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2022 NFL Draft QB Watch: Nevada’s Carson Strong could be the next Joe Burrow or Zach Wilson

There isn’t any Trevor Lawrence on this draft class, however there could also be a Joe Burrow or Zach Wilson — a quarterback who appeared to come back out of nowhere and work his means into one of many high picks. Nevada’s Carson Sturdy has an opportunity to be that man and he is off to a sizzling begin to his 2021 marketing campaign. Beneath, we check out Sturdy’s spectacular efficiency, in addition to how a few of the different big-named, draft-eligible quarterbacks performed over the weekend.

Notice: Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler and North Carolina’s Sam Howell are two of the highest-profile quarterbacks on this class, however we have not included them on this week’s QB Look ahead to a quite simple purpose: We did not have entry to their video games; the Sooners-Western Carolina matchup was pay-per-view solely, and the UNC-Georgia State get-together was a regional broadcast. Take solace, nevertheless; after up-and-down performances in Week 1 (Rattler was sloppy vs. Tulane and Howell was operating for his life vs. Virginia Tech), each quarterbacks have been fairly, fairly good on Saturday night time. Rattler performed simply half-hour and completed 20 of 26 for 243 yards, 5 touchdowns and no interceptions, and Howell went for 21 of 29 for 352 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Carson Sturdy, Nevada

In case you’re on the lookout for an outta-nowhere quarterback prospect who wasn’t on the typical followers’ radar over the summer time and is poised for a Joe Burrow or Zach Wilson-type ascent up the ol’ media mock draft boards over the approaching weeks and months, allow us to introduce you to Carson Sturdy. We had him going No. 9 general in our first mock draft the season and the one purpose he lasted that lengthy was due to a knee harm that began in highschool and restricted him all through coaching camp final month. 

After all while you watch him, you’d don’t know Sturdy was something however 100% wholesome. He was dealing within the Wolf Pack’s season-opening win on the highway in opposition to Cal final week and he was downright dominant in opposition to Idaho State on Saturday night time. In 3.5 quarters of labor, Sturdy went 34 of 43 for 381 yards, 4 landing and no turnovers. 

He was, in a phrase, medical. 

Whether or not it was a back-of-the-end zone fade on Nevada’s first drive:

Or a back-shoulder throw on landing No. 2:

His third landing, simply earlier than the half, got here on as environment friendly a two-minute drill as you will see; Sturdy confirmed off his arm, his accuracy, his means to get by reads, and to stay affected person within the pocket. After which there’s the ultimate TD, which confirmed off his means to feather the ball over defenders whereas on the transfer:

To recap: Sturdy is legit. So legit, in actual fact, that the one factor maintaining us from making him our QB1 is his knee. If NFL teams give him a clear invoice of well being (and so they will not be capable to get have a look at him till the mix), he may find yourself being a high 5 choice and the primary quarterback off the board.

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

Again in January, Kenny Pickett had an invite to the Senior Bowl however as a substitute opted to return to Pittsburgh for his last season. And based mostly on what we noticed on the highway in opposition to Tennessee it was an excellent determination. Pickett completed with 285 yards, two first-rate landing passes and no turnovers, and it he did it whereas finishing 67% of his throws (24 of 36). 

It was a marked enchancment from what we noticed from Pickett at factors throughout the 2020 marketing campaign the place his toughness was certainly one of his greatest attributes however a maddening lack of consistency made it laborious to get a really feel on his sport. There have been no such considerations on Saturday afternoon; Pickett was throwing lasers all around the yard, totally on brief and intermediate routes. And it was his mobility — each within the pocket and when he opted to run — and, extra importantly, his accuracy that was so spectacular to observe.

Here is Pickett’s first landing cross, on a first-quarter drive that noticed him go 5-for-5:

And this is his second landing, a well-placed strike on a fast slant that solidified the Panthers‘ fourth-quarter lead:

Pickett is not within the High 50 dialog simply but, and we’ll be trustworthy, we had a Day 3 grade on him after the 2020 season. However he had a stellar efficiency in opposition to the Vols and he’ll get an opportunity to proceed to show himself subsequent month throughout a three-game stretch in opposition to Virginia Tech, Clemson and Miami.

Kedon Slovis, USC

Two years in the past, then-freshman Kedon Slovis stepped in for injured JT Daniels and by no means relinquished the job. Slovis performed in 12 video games that season, accomplished 72% of his throws fore 3,502 yards, 30 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Slovis was USC’s starter and Daniels finally transferred to Georgia. In 2020, Slovis remained the mannequin of consistency; he accomplished two-thirds of this passes with 17 touchdowns and 7 picks in a pandemic-shortened schedule. 

On Saturday, the 14th-ranked Trojans performed host to Stanford and this is the reality: Slovis was outplayed by Cardinal sophomore Tanner McKee, who was a part of a quarterback rotation in Week 1 and had appeared in only one sport with seven makes an attempt in 2020. This was his first profession begin and McKee completed an environment friendly 16 of 23 for 234 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers. 

