching, and the next class of quarterbacks is looking to make its mark in the NFL. A lot of these prospects have some interesting backstories that will be highlighted throughout the NFL scouting process. This year’s group features the likes of a Heisman winner, a Senior Bowl MVP, a quarterback who won big at two different Power 5 programs, and players who tried renewing their careers at different schools.

Let’s get to know each quarterback who was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine as they begin to take the next step in their football careers. We broke them up into three sections, with the prospects listed in alphabetical order.

The quarterbacks who will most likely be off the board first

Last year there were three QBs taken in the first round, and there were five in 2018. We’ll likely come somewhere within that range in 2020.

Joe Burrow, LSU

I don’t think you need an introduction for this guy, right? After winning the Heisman and national championship for the Tigers, Burrow has a case to be called the best college QB ever. He’s almost certainly headed to the Bengals with the No. 1 overall pick.

Fun fact: Burrow is from Ohio and hates Skyline Chili, which was invented in the city he’s probably going to be drafted to:

Justin Herbert, Oregon

Herbert could have been a first-round pick after his 2018 season with the Ducks. He threw for 3,151 yards and 29 touchdowns with eight interceptions that season. He came back instead, and Herbert threw for 320 more yards and three more touchdowns than he did the season before.

Herbert’s headed into the draft with a lot of momentum. He won the Senior Bowl practice Player of the Week and MVP awards.

Fun fact: He’s super smart!

Jordan Love, Utah State

Love made a name for himself during his breakout season in 2018, finishing in the top 10 in the nation in passing efficiency, passing touchdowns, and points responsible for. Although his 2019 numbers weren’t as good as the season prior — losing his offensive coordinator didn’t help — Love ended his Aggie career with a school-record 9,003 yards of total offense.

His combination of a deep-throw ability paired with the athleticism is enough for him to earn first-round buzz. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said Love was “definitely a first-round pick” when discussing his skill set ahead of the Tigers’ game against Utah State last season.

Fun fact: Love plays a lot of Madden in his free time, and he thinks he can beat anyone he plays against in it.

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

Tagovailoa finished his career as Alabama’s career passing touchdown leader with 87, and he holds the school record for touchdowns responsible for with 96. He did that even though he played just one full season as the starter, in 2018.

Tagovailoa suffered a hip injury near the end of Alabama’s 2019 season, but he should be ready to go by the time NFL training camp rolls around. He is also a left-handed quarterback, which the NFL hasn’t had as a regular starter since Michael Vick.

Fun fact: He can sing!

The next tier of passers you may have heard of

This group includes some familiar names. A couple of them have a chance to sneak into first or second round, or they could all be mid-rounders.

Jacob Eason, Washington

The former five-star recruit started as a true freshman for Georgia in 2016, but he was benched for Jake Fromm in 2017. Eason sat out a year and played his 2019 season at Washington, throwing for 3,132 yards and 23 touchdowns during the Huskies’ 8-5 season.

Fun fact: Eason’s nickname is “Skinny QB” that he coined after his dad gave him a short haircut.

Jake Fromm, Georgia

Fromm declaring for the draft was a bit of a surprise, given that his play wasn’t very consistent in 2019. Still, he finished his Georgia career fourth in school history with 8,224 career passing yards, and was 35-7 as a starter over three seasons. He led the Dawgs to a national championship berth in 2017 after defeating Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners in the Rose Bowl CFP semifinal.

Fun fact: In the summer of 2018, Fromm once suffered two accidents at a lake. The first one was a broken hand, the second when he got a fishing lure stuck in his damn leg!

Perhaps Fromm should stay away from lakes while he prepared for the draft. Just sayin’.

Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

Hurts’ story is one of the most unique in college football. He was the starter at Alabama, during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. But in the second half of the 2017 CFP National Championship win against Georgia, he was benched for Tagovailoa and then was a backup in 2018. He did come in for an injured Tagovailoa in the SEC Championship Game to lead the Tide to a 35-28 comeback win, again over Georgia.

