5) Quarterback quartet includes two intriguing seniors
Since the CFB Playoff’s inception in the 2014 season, each year has featured at least one quarterback drafted in the first four rounds of the following April. That span has included playoff games by potential top-five picks Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa.
Last year’s group produced one QB pick: Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, in Round 3 at Atlanta. At this point, however, not much of anything has been decided when it comes to the actions of the four quarterbacks who will participate in the national semifinal games.
Stroud was a Heisman finalist last year and has long been a highly touted prospect. TCU‘s Max Duggan and Georgia‘s Stetson Bennett IV weren’t considered top-tier quarterback prospects entering this season, but through their own improvement and their team’s success this season, each has helped themselves. to have a better chance of making it to the league.
A sixth-year senior who turned 25 in October, Bennett might be similar in size to Alabama’s much-touted signal caller Bryce Young, but he lacks Young’s arm talent and ability to do magic outside of the field. screenplay. Still, Bennett’s toughness, intelligence, better-than-average arm and other intangibles are likely to land him an NFL roster. He has added arrows to his quiver, with better coding and fewer passes thrown down the line.
Duggan is a senior in his fourth year and has the option to return for a fifth season at TCU due to the NCAA‘s COVID-19 waiver. He plays with an unusual style and might not be a fit for every NFL team. But now he is a little more appreciated for his improved accuracy, rugged toughness, running ability, experience and ability to deliver in the clutch. Duggan has posted career-highs in completion percentage (65%), passing yards (3,321), yards per attempt (9) and TD passes (30), along with better ball security (four INTs in 368 passes), in 2022.
Both Bennett and Duggan could end up as Day 3 selections and emerge as competitive backups with potential to start.