The Minnesota Vikings are at a crossroads with their quarterback position. With a NFL draft class with several talented signal callers and Kirk Cousins heading into the final year of his contract, it would be a good idea for them to take a hard look at which quarterbacks could be available in April.
Today, we'll look at Jacob Eason, who experienced an up-and-down career between Washington and Georgia, but has the tools to possibly sneak into the back end of the first round.
Why the Vikings should draft Eason
When you first put on the tape of Eason, he looks like a NFL quarterback. He stands at 6'6" and 227 pounds and once he drops back in the pocket, he can fire a laser to anyone on the field. Perhaps it's that look that grabbed the attention of scouts as soon as he set foot in Indianapolis.
"The guy can drop f------ dimes," an NFC general manager told NFL Network's Michael Silver. "He's an extremely talented passer, and he's gonna rise up the board as the draft gets closer, because people are gonna look at his build and see him throw and go, 'Where (else) am I gonna get a guy like that?'"
Another point in Eason's favor is his ability to execute on play-action, which happens to be a staple in the Vikings offense after ranking sixth with 31.4% of Cousins attempts coming from play-action.
"He does a great job of selling the action and then snapping his head around to reread coverages," The Draft Network's Jordan Reid said of his play-action abilities. "Eason seems to be more comfortable when defenses are persuaded by lots of pre-snap action."
Although Eason looks like the prototypical quarterback, that alone won't get you a starting job in the NFL. Fortunately, he has the stats to back it up with 3,132 yards, 23 TD and 8 INT in his final season with the Huskies despite a lackluster supporting cast.
With the Vikings having more talent on the offensive side of the ball, Eason could have a field day as a quarterback with a strong arm who's also not afraid to give his weapons a chance to make a play.
Why the Vikings should not draft Eason
There are times where Eason looks the part of a franchise quarterback. Then there are others where he looks like he shouldn't be on the field.
Eason's career began at Georgia and although he got off to a hot start, where he threw for 2,430 yards, 16 TD and 8 INT as a freshman, he suffered a sprained knee in the season opener of his sophomore season, opening the door for fellow quarterback prospect Jake Fromm.
Part of the reason for this is that Eason has lapses when reading through his progressions. By relying on his arm and athleticism too much, Eason may not throw the ball when it's best to gain a big play as evidenced by a breakdown from Mark Schofield.
With the belief in his arm also leading to poor footwork, it hasn't led to turnovers and poor accuracy at the collegiate level, but might be the case in the NFL.
Eason is one of the more intriguing prospects in this year's class because we just don't know what to expect from him. With his size and arm strength, he projects as a more accurate version of Josh Allen, who took a big leap forward with the Buffalo Bills last season.
The luxury that the Vikings have with all of these prospects is that they can take a year to learn behind Cousins before being thrown into the fire. Here, Eason could observe in 2020, get better at his reads and take off the following season with a fine supporting cast and presumably a better offensive line.