The doldrums of summer have allowed me to dive headfirst into the data and film on all 131 starting quarterbacks at the FBS level and compile this list of the top college football quarterback rankings for 2022.
Top college quarterback rankings criteria
As noted in last year’s rankings, I was able to create a high-quality ranking system for each college program’s situation. Yes, some statistics will be cited. But those were not the only deciding factors in these rankings.
The film-watching portion of these rankings dictated a heavy portion of the weight on where a player landed. Also incorporated in these rankings were injury history, head coach or offensive coordinator changes, roster turnover, and general quarterback mechanics all over the field.
It’s important to note that this list is not a projection of a player’s NFL capabilities. Rather, it is a list of how each player should fare solely in college based on the skills they’ve shown at the collegiate level or, in some cases, back to their high school days.
Top college quarterback rankings 2022 | 111-131
131) Trey Lowe, Ty Keyes, Jake Lange | Southern Miss
The Southern Miss Golden Eagles have a lot to figure out for the 2022 season. One of those things, simply put, is their passing attack. A year ago, the Golden Eagles had 10 different players attempt at least one pass and five different players throw at least one touchdown pass. That being said, they also had seven different players throw at least one interception.
By all accounts, it was a dismal season from a passing standpoint for Southern Miss, and getting that figured out will go a long way toward sustainability. Jake Lange had arguably the most success as he was able to get into the most rhythm with the most snaps at the position, but Trey Lowe offered more upside with his dual-threat ability and opening the season as the starter. Expect Lowe to get the snaps to start the year and hold on to it if he can stay healthy.
130) Clay Millen, Giles Pooler | Colorado State
Transferring in with new head coach Jay Norvell is Clay Millen, having attempted just a single pass attempt behind Carson Strong while at Nevada. Like his quarterback competition in Giles Pooler, Millen is a large quarterback but very inexperienced. Standing at 6’3 is Millen, while Pooler tips the scales at 6’5” and comes from Kentucky powerhouse high school St. Xavier.
Size won’t give you an advantage in our starting quarterback rankings, however, as it has to be proven on the field. Unfortunately for both redshirt freshman quarterbacks, their high school senior seasons were marred during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and each of these two hasn’t played meaningful snaps in at least two years. While Colorado State will look a lot like Nevada Lite in 2022, they’ll be lacking top-notch quarterback play like the Jay Norvell teams have had in recent years back in Reno.
129) Jack Salopek, Mareyohn Hrabowski, Stone Hollenbach | Western Michigan
This quarterback room is a bit of a mystery at Western Michigan. Enter Stone Hollenbach after he enrolled at Alabama but took no snaps on the field. Return the likes of Jack Salopek and Mareyohn Hrabowski after they combined to attempt six passes a season ago. Add all that together and you get one of the more inexperienced and underwhelming quarterback rooms in the country.
Salopek was a single-season record holder at Norwin High School in Pennsylvania while Hrabowski wins with his legs more than his arm. It’s a random assortment of unproven talent at the most important position in team sports. It’s also safe to say this is a massive downgrade from Kaleb Eleby until proven otherwise.
128) John Paddock | Ball State
Longtime quarterback John Paddock likely gets his shot to lead the Ball State Cardinals in 2022. Paddock has attempted just over 30 pass attempts in his time with the program, spanning from 2018 to now.
Paddock, the all-time winningest quarterback in his high school’s history, will undoubtedly know the subtle nuances of the Ball State offense better than anyone else on the roster. But the question of his intangibles and arm strength will be raised until showcased on the field. He’s a surefire leader as evidenced by recent quotes surrounding the program, but the ultimate test will be backing it up on the field on Saturdays.
127) Chandler Fields, Ben Wooldridge, Lance Legendre | Louisiana
In all likelihood, the Ragin’ Cajuns’ offensive scheme stays the same under new head coach Michael Desormeaux, formerly their co-offensive coordinator. With that in mind, what do we know about the quarterbacks on the roster entering the 2022 season? Not much. Chandler Fields has played spot duty over the past three seasons, attempting just over 20 passes and rushing the ball even fewer. Lange Legendre – a Maryland transfer – last played in 2020 where he also play spot duties behind Taulia Tagovailoa.
