Just a few months ago, we released our college starting quarterback rankings ahead of the 2019 season. A month ago, we released an update to that list after six weeks of action. Now, with 12 weeks of data from grading every player on every play of every game, we take another look back at those rankings and give an even more accurate look at how every team's starting quarterback has fared through the first 12 weeks of the 2019 season.
This list is largely based upon the starting quarterback's success, or lack thereof, in 2019 but is also affected by the situation around him with other quarterbacks on the roster who have received snaps or injuries sustained. No list is ever 100% accurate, but with our wealth of data at our fingertips, we get as close as anyone can.
*Important to note: These rankings are based heavily on the individual player's PFF grades for the season. The avoidance of negatively-graded plays, propensity of positively-graded plays, strength of competition and value towards a team victory are all heavily factored as well. A player's effect on their team's offense, their expected points added per dropback (or rushing attempt) and overall accuracy from our advanced ball-charting tracking are also considered among other factors.*
130. Jack Zergiotis, UConn
It hasn't been pretty for UConn nor their signal-caller in Zergiotis as he's put forth consecutive game grades below 40.0 in his last two starts. Their rotation of him and Mike Beaudry has had mixed results and neither have season-long overall grades above 50.7 and in no game this year have they put forth a passing grade above 61.2 in what has been a year to forget in the passing game.
129. Johnny Langan, Rutgers
Even on the heels of a 21-point outing against Ohio State, the passing performance by Langan was actually the second-lowest outing from a Rutgers quarterback in terms of passing grade as they have lacked consistent play from behind center in 2019. Langan showed off what he's got with a decent game grade against Liberty but has followed that outing up with two game grades below 50.0 overall as he's averaging just 5.3 yards per attempt and has twice as many interceptions than touchdowns.
128. Andrew Brito/Randall West, UMass
The Minutemen have had three different quarterbacks attempt at least 60 passes and made six in-game substitutions at the position as it's been Brito's side whom they've turned to as of late. He's completed just 12 attempts over the past two games and is averaging just 5.1 yards per pass while inviting a ton of pressure on himself. It's a blurry situation about who will start and/or finish the game seemingly week in and week out for UMass but neither West nor Brito have put forth season-long grades above 57.3 in the passing game.
127. Josh Jackson, Maryland
What once could have been for the Maryland Terps this year is now a thing of the past. This team looks far like the team that boat raced Howard and then cruised by Syracuse to open the year and more like a team led by a struggling quarterback. Jackson is one of the lowest-graded Power-5 starters and even with splitting time with Tyrell Pigrome, it's not been a pretty sight at quarterback for Maryland. Save for contests against Howard, Syracuse and Rutgers, Jackson hasn't put forth a game grade above 48.6 at all this season.
126. Desmond Trotter/Cephus Johnson, South Alabama
What once was Cephus Johnson's spot is now Trotter's since a Week 9 switch up against App State due to an ankle injury but it's been the same ole story with either in the lineup. There are moments that make you pause at this ranking for either quarterback with some beautiful downfield passes but others that are true head-scratchers and it seems of late, the latter are much more frequent. Johnson has improved from 2018 and Trotter is young so if they can manage to limit those head-scratching moments and focus on their combined seven big-time throws, there could be something in the making for the Jaguars.
125. Stone Smartt/Hayden Wolff, Old Dominion
Averaging just 6.6 yards past the line of scrimmage, Smartt has made way for Wolff who has not fared all that well in his two outings so far this year. With multiple fumbles and two interceptions to his credit on just 76 dropbacks, ODU heads into their final two matchups of the season as losers of nine straight looking for a spark in the offense. Wolff may have that but will have to limit turnovers to move from this ranking.
124. Riley Neal, Vanderbilt
Among Power-5 quarterbacks with over 100 dropbacks this year, Neal's backup in Deuce Wallace has the lowest grade. That is likely the only reason why Neal has likely kept his job this far into the season as the Commodores offense has been disastrous this year. Neal has thrown just a single big-time throw while making 12 turnover-worthy passes to his credit in one of the nation's worst ratios of BTTs to TWPs.
123. Aidan Smith, Northwestern
On the heels of their first win in eight games, Smith and the passing attack at Northwestern still have no warming qualities to them as even in victory, their passing grade as a team against UMass was the second-lowest of the year. Smith has thrown 10 turnover-worthy passes and averages a depth of target of just 7.8 yards past the line of scrimmage as he struggles to push the ball downfield. He has a sub-50% completion percentage and an even worse 45.6 passer rating on his throws this season but still remains the higher graded quarterback of him and Hunter Johnson, who started the season for the Wildcats.
122. Lynn Bowden, Kentucky*
This one is likely a throwaway, literally, as the Kentucky season is something similar from the quarterback position. Even with seeing action in just six games (and only four of those had actual viable passing action), Sawyer Smith still ranks sixth in terms of most turnover-worthy passes as the decision to stay with a wide-receiver-turned-quarterback in Bowden comes on good accord from head coach Mark Stoops. Still, Bowden hasn't added much as a passer, if anything, even though he is a dynamic runner with the ball in his hands. Still, you have to be able to pass and defend the pass to win games in today's football and with Bowden at the helm, they've struggled to put forth many points against the better defenses in the SEC. UT-Martin is a great appetizer before Louisville comes to town to end the season as they'll likely need the UT-Martin victory to get to bowl eligibility.
121. Lowell Narcisse, UTSA
Narcisse has all the talent in the world but even with a 10.3 average depth of target on his throws, he is averaging just 6.2 yards per pass attempt as he's delivered inaccurate balls almost at will this year. The Roadrunners have certainly had their moments but Narcisse has unleashed twice as many turnover-worthy passes than he has big-time throws this year while finishing with a game grade above 60.7 just once this season. He certainly can run the ball well and that may power him forward in tough spots as they're staring down a 4-8 record with two tough matchups to end the season.
120. James Graham/Tobias Oliver, Georgia Tech
The growing pains in Atlanta certainly have been just that, painful, in 2019. Graham got the start in their last outing, a shutout loss to Virginia Tech as they've won just two games this year while switching from the triple-option offense. Graham has been the better passer of the two with Oliver the better runner but neither has run away with the position and it remains to be seen who will lead the YellowJackets into 2020.
119. Devin Leary, NC State
What a difference a year makes after Ryan Finley left for the NFL and the WolfPack have had three quarterbacks attempt at least 80 passes. Leary has invited pressure at a much higher clip than his counterparts and NC State is riding a four-game losing streak since defeating Syracuse in Week 7. Leary has one of the nation's lowest adjusted completion percentages as he's struggled to find his playmakers with any consistency despite leading the team in touchdowns with six.
118. Grant Loy, Bowling Green
Throwing passes just 6.3 yards past the line of scrimmage in his action this year, Loy is averaging just 5.3 yards per attempt. In his most recent outing since taking over for Darius Wade earlier this year, Loy completed fewer than 50% of his passes and averaged 3.3 yards per attempt with two interceptions and no touchdowns. He's on the heels of four straight outings with a passing grade under 50.0 but does have some solid outings to his credit this season. Unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good.
117. Kato Nelson, Akron
The Zips have been a disaster in 2019 with Nelson surely being one of the bigger disappointments in the MAC this year. He's finished just one game above 70.0 overall after grading out above 70.0 in nearly every game a year ago. His lows have been extremely low but he has had some moments in which he leads you to believe he could be more like that 2018 guy but they haven't been able to get over the hump this year and are still searching for their first win.
116. Kai Locksley/Gavin Hardison, UTEP
Locksley has had a tumultuous 2019 season, finishing with some very high grades, most notably against Southern Miss before he was ultimately removed from the game against UAB in Week 12. Hardison was inserted into the lineup and while he completed just 43.2% of his passes, the situation he was put in was not ideal. He had a slightly above-average passing grade in the game still and breathes life into the program perhaps who are in search of their first victory since they squeaked by Houston Baptist in Week 1.
115. Clayton Tune, Houston
In a season of ‘what could have been' moments across the country, this Houston team flies right to the top of the list after D'Eriq King decided to redshirt after Week 4 and that left the Cougars without their star signal-caller. Tune has thrown 134 passes, completing just 75 of them with seven scores but has thrown more turnover-worthy passes than he has touchdowns this year while also finishing no games with anything remotely close to what King brought to the table from a passing grade or overall grade standpoint. In fact, his top-graded performance was against Cincinnati when he completed just 9-of-27 passes.
114. Ryan Hilinski, South Carolina
Hilinski is a true feel-good story as he's taken over for Jake Bentley after the Bentley era finally seems to have come to a close at South Carolina. Hilinski, though sharp through his first few outings, has looked more like a quarterback in the making as he has some very strong moments that unfortunately get followed up with pretty rough outings. Each highly-graded performance has been followed up with a sub-60.0 overall game grade and he's eight turnover-worthy passes compared to just five big-time throws on the year. Concerning in that is the fact that he throws for just a 7.9 average depth of target meaning he's making some errant throws on some short-area passes. Limiting those will be key to his development in the future.
113. Devon Modster/Chase Garbers, Cal
The Cal Bears are a different team with Modster at quarterback than with Garbers, even if the basic stat line didn't show it in their most recent outing against USC. Garbers is the higher-graded of the duo and Modster has struggled with consistency in his time as the starter. Garbers has just seven more dropbacks this year than Modster yet has pushed the Cal offense to 24 more conversions through the air or with his legs than Modster led the Bears to as they're a much better team with Garbers at the helm but injuries may derail that from happening.
112. Tom Stewart, Rice
The Owls got into the win column for the first time since 2018 with Stewart manning the show on offense, finding a receiver on 75.0% of his passes and finishing with three scores with no interceptions in his first extended action since Week 3. Stewart likely has done enough to finish the season as the starter as he now has thrown for seven scores and just one interception but does have two game grades below 35.0 overall that he'll have to watch out for going forward through the end of the season.
