The good guys at Pro Football Focus gave us a great appetizer just before the toe officially meets the leather for the 2019 season. PFF analyst Cam Mellor rated each projected starting quarterback for every FBS team and ranked them from No. 1 all the way to No. 130. Our own Tyler Thompson gave you the lowdown earlier this week, but now it’s time to get deeper into the weeds.
Fair Spot for Wilson
Heading into his junior season, PFF slotted Terry Touchdown at No. 46 after starting 13 games in his first season over from Garden City Community College. Mellor highlighted Wilson’s ball security and running ability. For all of us that watched Wilson last year, that totally makes sense.
The Oklahoma City native and former high three-star recruit was a game manager for Kentucky who occasionally made some impressive throws. He is a true weapon with his legs and should again be the best running quarterback in the SEC this season.
Most scramble yards last season (drop back, non-sack)
Bryce Perkins, 482
Kyler Murray, 421
Woody Barrett, 399
Mitchell Guadagni, 367
Eric Dungey, 357
Terry Wilson, 349
— That's so David (@ADavidHaleJoint) August 9, 2019
Coming in at ninth overall in the league sounds right.
All three FBS programs in the state (UK, Louisville, WKU) all will have out of state starters under center, but some other programs stole some talent from the Bluegrass State. Most notably up I-71 North.
After Hayden Moore left last season’s opener hurt last season, Desmond Ritter stepped into the lineup for Cincinnati and never looked. The Louisville St. Xavier alum completed 62.4 percent of his throws, averaged just under eight yards per attempt, contributed 727 rushing yards (not counting sacks) in the run game, and led the squad to 11 wins. He might be the best quarterback in the AAC this season.
In the Big Ten, Tanner Morgan is back under center for P.J. Fleck’s Golden Gophers after starting the last six games of his redshirt freshman season. The Ryle alum led Minnesota to their first win over rival Wisconsin since 2003. In West Lafayette, Elijah Sindelar returns for Jeff Brohm’s squad after making nine starts the last two seasons. The Caldwell County alum will get the benefit of throwing the ball to superstar Rondale Moore all season.
Big XII Firepower
The Big XII is known for their offensive firepower and they are going to have some dudes spinning the rock this season. Texas’ Sam Ehlinger, Iowa State’s Brock Purdy, Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts, and Baylor’s Charlie Brewer each find themselves in the top 12. Down at No. 26 is Texas Tech’s Alan Bowman rounding out half of the league’s quarterback.
Ehlinger has a chance to join 30-20 (passing/rushing) touchdown club, Brock Purdy is a star in the making, Lincoln Riley gets to tailor his offense to Jalen Hurts’ strengths, and Charlie Brewer has a great chance to become a first round pick. Get ready for some overs to hit in the Big XII.
Love for Guarantano
One of the biggest surprises about this entire list is where Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano fell. The redshirt junior and former top-100 recruit has started 18 games for the Vols the past two seasons and has put up pedestrian numbers and only a 6-12 record. However, he has graded out well in PFF’s system.
Tennessee essentially had no running game last season and a ton of offensive line problems. Guarantano had a sack rate of 8.2 percent and the protection issues were a big reason why he only averaged 20.5 throws per game. However, he graded out well all season in the PFF system. The New Jersey native consistently hit on vertical back shoulder throws and played excellent in the upset win over Kentucky.
PFF is going out on a limb here with their Guarantano analysis and we’ll see if it pays off on the field this fall.
What happened to Puma?
In the class of 2016, Bobby Petrino and Louisville pulled off a big recruiting getting Jawon “Puma” Pass to pick the Cards over Alabama and Mississippi State. He was tabbed the future of the program and many thought he would start his true freshman season.
Well, Lamar Jackson happened and UofL got to slowly bring Pass along. When it was time for the blue-chipper to start, he failed immediately. The Columbus, Georgia native barely completed 50 percent of his passes, had an ugly sack rate of 9.1 percent, and threw 12 interceptions to just eight touchdowns. It was no surprise to see him ranked as the second worst QB1 in the Power Five. The Cardinals had one of the worse passing games in the FBS after having the sport’s most electric player for two season.
Scott Satterfield is set to begin his first season in Louisville and he has his work cut out for him in developing Pass into the player many thought he would be out of high school.