Devy Fantasy Football: Incoming Freshmen Quarterbacks to Watch (2022)
The next position in our “Incoming Freshmen to Watch” series is more than just a position; these players will be the faces of their programs. A big-time quarterback can change the landscape of a college football program for years to come.
Here are five quarterbacks that can take their college programs to the next level and see high NFL Draft capital in a few years.
Drew Allar is a 6’4, 232-pound quarterback from Medina, Ohio. He is a five-star prospect and the No. 4 quarterback in the country in the 247Sports composite rankings. He participated in the All-American Bowl and the Elite-11 and was named Mr. Football in Ohio. Allar committed to Penn State and signed with the Nittany Lions in December.
Allar possesses the prototypical build for an NFL quarterback at 6’4, 232 pounds, notably larger than the other blue-chip quarterbacks in the class. He moves around well for his size as he demonstrates nice escapability and competence outside of the pocket. What makes him elite, though, is his arm talent. He has the spectacular arm strength you would expect from a five-star quarterback of his physical stature, but he can also make every throw on the field no matter the depth or arm angle required. Allar’s anticipation and overall feel for the position is something to be admired as he regularly throws his receivers open, a rare skill for such a young player.
Allar joins a Penn State team with a returning yet underwhelming fifth-year senior quarterback in Sean Clifford. With four years in the system already, Clifford is expected to be the starter, but it is impossible to ignore how much better of a player Allar is. It will be a grind for him to seize the starting job, but Allar will elevate the Penn State offense to new heights once he does. Allar should have an All-American career at Penn State and be a first-round NFL Draft pick in 2025.
Cade Klubnik is a 6’2, 186-pound quarterback from Austin, Texas. He is a five-star prospect, the No. 1 quarterback, and the No. 6 overall player in the country in the 247Sports composite rankings. The All-American was the winner of the Elite 11 Finals, where he was named Most Valuable Player. Klubnik will play his college football for Coach Dabo Swinney at Clemson.
Klubnik looks like he was born to throw the football. He is as accurate of a passer as you’ll find and maintains that accuracy to every level of the field. His ball placement is excellent, and he knows when to take some zip off of his ball. Klubnik is the type of player that can put on a clinic at a pro-day due to his total package of arm traits. He is competent in leaving the pocket and scrambling but is by no means a dual-threat; his throwing ability is what you’ll fall in love with when watching him.
Klubnik joins a Clemson team with a high-profile yet under-performing quarterback in DJ Uiagalelei. The former five-star prospect Uiagalelei topped NFL mock draft boards and starred in Dr. Pepper commercials before flopping last season for the Tigers. He was so bad that it’s a real possibility Klubnik could steal the job as a freshman. It could be Week 1, mid-season, or 2023, but once the keys to the Clemson offense belong to Klubnik, expect an All-American career followed by first-round NFL Draft capital in 2025.
Devin Brown (QB – Ohio State)
Devin Brown is a 6’2, 196-pound quarterback from Draper, Utah. He is a four-star prospect and the No.1 player in Utah in the 247Sports composite rankings. Brown hails from Corner Canyon High School, the same school that has produced New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson and Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart. The All-American and Elite 11 participant was committed to USC for over a year but de-committed; Coach Ryan Day and the Ohio State Buckeyes would ultimately land his commitment.
Brown excels in the vertical passing game, utilizing his massive arm strength to burn defenses deep. He showcases lighting speed on his passes on shorter routes, often fitting balls into tight windows. He navigates traffic in the pocket well and is also effective at throwing on the run. Like many quarterbacks that hang their hat on arm strength, Brown occasionally has too much confidence resulting in interceptions, but he makes more than enough big plays to offset; he is a true gunslinger.
Brown joins a quarterback group at Ohio State that includes arguably the Nation’s best passer, CJ Stroud. He is also joined by former five-star quarterback Kyle McCord, who was also the No. 6 ranked quarterback in the country coming out of high school. Stroud is undoubtedly the man in 2022 as he is a Heisman favorite, but what happens in 2023? The McCord-Brown battle will be high-profile, with the loser likely hitting the transfer portal. If Brown eventually gets the Ohio State job, he should follow in Stroud’s footsteps with an All-American career himself. Brown should contend for first-round NFL Draft capital as early as 2025.
Conner Weigman (QB – Texas A&M)
Conner Weigman is a 6’2, 208-pound quarterback from Cypress, Texas. He is a five-star prospect, the No. 2 quarterback in the country, and the No. 5 ranked player in Texas in the 247Sports composite rankings. He is a multi-sport athlete as he is also a highly regarded prospect on the baseball diamond. Weigman has chosen football as his route and will quarterback Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies at Texas A&M.
Weigman’s skill set as a baseball player shines through in his play on the football field, flashing a quick release and a variety of arm angles. He has explosive velocity on his throws, the arm strength to burn defenses deep, and excels while throwing on the run. Weigman’s athleticism shines through when scrambling, and he looks good as a runner; he could be a true dual-threat if used in that fashion.
Weigman joins a crowded Texas A&M quarterback room occupied by last year’s opening-day starter Haynes King and LSU transfer Max Johnson. King missed nearly the entirety of the 2021 season after suffering an injury in Week 2. Johnson played well for LSU in 2021 but entered the transfer portal due to the coaching change from Ed Orgeron to Brian Kelly. Weigman is the most talented of the three but will likely begin his freshman season on the bench. Whenever he becomes the starter, he should go on to an All-Conference career at Texas A&M, earning him first-round NFL Draft capital in 2025.
Ty Simpson (QB – Alabama)
Ty Simpson is a 6’2, 200-pound quarterback from Martin, Tenn. He is a five-star prospect and the No. 3 ranked quarterback in the country in the 247Sports composite rankings. After leading his team to the state championship in his senior season, Simpson was named Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Tennessee. Long thought to be staying home to play for Tennessee, Jeremy Pruitt’s firing and subsequent interest from Nick Saban’s powerhouse Crimson Tide program led Simpson to Alabama.
Simpson is a balanced, fundamentally sound quarterback with a high football IQ. His dad Jason is the head football coach at UT-Martin, so Simpson has seen the game through a different lens his entire life being a coach’s kid. He has clean throwing mechanics, a good arm, and knows when to put touch on the ball. His decision-making is quick and concise, and he is proficient both in the pocket and outside of structure. Despite not possessing elite athleticism, Simpson is a legitimate dual-threat and an impressive runner as he ran for over 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns his senior year.
Simpson joins a Crimson Tide team that returns Heisman winner Bryce Young at quarterback and former four-star prospect Jalen Milroe. Young will undoubtedly go to the NFL after the 2022 season, so the opportunity is there for Simpson to start for Alabama in 2023. He will need to beat Milroe, but that may not be it. Alabama is a finalist for the No. 1 QB in the 2023 class, Arch Manning. A Manning arrival could mean the transfer portal for Simpson. Regardless of where he starts, once he does, Ty Simpson should have an All-Conference career and contend for first-round NFL draft capital with his dual-threat ability.
- An Introduction to Devy Leagues
- Devy Draft Strategy Guide
- Devy Sleepers to Target
- Devy Mock Draft: Round 1
- Incoming Freshmen Running Backs to Watch
- Incoming Freshmen Running Backs to Watch
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Christian Welch is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Christian, follow him @EvilEmpireFF.