111. John Stephen Jones/K.J. Jefferson, Arkansas
Head coach Chad Morris is gone and the Razorbacks enter the last two games of their season without an experienced signal-caller after being embarrassed by former Arkansas QB Ty Storey and Western Kentucky in Week 11. The duo of Jones and Jefferson have combined to complete less than 50% of their passes and have two scores against two picks but have added a dynamic duo with Jones' arm and Jefferson's legs as the latter have run for two scores and six more first downs as of late. They'll keep sliding if they can't figure out who is the man behind center moving forward but their athleticism as a duo may bode them well with Morris out as head coach and the program seemingly in disarray.
110. Tommy Devito, Syracuse
As frustrating a season as Syracuse fans can likely remember, the post-Eric Dungey era has gotten off to a rocky start at the quarterback position as Devito has been a bit of a disappointment in 2019. He's yet to grade higher than 62.3 in a game but doesn't have the low game grades like those below him here. He's added 353 yards on the ground and has completed 17 touchdowns throws against just five interceptions his but passing grade hasn't topped out at anything higher than 71.2 as that was against Boston College. He's received a bit of interception luck, something the general box score won't show, as he's thrown 10 turnover-worthy passes but had just thrown five interceptions. You'd hope that doesn't revert to the mean as we see more of him in the future at Syracuse.
109. Ross Bowers, Northern Illinois
The Huskies have won three of their last five and are poised to make some noise potentially in the MAC standings moving forward as a potential spoiler to Western Michigan while still having a slim chance at the Championship game themselves. Bowers has had an interesting year at the helm after coming over from Cal, finishing every game with an overall grade between 49.2 and 67.2, nothing higher, nothing lower. He's averaging just 7.4 yards per attempt and has been accurate with 22 passes dropped and nine throwaways to his credit. Still, his receivers aren't finding his throws in open lanes to make anything happen when he does place them well enough to be caught and the Huskies offense will need some other big-time throws from Bowers if they want to make said noise in the MAC.
108. Jordan McCloud, USF
They've played several good opponents strong this year, most notably their last two outings in which they held Temple to just 17 points and were leading Cincinnati for seemingly the entire game. McCloud has had his fair share of good and fair share of bad this season for the Bulls as he's currently graded out at just 60.1 overall. He's got to remain more consistent if he wants to see his name higher on these rankings as each good game seems to get followed up with a poor outing and he's likely due for one of the latter in the coming weeks.
107. Tyler Vitt, Texas State
Vitt has tied his teammate Gresch Jensen with 11 turnover-worthy passes this season except for the only difference with Vitt, is that he's made up for those with 11 big-time throws compared to Jensen's five. Vitt is out grading his 2018 season already but not by much as he's throwing a more accurate ball but forcing a few too many throws here and there that have been picked off. Like many of the quarterbacks in the triple-digits here, consistency will be the name of the game for him to improve.
106. Carson Strong, Nevada
If it weren't for a rough stretch of no game grade higher than 52.8 for four weeks from Strong, he'd be higher on these rankings. Still, his last two games have been very strong and he can potentially ride those into a great finish of his true freshman season for the Wolf Pack who are going bowling. Strong has a big arm but hasn't seemed to prove he can muster much downfield as he's seen just an 8.2 average depth of target this year while still throwing nine turnover-worthy passes. Limiting those potential error-laden passes will be a big part of his development over the years.
105. Kenyon Oblad, UNLV
The Rebels victories this year are against severely overwhelmed teams when they met them, including the Vanderbilt victory as they're just a two-win team. Oblad has thrown for 13 scores and eight interceptions but is completing just barely over 50% of his pass attempts and never more than 55.0% when he attempts at least 20 passes this season.
104. Josh Adkins, New Mexico State
The Aggies got their first win of the season in Week 12 when they defeated Incarnate Word but let this ranking stand strong at saying not all their losses have been because of Adkins. He's reached 300 yards in three games this year but has thrown 15 turnover-worthy passes compared to just nine big-time throws so far. He has one of the nation's lowest average depths of target giving concern to those turnover-worthy pass numbers but he has shown the ability to push the ball downfield at times in a positive sign for potential things to come in 2020.
103. Tommy Stevens, Mississippi State
It's clear this is not what Stevens had in mind when he transferred away from Penn State this offseason as he's not been able to muster much of a threat throwing the ball in 2019 with the Bulldogs. While Garrett Shrader may have taken the headlines with his spin around the world earlier this season, it's Stevens show seemingly until the end of the year and he'll need to watch the turnover-worthy throws if they want to get to the six-win plateau against Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.
102. Dennis Grosel, Boston College
The Eagles see stacked boxes more so than anyone else in the country as AJ Dillon is once again proving to be one of the country's best running backs. Still, with no Anthony Brown, the passing attack from Boston College has surely struggled even with bigger potential passing lanes against stacked boxes. Grosel has completed double-digit passes in just one contest this year as he's currently completed just 49.0% of his total attempts. Still, he has picked his shots nicely at times and has an 8:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio as he's basically not lost games for the Eagles this year but also hasn't won them any in his time as starter.
101. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
DTR struggles mightily under pressure as he's limped to just a 37.2 passing grade when the defense effects him in the pocket and he just hasn't quite been as good from a clean pocket to make up for those struggles. Still, he can win some games with some sharp reads and quick throws that seem to be his bread-and-butter at this point but he is heading into the last two weeks of the schedule in need of two wins to get bowl eligible and on the heels of his lowest-graded outing from a passing grade since his Week 1 disaster against Cincinnati. He'll have to ride some of that DTR magic and hope his offensive line keeps him clean so he can work from an upright position as he's completed 69.4% of his passes and thrown 11 of his touchdowns from a clean pocket this year.
100. Quinten Dormady, Central Michigan
The Chips need a win to close out their season and a Western Michigan loss to get into the MAC Championship as Dormady has led them to two straight wins and are winners of five of their last six. He's finding his receivers nicely in open lanes as he's averaging 8.1 yards per attempt despite an 8.0 average depth of target and receiving a lot of his yards after the catch from the CMU receivers. If they want to continue their winning ways, he'll have to retire some of the turnover-worthy throws (13) that have plagued him in a hot-and-cold year.
99. Quentin Harris, Duke
Ranking just 134th in overall grade, Harris has surprisingly had his moments in 2019, putting forth some dominant outings but also faltering in some ugly performances. In total, he has twice as many turnover-worthy passes (14) as he does big-time throws (7) and has nine fumbles this year. Ball security is key at the country's most important positions and it should come as no shock that in the four games the Blue Devils have won, Harris hasn't turned the ball over while in their six losses, he's combined for all 10 interceptions and all nine fumbles. He can win games for Duke but he's all too often lost them for him to be considered higher here.
98. Fred Payton, Coastal Carolina
In a season highlighted by their first win over a Power-5 opponent (Week 2, @Kansas), Coastal Carolina has dripped a few heartbreakers as well including a 3-point to Georgia Southern and a 1-point loss to Arkansas State. Payton has had great success with the aid of play-action this year, seeing the country's 14th-highest yards per attempt at 11.4 on play-action passes. However, when not aided by play action, he's thrown for just an average of 6.3 yards per pass and six interceptions. Perhaps the key to the Chanticleers success, ride play action to two more wins and become bowl eligible with Payton at the helm.
97. Carter Stanley, Kansas
The Jayhawks have made some games fun in 2019 with Les Miles manning the sidelines and Stanley sure has had his share of success. Unfortunately for him, he's had to put up ridiculous point totals as their defense has put the offense in difficult positions far too often this year. Still, when he's been kept clean from pressure, Stanley has thrown for 15 touchdowns against just three interceptions and has the nation's 45th-highest passer rating at 108.2. They can play spoiler to either Iowa State or Baylor's season to close out the year and keeping Stanley clean from pressure (no easy task against those defenses) will be pivotal to their success down the stretch.
96. Bo Nix, Auburn
The PFF grades have not been kind to Nix on a consistent basis as he's self-inflicted a lot of damage this year. His offensive line has been stout yet he's left the pocket and ran into pressure on his own accord to the tune of 20 total pressures including five sacks that we've credited to him. He struggles mightily under pressure in such instances, seeing the country's 116th-ranked passer rating when the defense gets home with pressure and sits just at 100th in passer rating from a clean pocket showing his inconsistency week in and week out. He does have stout athleticism but if the Tigers want to win those close games in the future, they'll have to get much better quarterback play.
95. Brian Lewerke, Michigan State
Losers of five straight, the Spartans need to win out to become bowl eligible this season as Lewerke has fallen off a cliff from his previous ranking of 44th in Week 6 and looking even more like the 76th-ranked quarterback from the preseason rankings. Not helping him any are his receivers as Lewerke has had 32 passes dropped this season, second-most in the country but even when factoring those in, his 68.4% adjusted completion percentage ranks just 107th in the country. There have been moments of good Lewerke but all too many moments of bad Lewerke to stay in the top half of these rankings.
94. Tyler Vander Waal, Wyoming
Vander Waal has been inserted into the lineup for the injured Sean Chambers and has kept the Cowboys in each of their past two games but have ultimately fallen to Boise State and Utah State in close games. He's struggled to push the ball downfield but has taken advantage of the short-area passing attack, completing 25-of-33 attempts for 236 yards on throws within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. He'll need to limit turnovers moving forward to be on the rise here at the tail end of the season as he's thrown three picks in his last outing against Utah State and finished with a career-low 36.0 passing grade.
93. Shai Werts, Georgia Southern
Werts has attempted just 74 passes this season and while he has a sub-50% completion percentage, has still thrown for six scores and zero interceptions. His bread-and-butter has been running their option offense as he led them to an upset victory over then-undefeated App State. Werts has 541 total rushing yards this year, averaging 5.0 yards per carry and a career-high in yards after contact per attempt at 3.32. He's broke 21 tackles and if it weren't for 10 fumbles, would be higher on these rankings as he's rounding back into form after missing a two games earlier this season.
92. Max Duggan, TCU
While Duggan has had some success in his first collegiate season, he's certainly been a much more capable player on offense as a runner than a passer. He has the country's 95th-highest passer rating from a clean pocket but has totaled 570 rushing yards, gaining 6.3 yards per carry and breaking 32 tackles in the process. Fumbles aside, he's a dynamic runner and that's something he can rely on as he develops as a passer moving forward for the Horned Frogs in the years to come.
91. Brett Gabbert, Miami Oh.
Rattling off four straight wins and five in their past six games, the RedHawks are guaranteed their spot in the MAC Championship already as Gabbert has done enough to keep Miami in every game (save for Western Michigan). He hasn't been a world-beater in his true freshman campaign but he has been efficient, gaining 7.5 yards per pass attempt and limiting himself to just 10 turnover-worthy passes. His 16 big-time throws are the third-most among true freshman quarterbacks this season.
90. Zach Smith, Tulsa
No quarterback has had more passes dropped this season than Smith as his 35 dropped passes are a microcosm of how frustrating the 2019 season has been for the Golden Hurricane squad. Smith has the 14th-most yards on deep passes (20+ yards) despite just four drops on such throws. Where he's struggled as a passer has been when he's pressured, dropping his passer rating to just 55.8, ranking 98th in the country compared to his 95.6 passer rating from a clean pocket. Going forward, the former Baylor transfer will certainly look to lean on that clean pocket success if he is to take Tulsa to more than three wins in 2020.
89. James Morgan, FIU
While the aforementioned Smith has had the most passes dropped in 2019, Morgan is on pace to match those totals but has fewer pass attempts. Still, they hold identical 9.9% drop rates as Morgan has had 25 of his catchable passes thrown and his 70.9% adjusted completion percentage looks much better than his standard 58.7% box-score completion percentage. He has taken a bit off his game from years past, throwing just seven big-time throws compared to 11 turnover-worthy passes as he's seen much more ‘interception-luck' than his two actual interceptions show. He'll need to avoid those mistakes and perhaps count on his success standard, non-play-action passes down the stretch as they fight towards bowl eligibility.
88. Tevaka Tuioti, New Mexico
Already with career-highs in rushing yards and essentially every major rushing category, Tuioti has grasped the starting quarterback role after Sheriron Jones was suspended. Still, Tuioti has out-graded Jones in every facet this season in an otherwise forgettable year. There's not one thing that Tuioti does tremendously well but similarly, there isn't anything that he finds himself near the bottom at in terms of our advanced PFF metrics. And that's the kind of year its been for New Mexico.
87. Jarrett Guarantano, Tennessee
In a frustrating year for Tennessee, the defense has helped propel them to three straight victories and has them in the hunt for bowl eligibility, in need of just one more victory to close out the year. Guarantano's time in the lineup has been sporadic as he gave way to freshman QB Brian Maurer earlier in the year only to see himself reinserted before injury once again saw him limited. Still, when he is in the lineup, he's given the Vols a better chance of winning as he's launched 10 big-time throws compared to just seven turnover-worthy passes whereas Maurer has just two big-time throws and four turnover-worthy passes. If his hand is healthy and he can go against Missouri and Vanderbilt, the Volunteers can be staring down the barrel of a 7-5 season with no sweat.
86.James Blackman, Florida State
The Seminoles are bowl eligible but are looking at a date with in-state rival Florida to close out the year. While the university continues their search for a new head coach, FSU is 2-0 (and 4-0 in Haggins time as interim HC) under Odell Haggins as the interim head coach and Tallahassee saw the finished performance from a passing standpoint against Boston College in Week 11. Still, that game hasn't propelled Blackman much higher than 84th overall as other aspects of his game have faltered in big moments. His 10 big-time throws pale in comparison to his 13 turnover-worthy passes and he's struggled to find much success on throws outside the numbers. Still, if he is on, and that's a big if, he's a valuable asset to the Seminoles moving forward and has proven to be the better of the two between him and Alex Hornibrook.
85.Adrian Martinez, Nebraska
They have their coach of the future but Martinez has looked nothing like the quarterback of the future under Scott Frost in Lincoln. Martinez hasn't graded higher than 71.6 overall in a game this year, a figure that would rank as only the fifth-highest game grade of his career. He's struggled to find much consistency and his 68.2% adjusted completion percentage ranks 111th in the country. He does add an impressive athletic ability on the ground and has 583 total rushing yards and 22 broken tackles when all else fails, has his legs to lean on. That hasn't won the Cornhuskers more than four games, however, and they'll be in search of more from the quarterback position moving forward.
84. Jack Plummer/Aidan O'Connell, Purdue
With another injury to a starting quarterback for Purdue, the Boilermakers have still managed two victories and are still technically alive for bowl eligibility in a disappointing season. O'Connell started against Northwestern in Week 11 and Purdue got by a pesky Wildcats team while Plummer started and left the Nebraska game in what is the team's best victory of the year. O'Connell provides a sharp short-area passing ability, connecting on 42of-50 passes for 299 yards on throws targeted shorter than 10 yards downfield while Plummer had some boom to his game and was 7-of-9 on deep shots in between the numbers for 277 yards and two scores. They'll have to get by Wisconsin in Week 13 to get to five wins and keep the bowl hopes alive and with a stout coverage unit the Badgers possess, the former walk-on in O'Connell better bring his A-game and his wits that saw him drive Purdue down the field in a game-winning drive against Northwestern.
83. Drew Plitt, Ball State
Led by Plitt, the Cardinals have scored at least 21 points in every outing and he's thrown multiple touchdowns in six outings this year. He's sharp from a clean pocket, fielding the nation's 42nd-best passer rating (110.3) and has fared extremely well when he is pressured, holding the nation's 47th-highest passer rating from a pressured pocket at 72.5. He's a much better passer on longer-developing throws when he has time to digest the coverage and spot the open receivers and that presence will be crucial down the last two games if Ball State wants to get to a bowl game.
82. Dan Ellington, Georgia State
This man gritted out a torn ACL to start in Week 12 against Appalachian State and much to his credit, they were competent at the beginning stages before it got out of hand. Still, Ellington has graded out at the exact same 71.5 overall this season that he did a year ago and has identical passing grades of 66.4 this and last season. He has the nation's 29th-best passer rating from a clean pocket, throwing 15 touchdowns against just two interceptions when kept clean from pressure but struggles mightily when pressured, to the tune of a 43.0 passer rating and four touchdowns with four interceptions. Ellington still has been sharp and kept the Panthers in most games this year as they'll be on the hunt for an 8-win season with back-to-back wins to close the year.
81. Justin McMillan, Tulane
Improving from a year ago in overall grade, McMillan has seen his passing grade drop from the 2018 season and he's sporting the country's 14th-most turnover-worthy passes at 16. Yet, the Green Wave are 6-4 with him at the helm and will need his A-game against two tough opponents to close out the year. He's been incredibly sharp on passes thrown within 2.5 seconds of the snap (quick throws), fielding the country's 25th-best passer rating (125.9) on such attempts. He's completed 70-of-90 passes for 700 yards and eight scores against just two picks on quick throws this year.
80. Jarren Williams, Miami Fl.
Williams set ACC records in a blowout victory over Louisville but a lot of those throws and touchdowns could be attributed to blown coverages and wide-open receivers as Williams still lacks that big-play ability on a consistent basis. He's thrown 14 turnover-worthy passes compared to just seven big-time throws this year, the former ranking as the 24th-most among all quarterbacks despite just 196 attempts. Like most quarterbacks, he struggles mightily when pressured, seeing a massive dropoff to just a passer rating of 66.2 when the defense gets home. If Williams is the quarterback of the future, improving offensive line play will be key as he is the nation's 14th highest-graded quarterback from a clean pocket but he's been kept clean on just 62.3% of his dropbacks, the 22nd-lowest percentage of clean dropbacks.
79. Brandon Peters, Illinois
The Illini got a signature win for head coach Lovie Smith when they knocked off previously-undefeated Wisconsin thanks in part to an impressive game-winning drive towards the field goal by Peters. He's been sharp on longer-developing passes, fielding the country's 18th-highest passer rating on throws at least 2.6 seconds after the snap as he's bought time in the pocket with relative ease. He's thrown for 10 touchdowns against just one interception on those longer throws and subsequently, has been tremendous under pressure. While it's an unstable metric, Peters ranks 10th in passer rating from a pressured pocket as he's been able to keep the ball out of harm's way when pressure does register and that's helped Illinois to wins in tight spots but is something not to be counted on in the future. Still, with Peters at the helm, Illinois is a formidable opponent for anyone in the Big Ten it seems.
78. Jordan Love, Utah State
Perhaps playing him back into the 2020 regular season, Love has not lived up to expectations set forth by the draft scouts this past offseason. He's had his moments in 2019 but has had far more forced throws and questionable decisions to warrant leaving early for the draft unless something dramatic happens over the last few games. He's thrown for 20 big-time throws showing why there is such pause when saying he isn't a viable NFL prospect as those rank as the 11th-most in the country. However, on the other end of the spectrum, Love has thrown 23 turnover-worthy passes, tying Bryce Perkins for second-most among all quarterbacks this year. A boom-or-bust nature only gets you so far, especially when you've put forth more bust than boom in 2019.
77. Kelly Bryant, Missouri
Chalk this one up to the disappointment column as Bryant has really disappointed since we last did these rankings. Since Week 7, Bryant has put forth a game grade no higher than 62.7 and with an injury to his leg to boot, the Tigers offense has struggled to find much on offense with him leading the charge. He's still throwing accurate balls as noted by his 73.5% adjusted completion percentage (45th) but he's taken something off his throws and is averaging just 7.9 depth of target. He has thrown a career-high in touchdown passes this year but certainly has fallen off during SEC play during his final collegiate season.
76. Levi Lewis, Louisiana
With a 10-win season firmly within their grasp, Lewis has been needed more as of late to take to the air, something he's done with relative success. He's thrown for seven touchdowns and no interceptions over his past three outings and has done a great job of limiting mistakes during that stretch, throwing just two turnover-worthy passes in that stretch, compared to seven during the first seven games. He's broken 13 tackles and gains 5.1 yards per carry on the ground as well as he's a dynamic dual-threat quarterback in the Sun Belt.
