1. Carson Strong- Carson Wentz
The similarity between these two isn’t just their first names. Both of these gunslingers weren’t highly recruited out of high school and blossomed as they became upperclassmen. They also have the desirable traits of a quarterback, but can be wild and mistake-prone. Strong has a good arm and pushes the ball down the field as well as anyone. He has impressive accuracy down the field, which is something that Wentz was good at during his peak with the Eagles. Strong is much more accurate than Wentz was coming out of college, but Wentz did a better job of escaping the pocket than Strong. Strong isn’t a great of an athlete, but can still excel at the pro level.
2. Kenny Pickett- Diet Joe Burrow
I remember watching Pickett as an underclassman and thinking to myself, “How is this guy starting at a Power Five conference?”. He was that bad. Just like Burrow though, he has reinvented himself. Pickett has become an all-around solid quarterback. Pickett, like Burrow, is a sound athlete who throws with great anticipation and touch. He won’t wow you with his arm, but you know he’s going to be a solid quarterback. Now, the part that sets Burrow apart from Pickett are the intangibles. Burrow is an excellent leader whose leadership, moxie, and toughness are culture changers. Does Pickett have that same skill?
3. Malik Willis- Faster Jalen Hurts
I’ll be the first one to say that I wasn’t a fan of Hurts as a prospect and I still don’t see him being a long-term quality quarterback. That being said, he’s a fantastic athlete and in the right system he can make some plays for you. Willis is similar to Hurts, but Willis is an even better athlete. Both are shorter and muscular quarterbacks who will kill you with their feet. Willis has a stronger arm than Hurts, but both struggle with consistency and accuracy. Willis torched the smaller schools, but struggled this year against quality teams. His offensive line was horrendous which didn’t help, but it seemed he regressed in 2021. In the right system he can be lethal due to his dual-threat capabilities.
4. Sam Howell- Baker Mayfield
While I don’t know if Howell is the actor that Mayfield is, he does remind me of the former number one overall pick with his play style. They are built similarly and can attack all three levels on the field. However, they see a dip in their play when things around them aren’t up to par. Howell looked like a top ten pick entering the season, but with an almost entirely new offense around him, he took a step back in his development. Howell is more mobile and I think has a stronger arm than Mayfield, but both seem destined to be a complimentary piece of the offense rather than the focal point. Get Howell a strong run game and let him carve up defenses on play-action — something Mayfield does when he’s at his best.
5. Matt Corral- Zach Wilson
NFL offenses are falling in love with quarterbacks who can go off script and make “wow” plays. Wilson saw his stock soar after proving himself to be that kind of playmaker. Corral has the same bit of flair to his game, but he isn’t getting the same hype. Why is that? Corral is smaller than Wilson and doesn’t have the arm strength, a trait that scouts loved about Wilson. Also, seeing Wilson struggle as a pro is making teams realize that Corral is more of a project than originally expected. Corral also plays in a very quarterback-friendly offense that sees him throw a lot of screens and short passes.
6. Desmond Ridder- Daniel Jones
You might find this comparison unflattering, but just hear me out. It’s not Jones’s fault that he was drafted sixth overall. The only team that rated him that high was the New York Giants. It was obvious that he struggled with some reads and his accuracy, but he had the makings of an average quarterback. At his best, Jones uses his legs to get outside the pocket or on RPO’s where he can find receivers in stride. Ridder is very similar, but he comes with a winning pedigree. I think at the next level we will see Ridder be more willing to be a runner, where he can use his size to break tackles in space. Ridder might have a stronger arm than Jones, but he isn’t very accurate throwing down the field.