2018 NFL draft may tie 1983 with six first-round quarterbacks

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The 1983 NFL draft ushered in a new era in the NFL, with six first-round quarterbacks. That had never happened before and has never happened since. But it may happen now.

The 2018 NFL draft has four quarterbacks who are certain to go in the first round, in USC’s Sam Darnold, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. Louisville’s Lamar Jackson appears likely to go in the first round as well, and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph has visited with several teams in need of a quarterback and may find himself going in the first round as well.

That would match the record of six quarterbacks set in 1983, when John Elway went first overall to the Colts (and then was traded to the Broncos), Todd Blackledge went seventh to the Chiefs, Jim Kelly went 14th to the Bills, Tony Eason went 15th to the Patriots, Ken O’Brien went 24th to the Jets and Dan Marino went 27th to the Dolphins.

This year’s draft will certainly see more quarterbacks drafted at the top of the first round. It’s possible that Darnold, Allen, Rosen and Mayfield will all go within the top half dozen picks. In 1983, teams would wait for a quarterback to fall to them, but these days teams will move up to take a franchise quarterback. When it’s all said and done, six teams may get their man in the first round this year.

46 responses to “2018 NFL draft may tie 1983 with six first-round quarterbacks

  1. Not a big deal, but that was Tony Eason and not Easton. He started a Super Bowl, but didn’t finish the Bears rout of the Patriots.

    1983 QB class had 3 Hall of Famers of 6 in the first round drafted. The lesson is you might find an Elway, Marino, or Kelly, but you also could wind up with a Blackledge, Eason, or O’Brien.

    Elway was the sure thing. This draft has no such thing even though many of us believe Mayfield really is.

  2. With the exception of Blackledge, all of those ’83 guys had great careers as well. If this year is anything like ’83 for QBs, quite a few teams would be happy. Elway is a Hall of Famer with 2 SB wins in 5 appearances, Jim Kelly is a HoFer with 4 appearances, Marino went once and is a HoFer who held numerous records, and Ken O’Brien pretty much gets flack for not being Marino, despite a pretty good career for the Jets. Superbowls are just as much a product of the team as of the quarterback, of course, but those 1st rounders in ’83 would make almost anybody happy as franchise guys. 2018 would be fortunate to do the same.

  3. I hope one of the teams in my team’s division are the ones stupid enough to take Rudolph in the first round

  4. I hope all 6 go within the first 13 picks, pushes more good players down the board for my team.

  5. There’s no Marino’s, Elway’s, or Kelly’s in this draft.

    These guys are more like the “great” QB class of 99 (Couch, McNabb, Smith, Culpepper, and McNown)

    I doubt any of them turn out as good as McNabb though.

  6. If your team is in need of a Quarterback prospect who may have the possibility of becoming a franchise QB, this is the draft to go for it! The Miami Dolphins will most certainly go for a Quarterback in the first round. That’s one of the reasons they were so active in free agency. Miami had to release their high priced players that were either over paid or just were not productive enough with lucrative contracts. Moreover Miami was in ‘Cap Hell’ and coming off a losing season. In addition their anointed QB Ryan Tannehill, who will be thirty (30), is coming off of 2 years of injury issues. The Dolphins will choose one of the top six (6) Quarterbacks in the 2018 Draft in the first round to develop.

  7. It seems to be a better crop than last year, when Mitch Trubisky was the only top prospect and the 49ers were smart enough to trade down instead of drafting him. It looked like the 9ers were going to draft a top qb this time when they were 1-10. Then Jimmy Garoppolo ruined their chances by winning 5 straight meaningless games.

  8. I can see the Patriots getting desperate and taking Rudolph late in the first. Trading away Jimmy G was the biggest mistake they’ve made recently.

  9. Just because many QBs get picked doesn’t mean this is anything more than a shift in the focus on the role since then. I don’t think there is greatness in this class – any of them, quite frankly. These QBs aren’t even the best players on the board, quite unlike the Marinos, Elways, and Kellys back then.

    There may be some talent there, some solid QBs maybe, but I would in no way compare it to that great class of 1983.

