2022 CFB QB Rankings

If Anthony Richardson plays like he did while leading Florida on four straight touchdown drives at LSU last year, the Gators might be one of the nation’s biggest surprises in Billy Napier’s first season.

Published on Tuesday, 7/26/22, at 1:35 p.m. Eastern.

1-Bryce Young (Alabama): You can’t ask for much more out of a first-year starter than a Heisman Trophy, an SEC title (by beating the eventual national champion in a blowout) and an appearance in the College Football Playoff finals, can you? And, truth be told, if Young doesn’t lose his top two targets in WRs John Metchie and Jameson Williams to injuries, chances are really flippin’ good that Alabama is going for a three-peat this year. Young completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 4,872 yards with a 47/7 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Although Metchie and Williams are gone, the Crimson Tide landed WRs Jermaine Burton (Georgia) and Tyler Harrell (Louisville) from the transfer portal.

2-CJ Stroud (Ohio St.): Here’s another first-year starter who absolutely crushed it last season. Stroud connected on 71.9 percent of his throws for 4,435 yards with a 44/6 TD-INT ratio. Like Young, he loses a pair of big-time WRs (Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave), but Jaxon Smith Njigba (95 catches for 1,606 yards and nine TDs) returns. Stroud finished third nationally in completion percentage, fifth in passing yards, second in passing yards per attempt (10.1), second in adjusted passing yards per attempt (11.4) and third in TD passes.

3-Caleb Williams (USC): Williams started only seven of the 11 games he appeared in as a true freshman at Oklahoma last season. He followed his HC Lincoln Riley to Southern Cal, where he’ll get an opportunity to throw to Jordan Addison, the transfer from Pitt who won the Biletnikoff Award in 2021. Williams connected on 136-of-211 passes for 1,912 yards with a 21/4 TD-INT ratio. He is one of the nation’s most dangerous weapons with his legs, rushing for 442 yards and six TDs on 79 attempts (5.6 yards per carry). As we saw in his game-saving play on fourth down in OU’s fortunate comeback win at Kansas, Williams is a high-IQ football player.

4-Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina): In 22 career starts over the past two seasons, McCall has led the Chanticleers to a 20-2 record. He has completed 71.1 percent of his attempts for 5,386 passing yards and an incredible 54/6 TD-INT ratio. McCall has also run for 870 career yards and 11 TDs, averaging 4.2 YPC. He’ll have a young and unproven group of WRs after losing his top three targets.

5-Will Rogers (Mississippi St.): Rogers enjoyed a breakout campaign in his second season on Mike Leach’s team. He completed 73.9 percent of his passes for 4,739 yards with a 36/9 TD-INT ratio. In 22 career games, Rogers has a 72.3 completion percentage, 6,715 passing yards and a 47/16 TD-INT ratio. He needs only 2,652 passing yards to surpass Dak Prescott’s record for most career passing yards in program history.

6-Hendon Hooker (Tennessee): Josh Heupel did a helluva job in Year 1 at Tennessee. With that said, what the hell was he thinking by initially naming Joe Milton as UT’s starting QB ahead of Hooker? If not for an injury to Milton in a 41-34 Week 2 home loss to Pittsburgh, who knows when Hooker would’ve taken over? (To be clear, that’s not second guessing with 20/20 vision, we first guessed that call last August.) Whatever the case, Hooker balled out when given the keys to the offense. The Va. Tech transfer completed 68.0 percent of his attempts for 2,945 yards with a remarkable 31/3 TD-INT ratio. That’s not all, though. The dual-threat signal caller ran for 616 yards and five TDs. Hooker has the following numbers for his career: 65.5 completion percentage, 5,839 passing yards, an incredible 53/10 TD-INT ratio, 1,649 rushing yards and 20 rushing TDs.

7-Devin Leary (North Carolina St.): With a healthy Leary and one of the nation’s premier defenses, NC St. has a legit shot to unseat Clemson in the ACC. Leary completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 3,433 yards with a 35/5 TD-INT ratio last year. He has a 51/12 career TD-INT ratio in 24 games. The Wolfpack will have one of the nation’s premier defenses so if Leary has another elite season, watch out for this team as a potential sleeper to make the CFP.

