It’s looking pretty certain that four quarterbacks will be picked early, maybe even with the first four picks. With three of those guys, there are issues with them holding the ball, trying to do too much.

Caleb Williams looks like the No. 1 overall pick. He had issues last year with playing too much hero ball, trying to improvise into big plays rather than just taking the easier, shorter completions that were there. He was sacked on 7.8 percent of his pass plays last season. That’s just short of the rate that Justin Fields put up at Ohio State. Fields has continued to struggle with sack issues at the pro level.

Jayden Daniels has also had some issues with hanging onto the ball too long. Not so much last year, when he had a 6.3 percent sack rate, which is below-average, but not alarming. The previous season, Daniels was sacked on 10 percent of his pass plays, way below even Fields. He likes to run around, making plays on the move.

Drake Maye is a different style of quarterback: larger and more often working from the pocket. (Not immobile, but he doesn’t move like Daniels or Williams). Maye took plenty of sacks at North Carolina, in part because he was working behind a lesser line.

If media reports are to be believed, J.J. McCarthy now belongs in this top group of quarterbacks, maybe even being selected before some of them. There was a report that an executive believes Washington will select McCarthy No. 2 overall. The Giants (picking sixth) will work him out this week. McCarthy didn’t have notable issues with sacks in college (though it can be argued that him being sacked on 5.4 percent of his pass plays last year for the national champion isn’t any better than Maye being sacked on 6.4 percent of his plays at 8-4 North Carolina).

Below see the sack percentage numbers for these prospects, compared to the other quarterbacks selected with top 15 picks in the last 10 drafts. For each quarterback, numbers for each of his last two college seasons are shown. For most, that’s the sophomore season numbers and the junior season stats.

Bo Nix and Michael Penix aren’t listed. It’s possible that one or both will be selected in the first 15 picks, but it’s not certain. I wanted to emphasize these four who’ll be going earlier, so I left out the two Pac-12 quarterbacks. (Some may have seen those numbers earlier; Nix and Penix were hardly sacked at all the last two years – they’d be the top 2 guys on this list).

YearPkPlayersNoAttPctPer Att
201915Mac Jones21411.4%71.5
20163Sam Darnold63661.6%62.0
201612Deshaun Watson175792.9%35.1
20212C.J. Stroud134412.9%34.9
201512Deshaun Watson154913.0%33.7
20222C.J. Stroud123893.0%33.4
202015Mac Jones134023.1%31.9
20141Jameis Winston174673.5%28.5
20185Tua Tagovailoa133553.5%28.3
2022?J.J. McCarthy123223.6%27.8
201815Dwayne Haskins205333.6%27.7
20152Carson Wentz82083.7%27.0
20195Tua Tagovailoa102523.8%26.2
20191Trevor Lawrence174074.0%24.9
20192Trey Lance122874.0%24.9
20224Anthony Richardson143274.1%24.4
20162Mitchell Trubisky204464.3%23.3
20201Trevor Lawrence153344.3%23.3
201610Patrick Mahomes275914.4%22.9
20202Zach Wilson112364.5%22.5
201510Patrick Mahomes275734.5%22.2
20221Bryce Young183804.5%22.1
20142Carson Wentz163364.5%22.0
20181Kyler Murray183774.6%21.9
20151Jared Goff265294.7%21.3
20161Baker Mayfield183584.8%20.9
20141Jared Goff265094.9%20.6
20196Justin Herbert244285.3%18.8
201610Josh Rosen132315.3%18.8
2023?J.J. McCarthy193325.4%18.5
201710Josh Rosen264515.5%18.3
20192Zach Wilson193195.6%17.8
2022?Caleb Williams305005.7%17.7
20173Sam Darnold294805.7%17.6
20176Daniel Jones284535.8%17.2
20171Baker Mayfield264046.0%16.5
20191Joe Burrow345276.1%16.5
2023?Jayden Daniels223276.3%15.9
2023?Drake Maye294256.4%15.7
20142Marcus Mariota314456.5%15.4
20211Bryce Young395476.7%15.0
20186Daniel Jones283926.7%15.0
20167Josh Allen273736.8%14.8
2022?Drake Maye405177.2%13.9
20177Josh Allen222707.5%13.3
2023?Caleb Williams333887.8%12.8
201911Justin Fields313548.1%12.4
202011Justin Fields212258.5%11.7
20202Trey Lance3309.1%11.0
2022?Jayden Daniels4338810.0%10.0

—Ian Allan