Every year there is some quarterback that nobody is talking about in the summer but goes on to have a big final season or NFL teams fall in love with during the Draft Process and ends up going high in the draft. Nobody was talking about Baker Mayfield, Mitchell Trubisky, Paxton Lynch or Blake Bortels in the summer leading up to their final season but they all went on to be first round picks. Even in this past year Daniel Jones was talked about, but nobody would have assumed he’d be the 6th overall pick. Who this year’s guy? If you look at Iowa’s Nate Stanley there are some ways that you can like Nate Stanley to him.
Why Nate Stanley Could Be 2020’s Daniel Jones
Much like Daniel Jones, Nate Stanley will be a three year starter and a multi year team captain. When NFL teams look at quarterbacks especially they want leaders of men. So when they see that Stanley has bee a team captain for three years for a team that has finished in the top 25 in each of those seasons. Stanley is also entering his third year as a starter and will have (barring injury) 39 career starts under his belt. But Stanley is much more than just intangibles as he has shown the ability to throw with accuracy and touch down the field.
Why Nate Stanley Won’t be 2020’s Daniel Jones
For as much success as Stanley has had the past two season he’s had some elite weapons to throw the ball to as both TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant were top 20 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. While there may be someone coming up that we haven’t heard from, Stanley will be forced to take a more active approach and create plays rather than just be the facilitator. Stanley does show the ability to throw accurate balls, but he’s far to inconsistent and benefited by having two big tight ends that he can just throw the ball up and know they’ll come down with it. Stanley also doesn’t have the best decision making where he’s thrown the ball into coverage too much. If he’s feeling the need to have to make plays, this could lead to a jump in interceptions.
There are definitely some fans in the Nate Stanley camp as even Todd McShay has had Stanley go in the first round of his early mock drafts the past two years. And while Stanley has some talent and good intangibles, I’m not sure he has the traits to be considered a high round pick. Who knows, Stanley could go on to have a huge 2019 season and slide into the first round. But I’m not betting on it. To me he looks like a mid round pick whose a high end backup at best.