The Indianapolis Colts made an intriguing pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft that could have long-term implications for the organization.
The Colts made quarterback Jacob Eason the 122nd overall pick in the 2020 draft, selecting him in the fourth round. The Washington quarterback was a highly-touted recruit, but an injury at Georgia cost him his starting job and led to his transfer to the Huskies.
Eason’s fall to the fourth round is a bit of a surprise, but the Colts benefit. He immediately becomes the only long-term quarterback on the roster. Jacoby Brissett is a free agent after the 2020 season, as is projected starter Philip Rivers. Rivers is also 38 and not a long-term solution.
2019 was a big year for quarterbacks in the NFL Draft, and 2020 is similar.
Four quarterbacks may go in the first round of the draft, with a handful of others waiting behind them to potentially go on the second day. Young franchise quarterbacks are the dream for teams who don’t already have one, and this year is not expected to be any different.
Here are rankings of the seven best quarterbacks in the class of 2020.
Jacob Eason is among the top quarterback prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft, but there are plenty of issues surrounding him.
During NFL Live on ESPN Thursday, Adam Schefter, Louis Riddick, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. all gathered at the NFL Combine to co-host the show. They talked about some draft prospects, including Eason. That’s when McShay shared some negative feedback he’s received on the former Washington Huskies quarterback.
“I saw him live against BYU. And it was one of the best quarterbacked performances I saw live all season long,” McShay said of Eason. “He has it in him. Then I studied the tape of his last five games, and it was up and down, up and down — inconsistent. Then I talked to a couple of people I really trust with quarterbacks in the last 48 hours, and the meetings are not going well.”
McShay then began to compare Eason to Jake Fromm, the quarterback who took Eason’s job at Georgia, leading Eason to transfer back to his home state of Washington.
“You look at Jake Fromm with Georgia. He sent Jacob Eason packing to the West Coast because Fromm was smarter, he was better in the room, and he was more consistent with what he was doing in terms of running the offense.
“These are polar opposite players,” McShay said in comparing Eason and Fromm. “Fromm does everything right. He’s going to be a great backup quarterback, maybe he’ll develop into a starter, he’s going to be exceptional in the room, he’s going to do all the work you need. Eason is a wild card. He’s got the big stature, he’s got the big arm, but the rest of it, I don’t know what I’m buying.”
McShay was then asked what sort of negative things he’s hearing about Eason, and both he and Riddick offered insight.
“He has more questions to answer about mental makeup, commitment, consistency,” Riddick said.
McShay shared the feedback he’s received from those who met with Eason at the Combine.
“He was too comfortable. He thought that he owned the room. He doesn’t understand the magnitude of all this.”
There’s no doubt the ESPN crew shared some criticism of Eason that they’re hearing. The 6-foot-6 QB completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 5,590 yards, 39 touchdowns and 16 interceptions during his college career. He was a 5-star prospect and heralded recruit, but he did not live up to the billing in college.
Eason is a local student-athlete from Lake Stevens. He was the 2015 Gatorade National Player of the Year and began his college career at Georgia as a highly-touted recruit. He passed for 2,430 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions as a true freshman for the Bulldogs in 2016. But after Jake Fromm took over the starting job the following year, Eason decided to transfer to Washington and sat out last season.
Huskies fans will be getting used to a new quarterback at the helm. Jake Browning, a four-year starter from 2015-2018, has seen his career come to an end, opening things up for a new QB. Sophomore Jake Haener was viewed as Eason’s primary competition for the job and will likely begin the season as the backup.
Washington opens the 2019 season on August 31 against Eastern Washington.
Eason announced after the college football season that he was going to be transferring. The Lake Stevens, Wash. native was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school and committed to Mark Richt’s Georgia program. By the time he arrived, Kirby Smart had become the coach. Eason started as a true freshman and threw for 16 touchdowns. He also entered last season as the starter but got hurt in the opener and then Jake Fromm took over the job and never looked back.
Between Fromm and top incoming recruit Justin Fields, Georgia was loaded at quarterback, so it made sense for Eason to transfer. Washington is a perfect home for him because Jake Browning’s eligibility will be up after next season, which would allow Eason to step in as the starter.
Eason sent a tweet showing his happiness about the transfer:
Former prized recruit Jacob Eason left Georgia on Sunday, leaving behind many saddened teammates.
Eason, who was one of the top recruits in the 2016 class and quarterbacked Georgia as a true freshman, lost the starting job to Jake Fromm last season. Between Fromm and the presence of incoming recruit Justin Fields, the prospects of Eason getting future playing time was dwindling.
Eason decided to leave school and has plans to transfer. He shared this farewell post on Instagram Sunday:
Former five-star recruit Jacob Eason is expected to transfer to Washington, according to a report.
Eason is from Lake Stevens, Wash. and opened up the season as Georgia’s starting quarterback before injuring his knee. He was replaced by Jake Fromm, who went on to claim the starting job for good and lead the Bulldogs to the national championship game.
Clearly Fromm, who is a year younger, is Georgia’s new starting quarterback, leaving Eason looking at being a backup. He’d rather go somewhere else where he can play, and heading home to Washington makes sense. He considered the Huskies coming out of high school. And now the timing works out.
Eason will have to sit out next season, which will be Jake Browning’s senior year. Eason would have a chance to start two seasons for the Huskies.