Fields is the likely starter with his knowledge of the offense. But standing at 5’10, 198, he hardly strikes fear into defenses as he’ll be limited to mostly throwing from the pocket. It’ll be a rebuilding year for Louisiana, but if either one of these two quarterbacks shows promise, they can still win some games with this roster.
126) Andrew Peasley, Hank Gibbs | Wyoming
After four seasons with Utah State, Andrew Peasley lands at Wyoming for his final season. He’ll battle it out with former three-star QB recruit Hank Gibbs from Arkansas for the starting duty in 2022.
Peasley has a solid arm but was plagued by some questionable decision-making during his time at Utah State. He had one multi-touchdown performance a season ago with the Aggies, tossing three scores against Air Force but completing just over 50% of his passes for the season. Gibbs was a three-sport athlete at Fayetteville High School in Arkansas. He stands 6’5” and has some serious arm talent, similar to some former Wyoming quarterback that the Pokes have become known for over recent years.
125) Brady Olson | UMass
Completing fewer than 50% of his throws last season, Brady Olson was subject to some below-average wide receiver play around him. Olson stood tall in the pocket for UMass and delivered accurate shots when given time. He did attempt to force throws a bit too much at times. But with the holes in the Minutemen roster a season ago, it’s less his fault than it is the fault of the surrounding talent lacking in players who can create natural separation.
Olson knows adversity and has shown he can challenge defenses with his arm talent. It’s only a matter of time before they can string some victories under Don Brown with Olson at the helm.
124) Ta’Quan Roberson, Tyler Phommachanh | UConn
It’s been a while since Ta’Quan Roberson was at the top of his game. In the same way, it’s been a while since UConn had a quarterback at the top of their game as well. Roberson, a former four-star recruit and Penn State quarterback, gives the Huskies hope under Jim Mora Jr. He was the eighth-ranked dual-threat quarterback from the class of 2019, playing his high school football at DePaul Catholic. Roberson attempted just under 30 pass attempts during his time at Penn State, tossing two interceptions against Iowa in his only game with meaningful snaps.
Battling alongside Roberson will be Tyler Phommachanh, who actually surprised with his arm talent and ability to lead the offense to success with his arm talent and legs prior to injury against Vanderbilt. They’re not the biggest duo of quarterbacks, but they both have upside and high-level play in them. That’s something UConn hasn’t had a lot of recently.
123) Wiley Green, TJ McMahon, JoVoni Johnson | Rice
The multi-quarterback situation at Rice didn’t quite work out last year. Nor did the Luke McCaffrey experiment. With Wiley Green, TJ McMahon, and JoVoni Johnson in the mix, fall camp better generate one leader in the clubhouse so the Owls can avoid a repeat of 2021 this fall.
Green is the most experienced, starting three games in total a season ago and tallying nearly 2,000 passing yards over the past four seasons. He’s a big passer with a big arm, provided he has time to throw. McMahon played in relief as the season wore down for Rice, averaging a healthy 10.1 yards per attempt in his lone game. Johnson, on the other hand, hasn’t played since 2020 when he did little to invoke fear but did at least take care of the football when he was in the lineup. It’s any man’s job at this rate, but Rice would be much better off if one of these three separated themselves before Week 1.
122) Riley Leonard, Jordan Moore | Duke
It wasn’t a pretty display of passing for the Duke Blue Devils a season ago, fielding multiple starters and spotty play across the board. Despite Gunnar Holmberg’s knowledge of the offense, it still felt like this team lacked luster with the ball in their hands and were ultra-dependent on favorable field position or special teams.
As that’s unlikely to win many games in the ACC this season, Riley Leonard or Jordan Moore will have to take a step up. Leonard started against Virginia Tech, completing fewer than 50% of his passes. Moore also played against the Hokies, throwing his first collegiate touchdown in the outing, but logging just two more pass attempts after.
Both big presences in the pocket, Moore and Leonard equally have some extra in their legs. It remains to be seen who takes the starting reins with a solid fall camp, but what we have seen out of both in reserve duty gives pause for much more than another middling ACC performance from the Blue Devils.
121) Jacolby Criswell, Drake Maye | North Carolina
With a combined 35 pass attempts between the two of them, the North Carolina duo of Jacolby Criswell and Drake Maye are a long way from the ACC record-setting quarterback play of recent years in Chapel Hill. Criswell, the more experienced of the two, has thrown 25 career attempts, including 21 a season ago, completing 13 for 179 yards. Maye was 7-of-10 a season ago for 89 yards with both performances coming in relief duty against Georgia State and Wofford.
