Senior Bowl Takeaway No. 3
The quarterback gap is larger than expected
The headliners of this quarterback class are starting to really distance themselves from the rest of the group. Caleb Williams and Drake Maye are the top two slingers in the draft, with Jayden Daniels likely being the clear third quarterback off the board.
After them, there seems to be quite a gap until we reach the rest of the quarterbacks on most big boards and mock drafts. J.J. McCarthy is probably the best bet to be the fourth quarterback taken due to his strong arm and age, which always has value for an NFL coaching staff.
McCarthy will probably be a first-round pick and could be taken a little higher than expected due to his upside, but there does not seem to be much momentum toward him being a top-12 selection. Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr., who were the stars of the Senior Bowl heading into the week, both appear to be falling towards the second round.
The Vikings will have a chance to come back up and select a quarterback at the end of the first round if they decide to take a defensive player with the 11th overall pick. They could even get lucky enough to wait and select one with the 42nd pick, but that fifth-year option will come into play as the draft progresses.
With the quarterbacks starting to separate, there is another reason to keep an eye on the group. One player shined during the Senior Bowl and is turning some heads ahead of the combine.