Undrafted – The Network

Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Quarterbacks

Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Quarterbacks! College football is a passion of mine, and as we continue to grow our brand and expand our reach with football fans in the UK and Europe, I want to make it my mission to introduce as much college football to all of you as possible. So this week, I’ve got College Footballs Top 10 Quarterbacks heading into the 2021 season. These are ranked in order for me personally, tweet us @UndraftedTN and let us know what you think of the list!

This is the big one… the QBs. Many believe this could be a weak QB draft class entering this year, however I think that could be a very different narrative by the time we reach the off season. These guys are good, make no mistake about it, and we might see another scramble for top QB talent come the draft…

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Subscribe to our newsletter! That way you don’t miss out as we put together our College Football Top 100 in anticipation of the season. Here are the corners!

Disclaimer – We use the data from PFFs premium stat site, along with various other elements of research to put together our very own Undrafted Top 10s

1. Sam Howell – North Carolina Tar Heels – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)

Sam Howell is a better prospect coming out of North Carolina than Mitchell Trubisky was, already… and Mitchell Trubisky was drafted second overall. Sam Howell came into North Carolina, won the starting job as a freshman, and then crushed the season. 38 touchdowns and 7 picks. In year two, he threw another 30 TD’s and again, 7 picks. In the only season that Trubisky started for the Tar Heels he threw 30 TDs and 6 picks… and Sam has another year (at least) to prove what he can do…

Howell had a strong supporting cast this past couple of seasons, with Dyami Brown being selected in the third round by the Washington Football Team. Dazz Newsome, who contributed as wide receiver number two was then selected in round six, not to mention the notable running back duo of Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, who were picked in the second and the fourth rounds respectively.

Howell will go into the 2021 season without Brown and Newsome, who’ve been his top two guys and caught over 36 touchdowns from Howell in the past two years. So this season, I want to see whether Howell can continue to produce and elevate the next guys in the UNC receiving room to replace those two. This is Howell’s year. There are other quarterbacks on this list, some rank them higher, others think Howell could be number one… but they’re breathing down his neck regardless. Howell has a point to prove to land himself as the number one quarterback going into Aprils draft…

According to reports, as soon as the season finished Howell requested as much tape of Joe Burrow as he could get his hands on, as he plans to make his biggest splash yet in 2021. His hard work ethic, commitment to his game and attitude to put in the grind are all very appealing qualities. Not to mention that at 6 foot 1, 225 pounds with mobility, he’s every bit capable of being a top talent in the NFL.

2. Spencer Rattler – Oklahoma Sooners – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)

Rattler came in to fill the shoes of Jalen Hurts at Oklahoma, and got progressively better as his first season went on. There’s no doubt he struggled early on in 2020, with Oklahoma starting the season 2-2. Rattler threw 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in his first start against an FBS (football bowl subdivision) opponent. The tough start put Oklahoma out of play off contention early, but as the season progressed he started to look a lot more comfortable in the role.

Rattler went from throwing 5 picks in the first 4 games of the season, to then only throwing 2 in the 7 games that followed, including an impressive performance against Florida in the Cotton Bowl to round out the year. Rattler threw 28 touchdowns in his first season as a starter, ran for another 6, and with head coach and QB guru Lincoln Riley in his corner, the world of college football is expecting a jump in 2021. Riley was quoted saying “He did so many good things and I certainly don’t want to discount that but the guy can play so much better. For him, we’ve really focused this offseason on him physically.” He believes that Rattler is only scratching the surface and has a lot more potential to unlock.

Rattler has a strong arm, good running ability, and throws a ball with velocity. His play style is very suitable and very appealing to the modern day NFL, and if his projected ability comes through on the field this season, there’s going to be even more hype than there is now on Spencer Rattler’s name.

3. Matt Corral – Ole Miss Rebels – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)

Matt Corral, originally committed to the Florida Gators, flipped to Ole Miss after coaching changes in Florida. Now three years into his time with Ole Miss, having redshirted his freshman year, Corral has established himself as the starter. In 2020 he took over the role under new head coach Lane Kiffin, who runs a heavy air raid type offence. This actually more than likely rescued Corrals career with Ole Miss as he struggled the year before, missed a couple of games with an injury, and when he returned he couldn’t win the job back full time, and split snaps with his back up. Ole Miss finished that year 4-8, and Lane Kiffin was hired to take over.

I would actually have Corral higher if it wasn’t for his bad games, so let’s get those out of the way first. Corral had a very tough time against both Arkansas and LSU this year, throwing 10 picks across the two games, and not picks you can really make excuses for either. However, outside of those two games, he only threw 3 picks across the rest of the season. So if Matt Corral can eradicate those bad games, where things seem to spiral for him, his potential would by sky high, and another off season with Kiffin will help the two of them tighten things up even further ahead of this upcoming season.

