Yes, we know. The 2021 NFL Draft is only just in the rear view mirror. However, Mase is champing at the bit to tell you about some of his favourite 2022 NFL Draft quarterbacks. We all know that Sam Howell and Spencer Rattler will be atop draft boards already. But what about some of the other quarterbacks entering the 2022 NFL Draft? Who has Mase identified as players that you need to monitor in the 2021 college football season?
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA (Senior, 6’-1’’, 200 lbs)
Career Stats in 25 games:
Cmp/ Att: 418/694 (60.2%)
5132 YDs, 40 TDs, 20 INTs
QB Rating: 135.6
Dorian Thompson-Robinson (or DTR) is a dual-threat quarterback whose game shows that he would instead rely on his arm over his legs on any given Sunday. If just over five thousand yards in three seasons isn’t impressive enough, his dart throws and his ability to extend the play at the second level make this young man seem almost ahead of his time. Hurdling defenders are in his wheelhouse and appear to be this kid’s favorite hobby. To add to, he defends the ball exceptionally well while running; ball security is a major key.
Progressions seem to be beaten into his head as he slides through his advanced options fluently. He has a crisp and swift three-step drop. This makes his time in the pocket look that much sweeter. I would like to see him be able to feel comfortable enough to settle into a bag and make reliable mid-range throws. Safeties beware. DTR’s stare can be manipulative and spell disaster for any solo Safety at the college level.
Kaleb Eleby, Western Michigan (Junior, 6’-1’’, 215 lbs)
Career Stats in 11 games:
Cmp/ Att: 190/299 (63.5%)
2791 YDs, 22 TDs, 5 INTs
QB Rating: 162.9
Kaleb Eleby has not enjoyed as much time behind centre as some of the other prospects mentioned. However, Eleby’s intense presence and ability to anticipate his throws across the middle of the field shows the promise of a potential mid to late-round gem. Eleby comes into 2021 with seven rushing touchdowns, but less than 100 yards on 63 attempts. Mid-range accuracy is a concern, and he gallops before beginning his dropback. He is a raw prospect, but the room for improvement leads me to believe that his team could shine come next season if he puts in the work.
Eleby is a gunslinger at this point, who shows immaturity. He trusts his arm too much and will make off-balance, one-legged jump passes. He’s like a bottle of wine: he just needs time to fully mature.
Tyler Shough, Texas Tech (Junior, 6’-5’’, 221 lbs)
Career Stats in 11 games:
Cmp/ Att: 118/182 (64.8%)
1703 YDs, 16 TDs, 6 INTs
QB Rating: 165.9
Redzone novice QB1/2 Shough seems too timid at times and beame replaceable thanks to change of pace quarterback Anthony Brown. Shough was more than capable of running and passing the ball from any formation. You can find Tyler selling multi-fakes and reading the edge appearing to give it his all on every down in his spare time. His throwing motion is among the tightest in next year’s NFL Draft class, and he does step into the pocket nicely. With that said, he becomes antsy, and his lack of game experience shows in the most oddly of moments. Shough’s decision to transfer to Texas Tech could prove pivotal.
His relationship with his teammates and passion for the game is clear. He is always pumping his teammates up, and will hope to repeat this as a Red Raider. He will take the big hit and press on in the drive, and has an uncanny ability to avoid the first man in the backfield and extend the play. Given time and correct coaching in his coming offseason, Tyler Shough could be a big name to come on a future draft day.
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati (Senior, 6’-4’’, 215 lbs)
Career Stats in 35 games:
Cmp/ Att: 559/917 (61.0%)
6905 YDs, 57 TDs, 20 INTs
QB Rating: 140.0
Desmond Ridder is QB1 as of now. Ridder has it all: the arm, the mobility, and the leadership. It seems like Ridder has been playing in the NCAA for forever, as he has over 8000 all-purpose yards. He is one touchdown shy of 80 combined rushing and passing touchdowns in his collegiate career. Ridder can extend the play just as well, if not better, than any other quarterback in the class. He needs to work on tucking and protecting the ball on the run, as he has 23 fumbles in college football to date.
All stats aside, the dude can sling the rock. He passes the eye test and gets excellent depth on his dropbacks. Ridder is the blood of Cincinnati’s offense, and is set to improve his draft stock further in the 2021 college football season.
Matt Corral, Ole Miss (Senior, 6’-1’’, 205 lbs)
Career Stats in 24 games:
Cmp/ Att: 352/526 (66.9%)
4938 YDs, 37 TDs, 18 INTs
QB Rating: 162.1
This agile quarterback and seasoned starter at the collegiate level will do more with his footwork to put him out of position rather than put him in it. His fakes are believable, and he can step into the pocket and show a glimpse of perfection. However, he has a propensity to shoot himself in the foot. He does have seven rushing touchdowns and has been known to fake out or outrun defenders in the backfield.
Corral’s rushing attempts doubled in 2020, and he averages 4 yards per carry. When throwing on the run, Corral will alter his mechanics to his liking based on the throw. He is an accurate passer: his completion percentage is in the high 60s. Corral is an emotional player post-snap, so I am eager to see how he can lead this Ole Miss team to be competitive this coming college football season.
Kedon Slovis, USC (Junior, 6’-2’’, 200 lbs)
Career Stats in 18 games:
Cmp/ Att: 459/656 (70.0%)
5423 YDs, 46 TDs, 16 INTs)
QB Rating: 158.2
Zip on the ball is one of the many traits you love to see in a young player’s career, and Slovis has just that. Z to the I to the P! He throws a catchable ball, yet rarely steps into the pocket when he does toss the ball. His dropback depth leaves more to be desired, but wowzers does this young man have excellent playability. He stretches the play for every cent that it is worth and can be dazzling at times, yet forces some passes.
I wouldn’t expect any NFL defender to fall for his half-hearted fakes where he appears more likely to be skipping a stone rather than passing the pigskin. No rushing touchdowns in this economy? Is there room to grow in Slovis’ game? Absolutely. Could Slovis take a step forward and elevate his game with the help of a semi-normal offseason in Los Angeles? I genuinely believe so.
There you have it, an early look at some of the 2022 NFL Draft quarterbacks. How many of these names will find themselves on your devy roster prior to entering the NFL? You can catch Mase over on Twitter @caliking49er17