The 2018 NFL Draft is 10 months away and much will change between now and then. One thing seems certain, however. It will be a draft class that will offer several starting-quality quarterbacks to a league in desperate need of them.
Washington State’s Luke Falk, one of college football’s most productive quarterbacks over the last two years, isn’t as talented as some of the other prospects he’ll likely jockey with next winter, but he has traits that will be appealing to NFL teams.
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah offered his thoughts on Falk in his First Look series, which included a comp to Washington Redskins starter Kirk Cousins:
“He reminds me a lot of Kirk Cousins. Both guys played a lot of football in college (4-year players) and helped elevate their programs. They are also both very mature and respected by coaches and teammates. If Falk can add a little strength, I think he’s going to be a long-term starter at the next level.”
A few years ago, being compared to Cousins would have been a bad thing. He was viewed as an NFL backup who could potentially serve as a spot starter and fell to the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Now, he’s a franchise-tagged, borderline top-tier passer.
Cousins isn’t the first passer that comes to mind when I watch Falk on tape, but I understand why Jeremiah sees some similarities. Falk is a talented passer but he’s not going to wow you in the way Josh Allen (Wyoming) does. He also lacks the physical make-up that Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State) and Josh Rosen (UCLA) possess.
His soon-to-be criticisms mirror Cousins’ pretty closely.
Despite both players weighing around 203 pounds, Cousins has a little more bulk on his frame than Falk and I have a hard time believing Falk will be able to take an NFL pounding without adding at least 10 more pounds. He’s a pocket passer, so he needs the extra body armor to hold up against NFL hits.
One thing is certain for Falk in 2017: He’s going to have every chance to impress scouts from week to week. He’s thrown 1,277 passes over the last two seasons and there’s no reason to expect anything less than another 640 attempts this year. No quarterback in next year’s draft will have as many throws to dissect than Falk, which should give scouts confidence in their grade.
I currently have Falk ranked as the No. 8 quarterback heading into the season. I value him as a fourth-rounder, and I’m not sure he can do much to change that for me. I expect similar production from him this fall, and ironically, I think he’ll end up with a Cousins-like draft day experience.