The first SEC quarterback taken in next spring’s NFL Draft could be a surprise to some, based on the early returns.
Pro Football Focus rated the top 10 quarterbacks in college football so far this year with an eye on the draft.
Not surprisingly, Louisville phenom and Heisman Trophy frontrunner Lamar Jackson tops the list.
But you have to go all the way down to No. 6 to find an SEC signal caller, and it’s Austin Allen of Arkansas, a junior for the Hogs.
According to the post, Allen’s breakout performance in Saturday’s loss against Texas A&M helped his stock rise.
The post added:
For the season he ranks third in PFF grades, and has excelled on high-degree-of-difficulty throws. He has been under pressure on 40 percent of his dropbacks, the second-highest rate in the nation, and 63.3 percent of his passing yards have come in the air – the fifth-highest rate in the nation, and a sign that he isn’t just racking up stats with short throws that produce big gains after the catch.
The only other SEC quarterback on the list is No. 9 Chad Kelly of Ole Miss, the senior and nephew of Buffalo icon Jim Kelly. You might expect the Rebels QB to be higher up on this list.
The post said there’s a “lot of up and down to Kelly’s game,” adding:
He ranks fifth in passer rating and third in deep-ball adjusted completion rate – the latter of which is particularly impressive given that 22 percent of his pass attempts travel 20 or more yards downfield, the sixth-highest rate in the nation.
There’s a lot of time to add tape to your highlight film though, and these two will meet Oct. 15 in Fayetteville.