  10. The glaring thing about 1983 is Marino went #6. If they re-did that draft, the order would be much different. I expect the same thing to happen this year. In fact, someone like Luke Falk might actually become the best QB of this class, and he’s not even mentioned. If a young Tom Brady were in this class, he wouldn’t be on this list either. QB’s skills are mostly between the ears and under the rib cage. Those skills can’t be measured with a stopwatch or a yard stick. My guess for the top five: Falk, Allen, Darnold, Rosen, Rudolph.
    I’m sure I’ll be wrong too, but I’m not getting paid $2 million to be wrong. When it comes to evaluating QB’s, the average fan is just as good as a lot of GM’s who are getting paid $2 million.

  11. Liberalsruineverything says:
    April 7, 2018 at 8:49 am

    There are no Kelly’s, Marinos or Elways. There maybe a few Ken O’Briens.
    ————————————————————————————-
    Well how can you clearly prognosticate that there are no top Franchise Quarterbacks in this draft. Liberals don’t ruin everything, they are just clueless in need of more objective behavior. Lol

  12. pastabelly says:

    1983 QB class had 3 Hall of Famers of 6 in the first round drafted. The lesson is you might find an Elway, Marino, or Kelly, but you also could wind up with a Blackledge, Eason, or O’Brien.
    ————
    Some of these teams would do really well to find an Eason or O’Brien. They both won some games and were competent starting QBs for at least a few seasons. Some of these teams drafting haven’t put together 1 decent season from a starting QB in years.

  13. Hopefully 7 if Jerry does the smart thing and brings someone in to compete with the overrated stiff he’s got now

  14. I got Allen, Rosen, Darnold, Rudolph, then Mayfield and Jackson.

    Something about hyped USC QB’s scares me, Mayfield has a very high Manziel factor to him, and Jackson doesn’t seem like a guy I would strap my franchise to. Rudolph seemed to play well the few games I watched. Something about Allen, to me, just makes him seem the safest pick of them all.

  15. Hope this is the year of the buffalo in the chinese calendar, and that we’ll find the QB in the draft that will lead us to the promised land…

  16. I’d guess most of you ranking these QBs haven’t seen more than a couple games played by all of them, so the body of work you’ve seen isn’t enough to make that evaluation.

  17. Considering Christain Ponder was taken in the 1st round doesn’t necessarily mean you are worth a first-round draft pick. Just ask the Vikings what it feels like to waste an asset when you have many other needs on your team.

  18. Kelly, Marino, and Elway could have been #1 overall picks in almost any other year than 1983. Not sure I can say the same about this class.

  19. I can see the Patriots getting desperate and taking Rudolph late in the first. Trading away Jimmy G was the biggest mistake they’ve made recently.

    ____

    You still haven’t grasped this yet? They either kept Brady or Jimmy, not both. They could not afford to keep both. Jimmy could have walked after the year ended as a FA. You don’t keep Jimmy over Brady. If you think you do, then you need to stop watching football.

    I’m still amazed that there some of you not getting this.

  20. “joker65 says:
    April 7, 2018 at 11:25 am
    I can see the Patriots getting desperate and taking Rudolph late in the first. Trading away Jimmy G was the biggest mistake they’ve made recently.

    ____

    You still haven’t grasped this yet? They either kept Brady or Jimmy, not both. They could not afford to keep both. Jimmy could have walked after the year ended as a FA. You don’t keep Jimmy over Brady. If you think you do, then you need to stop watching football.

    I’m still amazed that there some of you not getting this.”

    Turn the clock back 10 years and you’ll see a situation where the Packers let their long term franchise QB go in order to make room for their younger QB that had high upside. Farve was coming off an NFC title game appearence and was 2nd in the MVP vote.

    Brady is going to be 41, his time is limited. He may not finish next season. Even if he does, Jimmy can be around for the next 15 years. Remember that the Packers missed the playoffs in 2008 and got eliminated in the wild card round in 2009 before their 2010 breakthrough as champions.

    Letting Brady go may not be the best thing for 2018/19 but from 2018-2028 its definitely the best thing.