For ranking purposes here, we have to look back at recruiting prowess of the two, most notably, Maye. A former five-star prospect according to 247Spots, Maye was the class of 2021’s ninth-ranked quarterback on their composite rankings while Criswell was the class of 2020’s 11th-ranked dual-threat quarterback and the second-ranked player coming out of Arkansas.
It seems as if the recruiting profile gives Maye the edge as does his height and overall athleticism in the pocket from his high school days when he threw for over 6,000 yards in his final two seasons. High school is different, as we all know, and Maye will have to prove that high level of play from as far back as 2019 can translate into 2022.
120) Dino Maldonado, Weston Eget | New Mexico State
After years with Jonah Johnson calling the shots, New Mexico State is moving on to a new signal-caller in either Dino Maldonado or Weston Eget. Maldonado took the majority of snaps in two games during Johnson’s absence early on a season ago, showcasing some potential against South Carolina State to the tune of three touchdowns and over 300 yards.
After traveling from Portland State to Ventura College, it appears as though the starting gig in Las Cruces is his. There’s a dual-threat ability in his game, but he’ll have to rely on his ability to find receivers open across the field as he did against South Carolina State and not how he did in relief against New Mexico to really move up these rankings.
119) Collin Schlee | Kent State
Arm strength certainly won’t be in question for Collin Schlee as he takes over as Kent State’s starting quarterback in 2022. A former two-sport standout at Oakdale High School in Maryland, Schlee stands 6’3” and 218 pounds. A dynamic athlete, Schlee is best when he has time to process the field and stand tall to deliver powerful shots.
This is no indictment on his ability as a runner, as he’ll do just fine in the QB-friendly system that is Kent State’s. There is a lot of hope built-in for Schlee as he takes over for one of the best in program history (Dustin Crum), but he has a lot to prove at this point in his career.
118) Chandler Rogers, Jiya Wright | UL-Monroe
The UL-Monroe Warhawks were just a few plays away from a much better overall record a season ago. A lot of those minor lapses, unfortunately, could be placed on the offense’s lack of cashing in and sustaining drives. Though Chandler Rogers didn’t turn the ball over much, there was a lack of firepower with him at the helm in the meat of the season in 2021. Save for the performance against South Alabama in which he threw four touchdowns, Rogers was held to no touchdowns or a single passing touchdown in four of his seven starts.
That has paved the way for an apparent quarterback battle between Rogers and Jiya Wright. Both transfers into the program, Rogers and Wright have decorated pasts and could stand to improve with stability within the program. Either way, they’ll have to play better and play sustainably if they want to win more games in Monroe this fall.
117) Gunnar Holmberg, Haden Carlson, Grayson James | Florida International
The assumption here is that Gunnar Holmberg wins the job or was essentially promised the job after transferring in from Duke. Helping aid a young quarterback room, Holmberg completed 67% of his passes for 2,358 yards a season ago for the Blue Devils. However, Holmberg did struggle at times with progressive reads and failed to find the end zone when it counted most. He finished the season with just seven touchdowns against eight interceptions.
Haden Carlson and Grayson James hail from large high school football programs and have relatively high upsides if you take recruiting rankings into consideration. James may be the long-term answer for FIU as he led Duncanville High School to a near 6A state championship in Texas after throwing for over 3,800 yards and finishing as an Elite 11 finalist during his high school career.
116) D’Wan Mathis | Temple
As decorated as his high school career was, D’Wan Mathis hasn’t done much to validate his former recruiting notoriety. A former four-star prospect, Mathis was at one point the 11th-ranked pro-style quarterback for the class of 2019. After signing with Georgia, Mathis transferred after two seasons in Athens that saw him throw three interceptions and a single touchdown in mop-up duty. He transferred to Temple and entered the 2021 season as the inherit starter for the Owls. However, after injuring his ankle in the season opener, the 2021 season went downhill for him and Temple as a whole.
Mathis averaged just 6.2 yards per throw and threw six touchdowns against four interceptions. His inaccuracy plagued him for most of the season before re-injuring himself against ECU in Week 10. Ending the season on a sour note, Mathis will hope for a proverbial return to glory with sustained healthy play in 2022.
