Mid-Season Review: College Football Quarterback Rankings

It’s time to review my preseason assessment and to see if the stock went up or down for these prospects who I flagged as interesting prospects before the season began. I would like to note that this is not a re-ranking, the rankings will remain in the same order as in the pre-season but I will comment on how they’ve done. I will review their tape and re-rank them later on this season. So far there isn’t enough tape for me to be comfortable putting an official statement.

It goes without saying that sadly the best case scenario didn’t play out for most of the top quarterback prospects who I gave first-round aspirations before the season.

I had them separated in four tiers, that if we look at them with this year’s tape wouldn’t be accurate, bear in mind tatt in the moment these tiers were made it was over the entirety of their 2017 tape.

Mid-Season Review: College Football Quarterback Rankings

Pre Season Tier 1:

1) Jarrett Stidham, Auburn, Junior, 6’3 215 lb

Stock down: A big disappointment this season for me, Jarrett Stidham had shown some really nice traits in his 2017 tape but it looks like he has regressed a bit this year with Kerryon Johnson gone. He just isn’t calm enough in the pocket and seems to need more experience. Luckily for him, he still has one more year of eligibility left. There are still some big games left this season that could salvage it and make him look good (like the Iron Bowl). If he puts great tape to close out the year he could be a 2nd/3rd rounder based on potential alone, but even that seems unlikely now.

Stats: 1714 yards, 8 TDs, 4 INTs, 60.4% comp in eight games.

2) Brian Lewerke, Michigan State, Junior (RS), 6’3 215 lb

Stock down: Another player who didn’t take the step forward as I expected. Brian Lewerke just hasn’t been playing all that well and he also got hurt. Luckily for him also there is no need to jump to the NFL this season as he has another year of eligibility. He got benched for Rocky Lombardi, a freshman, after his awful performance against Michigan. The freshman later started and won against Purdue putting Lewerke in a complicated spot. To be fair Lewerrke injured his shoulder against Penn State and was playing hurt against Michigan, he remains doubtful against Maryland. Nevertheless, his stats weren’t impressive at all this season and his play hasn’t given us much hope.

Stats: 1653 yards, 8 TDs, 7 INTs, 56% comp on seven games.

Pre Season Tier 2:

3) Will Grier, West Virginia, Senior, 6’2 223 lb

Stock neutral: Thankfully it’s not three straight disappointments, Will Grier has been mostly as expected. He still shows some questionable decision making at times that keeps him from moving even higher, but he is one of the main reasons of West Virginia’s success. Honestly, I think Grier is a name that will rocket his way up once the season ends and all the tape gets reviewed, for what I’ve seen so far he isn’t to be taken lightly and his numbers this year are phenomenal so far.

Stats: 2272 yards, 25 TDs, 7 INTs, 70.3 % comp (on 10.4 yds per attempt!) on seven games.

4) Justin Herbert, Oregon, Junior, 6’6 233 lb

Stock Up: We have found this year’s media darling, Justin Herbert is the quarterback everybody is talking about fan bases want him next year, there are talks about him being a potential top 10 pick. There are also rumors he might not declare. Without diving too deep into his tape we can see he is a talented prospect, with some good traits. He did suffer a concussion which adds itself to the list of injuries he had so far in his career. So far though, Herbert is the people’s quarterback one.

Stats: 2069 yards, 20 TDs, 6 INTs, 59.6 % comp on 8 games

5) Drew Lock, Missouri, Senior, 6’4 225 lb

Stock Neutral: Drew Lock had a record-breaking statistical season last year so it’s hard to live up to it this year. He gets little help from his supporting cast, a weapon his fans and believers can use to rank him higher. Lock’s flaws were more technical and for what I’ve seen his footwork hasn’t gotten much better and he could still get better in some areas. With so many disappointments this year, Lock didn’t take the opportunity to claim quarterback one status like his Herbert did. But unlike Herbert, there is no staying for another year with Lock, as a senior he has only one shot to get his stock as high as possible.

Stats: 2144 yards, 16TDs, 6 INTs, 60.6 % comp on eight games.

6) Nathan Stanley, Iowa, Junior, 6’5 215 lb

Stock Down: Inconsistent, if there is a word to describe Nathan Stanley it is inconsistent. His numbers aren’t bad but with Stanley, you get a case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, can be decently accurate or way off. I bought into his Ohio State game last year thinking that if he could pull together a game like that more often he would be one hell of a prospect. He does show on paper sometimes, but he needs to be more consistent, and it usually is a mechanical thing. Being only a junior, Stanley still can give it another go next year if he isn’t ready yet to head to the NFL.

Stats: 1764 yards, 16 TDs, 8 INTs, 55.9 % comp on eight games.

7) Brett Rypien, Boise State, Senior, 6’2 210 lb

Stock Up: Brett Rypien has been quietly putting together a nice season, while he had a couple of rough games he’s been mostly phenomenal on paper and has been very efficient. He has posted some truly amazing stats and has been flying under the radar so far. He could be a prospect who comes out of nowhere and then gets everyone talking about him after the Senior Bowl, certainly someone worth keeping an eye on.

Stats: 2565 yards, 23 TDs, 5 INTs, 67.9 % comp on eight games.

8) Ryan Finley, North Carolina State, Senior, 6’4 215 lb

Stock Neutral: Game manager. That’s what Ryan Finley is really. That’s what he has shown us in his 5-year college career. I have to note that he has been throwing it a bit more deep passes than in years prior, which in result bumped up his passing yards, but he still is a player who won’t throw many touchdowns and will limit his interceptions. His completion percentage is high which follows this line of thinking. Some analysts have him as a possible first rounder and that just couldn’t be me at this moment, when I’ll go deep into his tape I’ll see if I missed something, but he doesn’t look like a franchise quarterback to me right now.

