SEC Quarterback Rankings 2019
The best conference in football isn’t purely based around one area of play. There are dominant passers, talented halfbacks, tough linemen, sturdy defenses, video game-like receivers and no game of SEC football is going to ever have two poor, PAC-12 style spread offenses carrying their 2 respective shitty defenses in an inefficient game featuring no defensive effort (though I’m sure Chip Kelly and Mike Leach are pleasuring themselves at the idea of every American football program running a spread offense).
The SEC is real football, and many teams are led by solid, even dominant passers. The good thing about the SEC is that you don’t need a dominant signal caller to be successful, but it still helps to have a great passer. Here is a ranking of all 14 SEC quarterbacks entering 2019.
#14 – Riley Neal, Vanderbilt
A star at Ball State, Neal threw for 7 393 yards with a TD:INT ratio of 46:25 in a solid career for the Cardinals. He comes to the derp of the SEC as a graduate transfer with limited upside, but he has the potential to put up quite a few points for Vandy with a few places already in place, including an NFL Draft prospect at TE in Jared Pinkney. He could put points up on the board, but his upside is limited.
#13 – Ben Hicks, Arkansas
When a team goes 2-10, it’s fairly obvious they have a few things going wrong across the list, and for Arkansas, the main issue was an offense that scored just 21.7 points per game in Chad Morris’ debut season as head coach. Morris went and brought one of his former pupils at SMU along for the ride, and Ben Hicks left the Mustangs as their all-time leader in passing yards and passing TDs. He only threw for 2 582 yards and 19 TDs in 2018 under their new system, and while the familiarity with his new coach is good, he has limited upside and his weapons are poor, so not much should be expected.
#12 – Terry Wilson, Kentucky
A bit of a journeyman, Wilson was a highly regarded recruit for Oregon in 2016, but spent 2017 at the junior college level following a poor freshman season. Wilson dominated JuCo and went on to the Wildcats, where he immediately won a starting job. 1889 passing yards and 11 TDs to 8 INTs was alright for a first time college starter, but his production needs to increase dramatically if Kentucky wants to match last season’s 10 wins. Losing Benny Snell won’t help much either.
#11 – Joey Gatewood, Auburn
A 6’5” redshirt freshman compared by some in Auburn circles to Cam Newton, this inexperienced passer has lots of upside. The Auburn quarterback battle is a tight one, and Gatewood is the favourite to beat out Bo Nix and Malik Willis for the starting role at this stage. He has only played one game in his college career, recording 1 pass and rushing for 28 yards against Purdue in the Music City Bowl, but he has the potential to move up higher on this list over the season.
#10 – Tommy Stevens, Mississippi State
The man expected to take over from Nick Fitzgerald as the Bulldogs starter, Stevens transfers to Mississippi State following an injury ravaged career for the Nittany Lions, where he didn’t make a single start over three years behind Trace McSorely. However, at last weeks Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, LA. Stevens was one of the biggest surprises, generating rave reviews from many of the coaches for his size and passing abilities. It appears that Stevens is making the most of his collegiate last chance.
#9 – Matt Corral, Ole Miss
A four star recruit coming out of Long Beach, CA., Corral impressed in Oxford last year behind Jordan Ta’amu in the four games he appeared in with his dual threat ability and accuracy in the passing game. Corral will be a fun new toy for incoming OC Rich Rodriguez, and he is one of the SEC’s most promising young passers. It is just a question of whether the team can get help around him, with the Rebels’ OL and WR corps decimated following the 2018 draft.
#8 – Jarrett Guarantano, Tennessee
Tennessee has been earmarked as one of CFB’s biggest improvers entering the 2019 season, and Guarantano is a big reason why. In his 2nd year as the starter, the promising dual threat passer should take a step forward from a promising 2018, where he threw for 1907 yards, 12 touchdowns, and set an impressive streak of 166 straight passes without an interception. Another step forward for JG will be big for Tennessee’s return to relevance in 2019.
#7 – Feleipe Franks, Florida
One of college football’s most improved passers in 2018, Franks improved drastically under Dan Mullen’s playcalling on his way to 2457 yards, 24 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions as the Gators made their way to a top-10 ranking in the country. Franks does have his limitations as a passer, and his accuracy is still just “okay” at 58.4%, but he has potential and may be even higher up on this list in the future.
#6 – Joe Burrow, LSU
As a graduate transfer from Ohio State who only left OSU because he knew Dwayne Haskins would be a starter, Burrow never would’ve expected to be THIS good right away for one of America’s best teams. Burrow recorded 2894 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and 5 picks last season, providing a sturdy presence under center for a team that doesn’t require much from their signal callers. A confident young man, Burrow has talked repeatedly about how explosive the LSU offense can be with the senior QB at the helm, and there are high expectations for him to conquer in 2019.
#5 – Jake Bentley, South Carolina
With 32 starts already at this stage of his career, Bentley is an experienced passer with the maturity and attitude to lead a team far. His 2018 was very good, going off for 3171 passing yards and 27 touchdowns, but he also threw 14 picks. Bentley is a stud who performs exceptionally during in-conference play (8.2 yards per throw and 60.7% pass completion rate against the SEC), but he will have to overcome one of the nation’s toughest schedules in order for the Gamecocks to finally get over the top this season.
#4 – Kelly Bryant, Missouri
Drew Lock is gone, but there is no quarterback problem over in Mizzou, with former Clemson star Bryant ready to take the reigns in Columbia. In 2017, Bryant lived up to all the expectations he faced after Deshaun Watson’s departure on the way to 2802 passing yards, 13 passing touchdowns, 665 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns as the Tigers won the ACC and went to the national championship. Once Football Jesus Trevor Lawrence took over the starting helm in 2018, Bryant redshirted in order to give him one last shot at leading a team, and he will take over a very good 8-win team in 2018. One of the SEC’s best offensive lines and TE Albert Okwuegbunam (who would’ve been a high draft pick if he came out in 2019) will support Bryant is his role at Mizzou.
#3 – Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
As soon as Jimbo Fisher stepped on campus in College Station, Mond was identified as a future star in his system, and his 3107 yards and 24 touchdowns showed marked improvement from a 2017 where Mond shared the starting job with Nick Starkel and didn’t give us much of anything. Mond also went for 474 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground for the Aggies, and he should be expected to make the All-SEC team once again on one of the conference’s best teams.
#2 – Jake Fromm, Georgia
A standout passer who would be 1st on this list in nearly any other conference, Fromm set the bar high with an exceptional freshman season in 2017, and his 2018 lived up to the hype even further. Fromm went off for 2749 passing yards and 30 touchdowns last season, as one of CFB’s most efficient passers, passing at a 65% completion rate. Fromm will be a top-5 pick in the 2020 Draft, and this year will just add to an already impressive college resume for Fromm.
#1 – Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
If I have to explain to you why the betting odds’ Heisman favourite and the projected 1st overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft is 1st on this list, then you should be watching cricket or something, but here goes. 3966 passing yards, a single season school record. 43 passing scores, a single season record. 69% pass completion rate (Nice). Only 6 picks. All of this despite not even playing full games because of the Tide’s dominance. Tua is a freak of nature, and lord knows what video game-like stats he’ll put up in 2018.