Kicks N’ Cleats
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Kicks N’ Cleats

2022 NFL Draft Top 10 QB Prospects — Player Comparisons

A ranking of the best Quarterbacks available for the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft Thursday Night.

Desmond Ridder — 2022 NFL Draft Quarterback Prospect Rankings
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

We’re less than 48 hours away from the exciting annual NFL Draft. It’s a time of year when NFL Franchises get a fresh start and new hope looms before the start of the new Season. It’s a chance for teams to continue building and adding players for the future onto their roster. The NFL Draft presents an opportunity for teams to fill positions of need. The NFL Draft is crucial to team building but as we all know, the stars of the show every year are the Quarterbacks, and rightfully so.

The consensus for the 2022 NFL Quarterback Draft Class is that it is very mediocre. It is well known that teams with needs at the position in this Draft are holding out for the seemingly much more loaded 2023 NFL Quarterback Draft Class.

So let’s get right into it!

1. Desmond Ridder, Cincinnatti

Analysis:

Ridder has all the tools to be a great player at the NFL level. He possesses great arm strength, speed, athleticism, and footwork. His decision-making will need some improvement but that will come with experience. Overall, his all-around ability to throw with accuracy down the field, ability to make plays with his legs when he needs to, and athleticism makes him my Top-Rated Quarterback for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Ridder is the kind of Prospect you take early in Round 1 and build your team around. He’s worthy of a top 10 pick and it would not shock me at all if he is indeed the first Quarterback taken off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Draft Grade: Top 10 Pick

Draft Projection: Late 1st — Early 2nd Round Pick

Player Comparison: Colin Kaepernick

2. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

Analysis:

Pickett is the Top-Rated Quarterback on the Board for many analysts and Scouts alike. He had a monster breakout senior year with the Pittsburgh Panthers during the 2021 College Football Season. While he isn’t the Top-rated Quarterback on my Draft Board, he is arguably the readiest to help a team win right away.

Pickett doesn’t wow you in any specific area but he has just enough of everything to be a potential Top 15 Quarterback in the NFL. Pickett is one of the safest prospects in the Draft and has the leadership, ability to read defenses, accuracy, footwork, and prototype size to start from day 1. His ceiling might be lower than some of the other Quarterbacks ranked behind him but so is his floor.

Overall, a team like the Saints, or Pittsburgh Steelers would be a great fit for Pickett, where he can just be asked to manage the game and with a good team around him. Pickett doesn’t project as a player who can carry a team on his back, but one that can win with a solid team around him similar to Alex Smith.

Draft Grade: Top 20 Pick

Draft Projection: Top 10 Pick

Player Comparison: Alex Smith

3. Nick Watson, Tiffin

Analysis:

The first surprise on this list. However, if you’ve read my previous articles on this Quarterback prospect, you’d know I’ve been scouting Watson since 2019. Watson has it all from a skillset standpoint. He has great accuracy, a cannon for an arm, and mobility in the pocket. Watson is a player that is worthy of a 1st Round Pick and 5 years from now could be the gem of this Draft. The reality is though that he most likely will be drafted in the later Rounds if at all and his road to getting a legitimate opportunity to play in the NFL will be difficult but not impossible.

His level of competition in College (Divison II) and size are some of the things keeping him under the Radar but ultimately as they say “the tape don’t lie” and if you want to see what I see just look back at some Tiffin Universities games during his tenure as their Starting Quarterback. You’ll be more than impressed as you see a Quarterback in Watson making countless NFL-type throws, throwing the ball with accuracy, timing, and on a rope with great ball placement.

Draft Grade: Mid 1st Round

Draft Projection: 5th — 7th Round pick

Player Comparison: Dak Prescott

4. Carson Strong, Nevada

Analysis:

Teams will be shying away from taking Strong in the early rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft because of his career-threatening injury concern(s). You could make the case that if it were not for the aforementioned concerns, he’d be an easy projected 1st Round Pick. The man possibly has the best arm in the Draft and has the prototypical size that you look for in an NFL Quarterback.

Strong isn’t very mobile though and will need a good Offensive-Line in front of him to maximize if superior arm talent. More than likely, Strong will be Drafted in the 3rd or 4th Round of the Draft and could get a chance to become a Starter.

Draft Grade: Mid 1st — Early 2nd Round Pick

Draft Projection: 4th Round Pick

Player Comparison: Carson Palmer

5. Matt Corral, Ole Miss

Analysis:

There are a lot of varying opinions on Matt Corral. Some have him as the best Quarterback in this Class, while others such as myself, have him rated as the 5th best. He’s a fringe 1st Round prospect who a team might be able to get away with taking him at the end of Round 1 if they want the 5th Year Rookie Option. On one hand, he has a really strong arm and can make throws on the run. On the other hand, he has questionable accuracy and a small build.

Corral is too risky of a project to take in Round 1 but for a team like the Seahawks, Round 2, would be the perfect destination as he’d be competing for starting job with a player whom he’s very similar to in Drew Lock.

Draft Grade: 2nd Round Pick

Draft Projection: Mid 1st — Early 2nd Round Pick

Player Comparison: Mitch Trubisky

6. Sam Howell, UNC

Analysis:

Oh my, how much can change in a year! Howell was projected to be a lock for the 1st Round of the 2022 NFL Draft before the start of the 2021 College Football Season. Things have changed. A bit of an “off” year by Howell has him being projected as far as the 3rd Round. Some Mocks have him projected as early as a Top 10 Pick (that’s very unlikely). He does everything just well enough to where you like his tape but it’s nothing special.

Howell has enough arm strength, and accuracy, and is pretty mobile outside the pocket. However, too many times, his mechanics are off, he forces too many bad throws that would get picked off in the NFL, and he has poor decision making. A team willing to fix his flaws behind a veteran could have a solid starter in time or at the very least a very good backup.

Draft Grade: 3rd Round Pick

Draft Projection: Late 1st — Early 2nd Round Pick

Player Comparison: Nick Foles

7. Malik Willis, Liberty

Analysis:

This is yet another shocker on this list. I’ll make this short and sweet. Willis has one of the Strongest arm’s in this Draft and can seemingly make every throw. The problem is, he has poor decision-making, and you don’t where the ball is going to end up once he releases it because of his accuracy issues. Combine that with his small stature and his propensity to run the ball when he sees nothing is open, and you’re just asking for an inaccurate, athletic Quarterback who may become injury prone.

Some think Willis is the best Quarterback in this class. He’s far from it in my opinion and is a couple of years away from being ready to take a snap. He does possess a high upside but he’s a prospect I wouldn’t touch until at least Round 3.

Draft Grade: 3rd Round Pick

Draft Projection: Top 10 Pick

Player Comparison: Tyrod Taylor

8. Brock Purdy, Iowa

Analysis:

Purdy not too long ago was thought of as a potential 1st Rounder. However, scouts quickly found out he has below-average arm strength which makes him backup Quarterback material. While you can necessarily improve arm strength, it’s not very likely to happen.

For Purdy to succeed in the NFL as a starter he would have to play in a West-Coast system where the ball gets out of his hands quickly and he’s playing with top-notch Wide Receivers. No NFL team is likely to build around a Quarterback like that. Still, Purdy possesses the athletic ability, speed, and mobility to make plays with his feet, Which makes up for his lack of arm strength and makes him an attractive option for teams looking to Draft a developmental QB in the Mid-Later Rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Draft Grade: 4th Round

Draft Projection: 6th Round Pick

Player Comparison: Kyle Lauletta

9. Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky

Analysis:

We’ve reached the part of the ranking where there isn’t much excitement and there’s a bit of drop-off from the other Prospects. Zappe is very under-sized, has a mediocre arm, and has questionable decision-making. However, he did throw for an incredible 62 Touchdown passes and was very productive this past 2021 College Football Season. He has good deep-ball accuracy and can become a solid backup for a very long-time.

Zappe projects as a camp arm to start his career and will have a lot to prove in camp if he is going to hold off a veteran for a backup or 3rd string spot. Zappe will most likely be picked between Rounds 6 and 7. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if a team overdrafts him and takes him in the 4th Round because Quarterback is the most important position in the NFL.

Draft Grade: 5th — 6th Round Pick

Draft Projection: 6th Round Pick — UDFA

Player Comparison: Case Keenum

10. Cole Kelley, Louisana Tech

Analysis:

Call me crazy, but I see some Tom Brady in Cole Kelley. I’m not saying he’s the next Tom Brady but, his intriguing size, accuracy, mechanics, and footwork remind me of Brady. His deep-ball arm strength and accuracy though, leave a lot to be desired and is mostly the reason why he may not get drafted. However, if your team has a late Round Pick and you need a young Quarterback, taking a flyer on Kelley isn’t the worst thing in the world and you could end up being pleasantly surprised at how much he could develop and improve.

Draft Grade: 6th Round Pick

Draft Projection: UDFA

Player Comparison: Zach Mettenberger

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Jeffrey Genao

Jeffrey Genao

A passionate sports blogger, writer, and big-time foody. Sports and food are life.