As we've mentioned before the quarterback spot is loaded...and then some. The top tier quarterbacks run from Case Keenum to Robert Griffin. But then the fun really begins.
Guys like Juice Williams, Aaron Corp and Trevor Vittatoe all present very high ceilings, but each brings just enough questions to make deciding on that backup quarterback a little nerve wracking.
1 Case Keenum | Elite | Jr | Houston
We were high on Keenum heading into his sophomore season, and then he went out and posted 51 touchdowns. He returns to an offense that is tailor-made for quarterback production, and he enters 2009 as the clear starter. We are a little concerned about Houston's trip to Starkville later in the year and even, to a lesser extent, early-season roadies to Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Even with these matchups against big boys it's hard to see Keenum showing any significant drop in production. Pretty close to a lock for 40, and a great bet to push towards 50 again.
2008 Stats: 397-of-589 passing for 5020 yards and 44 TDs / 76 rushes for 221 yards and 7 TDs / 506 fant pts
2009 Projs: 380-of-555 passing for 4727 yards and 44 TDs / 67 rushes for 194 yards and 5 TDs / 484.4 fant pts
#2 Tim Tebow | QB1 | Sr | Florida
There's nothing more to say, but we'll say it anyway. A certain College Football Hall of Famer returns for his senior season, and we're thinking his senior numbers end up somewhere between his sophomore year (55 touchdowns) and his junior year total of 42 scores. Well-regarded QB coach Scott Loeffler joins the staff, and he'll definitely make Tebow a better passer, and this does bring a wee bit of concern about his running digits. At minimum look for Tebow to get closer to his 350 pass attempts in 2007 than his 298 in 2008. And you know Timmy T will still look to put his head down on occasion and blow up some linebackers. One of the best we've seen.
2008 Stats: 192-of-298 passing for 2746 yards and 30 TDs / 176 rushes for 673 yards and 12 TDs / 420 fant pts
2009 Projs: 182-of-278 passing for 2609 yards and 27 TDs / 153 rushes for 598 yards and 15 TDs / 410.1 fant pts
#3 Colt McCoy | QB1 | Sr | Texas
One of the nation's most accurate and polished quarterbacks returns to lead a dynamic Longhorn offense for the third straight year. McCoy also has enough athletic ability to make something happen with his feet. There simply aren't many better, and there's a good chance Colt McCoy could be picking up some very nice hardware at the season's conclusion. 50 total touchdowns are in no way out of the question. A clear top five fantasy quarterback.
2008 Stats: 332-of-433 passing for 3859 yards and 34 TDs / 136 rushes for 561 yards and 11 TDs / 464 fant pts
2009 Projs: 320-of-412 passing for 3672 yards and 34 TDs / 119 rushes for 492 yards and 10 TDs / 444.0 fant pts
#4 Sam Bradford | QB1 | Jr | Oklahoma
The Heisman Trophy winner returns, but much of his offensive line does not. And this should cause SOME concern. It may be a tad unreasonable to expect another 55 score season from the Sooner quarterback, but there still may not be a better BCS signal caller. Offensive weapons are plentiful, and it appears that Ryan Broyles and Jermaine Gresham will keep the passing game humming.
2008 Stats: 328-of-483 passing for 4720 yards and 50 TDs / 42 rushes for 47 yards and 5 TDs / 506 fant pts
2009 Projs: 258-of-381 passing for 3535 yards and 39 TDs / 50 rushes for 9 yards and 3 TDs / 382.3 fant pts
#5 Taylor Potts | QB1 | Jr | Texas Tech
Taylor Potts will get the keys to the Ferrari, and while there is a little concern that should he struggle to put it in gear that one of the many young quarterbacks on the roster will take over, he appears ready to assume the role. Yes Potts will not have Michael Crabtree at his disposal, and there are two big losses on the offensive line...but this is Texas Tech for goodness sakes. Potts keeps the job and he's a lock for 40 scores.
2008 Stats: 23-of-36 passing for 260 yards and 2 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 20 fant pts
2009 Projs: 370-of-548 passing for 4046 yards and 35 TDs / 37 rushes for -9 yards and 5 TDs / 378.9 fant pts
#6 Colin Kaepernick | QB1 | Jr | Nevada
He spent the spring recovering from an ankle injury, but we're banking on Kaepernick emerging as a national star. The offensive playbook is expanding, and this junior will look to build upon his 39-touchdown season in 2008. At 6-foot-6 and a rail thin 215 pounds, watching Kaepernick gallop around like a gazelle is a sight to see. There may not be a more underrated college fantasy football superstar in the country, and the Irish may find out the hard way on September 5.
2008 Stats: 208-of-383 passing for 2849 yards and 22 TDs / 161 rushes for 1130 yards and 17 TDs / 446 fant pts
2009 Projs: 202-of-368 passing for 2726 yards and 21 TDs / 134 rushes for 927 yards and 13 TDs / 393.3 fant pts
#7 Dan LeFevour | QB1 | Sr | Central Mich.
We're expecting to see the dual-threat LeFevour split the difference in production of the past two seasons. 2007 saw 47 total touchdowns and 2008 saw injury woes and only 27 scores. With his receivers returning and a healthy prognosis we expect this BMOC in Mount Pleasant to lead an impressive CMU offense. Our only concern, and it's a pretty big one, is the very inexperienced offensive line which could diminish his rushing output.
2008 Stats: 251-of-376 passing for 2784 yards and 21 TDs / 168 rushes for 592 yards and 6 TDs / 320 fant pts
2009 Projs: 292-of-434 passing for 3242 yards and 24 TDs / 168 rushes for 657 yards and 10 TDs / 385.3 fant pts
#8 Zac Robinson | QB2 | Sr | Oklahoma St.
Often forgotten in the defense-optional Big XII, Zac Robinson is one of the nation's top fantasy quarterbacks. Remember when Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith were fantasy superstars while Thurman Thomas was kind of overlooked? Robinson may be overshadowed by Bradford and McCoy, but like Thurman, he's far from chopped liver. In fact he's one of the nation's top quarterbacks. Our only concern stems from the success of the Cowboys' running attack, thus Robinson's absolute ceiling is capped somewhere around 40 scores...a pretty nice ceiling.
2008 Stats: 204-of-314 passing for 3064 yards and 25 TDs / 146 rushes for 562 yards and 8 TDs / 358 fant pts
2009 Projs: 207-of-319 passing for 2975 yards and 25 TDs / 140 rushes for 540 yards and 8 TDs / 355.1 fant pts
#9 Todd Reesing | QB2 | Sr | Kansas
We're expecting big things from Mr. Reesing in 2009. Senior quarterback, conference which plays ole' defense, and a prolific offensive system which returns a ton of skill players. Only the departure of three offensive linemen keeps our optimism from reaching creepy levels. 2008 saw Reesing post 36 total scores with 4000 yards passing, and we think he repeats or betters those numbers in 2009.
2008 Stats: 329-of-495 passing for 3888 yards and 32 TDs / 126 rushes for 224 yards and 4 TDs / 367 fant pts
2009 Projs: 312-of-465 passing for 3633 yards and 31 TDs / 122 rushes for 217 yards and 4 TDs / 351.0 fant pts
#10 Robert Griffin | QB2 | So | Baylor
The present and future of Baylor football. Griffin led all freshmen quarterbacks with 293 fantasy points in 2008. This was one of the top true freshman campaigns in years, and he's only going to get better with each passing day. Griffin set a FBS Subdivision record by throwing 209 passes without an interception to start his career. Still, Griffin does most of his damage on the ground where his ability to create is very Vince Young-like. If your league puts a premium on rushing TDs then Griffin is a great value.
2008 Stats: 160-of-267 passing for 2091 yards and 15 TDs / 173 rushes for 843 yards and 13 TDs / 329 fant pts
2009 Projs: 177-of-290 passing for 2285 yards and 17 TDs / 184 rushes for 891 yards and 13 TDs / 350.5 fant pts
#11 Austin Davis | QB2 | So | Southern Miss.
