Quarterback Dundies: Comparing Each 2018 NFL Draft Quarterback Prospect to “The Office” Characters
Over the last three months, I’ve done two things more than anything else: watching NFL Draft prospects, and watch The Office.
So, as I finish up another lap through The Office (easily on 15 times through the first seven seasons by now), I couldn’t help but notice that Dunder Mifflin Scranton is not so unlike the 2018 NFL Quarterback Class.
From being almost downsized to being consistently the most successful branch in the company, the 2018 quarterbacks have about as much risk or reward as any class in recent history.
Michael Scott – Sam Darnold, USC
Is Michael Scott perfect as the leader of Dunder Mifflin Scranton? Certainly not. There are flashes of his excellence, such as closing sales with the Lackawanna country government or finding a new supplier at the Convention, but it never does feel entirely perfect, though he ends up being the best branch of Dunder Mifflin by the end of his run.
Sam Darnold isn’t a flawless quarterback prospect, but he’s shown he can step up in big games (especially that Rose Bowl against Penn State a year ago), and flashes the part of a high end starter despite some questionable decision making.
There is so much upside that, despite your worries about his growth, it’s hard to foresee him not leading a playoff team in the future. Is he perfect? No. But don’t be surprised if he finishes on top. (That’s what she said).
Jim Halpert – Josh Rosen, UCLA
In terms of outstanding experience, mental capacity and readiness for a leadership role, Jim Halpert and Josh Rosen are about as perfect candidates as you can find. Rosen is a confident, sometimes brash, personality who’s talents clearly standout among his peers.
There’s no doubt that Rosen can be considered for a leadership role in an organization, but will he seize the opportunity and be a manager of a team, or fail to live up to his potential. His constant challenging of authority can be a galvanizing reason that he’s both destined for great potential but also capped if he ends up in a poor situation or one he’s not motivated to thrive in.
He’s easy to like and his opinions/beliefs are rarely inaccurate, and if he can earn trust from an NFL team, there’s no telling what his ceiling can be. But we’ll see if he can seize the opportunity.
Dwight Schrute – Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Whether or not he always deserves it, Baker Mayfield is the ultimate alpha male of the quarterback class. The number two man depending on who you ask, Mayfield has the production (sales record), Heisman trophy (salesman of the year award) and willing to go beyond what’s expected to earn the respect of his peers.
Things certainly can go wrong at the next level for Baker Mayfield. Without an offense designed for him and the opportunity for trial and error, Mayfield may end up firing off a stray bullet in the office (metaphorically) and lose confidence from his teammates.
His personality isn’t for everyone, and it’s not going to be easy for NFL executives to give him keys to the building, as he’s had some notable hiccups over his career aside from his production. But at the end of the day, in the right situation, he can be a helluva leader at the next level (and owner of Dunder Mifflin). And I think he absolutely will be.
Ryan Howard - Josh Allen
Ryan Howard, the wunderkind of Dunder Mifflin. For whatever reason, Ryan was given an executive position despite terrible production, overconfidence in himself, a huge transition to make, and plenty of better options available.
Like Ryan Howard’s business school background, Josh Allen’s arm talent is what makes him look so appealing as a next level quarterback. But how many executives are willing to overlook his warts to give him a shot to be a leader? And did Ryan Howard also blame his supporting cast, in Scranton, for his lack of a great sales record?
The potential is there for Allen to be a great NFL quarterback, but he has to overcome a lot to live up to those lofty expectations. And for a team that makes him a Dunder Mifflin executive, they might look foolish from now until Infinity.
Creed Bratton – Lamar Jackson
While he’s not an expected main character in the 2018 quarterback class, Lamar Jackson has quickly become an undervalued yet highly beloved prospect from those outside the NFL. And while Creed isn’t a featured part of The Office, his scene stealing appearances and unexpectedly perfect lines always catch viewers off guard and have a lasting impression.
