QB Prospect Rankings: Week 2

With the college football season officially finishing its first week of games, I take a look back at the preseason QB prospect ranking I did, and update the list heading into week 2.

The Big 3 remain unchanged from my preseason ranks as Costello still showed his unmatched level of intelligence compared to his peers, and Fromm and Tua both displayed similar levels of development and improvement to their game.

#1) K. J. Costello – Stanford

  • Preseason Rank: #1
  • Trend: –

Costello’s biggest selling point is his high level intelligence and football IQ when on the field. More than any other QB in the upcoming draft, Costello is granted the ability to audible and shift the offensive play at the line of scrimmage. This week against Northwestern, whether by Northwestern’s aggressive attack on the defensive front, or the lack of ability on the Stanford line, Costello got beaten up in the week 1 game, leaving early with an injury and not returning. As we head into Week 2 and beyond, the big question that arises is no longer ability, but durability.

#2) Jake Fromm – Georgia

  • Preseason Rank: 2
  • Trend: –

One of my biggest concerns about Fromm was his lack of ability to maneuver the pocket and prolong plays, and while he did not magically become the next coming of Mike Vick during the offseason, he did show improvement to his pocket maneuverability during week 1’s game against Vanderbilt. In addition, Fromm seems to have improved his ability to read plays quicker, and has shown he has a keener sense of knowing where the blitz is coming from.

#3) Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama

  • Preseason Rank: 3
  • Trend: –

Every sports analyst has Tua as the best prospect in the 2020 NFL draft, and watching him, it’s not hard to see why. Of the top three QBs, Tua is easily the most athletic and more prone to making the big plays happen. He also has shown growth in improving his pace and reading what the defense is giving him, though Fromm and Costello are still much better than him at it. What keeps him from really cracking the top spot is still his gambling habits when he does not need to, and his inconsistency with progressing through his keys beyond the first read. He has shown glimpses of his ability to do so, but they are few and far between.

#4) Nate Stanley – Iowa

  • Preseason Rank: 4
  • Trend: –

While the competition was not as tough as you would like to be with Stanley facing Miami (OH) this week, he was able to showcase the strength of his fundamentals. Stanley has so far shown improvement in his ability to sell the play action, and his fader to the back of the endzone is arguably the best in the nation. He does show a potential concern with his deep ball accuracy, but time will tell if this is is a legitimate weakness to his game.

#5) D’eriq King – Houston

  • Preseason Rank: 5
  • Trend: –

When it comes to playmaking, King disappointed this week against Oklahoma. That’s not to say he did not show anything positive, but one of my major concerns was how he would fair against strong opposition. Getting an opportunity to compete against the fourth best team in the nation in Oklahoma, King and Houston did little to nothing until the end of the game, where King relied more on his legs than his arm. This may have given Houston a dose of energy in the game, but King has prided himself on being a pass-first QB, and his lack of production form his arm during meaningful minutes does not start the season on a good note.

#6) Kellen Mond – Texas A&M

  • Preseason Rank: 9
  • Trend: +3

Kellen Mond has shown numerous improvements to his game from last year in this opening weekend against Texas State. While Texas State is not a powerhouse that can legitimately challenge A&M, Mond was able to use the time to show off his QB skills by not neglecting proper fundamentals. In addition, he has shown improvement to his pocket presence and deep ball accuracy, though he does still seem to have trouble locating the blitz until it has already penetrated the pocket.

#7) Joe Burrow – LSU

  • Preseason Rank: 10
  • Trend: +3

LSU’s new look offense basically is the spread west coast, using Burrow to read the initial key on the Split, then throwing it to the checkdown. This new playstyle does wonders for Burrow as we have seen against Georgia Southern, as Burrow’s quick playstyle and ball placement are now being complimented by quicker routes for him to work with. The new offense is not the only thing Burrow can boast, he has shown a more refined vision and ability to read the defense while progressing through the play, and has worked on his reads through the play, keeping him from getting locked to the first receiver.

#8) Justin Herbert – Oregon

  • Preseason Rank: 11
  • Trend: +3

Herbert once again shows why he is such a strong weapon at the college level, but once again I must point out that there is an issue with the way Oregon plays. The style of offense the Ducks use does not lend itself to good development on the mental side of a QB’s fundamentals. Herbert may look flashy with his athletic gifts, quick release, and electric plays, but if you look at how he digests what is in front of him, he is sorely lacking compared to his peers. Herbert may very well be as good as he is going to be until he is challenged at the mental level, not the physical one.

#9) Jake Bentley – South Carolina

  • Preseason Rank: 6
  • Trend: -3

Statistically, Bentley did not play ver well, and dropped a few spots because of this. When discussing his game, Bentley has shown to improve on his ability to progress through his reads on passing plays, though questions are may start to rise about his accuracy. Against UNC, he was seen overthrowing his receivers numerous times, and of the seven deep passes I have documented, six of them were overthrown, underthrown, or forced into double or triple coverage.

#10) Charlie Brewer – Baylor

  • Preseason Rank: 12
  • Trend: +2

It was not flashy, but Brewer performed exactly how you would want a QB to perform. He made his reads, showed his accuracy, and did not gamble the ball away. Still, it is hard to give him a large amount of credit or respect when facing an FCS team that only managed 2 wins last year. So far his fundamentals are sound, but now Brewer needs to show what he can do against a strong defense.

#11) Mason Fine – North Texas

  • Preseason Rank: 14
  • Trend: +3

#12) Jordan Love – Utah State

  • Preseason Rank: 13
  • Trend: +1

#13) J’mar Smith – Louisiana Tech

  • Preseason Rank: 16
  • Trend: +3

#14) Ryan Willis – Virginia Tech

  • Preseason Rank: 17
  • Trend: +3

#15) Cole Mcdonald – Hawai’i

  • Preseason Rank: 15
  • Trend: –

#16) Sam Ehlinger – Texas

  • Preseason Rank: 19
  • Trend: +3

#17) Steven Montez – Colorado

  • Preseason Rank: 7
  • Trend: -10

#18) Anthony Gordon – Wash State

  • Preseason Rank: N/A
  • Trend: +24

#19) Kelly Bryant – Purdue

  • Preseason Rank: N/A
  • Trend: +23

#20)Jamie Newman – Wake Forest

  • Preseason Rank: N/A
  • Trend: +22

Everyone Else

  • #21) Anthony Russo – Temple (-)
  • #22) Jon Wassink – Western Michigan (-)
  • #23) Jalen Hurts – Oklahoma (-)
  • #24) Elijah Sindelar – Purdue (-)
  • #25) Colin Hill – Colorado State (-)
  • #26) Jacob Eason – Washington (-)
  • #27) Khalil Tate – Arizona (-)
  • #28) Logan Bonner – Arkansas State (-)
  • #29) Jarrett Guarrantano – Tennessee (-)
  • #30) McLane Carter – Rutgers (-)
  • #31) Ross Bowers – Northern Illinois (-)
  • #32) Drew Plitt – Ball State (-)
  • #33) Jack Abraham – Southern Miss (-)
  • #34) Quinten Dormandy – Central Michigan (-)
  • #35) Steve Duncan – Western Kentucky (-)
  • #36) Kaleb Barker – Troy (-)
  • #37) Anthony Brown – Boston College (-)
  • #38) Brandon Jones – UTEP (-)
  • #39) Levi Lewis – Louisiana (-)
  • #40) Brady White – Memphis (-20)
  • #41) Shane Buechele – SMU (-)
  • #42) Stephen Calvert – Liberty (-24)

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