Only one quarterback went in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Kenny Pickett was selected at No. 20 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the first round ended with just one quarterback selected for the first time since 2013. With Pickett off the board, who are the top 10 remaining quarterbacks for the 2022 NFL Draft? Who could hear their names called sooner than later?
Here are Pro Football Network’s consensus top 10 quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft as we enter Day 2.
Top 10 quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft | 6-10
While our consensus list of the top 10 QBs is by no means an indication of who will be drafted or the order in which they’ll be selected, it reflects how comfortable we are with these players’ skill sets at the next level.
10) EJ Perry, Brown
A coach’s kid, literally, EJ Perry is someone that every general manager and head coach is going to want on their team. He’s a heady passer with surprising athleticism. Perry ran a 4.6 40-yard dash, the second-fastest at the Combine, and touched 10’3″ on the broad while hitting 36.5″ on the vertical. He also displayed some arm talent during his pre-draft process.
Though not the largest quarterback in stature, Perry’s evaluation stems from his time at Boston College before transferring to play for his uncle at Brown. He doesn’t wow with any throws, but he’s more than capable of handling what’s asked of him. It’s likely a long road as a backup in the NFL, but Perry makes his teammates around him better. And that can’t be quantified.
9) Eric Barriere, Eastern Washington
Eric Barriere‘s place on this list hasn’t changed. He’s an elite-level athlete with a lesser-known profile. All Barriere did in 2021 was throw for 5,070 yards and 46 touchdowns. That gave him a ridiculous 13,809 career passing yards and 121 career touchdowns. Combine that with the fact that he ran for another 1,585 yards and 22 touchdowns, and you’ve got yourself a true dual-threat quarterback that’s worthy of further research.
When you turn on Barriere’s tape, you can see how he was able to produce such numbers. His creativity with the ball is certainly unique, as is his arm platform usage. He’ll use the mobility in his legs to create open passing lanes while maintaining vision downfield in the passing game. But he can also stand tall in the pocket and deliver accurate strikes.
Given that he can shake the durability questions with work in an NFL facility, the biggest area for concern in Barriere’s evaluation is his decision-making. He’s a developmental prospect who can elevate the room around him while advancing his mental game in preparation for NFL action. Barriere’s success in the NFL will be contingent upon his landing spot.
8) Brock Purdy, Iowa State
Brock Purdy‘s slot in our quarterback rankings is one of constant fluctuation. Purdy is the most successful Iowa State quarterback of all time. He was a darling of many college football and draft analysts for some time. However, Purdy never really elevated his game as an NFL Draft prospect. He isn’t a pocket passer, nor is he a mobile, throw-on-the-run kind of guy. He’s almost an enigma.
Yet, there’s a lot to like about Purdy’s game. He elevates the talent around him and consistently makes plays when there isn’t anything to be had. His arm talent is elite, and he can easily fit balls into tight windows. Purdy zips passes in with plus arm strength and, at times, took games over with his legs.
So, what’s not to like? Questionable decisions, a lack of stature in the pocket, and overconfidence are just some of the knocks on Purdy’s game when projecting him to the NFL. He threw off his back foot too many times in college. Purdy attempted to extend plays when easy throws were there. Some of his knocks, however, are coachable. He has a future in the NFL — he’ll just have to find the right coach and system to harness his strengths.
7) Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky
Look, Bailey Zappe saw a ton of historic success in the 2021 season. He transferred from Houston Baptist to Western Kentucky and broke Joe Burrow’s single-season records for passing yards and touchdowns in one fewer game. Zappe threw the ball 686 times to do so, but the fact remains he totaled 5,967 passing yards and 62 touchdowns through 14 games.
Zappe clearly raised the bar, and he proved that he didn’t only succeed at HBU because he played against lesser competition. He also showed during the offseason circuit that he has plenty of arm strength, hitting the second-fastest mark at the Senior Bowl. He can hit all levels of the field and truly changed the way we evaluate Air Raid quarterbacks.
However, it wasn’t all perfection last year for Zappe’s evaluation. His accuracy was questionable when he was moved off his spot. His projection in the NFL obviously changes his schematics from his college career, so there’s also a developmental gap he’ll have to overcome. Yet, he has everything else and has proved to be capable of elevating his cast. Zappe will be an NFL-caliber quarterback soon — just not tomorrow.
6) Kaleb Eleby, Western Michigan
The evaluation of Kaleb Eleby isn’t simple, but it certainly is fun. Eleby has ample arm strength and terrific ball placement. He has plenty of athleticism when he breaks the pocket, but he was rarely able to show that due to plenty of good decision-making. Eleby can hit every level of the field and throws with anticipation.
Eleby is the best quarterback outside of the early round conversation and clearly the leader of the second tier of quarterback prospects. His arm strength has never been in question, but he can also put enough touch on the ball in certain situations when it is warranted. His layering of throws over coverages is some of the best in the class.
Yet, his ceiling is that of a pure pocket passer, as his biggest shortcoming is pocket maneuverability. While he’s not quite a liability in the pocket, Eleby’s biggest struggles are when he has to play out of structure or find throwing lanes in a collapsing pocket. He can make accurate passes to all levels, but his down-to-down consistency did take a dip over the years. Eleby will need a simplified offense to see success right away. With the right situation and a solid offensive line, he can absolutely make an impact in the NFL.
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