Jacob Eason

Colts Sign Three Draft Picks

The Colts have agreed to terms with three more draft picks, according to a team announcement. RB Jonathan Taylor (pick no. 41), QB Jacob Eason (no. 122), and LB Jordan Glasgow (no. 213) are all in the fold.

Indianapolis was left without a first-round pick due to the team’s trade for DeForest Buckner earlier this offseason. But the Colts had two second-round choices, and they used one of them on Taylor, a talented back out of Wisconsin (they actually traded up three spots to nab him). One of the concerns surrounding Taylor is his heavy usage in college, as he averaged 309 carries over his three seasons with the Badgers, but he certainly made the most out of those carries. He piled up 6,174 rushing yards on a healthy 6.7 yards-per-tote, and he became more of a factor in the passing game in 2019, contributing 26 catches for 252 yards and five receiving scores.

The Colts already had plenty of young talent in the backfield, with Taylor joining Marlon MackJordan Wilkins, and Nyheim Hines. Mack rushed for nearly 1,100 yards last season as the team’s RB1, but he is entering his contract year, and after seeing Indianapolis invest heavily in RBs in the draft over the past two seasons, he may be playing for a free agent deal elsewhere.

Eason, meanwhile, is an intriguing QB prospect who could be a starting option for the Colts as soon as 2021. Of course, Indy brought in Philip Rivers on a one-year pact for 2020, but current QB2 Jacoby Brissett is also on the last year of his current deal, so Eason will have the opportunity to learn from both players this season and perhaps take the reins next year. In 2019, the strong-armed Washington product completed 64.2% of his passes for 3,132 yards, 23 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.

Glasgow, the Colts’ final selection in the draft, will attempt to crack the team’s LB rotation and special teams unit. The DB-turned-linebacker compiled 89 tackles and five sacks in his final season at Michigan.

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Colts Draft QB Jacob Eason At No. 122

The Colts have been connected to a number of quarterback prospects, and they’ve apparently landed on their guy. Indy has selected Washington quarterback Jacob Eason with the No. 122 pick.

GM Chris Ballard previously said that the organization would only take a quarterback if it was the right fit, and they’ve even touted Jacoby Brissett as a potential successor to Philip Rivers. Still, the organization was rumored to be interested in a number of signal-callers throughout the draft process. While Indy was mentioned as a potential suitor for Jordan Love, there were always rumblings that Eason was actually their guy.

Eason had a standout season during his lone year at Washington. The six-foot-six quarterback finished the campaign having completed 64.2-percent of his passes for 3,132 yards, 23 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. While scouts have touted his size and arm strength, he’s been criticized for his decision-making and consistency.

Still, Indy may be the best possible landing spot for Eason. The rookie will have a chance to work under Rivers, and he could eventually have the inside track at earning the starting gig (especially if the Colts trade Brissett).

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NFL Draft Rumors: Bengals, Colts, Bucs, Colts

The Bengals (No. 33) and Colts (No. 34) will kick off the second round and the belief is that they’re both targeting offensive help, Jonathan Jones of CBSSports.com tweets. Beyond that, he gets the sense that defensive tackle Ross Blacklock could be the first defensive player selected in the second round. Earlier today, we heard Blacklock mentioned as a possibility for the Bengals, but they might be more focused on providing help for Joe Burrow instead. That could lead them to Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims, one of the most intriguing talents left on the board.

Here’s the latest as we get set for the second night of the NFL Draft:

  • More from Jones (on Twitter), who says “everyone” he’s talked to around the league believes that the Panthers will go after Mims. As previously reported, they’ve been getting calls on wide receiver Curtis Samuel, though they’re not shopping him. Mims, or another wide receiver, could wind up taking Samuel’s spot on the depth chart. The Panthers’ currently sit at No. 38 overall (the sixth pick in the second round), which might not be good enough to get Mims.
  • Over the last two months, the Buccaneers and Colts have both been high on Washington quarterback Jacob Eason, Albert Breer of The MMQB hears. Eason remains available heading into Day 2 of the draft and both clubs profile as potential fits. Before the night is through, Eason could be tapped as the heir to Tom Brady or Philip Rivers, a perfect scenario for a QB easing into the pro game.
  • There weren’t a ton of trades in the first round, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. The Falcons pushed hard to trade up for cornerback C.J. Henderson and the Raiders wanted to move back from No. 12 before taking Alabama wideout Henry Ruggs.

NFL Draft Rumors: Giants, Herbert, Tua

Will the Giants actually consider quarterback Justin Herbert with the No. 4 overall pick, even though they already have Daniel Jones under center? The answer is no, according to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, though GM Dave Gettleman has been eyeing him for quite some time. Had Herbert entered last year, he would have been Gettleman’s top choice, Pauline hears.

Here’s a look at the latest draft rumblings from around the NFL:

  • In private conversations, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has indicated that Herbert is not actually in consideration for the No. 5 pick, a source close to Ross tells Pauline. That same source says the pick will either be used on Tua Tagovailoa or a position player, with Jordan Love being selected sometime later. If it’s a non-QB at No. 5, Pauline hears that tackle Andrew Thomas is the most likely choice.
  • Multiple NFL execs tell ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler that the Vikings are looking to move back. The Vikings own Nos. 22 and 25, but they could fill their needs at cornerback and wide receiver later on. In the second round, they should be able to land one of this year’s second-tier corners such as Utah’s Jaylon Johnson, LSU’s Kristian Fulton, or Alabama’s Trevon Diggs – the brother of former Vikes receiver Stefon Diggs.
  • Based on what we’ve heard, Washington’s Jacob Eason profiles as a Day 2 pick for QB-needy teams like the Patriots. He could also be a fit for teams looking to groom their next signal caller. One AFC exec pondered the possibility of Eason going to the Buccaneers, where the pure passer serve as the heir to Tom Brady. The Bucs own the No. 45 overall pick in the second round and Eason could be there for them, provided that teams like the Colts (No. 34) don’t pounce first.

Draft QB Rumors: Bolts, Raiders, Pats

Let’s round up some of the recent QB-related rumors that are swirling in advance of Thursday’s draft:

  • The Chargers hold the No. 6 overall pick and are not inclined to trade up from that spot, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. The Bolts are fans of both Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa, and it seems almost certain that at least one of those passers will be available when Los Angeles is on the clock. The team could still go in a non-QB direction with the No. 6 pick, but it would be difficult to pass up a franchise-altering talent at the most important position in sports, especially since the Chargers will probably not be picking nearly as high in 2021.
  • Although the Raiders have Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota on the roster, La Canfora hears that the club could make a play for a QB with one of their two first-round picks. Las Vegas holds the No. 12 and No. 19 overall selections, and JLC believes the team could target a CB with the No. 12 pick and go after a QB like Tagovailoa — if he falls that far — or Jordan Love with the No. 19 pick. While the Raiders need a receiver and don’t have a second-round selection, this year’s draft is deep enough at WR that Las Vegas could still find an impact player with one of its three third-round choices.
  • The Patriots are in the market for a collegiate signal-caller, and Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says it’s a question of “when,” not “if”, New England drafts a QB this week. We recently heard that the Pats would find a passer in either the first round or middle rounds, and if a player like Herbert or Tagovailoa should start to slide, it would not be surprising to see them pull the trigger. Coincidentally, new personnel consultant Eliot Wolf was a Packers staffer in 2005, when Green Bay was the beneficiary of Aaron Rodgers‘ famous draft-day slide.
  • ESPN’s Matt Bowen wrote before last year’s draft that Jarrett Stidham was the QB that represented the best fit for the Patriots, and the Pats ultimately selected Stidham with a fourth-round pick. Bowen believes the rookie signal-caller that makes the most sense for New England this year is Washington’s Jacob Eason (subscription required). Eason profiles as a Day 2 pick, so he would not be the Pats’ target with their No. 23 overall choice, but he may be off the board by the time New England is on the clock again at No. 87.
  • Colts GM Chris Ballard will not force a QB pick in this year’s draft, though Indy has been linked to rookie passers. The team could select a signal-caller like Eason with one of its second-round choices, though the Colts remain high on Jacoby Brissett. It may seem unlikely, but Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star says the team continues to insist that it could forgo a quarterback in the 2020 draft and look to bring Brissett back in 2021.

Latest On Top QB Prospects

A long list of teams have question marks at the quarterback position heading into the offseason. Well, one executive believes many of the organizations will solve their predicament via the draft. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller talked to a personnel executive who believes five quarterbacks will be selected in the top-15 of this year’s draft.