  21. Quantity vs quality is the real dilemma here. How about Christian Ponder drafted in the 1st round when he had a 2nd-3rd projection? Yes this is a QB driven league but the facts are more players will fail instead of succeed so just because a team drafts that “future franchise QB” doesn’t mean he will live up to the hype

  22. Different time period for those trying to compare then to now. Teams were a lot more patient with players who in turn stayed on teams a lot longer because unrestricted free agency wasn’t a thing. Any QB that puts up John Elway rookie numbers now would be considered an instant draft bust where as back then Elway got benched and got to learn on the sidelines so when he did get to start again he could become John Elway.

    This is why whomever the Browns or Jets pick probably is looking to have the best overall career as both teams have seemingly learned from past mistakes and have said no matter what who they drafting is not seeing any game time in 2018. Browns even getting Manziel insurance by making sure their guy is 3rd string knowing the #2 QB will probably end up being used as some point.

  23. Rosen should be the easy choice at number 1. He is the most pro ready QB since maybe winston and has the best throw of all QBs in the draft. Only concern is his slim frame but cleavland does boast a nice o line and a ton of weapons. He might not have the strongest arm of the QBs but he throws a perfect spiral. I’m sure with the weapons cleavland now has, rosen can survive in Cleveland

  24. bvolke says:
    April 7, 2018 at 10:49 am
    Kelly, Marino, and Elway could have been #1 overall picks in almost any other year than 1983. Not sure I can say the same about this class.

    ————-

    Nobody thought Marino (or Kelly) were #1 picks at all…. Look where Marino was drafted #27.

  25. says:
    April 7, 2018 at 11:39 am
    “joker65 says:
    April 7, 2018 at 11:25 am
    I can see the Patriots getting desperate and taking Rudolph late in the first. Trading away Jimmy G was the biggest mistake they’ve made recently.

    ____

    You still haven’t grasped this yet? They either kept Brady or Jimmy, not both. They could not afford to keep both. Jimmy could have walked after the year ended as a FA. You don’t keep Jimmy over Brady. If you think you do, then you need to stop watching football.

    I’m still amazed that there some of you not getting this.”

    Turn the clock back 10 years and you’ll see a situation where the Packers let their long term franchise QB go in order to make room for their younger QB that had high upside. Farve was coming off an NFC title game appearence and was 2nd in the MVP vote.

    Brady is going to be 41, his time is limited. He may not finish next season. Even if he does, Jimmy can be around for the next 15 years. Remember that the Packers missed the playoffs in 2008 and got eliminated in the wild card round in 2009 before their 2010 breakthrough as champions.

    Letting Brady go may not be the best thing for 2018/19 but from 2018-2028 its definitely the best thing.
    _____
    I couldn’t agree with you more.
    We can go back a little farther to 1993 when the 49ers had Montana near the end of his career and an up coming QB in Steve Young. Montana was traded to the Chiefs and retired a couple of years later, while Young won a SB.

  26. You still haven’t grasped this yet? They either kept Brady or Jimmy, not both. They could not afford to keep both. Jimmy could have walked after the year ended as a FA. You don’t keep Jimmy over Brady. If you think you do, then you need to stop watching football.
    ——————————

    We’re all glad the Patriots made that decision. Brady and most likely Coach Bill will be gone very soon and the Patriots will go back to being the cupcake Patriots that most of us grew up with. On the bright side for Pats fans will be having their Sundays free again.

  27. Out of all those guys, I’d roll the dice on Mayfield. Feels like he could have a Favre-like career. I can’t see Josh Allen being Wentz 2.0 like people are talking themselves into.

  28. The fact that there may well be 6 first round QBs taken is more a reflection on the QB play in the league lately than it is on the quality of this draft class.

  29. “It looked like the 9ers were going to draft a top qb this time when they were 1-10. Then Jimmy Garoppolo ruined their chances by winning 5 straight meaningless games.”

    Lolz what did Garrappolo “ruin” since with him they already seem to have a “top QB”?

