Just how high will Jacob Eason go?
The NFL draft takes place Thursday through Saturday, and the pride of Lake Stevens is about to become a professional football player.
But which team will pick him and how early will he go in the draft? These are the questions on the minds of all Snohomish County sports fans.
Eason is one of the more intriguing prospects in this year’s draft. The 2016 Lake Stevens High School graduate, who declared for the draft following his junior season at the University of Washington, has the pedigree. He was a five-star recruit out of high school, being named the Gatorade National Player of the Year as a senior. He has the physical attributes NFL scouts look for in a pro-style quarterback, including size (6-foot-6, 231 pounds) and a cannon of an arm that’s rated as the strongest in the draft class.
Eason’s college career was a bit of a saga. He headed to the SEC out of high school, signing with Georgia, and he was the Bulldogs’ starter as a true freshman. But injury early in his sophomore season saw him lose the starting job to Jake Fromm, so he transferred home to Washington, where in his one season with the Huskies he went 260-for-405 for 3.132 yards and 23 touchdowns with eight interceptions.
Eason is expected to be the highest pick among players from Snohomish County in this year’s draft. He is currently ranked No. 55 on CBSsports.com’s big board, No. 64 by NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, and No. 92 by ESPN’s Jeff Legwold. That puts Eason in the second- or third-round range.
But Eason is a player who could go significantly higher than his ranking. While scouts have questions about his ability to operate when pressured by a pass rush, he has first-round talent, and NFL front offices love their big quarterbacks with big arms. Quarterback is the premium position in football, and there’s a scarcity of Super Bowl-caliber QBs. All it takes is one team believing it can coach up Eason’s talent to turn Eason into a late first-round pick.
The NFL is prepared for the possibility of Eason being picked higher than his ranking. He was one of 58 players invited by the NFL to participate virtually in the draft. Meanwhile, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had him going in the second round, 44th overall to the Indianapolis Colts, in his latest mock draft.
So when in the draft do you think Eason is going to be picked? Will he be one of the 32 players who hear their name called on Thursday’s first day? Will he be a second- or third-rounder, making him a second-day pick? Will he slip to the third day and be picked in rounds four through seven? Make your prediction here: