Top 2022 NFL Draft Prospects: Rookie Quarterbacks

Top 2022 NFL Draft Prospects: Rookie Quarterbacks
Top 2022 NFL Draft Prospects: Rookie Quarterbacks

As we draw closer to the NFL draft, many are wondering who the top quarterback prospects are, and how do they rank. I am here to help you with that. This is the final installment of the SGPN Draft series, spotlighting our top 10 at each position. I will be targeting the quarterback position this week.  I hope to shed light on a few of the top prospects this year for you. Although there is no Trevor Lawrence or Joe Burrow in this class there are a few names who have solid potential. With the proper development, these players could get to those heights. With that being said let’s look at the top 10 2022 NFL Draft quarterback prospects, along with some potential landing spots.

Top 2022 NFL Draft Prospects: Rookie Quarterbacks

1. Kenny Pickett – Pittsburgh

Measurables: 6-3, 221 lbs.
Projected Round: 1st
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Denver, Washington 
Player Comp: More athletic Matt Ryan 

Kenny Pickett joined the Panthers as a three-star recruit out of Ocean Township High School in New Jersey.  He was the 33rd ranked pro-style quarterback in his class according to 247 Sports.  As a freshman, he saw the field in 4 games producing modest numbers. However, in 2018 he would start 14 games in which he threw for 1,969 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. As a Junior, he would surpass 3,000 yards passing, while throwing 13 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.  In only 9 games as a senior, he threw for 2,408 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. After the 2020 season, he opted to return for his redshirt senior year. This is where it all came together for him, he went on to throw for 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. Along with leading the ACC in touchdowns, pass completion percentage, and passing efficiency rating.

As we look forward to a potential NFL Career, Kenny Pickett brings a lot of good traits. He has a big strong frame that allows him to stay tall in the pocket and absorb contact. While also possessing good mobility to escape the rush and good pocket awareness. As far as arm talent he can get good velocity on his throws even while on the run. His arm strength is lacking at times; however, he has great accuracy which allows him to place a ball into any window. Pairing all of this with a great competitive fire and composer in big moments, he has everything a franchise quarterback needs. I fully expect him to be drafted as the top quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft. My expected landing spots are either Denver or Washington.

2. Malik Willis – Liberty

Measurables: 6-0, 220 lbs.
Projected Round: 1st
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Denver, Washington, New Orleans, Detroit 
Player Comp: More mobile Donovan Mcnabb 

Upon joining the CFB ranks Malik Willis was the 21st ranked athlete according to 247 sports. He started his career in Auburn where he played two seasons, he only threw 14 total passes for the Tigers. As a Junior, he transferred to Liberty to get a chance at a starting job. It was here that he began his ascent to the top of draft boards. In year one he threw for 2,250 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. He would pair this with 944 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. As a redshirt junior, he put up similar numbers to 2020, with 2,857 yards passing, 27 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Along with 878 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. It was clear he was a true dual-threat quarterback.

Looking at him from a prospect level we see a ton of raw ability and talent. As a dual-threat quarterback, he has a solid frame and build to stand up to the tougher competition at the NFL level. Although he is dynamic with his legs his arm talent should not be overlooked. He can put great velocity on the ball with ease, this allows him to fit the ball in tight windows all over the field. Along with that, he has great arm strength which allows him to hit any area of the field at any moment for any throwing platform. Pairing all of this together he is a weapon at the position. I expect him to get drafted in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft and could become the best quarterback from the class. Potential landing spots include Denver, Washington, New Orleans, and Detroit.

3. Sam Howell – North Carolina

Measurables: 6-1, 225 lbs.
Projected Round: 1st-2nd
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Detroit 
Player Comp: Poor man’s Baker Mayfield 

Sam Howell joined the Tar Heels as the 3rd ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 class according to 247 sports. His talent was evident early on, as a freshman he threw for over 3,600 yards and 38 touchdowns. He followed that up with over 3,500 yards passing and 30 touchdowns in 2020. While also adding 147 yards rushing. Over these two years, he led the ACC in touchdown passes. This past season as a Junior his rushing ability really became clear as he rushed for over 800 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also completed his third season with over 3,000 passing yards. Over his career, he has shown great consistency and an ability to help win games through the air and on the ground.

In the 2022 NFL Draft class, he has the safest floor of the quarterbacks, although his upside may be limited. As a thrower, he has great velocity on the ball, especially in the short to intermediate areas. However, he does not have the deep ball strength many would like in a top prospect. On the other hand, he can deliver a super accurate ball for multiple arm angles. This season we saw him develop into a true dual-threat quarterback who didn’t shy away from contact. He is a fierce competitor who will stand in the pocket and take a hit to deliver the ball. Due to a down season, he has begun to slip down draft boards. I could see him going anywhere from the middle of the first round to the late second round. I think Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Detroit are the potential spots.

4. Matt Corral – Ole Miss

Measurables: 6-2, 205 lbs.
Projected Round: 1st-2nd
Potential NFL Landing Spots: New Orleans, Washington, Pittsburgh  
Player Comp: Skinnier Dak Prescott   

Coming out of Long Beach Poly Matt Corral was a 4-star recruit, ranking as the 4th best pro-style quarterback in the 2018 class. In 2018 he did not see the field too much. However, in 2019 he would appear in 10 games, throwing for 1,362 yards and 6 touchdowns. In 2020 everything started coming together for him as he posted a 3,337 yard passing season with 29 touchdowns. Although he would throw 14 interceptions that year. This past season he posted his second 3,000 yard season while throwing 20 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. Throughout his whole college career, he has posed a dual-threat. He rushed for 1,338 total yards over the four years and scored 18 touchdowns.

Fast forward to next year, we should expect to see a quarterback who needs some grooming. He does not have the strongest arms in the class but has shown the ability to stretch the field at times. His quick release and accuracy have really improved, helping him become a serious threat in the RPO passing game. Also, he has good pocket manipulation and mobility when it breaks down. This mobility allows him to pick up good yardage on scrambles, along with designed runs. Overall, he will need to continue to improve his decision-making and progressions. The talent is there for him to succeed at the next level, landing spot and coaching will play a huge part in his future. As we look at the 2022 NFL draft, I project him to be the quarterback for teams like New Orleans, Washington, or possibly Pittsburgh.

5. Carson Strong – Nevada

Measurables: 6-3, 226 lbs.
Projected Round: 2nd
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, Pittsburgh 
Player Comp: Skinnier Ben Roethlisberger 

Carson Strong was not highly recruited, coming to the Wolf Pack as the 76th ranked pro-style quarterback according to 247 sports. After completing a redshirt season in 2018, he had a chance to appear in 10 games in 2019. He went on to throw for 2,335 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. In 2020 he made a huge jump to lead the Mountain West Conference in almost every passing category. If his 2,858 yards and 27 touchdowns were not impressive enough, he only threw 4 interceptions. As a Junior this past year he took a huge leap forward passing for over 4000 yards and 36 touchdowns. These marks again led the Mountain West Conference. However, his legs never helped him too much as he totaled -305 yards for his career at Nevada.

Looking forward to the quarterback class in the 2022 NFL draft I believe he has a chance to be one of the best. He does lack any mobility outside the pocket however if he can develop in his pocket manipulation, he will find success. Although he is lacking in mobility his arm strength and decision-making are NFL ready. He has shown good ability pre-snap to help set up players, then he makes the right read most of the time. However, he has shown some hurry to his game and forces the ball at times. With NFL coaching I think Carson Strong could become a solid NFL starter. Potential landing spots for him are Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, Pittsburgh.

6. Desmond Ridder – Cincinnati

Measurables: 6-3, 207 lbs.
Projected Round: 2nd
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay 
Player Comp: More Mobile Ryan Tannehill 

Upon joining the Bearcats, Desmond Ridder was only a three-star recruit. However, he appeared in all 13 games and threw for over 2,400 yards and 20 touchdowns as a freshman. He would follow up his solid freshman season with two 2,000 yard passing seasons. Along with throwing for 37 touchdowns over that span. As a senior this year he took a step forward and threw for over 3,000 yards for the first time and added 30 passing touchdowns. Thought out his career at Cincinnati he was always an effective runner. He totaled 2,180 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns in his four years.

As an NFL prospect, he possesses a great ability to throw on the run and move with the pocket. His mobility is a key part of his game and will help him succeed in an RPO-style offense.  As a passer, he has shown good accuracy and ball placement, however, he lacks consistency. He has improved his speed in his release over his career. This paired with his overall arm strength allows him to use every part of the field. He has flashed in every important facet of the game; he just has not been able to do it on a regular basis. In a solid landing spot with good coaching, he could become a solid NFL starter. With all of this, I expect him to get drafted in the second round, teams that could take a chance are Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay.

7. Bailey Zappe – Western Kentucky

Measurables: 6-1, 220 lbs.
Projected Round: 3rd-4th
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Houston 
Player Comp: Gardner Minshew without the swag  

Bailey Zappe transferred from Houston Baptist to Western Kentucky for the 2021 season. Upon his arrival, it was apparent that he had a ton of talent. He exploded for 5,987 passing yards and 62 touchdowns. These led the NCAA, he also led in passing attempts with 687. He also added 3 touchdowns rushing touchdowns and 17 rushing yards. This was a very impressive first season in the Conference USA.

Looking toward the 2022 NFL draft he could be a surprise quarterback that emerges as a star. If his stats were not impressive enough his mental makeup is even more impressive.  He carried academic honors thought out college. This shows up on the field in his ability to make pre-snap adjustments and read defenses and understand them. His pocket awareness and movability make him a hard player to sack. He has good footwork and mechanics. This leads to great accuracy and solid arm strength; however, he could improve his deep ball some. With all the upside he possesses I expect him to get drafted as early as the 3rd-4th rounds this spring. A few teams that I could see taking a shot on him are Atlanta, Houston, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay.

8. EJ Perry- Brown

Measurables: 6-2, 210 lbs.
Projected Round: 5th-6th
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Indianapolis, Minnesota,  Houston
Player Comp: Younger Taylor Heinicke 

Ej Perry was not a high recruit entering his college career out of Andover, Massachusetts. However, he did land at Boston College. As a freshman, he only attempted 39 passes that went for 277 yards and 2 touchdowns for Boston College. In 2019 he transferred to Brown; it was here that his development started to show. He threw for over 2,900 yards 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. In 2021 he continued to show off his talents throwing for 3,034 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. It was clear he could beat you through the air, however, he also could beat you with his legs. He rushed for over 1000 yards in the two seasons at Brown. He also added 15 touchdowns on the ground as well.

Looking forward to Ej Perry in the 2022 NFL draft class, he could surprise many and get drafted early than expected. He has shown a great base of work, plus, he has a strong and accurate arm. He pairs this with good eye discipline and manipulation, this allows him to fit the ball into tight windows. Although he will need to work on not forcing balls and reading through progressions, he has a ton of mental toughness. However, his mobility and pocket awareness could be considered NFL-ready. He makes plays with his legs regularly and has a magician-like way about him. As a project player, I expect him to be drafted in the 5th round or later this year. A few teams who may take a shot on him are Indianapolis, Minnesota, and Houston.

9. Brock Purdy- Iowa State

Measurables: 6-1, 220 lbs.
Projected Round: 5th-6th
Potential NFL Landing Spots: New York G., Minnesota,  Cleveland 
Player Comp: Cheaper Chase Daniels 

In 2018 Brock Purdy joined the Cyclones, at the time he was the 36th rank pro-style quarterback in his class. He quickly won the starting job as a true freshman. He went on to throw for over 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns that year. In 2019 he had his best college season throwing for 3,982 yards which led the Big-12. He also added 27 passing touchdowns and 8 rushing touchdowns. As a junior and senior, he had solid years throwing for 2,750 yards and 3,188 yards. He would only throw 19 touchdowns each of those seasons. Although he is not a true dual-threat quarterback, he had decent escape ability totaling over 1,000 yards rushing in his four years at Iowa State.

As we look at the quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL draft class, I think he will be a solid NFL backup. He displays decent arm talent; however, he struggles with accuracy in the deeper portions of the field. The lack of strength limits him too short to intermediate throws. Also, he lacks the ability to progress through all his reads and if he is pressured, he tends to panic and force balls. Most of the time these result in interceptions. He will need to work on his mechanics and release if he hopes to improve. I think he possesses even raw talent that a team will take a chance on him later in the draft. He could develop into a top backup quarterback in the right system and coaching. I think a few teams like New York G., Minnesota, or positively even Cleveland, could take the chance on him.

10. Jack Coan- Notre Dame

Measurables: 6-3, 223 lbs.
Projected Round: 6th-7th
Potential NFL Landing Spots: Indianapolis, Minnesota, Tennessee 
Player Comp: Shorter Carson Wentz 

Jack Coan started his college career at Wisconsin, out of West Sayville, New York. In his first two years, he only appeared in 8 games for the Badgers. However, in 2019 as a junior, he appeared in 14 games and threw for 2,727 yards and 18 touchdowns. In 2020 he suffered, an injury and he looked to have lost the starting job for 2021. He then transferred to Notre Dame where he would appear in 13 games. Throwing for 3,150 yards, which led the Independent ranks. He was also second in passing touchdowns with 25. One of his better traits is not turning the ball over as he only has 14 career interceptions. However, he lacks much mobility as h has -111 yards rushing.

As an NFL prospect in this 2022 quarterback class, he is considered a work in progress. He has great arm strength with allows him to fit the ball into almost any window. His ability to make his way through progressions is solid, however, he is best when not asked to go through a ton. Due to his size and mechanics, he has a somewhat slower release than you would like. This only proves to be a problem when he’s off schedule or under pressure. One of his best traits is ball security and has the awareness to just eat a sack if nothing is there. With all these traits he has the potential to be a spot starter. However, he will need some time and good coaching to develop into much more than that. Some potential late-round landing spots for him could be Indianapolis, Minnesota, or Tennessee.


Top 2022 NFL Draft Prospects: Rookie Quarterbacks

Name School Measurables Proj. Round
Potential landing spots
Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh 6-3,217lbs 1st
Denver, Washington
Malik Willis Liberty 6-0,220lbs 1st
Denver, Washington, New Orleans, Detroit
Sam Howell UNC 6-1,225lbs 1st-2nd
Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Detroit
Matt Corral Ole Miss 6-2,205lbs 1st-2nd
New Orleans, Washington, Pittsburgh
Carson Strong Nevada 6-3,226lbs 2nd
Denver, Detroit, Atlanta, Pittsburgh
Desmond Ridder Cincinnati 6-3,207lbs 2nd
Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay
Bailey Zappe Western Kentucky 6-1,220lbs 3rd-4th
Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Houston
EJ Perry “}”>EJ Perry Brown 6-2,210lbs 5th-6th
Indianapolis, Minnesota, Houston
Brock Purdy Iowa State 6-1,220lbs 5th-6th
New York G., Minnesota, Cleveland
Jack Coan Norte Dame 6-2,223lbs 6th-7th
Indianapolis, Minnesota, Tennessee


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