Most NFL personnel departments are putting the final touches on their draft board in preparation for next week's draft (April 27-29 in Philadelphia). Before things get too hectic, I reached out to five executives to get their prediction on which quarterback will be the first one selected this year. Here are their responses:
Executive 1: Clemson's Deshaun Watson
"Watson should be the first QB to go next week. He's the most accomplished guy in the group and he's made of the right stuff."
Executive 2: Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes
"Good question. I think the answer could shock some people. (Mitchell) Trubisky is the popular choice but I really think it could be Mahomes. I know a couple teams that love him."
Executive 3: Watson
"Watson is my best guess. He has the best resume and he's competitive and resilient. I think everyone understands the offense will have to be built around his strong points. He isn't the most accurate guy, but he has the moxie, heart and intangibles you just can't coach."
Executive 4: Watson
"Watson is the most experienced and he has more good tape than the other quarterbacks. None of these guys are franchise-type, no-brainer picks, but he's the closest to what you'd want at the position."
Executive 5: North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky
"I think it will end up being Trubisky. He's the safest player in the group."
Summary: Three votes for Watson and one apiece for Mahomes and Trubisky.
Conclusion: These results were very surprising. I thought there would be at least 3 votes for Trubisky, but that wasn't the case. I have Watson as my top quarterback but I'd still list Trubisky as the slight favorite to be the first quarterback off the board. The Mahomes hype is real. I've heard his name come up with a bunch of teams over the last few weeks and it wouldn't surprise me if he ended up being the second signal-caller selected. It's impossible to predict where these guys will end up going, and that's going to make for a very intriguing first round next Thursday night.