New England Patriots Beat-down the Jets: Doctor’s Orders?

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 24: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown in the second half against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

It was never close for the New England Patriots, delivering an old fashioned beat-down of the Jets on Sunday. The Jets first quarter woes continued as the Patriots raced out to a 14-point lead in the opening frame. The 31 points at halftime were a season high for New England, and they had another half remaining. The final score was reflective of what players had been saying all week: we’re better than a 2-4 football team. The problem was, they hadn’t shown it yet. Sure, they’re a handful of plays away from being 6-1, but the good teams in the league make those handfuls of plays.

This edition of the Patriots features a lot of new faces that are learning the New England way. The Belichick idioms of “let the opponent beat themselves” has often seemed to be this team’s mantra. And while the team didn’t need the Jets to make the big crucial mistake, the Pats played relatively mistake free football for 60 minutes Sunday-a huge improvement from the previous 6 games. The final score, 54-13, included the most points a team has scored this season (54) and the largest margin of victory (41), beating the previous mark held by the Bills against the Texans (40).

The Jets are the New England Patriots’ little brother

Sure, it’s the Jets; the Patriots proverbial punching bag for the last two decades. Sunday stretched the streak of consecutive wins against Gang Green to 12 in a row, just three shy of the team record of 15, held against the Bills. But beating the teams you’re supposed to beat is what the good teams do. Just a few weeks ago the Pats had to do everything in their power to escape with a three-point win against the Texans, another team they were supposed to beat.

But on Sunday, it wasn’t enough to just beat the Jets. The Pats wanted to make a statement, get some confidence going, and remind their New York neighbors that they still feature the team’s little brother. The Patriots emptied the play book, calling trick plays like they were down 14 points to the Ravens in the Divisional round. And after pulling the starters late in the fourth, had the backups throwing long balls and racking up points in garbage time.

Read on to find out the positives and negatives of this contest.

Odds and Ends

The opening touchdown, a pass from WR Kendrick Bourne to WR Nelson Agholor, had perfect timing in the game and in history. 20 years ago this week the Pats played in a game that featured one of the single best performances in history. WR David Patten threw for a touchdown, caught a touchdown, and ran in a touchdown in a 38-17 beatdown of the Peyton Manning led Colts.

That pass was Bourne’s first since high school.

Jonnu Smith was having what looked like his breakout game before leaving with an injury late in the first quarter.

If Smith misses time, the Pats may finally utilize last years third round pick; Devin Asiasi. Asiasi has been a healthy scratch through 7 games this year.

The Pats went for it a fourth down! In the second quarter while already up 24-7.

The Patriots offensive line looked solid, helping the rushing game (32 carries for 148 yards and 4 touchdowns). Most importantly, they kept Mac Jones clean, allowing one sack and three quarterback hits.

The Mac Attack Rolls On

Mac Jones now has as many TD passes as Cam Newton did with the Patriots (8).

Mac’s 174 completions are second most all time for a rookie QB. Joe Burrow has the record with 195.

Mac also became the fourth rookie QB all-time to throw for 225 yards and a TD in five consecutive games. The other four? Dak Prescott, Justin Herbert, and Deshuan Watson. From a football perspective, great company to keep.

Did Nick Saban and Bill Belichick get together to clone Brady?

Mac now has more completions over 20 yards in the last two games than in the first five games.

Mac, who has been criticized as a checkdown master, threw for 300 yards in his 7th game as a pro. For comparison, rocket-armed Josh Allen threw for 300 yards for the first time in his 28th career game. Perception is not often reality.

The Pats had a season high number of offensive plays (76), a week after time of possession/plays ran was a big reason for a loss.

New England Patriots Defense Dominates

Jamie Collins only played 16 snaps even with Dont’a Hightower as a gameday inactive.

Harvey Langi started in Hightower’s spot before leaving a with knee injury.

