We’ve officially hit that lull in the football calendar. With the questions surrounding professional sports and COVID-19, the downtime has started to weigh heavily on fans everywhere. We hope everyone is staying home, safe, and healthy.
Given some of the extra time we’ve had on our hands, Ryan Lopes put out the call to the BREAKOUT FINDER staff. We all put our heads together to tackle the very thing many readers are looking for: Rankings. We’re throwing open the curtain and giving the readers a look at our teams’ composite devy rankings.
These are just the top ten’s for now, with the idea that in the coming months, you’ll be able to find much (much) more: Deeper rankings, player pools, devy profiles, and a lot more, all on the heels of a potential BF website makeover – but more on that at a later date. For now, enjoy the tease.
First up, the quarterbacks.
The honorable mentions
You can’t have 15-20 players in the top-10. The math doesn’t work, I’m told, but these are a few names that should stay on your respective radars regardless. They didn’t receive enough votes to warrant a ranking in our top-10, but earned a place in a few of the team’s personal rankings.
For the purpose of this list, these “borderline” players are listed in no particular order.
CJ Stroud, Ohio State (2023; Freshman)
Stroud is a favorite of Lopes, receiving his lone vote in the top-10. He just missed the cut for me, but after writing a peice on Stroud back in March, it’s easy to see the reasons we should be higher on the OSU quarterback.
Head coach Ryan Day appears to be out from underneath Urban Meyer’s shadow and he might just be able to recruit like the best of them. After their current signal-caller departs for the NFL (more on him later), Stroud should be next in line to lead a team with legitimate playoff aspirations and an offense loaded with 5-star talent.
Michael Penix Jr., Indiana (2021; Junior)
I know what you’re thinking: An Indiana quarterback? Well, as our guy Doug Scolnik detailed a couple weeks back, the case is pretty straightforward: Penix can ball. If you’re like Scolnik, it might be a good idea to prepare yourself for his potential breakout campaign in 2020.
Scolnik’s piece on Penix goes in-depth on one of the better kept secrets under center in CFB. It’s time to wake up and take Penix as a serious quarterback prospect.
Anthony Richardson, Florida (2023; Freshman)
“My favorite QB recruit was Cam Newton and no player has come near his package of skills. Until now. Richardson – one of the stars of Netflix’s “QB1: Beyond the Lights,” posted a 4.50-second 40-yard dash time and a 34.1″ vertical leap at 6’4″ and 222 pounds. He had the longest throw at The Opening while competing in the Elite 11. He has all the tools and gets to work with a man that developed Alex Smith, Tim Tebow and Dak Prescott.” @Admlewis
If your looking for reasons to get on board with Anthony Richardson, look no further then the testimony from devy pro Adam Lewis. His analysis on Florida Gators football is extensive and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Richardson cracking his top-10 was all I needed to take notice of the Florida Gators signal-caller.
Brock Purdy, Iowa State (2021; Junior)
After climbing the depth chart at Iowa State, Brock Purdy (6’1′, 210) has excelled at the helm for the Cyclones. What Purdy lacks in size, he makes up for with legit athleticism and the ability to create on the fly. His poise and confidence have struck a chord with talent evaluators, and hes becoming a sneaky riser in the 2021 class.
“Brock Purdy had a breakout sophomore season in 2019, leading the Iowa State Cyclones to a bowl game appearance. He threw for nearly 4,000 yards to go along with 27 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions. Purdy’s biggest strength is his processing and football IQ. He also has above average athleticism and moves well in the pocket. I believe the Cyclones are a dark horse to compete in the Big 12 in 2020 and Purdy will be a riser leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft if he declares.” @LaneMitchell96
What you came here for: The top-10
These are the proverbial big dogs. Many – if not all of these names – won’t be a shock to readers. Their order, however, could surprise you. These are the quarterbacks that demand your attention. If you’re in a superflex league or in major need of help at the QB position, these are the names we view as potential QB1’s and/or game-changers. These are the type of players that front offices will stake their reptuations on.
QB10 Jamie Newman, Georgia (2021; Senior)
Jamie Newman continues to rise up the board after a strong showing at Wake Forest 2019. The dual-threat quarterback was graded as PFF’s second-best passer on passes over 20+ yards. He now joins a powerhouse team loaded with talent, including with one of college footballs most promising receiving threats in UGA’s George Pickens.
I came away fairly impressed when I dove into Jamie Newman and his transfer to Georgia. His accuracy down the field, natural arm talent and rushing ability should be on full display under new George offensive coordinator Todd Monken. In a league that continues to shift towards mobile and dynamic quarterbacks, you can expect to hear Newman’s name around NFL draft circles in 2021. His landing spot at QB10 in our rankings is only the beginning.
QB9 Jayden Daniels, Arizona State (2022; Sophomore)
“Jayden Daniels has the dual threat ability you want from your fantasy quarterback. Daniels dominated in high school, throwing for 14,007 yards, 170 touchdowns and ran for 3,645 yards and 41 touchdowns. He dominated as a true freshman at ASU, putting up almost 3,000 yards with a 60.7% completion percentage an insane 17:2 TD/INT ratio. The knock on Daniels is his size, but he has plenty of room to pack on the pounds to withstand the punishment of the position.” @Admlewis
Jayden doesnt have the typical build of a franchise QB at 6’3′, 175 pounds, but that should tell you just how impressed we were with his level of play as a true freshman. If Daniels can continue his development and pack on a few pounds, he could find himself closer to the top of this list.
QB8 Trey Lance, North Dakota State (2021; Junior)
Our guy Lane has been trying to wake the people up on Trey Lance. He’s been on the train longer then I can remember. His peice on Lance goes in depth on why you can expect him to be in the top 5 conversation for 2021.
“As a 6-3, 221 pound redshirt freshman in 2019, he won countless national awards, was a consensus All-American, and even won a national championship. His name is Trey Lance and he’s the starting quarterback for the North Dakota State Bison. Coming in as a 3-star prospect per 247Sports, he was the first freshman to win the Walter Payton Award for the most outstanding player in FCS football. Because of this, he was an easy choice for the Jerry Rice Award as well, given to the most outstanding freshman football player in the FCS. “
QB7 Kedon Slovis, Southern California (2022; Sophomore)
After taking over for an injured J.T Daniels, Kedon Slovis proved he has what it takes to lead this USC offense. Despite averaging almost 40 attempts a game, he finished with a ridiculous 71% completion percentage. He broke USC’s record for most passing yards in a single game (515) and finished with a 30:9 touchdown to interception ratio. His unexpected season has Slovis rising up the ranks, cementing himself as our #7 overall quarterback.
Slovis strong and consistent level of play won over our hearts, and he returns in 2020 with a legit arsenal of weapons and 2 more years to build on his NFL draft stock. Expect to hear Slovis’ name near the top of this list in 2022.
QB6 DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson (2023; Freshman)
“If you’re looking for a more athletic Ben Roethlisberger, you found him in DJ. One of my favorite prospects to watch in the last few years, he’s already a pro sized QB with a huge arm (once threw it 80+ yards in a QB camp) that displays accuracy and touch on his passes. He’ll step right in after Trevor Lawrence leaves and is destined to be a top 10 draft pick.”
Its not hard to see why Doug and the rest of the crew at BF are high on the big, strong-armed quarterback. The newest Clemson Tiger is set up for the long haul, with one of the deepest and youngest cores of 5-star talent in college football.
QB5 Bryce Young, Alabama (2023; Freshman)
Bryce Young (5-11 , 197), the one-time Trojans’ committ, is tabbed as a top-5 Californian recruit of all-time. Let that sink in. For those that follow high school recruiting closely, you are well aware of the talent that consistently fills the Cali pipeline; Young finds himself at the very top of that long list, and recieves similar praise from our crew at Breakout Finder.
