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2022 NFL Draft QB rankings: Grayson McCall leads Top-10 draft-eligible QBs after Week 2
Grayson McCall stays at number one in the rankings, but then vaults to a number ranking in Y/A and passer rating for all QBs in the country
My Week 1 (and all offseason) QB rankings had a shocker to most with Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall at number one, but two games through the season, that’s exactly where McCall sits on most of the NCAA passing leaderboards right now. Though his total yards and touchdowns isn’t close to many of his peers, McCall’s FBS-leading 213.7 passer rating is a product of not just the talent that I saw on the field during the 2020 season, but also a result of the hard work, leadership, and determination that I gleaned from reading about what the redshirt sophomore is like off of the field.
I’m more confident than ever in McCall as the best quarterback in the country after a blowout win against Kansas. There won’t be a change at number one then, and not many movers after a Week 2 that mostly saw the good QBs getting warm-up games against no-NFL-prospects programs, but we’ve got a few updates to go over with another four quarters in the books on the college season.
1. Grayson McCall, CCU vs Kansas (17/21, 245y, 2 TD/0 INT, 1 rush TD)
Okay, so let’s recap where my number one QB — the one who nobody else had in their top-20 going into the season — sits after two games:
Grayson McCall is 1st in the country in completion percentage.
1st in the country in Y/A.
1st in the country in net Y/A.
1st in the country in passer rating.
McCall: 33-of-40, 507 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 213.7 rating, 12.7 Y/A, 14.2 NY/A, 1 rush TD
Yes, I feel pretty good about Grayson McCall.
2. Carson Strong, Nevada vs Idaho State (34/43, 381y, 4 TD/0 INT)
It wasn’t that long ago that Idaho State was giving Nevada serious problems. But now with Strong on the field, no such issues in a 49-10 blowout. Not much you can take away from stats in matchups like this one, but Strong did everything that could be asked of him and continues to look like a first rounder.
3. Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati vs Murray State (14/22, 243y, 2 TD/0 INT)
Ridder has better tests ahead with Indiana on September 18th, Notre Dame on October 2nd, and UCF on October 16th. But Murray State played the Bearcats tougher than the final score suggests.
4. Malik Willis, Liberty vs Troy (13/18, 154y, 2 TD/0 INT, 20 rush/93y/1 TD)
Hard to get good highlights out of games like this one, at least right away. Willis won’t face many elite defenses in his college career. He sees Ole Miss on November 6th.
5. Matt Corral, Ole Miss vs Austin Peay (21/33, 285y, 5 TD/0 INT, 8 rush/35y)
Last week: 6th
He fires off lasers, there just wasn’t any defense here to speak of. Other than a few fun highlights, Austin Peay was no match here. This is where “TD total” will be misleading on the final season stat line and as the year goes on, I will be highlighting and separating a QB’s games against Power-5 teams and everyone else.
6. Kedon Slovis, USC vs Stanford (27/42, 223 yards, 1 TD/1 INT, 5 rush/25y)
Last week: 5th
The game that elevated Tanner McKee’s profile and put a minor dent in the regard for Kedon Slovis, who moves down one slot from last week. The Cardinal got the victory and Slovis has kind of pedestrian numbers to open the year (65%, 479 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT vs San Jose State and Stanford).
But watching the highlights, I immediately can see two dropped touchdown passes by USC receivers, followed by a dropped pass that turned into Slovis’s only interception. I think part of what happened is that Stanford’s secondary and pass rush got the better of USC’s receivers and o-line. It was neither a great night nor a bad one for Slovis.
7. Sam Howell, UNC vs Georgia State (21/29, 352y, 3 TD/0 INT, 11 rush/104y/2 TD)
Last week: 8th
Georgia State gave up 43 points to Army in Week 1 and defensive results here are not too surprising, so how did Howell look? He can throw deep with ease, that’s for sure.
Generally speaking, I wouldn’t say Howell would use this game film to highlight what’s special about him to NFL scouts. The TD totals are misleading and he had more than one off-target throw/missed opportunity, but it’s better than his three-interception game against Virginia Tech in Week 1.
Howell vs Virginia’s Brennan Armstrong is a highlight of Week 3 action. We’ll get better Howell matchups ahead.
8. Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma vs Western Carolina (20/26, 243y, 5 TD/0 INT)
Last week: 9th
You can claim “I like what he did there” or “That was a good throw there” but this is not real football. It’s a handful of NFL starters, some other pros, some of the best athletes in the country…against Western Carolina.
You can also make similar claims with McCall but a) I prefer everything about McCall’s game and b) McCall’s still working with less talent around him and has less of an advantage week-to-week than Rattler.
I don’t hate the game that Rattler had here of course, it’s just not that useful as far as information. Oklahoma doesn’t have a top-25 team on the schedule until Week 12 (!) against Iowa State and that’s the only top-25 team on the schedule. But Nebraska, West Virginia, K State, and Texas are the next four opponents.
9. Phil Jurkovec, Boston College vs UMass (3/4, 22 yards)
Last week: 7th
Jurkovec left the game after four throws with an injured wrist on his right arm. I’m awaiting to hear the news of Jurkovec’s x-rays. Me. I’m the one who is waiting.
Here’s an “update” from Jurkovec and it seems I might have to drop him to the “injury wait-and-see” list this season: Jurkovec posted a picture on Instagram of his hand, post-wrist surgery.