8-Sam Hartman (Wake Forest): Hartman needs only 497 passing yards to overtake Riley Skinner as the program’s all-time leader in career passing yards. He’ll probably get that in the second half of a Week 2 game against Vanderbilt in Nashville. Hartman has appeared in 36 career games, connecting on 57.7 percent of his throws for 9,266 yards with an elite 72/29 TD-INT ratio. He also has 727 career rushing yards and 16 rushing scores. In 2021, Hartman posted career-high numbers in completion percentage (58.9%), QB Rating (148.6), passing yards (4,228), TD passes (39), rushing yards (364) and rushing TDs (11).

9-Jake Haener (Fresno St.): Jeff Tedford’s first assignment upon being hired for a second tour of duty at Fresno St. was convincing star QB Jake Haener to come back instead of transferrring to Washington. He was able to do just that and in doing so, provided the Bulldogs with a chance to have a special 2022 campaign. Haener led the Bulldogs to a 10-3 record, incuding a last-minute, come-from-behind win at 13th-ranked UCLA. He completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 6,224 yards with a 33/9 TD-INT ratio. Haener has his top two targets and three of his top four back, including All-American candidate Jalen Cropper. I’m extremely bullish on Haener and Fresno St. this year.

10-Phil Jurkovec (Boston College): If you saw Jurkovec play in BC’s last four games of 2021, he wasn’t one of the nation’s top-10 QBs. But that’s the thing – the dude shouldn’t have been on the field. When he was injured early in the first quarter of a Week 2 win vs. UMass, he was forced to undergo what was dubbed as “season-ending surgery.” Nevertheless, there he was on the field at the Carrier Dome seven Saturdays later, working out and throwing darts an hour before kickoff. That was the first sign — at least for the public and media to see — that his season might not be over. Sure enough, six days later on a Friday afternoon before an ESPN game later that night vs. Va. Tech in Chestnut Hill, word broke that Jurkovec would be under center against the Hokies. Jurkovec completed 7-of-13 passes (BC had a double-digit lead early and used a conservative offensive approach for four quarters) for 112 yards and more importantly, ran for 65 yards and one TD on nine attempts in a 17-3 win that snapped a four-game losing streak. The following week at Ga. Tech, Jurkovec connected on 13-of-20 throws for 310 yards and two TDs without an interception. He also had 71 rushing yards and three TDs on eight carries. In 2020, Jurkovec played in 10 games. He completed 61.0 percent of his passes for 2,558 yards with a 17/5 TD-INT ratio. Before subtracting sack yardage, Jurkovec had 352 rushing yards and three TDs. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they don’t have any returning starters on the offensive line. What they do have, though, is a gamer of a starting QB who has a future on Sundays.

11-Spencer Rattler (South Carolina): In 2020, Rattler connected on 67.5 percent of his passes for 3,031 yards with a 28/7 TD-INT ratio. He also produced 160 rushing yards and six TDs. Rattler lost his job to Caleb Williams at Oklahoma last year after Williams orchestrated an incredible comeback win over Texas. He finished the year with a 74.9 completion percentage, 1,483 passing yards, an 11/5 TD-INT ratio and three rushing scores. For his career, Rattler has a 70.1 completion percentage, 4,595 passing yards, a 40/12 TD-INT ratio and nine rushing TDs. Can he elevate the Gamecocks to contenders in the SEC East?

12-Anthony Richardson (Florida): Richardson is the biggest wild card of all the QBs across the country. Without question, there are lots of college signal callers who have taken more snaps, won more games and made a bigger impact on the field. Before the 2022 campaign concludes, Richardson could be among the top 2-3 QBs nationally, or he might not belong in the top 25. But in terms of talent — size, speed, arm strength, elusiveness, etc. — Richardson might be The Uno. The third-year sophomore just needs more snaps, something Dan Mullen resisted for whatever reason(s) last year. Was he really that injured after the hamstring issue in the USF game? Some players have suggested that he wasn’t, pointing to the back flips he was doing in warm-ups prior to the Alabama game. (In other words, Mullen just used the hamstring as an excuse to play Emory Jones instead when Richardson was ready and willing to play.) Whatever the case, Richardson was in and out of the lineup, playing in only seven games. When he was on the field, AR-15 had 401 rushing yards, three TDs and a 7.9 YPC average. He completed 38-of-64 throws (59.4%) for 529 yards with a 6/5 TD-INT ratio. Richardson’s best performance came at LSU when he entered the game with the Gators trailing 28-13 early in the third quarter. He led four consecutive TD drives, as UF went 75 yards in eight plays, 75 yards in six plays, 65 yards in six plays and 75 yards in 13 plays.