The good news is running back Damion Fletcher appears to have put his legal woes behind him. The bad news is wide receiver DeAndre Brown suffered a setback in his recovery from a broken leg. Davis will need a healthy Brown for most of the season for Davis to meet our lofty projections. Still this young signal caller appears a pretty solid bet to crack the 30-score barrier given Southern Miss's renewed emphasis on the passing game and Davis' ability to create with his feet. He'll likely be one of the nation's top secrets in 2009; this kid can play.
2008 Stats: 261-of-454 passing for 3128 yards and 23 TDs / 155 rushes for 508 yards and 9 TDs / 351 fant pts
2009 Projs: 265-of-425 passing for 3176 yards and 24 TDs / 157 rushes for 516 yards and 8 TDs / 356.6 fant pts
#12 Trevor Vittatoe | QB2 | Jr | UTEP
Despite our lofty preseason ranking (18), Vittatoe remained one of the best kept secrets of 2008. After increasing his touchdown output from 25 in 2007 to 34 in 2008, he'll likely garner more attention on draft day this time around. And we are going to heap even more pressure on the junior signal caller. We like Vittatoe to enter the stratosphere of the nation's top fantasy quarterbacks. Very little is guaranteed, but with the likes of Kris Adams and Jeff Moturi returning to catch passes, there's a very good chance this Miner pushes towards 40.
2008 Stats: 246-of-418 passing for 3274 yards and 33 TDs / 45 rushes for -31 yards and 1 TDs / 313 fant pts
2009 Projs: 262-of-449 passing for 3446 yards and 36 TDs / 43 rushes for -29 yards and 1 TDs / 336.9 fant pts
#13 Jacob Bower | QB2 | Jr | Tulsa
David Johnson spent much of last spring and fall at number 11 in our rankings. A week before the season opener he plummeted into the 30s due to the continued threat of split snaps. Jacob Bower seems to be following a similar path. Bower was as high as 6th in our pre-spring rankings, but he has been sliding after displaying an inability to secure the job this spring. In fact head coach Todd Graham indicated after spring practice that G.J. Kinne had a slight lead. No matter who wins the job he'll be thrust into the fantasy limelight. Gus Malzahn is gone but the offense remains. And what an offense there is at Tulsa. Paul Smith posted 60 touchdowns in 2007. David Johnson could only muster 49. Whoever wins the job will have talent at their disposal, and he will not face a murderers row of a schedule. The only concern this spring came from a rebuilding offensive line. Despite Graham's recent comments, we are still penciling in Bower as the heir apparent, but this is by no means set in stone.
2008 Stats: 11-of-14 passing for 138 yards and 1 TDs / 15 rushes for 115 yards and 1 TDs / 26 fant pts
2009 Projs: 191-of-279 passing for 2867 yards and 27 TDs / 45 rushes for 113 yards and 3 TDs / 285.9 fant pts
#14 Kellen Moore | QB2 | So | Boise St.
The run-first Boise offense is developing much better balance, and sophomore Kellen Moore is a big reason why. Moore had a sensational rookie campaign, throwing for over 3400 yards and notching 26 total touchdowns. Running backs D.J. Harper and Jeremy Avery have speed to burn and will lead the ground attack, and this will leave owners watching Moore put up pedestrian numbers on occasion. And then he'll bust out in a big way the following week. This inconsistency knocks Moore down in our rankings, but make no mistake about it, he should post even better numbers than last year. Look for Moore to crack the 30 total touchdown barrier in 2009.
