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.