College News & Analysis

Ranking the top 10 quarterbacks in college football

East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws the ball in the third quarter of the NCAA Division I football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. Osu22msu Kwr 61

Alabama's Bryce Young is the best QB in college football. No CFB signal-caller is better at processing defenses and getting through progressions.

USC's Caleb Williams has been playing at a Heisman-winning level this season. No quarterback has broken more tackles on the ground, and he owns a 75.0-plus PFF grade as a passer and runner.

Clemson's D.J. Uiagalelei cracks the top 10, as his 19 big-time throws ranks first among FBS quarterbacks.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

1. Bryce Young, Alabama Crimson Tide

Key Stat: 88.2 passing grade on non-first-read throws since 2021, second-best in the nation.

There is no one better at processing defenses and getting through progressions. Young is a natural when it comes to making plays when knocked off rhythm and rarely allows the defense to make a play on the ball.

2. Caleb Williams, USC Trojans

Key Stat: 0.42 broken tackles per attempt this season, highest among Power Five QBs.

As many expected, Williams has played at a Heisman-winning level for Lincoln Riley’s USC Trojans. The true sophomore currently boasts the third-lowest turnover-worthy play rate on 10-plus-yard throws, and he’s been a weapon in the ground game. No quarterback has broken more tackles on the ground, both in the designed run game and after he's scrambled from the pocket. He owns a grade above 75.0 as a passer and runner, something only 11 quarterbacks can say this season.

FBS QBs with a PFF passing and rushing grade above 75.0
Name Team Snaps played Overall Grade Passing Grade Rushing Grade
Tanner Morgan Minnesota 307 92.6 91.4 79.1
Bryce Young Alabama 231 91.7 90.7 80.8
Frank Harris UTSA 458 91.3 87.7 83.8
Doug Brumfield UNLV 334 90.5 87.3 76.6
Collin Schlee Kent State 398 90.4 83.8 83.4
Garrett Shrader Syracuse 330 89.6 84.9 76.6
Hendon Hooker Tennessee 347 87.6 79.2 83.5
Stetson Bennett Georgia 390 86.6 82.7 75.1
Dillon Gabriel Oklahoma 281 86.6 81.5 80.5
Caleb Williams USC 405 84.9 80.4 75.4
Max Duggan TCU 258 83.9 78.6 79.5

3. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State Buckeyes

Key Stat: 38 touchdown passes on vertical throws since 2021, the most in the FBS.

Stroud finds himself in arguably the best situation in all of college football, and he’s taking advantage of it. No quarterback in the country has had more open targets downfield. On 10-plus-yard throws to a receiver with a step or more of separation, he’s gone 30-of-38 for 834 yards and 11 touchdowns this year.

4. J.J. McCarthy, Michigan Wolverines

Key Stat: 5.8% quarterback-fault incompletion rate, the lowest in the FBS.

McCarthy has been everything Michigan fans were hoping for. One of the most impressive aspects of his play is his off-platform arm talent. Rather than just tucking and running, he has a knack for keeping his eyes downfield and looking to throw on the move when under duress. Outside of the pocket this year, McCarthy is 20-of-22 for 258 yards and four touchdowns.

5. Quinn Ewers, Texas Longhorns

Key Stat: QBs vs. Alabama in 2022 have combined for four big-time throws. Ewers has three of the four, and he only played the first quarter.

Injuries have limited Ewers to just over two games as a Longhorn, but he’s certainly looked the part in that small sample. While he's made a few bad decisions under pressure, his high-end moments have been as good as any in college football. He can make throws from arm angles that few can and has natural zip. When Ewers has been on the field, Texas has had the most efficient offense in the Power Five. He looks like the spark the program needed.

6. Sam Hartman, Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Key Stat: 604 deep passing yards in 2022, third-most in the FBS.

Hartman was able to return to the field sooner than expected after an undisclosed health matter put his season in doubt, and he picked up right where he left off. The slow mesh point run-pass option (RPO) offense has been very successful with Hartman at the helm. He’s averaging 9.9 yards per attempt on RPOs this season and has delivered a 7.9% big-time throw rate in the process — top-10 marks among FBS quarterbacks.

7. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee Volunteers

Key Stat: 495 deep passing yards off play action in 2022, most in the FBS.

While Hooker is in one of the most quarterback-friendly offenses in college football, he’s executing it very efficiently. Coach Heupel’s offense is an up-tempo, play-action-heavy offense. If they get single-high coverage, they’re attacking vertically on the outside. Hooker is averaging an astounding 15.6 yards per attempt against single-high in 2022.

8. D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson Tigers

Key Stat: 19 big-time throws in 2022, most in the FBS

The Clemson junior has already surpassed his 2021 big-time throw total this year, and he still has half a season left to play. A large chunk of the Tigers’ passing attack is built on go balls down the sideline, and Uiagalelei is hitting them with perfect timing and placement.

9. Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Key Stat: 92.5 play-action passing grade in 2022, second in the FBS.

Coastal Carolina’s play-action concepts have been lethal when paired with its dynamic run game, thanks to the accuracy of quarterback Grayson McCall. On play-action concepts this year, the Chanticleers passer is 56-of-72 for 919 yards and 10 touchdowns.

10a. Drake Maye, North Carolina Tar Heels

Key Stat: 96.2 deep passing grade, third-best in the FBS

Maye is a heady player who can win downfield with his arm or on the ground with his legs. His knowledge of the game is well beyond his years. He understands when to run and will throw receivers open when needed. He also shows command in collapsing pockets, effectively sells the fakes in UNC’s offense and plays with confidence. Through Week 6, Maye is the highest-graded non-draft-eligible quarterback in the Power Five.

10b. Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland Terrapins

Key Stat: 91.2 passing grade against the blitz in 2022, highest in the FBS

Tagovailoa has taken massive strides with the Terps over the last couple of years. This year, he’s consistently delivering accurate and anticipatory throws when the play is going according to plan and staying composed when things start to break down. Tagovailoa’s grade against the blitz says a lot about his poise behind center.

Highest PFF passing grade vs. the blitz (min. 50 dropbacks, FBS QBs)
Name Team Dropbacks Passing Grade
Taulia Tagovailoa Maryland 56 91.7
Matt McDonald Bowl Green 66 90.9
Chase Brice App State 60 90.8
Ben Bryant Cincinnati 64 90.5
Gunnar Watson Troy 65 90.4
You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.
Sponsor

College Featured Tools

  • Power Rankings are PFF’s NCAA power ratings based on weekly player grades in each facet of play. These power rankings are adjusted based on coach, quarterback and the market each season.

    Available with

  • PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts.

    Available with

  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NCAA player performance data.

    Available with

Subscriptions

Unlock all tools and content including Player Grades, Fantasy, NFL Draft, Premium Stats, Greenline and DFS.

$9.99 / mo
$79.99 / yr