Butkus League 2018 Draft Analysis
In our 2018 Butkus League Draft, the 20th Annual, we had an intriguing 1st Round. Most of us took freshman quarterbacks. Right away we all looked into the future and knew this was going to be interesting. How would it pan out? Who would be the best QB? Who would win Heismans and Butkus Bowls? On the other hand, who would be a bust?
2018 Butkus League Draft – August 12, 2018
|2||Reid (from Jeff)||Adrian Martinez/QB/Nebraska/FR|
|4||Jeff (from Reid)||Dorian Thompson-Robinson/QB/UCLA/FR|
|6||Brian (from Jon)||Emory Jones/QB/Florida/FR|
|7||Jon (from Dave)||Clyde Edwards-Helaire/RB/LSU/SO|
As you can see, the first six picks in the Draft were all Freshman QB’s. Mike took Hollywood hotshot J.T. Daniels from USC. Reid was dying for Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez and traded up with Jeff to get him. At #3, Brian took Trev Lawrence from Clemson. Jeff took UCLA prospect Dorian Thompson-Robinson at #4. Following DTR, Simon nabbed Georgia’s phenom Justin Fields. Then Brian had a 2nd first round pick at #6, obtained from Jon. He took another FR QB named Emory Jones at Florida.
All six guys were heavily recruited. Most are playing in great systems and/or for great teams. None are busts……. yet.
Statistically, here’s how they scored fantasy wise in ’18:
- T. Lawrence – 280 points in 14 games = 20.0 ppg
- A. Martinez – 276 points in 11 games = 25.1 ppg
- J.T. Daniels – 154 points in 11 games = 14.0 ppg
- D.Thompson-Robinson – 89 points in 9 games = 9.9 ppg
- J. Fields – 73 points in 12 games = 6.1 ppg
- E.Jones – 20 points in 4 games = 5.0 ppg
It’s early. Any and all of these guys might still equate to greatness. Even the 6th ranked QB on this list, Emory Jones, could be amazing for Florida. This year he backed up Feleipe Franks but his athleticism is visible and in Coach Dan Mullen’s system, I think Jones will be fantastic.
The biggest bust so far? Justin Fields. He’s looking up at Jake Fromm who improved as a sophomore. Fromm led Georgia to the SEC Championship and a Sugar Bowl appearance. Rumors are swirling that Fields will transfer. I think he will. He should. Fromm isn’t going anywhere and unless Fields wants to switch positions, he should’ve never gone there in the first place. Bad decision.
The best NFL quarterback out of this group is almost assuredly Trev Lawrence. Dude is a stud! He will likely be the #1 overall draft pick in 2021 or 2022. He’s tall, has a cannon for an arm, and should be the BMOC for two or three more years. Check him out on Monday night in the CFB Playoff Championship Game against Alabama.
J.T. Daniels is remarkable too. At first, it was easy to make fun of Daniels with his strange 70s mustache. But then the more I read about him and watched him play, he reminded me of Sam Darnold. I think Daniels will ultimately challenge for a Heisman Trophy at SC in 2020 and 2021.
As for Adrian “A-Magic” Martinez, we love him. The Huskers needed a savior to go along with Coach Scott Frost and we got him. Martinez is a great kid. He’s composed, skilled, a leader, and smart. His dual-threat mobility and agility have Huskers fans dreaming of big things over the next three years. Bruce Feldman already tweeted that he won’t be surprised if Martinez wins a Heisman. As for fantasy interest, he had a fabulous freshman season. Over 25 points per game is nothing to scoff at. Like T-Magic before him, A-Magic could put up astronomical numbers as a runner in Coach Frost’s offense. The skies the limit.
DTR is in a similar system to Martinez. He plays for Coach Chip Kelly at UCLA. How long will it take Kelly to clean house and get his system installed in LA? I would guess we’ll start seeing results in 2019. Kelly’s offense is the original tempo offense that usually dominates, especially with a running QB. Where do you think Coach Frost got it from? That’s right, he incorporated most of Coach Kelly’s offense into his UCF and now Nebraska offenses. DTR vs A-Magic will most definitely be fun to compare and contrast over the coming three seasons.
If I had to rank these guys in fantasy order, I would go with the following:
- A. Martinez
- T. Lawrence
- E. Jones
- J.T. Daniels
- J. Fields
If I had to bet, I would say we’ll have five productive fantasy QB’s, possibly 3, 4, or even 5 fantastic fantasy studs. There might be only one bust in this group. Sorry Fields but you made a mistake that might take years to fix. Even though Daniels is 5th on my list, I think he might be awesome. He could put up those USC QB numbers we’re all accustomed to. Basically, there are five potential Heisman contenders here.
We’ll continue to analyze this group for years to come. This is fascinating. And it’s only just begun.