The 2018 NFL Draft Prospect series breaks down draft-eligible players, highlighting their college production as well as their NFL potential. Daily fantasy players should know about NFL rookies before they’ve played a down of professional football because they are among the most misvalued assets in all of DFS. People who know NFL rookies have a significant DFS edge. The draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, from April 26-28.
This piece is on Washington State quarterback Luke Falk.
For more on all the other passers in the class, see our 2018 NFL draft quarterback rankings.
Updated as of Mar. 5.
Redshirt Senior | 6’4″ and 215 Pounds | Born December 28, 1994 (Age: 23) | Projection: Rounds 3-5
Combine numbers: 40-yard: DNP | bench reps: DNP | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: DNP | vertical: 26.5 in | broad: 103 in
Falk has good size and started 40 games in a Power Five conference, but he has a number of red flags. Although he has many Pac-12 passing records, Falk was less productive and efficient in each of his seasons as a starter.
- 2015: 4,561 yards passing, 7.7 adjusted yards per attempt
- 2016: 4,468, 7.5
- 2017: 3,593, 6.8
Additionally, Falk has limited mobility as evidenced by his career mark of -1.6 yards per carry: Falk isn’t good enough as a runner to counterbalance the sacks he takes. On top of that, even though Head Coach Mike Leach’s quarterbacks have historically produced in college, NFL general managers have rarely shown interest in them because of the perception that they benefit from a pass-happy spread system that inflates their statistics.
It’s possible that some decision makers will like Falk’s grittiness — in 2017 he won the Burlsworth Trophy (over the Heisman-winning Baker Mayfield) for his success as a former walk-on, and he received some favorable reports from Senior Bowl practices — but last year he was sacked on 25.5 percent of his drop backs when pressured, which was the fourth-highest percentage in the draft class (Pro Football Focus). He might be drafted as early as the second round, but he generally looks like previous multi-year Pac-12 starters (Matt Barkley, Sean Mannion, and Brett Hundley, for instance), who were good enough as prospects to be drafted in Rounds 3-5 but have not been good enough as professionals to become anything more than NFL backups.
Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.
Photo Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports