We’ve seen two solid weeks of play at the quarterback position across the nation as a couple of new stars have emerged while last season’s Heisman Trophy runner-up has also put forth some gaudy performances. We look at the highest-graded quarterbacks through two weeks of college football:
1. Skylar Thompson, Kansas State
Thompson has been lights out through two weeks of the season, as he’s uncorked five big-time throws and zero turnover-worthy passes on his 35 pass attempts. He’s got shiftiness in his moves on the ground, as well, and his throwing motion, albeit a bit unorthodox, has a way of finding the spot where only his receivers can make plays and defenders can’t. Thompson will have a tougher road ahead as he gets into conference play, but as he stands right now, he’s been everything the Wildcats could have hoped for in 2019.
2. Joe Burrow, LSU
Exploding onto the scene with his performance against Texas, Burrow vaulted into the limelight and onto the top of the Heisman Trophy list through two weeks. He’s been a force on throws targeted at least 10 yards downfield and leads the nation in not only passing grade but also adjusted completion percentage on such passes.
3. Jake Fromm, Georgia
Fromm has needed just a handful of passes to blow the doors off any sort of talk of ‘game manager’ this offseason. He’s completed passes at a high rate through two games of little action and has been extremely sharp across all levels of the field. Most notably, he’s developed a chemistry with a young core of receivers, including true freshman breakout candidate George Pickens, who’s already made some highlight-reel moments on the end of Fromm’s passes.
4. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
The only quarterback on this list without a big-time throw to his name, Hurts has dominated the Oklahoma offense with accurate short-area passes, including several downfield dimes to wide-open receivers. The road will get tougher than their first two outings, but all signs are pointing towards another Oklahoma quarterback finding themselves on the top of the overall grades list as we get through 2019.
5. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
The Heisman Trophy runner-up from a season ago, Tagovailoa has been absolutely dominant this year, lighting things up from a clean pocket and under pressure. He’s the returning leader in several categories, including those aforementioned statistics, and there are no signs of slowing down this year.
6. Tyler Johnston III, UAB
Lesser-known around all of college football, Johnston is every bit of an elite passer. He’s launched eight of our big-time throws, the highest-graded attempts based upon distance downfield, velocity, wide receiver separation and other factors. He’s led UAB to a 2-0 start, and more performances like he’s had through two games will continue to net him some much-deserved nationwide notoriety.
7. Justin Fields, Ohio State
The former Georgia quarterback impressed on his limited snaps in Athens last season and has demolished any sort of talk that he may take some time to get acclimated to a full-time role in Columbus. Fields has the nation’s second-highest adjusted completion percentage among starters and has been lights out both with his arm and feet.
8. Khalil Tate, Arizona
Tate is back and healthy in the Arizona offense, and that’s a great thing for Wildcats fans. He’s currently seeing an 11.4 average depth of target and has scorched opposing defenses to the tune of five big-time throws so far on just 54 attempts. On the ground, he’s forced five missed tackles on just 12 carries, including 73 yards on five designed carries as the scheme in Arizona is certainly leaning on his abilities.
9. Caleb Evans, UL-Monroe
Just an extra point away from potentially upsetting Florida State in Tallahassee, Evans was certainly not to blame for the Warhawks’ loss on Saturday. As such, Evans has been on fire through the air despite eight dropped passes by his receivers. He’s averaged just 6.4 yards per attempt but is as sharp as they come and has a top figure in adjusted completion percentage from a clean pocket.
10. Michael Penix Jr., Indiana
With his first true test of the season on the horizon, Penix has hit his stride in the Hoosiers’ offense at the right time through two weeks of the 2019 season. Like Evans above him, Penix has suffered from a multiple of drops, nine to be exact, and still has put forth 506 yards through the air. He’s got a talented cast of characters, and he’ll have to bring his A-game when he and Indiana host Ohio State this weekend.