The 2017 campaign turned out to be the Year of the Quarterback and it showed in the 2018 draft. This year, five quarterback’s heard their name called in the first round. Though there’s a new batch of signal-callers captaining college huddles, don’t expect a huge drop off in talent. Enjoy 4MP’s definitive list of the five best to field generals of 2018.
Drew Lock (Missouri)
In terms of NFL upside, Lock has the makings of a future starter. His size (6-foot-4), cannon for an arm (which he used to lead the nation with 44 touchdown tosses in 2017) and ability to make plays with his feet in the pocket have drawn comparisons to Chief’s first-round pick in 2016, Patrick Mahomes. Also like the aforementioned Mahomes, Lock has juice; check out the rocket and celebration here. Sure to author a host of throws that’ll have GMs running back-and-forth from their desk to Como, he’ll be the first quarterback off the board in the upcoming draft -- I'll put money up on it. Enjoy watching the Mizzou slinger torment the SEC.
Matchups to Watch: Sept. 22nd vs. Georgia, Oct. 13th vs. Alabama
Two of the nation’s top defenses. If Lock delivers huge performances in either of these outings, his stock should skyrocket.
Khalil Tate (Arizona)
The kid from Inglewood went berserk after taking over Arizona’s starting job one month into the 2017 campaign. He set an FBS record for most rushing yards by a quarterback, totaling a whopping 327 during a victory over Colorado. Won a conference-record four consecutive Pac-12 Player of the Week awards. And completed 62 percent of his passes. With Kevin Sumlin (best known for turning a no-name Johnny Manziel into “Johnny Football”) taking over for Arizona in 2018, I’m going to go out on a limb and say there’s a 100 percent chance Tate finishes in the top 4 during Heisman voting.
Matchup to watch: Sept. 8th @ Houston
Tate vs. consensus No. 1 pick Ed Oliver Jr. should be a doozy. Get ya popcorn ready.
Trace McSorley (Penn State)
Much like 2017’s Heisman Trophy winner and No.1 draft pick Baker Mayfield, McSorley is an undersized flamethrower who has a knack for orchestrating the seemingly impossible by using his legs to evade pressure, his eyes to locate open receivers and his arm to zip passes into places only the intended target can catch. Though he won’t have Saquon Barkley to help take pressure off the passing game in 2018, don’t be surprised if the senior signal-caller leads the Big 10 in passing touchdowns.
Matchups to watch: Sept. 29th vs. Ohio State, Nov. 3rd vs. Michigan
The Big Ten is loaded this year, but these two teams should provide the stiffest challenge defensively. If he wins both these games and leads Penn State to the conference crown, a Heisman could be on its way to Happy Valley.
Will Grier (West Virginia)
After sitting out 2016, the Florida transfer took over the Mountaineers’ starting quarterback job the following season and captained one of the nation’s premier aerial assaults. In his first campaign inside of Dana Holgorsen’s pass-happy offense, Grier threw for 3,490 yards, 34 scores and generated enough excitement to keep booze-crazed Morgantown flowing with Natty Light. Look for him to explode as a senior. Stay thirsty West Virginia.
Matchups to Watch: Nov. 16th vs. TCU, Nov. 23rd vs. Oklahoma
Both of these contests are slated to be shootouts as he’ll go up against TCU’s Shawn Robinson and Oklahoma’s wunderkind Kyler Murray. May the best gunslinger win.
Jake Fromm (Georgia)
I know freshman quarterback Justin Fields has had media nerds foaming at the mouth since arriving in Athens during the Spring. With that being said, Fromm is still the undisputed starter at Georgia and shouldn’t be forgotten. As a freshman, he looked the part of a seasoned veteran, blocking out the noise that comes with playing on the SEC’s grand stage and orchestrating the Bulldogs’ offense like a magician, tossing 24 touchdowns to seven picks while bringing his squad an inch away from a national title. Given his familiarity with the system and a fully stocked cabinet of weapons at wideout, the sophomore should continue to light up the skies.
Matchup to watch: Oct. 13th vs. LSU
LSU boasts one of the nation’s top cornerbacks in Greedy Williams. The back-and-forth between those two shall be riveting, as the signal-caller looks to show off his cannon against a first-round defensive back.
Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State)
Ryan Finley (NC State)
Kyler Murray (Oklahoma)
Justin Hebert (Oregon)
Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama)