http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap30...-quarterbacks-plus-jpp-trade-fallout-and-more Excuse me for skipping ahead in this movie that's called the 2018 NFL Draft. I've seen how this story plays out, with teams disregarding their draft boards to grab quarterbacks who aren't worthy of being selected at the top. Sure, we can discuss the importance of the position and how it's a quarterback-driven league, but you'll never convince me that you should push signal-callers up the board just for the sake of landing someone who can take the snap from the center. Now, I know this opinion diverges from those of many prominent talking heads, but based on how I was brought up in the scouting business, I believe you grade players based on their talent and potential -- regardless of position -- and rank them accordingly on the board. This is how I was taught with the Seattle Seahawks as part of a front office that included Mike Holmgren, Ted Thompson, John Schneider and Scot McCloughan -- all of whom were mentored by Ron Wolf during their time with the Green Bay Packers. (I spent parts of three seasons playing for the Packers from 1995 to '97, where I personally witnessed the philosophy play out on the field.) Using a "BPA" (best player available) philosophy that's built on the premise of ranking and selecting the top football talents in the draft, teams shouldn't bypass good players to simply grab a prospect who fills a need. While some will take umbrage with that notion, I believe there are too many examples in previous drafts that validate my perspective. For instance, in 2011, we watched four teams grab quarterbacks within the first 12 picks of a draft that was absolutely loaded at other positions. Cam Newton (No. 1 overall), Jake Locker (No. 8), Blaine Gabbert (No. 10) and Christian Ponder (No. 12) all flew off the board with premium picks, allowing non-QB-obsessed teams to scoop up Pro Bowl-caliber playmakers like linebacker Von Miller (No. 2), defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (No. 3), receiver A.J. Green (No. 4), cornerback Patrick Peterson (No. 5), receiver Julio Jones (No. 6), linebacker Aldon Smith (No. 7), offensive tackle Tyron Smith (No. 9) and defensive lineman J.J. Watt (No. 11). That doesn't even include the likes of center Mike Pouncey (No. 15), defensive end Ryan Kerrigan (No. 16), offensive tackle Nate Solder (No. 17), defensive end Cameron Jordan (No. 24), running back Mark Ingram (No. 28), defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (No. 30) and defensive end Cameron Heyward (No. 31). Although Newton has claimed a league MVP award and did lead his franchise to a Super Bowl, the three other signal-callers failed to make their mark in the league as QB1s. This should be a cautionary tale to evaluators ignoring their grades to pick players who fill the team's biggest need. It's a recipe for disaster, and I'm afraid we could see a few teams fall into that trap this year. "You have to be careful to avoid team needs creeping into your grades," an NFC personnel director told me. "If you're a team that grades prospects strictly on how they would fit into your roster, you can overvalue a guy in a position of need. When you do that, you're prone to missing out on good players because you're trying to fix a hole instead of picking the best player." As the executive points out, you're more likely to overrate someone when you grade and rank prospects based on how they fit on your roster instead of evaluating their overall talent from a league-wide perspective. While some observers will suggest this is simply a case of semantics, I would tell you to grade the player based on how he's projected to play within the first few years of his career. For instance, a top-five player is expected to play at a Pro Bowl level within two to three years of entering the NFL. Sure, those are lofty expectations for any rookie, but top-five picks are supposed to be transcendent stars with skills that impact game outcomes and set the stage for the franchise going forward. That brings me back to the 2018 draft and why I'm having a hard time with the notion that four quarterbacks will come off the board within the first 10 selections. That thought is unbelievable, given the grades that accompany the quarterbacks -- particularly when you go back and look how they rated in the fall -- and it's unfathomable when so many scouts and observers have touted a handful of position players as premium talents in this draft class. How many times have we heard Penn State running back Saquon Barkley mentioned as the best player in the draft? Better yet, how many times have we discussed Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward as elite prospects? With that in mind, I continue to have a hard time believing quarterbacks could come off the board 1-2-3 on draft day, with so many talented players possessing top-10 grades. These guys are universally viewed as Pro Bowl-caliber talents, and bypassing them could spark regret down the road. "You can never have enough good players," the NFC personnel director said. "If you collect a bunch of good players, you always have the option of trading some of your surpluses away to get what you need. ... I understand why everyone wants to find a franchise guy, but you better make sure that his game matches the pick. If not, you not only have missed on him, but you've missed out on other guys who could've helped your squad." Reviewing my notes from the fall, I believe there are only two quarterbacks worthy of top-10 grades, and they don't rank within my top five overall prospects. Here's my top 10 right now: 1) Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State 2) Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State 3) Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State 4) Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech 5) Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame 6) Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama 7) Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA 8) Sam Darnold, QB, USC 9) Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia 10) Derwin James, S, Florida State I don't mean to slight the talent or potential of Rosen and Darnold as QB1s and possibly the top two picks of the draft, but they aren't the two best players in the class. They might play the most important position on the field, but there are other position players who check off the boxes as potential Pro Bowlers within the next few years. My beef isn't with the L.A. QBs, but rather with the notion that Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Wyoming's Josh Allen are possible top-five or top-10 picks. Look, I understand the desire to grab a franchise quarterback, but a team vaulting up to the top of the board for a developmental prospect is bypassing the chance to nab an instant-impact player at another position. And that's no way to draft.