Rookie DT Christian Barmore led all defensive linemen with 41 snaps. He is consistently getting pressure and will see huge numbers once he starts finishing those plays.

With effort like this, Matt Judon is putting himself squarely in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation.

Little thing that may not have been noticed during the live broadcast. Having solid offensive line play drives offensive success. Often the kind of things that O-linemen must do are small but end up being all the difference.

Jonathan Jones was placed on IR today with his shoulder injury requiring surgery. The Pats had previously elevated Myles Bryant to the active roster, who like Jones, splits time between safety and slot corner. Joejuan Williams played his best game as a pro on Sunday and the Pats will need more of that going forward as DB depth is getting perilously thin. Rookie Shaun Wade hasn’t practiced since week 4 with a concussion.

Popular fan trade target Jason McCourty was also placed on IR today and will require season ending surgery for his foot injury.

What lies ahead for the New England Patriots?

With the trade deadline approaching, three spots that the Pats may try to shore up: defensive back, defensive line, and running back depth. The Pats have just $4 million in cap space, so a blockbuster move seems unlikely. If I were the Pats, I’d call old friend Nick Caserio in Houston and see who they are willing to part with. Plenty of ex-Pats on cheap contracts down there.

The New England Patriots currently sit 9th in the AFC with the top 7 making the playoffs. The good news? Pats are 3-1 in the conference which may become a major player for tie breaker scenarios.

Good teams win the games they’re supposed to, and maybe that’s what’s in New England: a good team. Next week will be another measuring stick-a contest in LA against an AFC contender in the Chargers. The Pats showed on Sunday they are capable of putting together a complete game. They just need to continue to do it week in and week out if they want to have a chance for something this season.

Patriots coverage stats vs. Jets:

JC Jackson: 3/7, 29 yards, INT

Jalen Mills: 3/5, 37 yards, TD, DPI

Joejuan Williams: 1/5, 8 yards, 3 PBUs

Myles Bryant: 2/2, 17 yards, FF

Cincinnati Bengals’ Position Grades after crushing the Ravens 41-17

Cincinnati Bengals
Evan Habeeb, USA Today Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have arrived. In Week 7, they took the Baltimore Ravens to task with a 41-17 blowout win in Baltimore, a week after a similar result in Detroit. We’re starting to run out of reasons to doubt this team that easily could be 6-0 right now with a bit more luck.

This one was a complete team win for the Cincinnati Bengals. Despite another slow start on offense, they rattled off 28 unanswered points in the second half. Lamar Jackson put up 345 yards of total offense and it still wasn’t anywhere close to enough to overcome an absolutely dominating effort by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cincinnati Bengals Position Grades: Offense

Quarterback grade: A

It wasn’t a perfect game for #9. But, Burrow flashed his impeccable pocket presence all day against the Ravens. He didn’t let his mistakes turn into patterns and still managed to put up 416 yards and three touchdowns through the air. His chemistry and trust in his receivers was on full display as he carved up the Ravens’ secondary.

Unfortunately, that trust in Ja’Marr Chase bit him early in the fourth quarter. He slightly overthrew Chase on a touchdown attempt, likely expecting Chase to either come down with it or knock the ball away. Instead, Marlon Humphrey came up with a pick in the end zone that looked like it might give the Ravens a chance to build some late momentum.

It was a script the Ravens have executed many times this season. It’s also one the Cincinnati Bengals have been on the wrong side of many times in Zac Taylor’s career. The interception would be Burrow’s final pass attempt of the night. But, his performance to that point proved to be enough to allow the Bengals to coast the rest of the game after a big defensive stop.

Running Back grade: B+

Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine didn’t have a ton of opportunities to touch the ball this week. But, they were generally pretty efficient when they did. Early in the game, there were some pretty head-scratching inefficiencies running the ball on third and short. But, ultimately both running backs finished with over 4.7 yards per run. You’ll take numbers like that all day long.

