A few days ago I shared how Athlon Sports has the Pac-12 starting QBs listed, and after a few days of reflection on that I wanted to take a stab at the rankings myself. As a reminder, here’s how Athlon has it:
1 - Khalil Tate
2 - Jake Browning
3 - Justin Herbert
4 - Tyler Huntley
5 - Manny Wilkins
6 - KJ Costello
7 - Steven Montez
8 - Ross Bowers
9 - JT Daniels
10 - Devon Modster
11 - Trey Tinsley
12 - Jake Lutton
I’ve made my opinion made on Tate and some of the otheres, but here’s how I rank the QBs:
1 - Jake Browning: He has been super efficient and such a great game manager at Washington. He led UW to a Pac-12 title and a CFP appearance, sure, he had a great defense and some playmakers, but he is just so sharp he makes that machine run.
2 - Justin Herbert: The Ducks with and without Herbert are night and day different. He’s tall, he’s mobile, and he throws a great ball. The junior-to-be is almost above Browning, in my book, but what Browning has done so far in his career gives him the edge. The question for Herbert is if he can stay healthy.
3 - Tyler Huntley: Kind of a smaller Herbert, and is the ultimate dual threat. He has shown the ability to throw the ball, and pick up tough yards on the ground to keep the chains moving. The hope for Utah fans is that his decision making improves, and that he can stay healthy in 2018. His play will determine if the Utes win the South.
4 - Ross Bowers: Bowers had a nice coming out season for Cal in 2017, and really had them humming along early in the season, but it couldn’t be sustained. Another year under Wilcox, and a season of experience could go a long way for him.
5 - Manny Wilkins: I’m not sure Wilkins will have the success under Herm Edwards, but he had a nice 2017 season. He’s another dual threat that took a step forward this past season. I think ASU is going to start to slide, but Wilkins may keep them afloat.
6 - Khalil Tate: I think when he’s forced to throw the ball, Tate is average at best. Sure, he’ll beat you with his legs at times, but to beat you for 4 quarters as a passer, I’m just not buying it right now.
7 -Steven Montez: Montez seemed pretty feast of famine last year for the Buffs. People in Boulder thought the offense was going to be unstoppable, but Montez seemingly struggled with some easy throws, and his decision making was questionable. He has plenty of ability to be a nice QB, but can he take the next step?
8 - KJ Costello: After eventually winning the job last season, Costello showed a ton of upside. The thing is, the Cardinal really don’t need him to be great with the running game they have with Bryce Love. As long as he manages the offense, he’ll be solid.
9-12: With USC, UCLA, Wazzu and Oregon State, I don’t think the jobs here are a lock. Athlon has USC starting a true freshman who reclassified so he could be on campus this season. UCLA with Chip Kelly, I’m not sure how locked in they are, and Wazzu is searching for answers after the tragedy they had this last winter. Oregon State, they also in a constant rebuild. I’d lean toward having USC at the top of this group, just because the surrounding talent will be great.
That’s how I have them ranked, how would you rank them?