Creed isn’t perfect at his job of quality assurance, but he damn sure knows how to make up for his mistakes. Just like Lamar Jackson’s elite escape-ability and athleticism, Creed knows how to take a terrible situation, like a watermark of a certain cartoon mouse having intercourse with a certain cartoon chicken on Dunder Mifflin’s paper, and end up making money while getting someone else fired.
To some, Creed Bratton is a criminally under rated character. To others, they have no idea what the big deal is. The internet has made Creed Bratton a sensation from The Office, and twitter has done the same for Lamar Jackson. But that doesn’t mean they’re wrong that he’s one of, if not the, best character in the show.
Kevin Malone – Mike White
Similar to Creed Bratton, there are some people (myself included) that are confident Kevin Malone is not just a good character, but among the best in the entire show. While he had his ups and downs later in the series, his one-liners in the early seasons are memorable and reek of outstanding potential.
Sure, he doesn’t display the highest upside all the time, but Kevin is creative, confident, and opportunistic whenever he sees an opportunity to rise. Mike White is a favorite quarterback by some (myself especially), and I’ll go to my grave defending his ceiling as a top-tier passer.
Mike White good quarterback in league. Star passer. Dolphins backup. Why say more words when few words do trick?
Darrell Philbin - Kyle Lauletta
Hailing from a sometimes forgotten part of the company, Darrell Philbin embraced the underdog lifestyle to eventually earn a management-esque positions with creative ideas, quick decision making, and capitalizing on a great opportunity in front of the Sabre executives.
Kyle Lauletta, hailing from the smaller school ranks, wasn’t fully appreciated much of his college career or senior season, and it took the Senior Bowl for high level executives to appreciate that maybe he’s more than just a valued passer, but someone with a high ceiling as a quarterback.
Like Darrell, Lauletta has commanded great respect and possess clear leadership qualities shown through his coaches and teammates recommendations. He may never become the number one guy in this class, but he thrives off being under-appreciated.
Stanley Hudson – Mason Rudolph
Too often forgotten as producing outstandingly well and being a consistent short and intermediate passer, Mason Rudolph deserves a shot to be considered for a top position in the 2018 Class. Stanley, though being a bit boring, has the most consistent sales numbers in the office, per Andy Bernard. Forgotten about, maybe. But productive and an integral part of a blossoming offense? Absolutely.
And if NFL teams are worried about his transition from a Mike Gundy offense, they can SHOVE IT UP THEIR BUTT.
Andy Bernard - Chase Litton
No word on Chase Litton’s a capella ability, but as late entry to the 2018 quarterback class, Litton has plenty to prove and a chip on his shoulder. He can sometimes look the part of a capable performer, but needs a strong supporting cast and time to develop.
He’s certainly a vocal leader, and in a few (maybe six?) seasons behind someone like Joe Flacco, he can become a manager of an NFL team.
Oscar Martinez - Kurt Benkert
Believe me, I checked if any quarterbacks in the 2018 draft class had accounting degrees. They don’t. But, like Oscar Martinez, Kurt Benkert takes advantage of big opportunities, even if it’s in a losing effort. Like Oscar getting kissed by Michael (which earned him a nice paid vacation), Kurt Benkert attacked Miami (FL) downfield with outstanding success, despite losing the game and taking a beating from the pocket.
Benkert may never be a sexy leading option, but with his intelligence, mental makeup, and potential backup ability, he can prove a valuable part of an organization.
Toby Flenderson – Luke Falk
Luke Falk is known for not being the most outspoken and forceful leader, but he’s still likely to be a long-term fixture in an organization. He’s nothing too sexy as a player, but his reliability and respect from NFL teams reminds of Toby’s even keel-ness and respect from corporate.
Plus, he’s had his run-ins with Michael Scott/Sam Darnold and deservedly has some jealousy of the development Jim Halpert/Josh Rosen has received in the Pac-12.
BONUS: David Wallace - Dave Gettleman
Will the Giants make Josh Rosen their new quarterback (Jim Halpert), opt for the dangerous upside in Josh Allen (Ryan Howard) or go with Mr. Outside Hire (Charles Minor/Saquon Barkley?).
Hopefully Gettleman makes a better decision than David Wallace did.