Ranking Justin Herbert, Other Top Draft-Eligible Quarterbacks After Week One

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 01: Will Grier #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers watches on against the Tennessee Volunteers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 01: Will Grier #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers watches on against the Tennessee Volunteers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

After one week of College Football we take a look at some of the top NFL Draft eligible signal callers

After researching dozens of 2019 mock drafts, including, but not limited to: ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today and Phil Steele—I’ve compiled a list of five quarterbacks that are, according to the “experts,” the most NFL-ready and likely to go in the first round of next spring’s draft. Of course, Oregon’s own Justin Herbert is a part of this esteemed list. He, along with Michigan’s Shea Patterson, Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham, West Virginia’s Will Grier, and Missouri’s Drew Lock make up the perceived upper echelon of passers eligible for the 2019 draft. 

Will Herbert be the first one off the board? I tend to believe so. However, the season is long, things change, injuries happen, some guys shine when the lights are brightest, and others fade. It’s way to early to make statements regarding an event almost eight months from now. Whatever. I’m going to anyways.

Okay. With week one of the new College Football season in the books, here’s the order I’d draft them in, as of today. 

(All stats recorded from ESPN)

1. Justin Herbert (Oregon)

Stats: 10/21, 281 yards, 6 TD (1 rushing), 2 INT, 93.3 QBR

Analysis: Herbert was incredibly efficient in Oregon’s decimation of Bowling Green on Saturday, throwing a touchdown on half of his completed passes. Unfortunately for any NFL scouts at Autzen Stadium, he wasn’t prominently featured in the Duck offense for the majority of the second half. And, in total, he only threw 21 passes. His completion percentage was under 50, and he did toss two picks—not especially encouraging, but nothing to worry about this early in the season. Herbert also showed flashes of absolute brilliance—in particularly, this frozen rope he threw on 4 & 13 with Oregon down 10-0:

Big time throw, even if the opposition was as lowly as Bowling Green. The ducks needed a shot of adrenaline after a sluggish start, and their stud QB1 gave it to them. Scouts bookmarked that pass for sure. 

2. Will Grier (West Virginia)

Stats: 25/34, 429 yards, 5 TD, 0 INT, 91.0 QBR

Analysis: Grier was hands down the best QB in the country on Saturday. He picked apart the defense like he was Johnny Utah–who, in Point Break, probably had the single greatest performance in the history of beach football. Except, I think Patrick Swayze might be a better edge rusher than anyone Tennessee had to offer. Nonetheless, Grier and his magnificent hair were fantastic in the Mountaineer’s season opener. He did whatever he wanted all afternoon, passing-wise–and against an SEC defense (a pretty crappy one, but shhhhh). If he can consistently play at this level, Will Grier will certainly be in Heisman consideration.

3. Drew Lock (Missouri)

Stats: 19/25, 289, 4 TD, 0 INT, 96.0 QBR

Analysis: Lock, while in the game, was impressive; tossing 4 scores and completing 76% of his passes. Of course, his performance should be taken with a grain of salt, since he was facing a gaudy UT Martin defense. Unlike some (Herbert), Lock was completely dominant for every moment he was in the game–a trait he’s often shown when facing inferior opponents. However, from a big picture standpoint, not too much can be gleaned from a dominant Tiger’s victory where he was yanked mid-third quarter.

4. Jarrett Stidham (Auburn)

Stats: 26/36, 273 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 60.9 QBR

Analysis: When Stidham arrived last year from Baylor, Auburn fans were curious as to whether they had their next national caliber quarterback. And after last season, and his first game of 2018, the obvious answer is yes, they do. In the lone top-ten matchup of the week, Stidham and the Tigers proved their place among CFP contenders with a win over the ninth ranked Washington Huskies. Auburn, unlike in years passed, elected to center their offense around throwing the pigskin. And they succeeded doing so. Stidham was calm under pressure and seemingly made the right decision every time. The performance wasn’t crazy from a numbers perspective, but Stidham did what his team needed him to. His longest pass was a mere 19 yards, but yet, it still felt like he controlled the game. That’s what NFL quarterbacks do.

5. Shea Patterson (Michigan)

Stats: 20/30, 227 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 32.4 QBR

Analysis: Patterson had by far the worst outing of the five covered in this list. He turned in a goose-egg in the scoring category and struggled for much of the game against a stifling Notre Dame defense. His O-line didn’t do him any favors, allowing three sacks. I wouldn’t be quick to judge Patterson after this performance. Here’s why: this is his first game in a Michigan uniform, under Michigan/Harbaugh’s system. Plus, his first game came against one of the best 15 teams in the nation–and certainly one of CFB’s premier defenses. Give it a few weeks. Patterson was excellent before his injury last season, and I expect him to improve game by game as a Wolverine.

Bang. There’s the five best according to me (with help from the “experts”). I’ll update this list weekly. Hopefully Justin Herbert will retain the top spot all fifteen weeks, but I guess we’ll just have to see.

Oregon Football hosts Portland State on Saturday at Autzen Stadium. (11am, Pac-12 Network)