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If Saints Go Different Route in Next Year’s Draft, Remember the Names of These College QB’s

Teddy BrIdgewater? Taysom Hill? Which one of those two current Saints back-up QB’s will be the one who will eventually emerge as the franchise’s next starter under center, once team living legend and future NFL Hall of Famer Drew Brees eventually retires within  the next few years?

Or — is it possible that the Saints might decide to go a whole different route — and decide instead to try and find Brees’ eventual heir apparent in the 2020 NFL Draft in late April of next year?

Photo courtesy of The New Orleans Advocate

There are more than just a few passionate Who Dat fans out there at the moment who truly believe the Saints organization isn’t fully committed just yet to either Bridgewater or Taysom Hill eventually taking over the starting role, leaving open the distinct possibility instead that the team will target one of several; talented young QB’s that are all expected to be available in next April’s 2020 NFL Draft.

Here’s a quick look at the Top 3 prospects, followed by a couple of underrated QB;s that essentially will be “flying under the radar”.

And we start first with……

Tua Tagovailoa, University of Alabama

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Following the transfer of former starting Crimson Tide QB Jalen Hurts to Oklahoma, Tagovailoa — who most college football analysts / observers consider to be the #1 rated QB of next year’s 2020 NFL Draft Class — will now be the undisputed starter in Tuscaloosa this upcoming season; after his stellar sophomore campaign last season in 2018 when he threw for 3,966 yards and 43 touchdowns despite rarely ever playing an entire because Bama consistently blew out their opponents.

Nevertheless. the left-handed Tagovailoa struggled in the 2018 SEC Championship Game, eventually going out with an ankle injury, and the national title game, which Alabama lost by a whopping 28 points to Clemson; which undoubtedly has dropped his draft stock somewhat. Tagovailoa still remains the top QB of the class. but you can bet that he’ll be playing with a big-time chip on his shoulder in 2019. which isn’t great news for the SEC or any of the Crimson Tide’s scheduled opponents.

 

Jake Fromm, University of Georgia

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Fromm is the QB that has been linked most to the New Orleans as a possible Saints pick next April, since many knowledgeable Who Dat fans feel that the 6-foot-2, 220 pounder seemingly would be a “perfect fit” within Sean Payton‘s high-powered offensive attack. As a junior this coming season, Fromm is already 4th on the school’s all-time list for passing TD’s with (54); after he threw for 30 of them in 2018 as a sophomore in Athens.

However, the Bulldogs eventually lost the SEC Championship Game to Alabama and then a few weeks later n the Sugar Bowl to Texas; which has led to some speculation that he still needs more development before turning pro. Fromm is expected to put up some big stats yet again in 2019; in what is likely his last collegiate season. But he’ll have to do it minus his two top WR’s from last season; making the likelihood of getting past Alabama and winning an elusive national title a “long shot” at best.

 

Justin Herbert, University of Oregon

Photo courtesy of the Portland News

Herbert actually would have been the #1-rated QB coming out in this year’s recently-completed 2019 NFL Draft. but decided to return for his senior season in 2019 after after he threw for 3,151 yards and 29 touchdowns in leading the Ducks to (9-5) win-loss record and a win over Michigan State in the Redbox Bowl.

Herbert is expected to still put up some solid numbers despite losing his top WR from last season as he looks to bring the storied Oregon Ducks program back to its previous status as a national championship contender under offensive “guru” and 2nd year head coach Mario Cristobal; who many observers believe is the man mostly responsible for Herbert’s development and eventual rapid rise to fame.

 

Jordan Love, Utah State

Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

Now we come to a couple of the more underrated QB’s in next year;s 2020 Draft Class; and it goes without saying that many Who Dat fans haven’t even heard of him since he played at Utah State. But loyal fans of the Black and Gold might be excited by the small fact that Love was the starting QB for the 2nd highest-scoring offense in the entire nation (an impressive 47.5 points per game) last year in 2018; as he led the Aggies  to an 11-win season.

One advantage in Love’s favor is that there are more than just a few prominent NFL scouts that feel the 6-foot-4, 220 pound Love is the “prototypical” NFL QB as a pure passer from the pocket; and even is considered by a few of them to possess some of the best throwing mechanics in the entire sport of major College Football. Additionally, Love was sacked the least last season among the quarterbacks of this 2020 class. which demonstrated his high-caliber IQ and field awareness that has several NFL scouts falling in love with the idea pf snagging him as ear;y as the late 1st Round (and presumably where / when the Saints will be picking by that point).

 

Jalen Hurts, University of Oklahoma

Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

There are several more underrated or “flying under the radar” QB’s that we’ll cover in another article at a later date; but for now we’ll end our list with Hurts; who as most fans that follow the sport of big-time College Football will recall came off the bench as the designated back-up behind Tagovailoa to lead Alabama to a comeback win over Georgia in the SEC Championship. However. Hurts quickly saw the proverbial “writing on the wall” as Tagovailoa remained the starter for the Crimson Tide under Alabama head coach Nick Saban. which prompted his off-season transfer in January to play for yet another storied program in the University of Oklahoma and noted offensive master-mind Lincoln Riley.

Riley is considered by a majority of respected and prominent analysts to be the #1 coach currently in all of College Football; and who interestingly enough has produced back-to-back Heisman quarterbacks and back-to-back #1 overall NFL Draft picks (Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns and Kyler Murrray of the Arizona Cardinals). If Riley can help with the development of Hurts as he did with both Mayfield and Murray. it could lead to some NFL team (perhaps the Saints?) deciding to give the dual-threat and potential superstar QB a legitimate shot at future NFL glory…..

 

Big Easy Magazine contributing writer and Saints News Network columnist Barry Hirstius is a 51-year old semi-retired journalist, former New Orleans-area sports editor, and writer previously with several sites that exclusively cover the New Orleans Saints football team. Additionally, he is a recurring guest on a variety of local Sports Talk Radio programs. Barry is also a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the team while attending games as a young boy at the old Tulane Stadium in the early 1970’s, originally following and now covering the team for a span of over 40 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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