2022 Senior Bowl Quarterbacks: Can Kenny Pickett, Carson Strong, or Sam Howell cement themselves as QB1?

Five of the six quarterbacks at the 2022 Reese's Senior Bowl are vying for the right to become the first QB selected in April.

Quarterback discussion will dominate the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl. Except unlike seasons past, this year’s class of quarterbacks is still lacking a true No. 1 QB. Five of the six quarterbacks in attendance have a legitimate chance to be the first quarterback selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, making the Senior Bowl as exciting as ever.

So who are the Senior Bowl quarterbacks? And what do they have to do to prove themselves on the field in Mobile?

Which one of these quarterbacks could help your favorite NFL team? Dive into PFN’s free NFL Mock Draft Simulator with trades and take control in the 2022 NFL Draft.

2022 Senior Bowl Quarterbacks

The 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl will be separated into two teams: National and American. These two teams will each receive three quarterback prospects. As announced by Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy, here are the quarterback assignments.

National Team

  • Desmond Ridder | Cincinnati
  • Kenny Pickett | Pitt
  • Carson Strong | Nevada

American Team

  • Malik Willis | Liberty
  • Bailey Zappe | Western Kentucky
  • Sam Howell | North Carolina

Top Senior Bowl Quarterbacks

The Senior Bowl quarterbacks comprise an elite group this season. As stated, it’s likely that five of these six quarterbacks are among the first six QBs taken. And there’s a growing likelihood that one of those five QBs will be the first quarterback selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Of these six quarterbacks, Sam Howell, Carson Strong, Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis, and Desmond Ridder are considered to be locked in as high draft picks.

Kenny Pickett will be the early talk of the town

Of all the quarterbacks with something to prove, Pickett may need to prove the most. For Pickett, as surprising as it sounds, his hand size measurements will be the talk of the town. As PFN Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline reported in December, Pickett’s hands may measure in at historically small numbers.

But Pickett also reportedly has a double-jointed thumb that allows him to grip the football with his smaller-than-average hands. Again, as silly as it may sound to discuss his small hands, it will undoubtedly dominate the headlines early on. If Pickett does indeed measure in with small hands and showcases a double-jointed thumb, all eyes will turn to his on-field performances with an NFL football.

Can Pickett drive the ball with strength? Will he make NFL-level throws on the field? Can Pickett develop a rhythm while getting the ball out of his hands on time?

If he does, look for Pickett to cement himself as the top quarterback prospect this cycle.

Carson Strong, Sam Howell, Malik Willis to battle it out

Though it would’ve been nice to see them all on the same team, Strong, Howell, and Willis will look to jump their cohorts to become QB1. They each have talent in their arm to do so, while Willis presents trouble with his legs. Unfortunately for him, Willis’ legs will be a non-factor in the simulated Senior Bowl practice drills. Instead, he’ll get to show off his immense –and improving — arm talent.

Strong will be able to demonstrate the power that routinely saw him layer throws over defenders to every level of the field. And for Howell, his arm talent will be on display, as he has a bevy of throws in his arsenal that are considered to be NFL throws.

Bailey Zappe, the history-maker, can state his case

All the aforementioned chatter about the five quarterbacks almost does a disservice to their final teammate at the Senior Bowl. And all Bailey Zappe did was break Joe Burrow’s historic single-season yardage and touchdown records.

Zappe, hailing from an Air Raid offense, can prove that he wasn’t just a system quarterback and has all the traits to make him a special NFL player. He has the arm strength and the read-and-react ability that some QB prospects lack.

Zappe has the best chance of any of the Senior Bowl quarterbacks to improve his draft stock. Any way you slice it, this is a rare blend of upper-echelon quarterback talent in one place at one time.

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