At the end of the day, all that efficiency only translated to just over 50 rushing yards for either back. But, there’s something major to be said about both players putting up touchdowns on back to back drives in the middle of the fourth quarter.

The scores iced the game for a Cincinnati Bengals team that was already playing with extreme confidence. But, the second Mixon broke that 21-yard run into the end zone, you knew the game was basically over. 

Then, Perine hit one for 46 yards on the next drive. There’s no coming back from that.

Wide Receiver grade: B+

How can I criticize this unit too much when Ja’Marr Chase goes absolutely off for 201 yards and a touchdown? One of which was an absolutely mesmerizing 82-yard catch-and-run where he broke three tackles before sprinting down the length of the field.

That play broke the game wide open at 27-17 and might go down as one of the greatest highlights in Bengals history.

It was a struggle for the rest of the unit. Tee Higgins overcame an up and down first half performance to make an impact in the second half. In fact, at one point, he caught an 11-yard pass and absolutely trucked the defender for a key 3rd down conversion.

That came despite a defensive pass interference and the Bengals ended up with the ball at the 9 after looking like they might get stopped at midfield. Unfortunately, the end of that drive saw Burrow’s interception so the good plays from the drive will likely be forgotten about.

Tyler Boyd also struggled to make much of an impact for the Cincinnati Bengals. He did have a nice 25-yard catch at the beginning of that interception drive. But, the rest of his night was pretty quiet.

Tight End grade: B+

Drew Sample continues to be a complete non-factor in this offense. Zac Taylor’s tenure is starting to be known for very good performances in the draft. But, Sample is starting to look like a complete whiff. The Bengals selected him in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but he’s only caught two of his five targets this year. He no longer appears to be part of this team’s offensive thought process.

CJ Uzomah, on the other hand, is having a career year so far. He’s already at 256 yards receiving and five touchdowns on the year. Two of those touchdowns came on Sunday in the form of 55 and 32 yarders that helped the Bengals keep pace with the Ravens offense, before the game broke wide open late in the third quarter.

Another reception late in the second quarter gave him a final tally of 91 receiving yards on the day. One more catch and he could have broken the 100-yard mark.

Offensive line grade: B+

Joe Burrow was sacked HOW MANY TIMES against the Ravens? That’s right, once. This is a Ravens team that came into this game tied with the Bengals for the 10th most sacks in the NFL. Jackson Carman, in particular, had a really nice game.

That’s huge, because the Cincinnati Bengals really need him to develop into a franchise right guard after making the controversial decision to trade down in the draft for him. Over the last couple of weeks, he seems to be showing that was a good call.

Jonah Williams, on the other hand, had a rough game. In his defense, he had a really tough matchup this week against Justin Houston. But, you still have to come ready to play and he was visibly worked throughout much of the game.

Cincinnati Bengals Position Grades: Defense

Defensive line grade: A+

If there was a criticism you could make for this unit, it’s allowing 88 yards rushing to the opposing quarterback. However, considering that opposing quarterback is Lamar Jackson, I’ll let it slide. Particularly because this unit regularly got in Jackson’s face for five sacks.

It’s the second time in Zac Taylor’s tenure the Bengals have compiled that many sacks. The last time was a meaningless Week 17 game against the Cleveland Browns. Both teams’ seasons were over at that point, so you could argue Sunday’s sack total was more impressive.

On top of that, the Bengals only allowed 2.25 yards per run to Ravens players not named Lamar Jackson. A lot of that had to do with incredible performances from the boys up front. The only member of the starting four defensive linemen who didn’t have a flashy play was DJ Reader. Even then, both of his tackles allowed less than two yards.

Linebacker grade: B

It was a quieter night from the Bengals’ linebacker corps. Tight ends Mark Andrews and Josh Oliver looked like they were ready to break out in the second quarter. But, the Bengals got back on top of them in the second half and ultimately didn’t allow either to find the endzone. 

