2021 QB Draft Rankings: Week 1

The 2020 College football season promises to be one of the most unusual seasons we will ever witness. With the COVID-19 pandemic looming over every aspect of our lives, the NCAA Division 1 – FBS season kicks off with four of its ten conferences canceled, and only three of its six conferences actually participating in Week 1 action. In a addition to this, of the 52 QBs who are eligible of the draft so far, 17 of them had their seasons canceled or individually opted out. Of the 35 that still remain for the 2020 season, only 7 of them actually played this week. So the rankings for Week 1 are going to be rather weird.

Similar to last year this is how the rankings are determined, and the rules that follow my ranking system:
> All QBs listed are players who are, or will be three years removed from high school, making them technically eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft

> Ranking is based on NFL readiness and a QB’s ability to play the position effectively, not on their performance or college accolades

> Rankings are done on a weekly basis, and only take into account the QB’s play from that specific game

> Players on Bye weeks will not see a change in their positions unless a player in front of them is removed from the rankings

> Players who are injured or benched for the beginning of a game are removed from the rankings. Players who are returning from injury will return to the rankings in the same spot they were removed from, while players who were are returning from being benched must return at the very bottom and work their way back up

Also it should be noted that all QBs from conferences that canceled are not present, so even though Justin Fields (Ohio State) and Tanner Morgan (Minnesota-Jr) were ranked highly in my preseason rankings, they will not be present as long as they do not play. So these are the rankings for all QBs who are playing this fall season.

#1) Trevor Lawrence – Clemson (Jr) (BYE)

#2) Kellen Mond – Texas A&M (BYE)

#3) Sam Ehlinger – Texas (Bye)

#4) Kenny Pickett – Pitt (Bye)

#5) Ian Book – Notre Dame (Bye)

#6) Kyle Trask – Florida (Bye)

#7) Brock Purdy – Iowa State (Jr.) (Bye)

#8) Charlie Brewer – Baylor (Bye)

#9) Shane Buechele – SMU

  • Preseason Rank: #13
  • Trend: +4

The Buechele-led SMU offense struggled to find pacing and protection in their season opener against Texas State, and Buechele took some punishment as a result. The line could not seem to consistently protect the QB, and Buechele was constantly dancing and maneuvering around a rather underrated pass rush. While Buechele could not properly showcase his ability in a clean pocket, he was able to show his ability to find the blitz and attack the vacuum left behind. In addition, a large reason why SMU was ultimately able to pull out a victory falls on Buechele’s ability to play through pressure and stay composed. It’s reassuring to know Buechele never takes his eyes away from downfield even when flushed out of the pocket, though questions may arise about his ability to throw on the run, as well as his pocket presence. He ended up getting touched more times than he should.

#10) Jack Abraham – Southern Miss

  • Preseason Rank: #12
  • Trend: +2

While Southern Miss ended up suffering the first upset of the season to South Alabama, Abraham himself had a rather promising game. Questions no doubt spring into my mind about his consistency with ball placement and quick pass accuracy, as he struggled with both throughout the game, often hitting his receivers above their heads and forcing them to extend when they otherwise should not have to. This was especially apparent in a few slants that were thrown, though this could also potentially be chalked up to first game cobwebs. Aside from that, Abraham showed stellar footwork maneuvering in the pocket and setting up to hit receivers in stride, and highlighted his ability to break the pocket and still be accurate on the run.

#11)KJ Costello – Mississippi State (Bye)

#12) Chris Reynolds – Charlotte (Jr.) Bye

#13) Levi Lewis – Louisiana (Bye)

#14) James Blackman – Florida State (Jr.) (Bye)

#15) D’eriq King – Miami (Bye)

Everyone Else:

#16) Desmond Ridder – Cincinnati (J) BYE
#17) Zach Smith – Tulsa (Bye)
#18) Tommy DeVito – Syracuse (J) BYE
#19) Skylar Thompson – Kansas State (BYE)
#20) Holton Ahlers – East Carolina (J) BYE
#21) Zac Thomas – Appalachian State (BYE)
#22) Isaiah Green – Marshall (+13)
#23) Anthony Russo – Temple (BYE)
#24) Jarrett Guarantano – Tennessee (BYE)
#25) Tyler Johnston III – UAB (+15)
#26) Colin Hill – South Carolina (BYE)
#27) Shai Werts – Georgia Southern (BYE)
#28) Fred Payton – Coastal Carolina (J) BYE
#29) Hendon Hooker – Virginia Tech (J) BYE
#30) Lowell Narcisse – UTSA (J) BYE
#31) Micale Cunningham – Louisville (J) BYE
#32) Zach Wilson – BYU
#33) Logan Bonner – Arkansas State
#34) Asher O’Hara – Middle Tennessee

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