DEVY QBs: Opening Week Risers & Fallers
It’s never too early in the year to start looking at the future of the NFL, and while we are only one (technically two if you want to consider Week 0) week into the College Football Season it’s never too late to start keeping track of who's doing what. In both Dynasty and Redraft it is absolutely valuable to know the ins and outs of the rookie class, and there’s no better way to prepare than hearing about those who perform on a consistent basis, or those who faceplant week-in and week-out. Now, enough rambling, let’s get into the meat and potatoes since that’s what you’re here for.
Top-3 QB Risers of Week 1
Bryce Young - University of Alabama
(Photo Credit: John Bazemore / AP)
27/38 for 344 Yards & 4TD’s (71% Completion, 9.05 Y/A)
2 Rush Attempts for -1 Rush Yard & 0 TD’s
This was the first game we got to see from Young, and he did NOT disappoint. His pocket presence and awareness looked like he had been there before, and his ability to utilize his legs to extend plays was as good as advertised. While his rushing stat line didn’t scream mobile, Young definitely is. His ball placement was great, and the Miami Hurricanes didn’t have an answer for him. My biggest takeaway from his first Collegiate start was this; he’s Russ Wilson lite. He has a knack for making throws on the run and is extremely accurate while doing so. During game one, I got A LOT of Tua Tagovailoa flashes from Young, which is great to see.
Desmond Ridder - University of Cincinnati
20/25 for 295 Yards, 4 TD’s & 1 INT (80% Completion, 11.8 Y/A)
6 Rush Attempts for 31 Yards & 1 TD
Ridder’s first pass from scrimmage was a BEAUTIFUL 81-yard pass (54ish air yards) for a score, and that set the tone for the rest of the game perfectly. His one interception was a bullet that bounced off his receiver's chest and hands (a little high, possibly a little hard), but earlier in the game he had a would-be interception that was a touch pass gone wrong. Other than those two passes, there wasn’t a blemish on Ridder’s game. My biggest takeaways were that Ridder’s deep balls have the perfect amount of arm strength, touch, and placement on them to put them right where they need to be and that he has the speed and mobility to be a great dual-threat QB.
Matt Corral - Ole Miss
22/32 for 381 Yards & 1 TD (68.7% Completion, 11.9 Y/A)
12 Rush Attempts for 55 Yards & 1 TD
I’m writing this as this game is going on and had to hold off on finishing my risers so I can include Matt Corral here. Corral put everyone on last year, but boy did he blow my expectations out of the water week one. There is a lot of Zach Wilson in Corral’s game, and if you like Wilson, then you should keep an eye on Corral. He showcased that he has EVERYTHING in his arsenal to be successful at the next level. Corral has all the arm talent in the world and has a BEAUTIFUL throwing motion. Throwing motion doesn’t matter if you can’t make the play, but he has no problem doing that, either. I was more impressed by his body language and footwork than anything, to be honest. You can tell the Great QBs apart from the Good just by those two qualities, and Corral showcased both. In one play, in particular, Corral showed the ability to utilize his entire body to sell the play one way and go another way by drawing the safety back over the middle of the field with his eyes, body, and pump fakes. He had his first read locked up and within a matter of a second, he was able to turn and read back across the field to recognize that he pulled said safety over the middle, allowing him to make the play downfield. My biggest takeaway is this; It’s entirely possible for Matt Corral to be the QB1 from the 2022 class.
Top-3 QB Fallers of Week 1
JT Daniels - Georgia
22/30 for 135 Yards & 1 INT (73% Completion, 4.5 Y/A)
2 Rush Attempts for -8 Yards
It was not a pretty outing for JT Daniels, but it wasn’t completely awful. He did what he needed to get the win, which is great, but nothing he did stood out, and quite honestly he did some things that raised some eyebrows. For starters, the play calling wasn’t the greatest, and we saw a lot of short passes and dump-offs. It was obvious that Georgia OC Todd Monken had a game plan to get the ball out of Daniels’ hands as quickly as possible, which left a lot to be desired on the field. We saw a lot of first-read passes and not much else. We saw a lot of high balls that were bailed out by the athletic pass-catchers, too. Despite all this though, the most concerning was his lone interception, as it looked like he wasn’t even scanning the field. Clemson LB Baylon Spector was shadowing the left side of the field and it was thrown almost perfectly to him. My biggest takeaway? Daniels lacked the mentality of a great QB and was (obviously) carried by a defense in a game where he was needing to show out as a prospective NFL QB.
DJ Uiagalelei - Clemson
(Photo Credit: Ralph Russo / AP)
19/37 for 178 Yards & 1 INT (51% Completion, 4.8 Y/A)
Honestly? Georgia’s defense is GOOD. I mean, REALLY, REALLY good. I want to talk about the positives in DJU’s game first. He did a good job of going through the reads and recognizing who was open and who wasn’t and he made some good passes that you would expect out of DJU, but that’s it. There wasn’t more that I liked from his outing last weekend. His footwork in the pocket was poor and he failed to utilize his legs to extend plays/scramble. It was almost as though his feet were cemented into the pocket and when he did try to extend the play/scramble it was far too late. He was too zoned in on what was happening downfield, that he failed to acknowledge the rush, whether it was just a three-man rush or they sent extra pressure. My biggest takeaway is that DJU has a lot of work to do in the pocket and with his eyes. He needs to keep his feet moving and needs to be able to recognize when the pocket is collapsing/when the rush is coming before it happens so he has time to extend the play.
Graham Mertz - Wisconsin
22/37 for 185 yards & 2 INT’s (59% Completion, 5 Y/A)
Mertz was a top 3 Pro-Style QB coming out of high school, and rightfully so. He was a BALLER in high school, but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. I’m not writing him off completely, but he’s far off my radar for QB prospects moving forward. I won’t say much as I don’t have anything good to say and I’m not one to intentionally and constantly bash a college athlete, but I will say this; Mertz lacked the mental ability to stay calm when his team needed him the most, throwing both of his interceptions with 3 minutes left in the game trailing by 6. One was supposed to be a lob to his TE in the endzone which ended up being almost a hybrid between a lob and a touch pass, and the other was greatly overthrown and not even close to being on target.