The 2022 NFL Draft quarterback class is going to be heavily scrutinized for the next seven months. My personal rankings have fluctuated multiple times this season as no one seems to want to take command of being the true top QB. There is no Trevor Lawrence in this class. The passer that everyone knows is going in the top spot no matter what.
On the surface, the 2022 class doesn’t appear to be historically bad. There are talented players who should end up in round one. But what if the underclassmen stay in school?
Let’s examine those possibilities, but first, let’s go back to that 2013 draft class and shake our heads in derision.
HISTORICALLY BAD 2013 QB CLASS
The 2013 NFL Draft class as a whole was fairly terrible. However, the quarterback position was especially atrocious.
The near-universal top-rated QB that season was Geno Smith from West Virginia. Smith would ultimately be taken in the second round. He would start for multiple teams over the season but was never really any good. He is currently a backup QB for Seattle.
Then Florida State QB EJ Manuel parlayed a tremendous week at the Senior Bowl into being a first-round pick of the Bills. Manuel started 18 games over five seasons with middling success.
In fact, you could argue that the best QB from the 2013 class was a third-round pick, Mike Glennon. Glennon has started 27 games thus far in his career with most of his “success” coming in his rookie season.
You never anticipate going into a class that it will be that bad. You never look at a group and think none of these players will ever lead their team to the playoffs. So, can we look at the 2022 class that way? Maybe.
CAN THE 2022 QB CLASS BE THAT BAD?
The answer is yes but with a caveat. If for some crazy reason all of the underclassmen stay in school then the pickings could get pretty slim. If you look right now, 8 of the top 10 QBs in my rankings are underclassmen. The odds of them all staying in school are low but one must always be prepared for an Armageddon-type scenario.
Malik Willis of Liberty is currently my top-rated senior passer. And he is someone I am not sold on that can be an immediate contributor. Kenny Pickett of Pitt is having a tremendous early portion of the 2021 season. But he will be a 24-year-old rookie. After that, you get into guys like Jake Haener (Fresno State), EJ Perry (Brown), and Bailey Zappe (Western Kentucky) who are all solid day three type prospects but probably not anyone you will be saying are franchise saviors.
So, if you don’t want to have flashbacks to the petrifying days of franchise QB EJ Manuel, then hope a handful of these juniors declare for the draft.