Skip to main content

Top Five 2022 NFL Draft Prospects- Quarterback

TT is an online writer with over seven years of experience writing about sports and pop culture.

2021top-five-nfl-draft-prospects-tight-end

These young men will be tasked to be the future leaders of an NFL franchise. Today I rank the top five quarterback prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft.

1. Kenny Pickett - Pittsburgh

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt

Bio: After originally committing to Temple, Kenny Pickett changed to Pittsburgh. He started just one game as a true freshman, but is was a memorable upset victory over second ranked Miami. As a redshirt senior, he recorded 4,319 yards and 42 touchdown setting Pitt records for single season yards and touchdowns as well as breaking Dan Marino's records for career passing yards and touchdowns. He was named a first team All-American and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Strengths: Most accomplished Pitt quarterback in decades. Comes from an athletic family. Good size and physical attributes for the pro game. Rapid improvement in every facet from redshirt junior season. Touchdown to interception ratio greatly improved. Pitt's offense required him to read the whole field. Good recognition and decision making on combination routes at each level. Will get better at reading defenses with more coaching. Throws with anticipation and tight spirals into small windows. Enough arm to keep closing coverage away from targets. Throwing the deep out will not be an issue. Extends plays and throws on the run. Arm talent to make more improvised throws. Pretty elusive in the open field to get extra yards scrambling.

Weaknesses: Noticeably small hands. Plays with gloves, but small hands usually lead to fumbles when sacked. Nervous feet and poise get the best of him even when the pocket is clean. Sails back out of the pocket rather than climbing and keeping his eyes open downfield. Footwork when throwing has been inconsistent. Poor touch and placement led to drops. Below average touch thrower. Better timing would lead to less contested balls. Needs to get better at directing receivers when plays break down. Release is a tad slow. Must learn to throw the ball away rather than take a sack. Only one season of serious production. Some injuries playing behind a poor offensive line.

Pro Comparison: Derek Carr

Projected Round: 1

Possible Landing Spot: Carolina Panthers

2. Matt Corral - Mississippi

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

Bio: A four star recruit with offers from several colleges, Matt Corral settled on Ole Miss. By 2020, he was the fulltime starter and was named a Manning Award finalist after leading the FBS in total offense per game. In his four years in Oxford, he threw for 8,182 yards and had 75 total touchdowns.

Strengths: Plays hard and competes with a high level of confidence. Improved as a decision maker and processor in 2021. Smooth ball handler for quick passes and RPO plays. Elite release quickness with a tight spiral. Fearless and has the touch to test most coverages. Patient and allows routes to open up. Surprising arm strength for a smaller quarterback. Sudden hip movement to generate power on throws into small windows. Throws catchable and accurate deep ball when protection holds up. Completion percentage would have been noticeably higher if not for excessive drops. Slides away from rushers. Elusive and tough on called runs and scrambles.

Weaknesses: Slender frame with size falling below desired NFL standard. Too reckless as a runner to sustain durability. Missed some of 2019 with sore ribs and was carted off the field with a lower leg injury in the 2022 Sugar Bowl. Questionable maturity. Benefited heavily from a play action and RPO focused offense. Hasn't really shown he can read the whole field. Phones it in on short throws. Deep ball release needs to be quicker for faster pro receivers. Will take unnecessary chances against deep safety help. Most of his interceptions were freebies for defensive backs. Poise and accuracy fall when he's on the move. Takes too long to escape the pocket when it collapses. Would rather take sack then throw the ball away.

Pro Comparison: Zach Wilson

Projected Round: 1

Possible Landing Spot: New Orleans Saints

3. Malik Willis - Liberty

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Bio: After not getting playing time at Auburn, Malik Willis transferred to Liberty. In 2020, he went 9-1 and flashed his dual threat potential. In his college career he compiled 7,208 total yards and 73 total touchdowns.

Strengths: Electrifying dual threat ability. Broad, powerful, and compact frame. Rare escapability and elusiveness in the open field. Finishes strong and gets necessary yards on called runs. Had five 100-yard plus rushing games in college. Controls his release according to the desired throw. Reads the blitz and gets the ball out. Makes drive throws with sudden hips. Arm strength capable of winning in small spaces and beating safeties on deep sideline passes. Works through progressions when pocket holds up. Vision to scan field on rollouts and scrambles. Quick transition to throw on RPO plays. Strong hands to pump fake, reset, and throw.

Scroll to Continue

Weaknesses: Inconsistent footwork at times. Feet need to settle when in the pocket. Poor at climbing pocket and maintaining throw position. Tucks and goes rather than standing in and throwing in the face of rushers. Several missed opportunities to make easy, on time passes. Will let passing windows close early. Took a step back in 2021 in terms of reading the field and internal clock. Took a lot of unnecessary sacks. Erratic throwing mechanics. Elbow drop and over stride lead to accuracy issues. Deep balls can be rushed and thrown on a rope. Lack of touch leads to increased risk of turnovers. Poor ball placement forces receivers to adjust and come off routes. Accuracy on the move is well below average. Major struggles bringing in snaps and securing through contact in first season at Liberty. Weaker level of competition in FBS.

