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Pre-Combine NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterbacks

Going into the NFL Combine, we rank the best quarterbacks in the 2022 Draft.

University of Alabama vs University of Cincinnati, 2021 CFP National Semifinal Set Number: X163895 TK1

The NFL Scouting Combine is underway at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs won’t be looking to invest in a quarterback — but let’s take a look at the top signal-callers who could be selected by upcoming rivals.


1. Kenny Pickett | Pittsburgh | 6 feet 3 | 220 pounds

North Carolina v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

A four-year starter, Pickett broke nearly every one of Pittsburgh’s passing records.

He shows outstanding instincts, along with an ability to throw receivers open (with good accuracy) at all levels of the field. He has better than average arm talent, which he showcases while moving in space and delivering catchable balls off-platform.

For Pickett, hand size will be the talk of the Combine — but on the field, there are some issues. From time to time, he will lower his eyes — either scrambling because he’s late on a read or checking down when no downfield options are available. He has a tendency to trust his arm too much, forcing throws into tight coverage.

In unscripted plays, Pickett is going to produce some highlight-level plays — but he will need to show consistency within the offense to become an above-average NFL quarterback.

2. Malik Willis | Liberty | 6 feet 1 | 220 pounds

LendingTree Bowl - Liberty v Eastern Michigan Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

At the Combine, Willis is going to display athleticism and arm strength that will make him clearly stand above the rest of the class. He has dynamic physical gifts — which he can use to make highlight-reel plays — and when he enters the league, will be behind only Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray as a running threat out of the backfield.

But Willis will need to improve both his timing and anticipation while trying to solve NFL defenses. Too often, he needs to see the player open before pulling the trigger. When trying to recognize pressures, he can become disoriented in the pocket; at Liberty, he ended up taking too many sacks.

Willis has all the tools to be a high-level NFL quarterback — but to reach that level, he will need to develop with the right coach.

3. Desmond Ridder | Cincinnati | 6 feet 4 | 210 pounds

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 02 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As a four-year starter, Ridder twice led the Bearcats to the College Football Playoffs after back-to-back undefeated seasons.

A tall, lean passer, Ridder moves well when scrambling — and is comfortable making throws on the move. He does a nice job running the offense and progressing through reads at all levels of the field. There are multiple highlights showing him keeping his eyes downfield and working through multiple reads to get the ball into his playmakers’ hands.

His biggest flaws are a slow trigger and inconsistent accuracy.

Early in his NFL career, he will compete for starting reps — but will take his lumps when trying to do too much.

4. Matt Corral | Ole Miss | 6 feet 1 | 205 pounds

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Allstate Sugar Bowl - Baylor v Ole Miss Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A three-year starter, Corral leaves Ole Miss following a season in which he earned second-team All-SEC honors.

Playing in a quarterback-friendly offense that relied on his quick-twitch athleticism to make one-read decisions in an RPO-heavy scheme, Corral showed flashes of being able to drive the ball on intermediate throws, giving his playmakers the chance to run after the catch.

His classroom learning curve — and how he handles NFL defenses — will ultimately determine how far he can go in the NFL.

5. Sam Howell | North Carolina | 6 feet | 220 pounds

Duke’s Mayo Bowl - North Carolina v South Carolina Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Howell has been the Tar Heels’ starting quarterback ever since he set foot on campus, missing only a single game over his three-year career.

Despite playing in a spread offense, he has displayed anticipation on his throws, along with the ability to work full-field progressions.

Compared to the rest of this quarterback class, Howell has physical limitations. Smaller in stature and build — and with average arm strength — Howell relies on his accuracy to all three levels, allowing his playmakers to do most of the work.

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