13-Will Levis (Kentucky): In his first season as a starter, Levis led UK to a 10-3 record. He connected on 66.0 percent of his passes for 2,826 yards with a 24/13 TD-INT ratio. Levis can make plays with his legs, too, rushing for 376 yards and nine TDs (3.5 YPC). He stands tall in the pocket, has outstanding arm strength and throws a tight spiral. However, Levis’s decision-making is questionable at times. Hopefully for Mark Stoops, some of those poor decisions from last season can be chalked up to inexperience. Levis is going to miss star WR Wan’Dale Robinson and, to a lesser extent, Josh Ali. The offensive line isn’t going to be as good, either, but he still has one of the nation’s top RBs to lean on in Chris Rodriguez. The Wildcats are hoping that Va. Tech transfer WR Tayvion Robinson (30 career starts, 1,555 career receiving yards) and incoming freshman Dane Key (four-star recruit that was in for spring practice) are poised for big seasons. Levis has a 27/15 career TD-INT ratio, 849 career rushing yards and 15 rushing TDs.

14-KJ Jefferson (Arkansas): Like Levis, Jefferson lost his top wideout in first-round pick Treylon Burks, who will be sorely missed. There’s optimism for the WR group, however, thanks to incoming transfers Matt Landers and Jadon Haselwood. Landers played at Georgia for two seasons before going to Toledo, where he had 20 receptions for 514 yards (25.7 yards per catch!) and five TDs in seven games last year. Haselwood is a transfer from Oklahoma who was a five-star recruit out of high school and caught 39 balls for 399 yards and six TDs last season. Also, three of the Razorbacks’ top-five recruits out of the 2022 class are WRs. Jefferson ran for a team-best 664 yards and six TDs in 2021. He completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 2,676 yards with a 21/4 TD-INT ratio. Jefferson has a 24/5 career TD-INT ratio and 10 rushing TDs.

15-Dillon Gabriel (Oklahoma): In 25 career starts, Gabriel has a 60.7 completion percentage, 8,037 passing yards and an outstanding 70/14 TD-INT ratio. He also has eight rushing TDs. Gabriel transferred from UCF after sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 3 last season.

16-Cam Rising (Utah): Rising replaced Charlie Brewer last September and led Utah to a Pac-12 title. He connected on 63.8 percent of his passes for 2,493 yards with a 20/5 TD-INT ratio. Rising also had 499 rushing yards, six TDs and a 6.7 YPC average. He was fantastic in high-scoring Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State. The Utes open the season as short favorites at Florida.

17-Brennan Armstrong (Virginia): Armstrong enjoyed a breakout 2021 season, completing 65.2 percent of his passes for 4,449 yards with a 31/10 TD-INT ratio. He ran for 251 yards and nine TDs. UVA has an elite group of WRs, but the offensive line is completely new and extremely inexperienced.

18-Tyler Van Dyke (Miami): Van Dyke is a projected first-round pick by many draft pundits. However, he’s only 6-3 as a starter and threw five combined interceptions in losses at North Carolina and FSU last year. Van Dyke threw for 1,040 passing yards and nine TDs without an interception against cupcake foes like Central Connecticut St., Duke and Ga. Tech. For the season, he had 2,931 passing yards with a 25/6 TD-INT ratio.

19-Malik Cunningham (Louisville): In 46 career games, Cunningham has completed 62.6 percent of his throws for 8,092 yards with a 62/24 TD-INT ratio. He has 2,619 career rushing yards and 38 TDs with a 5.2 YPC average. Cunningham ran for 1,031 yards and 20 TDs last season.

20-Logan Bonner (Utah St.): Utah St. went 1-5 both straight up and against the spread in its abbreviated 2020 season, averaging a meager 15.5 points per game. Then upon Bonner’s arrival as a transfer along with new head coach Blake Anderson from Arkansas St., the Aggies went 11-3 SU and 10-4 ATS while scoring at a 32.6 PPG clip. They went 2-0 against Pac-12 opponents, beat San Diego St. by 33 points in the Mountain West Championship Game and won six games outright as underdogs, including three such victories by double-digit margins. Bonner completed 61.3 percent of his passes for 3,628 yards with a 36/12 TD-INT ratio. He has a 66/21 career TD-INT ratio.

Best of the Rest: Aidan O’Connell (Purdue), Payton Thorne (Michigan St.), Kedon Slovis (Pittsburgh), Taulia Tagovailoa (Maryland), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Clayton Tune (Houston), Tanner Mordecai (SMU) and Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA).

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