Logan Wilson once again led the team in total tackles (7). He did a lot of cleaning up Lamar Jackson breakaway runs. But, he also absolutely stoned Le’Veon Bell for a five yard loss on the Ravens’ first drive of the game.

That play set the tone for the Bengals’ defense the rest of the game. Just another day at the office for Wilson, who is starting to look like a star.

Cornerback grade: A-

The Cincinnati Bengals saw snaps from almost their entire cornerback roster this week from Chidobe Awuzie, to Eli Apple, to the newly acquired Tre Flowers. Outside of the one time Chidobe Awuzie got beat for a 39-yard touchdown by Marquise Brown, I don’t think any of them had a particularly bad play.

One of my favorite plays of the game came with 4:26 left in the third quarter. The Bengals’ defense was trying to hold on to a 10-point lead and Lamar Jackson found Marquise Brown for a quick play. Awuzie and Mike Hilton were right there at the perfect spot to stop the play short of a first down.

Hilton got faked out of his cleats. But, Awuzie stood firm and allowed only 3 yards, forcing a punt on the following play. It nearly led to a game-icing score on the following drive, except Burrow threw an interception in the end zone.

Safety grade: A

Jessie Bates’ claim as the best safety in the NFL is much quieter this year, but still very much alive. The splash plays are just not happening. But, to be fair, the defense as a whole isn’t really generating them. In fact, they don’t really need them to dominate opponents.

So, Bates gets to focus on being an elite cleanup crew in the passing game and a FORCE in the running game. Vonn Bell too. When opponents are making it to the third level, these two are simply not letting them get much else accomplished.

Special teams grades: A-

This may have been the most complete game Darrin Simmons’ unit has played all year. Evan McPherson easily converted both of his field goal attempts. One of them was a 52-yard attempt. Most NFL kickers are tested at that range, but McPherson didn’t blink and worked his way back to being known as ‘Money’. 

Kevin Huber had a rough first attempt when the Cincinnati Bengals were forced to punt from the Ravens’ 39. It sounds like a really bad coaching decision, but the Bengals were unable to get anything accomplished each of the last three plays so it seemed unlikely they would magically pick up 10 yards on 4th and 10.

Unfortunately, Huber put a bit too much power into his kick and the ball fell harmlessly for an easy touchback. 

With such a short field to work with, you’d hope he would have pinned the Ravens inside their own 5. Coverage on the following punt wasn’t great, giving the Ravens possession at their own 29 instead of their own eight. However, the Bengals didn’t punt again until their second-to-last drive of the game. This time, Huber knocked it out of bounds at the Ravens’ 16.

Darius Phillips had a good day as a returner. On his first punt return of the day, he set the Bengals up near midfield with a 13-yard punt return that looked close to going to the house.

Coaching grade: A

I think the biggest complaint against Zac Taylor this week was the lack of creativity on 3rd and short. Fairly regularly, the Bengals simply tried to run up the middle and got stuffed. It contributed to a first half performance that really felt like the Bengals missed a bunch of opportunities to not already be in full control of the contest.

Then, the second half started. Lamar Jackson shredded the Bengals on the first drive of the third quarter. But, those were the last points the Ravens would score the rest of the game. Offensively, it was another second half explosion. Zac Taylor is becoming known for his ability to make great adjustments at halftime, and that was on full display this week.

The vision is starting to materialize in Taylor’s third season. Everyone who was ready to fire him last year is starting to look real suspect.

USC at Notre Dame Prospects Stock Watch

Saturday evening I was able to attend one of the most historic rivalries in college football, USC and Notre Dame. Both teams have plenty of NFL Draft prospects to examine. Southern California has been down for the past several years, firing their head coach earlier this season exemplifies that.

Notre Dame has been on the other end of the spectrum for “blue blood” CFB programs. They’ve made it to two College Football Playoffs in the past three seasons. Although it looks like they will be out of this upcoming playoff, they still boast a (6-1) record, with their one loss coming at the hands of #2 Cincinnati.

