There's little rest for the wicked in the evolutionary arms race that is pro-football. Though the dust is still settling on another incredible NFL draft that concluded last weekend, it's time for analysts to get back to work and to begin checking out the best college talent touted to be selected at next year’s event.
Analysts at Pro Football Focus have already begun putting in the hard yards for fans of the sport. They have recently released their updated list of the top ten quarterbacks who will be starring in the upcoming college football season.
So, without further ado, let's find out who could be 2022’s Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance.
Top ten College QBs on Pro Football Focus
#1 Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma
Spencer Rattler finished the college football season with a 92.5 passing grade, which tied him for the third-best in the FBS.
It’s outside of the pocket where Rattler really shines, though; his 92.1 passing grade on the run was six points higher than the next best college quarterback, according to PFF.
Moreover, it’s important to mention that Rattler’s receiving corps are nothing to write home about, as they dropped far too many dimes last season. If he’d been playing in Alabama, his grade would have been higher still.
Most analysts agree that Rattler is an early contender for this season’s much-vaunted Heisman Award (given to the best player in college football). So it's not difficult to understand why PFF has the Sooner atop the pile of next season’s QB prospects.
#2 Sam Howell, North Carolina
Sam Howell has one of the best arms in college football and has always been graded highly by PFF for his quick release to receivers on slants and RPOs.
Now, after learning to cope better under pressure and raising his drop-back passing grade from 76.9 to 86.2 last season, it’s beginning to look like Howell could be the real deal as a signal-caller.
PFF awarded Howell an overall grade of 92.3. If the Tarheels' prospect continues to level up, he’ll likely be a shoo-in for an early pick at the 2022 NFL Draft.
#3 D'eriq King, Miami
PFF awarded poised and patient Miami QB D’Eriq King a 90.6 grade for his performances in the 2020 season.
King, who is currently recovering from a torn ACL, is a true dual-threat behind the line and is capable of putting up big yardage on the ground as he is through the air.
Assuming King gets back to full fitness in time for the U’s next championship assault, he could be a player to watch.
#4 Dillon Gabriel, UCF
UCF’s Dillon Gabriel looks set to be a true gunslinger if and when he makes it to the NFL. He connected with the second-most passing yards on throws of 20 yards or more in the FBS last season.
Gabriel’s PFF grade jumped from 81.4 to 90.9 last season. If he continues to develop at the same rate, with his engrained ability to connect on deep balls, he could go off the board early at next year’s draft.
#5 Michael Penix Jr., Indiana
The Hoosiers ‘signal-caller, Michael Penix Jr., spent his short-lived 2020 season under near-constant pressure, running for his life behind one of the worst offensive lines in college football.
Nevertheless, PFF awarded the Indiana man a grade of 82.9 from the six starts he made before going down with a torn ACL. Penix deserves that grade, too; his ability to keep plays alive and the bravery he shows under pressure could have NFL scouts salivating come next April.
#6 Matt Corrall, Ole Miss
Apart from one absolute shocker of an outing against Arkansas, where he threw six picks and was awarded a 30.8 passer rating, Ole Miss’s Matt Corral enjoyed a productive first season as a true QB1 for the Rebels.
Corral threw for 3,337 yards, 29 TDs and 14 picks. His completion percentage was high at 70.9%, so his grade of 90.5 seems entirely warranted.
#7 Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
Grayson McCall is a real prospect under center for Coastal Carolina. A keen scrambler blessed with raw, natural athleticism, McCall is also an excellent passer who excels in RPO plays.
The Chanticleer threw for 2,488 yards, 26 TDs and only three picks in 2020. So it’s a little surprising that PFF awarded the young QB a 92.5 passing grade. Keep an eye out for this kid!
#8 DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson
DJ Uiagalelei filled in for the 2021 NFL Draft’s first overall pick, Trevor Lawrence, at Clemson when the now-Jacksonville Jaguar was out injured. Uiagalelei performed well in Lawrence's absence.
PFF awarded him an 83.6 passing grade for his limited appearances under center, and fans were left excited to see more of the talented gunslinger.
#9 Myles Brennan, LSU
LSU’s Myles Brennan’s season may have been cut short by injury, but his 88.3 passing grade should see him back under center for the Tigers come autumn.
#10 Kedon Slovis, USC
Moving down from an 80.8 PFF rating in his freshman year to 80.1 last season, Kedon Slovis didn’t make as big a leap forward as analysts expected him to make for the Trojans.
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Kedon Slovis tends to struggle under pressure and has a propensity to make bad reads at times. Nevertheless, if he manages to polish his play up a bit this year, he has certainly got the required talent to be a late-round pick in the NFL Draft next year.