75. Isaiah Green, Marshall
Throwing just 11 turnover-worthy passes out of his 317 dropbacks is something, especially considering he's thrown 17 big-time throws and has gone mainly under the radar for the Thundering Herd. Green is every bit of a great quarterback when he's on and if it weren't for some ugly early-season outings against Boise State, Cincinnati and Middle Tennessee, he'd find himself much higher on this list. He's had subpar success from a clean pocket but when he is able to go deep, he's thrown for 809 yards on passes targeted at least 20 yards past the line of scrimmage, ranking as the 15th-most this year. He'll need to increase his pocket presence from a clean pocket but with his arm strength never in question, he could be in line for a big season in 2020. With Obi Obialo's return to the lineup, there could be even bigger numbers coming this season too.
74. Jorge Reyna, Fresno State
The Bulldogs will need back-to-back wins to clinch a bowl game this season but Reyna has shown more than capable of doing such a thing if he can limit the mistakes. He's thrown for 14 big-time throws and 12 turnover-worthy passes as it's no shock that 11 of those came in contests that Fresno State lost. Conversely, of his 14 BTTs, it's also no surprise that nine of those came in their victories. Limiting mistakes and relying on non-play-action passes may be the recipe to getting to six wins as Reyna sees a 10.2 percent spike in completion percentage on standard, non-play-action passes this year, the 23rd-biggest gap in the country on such throws.
73. Jaylon Henderson, Boise State
In a situation where we have to go with the most-recent quarterback, Henderson seems to be the healthiest of options to run the ship for the Broncos as Hank Bachmeier has missed the last two games and Chase Cord, Week 11's starter, was banged up in the win against Wyoming. Each quarterback has had their moments this season but having plus-play from each quarterback inserted into the lineup is a tremendously difficult thing to have in college football. Henderson made quick work in his first start, jumping out to a 28-3 lead before cruising to a 42-9 victory, completing 15 passes for 292 yards and three scores. The starter remains uncertain moving towards the end of the year as they'll need to figure it out but as it stands now, they can win with either option.
72. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
The Panthers have made some noise in the ACC Coastal and are still alive, albeit by a slim margin, for the ACC Championship game. Pickett has utilized his legs as of late, rushing for 250 total yards this season, 241 of which have come on scrambles from the pocket and has gained 17 first downs on the ground. He's saved his best for games in which Pittsburgh needs him and if it weren't for a dud of a performance against Miami, he'd be higher here. Still, he has the nation's 39th-highest adjusted completion percentage at 73.9% as he's given his receivers plenty of catchable balls and has taken care of getting rid of the ball in trouble spots. He has 23 throwaways (fifth-most) and 24 dropped passes (11th-most) as Pickett and Notre Dame QB Ian Book are the only two quarterbacks in the country with at least 20 drops and throwaways to their credit.
71. Kyle Vantrease, Buffalo
Needing just one more win to gain bowl eligibility, Bulls fans must hope this is a team led by Vantrease that didn't get shut down by Kent State in the second half of their last outing. He's had his moments of solid play this season and has limited mistakes admirably once he took over, throwing just one interception and just six turnover-worthy passes compared to his 10 big-time throws. He, and the rest of the Buffalo quarterbacks this season are nothing quite like Tyree Jackson was last year, but Vantrease still sports an 11.0 average depth of target as he's completed just six deep shots but gained 176 yards on such throws with two scores and no interceptions.
70. Zac Thomas, App State
Taking a bit of accuracy from his arsenal in 2019 compared to years past, Thomas still holds an adjusted completion percentage of 71.7%, ranking just 67th in the country. Still, he's pushed the Mountaineers to a 9-1 record as their only slip up came against a tough Georgia Southern team. App State and Thomas hold Power-5 victories over North and South Carolina this year as they've seen their quarterback handle pressure better than most quarterbacks. Thomas is currently the nation's ninth-best in passer rating under pressure, completing 31-of-60 pressured pass attempts for 536 yards, seven touchdowns and just one lone interception. That all equals an astounding 114.3 passer rating that, while the metric is unstable for predicting future performance, is certainly terrific to have already accomplished this year.
69. Jarret Doege, West Virginia
Doege got his first start for West Virginia against Kansas State as the Mountaineers snapped a five-game losing streak in the process. Doege has completed 31-of-47 passes this year for 353 yards and four scores with no interceptions and he'll have to continue that kind of success if WVU wants to get to a bowl game. During his time at Bowling Green, Doege was lights out, completing a high percentage of his passes and several big-game moments in the MAC. It's a different ball game in the Big 12 but he can rely on his sharp pocket presence that saw him grade out continually as one of the higher-graded quarterbacks in the conference the past two seasons for Bowling Green.
68. Micale Cunningham, Louisville
Cunningham takes a dip in the rankings after spiking earlier this season as he's struggled from a pressured pocket as of late, fielding just a 50.0 passer rating when the defense gets home with pressure. He's been pressured on 37.4% of his dropbacks this year, the 29th-highest percentage. What separates him from the rest of the nation's quarterbacks, however, is his pocket presence and ability from a clean pocket. He's currently second to only Tua Tagovailoa in passer rating from a clean pocket and sixth in overall grade when kept clean. He lights up the field when given time to see the whole play and has thrown 13 touchdowns against one interception with 1,176 of his yards coming from a clean pocket. He's a much better quarterback without play-action, proving stable from week to week, fielding a 9:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio without play-action. Keeping him clean and putting him in solid standard passing situations is clearly a big priority for not only his success but the team's as well.
67. Bryce Perkins, Virginia
As big a disappointment from an individual player that we've seen this year, Perkins' overall grade of just 61.1 pales in comparison to his 83.0 overall grade a year ago. He's willed the team to victories, surely, but has not added the dynamic passing that we saw a season ago and has the country's second-most turnover-worthy passes with 23 this season. Considering he's got a lot of help from his receivers (only three drops, fewest), his numbers should be as big, if not bigger, than a season ago but those 23 TWPs showcase why they aren't. His elite-level rushing ability sports him his ranking here but even those numbers are down from a year ago. He has all the tools and all the ability and as they inch closer towards an ACC Championship game appearance, if he can put it all together and limit mistake-worthy plays (fumbles included), they can potentially put forth a challenge to Clemson's dominance in the conference.
66. Kyle Trask, Florida
Trask has emerged as a much better quarterback than Feleipe Franks was for the Gators and while he may not have the athletic ability on the ground that Franks possesses, it's fairly certain that Trask is the much better passer. Still, the Gators will want more from him moving forward as he's thrown just nine big-time throws compared to 16 turnover-worthy passes. He's been terrific with play-action and equally impressive without the aid of a play fake but has tried to force a few too many throws in each situation. As he continues to develop as a thrower in the Florida offense, those types of mistakes should be limited and the grades and wins should follow.
65. Jon Wassink, Western Michigan
With just a single game left on their schedule, Western Michigan controls their destiny towards the MAC Championship game and Wassink is a big reason for their success. As good as LeVante Bellamy has been on the ground, Wassink has stepped up in big moments to clinch victories for the Broncos. He's thrown for 19 touchdowns against just seven interceptions, all 19 touchdowns coming from a clean pocket. He's been kept clean from pressure on 79.8% of his dropbacks this year, the sixth-highest percentage in the country. When they need him to, he comes up big and has eight big-time throws compared to just five turnover-worthy passes in their wins this season.
64. Jabari Laws/Kelvin Hopkins, Army
With two straight wins under his belt, Laws has the Black Knights staring down a potential meeting with Navy at the end of the season to determine whether or not they make a bowl game if they can't get by Hawaii in Week 14. Hopkins still has all the ability in the world as well to run the triple-option offense as he ran for a career-high 208 yards against VMI just last week despite not starting the game. Hopkins has now broken a career-high 42 tackles on the ground this year while Laws has forced 14 missed tackles himself and gained 312 of his 504 yards after contact on the ground. This is a powerful 1-2 combination when they're healthy and sharing duties it seems and they'll need every bit of their prowess against Navy in the annual Army-Navy battle.
63. Holton Ahlers, ECU
Ahlers has lit up the scoreboards this season for the Pirates, proving to be quite the dual-threat at quarterback. He's thrown for 10 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards in his last two outings combined but lost each of those games as he's been lights out only to have his defense let him down. Those two games aside, they're his best two games of the season by far as he's finally inching back to where he was grade-wise a season ago. Ahlers is a big-armed quarterback who has seen pressure on 42.6% of his dropbacks this year, the eighth-highest figure in the country. Fortunately for the Pirates, he's handled it relatively well and has a passer rating of 71.1 on such dropbacks.
62. Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
Ridder has certainly led the Bearcats to their fair share of success against inferior competition this year with the real meat of their schedule still left with matchups against Memphis and Temple to likely decide the AAC Championship game and subsequent AAC Champion this year. He's riding his lowest game grade of the year with his performance against USF but he's been terrific all things considered for Cincinnati in 2019. He's fielding nearly identical passer ratings both with play-action and without, seeing a 92.6 passer rating without play-action and a 96.5 with the aid of a play fake. It's no surprise that he's unleashed 13 big-time throws as he averages 11.8 yards downfield per target, the 36th-highest average depth of target this year.
61. Zach Wilson, BYU
The return of Zach Wilson came at a great time as the Cougars clinched bowl eligibility with their fourth-straight win and Wilson got to ease back into action against Idaho State. As talented a quarterback as there is, if there are more performances like his last two outings, Wilson will rise on these rankings back to where he began the year, if not even higher. He's an accurate passer and can hit all levels of the field with ease and has underrated athleticism. If he and the Cougars keep up their recent play, you can bet this is the lowest Wilson will ever find himself on the starting quarterback rankings. Despite a rough start to his season against a schedule that rivaled the toughest of any school in America (four games against Power-5 opponents: Utah, @ Tennessee, USC, Washington) Wilson has limited to just three turnover-worthy passes against all other opponents combined.
60. Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State
Sanders is a much better quarterback from a clean pocket and even with losing his top playmaker in Tylan Wallace, he has been able to fit the ball in tight spots and take off with his legs in his first season as the starter in Stillwater. In a new wrinkle from an Oklahoma State offense, the designed quarterback run game has yielded 387 yards for Sanders as he's broken 40 total tackles on the ground this year and gained 715 total rushing yards. He's a dynamic runner and a tough guy to bring down in the open field who also possesses a strong arm with no fear down the field. He's attempted a deep shot of at least 20 yards downfield on 19.4% of his passes this year and amassed 654 yards on deep throws in the process.
59. Jayden Daniels, Arizona State
Playing well above his age for the Sun Devils, Daniels is a win away from clinching a bowl game for Arizona State this season. He'll be tested mightily against an Oregon secondary in Week 13 but if all else fails, he can certainly take off with the ball with great success. He's gained 327 yards on scrambles this season and a total of 20 conversions on the ground including three scores and 17 first downs. A down game against Utah aside, he's been playing well as of late and thrown for six touchdowns against no interceptions over the past two games.
58. Davis Mills/K.J. Costello, Stanford
Whether it's Mills or Costello in the lineup, the Cardinal have seen much of the same from their signal-caller in 2019. Each has had their moments and each has had down moments that gave pause at their retention in the lineup. Mills is the higher graded of the two but they each hold three game grades lower than 54.8 and two grades above 75.2 each. Mills seems to be the answer going forward due to the litany of injuries to Costello this year and as such, Stanford would be wise to utilize play-action more often as Mills ranks ninth in the country in passer rating on play-action passes. He's completed 28-of-38 play-action passes for 410 yards, five scores and just one interception but attempts a play-action pass just 22.9% of his throws. Seeing that percentage jump will likely see his grades take a similar jump as well.
57. Donald Hammond III, Air Force
Hammond leads one of the most efficient, albeit lesser utilized passing attacks in the country as he's more than a capable passer for the Falcons offense. He's also a major threat on the ground, gaining 426 yards on 83 carries that have seen him convert a first down (26) or a touchdown (9) on 35 of those carries. Limiting fumbles in the Air Force offense will be key moving forward in their bowl game as their Moutain West Championship game chances are slim. Still, Hammond is the answer to lead the Air Force offense in the future, a future that is very bright.
56. Eli Peters, Toledo
The Rockets have kept it close in seemingly all but one game this year (we see you Ball State), and Peters hasn't had to do much as of late with Bryant Koback and Shakif Seymour running wild. Aside from some bad fumbles, Peters has benefited from the strength of the rushing attack, fielding a 4:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio on play-action passes and a terrific 110.3 passer rating on such throws. Peters also possesses a strong skill to force the ball downfield when necessary, something he showcased in 2018 and something that can be counted on in tight spots through the stretch of the season.
55. Malcolm Perry, Navy
Before the Notre Dame game, Perry was one of the best quarterbacks in terms of taking care of the ball with just six fumbles prior. Even with a three-fumble performance against Notre Dame, Perry has gained 1,196 yards on the ground and broken 58 tackles, all surpassing his previous career-highs with three games to play as he's gaining 3.44 yards after contact per attempt. He's gained over 100 yards in six straight games as well and will look to ride his previous momentum into the backstretch of their season against SMU, Houston and arguably most importantly, against Army in the annual Army-Navy game.
54. Patrick O'Brien, Colorado State
O'Brien is a big-armed quarterback with a fine touch on the football despite seeing 19 of his catchable passes dropped this year by his receivers. His strong arm has been on display and he's currently 11th in the country with 876 yards on deep (20+ yard) passes. There is still hope for a bowl game for the Rams this season as they'd need to play spoiler to Boise State's likely perfect season in Moutain West play at the end of the year but they do have the horses to do so. O'Brien has been great at leading his receivers open and finding them in open lanes for yards-after-the-catch chances while also possessing top grades in the conference in pressured and non-pressured situations in the pocket.
53. Steven Montez, Colorado
Snapping a five-game slide with their win over Stanford, Montez is now just 656 yards away from 10,000 career passing yards as he's thrown for 2,429 yards this year, marking the third straight year he's topped 2,000 yards in the air. He's taken a bit off his throws this year as he's seen a drop in his yards per attempt but a spike in his adjusted completion percentage, currently ranking 43rd in the country with a mark of 73.6%. He can finish his Colorado career strong with two big wins against two very formidable foes against Washington and Utah but will have to certainly bring his absolute best against two of the best three defenses in the Pac-12.
52. Jack Coan, Wisconsin
Coming back down to Earth a bit after a strong stretch in the middle of the season, Coan has had no game grade higher than 64.0 over his past three outings but surprisingly, has been a much better quarterback without a play-action fake than he has on play-action passes. He currently ranks 12th in the country with a 112.3 passer rating on non-play-action passes, completing 132-of-176 attempts for 1,416 yards, 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions on such throws. A stable metric, that bodes well for his future in the Wisconsin offense going forward.
51. Cole McDonald, Hawaii
McDonald has certainly had his fair share of ups and downs this season and while Chevan Cordeiro has played well at times, McDonald is the better of the two to lead the charge for Hawaii. McDonald does lead the country with 24 turnover-worthy passes this season but has made amends for the majority of those with 18 big-time throws but he and Jordan Love are the only two quarterbacks in the country with at least 17 big-time throws to still throw more turnover-worthy passes. He's third in the country with 13 deep passing touchdowns and his 721 deep passing yards rank 26th as he's one of the country's most exciting quarterbacks to watch.
50. J'Mar Smith/Aaron Allen, Louisiana Tech
Smith is suspended for another game for the Bulldogs and Allen did not look nearly as good as the team's starter did in his first start against Marshall. Smith has been a wildly inconsistent player at Louisiana Tech's helm over the years but 2019 has seen him put it all together with multiple high-level performances. His return to the lineup may come a game too late if they can't get by UAB in his absence in Week 13 unless Allen can return healthy and better than he was against Marshall. Allen completed just 19 passes for 159 yards, seeing a paltry average of just 4.8 yards per pass in the loss against the Thundering Herd.
49. Shea Patterson, Michigan
The Wolverines are hot, riding a three-game winning streak in dominant fashion in each of those. Patterson has also been on a hot streak, fielding terrific grades and two of his three highest-graded outings coming in the past two games. He's been very sharp on play-action passes this year, completing 57-of-88 passes for 836 yards and 10 touchdowns against just one interception. He's struggled with accuracy this year, fielding the nation's 106th-ranked adjusted completion percentage at 68.5% but that figure has turned around as of late. Over the past two games, Patterson's adjusted completion percentage has been the 22nd-highest in the country at 78.8%, a marked increase from the start of the season.
48. John Rhys Plumlee, Ole Miss
Plumlee may struggle as a passer but he's certainly ready to give SEC opponents a run for their money, literally. He's completing just 51.4% of his passes and averaging just 5.7 yards per pass attempt but he has more than gotten the job done on the ground so far this season. With a bowl game out of the picture, expect Plumlee to run wild in the season finale against Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl as he's already totaled 1,020 yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns. He's as fast as they come and arguably the fastest player on the field whenever he takes the snap. He's broken 34 tackles on the ground and gained another 30 first downs on his carries as he's proven almost unstoppable when toting the rock. If he can add a passing dynamic over the offseason, Plumlee could enter the discussion for top returning dual-threat quarterback in the SEC.
47. Ty Storey, Western Kentucky
Revenge is a dish best served cold and that's exactly what Storey did when he took his Western Kentucky team into Arkansas and defeated his former team in the Razorbacks, in convincing fashion. He even subequently got his former coach fired after Arkansas let head coach Chad Morris go following their loss to WKU as Storey has had his Hilltoppers team rolling. Despite two losses to Marshall and FAU in C-USA play, this team looks nothing like the team that lost to Central Arkansas in Week 1 as Storey is a big reason for their success since he entered the lineup in Week 5. He's currently fifth in the country with an adjusted completion percentagae of 80.5%, meaning he's thrown a catchable pass on 191 of his 234 passes this year, a figure that is certainly worth praise.
46. Anthony Russo, Temple
There has been good Russo this season and there has been bad Russo this season. Good Russo has pushed the Owls into a tie for second in the AAC East while poor Russo has lost outings to Buffalo and UCF with game grades of 52.6 or lower. He's a big-armed quarterback nonetheless and can sling tight-window throws like the best of them but needs to maintain consistency on his throws to be considered more than just a good Group of 5 quarterback. He has all the tools to do so and those have come off in rapid bunches this season as he's currently eighth in the country with 22 big-time throws.
45. Kedon Slovis, USC
Fresh off his finest performance to date against Cal, Slovis has thrown for at least three touchdowns in four straight games and has four touchdowns in three of his last four. He's starting to grasp the Air Raid offense nicely and is picking his shots downfield with relative ease as he connected on one of the nation's prettiest pass-and-catch moments, hitting Amon-Ra St. Brown for a 95-yard touchdown that saw Slovis split deep safeties with a beautiful ball caught perfectly in stride. More moments like that and more moments of limiting what have become 18 turnover-worthy passes will only see Slovis rise in these rankings as he tightens his grip on the starting quarterback position in LA.
44. Sam Howell, North Carolina
The terrific true freshman quarterback has dropped in beautifully-placed ball after beautifully-placed ball this year but hasn't come up with the wins to show for it. He is currently fifth in the country, tied with fellow true freshman Dillon Gabriel with 24 big-time throws while limiting himself to just 15 turnover-worthy attempts. He's picking his shots and finding windows he can hit as he's trusting his arm in the proper situations. He is currently fourth in the country with 991 yards on deep throws and tied for the national lead with 14 touchdowns on throws targeted at least 20 yards past the line of scrimmage. They may not have the wins to show for it but Howell has the Tar Heels going in the right direction and at the very least, they're must-watch TV with him at the helm.
43. Hendon Hooker, Virginia Tech
Gone is Ryan Willis and when Hooker is healthy enough to be in the lineup, the Hokies may have their quarterback of the future. Aside from a down game against Wake Forest in Week 11, Hooker has been terrific when he's on the field. He has thrown eight touchdowns and no interceptions while he currently possesses an elite ability to evade pressure and find open receivers downfield when pressure does get to him in the pocket. He's only been pressured on 32 of his dropbacks this year but has completed 11-of-20 passes for 190 yards and three scores with no turnover-worthy passes coming when pressured. If he can keep that up through the rest of the season and into next year as the presumed starter, the Hokies may be among the favorites to sneak in for a Coastal crown. Don't count them out for this year's Coastal title just yet either.
42. Layne Hatcher, Arkansas State
Since taking over in Week 5 against Troy, Hatcher has shown why he was such a highly-recruited quarterback in high school. The former Alabama quarterback has now thrown 17 touchdowns and 1,808 yards in just five starts as he has the RedWolves trending in the right direction in 2019. Combine his downfield throwing with a talented set of legs that have seen him already break loose for 90 yards on scrambles and 10 first downs, and Arkansas State may be a force to reckon with going forward. They're not out of the Sun Belt Championship game just yet, although they would need some help to get there, but with more from Hatcher like his 15 big-time throws compared to just nine turnover-worthy passes, you can bet he's set up for success in 2020. Omar Bayless and Kirk Merritt have each hauled in double-digit touchdowns this season as Hatcher is certainly a big reason why.
41. Chris Robison, FAU
With a little luck, the Owls could find themselves in the C-USA Championship game this year led by their signal-caller in Robison. He's put rough outings behind him very nicely after a tough stretch to open the season at Ohio State and against UCF at home. He's taken great care of the ball and has just four interceptions compared to two touchdowns on the ground and another 18 through the air. He's bettering himself in nearly every category compared to a season ago and really shines on quick passes. Robison has the country's 36th-ranked passer rating on passes thrown within 2.5 seconds of the snap as he's thrown for 10 touchdowns against one interception on such plays. The quick game is the key to their success and something to watch as they go fast and furious, in all the right ways with Robison at the helm.
40. Stephen Calvert, Liberty
Currently ranking sixth in the country in deep passing yards with 948, Calvert is a highlight-reel moment waiting to happen for the Liberty offense. Liberty has feasted on their inferior competition this season, putting up big numbers against Hampton, Maine, UMass and even in defeat against Rutgers as Calvert certainly can make even the better teams fear his arm. With Antonio Gandy-Golden coming down with just about everything thrown his way, it's no shock that Calvert has thrown for 23 touchdowns against just three interceptions and ranks 23rd with 16 big-time throws this year.
39. Nathan Rourke, Ohio
A down year for the Bobcats as led to Rourke's slip in these rankings as he had a claim to possibly be the best dual-threat quarterback in the Group of 5 entering the season. Still, even during a down season for Ohio, Rourke has put forth some moments that showcased his incredible ability. He's a highly-graded passer and a very talented runner, reaching 830 total yards on the ground including 741 in the designed run game. He's already broke his previous career-best in missed tackles forced on the ground with 41 this season and he's averaging 7.3 yards per carry with 35 runs of at least 10 yards. They'll have two road games to attempt to get to a bowl and two winnable road games if Rourke can take matters into his own hands.
38. Asher O'Hara, Middle Tennessee State
In the first year post a Stockstill at quarterback for the Blue Raiders, O'Hara has done nothing but impress. He's closing in on 1,000 yards on the ground while he's churned out 52 rushing conversions of first downs (43) or touchdowns (9) and put together six games with a passing grade of 63.8 or higher. He's a talented dual-threat quarterback who currently ranks 24th in passer rating from a pressured pocket at 87.1. He has eight touchdowns to just four interceptions when pressured, his touchdown total tying for fourth-most in the country. When the play breaks down, O'Hara hasn't run scared and hasn't just taken off on a scramble. He still has kept his eyes downfield to make the throw when necessary but does have that innate ability to take off when required as he has 386 scramble yards this season.
37. Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
To this date, Mond's opening game throw against Texas State still rings in as one of the best throws of the season where he rolled left and threw across his body to a streaking receiver 30+ yards downfield, perfectly hitting him along the sidelines for a huge gain in tight coverage against Texas State. His season has been frustrating since where he has moments that look like a top draft pick potentially but other times where he makes boneheaded decisions. He hasn't finished a single game with a grade above 79.6 since that Week 1 outing against Texas State but he hasn't also finished with a game grade lower than 64.1, save for the Clemson game. He's a consistently above-average quarterback who has his team at seven wins with upsets on their mind as they take on trips to Georgia and LSU to close their season.
36. Kaleb Barker, Troy
Barker's highs have been just that this season for the Trojans as he's connected for multiple touchdowns in all but one game in 2019 and thrown for at least three scores in three straight and six games overall this year. He's currently sixth in total passing yards and fifth in touchdown passes while ranking 22nd in adjusted completion percentage, uncorking a catchable pass on 76.5% of his attempts this year. His passing stats may be a bit inflated because of yards after the catch, but one thing is for sure, he's getting the ball out efficiently no matter the situation. Barker holds passer ratings of 119.1 (23rd) and 101.9 (31st) on passes thrown quick (<2.5 seconds) and long (>2.6 seconds), respectively. His ability to find his receivers late in the down or on his first read has been special this season and he'll need a bit more of that magic if they want to get to six wins with Louisiana and App State on their schedule still.
35. Chris Reynolds, Charlotte
As of late, Reynolds has been the man for the 49ers, finishing the last two games with elite game grades of 92.6 vs MTSU and 85.3 vs UTEP. For the season, he's thrown for 2,027 yards on just 147 completions with 18 touchdowns against just seven picks. He's thrown 12 big-time throws and has the country's 24th-best passer rating from a clean pocket, giving hope for games to come with him in the lineup as it's an extremely stable metric when looking towards future play at the quarterback position. Charlotte has rattled off three straight wins with big games from Reynolds and they'll need one more of the like when they take on Marshall and ODU to close out the year with hopes of reaching a bowl game.
34. Mason Fine, North Texas
Another one of those what-could-have-been moments has happened in North Texas for the Mean Green as Fine has shaken the rust off a tough start to the season as of late. Since Week 8, Fine has been one of the nation's highest-graded quarterbacks and put forth game grades of 87.2 @ Charlotte and 85.7 vs UTEP while throwing for 13 touchdowns (almost half his touchdowns this season) in three outings against MTSU and the aforementioned duo. His arm has never been in question as he ranks eighth in the country with 11 deep touchdowns but his accuracy has certainly been down from years past. His 71.9% adjusted completion percentage looks decent on paper but not when compared to last year's figure of 79.7% that was near the top of the country. He's got all the tools to fit throws into tight windows and lead his receivers down field, and we'll get to see those on display through the last two weeks as the Mean Green fit for a bowl game appearance.
33. Caleb Evans, UL-Monroe
Evans is a few plays away from several more wins including what would have been a huge upset at Florida State back in Week 2. Still, his defense has let him down more than they've carried the WarHawks to victory and foiled some great performances by their signal-caller in the process. He's currently 25th in deep passing touchdowns with eight while rankings 35th with 14 clean-pocket touchdowns in the process. He's been a solid quarterback for four years now for UL-Monroe but 2019 has been the best yet for Evans, even if the wins don't add up.
32. Ryan Agnew, San Diego State
Save for an epic collapse against Nevada in Week 11, Agnew has been rolling as of late for the Aztecs. He's connected on just 11 touchdowns but in the run-first SDSU offense, when he's been needed, he's delivered through the air. When the run game was stymied against Colorado State and Wyoming, Agnew threw for multiple touchdowns and came out victorius. While 11 touchdowns doesn't seem like a lot, he's already set career-highs in yards, completions and touchdowns as well as overall and passing grades through 10 games in 2019. They still have the leg up on the rest of the MWC West division and need just one more victory against Hawaii to clinch an appearance in the title game. Agnew is certainly the quarterback to lead them in such an endeavor.
31. Dustin Crum, Kent State
Keeping their bowl hopes alive, the Golden Flashes and Crum mounted an incredible come-from-behind victory against Buffalo in Week 12 as Crum now has 15 touchdown passes against just two interceptions this year. He's limited himself to just those two turnover-worthy passes as well as he is the only quarterback in the country with at least 200 pass attempts and fewer than three turnover-worthy passes. He throws an accurate ball and puts it where only his receivers can catch it more often than most and has the country's 17th-highest adjusted completion percentage at 78.3%. Midweek #MACtion heats up and when Crum is on, you're going to want to watch.
30. Grant Gunnell/Khalil Tate, Arizona
Proving to be more than just a replacement for Tate when the former Heisman contender was injured, Gunnell has impressed in his limited action this season. In an otherwise forgetful Pac-12 season for the Wildcats, Gunnell has thrown nine touchdowns to just one interception on 139 attempts and already thrown for 1,143 yards. He's the higher graded of this duo through the air but few quarterbacks in the country bring to the table what Tate does when healthy on the ground. Tate now has 2,505 total rushing yards in his career and 111 career rushing conversions (18 touchdowns, 93 first downs) on the ground. The future is certainly Gunnell but Tate may have one last hoorah in him before his time with the Wildcats is done.
29. Nate Stanley, Iowa
Stanley has put forth three game grades of at least 82.7 over his last four outings as he now has 14 touchdowns and just five interceptions to his credit this season. He hasn't come close to the amount of production through the air as he did a season ago but he certainly has looked more the part of a potential NFL draft pick as he's impressed from a pure passing grade standpoint. He's taken care of the ball in most instances and put the ball where his receivers can make plays even if they've dropped 20 balls this year. He's thrown 17 big-time throws and just seven turnover-worthy attempts this year while fielding a solid 108.1 passer rating from a clean pocket.