    He’s proven he can play well in the NFL, which none of the rookies have yet to do. He also learned how to prepare from Brady and Belichick, so he’s way ahead of the curve compared to the rookies on how to approach each game/opponent.

  30. ^^^^^ This is actually quite funny — NOONE, none of the geniuses above, or even the GMs who will draft these guys, know how they’ll do. There are too many unpredictable elements, most of which occur AFTER they are drafted, that will write the tales of their careers.

    The best road to success: each sits, does not start, for three years or so learning how to play the position; and each gets to enjoy continuity in coaching and systems.

    The surest road to calamity: start day1, and see a revolving door of head coaches, OCs and staff.

  31. JustBlameTrumpOrRussia says:
    April 7, 2018 at 7:44 am
    I can see the Patriots getting desperate and taking Rudolph late in the first. Trading away Jimmy G was the biggest mistake they’ve made recently.
    ————————-
    But all the salty haters said JimmyG wasn’t even worth a 1st, and now all say trading him at all was a massive mistake! Bottom line is the confirmed GOAT for 3-4 more years (and at an economical salary) is worth more than a potentially great QB for 12yrs at a huge salary – not least because you can use the next 3yrs to find another QB. Btw, Pats won’t draft a franchise QB in the 1st, they might even wait till next year but will prob take a mid-rounder with promise.

  32. If I were Jackson or Rudolph I would rather go in the second round. Advoid the 5th year option on the contract. Plus there’s a high likelihood that the best QB of the draft will be drafted in rounds 2-7.

  33. JustBlameTrumpOrRussia says:
    April 7, 2018 at 7:44 am
    I can see the Patriots getting desperate and taking Rudolph late in the first. Trading away Jimmy G was the biggest mistake they’ve made recently.
    +++
    You can thank Tom and Kraft for that trade.

  34. Between Clev,NYG,NYJ,DEN,MIA,BUFF,ARIZ,NE,NO & JAX all 6 will go in round 1.
    I think Darnold,Mayfield and Rudolph can handle the transition and Allen,Rosen & Jackson will bust but the teams they go to play a big part in that as well.None of them can carry a bad coach/franchise but with good coaching i think those 3 will do well.Rudolph is better suited for a indoor or warm weather team like NO or Jax than Buff or NE because of arm strength and hand size but he`s a better QB than Allen or Jackson and while Rosen is very talented he just reminds me too much of Sam Bradford.I don`t think he`ll ever make it through 2 straight seasons healthy.

  35. nhpats says:
    April 7, 2018 at 2:19 pm
    bvolke says:
    April 7, 2018 at 10:49 am
    Kelly, Marino, and Elway could have been #1 overall picks in almost any other year than 1983. Not sure I can say the same about this class.

    ————-

    Nobody thought Marino (or Kelly) were #1 picks at all…. Look where Marino was drafted #27.

    ——————

    That’s not really true. There were other circumstances with both those guys that resulted in them falling and it had nothing to do with talent evaluation.

    Kelly certainly could have been #1 overall after his junior season (no underclassmen allowed util 1990). But he badly injury his throwing shoulder 3 games into his senior season at Miami, then told numerous teams…including the Bills…he would go to the USFL rather than play for them. Otherwise he would have gone higher than #14. The Bills were willing to wait specifically for him. In a loaded QB class, other teams simply moved on to the next guy on their board.

    Marino was actually the #1 pick in the USFL draft (which had taken place in January) and a lot of folks thought he would play for the LA Express when he was already making public appearances for the team before the NFL Draft took place. Then lots of drug rumors began circulating about him (possibly spread by Miami to cause him to fall to them). Don Shula gambled he’d take less money to play for a successful Miami team vs the expansion LA Express (and he was right).

  36. Five of the QBs will make it in the NFL. The Browns, being the Browns, will choose the 6th one who doesn’t make it.

  37. The whole “Projection” thing is off 50-60% of the time. In 1983 Elway & Blackledge were the only sure shot QB’s in 1983, yet Elway, Kelly & Marino were the prize picks. The same will happen this year.

    I think the only “Sure” QB’s this year are Mayfield, Darnold & Rudolph.

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