This might not sound all that shocking; among the teams with top-15 picks, only five of those organizations have used first-round capital at the position in the past two drafts. You could easily talk yourself into one of the other 10 teams selecting a quarterback, and a team outside the top-15 could easily trade up. However, it is notable that the executive was willing to speak so definitively.

As Miller explains, there’s a pretty clear pecking order atop the quarterback draft board: Joe Burrow (LSU), Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama), some combo of Jordan Love (Utah State) and Justin Herbert (Oregon), Jacob Eason (Washington), and Jake Fromm (Georgia). Miller notes that the Chargers, who are selecting sixth-overall, are particularly interested in Love.

Miller himself believes six quarterbacks will be selected in the top-50, and he notes that part of the urgency to select a signal-caller could be attributed to the falloff after the top-six options. The next-best prospect, Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts, struggled during Senior Bowl practice this week, and Hawaii’s Cole McDonald projects as more of a fifth- or sixth-rounder.

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Jacob Eason Enters NFL Draft

Jacob Eason is going pro. On Thursday, the Washington quarterback announced that he’ll forego his remaining eligibility to enter the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Playing this season for the University of Washington has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. UW has given me an incredible opportunity to develop as a football player and a person, and I am forever grateful and honored to be a Husky,” Eason wrote in a letter to his fans and followers.

Eason, a five-star recruit out of Washington’s Lake Stevens high school, started his collegiate career at the University of Georgia, but a knee injury late in the 2017 season caused him to change course. When Eason was unable to regain his job from Jake Fromm, he transferred to UW and took over as the starter in 2019. In 13 games this year, Eason completed 64.2% of his throws for 3,132 yards with 23 touchdowns against eight interceptions.

Eason is widely projected to be selected in the first two rounds of the NFL draft and could very easily go in the top 32 if he performs well in workouts. Some evaluators may prefer Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Jordan Love, but Eason is widely regarded as having the best arm strength of any top QB in this year’s class.

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Scouts Not High On 2019 QB Class

Early reviews of the projected 2019 quarterback class continue to paint a grim picture for the immediate future of sports’ marquee position. The four trades teams made to land first-round passers this year could be a reflection of what’s to come.

That’s why you see so many teams giving up the farm to get a quarterback this year. You’d rather trade up for an Allen or Rosen than bet on one of these guys,” a scout told Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller about the players expected to comprise the 2019 draft-eligible quarterback group.

Every scout with whom Miller has discussed the ’19 class said each member of the Baker Mayfield/Sam Darnold/Josh Allen/Josh Rosen/Lamar Jackson 2018 first-round quintet would have entered next year’s draft as the top-rated passer. With Darnold, Allen, Rosen and Jackson declaring for the this year’s draft early, Miller notes that’s depleted next year’s talent pool.

In the past two years, the Bears, Chiefs, Texans, Jets, Bills, Cardinals and Ravens all sacrificed draft capital to move up and select their long-term hopeful solutions. Teams like the Patriots, Jaguars, Giants or Chargers and select others may be waiting for the 2020 draft, per Miller, who has previously discussed the interesting predicament QB-needy franchises could be in next year. That could be dicey for some teams. Save for 2013, every draft since 2002 has seen at least two signal-callers be chosen in the first round.

While recent drafts have produced late risers like Mayfield or Carson Wentz, this one’s immediate top tier — as of now consisting of players like Missouri’s Drew Lock, Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham — has scouts “terrified”, per Miller.

There’s maybe three — Herbert, Drew Lock and the Auburn kid —who look like dudes. But there are a lot — a lot — of issues here,” another scout told Miller. “I’m terrified of this class. I hope everyone got their guy last year.”

However, a silver lining may be coming via the 2020 class, with a scout mentioning Georgia’s former duo of Jake Fromm and since-transferred Jacob Eason (now at Washington) as much better bets. Fromm could enter the draft in 2020, while Eason could do so in 2019. But the 2016 Bulldogs’ starter is not eligible to play for his new program, Washington, until the 2019 season because of NCAA transfer rules. It’s fairly early to project that far ahead, but scouts were doing that with Rosen and Darnold back in 2016. And considering the stakes associated with Round 1 quarterback picks, it’s probably not too soon to assess possibilities.

That kid at Georgia and the one that left are legit dudes,’ this scout said of Fromm and Eason. “They could go 1-2 and they were at the same school! Those are the ones to watch.”

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