*Walt taking 2014 and 2018
Charlie Campbell, Senior Draft Analyst
Some Teams Feel 2022 NFL Draft Lacks A Top QB ProspectUpdated Oct. 10, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
From the start of the 2022 NFL Draft process, it has been widely discussed in the scouting community that the 2022 NFL Draft does not look like a good year for quarterback prospects. Now that near the halfway point of the college football season is approaching, WalterFootball.com reached out to team sources to see if that has held true of if there are rising quarterbacks like Joe Burrow in 2019 or Kyler Murray in 2018. Unfortunately for quarterback-needy NFL teams, the answer was a resounding no from multiple sources from around the league.
“There is no one to take or trade the farm for in this draft,” said a director of college scouting from one of the best drafting teams in the NFL.
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral is the consensus top quarterback prospect, but some teams have makeup and character concerns around Corral. Corral himself has stated he had maturity issues early in his college career, but says he has grown and is dedicated to football. Corral has the best shot of any quarterback of being a top-10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but he still has more to prove for that to be become a reality.
Multiple team sources say they have been disappointed in Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler, and there are rumors in the scouting community that the Sooners want Rattler to leave because they believe freshman Caleb Williams will be an upgrade and is a future star.
North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell has received a lot of high first-round projections from some in the media, but in speaking to team sources, they were not grading Howell in that range.
“Howell is way overrated,” said a national scout. “The Cincinnati kid (Desmond Ridder) is better. There are no high-level quarterbacks this year, and the media is dying to crown somebody. Hearing them talk about these guys is pretty funny.”
Here is what one director of college scouting said about Howell, “The need at the position always gets guys over-drafted, but a team wouldn’t be wrong grading him on Day 2 as an overall prospect. He’s not a ‘wow’ talent, but has skills. He’s a less mobile, less twitchy Baker Mayfield.”
A different director of college scouting echoed similar thoughts independently, “It’s a thin quarterback class, so some quarterback prospects will get pushed higher by default. He is one of the better prospects in a thin class. First round is too rich for me though.”
Another quarterback who has received some first-round projections is Liberty’s Malik Willis. Willis is known for his powerful arm and dangerous running ability, and that skill set could cause him to be one of those quarterbacks who is pushed higher by default.
“No, he’s in the same boat as Howell,” said a director of college scouting. “But a team could fall in love with his legs and arm talent combo. Those two aren’t universal top-five picks, and they project as limited starters. Both are short and get blinded in the pocket.”
One quarterback who is rising as a mid-round or second-day prospect is Pittburgh’s Kenny Pickett. Pickett has been on fire in 2021, completing 72 percent of his passes for 1,731 yards with 19 touchdowns and one interception. He’s also shown some mobility and toughness as a runner.
Some team sources feel the weak 2022 quarterback class will help NFL teams that are interested in trading their established starters. Those sources feel it could help up the price of players like Deshaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers. It also could improve the value for other possible trade candidates like Matt Ryan or Jared Goff. Perhaps there will be a late prospect who emerges, but as it stands right now, sources from across the NFL feel this is a weak quarterback class without true high first-round talents.