2008 Stats: 281-of-405 passing for 3486 yards and 25 TDs / 38 rushes for -30 yards and 1 TDs / 272 fant pts
2009 Projs: 278-of-393 passing for 3492 yards and 28 TDs / 42 rushes for -18 yards and 3 TDs / 309.8 fant pts
#15 Max Hall | QB2 | Sr | BYU
Hall finds himself outside our top ten at quarterback, as there is some concern that he may struggle to find a go-to guy in Austin Collie's absence. BYU features a very nice running game, and there's a chance that the likes of Harvey Unga could steal some touchdowns that would otherwise be Hall's. Heavy losses along the offensive line could also be a concern. As is a schedule that adds Oklahoma and Florida State as non-conference opponents. Hall is another that could get slightly over-valued on draft day.
2008 Stats: 330-of-477 passing for 3957 yards and 35 TDs / 65 rushes for 115 yards and 4 TDs / 375 fant pts
2009 Projs: 275-of-396 passing for 3287 yards and 30 TDs / 59 rushes for 4 yards and 3 TDs / 311.8 fant pts
#16 Tim Hiller | QB2 | Sr | Western Mich.
Hiller's off-season knee surgery will keep him on the shelf until just before camp, and this combined with the departure of top receiver Jamarko Simmons has us worried. It could be difficult for Hiller to match his 37 touchdowns from a season ago. Remember another year of maturity doesn't automatically equate to better numbers. The Western Michigan quarterback could be a tad overvalued on draft day. Don't reach for him, but snap him up as a QB2 should he slide.
2008 Stats: 339-of-522 passing for 3725 yards and 36 TDs / 38 rushes for 2 yards and 1 TDs / 351 fant pts
2009 Projs: 307-of-472 passing for 3435 yards and 35 TDs / 42 rushes for -18 yards and 1 TDs / 333.6 fant pts
#17 Tyler Sheehan | QB3 | Sr | Bowling Green
The Falcons are moving to a more traditional set that places greater emphasis on the run, and this might cause concern for some owners. On the flip side Sheehan is gaining a head coach in Dave Clawson that puts a premium on quarterback development. And this is something that was missing from the previous coaching staff. He also operates in the MAC, and opposing defenses in this conference have shown a susceptibility against the pass and then some. Sheehan has the talent to be a top-20 fantasy quarterback, but we'll have to wait and see if Clawson can tap into it.
2008 Stats: 267-of-400 passing for 2610 yards and 20 TDs / 105 rushes for 237 yards and 7 TDs / 279 fant pts
2009 Projs: 245-of-385 passing for 2816 yards and 25 TDs / 109 rushes for 246 yards and 6 TDs / 310.4 fant pts
#18 Joe Webb | QB3 | Sr | UAB
Because he needs a nickname we're going to nickname Joe Webb "Cowboy" as in "Cowboy" Joe Webb. If this spring is any indication, the Cowboy could be looking at a breakout senior year. The UAB offense is looking to score with a much greater frequency, and spring showed that the squad is capable. He's worth a late round flier if you have picks to burn.
2008 Stats: 208-of-353 passing for 2367 yards and 10 TDs / 198 rushes for 1021 yards and 11 TDs / 290 fant pts
2009 Projs: 227-of-373 passing for 2611 yards and 14 TDs / 190 rushes for 1123 yards and 12 TDs / 346.7 fant pts
#19 Juice Williams | QB3 | Sr | Illinois
As maddening as Juice Williams can seem he still posted 27 scores and about 3900 yards of offense. We should all be so inconsistent. He blew up against Missouri, Michigan and Indiana, though he struggled down the stretch. He'll have to struggle something fierce to lose his job. Williams is a solid QB2/QB3 nationally, and he may be the top quarterback in the Big Ten.
2008 Stats: 219-of-381 passing for 3173 yards and 22 TDs / 175 rushes for 719 yards and 5 TDs / 327 fant pts
2009 Projs: 230-of-400 passing for 3332 yards and 22 TDs / 170 rushes for 701 yards and 6 TDs / 343.3 fant pts
#20 Jeremiah Masoli | QB3 | Jr | Oregon
Masoli came from the back of the pack to emerge as the Oregon quarterback of the present and future. He's a bull in a china shop who should team with LeGarrette Blount to provide a devastating ground attack. Masoli came on down the stretch in 2008, scoring 13 TDs in his last three games. However, we have concerns about Masoli taking a pop that shortens his season and whether he can score with the same consistency displayed at season's end. He's been the chic pick in early drafts this summer, but he's likely best utilized as a very explosive backup to use when matchups are just right.
