Kyle Yates’s 2022 NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterbacks
It seems like just yesterday that I had people telling me I was “off my rocker” for having Trey Lance as QB1 in May of 2020. While I could do without the criticism from random people on Twitter, I thoroughly enjoy this portion of the off-season, where I sit down and evaluate the upcoming draft class.
It’s always exciting to dive in and fall in love with a player’s talents and abilities well before the general public come to know who they are or what they can do on the field. With that in mind, below are my rankings and scouting notes for the incoming 2022 QB class. If you’re interested in hearing more in-depth evaluations on some of these players, make sure to check out the FantasyPros Dynasty Football Podcast!
Let’s look at some of the players we could be drafting in our Dynasty rookie drafts next off-season.
19. Kedon Slovis (USC)
Slovis is a hot name in scouting circles, but a lot needs to be refined and developed before talking about him as an NFL QB prospect. Slovis struggles with accuracy at all levels of the field and struggles to tick through his progressions quickly. He gets jumpy feet when his first read isn’t there, and he tends to start backpedaling almost immediately. Telegraphs nearly every throw that he makes and numerous interceptions on tape. He has enough mobility to create outside of the pocket but won’t be utilized as a runner in the NFL. Ultimately, Slovis can iron out the kinks and become a solid prospect, but he’s got a long way to go before he can get there.
18. Charlie Brewer (Baylor)
Brewer’s a smaller QB that lacks the elite traits that could push him into the starting QB conversation in the NFL. He has great touch on his throws and is very accurate in the short passing game but lacks the arm talent to drive throws. Solid mechanics consistently, but also tends to see the ball waver on him versus a tight spiral. Able to execute the short passing game that Baylor asked of him while adding in a bit of surprising mobility, but his arm isn’t NFL caliber at this point. It’s highly unlikely that we see that develop too. It’s something that you either have, or you don’t. Right now, Brewer’s in the late Day 3 or UDFA conversation.
17. Emory Jones (Florida)
Jones is an incredible athlete, but he’s about as raw as they come at QB. He would only step in in relief of Kyle Trask last season, and he needs a lot more starting reps before talking about him from an NFL perspective. He has exactly what the NFL is looking for in its modern-day QBs, but we need to see a lot more experience from Jones before he’s on the NFL Draft radar.
16. Malik Cunningham (Louisville)
Cunningham’s an undersized QB prospect with decent arm strength and mobility but doesn’t have an elite trait that will allow him to separate from the pack. Heading into 2022, he’s a Day 3 prospect.
15. Carson Strong (Nevada)
Strong shows promise, but he has a lot of development left to do before we can discuss him with the top of this 2022 class. He struggles with accuracy, particularly deep downfield, and hasn’t figured out how to tell the ball exactly where to go. He has a tight and compact throwing motion, which generates plenty of torque on the ball, but he has a tendency to keep his back foot planted, and it prevents his hips from rotating fully through. Good mobility to be able to extend plays and shows a decent ability to navigate the pocket. Needs to improve ball security as well. Multiple fumbles in the limited games I watched.
14. D’Eriq King (Miami)
King’s an exciting playmaker at the QB position that comes in a bit undersized. He’s in the mold of a Kyler Murray, but he doesn’t have the arm talent that Murray does. While King has a rocket of an arm with incredible torque, he lacks refinement as a passer. He’s inaccurate deep downfield and is often failing to rotate through his throws, which leads to inconsistencies snap in and snap out. He’s been in CFB for a while now, so you would hope that these issues would have ironed themselves out by now. Regardless, King will have teams that run a pure spread offense intrigued as someone they can bring in as a backup QB if he doesn’t iron out the aforementioned inconsistencies in 2021. As of right now, King’s NFL Draft stock is most likely a Day 3 pick.
13. Levi Lewis (Louisiana)
Lewis is an undersized QB prospect that profiles in the mold of Kyler Murray. He doesn’t have a rocket arm, but it’s strong enough to play in the NFL, and he doesn’t have elite burst or agility. He tends to panic under pressure and drops his eyes if the first read isn’t there. Needs to take dramatic steps forward in 2022 if we’re going to talk about him as an NFL prospect.
12. Tyler Shough (Texas Tech)
The definition of an inexperienced starter, Shough shows the traits that can be built upon, but he needs more reps to get comfortable and iron out some of the kinks. He struggles with decision-making sometimes and can see his accuracy waver pretty consistently. However, he shows good mobility, pocket presence, and arm strength. There’s enough there to be enticing for NFL talent evaluators, and Shough will need more starting reps before we can be talking about him as an NFL prospect.
11. Malik Willis (Liberty)
Willis has a ton of hype heading into the 2022 season, but there’s a lot on tape that signifies that we should be pumping the brakes. While Willis has a cannon of an arm and great athleticism/mobility, he has not figured out how to harness his arm strength to be a competent passer. His accuracy is often all over the place, and he’s consistently putting his receivers in harm’s way. Tends to bail out of the pocket early and rely on his athleticism more often than not. The tools and traits are all there for Willis to become something in today’s NFL, but a lot has to be refined and developed before he’s ready for the league.
10. Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh)
Pickett’s a strong-armed QB that comes with surprising mobility for his size. He needs to improve on the finer aspects of the position, but there’s enough there to at least monitor him as we move into the 2022 NFL Draft. Now it’s all about whether or not he can shape and mold his game to become a refined QB prospect.
9. Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA)
Thompson-Robinson is a player to watch heading into the 2022 NFL Draft. He has all the tools and traits that NFL teams are looking for at the QB now. He has a rock-solid arm that’s able to drive throws into tight windows and push the ball downfield. He also has solid mobility and athleticism that allows him to create when the play breaks down. His main growing point at this time is to allow the game to slow down. He needs more playing time to be able to develop and let the game come to him. He tends to rush throws and also tends to put the ball in harm’s way frequently. Doesn’t recognize coverages consistently enough and will throw the ball without recognizing a collapsing defender into the zone. With that being said, he has enough on tape to justify a Day 2 grade right now, and he could work his way up the board if he takes that next step forward this season.
8. Tanner Morgan (Minnesota)
Morgan’s a smart and accurate QB that brings surprising mobility to his game. He would thrive in a system that would ask him to process quickly and get the ball out in time. Struggles with pure arm strength and might not have enough to succeed against NFL DBs. Limited QB that most likely projects as a backup in the NFL, but one that could stick on an NFL depth chart for a long time.
7. Brock Purdy (Iowa State)
Purdy’s a bit undersized but has plenty of zip on his throws and good mobility to make up for it. He’s accurate with the football and can make a variety of throws all over the football field. Needs to improve in navigating the pocket and stepping up under pressure but has made good strides since scouting in 2019. Improved his arm strength and mechanics from one year to the next. Intriguing prospect that has more to his game than what I noticed in 2019.
6. Matt Corral (Ole Miss)
Corral shows good instincts for the position but still has plenty of growing left to do. Made some very questionable decisions against Arkansas and tends to put the ball in harm’s way. Has a live arm and good touch when throwing deep downfield. Needs to show more of an ability to hit more complex throws than just screens and slants. Good mobility and can pick up yardage with his legs. Able to drop the shoulder and throw from multiple arm angles but isn’t always successful with it. There’s enough there to build upon and be excited about, but he has a long way to go before he can be considered with the top of this class.
5. JT Daniels (Georgia)
Daniels has all the tools and traits that NFL evaluators will be looking for at the QB position. Now, it’s just going to be about tying them all together in 2021. He has solid accuracy at all levels of the field and can put the ball in stride for his receivers. Good decision-making and tends to trust his receivers to go up and make a play. He’s not afraid of putting the ball into tight windows. Is not asked to process much in this system. Either getting the ball out quickly or has escape routes with his big receivers on the outside that he can throw it up to. Solid arm. Doesn’t have as natural of a throw as some of the other players in this class, but certainly has more than enough to play in the NFL. He was able to stand in the pocket well but didn’t respond well against Missouri when he was constantly blitzed. Has enough mobility to roll out but needs lighter feet in the pocket and won’t be asked to run much on his own in the league. Needs to improve mechanics. Specifically tightening up his throwing motion. Has a long release and needs to tighten that up at the top. Also tends to let his secondary foot go loose, and it leads to some off-kilter throwing platforms. Keeping everything tighter should only help him moving forward. All in all, a good prospect that will need to prove he can succeed without big-time playmakers on the outside this season to have a shot of pushing into the top-tier conversation.
4. Phil Jurkovec (Boston College)
Jurkovec is a big-bodied QB prospect that has a surprising amount of mobility to his game. Able to keep plays alive with his legs and his size to shed off would-be tacklers. Has a rocket of an arm. He shows good accuracy but tends to let his mechanics get off-kilter from time to time, which forces him to make some errant throws. Good base when he has time and is willing to stand in and take a shot to deliver the football. Needs to improve decision-making skills and threw some questionable balls against Notre Dame. If he irons out these kinks in his game, we could be talking about Jurkovec in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
3. Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati)
Ridder has all the tools to indicate that he could take a massive jump up NFL Draft boards this season. He has a cannon of an arm that’s almost too strong that he’s unaware of how to harness it fully. Struggles with accuracy at all levels of the field and will consistently see balls float up high on him. Needs to improve in consistency snap after snap and to be able to execute the offense. Fantastic mobility, though, and can rip off a 40+ yard run if he has enough open field. Everything’s there for him to take a massive leap. Now it’s just up to him.
2. Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma)
Rattler’s a bit undersized, but he plays with tenacity and toughness that’s surprising to see for a player his size. He has a cannon of an arm and is a very natural thrower. He’s able to flick the ball downfield and has tremendous accuracy at all levels of the field. Tends to struggle with throwing into questionable situations from time to time and can sometimes put his receivers in tenuous circumstances. Able to process quickly and tick through progressions. Tends to bail out of the pocket a bit earlier than you’d like to see, but hopefully, that gets ironed out with more experience. Needs to develop his navigational ability in the pocket. Good mechanics, though, and can generate torque and power on his throws from any arm angle. Able to throw on the run extremely well and has enough mobility to his game that he can be a true threat when operating outside of the pocket. Needs to be able to generate more from structure to truly compliment this aspect of his game, but all the tools are there for Rattler to be a fantastic fit in a vertical system in the NFL.
1. Sam Howell (UNC)
Howell’s in the conversation for QB1 in the 2022 NFL Draft, and it’s not hard to see why when you put on the tape. He has a live arm that can drive the ball into nearly any window but can also flick it 60 yards downfield. More athleticism and movability than you would expect when you initially look at his big frame. Active feet in the pocket and able to navigate pressure extremely well. Also able to break tackles in the pocket well and constantly looking to extend the play. Good accuracy at all levels of the field and can drop the ball in a bucket 50 yards downfield. Overall, Howell’s already a solid prospect that will solidify himself as QB1 if he continues to develop at the rate he has previously. Everything’s there for him to be a solid NFL QB, and he reminds me a lot of Baker Mayfield.