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Is the 2022 QB Class Underrated?

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What is the exact term for having a good QB Class? That’s the main question here. When you think of the notable QB classes, they all have 2 or 3 franchise-changing players. Does the 2022 QB draft class have this potential? Let’s take a deeper dive into recent draft memory on some of the QB classes. After that, you can ask yourself if this is an underrated QB class or not.

2004 Draft –

Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Phillip Rivers, and Matt Schaub.

The top 3 quarterbacks selected in the 2004 NFL Draft weren’t just franchise-changing players, they changed the game of football in general. We all know about the infamous Draft Night trade involving the “then” San Diego Chargers and New York Giants which changed the landscape of the NFL. The history behind these four selections led their respective organizations to playoff appearances and many Super Bowl appearances and wins. Whether it’s Eli Manning or Ben Roethlisberger winning the Super Bowl, or Phillip Rivers and Matt Schaub taking their teams to the playoffs, this is the greatest quarterback class of all time.

2012 Draft –

Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin lll, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson, Nick Foles, and Kirk Cousins

The “what if” draft is one of the most star-studded QB classes we’ve ever seen. Andrew Luck coming out had the entire football world considering him a generational talent. RG3 changed the entire aspect of the Commanders. Ryan Tannehill was always a top-15 quarterback in Miami until they traded him to the Titans and then he ended up being a top-10 quarterback. Russell Wilson, the most notable one on this list is a Super Bowl champ and truly one of the greatest quarterbacks to step on the gridiron. Nick Foles, what a journey that man has had, he led a team to a Super Bowl and they abandoned him just like they would eventually do with Carson Wentz. As for Kirk Cousins, a lot of question marks emerged when the Commanders selected two quarterbacks in the same draft class. In the end, they were right.

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2017 Draft –

Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes, and Deshaun Watson.

When you look at this you can ask yourself, “Was this franchise-changing for these organizations?” Well to answer your question, yes it was. The Chicago Bears’ franchise changed for the worst while the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans developed two of the very best in the league today. Mitchell Trubisky is receiving his second opportunity with the Pittsburgh Steelers and a lot of Bills players inside the locker room believe if it wasn’t for Josh Allen, Mitch Trubisky would’ve been the starter for them. If Trubisky evolves into a top 15 QB within the next two years and stays consistent, this class could be the best of all time.

2018 Draft –

Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, and Lamar Jackson.

This class was expected to be the best class in recent memory. It hasn’t lived up to the hype just yet. Baker Mayfield turned out to be a decent starter but didn’t live up to being the 1st Overall selection. Sam Darnold looks like he’s still in college. Josh Allen is the best quarterback in this class and it isn’t close. Expect to see Buffalo win a few rings within the next 10 years, the kid is special. Josh Rosen……. well, he was a bust. Lamar Jackson, I’ll admit, I didn’t think he’d be this good in the NFL. But in the end, guess what? This class had two franchise-changing quarterbacks.

Photo by Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports

2020 Draft –

Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Jordan Love, and Jalen Hurts.

What can I say about this class? Burrow and Herbert have played at an MVP caliber level since their arrivals to the league. Heck, Burrow led the Bengals to the Super Bowl! The question marks are surrounding Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts. Are they NFL quarterbacks? It looks like Philadelphia is giving Hurts one more chance at being their franchise quarterback. Who knows what is going on with Jordan Love, he was considered by most scouts to be the most underrated quarterback of this QB class. Now that Aaron Rodgers is back on a multi-year deal, look out for a team to swoop in and try to give Love a shot.

Photo from ESPN

2022 Draft –

Matt Corral, Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder, Kenny Pickett, Sam Howell, Carson Strong, and Bailey Zappe.

Matt Corral is my QB1 for the upcoming class for many reasons: toughness, mobility, arm strength, accuracy, awareness, and my most important reason, Corral can be taught.

Malik Willis is my QB2 but not far behind Corral. In Willis’ film, I see a lot of comparison to Robert Griffin III. If Willis can stay healthy and is half of what RG3 could do, that exceeds the Draft classes’ expectation.

Desmond Ridder and Kenny Pickett are my QB3 but they could go either way, as of now I’m taking Ridder as I’m sticking with my gut that Ridder will be better than Pickett in the long run.

Sam Howell is an interesting prospect as he will compete for a starting job at some point in his career. I’m projecting Howell as a 2nd-round pick and a future starter in the league.

Carson Strong and Bailey Zappe are the two outliers in the 2022 QB Class. Both of these prospects will end up being glorified backups for years to come but that’s not a bad thing. Being a good backup Quarterback isn’t a dream scenario for either of these guys but being a backup will give them an opportunity down the line to maybe one day take over for another organization. For example, Gardner Minshew, Tyrod Taylor, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. These guys were primarily backups during their tenure in the NFL and proved they can go when needed.

Summary

If you really think about the deep dive into this, the draft classes that were supposed to be “great” ended up being underwhelming while the classes that were supposed to be “weak” ended up exceeding expectations. While I see 3 or 4 Franchise changing quarterbacks in this QB Class, I also see 2 or 3 prospects that can be primary backups for years to come. But let’s ask the question again, does the 2022 NFL Draft have 2 or 3 quarterbacks that can be franchise-changing players? I’m going out and saying yes, I believe this class has the potential to have game-changing prospects for teams in need of a QB.

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