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College Football Draft Kit: Quarterback Rankings

Mario Puig

Mario Puig

Mario sets the direction of RotoWire's college football and NFL draft content, with his other responsibilities primarily resting in those same subjects. He's a fan of Ishmael Butler, James Harrison and David Bowie.

1. Johnny Manziel, So., Texas A&M

After surprisingly beating out Jamiell Showers to start for Texas A&M last season, Manziel turned in one of the best seasons in college football history, throwing for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns while running for 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns. At 8.5 YPA and 7.0 YPC, Manziel's highly efficient play is a perfect fantasy fit for Kevin Sumlin's face-paced offense that runs nearly 80 plays per game. Key receiver Ryan Swope is gone to the NFL, but Manziel still has a talented group of receivers to target, including the supremely athletic Mike Evans (82 receptions). Few quarterbacks will come close to Manziel's dual-threat production in 2013.

2. Jordan Lynch, Sr., Northern Illinois

Lynch was expected to be a major fantasy asset in his first year as a starter in 2012, yet he still exceeded expectations. Not only did he pass for 3,138 yards (8.0 YPA), 25 touchdowns and six interceptions in 14 games, but he scored 19 touchdowns on the ground as he set an NCAA record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,815 yards. In fact, among returning players, only Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey rushed for more yards last season. Lynch's per-game numbers were suppressed by a bowl game matchup with Florida State, but the 2013 regular season should feature no such perils. Lynch is the Northern Illinois offense, and with four of his five offensive linemen back for his senior season, the Northern Illinois offense should thrive yet again.

3. Terrance Broadway, Jr., Louisiana-Lafayette

Once a prized Houston recruit, Broadway showed last year in his first season with Lafayette why he was in such demand during his recruiting days. Broadway didn't start until the fifth game of the season last year but threw for 2,380 yards, 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions while running for 670 yards and seven touchdowns in nine games as the first-team quarterback. He really hit his stride in the final four weeks of the year, though, throwing for five scores and running for 441 yards and four touchdowns. The clear starter entering this season, Broadway could approace 4,500 total yards with a full slate of games.

4. Tajh Boyd, Sr., Clemson

Inconsistent his first two years at Clemson, Boyd took his game to another level in 2012, proving to be an exceptionally athletic downfield passer. He totaled 3,896 yards (9.1 YPA) and 36 touchdowns through the air, adding 514 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. He should benefit from aggressive playcalling this season as Clemson attempts to turn him into a Heisman candidate, and with Sammy Watkins to throw to at receiver, the departure of first-round NFL draft pick DeAndre Hopkins shouldn't hurt Boyd much.

5. Braxton Miller, Jr., Ohio State

Miller was electrifying last year in leading the Buckeyes to an undefeated season as his speed and running ability set him apart. He only passed for 2,039 yards (8.0 YPA), and 15 touchdowns (six interceptions), but he added 1,271 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground, setting a school record for total yards. The junior should improve his uninspiring 58.3-percent completion rate with another year in coach Urban Meyer's spread offense, and after getting knocked out of one game and playing hurt in others last season, he has a chance to improve his fantasy value merely by staying healthy.

6. Brett Hundley, So., UCLA

Hundley was a hyped recruit and entered his redshirt freshman season last year with high expectations, but he performed better than anyone could have demanded. At 6-3, 227, Hundley proved to be a skilled passer and a bruising runner, throwing for 3,740 yards (7.8 YPA), 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 14 games and adding 355 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. The athletic quarterback likely will be even more active as a runner this year because UCLA doesn't have an obvious candidate to replace running back Johnathan Franklin (1,734 yards, 13 touchdowns ), who now plays for the Green Bay Packers. Expect a steady diet of Hundley and the read-option.

7. Marcus Mariota, So., Oregon

Mariota was remarkably productive as a redshirt freshman in 2012, beating out the formidable veteran Bryan Bennett for the starting role as he proved to be one of the nation's best dual-threat quarterbacks. Mariota totaled 2,677 passing yards (8.0 YPA) and 32 touchdowns with only six interceptions. On the ground, his 7.1 YPC led all quarterbacks and ranked seventh overall as he rushed for 752 yards and five touchdowns. The Ducks lost coach Chip Kelly to the NFL, but the team will maintain the same high-powered offensive scheme this season. And running back Kenjon Barner's defection to the NFL could offer Mariota an even greater workload.