2008 Stats: 136-of-239 passing for 1744 yards and 13 TDs / 127 rushes for 718 yards and 10 TDs / 268 fant pts
2009 Projs: 168-of-294 passing for 2185 yards and 17 TDs / 149 rushes for 758 yards and 12 TDs / 323.2 fant pts
#21 Jake Locker | QB3 | Jr | Washington
Super talent who's still not surrounded by enough talent. Still there is hope for the dual-threat Locker in the Sarkisian offense, and Jake will have some big games against bad to mediocre defensive units. He's very valuable if spotted correctly. Locker is long on potential and upside, just make sure you have a backup plan in place if you draft him.
2008 Stats: 50-of-93 passing for 512 yards and 1 TDs / 56 rushes for 180 yards and 3 TDs / 62 fant pts
2009 Projs: 196-of-353 passing for 2213 yards and 18 TDs / 146 rushes for 743 yards and 12 TDs / 322.8 fant pts
#22 Greg Alexander | QB3 | Sr | Hawaii
The big strapping lad didn't secure the starting job out of the gate in 2008 as we assumed, but took over in week nine and made solid progression down the stretch. And now he's back with an offensive line that HAS to show improvement. With more experience, look for the receivers to get better as well. There is a very good chance that Alexander will double his 17 touchdowns from 2008, making him a solid QB2 in most national leagues. He just needs to start strong and avoid the early Greg McMackin hook; and this shouldn't be a problem with Central Arkansas up first.
2008 Stats: 154-of-245 passing for 1895 yards and 14 TDs / 90 rushes for 139 yards and 3 TDs / 180 fant pts
2009 Projs: 241-of-416 passing for 2893 yards and 26 TDs / 77 rushes for 119 yards and 3 TDs / 287.6 fant pts
#23 Daryll Clark | QB3 | Sr | Penn St.
We're a little down on Daryll Clark. There are some very experienced wide receivers that have moved on, leaving a bunch of unproven pass catchers in Happy Valley. We don't see how he matches his 29 scores of a season ago. If you're grabbing a Lion make it Evan Royster and let someone else nab the senior quarterback looking to break in a new receiving corps.
2008 Stats: 192-of-321 passing for 2592 yards and 19 TDs / 79 rushes for 282 yards and 10 TDs / 293 fant pts
2009 Projs: 188-of-326 passing for 2632 yards and 18 TDs / 79 rushes for 282 yards and 12 TDs / 299.4 fant pts
#24 Omar Clayton | QB3 | Jr | UNLV
Clayton's 19 scores from a season ago aren't too impressive, until one considers he missed his final three games of the season due to a knee injury. Clayton can play, and he performs against a schedule that isn't too daunting. This rising junior could pay off very handsomely, this year and beyond.
2008 Stats: 152-of-258 passing for 1894 yards and 18 TDs / 67 rushes for 163 yards and 1 TDs / 197 fant pts
2009 Projs: 230-of-389 passing for 2738 yards and 25 TDs / 97 rushes for 236 yards and 3 TDs / 289.1 fant pts
#25 Aaron Corp | QB3 | So | Southern California
Corp exited spring the clear leader to lead the USC offense. He's surrounded by an unfair amount of skill talent, which will prove a fantasy benefit and liability at different points during the season. It's great to have so many playmakers around, except this leads to a sharing of the wealth. Still we like Corp to basically pickup where Mark Sanchez left off.
2008 Stats: 2-of-4 passing for 14 yards and 0 TDs / 0 rushes for 0 yards and 0 TDs / 0.46 fant pts
2009 Projs: 222-of-337 passing for 2754 yards and 29 TDs / 46 rushes for 14 yards and 3 TDs / 291.5 fant pts