115) Hunter Dekkers | Iowa State
For the first time in what feels like a decade, Iowa State starts a season without Brock Purdy as their starting QB. After two years of learning behind Purdy, Hunter Dekkers enters the lineup as the starter in Ames in 2022. The 13th-ranked dual-threat quarterback from his class, Dekkers has a high pedigree and strong recruiting profile to live up to as well as high expectations for the QB position after Purdy rewrote the Iowa State record book during his tenure with the program.
A solid passer, Dekkers has been able to show more with his legs in his brief time in the lineup for the Cyclones. Still, he’s got a big arm with the talent to push the ball downfield. He just hasn’t been able to showcase it due to the situations he’s been put in. Much like a lot of the quarterbacks down this far in the rankings, Dekkers will have a lot to prove and his place in our starting quarterback rankings is more indicative of that unproven nature and the nature of the fact that there are a plethora of proven quarterbacks returning to college football this fall.
114) Brady Cook, Jack Abraham | Missouri
In a drastic difference in collegiate careers, Jack Abraham is looking for one final run to glory while Brady Cook is looking to build off a strong performance in his first college start that ended the season a year ago. After enrolling at Louisiana Tech in 2016, Abraham left the program for Northwest Mississippi Community College before enrolling at Southern Miss from 2018-20. Abraham finished his career with Southern Miss by throwing for over 7,000 yards and 41 touchdowns. After spending 2021 with Mississippi State, but injured, Abraham earned a medical redshirt to allow him to transfer to Missouri and play one final season.
Cook, on the other hand, earned his first start against Army in the Armed Forces Bowl to end the 2021 season. Though they lost, Cook was impressive, completing nearly 80% of his passes for over 200 yards. Cook has the upside while Abraham has the experience. It’ll be a battle to watch this fall but one to be wary of as Abraham hasn’t played at a high level in nearly two years while Cook is still young and inexperienced.
113) Ryan Hilinski | Northwestern
It’s been a very interesting ride for Ryan Hilinski in his collegiate journey. After impressing with some big throws during his first season starting at South Carolina in 2019, Hilinski played just a handful of snaps in 2020 and transferred to Northwestern for the 2021 season. Hilinski threw for 978 yards and three touchdowns across nine games last year. He averaged just 5.6 yards per attempt but enters the year as the team’s starter for 2022.
Hilinski, at one point, was one of the top-ranked prospects hailing from the state of California. If he can lean on what made him so successful at Orange Lutheran, he’ll lead the Wildcats to more victories than they saw a season ago.
112) Evan Prater, Ben Bryant | Cincinnati
In his first season away from Cincinnati, Ben Bryant impressed at the helm of Eastern Michigan. Now back at Cincinnati after sitting behind Desmond Ridder for three seasons and spending last year with the Eagles, Bryant will battle Evan Prater for the starting nod in the Queen City. Bryant completed nearly 70% of his passes last year for EMU, throwing for 3,121 yards and 14 touchdowns. The offense was relatively simple at Eastern Michigan and he’ll be asked to do a bit more with the Bearcats. But he certainly knows his way around the offense.
Prater, on the other hand, got experience in four games a season ago but attempted just 11 passes, all in clean-up duty. He’s a big-armed signal-caller with a lot to prove but he certainly has the attention of the coaching staff in Cincinnati and subsequently us here at Pro Football Network.
111) DJ Uiagalelei | Clemson
To be completely honest, it wasn’t pretty a season ago for DJ Uiagalelei. He averaged an ACC-worst 6.0 yards per pass attempt and an ACC-low touchdown-to-interception ratio of 9-10. Uiagalelei left a lot of throws on the table and was completely erratic and sporadic with his positive play. The worst part about the season for Uiagalelei is the fact that he failed to excel even at times against far inferior defenses across from him.
It seemed a lot longer ago than just 20+ months that Uiagalelei was the top-ranked quarterback prospect in the nation and a top-10 overall player in the class of 2020. It’s very clear that the talent is there both from an arm strength and athleticism standpoint, but the intangibles lacked in 2021. He was slow to react and even slower to deliver. Defenses moved much faster than he did and the clock will be ticking on whether or not he can rebound for Clemson with highly-touted Cade Klubnik in the wings.