Five possible destinations for Beavers QB Jake Luton in the NFL Draft
The next major sporting event on the calendar is the NFL Draft set to occur on April 23-25.
Among one of the players that Beaver Nation is most looking forward to seeing where he gets drafted is their quarterback Jake Luton.
[RELATED]: NFL Combine Profile: Oregon State QB Jake Luton
Speaking candidly, Luton will face an uphill battle to make it in the NFL since he is expected to be either a late-round draft pick or undrafted. But he will get a training camp invite for sure, and then it'll be up to him to make the most of the opportunity.
But which franchises should he target? Let's break it down.
New England Patriots
The most obvious answer is the team with the most open quarterback competition in the league with the departure of Tom Brady to Tampa Bay. However, they don't have a high enough draft pick to get one of the top tier quarterbacks of Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa. In the meantime, the Pats need to bolster their roster at QB and Luton may be a guy to fill the shoes left by Brady.
”Those are big shoes to fill," Luton said of his conversation with the Patriots at the NFL Draft scouting combine in February. "But, for me I’m a pretty even-keel guy. I kind of reiterated that. I said I’m going to be consistent; I’m going to be prepared as best as I can be, and I’ve never let any of the outside noise distract me. I don’t think that that would be an issue.
I bring it every day and prove that I’m a leader. No matter if it’s a high or a low, I’m going to keep doing it every day. However, that pans out; I’m not going to be worried about filling anybody’s shoes if I’m doing the best that I can do."
Coach Bill Belichick also has a knack of making lower drafted quarterbacks into NFL starters, so if Luton could pick what franchise he ends up, he may want to hope for New England.
After trading Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears, the Jaguars will be looking to bring in depth behind starting quarterback Gardner Minshew III, who was a sixth-round pick a year ago. But, given how low his draft capital was, why couldn't Luton come in and compete for the starting job if Jacksonville doesn't pick a QB with their first-round pick? Or, perhaps he can win the backup job to Minshew, who had an up-and-down rookie campaign, which could pose an opportunity for Luton if he lands there.
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans could be an interesting landing spit for Luton's career and development, as well. There's no way that Luton would beat out Drew Brees and no matter what the franchise says about Taysom Hill as a quarterback, there are doubts Hill can fill in for Brees given an injury. Luton may be able to fill in the Teddy Bridgewater role from last season, relieving Brees while he was in recovery and given the outstanding surrounding talent Luton could succeed. Also, getting coached by Sean Payton is never a bad idea.
There’s a chance that the Seahawks opt to bring in a rookie for the role of back-up QB. Should Seattle go that route, the team wouldn’t spend early- to mid-round draft capital on a quarterback as Russell Wilson remains firmly in his prime and is yet to miss a game in his NFL career. Luton may be that option for Seattle, as he was one of the most efficient passers in college football last season. He posted 2,714 yards and 28 touchdowns to just three interceptions for an impressive passer rating of 149.8. Luton is coming to the NFL with experience in a pro-style offense and playing under center, a rarity for most college QBs. The 6-foot-6 signal caller takes good care of the football and had a career deep ball completion rate of 50%.
The Dallas Cowboys are in an awkward spot with quarterback Dak Prescott as the two sides remain in "gray areas" of a potential long-term deal. The Cowboys used the franchise tag on Prescott, but he hasn't signed the one-year tender associated with it. Their other option right now is Cooper Rush, an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan. Rush recently re-signed with the Cowboys to the tune of $2.14M, but that doesn't mean the back-up QB position is solidified. Luton's size just might be what the Cowboys are looking for. Dallas has two 5th round picks in this year's Draft, which is where Luton is slated to go.