Preseason Top 10 QB’s Entering the 2017 College Football Season
1) Sam Darnold, USC Trojans
Darnold was spectacular as a freshman last year as he led the Trojans to an exciting Rose Bowl victory over Penn State. He threw for 3,086 yards and 31 scores and added 250 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Darnold has to be one of the favorites to win the Heisman and I also look for him to be the first QB taken in the 2018 NFL draft. He is a special player.
2) Lamar Jackson, Louisville Cardinals
Jackson will have a hard time topping last season’s Heisman Trophy. But, he is the perfect college quarterback. Last season in 13 games, Jackson threw for 3,543 yards and 30 scores and added 1,571 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground. It will be almost impossible for Jackson to duplicate that season, but he is talented enough to lead the Cardinals to a New Year’s Six Bowl game.
3) Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma Sooners
Don’t be surprised if Mayfield wins the Heisman and leads the Sooners to the NCAA playoffs. Mayfield set a new FBS single-season pass efficiency rating (196.4) in 2016 and threw for 3,965 yards and 40 touchdowns, while leading the Sooners to a Big 12 title. He lost star wide receiver DeDe Westbrook, but he will still be surrounded by a talented group of offensive weapons.
4) Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Cowboys’ hope for a conference title will rest on the capable shoulders of Rudolph and receiver James Washington. Rudolph accounted for 4,091 yards and 28 touchdowns last year, and I expect he may put up even more amazing stats next year.
5) Quinton Flowers, South Florida Bulls
Flowers is one of the most dynamic players in all of college football and I really think he could lead the Bulls to a New Year’s Six Bowl. He had a great season last year, as he completed 62.5 percent of his throws for 2,812 yards and 24 scores. Flowers also led the Bulls with 1,530 rushing yards and 18 scores.
6) J.T. Barrett, Ohio State Buckeyes
Barrett was the full-time starter last year and ended 2016 with 3,400 total yards and 33 overall scores. Barrett’s shortcomings were exposed in the playoff loss to Clemson. Coach Urban Meyer went out and got former Indiana Head Coach Kevin Wilson to be the offensive coordinator. With Wilson at the controls, another run at the Heisman Trophy isn’t out of the question for Barrett.
7) Josh Allen, Wyoming Cowboys
Do not be surprised if, by the end of the 2017 season, Josh Brown is in the top three on this list and a first round draft pick in the NFL draft. Allen is the size that NFL scouts love and has great arm strength. The question with Allen will hinge on his consistency, which he struggled with last year.
8) Jake Browning, Washington Huskies
Losing John Ross to the NFL will make things tough on Browning, but he is a talented, smart player with a great football coach in Chris Peterson. After throwing for 3,430 yards and 43 scores in 2016, Browning has set the bar high for himself and the Huskies in 2017.
9) Trace McSorley, Penn State Nittany Lions
McSorley is a tough kid who has a knack for coming up big in big situations, just ask Wisconsin. McSorley took over the starting job last season and finished with 3,614 passing yards and 29 scores, while also adding 365 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.
10) Luke Falk, Washington State Cougars
Falk may be more than just a product of Coach Mike Leach’s air raid system at Washington State. Falk has good arm strength and moves well in the pocket. He could be an air raid QB that can play at the next level.