Even with these two programs seemingly on different spectrums, this rivalry proves to always show a good game. So without further ado, here are my game notes for some of the top 2022 NFL Draft prospects from USC at Notre Dame.

USC at Notre Dame Prospects

Stock Up

Drake London, Wide Receiver, USC

Drake London was an absolute menace for USC against Notre Dame. London was used mainly as USC’s “X” receiver, but spent time in the slot as well. As USC’s alpha wide receiver, London accumulated 15 catches and 171 yards receiving. That’s good for 56% of USC’s receptions and 57% of USC’s passing yards, in this game!

London displayed incredible yards after the catch ability all night, highlighting his incredible “wiggle” for his size (listed at 6’5” — 210 lbs.).

Cam Hart, Cornerback, Notre Dame

Cam Hart has been someone on my radar since his incredible game against Wisconsin at Soldier Field about a month ago. He continued to show great technique and awareness all night last night. Hart completely locked down his side of the defense.

In his two reps against Drake London he recorded a pass breakup on one and was in his hip pocket the entire route on the other, forcing Slovis to throw the ball away on a roll-out. It is still too early to tell how high Hart can go in this upcoming draft, but he is a name draft fans should be aware of before testing in Indianapolis this spring.

Drake Jackson, Edge Rusher, USC

Drake Jackson was held in-check for most of the night against Notre Dame. Tommy Rees (Notre Dame’s Offensive Coordinator) chose to run away from Drake Jackson’s side of the field often. This is proving smart as Kyren Williams tallied 25 rushes for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground.

However, Jackson still continued to show why he’s a first-round talent while recording a sack using incredible bend and speed. I would still love to see Jackson add a counter move to his game, a few times Notre Dame’s tackle’s would “catch” Jackson and let him run around the pocket while ushering him away from Jack Coan or Tyler Buchner.

Stock Down

Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame

This has absolutely nothing to do with what Kyle Hamilton did on the field, but has everything to do with him getting injured early in the second quarter of the game. Hopefully, it is not a season ending injury and he’s able to come back and prove to NFL scouts and teams that he’s 100% and ready to dominate the NFL.

The prognosis seems very encouraging here, I expect this will be the last time we see Kyle Hamilton on anyone’s “Stock Down” lists. Hamilton is a Top-5 talent in the draft when healthy.

Kedon Slovis, Quarterback, USC

Kedon Slovis had one of the best true-freshman seasons in recent memory, battling with Joe Burrow for the title of most accurate quarterback in college football. Slovis then had a rough sophomore season, which some attributed to a shoulder injury that was bothering him all season.

Now in his junior year, Slovis had to prove he’s a legitimate option for NFL teams as their franchise-altering quarterback. Slovis has failed to prove that this season and it continued Saturday evening.

Kedon Slovis has a few good playmakers at his disposal, including star receiver Drake London, but he continues to struggle to get the ball out on-time and in rhythm. This also could be a coaching knock, but USC’s offense against Notre Dame was basically all Drake London (as shown above by his receiving stats and percentages).

Slovis also had to deal with USC starting two freshman tackles, but if he wants to be a round one quarterback in the NFL draft, he needs to be able to play through that and make his team around him better.

Slovis has talent, he also has hustle. At the start of the second quarter Kedon Slovis had a batted pass that resulted in an interception. Notre Dame’s Bo Bauer had a free 88-yard pick-six, but Slovis busted his tail and tackled him just short.

Notre Dame’s Offense would fail to score. Slovis saved USC four points because of that tackle, that means something to me. Slovis may not be a round one quarterback, but I believe he has a spot in the NFL still.


Make sure to keep a look-out for more articles about the NFL Draft and every other sport at atbnetwork.com. Any questions or writing inquiries please DM me, @ryfootballscout on Twitter!