28. Sean Clifford, Penn State
Clifford hasn't lived up to the potential we saw in limited time a year ago when he connected for three big-time throws on just five attempts but he has had his fair share of big-time moments in his short career already. He is currently tied for fourth with eight touchdowns when pressured and has just six turnover-worthy passes despite an 11.4 average depth of target. He's been terrific finding his receivers in space, most notably finding his favorite targets on throws in between the numbers, connecting on 78-of-124 passes for 1,221 yards on throws down the middle of the field. He'll need every bit of that middle-of-the-field prowess against Ohio State in Week 13 if the Nittany Lions want to dethrone the Buckeyes. One thing is for sure, Clifford has shown he has that ability.
27. Ian Book, Notre Dame
If it weren't for a stretch of poor performances against USC and Michigan in back-to-back weeks for Book, he'd be trending even higher on these rankings. Still, his last two outings have been tremendous and perhaps his best two games of his career as he's thrown for nine touchdowns combined against Duke and Navy. He isn't quite as accurate as he was a season ago but he's still not getting a lot of help from his receivers, seeing 20 of his catchable passes dropped. He's also one of just two quarterbacks to have 20 or more throwaways and drops as his 25 throwawys (21 under pressure, third-most) rank as the fourth-most in the country. He's taking care of the ball in tough spots surely and if his last two games are any indication, he isn't afraid to push the ball down the field in big moments, something we'd like to see more of.
26. Tyler Johnston III, UAB
Speaking of pushing the ball downfield, Johnston is no stranger to big-time throws as he's currently third in the country with 25 big-time throws. He's fitting the ball into tight windows and if it weren't for injuries that have kept him of the last two games, he may even be leading the country in big-time throws. He's trending towards the top of the quarterback grade charts once again and if he can come back healthy, he can likely continue that ascension. One thing is for sure, he'll continue to be a gun-slinger as he's currently the only quarterback in the country to have at least 200 dropbacks and not throw away a single pass.
25. Skylar Thompson, Kansas State
You may not believe it but Thompson ranks eighth in the country with 22 big-time throws, needing just 243 pass attempts to accomplish such a feat. With Thompson at the helm, they've lost their last two games by a combined seven points and are just two posessions away from eight wins instead of six. Thompson has graded below 60.0 just once this season and has two games grades above 90.0 as he's been consistent and put forth career-best numbers in yards, touchdowns and grade so far. He's finding his playmakers in space and with one or two more throws to his credit this year, could have been right in the thick of it for the Big 12 title game picture.
24. Jack Abraham, Southern Miss
Abraham has rattled off three straight wins and five in the past six games for the Golden Eagles as they still need a Louisiana Tech loss to get into the C-USA Championship game but one thing is for sure, they're set with Abraham at quarterback. He's averaging 9.4 yards per attempt and thrown 17 touchdowns with an adjusted completion percentage of 78.1%, good enough to rank 18th in the country. He's been sharp from a clean pocket and has been able to carve up defenses when given time to diagnose the defense, leading to 13 touchdowns from clean-pocket pass attempts despite 17 dropped balls on such passes. A little more help from his receivers should rocket not only his statistics but his name into the stratosphere as one of the better Group of 5 quarterbacks in the country.
23. Josh Love, San Jose State
The addition to Tre Walker back into the lineup has done wonders for Love who, even though he doesn't have the victories to go along with it, has been a terrific downfield passer in 2019. His 25 big-time throws rank tied for third while he's limited himself to just 11 turnover-worthy passes and has a strong command over a clean pocket. He hasn't graded lower than 65.1 since Week 2 and even has three straight games of elite or near-elite production through MWC play as well as they're poised to potentially play into a bowl game with consecutive wins against UNLV and Fresno State to end the year. Love does have the ability to do rally off such wins to cap his final season for the Spartans.
22. Jacob Eason, Washington
Eason has diced up defenses from a clean pocket in 2019, throwing 17 touchdowns and 2,152 yards with an 81.3% adjusted completion percentage when no pressure is allowed to register. Unfortunately, when pressure does get home, that's when it gets a bit messy for the Washington QB. Eason ranks just 110th in the country with a 53.2 passer rating when pressures, completing just 35.2% of his passes and throwing multiple interceptions. Good thing is, he's pressured on just 25.1% of his dropbacks this year, the 31st-lowest percentage. All of this has led to 19 big-time throws and the country's 18th-highest overall grade and 25th-ranked passing grade. He has a pretty deep pass and can put some muster behind some throws away from coverage and will have an interesting decision ahead of him as to whether or not declare for the 2020 NFL Draft.
21. Jett Duffey, Texas Tech
Perhaps the better fit in the Matt Wells led offense at Texas Tech, Duffey has taken over for the injured Alan Bowman and played well enough to warrant a redshirt for Bowman this season as Duffey has exceeded expectations with his play. He ranks 29th in adjusted completion percentage, 28th in passer rating from a clean pocket and perhaps, more importantly, is the country's 11th-highest-graded quarterback on longer-developing passes thrown at least 2.6 seconds after the snap. He can buy time and allow the passing concepts to open up lanes in the secondary with great success and has completed 62.1% of those longer-developing passes, ranking 10th. He'll have to have all that magic if the Red Raiders want to get to a bowl game with games against Kansas State and Texas remaining on their schedule and them needing two victories to get to six wins.
20. Sam Ehlinger, Texas
What could have been in 2019 now will have the Longhorns searching for answers in the offseason. On paper, this team's lone weakness on the offense was potentially their offensive line yet they've exceeded expectations this year while Sam Ehlinger has thrown a career-high turnover-worthy plays and eight interceptions. Still, the pieces to Ehlinger's game that make him so successful have shown through as he's thrown 23 clean-pocket touchdowns, ranking ninth in the country while he sports a 119.9 passer rating on play-action passes. He'll likely return to Austin for one more season as he'll certainly have to limit those turnover-worthy plays and interceptions going forward because he has all the tools to be the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
19. Mike Glass III, Eastern Michigan
Perhaps one of the zippiest passers in the country, Glass can sling the ball in the blink of an eye and currently is 11th in the country with 20 big-time throws. He's cooled off as of late but when he's on, he's on. Defenses have to watch out for Glass to any level of the field as he can hit targets in the intermediate range just as quick as he can nail a deep shot down the field. He has five touchdowns to the intermediate level of the field and another nine on deep shots downfield as he ranks as nine deep touchdowns and completed 20 passes for 673 yards on throw targeted at least 20 yards downfield. An accurate quarterback with one of the strongest arms that no one knows about, if you get the chance to watch EMU take the field during mid-week #MACtion, do it.
18. Dillon Gabriel, UCF
The UCF quarterback is outpacing his fellow true freshman signal-callers in a bevy of statistics as a ‘down year' by recent UCF standards has many people forgetting about Gabriel and the Knights. Gabriel is currently one of just three quarterbacks to have thrown for 1,000 or more yards on deep passes, ranking second with 1,098 and 12 touchdowns on throws targeted at least 20 yards downfield as the brand of football UCF plays hasn't changed regardless of who is behind center. Gabriel is a terrific quarterback when given a clean pocket, playing well beyond his age to the tune of the nation's 12th-highest passer rating (124.6) on clean-pocket pass attempts with 20 touchdowns and just three interceptions. UCF is set for the future with the potential return of McKenzie Milton and Gabriel waiting in the wings if KZ can't go in 2020.
17. Peyton Ramsey, Indiana
Indiana cracked the top 25 rankings for the first time since the late 90's as Michael Penix gave the Hoosiers a spark early in the season. Ramsey entered the fold after an injury to Penix and has revitalized his career after two average years at the helm in 2017 and 2018. Ramsey is setting career-highs in overall grade, passing grade, yards per attempt and completion percentage as he's trusting his arm and picking his shots at the right time. A loss to Penn State didn't bode well for that top 25 ranking but they're looking at a potential 9-win season with Ramsey leading the charge at the back end and Penix waiting to take over healthy in 2020. With the way Ramsey is playing this season, however, Penix taking over full-time in 2020 isn't a foregone conclusion at this rate, and that's a great thing for Hoosier fans.
16. Jake Luton, Oregon State
There is one thing for sure when watching Luton and the Beavers take the field: except when they play Utah or Washington, this offense is going to score some points. Throwing away those games against top-notch opponents in which the depth of the Utes and Huskies clearly dominated that of Oregon State, Luton has been absolutely dominant this season. He's completed passes at a high rate, avoided turnover-worthy passes and dropped perfectly-placed balls to his skilled players on the outside. For the first time in his career, he entered the season with the same offensive coordinator as the year before and that is paying dividends for his potential next-level stock as well as his overall grade and the Beavers chances to get to a bowl game.
15. Charlie Brewer, Baylor
Brewer nearly pulled off the upset of Oklahoma and pushed the Bears to 10-0 but it wasn't to be. Still, Brewer has looked more like the top-graded quarterback that he was a season ago as of late and has the Bears likely rolling into a rematch with Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game next month. He's a consistent quarterback with a deceptively strong arm and has a great throwing motion to pick his shots and take risks when necessary. Before the back-to-back plays in which he forced throws into Oklahoma LB Nik Bonitto's coverage, Brewer had actually limited the turnover-worthy passes against the Sooners all game long. He's tremendous off play action and one of the nation's best when pressured as he should comfortably get Baylor to the Big 12 championship with wins against Texas or Kansas to close out the year.
14. Brady White, Memphis
White and the Tigers have a chance to thwart Cincinnati's perfect AAC record at the end of the season but have to handle their business against a pesky USF team in Week 13 first. White seems to be that guy yet again for head coach Mike Norvell and Memphis as he's currently averaging a ridiculous 10.3 yards per pass attempt and thrown for a career-high 28 touchdowns through 10 games. He's ninth nationally with 926 deep passing yards while he holds the country's second-best passer rating on deep passes at 136.3. He has a great arm and deceptive range of throws as he's connected on touchdowns to every dimension of the field when throwing past the sticks.
