Shrine Bowl QB Rankings Day 2: Devin Leary Delivers Bounce-Back Performance

Which QBs stood out during Day 2 of Shrine Bowl practices? Austin Reed and Kedon Slovis continued to impress, but Devin Leary truly made waves.

Which Shrine Bowl QBs shined on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft showcase? Austin Reed and Kedon Slovis still reside at the top of the list, but Devin Leary is rising, with his NFL-caliber arm talent fueling his ascent.

Day 2 Shrine Bowl QB Rankings: Devin Leary Bounces Back

Neither Jordan Travis nor Jason Bean participated in practice drills on Day 2 of the Shrine Bowl. Bean was ruled out for the week due to an illness, and Travis is still recovering from a severe ankle injury suffered at the end of the 2023 season.

1) Devin Leary, Kentucky

On Day 1, Devin Leary‘s arm stood above the rest. He led all QBs with the highest initial air speed of 76.8 miles per hour, and he also steamrolled the competition with an average spin rate of 518.3 RPMs. But his execution dropped him to the bottom of the list.

On Day 2, the wheel turned in the other direction for Leary. He kicked off 7-on-7s with a pinpoint boundary bucket throw in the deep third to Cornelius Johnson.

Not long after, Leary delivered one of the best throws of the week — a 30-yard skinny post missile to Anthony Gould between three defenders. It was a throw that put his NFL-caliber arm strength on display but also required window anticipation and precise layering.

Leary did have one brutal miscue on Day 2 — a red-zone interception thrown to Wyoming LB Easton Gibbs. Leary, intent on hitting a slant, didn’t see Gibbs undercutting the route and threw it right to the defender.

Aside from that play, however, Leary’s Day 2 was strong. He threw the ball with confidence, climbed the pocket, and scrambled when he needed to. And even after the pick, Leary came back and kept firing, testing a tight window on an end-zone crosser.

Leary is using the practice setting to take chances, and his arm is standing out as a result. If he can continue trending up through the rest of the week, he could leave the event as a riser.

2) Austin Reed, Western Kentucky

Austin Reed took the first-place spot on our QB rankings for Day 1. On Day 2, he fell a spot, but he was still very solid, and he remains the best QB through the week so far.

Reed was sharp in 7-on-7s, and his hallmark traits continued to stand out. He’s mechanically sound, accurate, and a very capable distributor whose velocity allows him to stay on schedule.

Going further, Reed used his eyes to hold open a boundary out route in the second team session, and he also did a good job sensing pressure in the red zone.

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More than that, he had the wherewithal to throw the ball away rather than attempt to force a tight throw. Those decisions, in real games, could be the difference between three points and no points.

That said, Reed didn’t adhere to that philosophy on one play earlier in practice. In the first team session, he forced an ill-advised throw to a slot corner route that was double covered. It would’ve resulted in an interception, but the pick was dropped.

Practice is the place to take risks, but those risks also have to be calculated ones. Reed’s confidence got the better of him once, but overall, he’s done more than enough to earn it.

3) Kedon Slovis, BYU

Kedon Slovis had one big miss during Day 2’s practice, and there are times when he leaves meat on the bone as a passer. But through two sessions, he’s been a top-three QB at the Shrine Bowl with some of the more compelling tools in the group.

During team drills, an over-thrown slant was intercepted by Dadrion Taylor-Demerson for a would-be pick-six. On rollouts, there’s room for Slovis to be more cognizant of intermediate opportunities, and he can also be indecisive against pressure.

All this being said, Slovis did do a fairly nice job resetting his feet on rollouts and finding his check-downs, particularly in 7-on-7s. And on one play, he dished a laser of a deep crosser to Lideatrick Griffin off play action from under center. Great drop-back mechanics allowed him to stay efficient, and he was decisive in taking the shot.

Miscues and missed opportunities are still present on Slovis’ practice tape, but they aren’t numerous. While he can continue to cut down on those, he’s given NFL teams reason to be intrigued.

4) Jack Plummer, Louisville

Jack Plummer cooled off as the day went on, but he had some very impressive moments early on Day 2 of Shrine Bowl practices.

During 7-on-7s, he used a glance to an out route to clear an intermediate curl over the middle of the field, actively using eye manipulation to displace defenders. He also displayed good timing and placement on a route sit in the intermediate range one play later.

In the first team drill, Plummer carried his momentum forward, showing patience and discretion in the pocket. At one point, he was able to climb the pocket off play-action, swerve around pressure, and deliver a solid deep post throw to David White.

The second and third East team sessions were less fruitful for Plummer. He missed a deep opportunity in the second session and threw behind his checkdown WRs.

In the red zone, Plummer was indecisive, second-guessing anticipation throws, and his heavy feet and inconsistent base width got him into trouble against pressure. He also missed high several times after tugging his front shoulder too far upright.

Plummer’s Day 2 was at least an improvement on Day 1, but Day 3 will be a good opportunity for him to prove he can string together one solid practice all the way through.

5) Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland

Volatility was a common theme for Taulia Tagovailoa in college. It was present on Day 1 of his Shrine Bowl showing, and it was magnified a bit on Day 2.

Early on in 7-on-7s, Tagovailoa was at least accurate on checkdowns, and he did have a solid tight-window throw on an intermediate post off play action. But aside from that, the day was defined by misses, imprecise throws, and inconsistent decision-making.

The frustrating part for some of Tagovailoa’s miscues is that he does some things well. At one point, he sufficiently anticipated an intermediate dig to Joshua Cephus, but unstable footwork caused an overthrow.

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At another point, Tagovailoa tried a boundary shot outside the numbers and timed it reasonably well, but he placed it infield, relative to the back shoulder, allowing cornerback Qwan’tez Stiggers an opportunity to deflect the pass.

Other issues dotted Tagovailoa’s Day 2 practice tape as well: Inconsistent pocket management and depth, holding the ball too long, and an ill-advised throw into coverage on the scramble drill.

To bounce back on Day 3, Tagovailoa will have to go back to the basics. Mechanical aberrations appear to be causing inaccuracy, and mental lapses are shining a negative light on a QB who should be justly recognized for his confidence.

6) John Rhys Plumlee, UCF

It was a fairly non-descript day for John Rhys Plumlee, who might’ve had the least passing opportunities of all his counterparts. But when he was able to pass the ball, Plumlee was relatively static with his eyes and didn’t often expand beyond the short range.

Plumlee did have a nice throw to an intermediate curl over the middle of the field. But by and large, he’s been somewhat inconsistent as a passer. And just as he had on Day 1, he failed to adapt at one point when a defender occluded his passing lane, resulting in a deflection.

A silver lining for Plumlee is that, of the QBs present, he’s clearly the best athlete, and his mobility allows him to function in an option offense. Building on that athleticism, however, has been difficult.

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