On the positive side, Corral has one of the strongest throwing arms in all of college football. He can throw a 70 yard pass over everybody into the hands of one of his receivers effortlessly. His number one target, Elijah Moore, was drafted early in the second round by the Jets this off season, and the two combined for almost 1,200 receiving yards and 8 TD’s. Corral is light on his feet, and can take off and run in similar fashion to a Baker Mayfield type. His arm strength, and accuracy all over the field when he’s switched on, shows just how elite he could be. Corral does however have another two years of eligibility, so doesn’t HAVE to come out this year if he’s not ready.All I want to see this year is consistency from him, and with that, he’s absolutely in the conversation. If he can play like he did against Vanderbilt and South Carolina like he did in back to back games, throwing 10 TDs and 0 picks, nobody can argue with that production. It’s a huge season for him.

4. Dillon Gabriel – UCF Knights – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)

It took one game for Dillon Gabriel to take over from Brandon Wimbush when he arrived at UCF. He replaced Wimbush in the first game of the season in 2019, and the job has belonged to Gabriel since then. The leftie is on pace to break records at UCF, and improves on a great 2019 season with an even more efficient year in 2020. Gabriel went for 32 touchdowns and 4 picks, clocking a better touchdown to interception ratio than Joe Burrow did the season prior.

Gabriel showed such great consistency in 2020 that I’d imagine another season like that this year will result in him declaring for the NFL draft, and following Tua Tagovailoa’s footsteps as a left handed Hawaii product turned NFL pro. Gabriel is making it happen with lesser talented receivers and without the top recruits that would come with a team in the SEC or the Big 12, which certainly works in his favour. His size and weight, at 6 feet, 185 pounds, is light for the NFL, but his decision making, reading of the game and lack of turnovers definitely work in his favour. You can see him working through his progressions patiently, he’s not erratic, and he plays smart.

UCF could do with having a better season this year, after a disappointing 6-4 outcome. If Gabriel can help elevate UCF to a big bowl game, and then show out against a top opponent, that’s a statement for him ahead of a potential step into the draft.

5. Grayson McCall – Coastal Carolina Chanticleers – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)

Even more so than Dillon Gabriel, it’s hard to assess guys like McCall against power 5 division quarterbacks because of the level of competition. It’s a very similar circumstance to that of Trey Lance last year, and Jordan Love the year before. But all these guys can do is show out against the teams in front of them, and that’s exactly what Grayson McCall did in 2020.

In his first season as a starter, McCall took a Coastal Carolina team that was 5-7 and played his part in turning them into an 11-0 team, sweeping their way through the division. It would have been the fairytale season had it not been for the bowl game overtime loss to Liberty. But what McCall achieved in 2020 can’t be understated. He stands tall in the pocket at 6 foot 3, and at 200 pounds there’s room for him to bulk up and fill out his frame a little more too. Not only is he an appealing size for an NFL roster, but his athleticism and ability to run shines through too. McCall ran for almost 600 yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground, while contributing 26 touchdowns and only 3 picks through the air.

However, with the ball on the ground a lot more in Coastal Carolina, McCall only attempted 250 passes in 2020. This in comparison to a lot of the other QBs on this list throwing over 400 passes a season. For McCall, the sky is the limit in 2021, and Coastal Carolina have certainly caught the attention of the college football world. So the eyes are on them, and they need to replicate the success of the 2020 season.

6. JT Daniels – Georgia Bulldogs – Junior (Year 4 – draft eligible)

Georgia quarterback JT Daniels (18) during the Bulldogs’ game with Tennessee in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (Photo by Perry McIntyre)

JT Daniels circumstances have been a little complicated, and led to him only being able to play in 4 games for the Georgia Bulldogs, after transferring from USC. His college journey has been far from straight forward, after having early success as a freshman at USC, Daniels suffered a knee injury tearing his ACL and meniscus early in the 2019 season. He redshirted the year, and eventually entered the transfer portal. Transferring to Georgia, it seemed he would be healthy to play, but ended up sitting out due to complications until week 12 of the season. Daniels got his first start for the Bulldogs against Mississippi State, and tossed over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns.

In the brief spell he was able to contribute to the team, he threw 10 touchdowns and 2 picks, and over 1200 yards. He’s more of an old school pocket passer, with good presence in the pocket. There are two guys on this list who make the cut based on talent level, and circumstance. JT Daniels is one of those guys. He’s on a very strong roster, with an opportunity to compete at the highest level, under a good coach, in the best division in football, the SEC. Putting Daniels at 6 on my list is a risk, as he could end up at number 1 by the end of the year, or he could be nowhere near the top 10.

Daniels is 6 foot 3, and 210 pounds, and needs to hit some consistency over the next season or two at Georgia in order to fulfil his potential. The 5 star prospect has definitely been hit by injury, but a year or two of great football in the SEC can spark a frenzy ahead of the NFL draft. JT Daniels to wide receiver George Pickens is a match up to look out for this upcoming season.

7. Emory Jones – Florida Gators – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)

One thing head coach Dan Mullen employs in his quarterbacks, is patience. With the success story that has just played out for former 2 star recruit Kyle Trask, who showed tremendous patience at Florida, it’s now Emory Jones turn to take the reins. Jones has been with the Gators since 2018, and was the primary quarterback commit when Dan Mullen took over. Originally, Jones committed to Ohio State, before sending a text to Dan Mullen, stating “Coach, I want to be your quarterback’. His patience in seeing the field is finally going to pay off this year, and despite only throwing 87 passes in total for the Gators across three seasons, he makes the list for the following reasons.