8. Bryce Petty, Jr., Baylor

Petty enters the season relatively unknown, but don't expect to get him at a bargain price in fantasy drafts as his upside is obvious. The backup last season to Nick Florence, who led the nation with 4,309 passing yards, Petty has all but been anointed the next starter for Baylor's highly profitable quarterback role and should post huge numbers this season, even if only thanks to volume. Defenses likely will give Petty favorable looks as long as dominant running back Lache Seastrunk is terrorizing opponents, while promising wide receivers Tevin Reese, Levi Norwood, Antwan Goodley and high-ranking recruit Robbie Rhodes give Petty a strong group of targets.

9. Blake Bell, Jr., Oklahoma

An unproven passer, Bell's upside is nonetheless tremendous because of rushing touchdown potential. At 6-6, 254, the Belldozer scored 24 rushing touchdowns the last two years playing strictly as a goal-line runner. While he presumably is nowhere near the passer that Landry Jones was for Oklahoma, Bell still possesses 20-touchdown potential as a rusher, and his ability to simply outmuscle defenders at the goal-line could win weeks for fantasy owners when he takes on especially overmatched opponents. But first he he has to win the starting quarterback job for the Sooners. Kendal Thompson and redshirt freshman Trevor Knight are also in the mix. Whoever wins the job has upside in a strong Oklahoma offense, but Bell's goal-line work makes him especially intriguing.

10. Devin Gardner, Jr., Michigan

Gardner waited three years while Denard Robinson hogged the spotlight at quarterback for Michigan, even turning himself into a standout receiver for the Wolverines to pass time until Robinson's graduation. Injury forced Robinson off the field late in 2012, though, and Gardner played so well in Robinson's place that he was arguably the more valuable player. Gardner has rare athleticism, as evidenced by his 101 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground and 16 catches for 266 yards and four scores last season, but it was in the passing game that he took Michigan to the next level. In just five games Gardner threw for 1,219 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. He should thrive again this year with standout receiver Jeremy Gallon and tight end Devin Funchess returning.

11. Chuckie Keeton, Jr., Utah State

Keeton has been a star since his first game as a freshman in 2011 when he nearly led Utah State to a road upset over defending national champion Auburn. The dual-threat playmaker has only gotten better since. Last season he passed for 3,373 yards (8.3 YPA) and 27 touchdowns (nine interceptions) while totaling 619 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Keeton should retain a high floor in 2013 as Utah State brings back the same offensive line as last year, but it's not clear who he'll throw to after his top five targets from last year graduated.

12. Taylor Martinez, Sr., Nebraska

After struggling against competent defenses in previous years, Martinez was surprisingly rather matchup-proof in 2012, posting big fantasy numbers even against the likes of Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin. And his running ability almost always grants him huge numbers against weak defenses. In 14 games, he totaled 2,871 yards (7.8 YPA), 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions through the air and 1,019 yards (5.2 YPC) and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Martinez made significant progress as a passer last season, giving hope for even more improvement in his senior season as he'll have almost all of his offensive line back this year.

13. Derek Carr, Sr., Fresno State

One of three returning 4,000-yard passes in the nation, Carr was huge for the second year in a row last season, passing for 4,104 yards and 37 touchdowns with seven interceptions. Carr's 511 attempts (in 13 games) ranked eighth nationally, and he could be even more active as a passer in 2013 because Fresno State doesn't seem to have a replacement for 282-carry running back Robbie Rouse. Carr also has an elite trio of receivers in Davante Adams, Josh Harper and Isaiah Burse, making another 4,000-yard season all but certain.

14. Teddy Bridgewater, Jr., Louisville

Considered a top-10 NFL pick, Bridgewater passed for 3,718 yards and 27 touchdowns last season. He lacks the rushing production of top quarterbacks, but Louisville likely will call more pass plays than the 419 Bridgewater attempted last season as it attempts to play up his Heisman candidacy. Bridgewater could average three passing touchdowns per game this season with highly talented receivers DeVante Parker, Eli Rogers, Michaelee Harris and Damian Copeland. The Louisville schedule is also light with Rutgers the only intimidating defense on the slate.

15. Shane Carden, Jr., East Carolina

Carden began the 2012 season on the bench behind Rio Johnson, but by the third week he made it clear he belonged in the starting lineup. After a rocky first start against Southern Mississippi, Carden was one of the best fantasy quarterbacks in the country. He finished his sophomore season with 3,116 yards (7.5 YPA), 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions through the air while running for 74 yards and eight touchdowns, showing major potential both as a passer and runner. Carden has an excellent No. 1 receiver to throw to in Justin Hardy, and the receiving quartet of Danny Webster, Justin Jones, Jabril Solomon and Reese Wiggins is talented as well.

