NFL Draft Predictions: Quarterbacks

Draft

I’ve already discussed this years draft class a lot, which I feel is led by Malik Willis. To me he’s got the most potential, the best scrambling ability, and the strongest arm. Some people argue Kenny Pickett is more league ready, or that Desmond Ridder is a more complete quarterback.

Regardless of what you think, the NFL draft is approaching, and teams are going to have to commit one way or another to draft a QB or look elsewhere. With the draft less than a month away these decisions are more important than ever.

I’m going to look at combine and pro-day results as well as NFL team needs to determine where each Quarterback will be drafted in the 2022 NFL draft. Read to find out if your team is going to make a big acquisition in the draft!

Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky University

Let’s start at the bottom of the board. No disrespect to Zappe, but he is one of the bottom two quarterbacks in this year’s class that still has a good chance of being drafted. He’s one of the most accurate deep passers in the draft this year.

2022 NFL draft
Bailey Zappe was a great leader for WKU last season.

Zappe played well for Western Kentucky and led them to wins over FIU, FAU, Middle Tennessee, Rice, and Appalachian State in a bowl game. Zappe was phenomenal under pressure with the second best QBR under pressure, only behind Kenny Pickett by one-tenth of a point.

I feel Zappe could prove to be a reliable backup in the league, and under the right coaching could become a decent starter. I could see a team like Tampa Bay drafting him for low risk in a late round to develop under Tom Brady.

Draft Prediction: Round 5, 165th overall by the Buccaneers

Sam Howell, University of North Carolina

Sam Howell had a remarkable freshman year with UNC but slowed down as he progressed. No doubt he was still an elite quarterback, but many had him slide down the draft board after this season.

Draft
Sam Howell has played more college games than any of the other quarterbacks in this years draft.

Howell has a tremendously strong arm for his size and is good in and out of the pocket. Size is the only thing that may be a concern (6’1”) but there is absolutely no doubting his throwing ability.

Howell appears to be the kind of guy that will be a good fit with a team that is really committed to him. I think he could be drafted in multiple spots this year.

My two favorite spots for him in the draft are a second or third round pick for the Panthers, or a third round pick for the Vikings. Howell is born and raised in North Carolina, so the Panthers could get some good value in the third round for him and still commit to him as a starter.

On the other hand the Minnesota Vikings could look to him later in the third round as a potential backup to Kirk Cousins who has played very streaky in his tenure in Minnesota.

Draft Prediction: Round 2, 46th overall by the Vikings

Matt Corral, University of Mississippi

Matt Corral was my favorite quarterback at the beginning of this season. I love the way he moves in the pocket and he’s just an electric performer. He’s always fun to watch and is a big play hunter.

Draft
Corral is a good option for teams due to his short range accuracy.

Corral’s biggest weakness however was the deep ball as he only completed about 30% of his passes over 20 yards. The good news is there is a team that could draft him that doesn’t have tons of deep threats that could have him grow with the team around him. He’s also extremely accurate under 20 yards which is a great trait to have heading into the league.

To me, that team is the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have struggled to hold onto receivers in the offseason and with Matt Ryan moving to Indianapolis the Falcons need a Quarterback of the future.

Draft Prediction: 2nd round, 43rd overall by the Falcons

Desmond Ridder

Ridder is one of the more underrated prospects in this draft in my eyes. He comes from Cincinnati who had an undefeated year before facing Alabama in the CFP.

Draft
Desmond Ridder is very consistent and should get a look at a starting job in the NFL this year.

He’s shown he can win games and he knows how to extend plays with his legs. He’s tall, fast, strong, and throws the ball very accurately, especially the deep ball.

I expect Ridder to get a look at a starting job this year. He’s NFL ready and has an opportunity to just continue improving. I expect a team that needs a Quarterback to draft him in the second round.

Draft Prediction: Round 2, 40th overall by the Seahawks

Malik Willis

Willis is without a doubt my favorite quarterback in this draft class. He’s powerful, quick, and accurate. He has a bit of trouble with field vision but I don’t believe it’s anything that can’t be fixed by a good coaching staff… One led by Mike Tomlin.

As a Commander’s fan I was hoping Washington would draft him at 11th overall, but with the Commanders signing Carson Wentz in the offseason, it appears Willis will not be playing in D.C. next season.

Pittsburgh has supposedly fallen in love with Willis and his style, and I believe him and Mike Tomlin could be extremely dangerous together. Willis is charismatic and kind which is something Pittsburgh has been lacking in their QB.

draft
Malik Willis is a great dual threat quarterback.

However, there is a chance another team steals him earlier in the draft. Houston drafts before Pittsburgh in the first round and there is a chance they steal him to replace Deshaun Watson.

The Lions also have the number two overall pick, and some seem to think they’ll take a play-caller. I however don’t think Detroit would make a massive trade for Jared Goff just to bail on him after one year. Goff has great upside so I expect the Lions to take a DL like Travon Walker.

Draft Prediction: 1st round, 20th Overall by the Steelers

Kenny Pickett

Draft
Kenny Pickett is viewed to be the best quarterback in this years draft.

Kenny Pickett has been praised by many as the most NFL ready quarterback in this draft, and I see why. He’s fantastic against the blitz and under pressure and he can air it out with the best of them in the NCAA. He also is extremely accurate, hitting the target on about 91% of his passes under 20 yards.

Many teams would love to have Pickett, and the Lions and the Texans both have top three picks this year. I don’t think Pickett is a good value pick at two for the lions, especially since they already have Jared Goff. The Texans may be interested, but also could take a quarterback later in the draft to develop.

I think Pickett will fall to the sixth pick and be selected by the Carolina Panthers. He’ll be ready to go next season as a starter, although we’ll have to wait and see if he can hang in the NFL off the jump.

Draft Prediction: 1st round, 6th overall by the Panthers