First off, he was a top recruit, recruited by just about every top school, and has been quietly working on his craft, rather than being thrown in the deep end. So he comes with a top quarterback recruit prestige, as a dual threat talent. Secondly, Dan Mullens reputation for developing quarterbacks is his biggest strength in coaching. Mullen has coached Alex Smith, Tim Tebow, Dak Prescott, and more recently Kyle Trask, and had success with all of them. Combining Mullens development of QBs, with the raw talent of Emory Jones, makes him a top 10 QB to watch this year. And that’s with strictly no Gator bias… I promise.

Emory Jones finally gets his shot as a starter, and look out for this extremely athletic, and very talented young man. He throws a great pass, and can take off and speed down the field with his legs at any moment. He’s a true dual threat quarterback, who has Robert Griffin III at Baylor upside if he turns out the way the Gators will want him to. Again, in similar fashion to JT Daniels, Emory Jones could be top of this list come the end of the season, or nowhere near it!

8. Jayden Daniels – Arizona State Sun Devils – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)

Jayden Daniels is the most natural runner on this list. He’s likely the fastest on the list too, and see’s the most planned QB keeper plays. If unaccounted for, he’ll punish you on the ground, taking off for major yardage. I like the excitement that comes with Jayden Daniels, and while he might still be somewhat of a project, his freshman year has shown me enough to want to put him in my top 10 going into this season,

Daniels had a heavily interrupted 2020 season, and I’m almost scratching that year off, By the time Daniels and the Sun Devils got to play, it was November, and they faced up against USC, losing 28-27. They then had the next two games cancelled, before getting in the final three games of the season. So a heavily disturbed total of 4 outings in 2020 isn’t exactly easy to get into and put on a performance. However, as a freshman, Daniels went into camp and beat out the then starter, Dillon Sterling-Cole.

He’s very light on his feet, and agile as anything. Once he tucks the ball and runs, he’ll cut and weave his way through linebackers with ease, and when he gets into the open field he’s tough to catch. I like his decision making. He shows poise and never looks overwhelmed or uncomfortable. To win the starting job and throw almost 3000 yards, 17 touchdowns and only 2 picks, shows a lot of maturity for a freshman quarterback. The lack of games in 2020 makes me even more excited to see what Daniels can do in 2021, now with even more maturity and experience with his team mates under his belt. Look out for this young man on Saturdays, he’s great to watch.

9. D’Eriq King – Miami Hurricanes – Senior (Year 6!! – Upcoming 2022 draft)

Sixth year in college football. One thing that D’Eriq King has on his side is experience. King spent four seasons at Houston, before deciding to redshirt in 2019, after four games as a senior. His college career started as a wide receiver, before moving to a wide receiver/quarterback combination in 2017. He finally took over as the QB full time in 2018, and took the college game by storm, throwing 36 touchdowns and 6 picks, second to only Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins, plus another 14 TDs with his legs. That year his season came to an abrupt end when he injured his knee in game 11 against Tulane. His fourth season was the year he opted out, and eventually, transferred to Miami.

Last year D’Eriq King started to look like 2018 D’Eriq King again. He finished the season with 23 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, as well as another 4 on the ground. The question will be, which D’Eriq King are we going to see in 2021? His favourite target, Brevin Jordan, moved on to the NFL and will be suiting up for the Houston Texans this coming season, but Miami are expected to continue improving under head coach Manny Diaz.

D’Eriq King has one more year to show what he can do before declaring for the draft. The potential here is huge, as the mobile QB could end up with a strong draft stock if he puts on a good show. His ability to take off and run hard through contact is impressive, and despite slightly unorthodox mechanics, his pocket presence and accuracy looks great at times too.

10. Kedon Slovis – USC Trojans – Junior (Year 3 – draft eligible)

Slovis was impressive as a freshman for the USC Trojans in 2019. He made the job his own, and boasted an impressive 30 touchdowns to 9 picks, with almost 3,500 yards. Slovis moves around well in the pocket, sensing pressure and making a move if he needs to do so. He reads the game well, however does seem to get bailed out by his receivers at times, particularly deep down the field.

His footwork is really clean, and if he can tidy up his accuracy and putting the ball out in front a little better on those deep balls, Slovis has the potential to develop into an interesting prospect. He too faced a disturbed season in 2020, with COVID complications, but as things settle down it’ll be very interesting to see how he develops in 2021.

I love his pocket presence, patience, and poise to stand in there and make a throw. He looks good in there, and again the potential is there for him to bolster his stock this upcoming season.

Honourable Mentions

Keep an eye on DJ Uiagaleilei as he takes over at Clemson with big shoes to fill! Max Johnson also came in for LSU late in the season and seems set to take the starting role there, and we’ll all be watching the hot prospect Bryce Young for Alabama, who seemed a little shaky in their pre season spring game!

Check out our college football top 10 safeties right here!

Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Quarterbacks Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Quarterbacks Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Quarterbacks Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Quarterbacks Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Quarterbacks Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Quarterbacks Ranking College Footballs Top 10 Quarterbacks

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