Check Out My Other 2022 NFL Draft Content here:

2022 Quarter-Season Mock Draft

Tyler Linderbaum Summer Scouting Report

Jarrett Patterson Summer Scouting Report

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New England Patriots vs. New York Jets-Part II

New England Patriots cornerback JC Jackson. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The New England Patriots face the Jets looking to start a run of success to get their season back on track. The Patriots lost to the Cowboys in overtime last week to drop them to 2-4 while the Jets enjoyed a bye week last week after losing to the Falcons in London.

This will be the series finale for these two AFC East rivals this season unless both somehow miraculously make the postseason. The Pats convincingly won the first matchup and will be looking to do the same to get their first home victory this season. The Pats have won the last eleven against the Jets and will be hoping to make it twelve in a row on Sunday. The Jets collected their lone victory of the season against a depleted Titans club. Without much more delay, the game preview in “Who has the advantage when…” style:

New England Patriots’ Passing Attack

The Patriots’ passing game has slowly been rounding into form. Rookie passer Mac Jones has looked like the real deal while he has been let down by his pass catchers and blockers alike. He was solid against the Cowboys last week but seemed handcuffed by conservative play calling.

This may be a week where the Pats are extremely aggressive in the first quarter as the Jets have been outscored 30-0 in the opening frame while gaining a total of 79 yards in the first quarter through all five games. Another thing going for the Pats? The Jets are yet to collect an interception on defense.

Advantage: Patriots

Patriots Run the Ball

The Patriots running game has been up and down this season. It has shown signs of life before completely disappearing. Ball security has been an issue as well as Patriots’ running backs have accounted for 4 lost fumbles, a number that easily leads the league.

Despite the ball security issues, Damien Harris continues to run angry and provide highlight runs while rookie Rhamondre Stevenson showed some of his tantalizing ability last week. He could be in the mix to replace James White as the receiving back if he can clean up his pass protection and fumbling woes that have followed him from college.

The Jets feature a stingy running defense under first-year head coach Robert Saleh, allowing 123 rushing yards per game with a four-yard per carry average. Behind the Patriots shuffled offensive line, expect the Pats to just surpass that number Sunday.

Advantage: Push

Jets Pass the Ball

In the last matchup, the Pats had Wilson seeing ghosts to the tune of four interceptions. The Patriots’ secondary could use a repeat performance in a “get right” game. First, look at veteran safety Devin McCourty, who has played two consecutive games with uncharacteristic mistakes.

Then there’s Jalen Mills, who could use a confidence boost after being exposed by CeeDee Lamb last week. Wilson can make tremendous plays off script so the Patriots defense must stay disciplined and continue to cover the entire field regardless of what is happening upfront. Wilson has been sacked 18 times over the first five games of the Jets season, while the Patriots were finally held without a sack last week.

Look for Belichick to scheme up some pressure for Matt Judon and company from the offensive right side, forcing Wilson to move to his left and make awkward across-body throws on his unscripted plays.

Advantage: Patriots

Jets Run the Ball

The Jets have not been a good rushing team in 2021, averaging a paltry 74 yards on the ground per game. While the Patriots’ defense received much criticism early in the year for their run defense, their run fits have been exceptional since halftime against Houston. While the season numbers still reflect a group that struggled against the run early, this phase of the game is heavily on the rise in the last two weeks. Facing a flailing Jets rushing attack may help their case even further.

Advantage: Patriots

Special Teams

The Jets have had plenty of practice returning kickoffs this year as evidenced by their eleven attempted returns for a respectable average of 26.3 yards per. The Patriots have been a mixed bag in the third phase of the game, allowing two blocked punts and having some uncharacteristic miscues in other phases.

One area they’ve been solid? Their field goal unit with ex-Jet Nick Folk leading a charge for a Pro-Bowl season. Jake Bailey has found his rhythm again (when he can get the ball away), while Gunner Olszewski has featured some of his fearless return style. The Jets have been sound in their coverage units. The Pats need to execute their assignments here and play a mistake-free game.