Pro Comparison: Jalen Hurts

Projected Round: 1

Possible Landing Spot: Pittsburgh Steelers

4. Sam Howell - North Carolina

Sam Howell, QB, UNC

Sam Howell, QB, UNC

Bio: After setting the North Carolina high school record for total offensive yards with 17,036, Sam Howell stayed home to attend UNC after initially committing to Florida State. He started immediately as a true freshman to garner ACC Rookie of the Year. In his three seasons, he set UNC career records for passing yards, passing touchdowns and total offense while throwing a touchdown in all 37 games.

Strengths: Improvisor tendencies from the moment he stepped on the field. Backyard talent to make plays out of nothing. Confident attitude is contagious to his teammates. Climbs pocket while still looking downfield. Decent decision maker on combo throws. Goes through his reads for best option. Looks for the big play outside the pocket. Nimble footwork against pressure. Adapts arm angle for off schedule throws. Earned extra yards with his legs rather than forcing throws as a junior. Great value as a red zone ball carrier. Deceptively elusive with the power to finish runs.

Weaknesses: Shorter frame and tightly bound limbs. Ball pat and windup lead to a slow release. Touch and timing both refined. Forces throws with upper body causing passes to sail. Unnecessarily trails off throws. Will clue safeties in to make plays over the top. Deep balls come out late and often short. Placement issues make receivers work harder than they should have to. Dart throws lack accuracy. Has to trust his eyes more and just launch it. Too many sacks taken. Production took a step back in 2021.

Pro Comparison: Baker Mayfield

Projected Round: 1-2

Possible Landing Spot: Seattle Seahawks

5. Desmond Ridder - Cincinnati

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati

Bio: After redshirting as a true freshman, Desmond Ridder became the starting quarterback for the Bearcats in 2018 winning the AAC's Rookie of the Year. In his last two years, he was named the AAC Offensive Player of the Year both seasons while helping Cincinnati to an undefeated regular season in 2021 and an appearance in the College Football playoff. He set school career records with 87 passing touchdowns and 12,418 yards of total offense.

Strengths: Production took a big jump over his final two seasons. Confident, but humble team captain with command of the field. Athletic and mobile, but wants to win games with his arm. Pocket poise and knows when to slip away from pressure. Reacts quick to what the defense gives him. Holds deep safeties in the middle of the field with his eyes to set up deep sideline throws. Patient, allowing routes to develop and receivers to get open. Mobility to elude pressure and reset for throws outside the pocket. Mechanics and footwork are robotic. Smooth operator with solid base. Able to pump fake and relaunch. Changes speeds and alters touch on first level throws. Good timing and anticipation on out routes. Speed to turn scrambles into large gains.

Weaknesses: Deep balls fall short at times. Gives safeties time to get in range on post routes. Average arm strength for tighter throws. Slow windup hinders release quickness. 26 career batted passes at the line. Hasn't shown he can throw receivers open. Accuracy is erratic at the second level. Slow reading through all his progressions. Average elusiveness as runner could lead to hard hits on scrambles. Below average placement and arm strength of ideal pro passers. Too much unnecessary motion in the pocket leads to sacks.

Pro Comparison: Ryan Tannehill

Projected Round: 2

Possible Landing Spot: Houston Texans

Other Notable Prospects

Jack Coan- Notre Dame

  • Smooth operator, Poor ball placement

Dustin Crum- Kent State

  • Protects the ball, Slow release

Kaleb Eleby- Western Michigan

  • Great accuracy, inconsistent mechanics

Cole Kelley- Southeastern Louisiana

  • Elite size and arm, poor mechanics

D'Eriq King- Miami

  • Dynamic playmaker, undersized

EJ Perry- Brown

  • Extremely competitive, high number of turnovers

Brock Purdy- Iowa State

  • Good accuracy between the numbers, doesn't see the whole field

Carson Strong- Nevada

  • Consistent and productive, injury history

Skylar Thompson- Kansas State

  • Works through reads, just average production

Bailey Zappe- Western Kentucky

  • Finds holes in defense, short and stocky

Nick Starkel- San Jose State

  • Smart decision maker, Thin lower half

Levi Lewis- Louisiana

  • Good athlete, Likely will be moved to wide receiver

Brandon Peters- Illinois

  • Quality size, Misses too many open passing windows

Anthony Brown- Oregon

  • Pro caliber arm, stocky frame

Cole Johnson- James Madison

  • Great touchdown to interception ratio, weak level of competition

Aqeel Glass- Alabama A&M

  • Ideal frame, slow release

People's Poll

Related Articles