Lombardi: "This Is A Backup-Quarterback Draft"

The Athletic's Michael Lombardi gave his candid take on this year's quarterback class. Spoiler alert: he's not impressed

Reiter Than You
April 22, 2019 - 9:09 pm
Dwayne Haskins Ohio State Rose Bowl

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From Kyler Murray to Dwayne Haskins, multiple quarterbacks will likely be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, but The Athletic’s Michael Lombardi has lower expectations for them than, well, just about everyone.

“I think this is a backup-quarterback draft,” Lombardi said on Reiter Than You. “I really do. I know that isn’t sexy to say, but I think it’s a backup-quarterback draft. I think a lot of these guys are going to go on and have more backup than starter careers.”

For example, Lombardi believes Murray is a “really good player” and a “dynamic athlete.” But that doesn’t mean he can be a consistent NFL starter, much less win a Super Bowl.

“I think when the play breaks down, it becomes a better situation for Kyler Murray,” Lombardi said. “I think he can’t see over those big linemen. I don’t want to hear about his drop-back passing. I think you’re going to have to run a specific (offense with him).”

Lombardi cited Baker Mayfield as an example.

“Baker Mayfield’s best plays last year were when he got out of the pocket,” Lombardi said. “When he had to stay in there and drill the ball and make throws (with) people around him, that becomes a little bit of a problem. Now I think Baker Mayfield is a really good player. I’m not disputing that. What I’m saying is quarterbacks that lack height have trouble seeing. It’s universal. It’s not going to change.”

Haskins, meanwhile, is considered by some the best quarterback prospect in the Draft. Lombardi, though, isn’t buying it.

“I think there’s a lot of hurdles for Haskins to overcome,” he said. “I think this whole rhetoric that Haskins is the second-best quarterback in the Draft has been really by mock-draft people – nobody that really understands the game. I think Daniel Jones is the second-best quarterback, and I’m not sold that he can start and win a championship. That’s the key component to this whole conversation. It’s one thing to start; it’s another to win a championship. Andy Dalton starts. Do you think he can win a championship?”

Click below to listen to Lombardi’s interview in its entirety.