That is to not say Slovis was unhealthy, as a result of he wasn’t. In actual fact, he appeared quite a bit just like the quarterback we have seen the final two seasons. He ended the night time 27 of 42 for 223 yards, with a landing and a really expensive late-game decide six. He isn’t an elite athlete like Trey Lance or Justin Fields (suppose extra alongside the traces of Mac Jones) however he throws with nice anticipation and accuracy. First there’s the back-shoulder throws to wideout Drake London:

And this put-it-only-where-your-guy-can-catch-it ball between two defenders behind the top zone that was dropped:

That stated, the aforementioned interception was on a slant that was simply behind his supposed goal and the outcomes have been catastrophic for USC’s possibilities at a comeback. All instructed, Slovis has strong footwork, will get by his reads, usually makes the fitting selections with the ball popping out on time. The problem is that he would not have elite arm energy, and extra importantly, would not persistently put the staff on his again and lead them on late-game landing drives like Jones at Alabama, or perhaps a Kyle Trask at Florida. 

Do not misunderstand: Slovis is a strong quarterback who possesses most of the attributes NFL groups are on the lookout for, it is simply that his model of play leaves little or no margin for error.

Brock Purdy, Iowa State

We have been writing about Brock Purdy on this tempo for 3 seasons now, and whereas we have been actually impressed together with his sophomore marketing campaign, he regressed a bit in 2020. We marked up a few of these struggles to taking part in by a pandemic and have been excited to see what he may do in ’21. Iowa State opened the season with 16-10 win over Northern Iowa and Purdy completed 21 of 26 for 199 yards with neither a landing nor an interception.

On Saturday in opposition to Iowa, the Cyclones’ offense sputtered early however lower the Hawkeyes result in a 14-10 on the half, thanks largely to a late second-quarter Purdy middle-of-the-field seed to Darren Wilson for a 49-yard achieve. Iowa State bought into the top zone a play later. Then issues bought ugly. Actually ugly.

Purdy had already tossed a second-quarter interception when he barely underthrew his receiver — and Iowa’s Matt Hankins made an unimaginable play on the ball — when all of it went sideways within the third quarter.

The primary two offensive drives after the half ended with Cyclones punts. That was adopted by three drives that ended thusly: a Breece Corridor fumble returned for six, a Purdy interception that went off the fingers of his receiver operating a brief crosser, and a Purdy interception that was tipped on the line of scrimmage (have a day, Mr. Hankins). 

Because the third quarter gave solution to the fourth, Purdy, who had began all however three video games the final 4 seasons, discovered himself on the bench, changed by redshirt freshman Hunter Dekkers. His last stat line: 13 of 27 for 138 yards, no touchdowns and the aforementioned three picks.

Purdy barely resembles the quarterback we noticed in 2019, and he’ll must play with extra confidence and consistency to show issues round. He has time, however for now there are much more questions than solutions about his sport.

Emory Jones, Florida

Emory Jones tried simply 32 passes final season as a result of this was Trask’s staff. However Jones was presupposed to be the man heading into the 2021 season. Sure, coach Dan Mullen named Jones the starter earlier than the season, and once more reiterated as a lot after a lukewarm efficiency in opposition to FAU, however his grasp on the No. 1 job is tenuous at greatest due to the lights-out effort from freshman Anthony Richardson. 

There’s quite a bit to love in regards to the dual-threat nature of Jones’ sport however the lack of consistency from one play to the following, together with Richardson’s emergence, may finally land him on the bench. First, the great from Saturday’s matchup in opposition to USF: This 35-yard landing cross early within the second quarter was a dime:

Jones additionally ran for 81 yards and a rating in opposition to USF, and the week earlier than he had 74 dashing yards, and Mullen made it clear final week that Jones’ grasp of the offense is without doubt one of the causes he is atop the depth chart:

However Jones additionally threw two picks in opposition to FAU in Week 1 and had two extra on Saturday, each of which, if not inexcusable, bordered on the inexplicable. The primary interception, which sport within the third quarter, with the sport already in hand, got here after Jones threw to the flat even with a defensive again standing between him and his supposed goal. The subsequent interception got here on the very subsequent drive, after Jones was two beats late hitting his receiver on a crossing route, and within the course of allowed the far-side defensive again to make a play.

Richardson, in the meantime, threw three passes, two of which went for touchdowns and the opposite was a jaw-dropping sideline throw:

Richardson additionally rushed 4 occasions for 115 yards and a rating, and he had 160 dashing yards in final week’s win. He left the sport within the fourth quarter with a tweaked hamstring and that may have been the one purpose Jones bought again on the sphere. Subsequent up: Alabama, y’all.



https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/information/2022-nfl-draft-qb-watch-nevadas-carson-strong-could-be-the-next-joe-burrow-or-zach-wilson/ | 2022 NFL Draft QB Watch: Nevada’s Carson Sturdy might be the following Joe Burrow or Zach Wilson

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