13. Anthony Gordon, Washington State
It hasn't been pretty at times for the whole Cougars team this season but one thing is for sure, Gordon has been lights out and scored at least 31 points in all but two games this year. He's the nation's leader in yards (4,299) and touchdowns (39) while ranking fifth with 24 big-time throws. Despite a large number of throws, Gordon still ranks ninth in the country in terms of adjusted completion percentage, tossing a catchable passes on 79.5% of his attempts. Gordon has been terrific from a clean pocket, throwing 36 touchdowns and 3,700 of his yards, fielding the nation's 11th-best passer rating on clean-pocket throws. Needing one more win to secure a bowl game, Gordon has the potential to light up the field and the scoreboard against Oregon State's poor defense.
12. Shane Buechele, SMU
Looking every bit like the former Texas Longhorn's highly-recruited player, Buechele has taken college football by storm in 2019. He's leading the country in deep passing yards at 1,368 despite attempting a deep pass on just 19.0% of his throws. He's great at buying time in the pocket and extending the play as he's 15th in the country with a passer rating of 109.2 on longer-developing throws but also ranks fourth with 18 touchdowns on quick throws as he's been lights out on any type of pass. He can hit every level of the field with relative ease and has done so with great success as the Mustangs need to win out and get a little luck on their end from Cincinnati to reach the AAC title game. Buechele is clearly the guy to lead this team in that endeavor.
11. Jamie Newman, Wake Forest
He may not have looked it against Clemson but for that matter, what quarterback has looked like their true self against Clemson's top defense? Newman is every bit a class above the ACC quarterbacks not named Trevor and still ranks among the nation's best on throws targeted 10 or more yards downfield. He's hit 54-of-110 passes on such throws for 1,312 yards and 13 touchdowns as he currently ranks as the country's fourth-highest-graded passer on downfield attempts. Wake isn't headed to the ACC title game but their offense certainly poses a threat for any team remaining on their schedule and their bowl game, especially with Newman leading the charge.
10. Mac Jones, Alabama
If one thing is known after the departure of star Tua Tagovailoa, it's that this Alabama offense is as friendly to a quarterback as their is and it's likely set to get friendlier for Jones. They have the best receiving corps in the country for Jones to throw to as well as one of the nation's top running backs to rely on as he'll get a tune-up game against Western Carolina before the Iron Bowl in Week 14. In his lone start this season, Jones had a dominant outing, completing 18-of-22 passes for 235 yards, three scores and no interceptions against Arkansas. He's an accurate quarterback and though he is no Tua, he certainly can become something special if he takes over in turbulent times and leads the Crimson Tide to an 11-1 record this season. We'd rather be on the right side of history here for Jones as the stage is set for big things from him and we'd be stupid to go against a Nick Saban elected starting quarterback.
9. Tanner Morgan, Minnesota
Even with their perfect season dashed by Iowa last week, Morgan and the Gophers have exceeded expectations in 2019. After a middling 61.8 overall grade on 178 dropbacks in 2018, Morgan has churned out an elite 88.2 overall grade and a 90.3 passing grade through 10 games as he's thrown for 22 touchdowns and averages 10.7 yards per attempt. He finds his big three receivers at will and has shown how accurate he can be at times. His shining moment came against Purdue when he completed 21-of-22 passes for four scores while he followed that up with an 18-of-20 game with three touchdowns against Penn State. There are moments in which he can take over the game and that will certainly have to happen when they host Wisconsin for a spot in the Big Ten Championship in Week 14. Against a stout defense, Morgan will have to bring his A-game that we saw against Purdue and Penn State if they want to defeat the Badgers.
8. Brock Purdy, Iowa State
Purdy has flirted with the Heisman Trophy rankings this season at times but after the Oklahoma State performance that saw him essentially throw away the game, he needed strong outings to climb back in these rankings. That's exactly what he did against the team's toughest tests in Oklahoma and Texas as they were a 2-point conversion toss away from upsetting Oklahoma in Week 11. Still, Purdy has put it together in the back half of the season and has graded out above 68.4 in five of his past six games and has the second-highest-graded game from a quarterback this season after his performance against UL-Monroe in Week 4. He's a difference-maker in the Cyclones offense and things are continuing looking up for one of the nation's best downfield passers.
7. Jake Fromm, Georgia
Fromm can't shake the game-manager label unfortunately but that's worked to his benefit following the South Carolina mishap. The Bulldogs have clinched the SEC title game and Fromm certainly has had a lot to do with that. He's connected on 52 passes for 1,175 yards on throws targeted at least 10 yards downfield, throwing 16 big-time throws and just three turnover-worthy passes. When given a clean pocket by his offensive line, something that is more frequent for him than most (77.9%, seventh-highest), Fromm has thrown 15 touchdowns against just two interceptions and his adjusted completion percentage of 74.0% tells a bigger picture. He's a sharp quarterback with his reads and every bit of a top-10 quarterback on a top-10 team.
6. Tyler Huntley, Utah
Huntley is the nation's most underrated downfield thrower of the football as he leads the country with a ridiculous 77.9% adjusted completion percentage on throws targeted at least 10 yards downfield. He's completed 47-of-68 passes at least 10 yards past the line of scrimmage and has connected on 10 touchdowns compared to just one interception. Overall this year, Huntley is the nation's leader in adjusted completion percentage to all levels of the field, throwing a catchable pass on 86.2% of his throws while still throwing for 788 yards on deep shots targeted at least 20 yards downfield to rank 17th-most. In fact, he has the nation's highest passer rating on deep passes at 145.5 while also possessing the third-highest passer rating from a pressured pocket (123.5) and the eighth-highest passer rating from a clean pocket (130.9). It doesn't matter the situation, it doesn't matter the throw attempt, Huntley is every bit of an elite quarterback and deserves every bit of recognition he receives this year.
5. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
The nation's highest-graded quarterback over the past three games is none other than Lawrence as he's completed 75.7% of his passes for 766 yards and 10 touchdowns against zero interceptions in his last three outings. He's shaken off every bit of rust or preseason hype that he bought into to start the season and looks every bit like the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Still, he has now led the Clemson Tigers to commanding victories in every game since their close-victory over North Carolina as they're the odds-on, heavy favorite to win the National Championship. He would be in serious Heisman Trophy consideration had he not had the slip up in the beginning of the season where he surpassed his previous season totals of turnover-worthy passes in just three games but you can bet he's the favorite to win it in 2020.
4. Justin Herbert, Oregon
Kept clean on 76.4% of his dropback attempts, Herbert has the benefit of playing behind the best offensive line in college football and all he's done in respone is field the country's 10th-highest passer rating on clean-pocket attempts. He's completed 188-of-256 clean-pocket attempts for 2,160 yards and 24 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions as he's been an absolute terror to defenses when kept clean. The scary part for opposing defenses as well is the fact that Herbert also ranks 18th in passer rating when pressured. He's thrown 18 big-time throws this year and even though his receivers have dropped 23 of his passes, still is averaging a healthy 8.3 yards per attempt. Through 10 games, Herbert is the nation's highest-graded passer to the intermediate (10-19 yards downfield) range. The potential matchup between Oregon-Herbert and Utah-Huntely gets more and more exciting as the days move on.
3. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
Hurts got himself into a hole against Baylor but was able to dig himself out in the largest come-from-behind victory in Oklahoma history as he's still atop the majority of leaderboards in a vast majority of PFF signature statistics. Hurts has the country's second-highest passer rating from a clean pocket, dissecting defenses to the tune of an 80.4% completion percentage as well as 19 touchdowns against just three interceptions. Even if he is pressured, he's still able to read the defense and get the ball out with terrific ability, ranking fourth in under pressure passer rating at 115.1. When throwing downfield, he's shown an ability that he hadn't shown prior, completing the nation's second-highest percentage of passes (69.1%) on throws at least 10 yards downfield, currently completing 81-of-117 attempts for 1,969 yards and 17 scores. Add to his impressive resume his incredibly efficient ground game that has seen him gain 669 yards on designed carries and 1,050 total rushing yards this year as he's set to break even his previous career-best 1,072 he set back in 2016. He's also owner of the highest game grade we've given to a quarterback in a single game this year, Hurts is absolutely playing himself to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony in the third straight season a Lincoln Riley led transfer QB will be at the ceremony.
2. Justin Fields, Ohio State
If his elite grades on his 173 snaps during his freshman season at Georgia didn't tell us enough, Fields has surpassed what even the loftiest expectations could have been for him this season as he's rattled off seven game grades of 80.0 or higher and elite passing grades in seven as well. Shedding the potential label of dual-threat that he may have been slapped with coming out of high school, Fields is a legit downfield passer and currently the third-highest-graded passer on throws to the intermediate range of the field and third-highest on all throws at least 10 yards downfield. He's completed 69-of-113 attempts on throws 10 or more yards downfield for 1,423 yards and 24 touchdowns compared to just one interception. His passer rating of 140.9 is by far the highest among all quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts downfield. Combine that with the fact that he's gained 494 yards on the ground and 10 more scores and Fields possesses the most legit chance to take down Burrow for the Heisman if he were to falter down the stretch.
1. Joe Burrow, LSU
In a meteoric rise to the top, no quarterback can top the level of play that Burrow has been able to put forth to every level of the field and on any situation. When ‘any quarterback not named Joe Burrow' leads a PFF signature stat category becomes an accomplishment, you know how much of an impact you've made on the landscape of college football. Burrow is the nation's highest-graded passer throws targeted 10 or more yards downfield and on all throws as he also leads the country with 28 big-time throws. He's limited mistakes and thrown just nine turnover-worthy passes all season long despite playing some top-notch defenses in Alabama and Auburn to name a few. Burrow is all but a lock to win the Heisman Trophy this season as he's second in adjusted completion percentage at 83.8% meaning he's testing the defense downfield with great ability while also taking enough care of the football to ensure just his receivers have the ability to bring in the ball and not the defenders. He's the highest-graded passer under pressure and is setting LSU and PFF College records in the process of a historic season, the likes of which we haven't seen.