“The talent should be obvious; he’s worth every single one of those stars, and I look for him to operate under center sooner rather than later. Although he’s billed as a “dual-threat,” he’s not just a run-first quarterback. His arm talent is just as good; we’re talking about a special player. He’s already put on 20 pounds and is throwing to NFL talent (and against NFL defensive backs). I’m ready to be higher on Young than the consensus, but it’ll only be a matter of time before the wave catches up. Get in on the ground floor, my friends.”
QB4 Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma (2022; Sophomore)
“Not only was Spencer Rattler a 5-star prospect, he ended up being graded by recruiters as one of the best high school quarterbacks of all-time. He was the Elite-11 MVP and the only quarterback in the state of Arizona to ever throw over 11,000 yards in high school. The on-field results of the Pinnacle High School product are among the best you will ever see. Even as a recruit, Rattler’s delivery is already rated amongst the best in college football.”
If this video and testimony from our guy DG doesn’t get you excited about Rattler, you may have to get your pulse checked. Our #4 QB has as much upside as any, and as DG details in his piece about Rattler – the fun has only begun.
THE TOP 3
“Coming off a true freshman season in which he threw for 3641 yards, 38 TDs, and 7 INTs, Howell looks to improve in his sophomore season. Weighing in at 6-1 225, he can make throws at all levels, scrambles well keeping his eyes downfield, and has the ability to tuck and run when needed. Armed with a year of experience he returns all his weapons from last year and most of his OL. I expect big things in 2020.”
Sam Howells overall ranking of QB3 could come across as bold to a select few (we like to call them “wrong”), but as Doug was quick to point out – Howell has all the makings of a first round NFL quarterback. The 1st-team freshman All-American broke multiple records in his first season with the Tar Heels, showing maturity and leadership beyond his years. We expect Howell’s continued growth to put him in contention for the QB1 overall once our next two candidates move on to the NFL in 2021.
Trevor “Sunshine” Lawrence has set the college football world on fire in his first two seasons as the Tiger quarterback. His poise, accuracy, leadership and arm talent have led to talent evaluators dubbing him as “the best quartback prospect since Andrew Luck.” His stats and resume speak for themselves, already notching a national championship as a true freshman. His 563 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground in 2019 showcased his dynamic skill-set as a complete quarterback. He may have fallen to QB2 for us here, but we couldn’t fault you for having Sunshine as your QB1 overall.
Where do I start with Trevor Lawrence? Five star recruit, led Clemson to back to back national championship appearances, including a title in 2018 as a freshman. He has two 3,000 yard/30 touchdown seasons thus far and a 66:12 touchdown to interception ratio through his first two seasons. His resume is arguably the best in all of college football. I believe Lawrence has the higher floor and a lower bust risk than Fields, and I see him making a big impact in the NFL from day one.
“At 6’3” 223, Fields can take a hit from the best of them. You can expect to see his name quite frequently this season in the headlines and in the Heisman conversation. Fields’ skill set is perfect for the next level. Don’t be surprised when Justin Fields carves out a career in the NFL being a more accurate, less injury prone, Cam Newton. He is my Devy QB1 and will stay there barring drastic events.”
After transferring to Ohio State from Georgia last year, the expectations for Justin Fields were through the roof. Fields didn’t end up disappointing, finishing 3rd in the Heisman voting en route to a 13-1 record and a college playoff birth in only his first full year as a starter. His rushing ability added another dynamic to the buckeyes offense, finishing with 484 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. His confidence and leadership mixed with his versatile toolbox makes us believe Fields could have the highest potential out of this entire group.
It’s not hard to see why the dual-threat passer is our consensus #1 devy quarterback.
That wraps it up for our Top-10 quarterbacks, but be sure to stay tuned as we continue to make our way through the other skill positions and finalize our rankings for the 2020 season.
Cory Pereira/@FF_Guitarist & The Breakout Finder team