In 2019, he transferred to Oklahoma, where he had the best statistical year of his college career with 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns through the air and 1,298 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground. He was the Heisman runner-up behind Burrow.

Fun Fact: Hurts took two teams to the College Football Playoff as a starter, with Alabama in 2017 and Oklahoma in 2019, and played in the Playoff all four years.

Last but not least, the possible sleepers

Most of these guys probably won’t be picked until Day 3, if they’re selected at all. They still could find their way on an NFL roster.

Kelly Bryant, Missouri

Bryant started his college career at Clemson, where he had to replace Deshaun Watson in 2017. He led the Tigers to the College Football Playoff that season but transferred in the middle of 2018 after then-true freshman QB Trevor Lawrence got the starting job. Bryant’s exit had a tinge of bad blood to it. He told reporters after announcing he was transferring that it “felt like a slap in the face” when he was benched for Lawrence.

Bryant spent 2019 at Missouri, where he threw for 15 touchdowns and six interceptions in an injury-plagued season.

Kevin Davidson, Princeton

Davidson started just one season for the Tigers in 2019, but he set a couple records. He became the first Princeton player with at least two games of five or more TD passes, and he’s first all-time in lowest interception percentage (6 in 374 passes). Davidson hangs out with Marshawn Lynch from time to time, whom he met when he was in high school.

Anthony Gordon, Washington State

Gordon started his college career at JUCO City College of San Francisco before redshirting at Washington State in 2016. SB Nation’s Dan Kadar called Gordon one of the Senior Bowl’s most interesting players:

Gordon started only a season for the Cougars while sitting behind walking meme Gardner Minshew. Gordon’s 2019 stats are eye-popping. He put up 5,579 yards and 48 touchdowns, with 570 yards and nine touchdowns alone coming against UCLA.

Brian Lewerke, Michigan State

In his three years as the Spartans’ starting QB, he finished with 9,548 yards of total offense, which ranks first in school history. A shoulder injury limited him in 2018, but he came back to throw a career-high 3,079 yards in 2019. He has a pretty impressive 40-yard dash time, too:

Jake Luton, Oregon State

Luton started his career at Idaho, where played in eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2015. He then transferred to Ventura CC before landing at Oregon State. Over three seasons, he played in just 23 games for the Beavers. The NCAA granted Luton a sixth year of eligibility for 2019, when he had career-best numbers, including 28 touchdowns to just three interceptions in 11 games.

Cole McDonald, Hawaii

McDonald started his last two seasons at Hawaii, leading the Rainbow Warriors to a 10-5 mark last season as a junior. He threw for 4,135 yards and had a 147.6 passer rating. But hands down the most important aspect of McDonald’s Hawaii career is how gloriously his hair progressed:

Tragically, McDonald has since cut off his blond dreads. RIP.

Steven Montez, Colorado

Montez set 43 school records in his four-year career, and finished as Colorado’s all-time leader in total yards (10,609) and passing yards (9,467). Montez’s father, Alfred, spent one season in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders in 1996.

James Morgan, FIU

Morgan finished his Panthers career breaking seven school records, including most passing touchdowns in a season (26) and the highest pass efficiency in a season (157.6).

He played at Bowling Green before transferring to FIU in 2018:

Shea Patterson, Michigan

Patterson was the No. 1 overall pro-style prospect from the class of 2016, and he began his career at Ole Miss. In 2017, he threw for 2,259 yards and 17 touchdowns, then transferred without penalty to Michigan after head coach Hugh Freeze was ousted in the summer of 2018. Over two seasons in Ann Arbor, Patterson passed for 5,661 and 45 touchdowns.

Nate Stanley, Iowa

Stanley started three seasons for Iowa and threw for 8,302 yards and 68 touchdowns throughout his career. He is one of two Hawkeye quarterbacks to have a 3-0 record in bowl games. Stanley mastered the QB sneak in college, averaging 3.6 yards per sneak at Iowa.