10. Dillon Gabriel, UCF vs Bethune-Cookman (23/36, 312y, 2 TD/0 INT, 2 rush/43y/1 TD)
Last week: Unranked
It’s not that Gabriel played a good opponent or that Taulia Tagovailoa (knocked out of top-10) had a bad game, it’s just that I forgot Dillon Gabriel last week! The lefty is a legit NFL passing prospect so he needs to be in the top-10 for now and I can give the other 15 QBs (and change) some more time to prove if they also need to knock someone out of the top-10.
Gabriel had 4 TD, 2 INT in a Week 1 win over Boise State. It was a blowout over Bethune-Cookman.
UCF takes on Louisville this weekend, then has a bye, then meets Navy, East Carolina, and on October 16th, a showdown against Cincinnati and Desmond Ridder.
And 15 more (not in order):
Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland vs Howard (22/27, 274y, 3 TD/0 INT)
WATCH: Tanner McKee, Stanford vs USC (16/23, 234y, 2 TD/0 INT, 1 rush TD)
The brief lowdown again: McKee was a star recruit in 2018, went on a two-year mission, he’s back now and he’s on fire after winning the starting job last week.
Jayden Daniels, ASU vs UNLV (20/29, 175y, 2 TD/1 INT, 13 rush/125y)
Bryce Young, Alabama vs Mercer (19/27, 227y, 3 TD/0 INT)
Now that Mercer is out of the way…Young’s next four matchups are 11th-ranked Florida, Southern Mississippi, 17th-ranked Ole Miss, and 7th-ranked Texas A&M.
WATCH: Jake Haener, Fresno State vs Cal Poly (17/22, 380y, 4 TD/0 INT, 2 rush TD)
McCall was the guy I identified in the beginning of 2021. Haener might be the QB who I’ve overlooked. Since a three-INT game against Hawaii to start 2020, here is Haener over his last eight starts: 200-of-292, 68%, 2,741y, 21 TD, 2 INT, 6 rush TD
Here I’ve queued up a WILDLY GOOD pass by Haener against Oregon:
D’Eriq King, Miami vs Appalachian State (20/33, 200y, 0 TD/0 INT, 19 rush/79y)
Brock Purdy, Iowa State vs Iowa (13/27, 138y, 0 TD/3 INT)
Last thing you want to do is overreact to a slow start, especially when you have 25 QBs ranked, but Purdy has yet to find the end zone and he played Northern Iowa in the first game. Things are not looking good for Iowa State right now, just as they were in the top-10.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA vs LSU (9/16, 260y, 3 TD/1 INT, 13 rush/5y)
Will Levis, Kentucky vs Missouri (10/18, 179y, 1 TD/1 INT, 1 rush TD)
Kenny Pickett, Pitt vs Tennessee (24/36, 285y, 2 TD/0 INT, 1 rush TD)
The fifth-year senior had a good game against UMass in Week 1, but he replicated his results against a better defense in Tennessee. Whether rolling right and throwing left, or heaving a deep completion off-balance, Pickett looked good this week.
Bo Nix, Auburn vs Alabama State (9/17, 108y, 2 TD/0 INT)
Chase Garbers, Cal vs TCU (16/27, 309y, 2 TD/0 INT, 7 rush/43y)
Jack Coan, Notre Dame vs Toledo (21/33, 239y, 2 TD/1 INT)
And now entering the top-25 for the first time….
Tanner Mordecai, SMU vs North Texas (21/33, 312y, 4 TD/2 INT, 7 rush/33y)
A relatively easy matchup for Mordecai, but I had to acknowledge the player with 11 touchdowns through two weeks …
Mordecai sat behind Kyler Murray, then Jalen Hurts, then Spencer Rattler at Oklahoma before transferring to Southern Methodist. The former 4-star prospect out of Waco, TX is seeing his first extensive action. We’ll see how he does against better teams … the first play on these highlights is one that he’ll want to remember forever on what NOT to do though.
Brennan Armstrong, Virginia vs Illinois (27/36, 405y, 5 TD/1 INT, 5 rush/31y)
Armstrong is 6’2, 215 lbs, and last season as a redshirt sophomore he completed 157-of-268 attempts for 2,117 yards (7.9 Y/A) and 18 TD/11 INT. His numbers out the gate this year are stronger than that (11.1 Y/A) and we’ll see if he maintains that in the ACC all year long.
Tyler Shough, Texas Tech vs Stephen F Austin (12/22, 177y, 1 TD/2 INT)
Michael Penix, Indiana vs Idaho (11/16, 68y, 2 TD/0 INT, 1 rush TD)
5-MORE WATCH LIST
Layne Hatcher, Arkansas State (35/50, 426y, 5 TD/0 INT)
Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky (56/75, 859y, 10 TD/2 INT)
Jack Plummer, Purdue (45/61, 558y, 6 TD/0 INT)
Dustin Crum, Kent State (24/43, 269y, 1 TD/2 INT, 19 rush/130y/1 TD)
Jared Bernhardt, Ferris State (20/24, 304y, 3 TD/1 INT, 26 rush/330y/6 TD/12.7 YPC)
It would be UNBELIEVABLE if Bernhardt somehow made it to the NFL at ANY position. He hasn’t played football in six years but returned after a storied lacrosse career at Maryland and he’s been DOMINANT. I just have to monitor his progress.