Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Zach Wilson. It seems like every year we see at least one quarterback skyrocket up boards as the draft process comes to a close. The NFL tends to overvalue and over-rate quarterbacks, moreso over the past decade. Josh Allen has proved his worth, Joe Burrow proved his over only ten games. Zach Wilson is the latest case study to show his talents after a singular dominant collegiate season.
As collegiate teams end their spring workouts and head into summer training camp, NFL teams begin to look to build their teams for the future. Which quarterback could catapult their draft stock and become some teams future QB1?
J.T. Daniels – Georgia 6’3” 210 lbs
A former five-star recruit in high school, J.T. Daniels committed to USC and earned the starting gig as a true freshman. In 12 games at USC Daniels completed 60.7% of his passes and threw 15 touchdowns along with 11 interceptions. In his first sophomore game, he suffered a season-ending knee injury. The starting job was lost to Kedon Slovis, and Daniels immediately entered the transfer portal.
Daniels found his way to the University of Georgia where he eventually became the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs. In four games in Athens, Daniels completed 67.2% of his passes while throwing 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He helped lead the Bulldogs to a Peach Bowl championship throwing for 392 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He heads into the 2021 season as the starter for Georgia and a chance to push his name to the top of the draft class.
J.T. Daniels has an above average arm and likes to let it loose. He has an accurate deep ball, but is best on reads that get the ball out of his hand quickly: slants, hitches, out routes. He needs to work on pocket presence and being more comfortable under pressure, but he has shown, even in his short collegiate career, he has what it takes to make it to the Big Leagues.
Malik Willis – Liberty 6’1” 215lbs
Malik Willis was a three-star prospect coming out of high school. He committed to Auburn where he was the backup quarterback for two seasons before transferring to Liberty to show his talents at quarterback. As a junior, Willis led Liberty to a top 25 ranking completing 64.2% of his passes with 2,260 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. He also ran for 944 yards and another 14 touchdowns.
Malik Willis is a true dual threat. The first thing you notice on tape is the untamed rocket launcher for an arm. But he also has the running abilities like that of Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray. Unlike most dual threat college quarterbacks, Willis always looks to throw first. But once he takes off, good luck taking him down. Willis is electric in the open field with patience and vision to take every run the distance.
Much like Josh Allen, Willis will have to learn when to take velocity of the ball. In 2020, he struggled with touch passes deep down the field. He also has to gain more awareness in the pocket and not be afraid to take his losses and throw the ball away. Malik Willis has all the tools needed to be a star at the next level and can use the 2021 season to showcase his abilities.
Carson Strong – Nevada 6’4” 215 lbs
Another three-star recruit in high school, Carson Strong committed to Nevada and earned the starting job heading into his redshirt freshman season. He only threw for 2300 yards and 11 touchdowns during that campaign but improved significantly last season. During his redshirt sophomore year, Strong threw for 2859 yards, completing 70.1% of his passes. He also racked up 27 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
Strong won’t wow you with his athleticism or off script plays, but his accuracy is top notch. He’s incredibly smart and patient in the pocket with a good arm. He excels with back shoulder passes and has excellent placement on fade routes in the red zone.
Carson Strong does have a tendency to lock on to his first read, but if he can continue to improve and add a little more off script ability to his game in 2021, his stock could increase exponentially. He has all the size and brains you’d want in your franchise QB and could be dominant in a west coast; quick-release offense.
Other candidates: Matt Corral (Ole Miss), Desmond Ritter (UC)