This QB class was underwhelming to begin with, but the draft capital invested in these players is even more concerning. There is a real possibility that none of these Quarterbacks ever become starters, even just because the teams won’t give them that option.
Check out my QB Pre-Draft Positional Breakdown to see my pre-draft rankings of these players, and my Draft Grades to see every other pick in the draft, and how teams graded out.
Kenny Pickett – Steelers – Round 1 Pick 20
Going to the Steelers is easily the best situation Pickett could have landed in. His pro-readiness and draft capital suggest he even has a chance to start as soon as Week 1. With an embarrassment of riches around him, he is surrounded by plenty of playmakers. Pre-Draft, I couldn’t imagine him making any impact. On the Steelers, that is a real possibility.
Desmond Ridder – Falcons – Round 3
My Pre-Draft QB1, Ridder went to a great fit. It’s not the best landing spot for everyone, as the Falcons have no established playmakers on offense. Still, getting to sit behind Marcus Mariota, who is the veteran version of Ridder, is going to be great for his development. I don’t expect him to play much in 2022, but hopefully, the Falcons will be able to start building an offense around him, and he will slot into a much-improved offense in 2023.
Malik Willis – Titans – Round 3
I was very hesitant about Willis pre-draft, but now I am even more concerned. Not only is he a project, and has no chance of starting in 2022, but it also doesn’t seem that Ryan Tannehill is willing to mentor him. Not to mention, by the time he starts this will be a wildly different offense. Derrick Henry will likely be gone, and they have no young and established playmakers. The outlook is bleak for Willis.
Matt Corral – Panthers – Round 3
Despite the seemingly low draft capital, I am very excited about Corral. The Panthers spent their first pick on the best O-Lineman in the draft, so their O-Line should be improved. Additionally, Corral will be surrounded by one of the most talented stables of playmakers in the NFL. Sam Darnold likely won’t command the starting role for long, so Corral will get the chance to start sooner rather than later. The low draft capital doesn’t concern me, since the Panthers had no Top 100 picks after 6th overall, and they traded up as high as they could back into the Top 100 to get Corral.
Bailey Zappe – Patriots – Round 4
Mac Jones is the Patriots’ franchise Quarterback, and he is a 2nd-year player, so Zappe will likely never get the chance to be an impact starter. Still, he is a perfect fit for New England’s offense, and the Patriots have a history of pumping out reliable top-end backups in the NFL. Zappe is nearly guaranteed to be a long-time quality No. 2.
Sam Howell – Commanders – Round 5
This landing spot is very concerning to me. For starters, unlike the previous few Quarterbacks, the team that drafted him had plenty of other chances, and they still didn’t select him until the 5th round. This makes it clear they don’t value him highly and only took him because he was the best player available. That doesn’t usually translate to a starting job for Quarterbacks. Carson Wentz may play so poorly that the team is forced to move to the backup, but Howell isn’t even No. 2 on this team, Taylor Heinicke is.
Chris Oladokun – Steelers – Round 7
As a 7th-round flyer, this will likely never amount even to a backup role. Still, Oladokun possesses intriguing physical traits, with great size, mobility, and arm strength. Coming from the FCS, the expectations aren’t high, but he is a very sneaky sleeper.
Skylar Thompson – Dolphins – Round 7
This is an irrelevant pick. Thompson doesn’t have NFL traits, and he likely won’t ever be a sought-after backup either. Journeyman QB3 is his best realistic outcome.
Brock Purdy – 49ers – Round 7
Purdy is one of my favorite sleepers in this draft. Mr. Irrelevant isn’t generally a draft slot that produces any value, and often, they don’t even make the team. However, Purdy showed great field vision and accuracy at Iowa State, and his mobility and improvisational ability are up there with the best in this draft.
- Matt Corral CAR – Pre-Draft Scouting Report
- Desmond Ridder ATL – Pre-Draft Scouting Report
- Kenny Pickett PIT – Pre-Draft Scouting Report
- Malik Willis TEN – Pre-Draft Scouting Report
- Brock Purdy SF
- Sam Howell WAS – Pre-Draft Scouting Report
- Chris Oladokun PIT
- Bailey Zappe NE
- Skylar Thompson MIA
Best Landing Spot – Kenny Pickett PIT
Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, Pat Freiermuth, Najee Harris, and incoming George Pickens and Calvin Austin. That is an exceptionally talented young group, and he could be tied to them for many years. Pair that with a Hall-of-Fame Head Coach who’s never had a losing season, and it’s clear Pickett went to the ideal scenario.
Safest Floor – Bailey Zappe NE
With Mac Jones in New England, Zappe won’t be the starter. Still, the Patriots have been supplying the league with elite backups and reliable No. 2s, so I expect Zappe to have a long and quiet career.
Highest Potential – Matt Corral CAR
Hot-seated Scott Fiterrer and Matt Rhule won’t sacrifice their career relying on Sam Darnold to lead this team for 17 games. After trading up to take Corral, a player I already was very confident in, the Panthers will surely start him soon, and he is surrounded by plenty of talent to start his career. The possibility of HC turnover after Year 1 keeps this from being the best landing spot, but Corral is in a dynamite situation for 2022.
Quickest to Start – Matt Corral CAR
Sam Darnold is one of the worst Quarterbacks in the NFL, and after his play last year, I expect the Panthers to roll with the incoming rookie sooner rather than later.
Most Intriguing Sleeper – Brock Purdy SF
With Jimmy Garoppolo likely to be traded or cut, Trey Lance will be the starter in San Francisco. The 49ers invested so heavily in him, but he has still been disappointing. Lance may continue to underwhelm, Jimmy G is gone, and Purdy is the best of the Quarterbacks on the roster. He has some great talent, and he could therefore turn some heads in practice and limited starting time to earn himself a role, in San Fran or elsewhere, as a low-end starter or a high-end backup.
Undrafted Gem – EJ Perry JAX
EJ Perry is one of the most mature and grown-up Quarterbacks in this class, and I expect him to be coveted by teams just for his locker room leadership and work ethic. I don’t expect Trevor Lawrence to go anywhere any time soon, but for a UDFA to be a mainstay across the NFL, even as a journeyman, is greatly overachieving.