The 2022 Senior Bowl practices are officially behind us. As such, it’s time to reset and reassess how we viewed the 2022 NFL Draft prospects at quarterback. Here are our final 2022 Senior Bowl Practice Power Rankings from the six QBs in attendance.
Final Practice 2022 Senior Bowl QB Power Rankings
While some quarterbacks had a few things to gain, others had more to lose. Yet, we’re here talking about the power rankings after one of those with a lot to lose proved he may be the best quarterback in the entire class.
It’s important to note here that these Senior Bowl QB Power Rankings are not indicative of how we view them as draftable prospects right now. More so, it’s actually a ranking of how each quarterback fared during the Senior Bowl as part of the practices. There’s still a lot of time to determine when speaking about our final quarterback rankings — the game film will always come first.
1) Malik Willis, Liberty
The aforementioned “more to lose” was directed right at Malik Willis. He had a ton to lose with a poor showing — but, never worry, Willis had the best week of Senior Bowl practices by far. He threw a couple of fastballs to start Day 1, but he calmed down. The Liberty signal-caller was the most consistent passer throughout the circuit.
Willis had great command over his passes and was as accurate as any of the quarterbacks. He proved that he can make NFL throws and make them with ease. Willis had solid poise in the pocket, and he was sharp with reads during team drills. He didn’t have to showcase his legs, which was impressive considering they were revered as his best attribute. Willis helped his draft stock more than anyone else in the QB room.
2) Sam Howell, North Carolina
Making 2021 look like an anomaly, Sam Howell was sharp for the majority of the practices. He was the Day 1 winner of the group, putting on a display with his arm talent. Day 2 was a bit different, but he still had a great day overall. Howell showcased a great deep ball and even better timing and touch with a cast of receivers he hadn’t previously worked with.
He also showed off his rushing ability, taking off on a couple of occasions after his keys were covered up. Howell was quick to react in the passing game during team drills and proved that he is more than capable of leading an NFL offense.
3) Carson Strong, Nevada
The ball left Carson Strong‘s hands differently. It was apparent that Strong had the best arm of the class in Mobile as it effortlessly flew 50-60 yards in the air at times. He may have gotten away with a few throws where he just chucked it deep. But on those occasions, it seemed like the play call for the situation — a “fourth-and-long, just heave it” moment — more than him thinking he could complete the throws he attempted.
It’s imperative to note that he needed to do little to prove he had all the skills to be a franchise quarterback. Strong shook those who thought he was a “statue” as he gracefully extended the play with his legs at times. He also answered questions about his knee, whether he wanted to or not, as those were the first media questions on Day 1.
4) Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky
Bucking the “system QB” moniker with ease, Bailey Zappe had an impressive display of accuracy to all levels of the field during practices. Zappe had command over his balls, for the most part, leaving just a few throws over the middle with more left to be desired. He had one of the best throws of the practice circuit when he nailed Tennessee WR Velus Jones Jr. downfield for what would’ve been a 50+ yard touchdown.
Zappe made quick, easy reads in the WKU offensive scheme last season, but he showed that he can adapt his game to that of an NFL scheme. It was important for him to move the ball around the field — he did that with ease during the week.
5) Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
The only question surrounding Kenny Pickett at the Senior Bowl was his hand size. When he chose not to measure his hands during measurements, the questions continued to pile up. Yet, Pickett delivered sharp footballs with ample arm strength on what we would consider NFL throws.
Pickett was terrific on out-breaking throws and even crossers on backside bootlegs. It was a great series of practice throws from Pickett, who, again, had little to prove except his hand size. Since he didn’t answer the question to the majority of those in attendance, it’s hard to say he won the week at the position while others did, in fact, answer their biggest questions.
6) Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
The issues that plagued Desmond Ridder‘s draft evaluation were present during his time at the helm of practice. Ridder was erratic. He was inaccurate. Ridder lost control of the football and lost control of the offense in the process at times.
Yet, it wasn’t all bad. Ridder had a good 7-on-7 period. He had some great throws to wide receivers during the 1-on-1s. But, of course, he followed that up with some inaccuracy during team drills. Ridder is like that bad golf round that you hit one good shot. And that one good shot keeps you coming back for more.
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