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Joel Klatt ranks top quarterbacks as prospects since 2012

On3 imageby:Griffin McVeigh02/20/24


Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Most people out there consider this generation’s can’t-miss quarterback prospect Andrew Luck. Compared to the likes of Peyton Manning and John Elway coming out of Stanford, everybody else has been ranked behind Luck since then. Even Robert Griffin III, who brought a dual-threat ability to the league after his college career at Baylor.

Twelve years have passed since the Luck-Griffin draft and seven quarterbacks have been selected No. 1 overall. FOX’s Joel Klatt decided to rank the top quarterbacks to enter the league as prospects and included this year’s bunch. Klatt emphasized that it’s based on their potential “as prospects” and not results in the NFL.

Here are Klatt’s top five.

  1. USC‘s Caleb Williams
  2. Clemson‘s Trevor Lawrence
  3. LSU‘s Joe Burrow
  4. North Carolina‘s Drake Maye
  5. Alabama‘s Bryce Young

After giving out his list, Klatt did provide a note for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes — “Evaluation of Mahomes was difficult & no QB had succeeded from that offense prior.”

Mahomes was selected 10th overall and the second quarterback off the board. There were questions surrounding him after spending time with Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech. To Klatt’s point, nobody had come from an Air Raid offense and proven to be successful in the NFL. The evaluation surrounding Mahomes was considered a difficult one.

Caleb Williams or Drake Maye will be first on list to not go No. 1 overall

Of the three guys on Klatt’s list already in the NFL, all of them went No. 1 overall in their respective draft classes. With Williams and Maye both available for selection this upcoming April, one of them will have to wait at least one pick to hear their name called by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Currently, the consensus top pick for the Chicago Bears — or whoever trades up — is Williams. Teams must seemingly agree with Klatt’s rankings and view him as a player you cannot pass on. His sophomore season in Los Angeles produced a Heisman Trophy, something three other members in the top five have.

Maye is likely to be the outlier of the entire group. He is not expected to go No. 1 overall and he did not win a Heisman Trophy. Never did Maye appear in New York City as a finalist either. But in the opinion of Klatt, whoever selects Maye will be getting one of the best quarterback prospects we have seen in the last decade-plus.