Advantage: Jets

Coaching

While Belichick has been criticized for his conservative play calling, he also puts on a clinic when it comes to defensive football. Despite the high yardage total allowed to the Cowboys, his boys are still playing smart situational football. The Pats have gone toe-to-toe now with two world-class opponents and lost on last-minute plays. The last time these two teams met up, Belichick ran laps around his Jets counterpart. That should continue as Belichick’s hate for Gang Green is well known and he looks to get his team back on track.

Advantage: Patriots

Prediction

This will come down to the New England Patriots doing their jobs. They can play with the best teams in the league and have shown that they already outclass the Jets this season. However, they’ve also shown they can let inferior opponents hang around (the Texans) and haven’t quite figured out how to win when given the opportunity (games against the Dolphins, Buccaneers, and Cowboys).

This shouldn’t be a game that comes down to a single possession though. The Patriots will race out to an early lead before forcing Zach Wilson to make a few mistakes in the second half.

Pats win comfortably 31-13 to get their first home win.

2022 NFL Draft Quarterback Rankings 1.0

Credit: Fansided

Welcome to my first rankings for the 2022 NFL draft. I am not a ‘Big Board’ type of person, so you will not see a big board from me. This focuses on the 2022 NFL Draft quarterback rankings. Players will be ranked by positions they are slated to play or at least I feel they will play in the NFL. I will stick to a top 10 for now, but that might change as players move up and Juniors declare. It is obviously early so my rankings will change by the time we get to the actual draft. I will include Juniors who are expected to declare.

Quarterbacks:

Right now the class is a little weird in that no one has established themselves as “the guy” yet.

1. Carson Strong – Nevada

Probably the most pro ready of the top QBs. His ceiling may not be as high as some of the others, but he has the talent to be a very good quarterback at the next level. Not much of an athlete either, but he has shown he can move around in the pocket well.

2. Matt Corral – Ole Miss

Credit: Mark Cornelison/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Probably the most volatile quarterback on the list, but also one of the guys with the most upside. He was really hot and cold in 2020, he seems to have remedied that in 2021. He could move up if he continues to play as he has.

3. Malik Willis – Liberty

Transfer from Auburn. Had a really good year in 2020 and now has taken it to another level in 2021. Great athlete with a big arm and build like a tank, think of Donovan McNabb. Competition is a question and a little short at 6’0.

4. Same Howell – North Carolina

Well built quarterback, who really benefited from the amazing weapons he had in 2020. He will panic sometimes and get happy feet and make a ill-advised throw. Average athlete, with a good not great arm. Great deep ball thrower.

5. Kenny Pickett – Pittsburgh

2022 NFL Draft quarterbacks
Credit: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

He had ho hum 2019 and 2020 seasons and was looking like a late day 3 prospect coming into the season. Pickett really has blown up in 2021. He has average physical tools and really small hands which might take him off some teams radar, but he has made it work. Showing great accuracy and anticipation.

6. Kaleb Eleby – Western Michigan

Credit: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Kind of came out of no where in 2020 and has continued and even improved on his play. Good overall athlete with a good arm. Moving up my board.

7. Kedon Slovis – USC

Came in and had an amazing freshman season. He was crazy accurate, over 70%. His play dipped in 2020 and even got benched at one point this season. He needs to figure out how to regain his form from his freshman year. He has a small frame and average arm strength.

8. Desmond Ridder – Cincinnati

Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Ridder has all the talent in the world, tall, athletic, big arm, but his accuracy and anticipation has never seemed to improved. The question becomes will it ever improve? His technique also needs work.

9. Jake Haener – Fresno State

Credit: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Transfer from Washington. Small and a bit undersized. Average arm strength. Has grit a ability to will his team to a win. Great intangibles. Upside is somewhat limited. Really smart.

10. JT Daniels – Georgia

Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Transfer from USC who lost his starting job to Slovis. Has put up solid but not great numbers so far. Could move up if he takes it up a level and play more like he did at USC.