16. Rakeem Cato, Jr., Marshall

Cato threw 48.7 passes per game last season, leading the nation in attempts with 584 as Marshall played in constant shootout mode. His 4,201 yards (7.2 YPA) ranked third nationally, and his 37 touchdowns tied for third. He doesn't just survive on volume, though his 69.5-percent completion rate ranked fourth in the nation. This season, Cato is without co-offensive coordinator Tony Petersen (Louisiana Tech) and two of his top playmaking receivers in Antavious Wilson and Aaron Dobson. But the other half of the OC tandem, and primary playcaller, Bill Legg remains and top wideout Tommy Shuler along with Penn State transfers Devon Smith and Shawney Kersey provide BCS talent for breakout potential, which should mean another big season for Cato.

17. Kolton Browning, Sr., Louisiana-Monroe

Browning accounts for most of the Louisiana-Monroe offense. He threw 35.7 passes per game last season, piling up 3,049 yards and 29 touchdowns. In addition to the big passing workload, he led the team in rushing with 488 yards and seven touchdowns on 146 attempts. The workhorse role makes him an injury risk, but he's missed one game to injury in three seasons. While Browning brings back almost all of his offensive line and a standout pair of receivers in Je'Ron Hamm and Tavarese Maye, he could struggle with three road games against BCS opponents in the first four weeks of the season, and Ohio seemed to show everyone the blueprint for shutting down the Monroe offense in last year's bowl game, intercepting Browning three times and holding him to 219 passing yards in a blowout win.

18. Brett Smith, Jr., Wyoming

Injuries are a concern with Smith due to three suspected concussions the last two years and a thumb injury in 2011, but he has established himself as one of the nation's elite dual-threat quarterbacks. In 10 games last season, he passed for 2,837 yards and 27 touchdowns (six interceptions). But he was sacked 26 times, 15 more than he had in 13 games in 2011, and averaged just 2.2 YPC as rushing average dropped from 54.6 to 24.8 yards per game. Better offensive line play will help all round, and Smith has a strong wideout trio of Robert Herron, Dominic Rufran and Jalen Claiborne to throw to this year even though he's without last year's top target, Chris McNeill.

19. Terrance Owens, Sr., Toledo

A disappointing 2012 might make Owens a draft-day bargain this season. After accounting for 13 touchdowns in the final four weeks of 2011, Owens threw 14 touchdowns all last season. Owens played through part of the year with an ankle injury, which could explain why he went from 18 touchdown passes on 230 attempts in 2011 to four fewer on 350 attempts last season. It's reasonable to expect a bounce back, however. Toledo will have almost all of its offensive line back this year, and the wideout duo of Bernard Reedy and Alonzo Russell is elite.

20. Taysom Hill, So., BYU

Hill showed promise last year before an LCL tear in October ended his season. Most of his production came in his last three games (two starts) in which he passed for 389 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 295 yards (6.4 YPC) and two touchdowns. Two of those three games were against tough defenses in Boise State and Utah State, so those were not garbage-time numbers. Between his running ability and the presence of elite wideout Cody Hoffman, Hill should post big numbers are long as he's on the field. Just make sure you have a good backup. While being a running quarterback in an uptempo offense that churns out a high-play count gives Hill huge fantasy upside, it also makes him an injury risk.

21. Cody Fajardo, Jr., Nevada

The loss of legendary coach Chris Ault is cause for concern for Fajardo's fantasy value this season. While former Texas A&M assistant Brian Polian was named head coach, Ault's offensive coordinator, Nick Rolovich, will remain in charge of the pistol, but it's possible Rolovich could call a more pass-oriented offense he was Hawaii's offensive coordinator and quarterback coach prior to joining Nevada after all. Moving away from the pistol would make it difficult for Fajardo to pile up 1,121 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground again in 2013. The Wolfpack also lost a lot of talent on offense, including leading rusher Stefphon Jefferson, which puts more pressure on Fajardo.

