College Football 2017: Power Ranking SEC Quarterbacks
SEC Quarterback Power Rankings
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Last season the SEC had five quarterbacks who had 20-plus touchdown passes and two who threw for more than 3,000 yards. A lot of those quarterbacks return this season and when you throw in a few others with high upside, this could end up being one of the better QB seasons in the SEC we’ve seen in a while.
With the 2017 college football season right around the corner, let’s power rank each quarterback in the SEC.
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1. Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State Bulldogs - In his first season as a starter, Nick Fitzgerald threw for 2,400 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for 1,300 yards and 16 touchdowns. The potential for Fitzgerald is off the charts with his size and athleticism, and he’ll become a household name this season.
2. Jalen Hurts, Alabama Crimson Tide - While not a perfect freshman year, Jalen Hurts more than held his own against some of the top teams in the country, completing nearly 63 percent of his passes and combining for 36 total touchdowns. Hurts may be the most talented QB Nick Saban has ever had at Alabama.
3. Jarrett Stidham, Auburn Tigers - Don’t look now, but coach Gus Malzahn has a quarterback again. Jarrett Stidham is a transfer from Baylor who completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns in a limited role in 2015. Stidham has the arm and the size to give Bama a run for the SEC West.
4. Shea Patterson, Ole Miss Rebels - In three games last season, Shea Patterson threw for 880 yards, six touchdowns and showed his athleticism on 41 carries. There’s comparisons floating around that Patterson is the next Johnny Manziel, and while that may be a stretch, the kid is exciting and will help keep Ole Miss above water with all the mess going on off the field.
5. Austin Allen, Arkansas Razorbacks - Austin Allen led the SEC last season with 3,430 passing yards and was second with 25 touchdown passes. Allen would be a tad higher on this list if he didn’t throw 15 interceptions and have constant dips in his play. But Allen is a gamer and brings experience and toughness to the field each week.
6. Jacob Eason, Georgia Bulldogs - Jacob Eason may have the best arm of any quarterback in the SEC, and he finished the season strong with five touchdown passes in his last three games. If Eason can get protection from his offensive line and find a rhythm, he could lead the Bulldogs to the SEC Championship Game.
7. Malik Zaire, Florida Gators - Malik Zaire didn’t live up to his recruiting status at Notre Dame despite six touchdown passes in 15 games played. However, don’t give up on Zaire just yet, as the raw talent is there. Zaire’s arm strength and athleticism is unmatched and could finally come together in Gainesville.
8. Jake Bentley, South Carolina Gamecocks - Jake Bentley turned South Carolina’s season around last year, throwing for a pair of touchdowns in each of his first three games and completing nearly 66 percent of his passes. The problem is Bentley then went on a cold streak and had a hard time taking control of the offense. With a summer under his belt as the man, Bentley could become something special for the Gamecocks.
9. Drew Lock, Missouri Tigers - Drew Lock has the arm and did throw for 3,400 yards and 23 touchdowns last season. The problem is Lock made constant foolish decisions with the ball and had four games with two or more interceptions. This season is about finding a happy balance for the more experienced Lock.
10. Stephen Johnson, Kentucky Wildcats - Stephen Johnson showed ability last year with 2,000 passing yards, 13 touchdown passes and 300 rushing yards with three touchdowns. Johnson can be a playmaker for the Wildcats and says he’s eager to prove the doubters wrong this season.
11. Danny Etling, LSU Tigers - Danny Etling has been in college forever, as he threw 267 passes for Purdue back in 2013 as a freshman. And while Etling had flashes last year of being the difference maker LSU needs at QB, he’s never played with consistency and just doesn’t have that explosiveness to get the Tigers over the top offensively.
12. Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt Commodores - Kyle Shurmur was dreadful to watch last season, throwing nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions, but he came out of nowhere towards the end and torched Tennessee with 416 passing yards. Vanderbilt would love to if that performance was a fluke or a sign of things to come.
13. Quinten Dormady, Tennessee Volunteers - Quinten Dormady has just 39 passes under his belt for his career and is being asked to replace Joshua Dobbs, who led the SEC last year with 27 touchdown passes. Dormady could be better than this ranking, but it’s all about show and prove with me.
14. Nick Starkel, Texas A&M Aggies - Nick Starkel seems to be the early favorite to win the starting job after redshirting last season. And while he doesn’t have the explosiveness the Aggies are used to seeing, he does get rid of the ball quickly and has good pocket awareness.