Stats: 2250 yards, 13 TDs, 6 INTs, 66.8 % on seven games.

Pre Season Tier 3:

9) Easton Stick, North Dakota State, Senior, 6’2 220 lb

Stock Neutral: As an FCS player it’s normal that he isn’t the most talked about quarterback in the nation as very few people pay attention to North Dakota State’s games. Easton Stick has been efficient, throwing only two interceptions all year, but he hasn’t been airing it out much, to be fair he was never a big volume guy, never averaging over 180 yards per game in a season. He plays the game manager position well and has some decent athleticism that comes in handy. His rushing ability has been an important part of his game this season running for already nine touchdowns.

Stats: 1357 yards, 13 TDs, 2 INTs, 57.4 % comp on eight games.

10) Tyree Jackson, Buffalo, Junior (RS), 6’7 245 lb

Stock Up: The gigantic Tyree Jackson has made some progress from what was a raw but promising sophomore season. He started the season playing lights out but has also hit some bumps on the road. Jackson still leads buffalo with an 8-1 record which is remarkable. He is certainly a player of interest and he could still return one more year if he chooses so.

Stats: 2227 yards, 23 TDs, 8 INTs, 56.8 % comp on nine games.

11) Riley Neal, Ball State, Junior (RS), 6’6 225 lb

Stock Down: After yet another injury it’s time to be concerned about Riley Neal having some sort of injury bug that he just can’t shake off. Even before his meniscus tear, Neal was not tearing it up, in fact, he was rather mediocre. He was throwing mostly short with a dreadful 5.5 yards per attempt and was playing mostly at a bad level. Given the little tape, there was of him last year he showed promise, which he isn’t living up to it so far this year it seems.

Stats: 1917 yards, 11 TDs, 4 INTs, 57.9 % comp on nine games.

(Will be eliminated from next ranking and analysis)

12) Clayton Thorson, Northwestern, Senior, 6’4 225 lb

Stock Down: You might remember Clayton Thorson due to the gruesome injury he suffered during his last game last season. This year Thorson hasn’t been really impressive. Decision making has been an issue for him this season no doubt with 10 interceptions to go along with his 10 touchdowns. He has been held scoreless three times in eight games, and his yards per attempt are even a bit worse than last year’s.

Stats: 2072 yards, 10 TDs, 10 INTs, 60.7% comp on eight games.

Pre Season Tier 4:

13) Daniel Jones, Duke, Junior (RS), 6’5 220lb

Stock Up: Daniel Jones took advantage of other quarterbacks in this class disappointing and made himself a name to consider among the top quarterbacks in this class for many analysts. He did get injured this year, which will be scrutinized a bit. He has been much better on the road (10 touchdowns and one interception) than playing at home (three touchdowns and three interceptions). Overall I think he is a quarterback to keep an eye on if he declares, could be among the best of this class come April.

Stats: 1457 yards, 13 TDs, 4 INTs, 64.5% comp on six games

14) Jake Bentley, South Carolina, Junior, 6’3 220 lb

Stock Neutral: South Carolina quarterback, Jake Bentley, seems to need another year before he is ready to play on Sundays (if he proves to be good enough). He shows glimpses here and there of his potential.

Stats: 1303 yards, 11 TDs, 8 INTs, 61.2 % comp on seven games.

(Will be eliminated from next ranking and analysis)

15) Trace McSorley, Penn State, Senior, 6’0 202 lb

Stock Neutral: Trace McSorley is a good college quarterback, but not really an NFL prospect. We could see him taking a Taysom Hill role in the NFL, but I do not see him being a serious prospect as a quarterback at the moment.

Stats: 1629 yards, 12 TDs, 4 INTs, 53% comp on eight games.

(Will be eliminated from next ranking and analysis)

16) Nick Fitzgerald, Mississipi State, Senior, 6’5 230 lb

Stock Down: Ugh, could his passing stats be any more mediocre? Nick Fitzgerald just isn’t a quarterback prospect at all. He is a good runner though, he should be smart to work out at running back if he is invited at the combine. He would be HUGE, for the position but if he has good enough hands he could also try switching to wide receiver or tight end but just really a position that doesn’t require passing the ball.

Stats: 1009 yards, 6 TDs, 7 INTs, 49.1% comp on seven games.

(Will be eliminated from next ranking and analysis)

17) Jake Browning, Washington, Senior, 6’2 220 lb

Stock Down: He was never really high but he just got benched the other week against California due to his bad performance, and if you add in his limited skill set then you have a player that is not worth keeping an eye on. Jake Browning had one really good year in 2016 where everybody was hyped about him, then he started showing how flawed and limited he was as a quarterback.

Stats: 2049 yards, 12 TDs, 8 INTs 64.1 % comp on eight games.

(Will be eliminated from next ranking and analysis)

If you want to see their 2017 analysis just go here and it will take you to a page in which clicking their names will show you their analysis.

Fresh Faces to Keep an Eye on:

Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State, RS Sophomore, 6’3 220 lbs

Steven Montez, Colorado, RS Junior, 6’5 235 lbs

K.J. Costello, Stanford, Junior, 6’5 215 lbs

Gardner Minshew, Washington State, Senior, 6’2 220 lbs

Ian Book, Notre Dame, Junior, 6’1, 203 lbs

Shea Patterson, Michigan, Junior, 6’2 205 lbs

D’Eriq King, Houston, Junior,5’11 190 lbs

Brady White, Memphis, RS Junior, 6’3 205 lbs

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