22. Vad Lee, So., Georgia Tech

Lee is competing with former top recruit Justin Thomas for snaps, and it's possible a platoon could be used. If Lee wins a clear starting role, however, his fantasy upside is huge. Lee played primarily as a backup to Tevin Washington in 2012, yet he still managed to throw for 596 yards (10.6 YPA), four touchdowns and three interceptions while piling up 544 yards (5.7 YPC) and nine touchdowns on the ground. If he can hold off Thomas, Lee could have 1,200-yard, 20-touchdown potential as a runner.

23. Tyler Tettleton, Sr., Ohio

Tettleton had a down season in 2012 due to injury, but the probability of a bounce-back season could make him a fantasy bargain in many leagues this year. Tettleton was a consensus top pick last year after totaling 3,927 yards and 38 touchdowns in 2011. Last season, though, he struggled through an early season hand injury to finish with 2,844 yards and 18 touchdowns as a passer while running for only 244 yards and four scores. Tettleton should lead a strong Ohio offense in 2013, as he'll have back his top receiver, Donte Foster, and elite running back duo Beau Blankenship and Ryan Boykin.

24. David Fales, Sr., San Jose State

Fales might be the nation's best pure passer, as he led the country in completion percentage last year at 72.5 percent, throwing for 4,193 yards (9.3 YPA), 33 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Outside a tough matchup with Stanford, Fales ought to average about three passing touchdowns per game this year, thanks in no small part to his excellent wideout trio of Noel Grigsby, Chandler Jones and Jabari Carr, who combined for 2,637 yards and 24 touchdowns last year. Fales doesn't run at all and his otherwise stellar 2012 season saw its fantasy value hindered by his minus-139 rushing yards thanks to 26 sacks. If he can scramble a bit more and avoid sacks, Fales' stock will grow.

25. Aaron Murray, Sr., Georgia

Murray doesn't have the volume other quarterbacks enjoy, but his absurd big-play efficiency and touchdown production make him a strong fantasy option. He led the nation in yards per attempt last season at 10.1, nearly a full yard more than the next closest quarterback. His 95 career touchdowns on 1,131 attempts equate to one score every 12 passes, and last year he did slightly better with 36 touchdown passes on 386 attempts. Murray's floor is about as high as could be Georgia brings back all of its offensive line, and the lighter workload also makes him less of a health risk.

26. Brendon Kay, Sr., Cincinnati

The loss of coach Butch Jones and the addition of offensive coordinator Eddie Bran is a slight concern given Brand's offenses at Florida State were much more plodding than those run by Jones, but it generally would surprise if Bran messed around much with the scheme that has allowed Cincinnati to average more than 32 points per game the last two years. Kay's dual-threat skill set is valuable in a fast-pace, horizontal offense, and Cincinnati should stick to that general approach after Kay threw for 1,298 yards (9.4 YPA), 10 touchdowns and two interceptions while running for 306 yards (6.4 YPC) and two touchdowns in a part-time role. If Kay beats Munchie Legaux to be the starting quarterback as he should, similar numbers should be in store this year.

27. Eric Soza, Sr., UTSA

Soza was impressive as he led UTSA into its first season at the FBS level, displaying dual-threat skills that should make him a strong fantasy option in 2013. Soza threw for 2,085 yards, 20 touchdowns and three interceptions in 10 games last year while running for 364 yards and six scores, and he did very well against FBS teams like New Mexico State, Louisiana Tech and Idaho. UTSA has a significantly tougher schedule this season, though. Sit him against Oklahoma State in Week 2, but Soza should do well for himself in a manageable Conference-USA slate.

28. Daniel Sams, So., Kansas State

The winner of the quarterback job to replace fantasy star Collin Klein likely will have top-10 upside in the Kansas State offense. After spring practice, though, Sams and junior college transfer Jake Waters were deadlocked. Sams showed intoxicating upside as a runner while spelling Klein last year, taking 32 carries for 235 yards (7.3 YPC) and three touchdowns. The speedy quarterback should run for at least 20 scores if he can hold off Waters. The job likely won't be decided until late in camp, though.

29. Adam Kennedy, Sr., Arkansas State

Kennedy is competing with Fredi Knighten and Phillip Butterfield to start at quarterback for Arkansas State, but it's difficult to see how he can lose the job. He excelled at Utah State two years ago when subbing for an injured Chuckie Keeton, completing 69.1 percent of his passes and averaging 8.8 yards per pass while throwing for 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also ran for 239 yards while averaging 4.4 yards per carry. It's unfortunate that coach Gus Malzahn left Arkansas State for Auburn, but new coach Bryan Harsin was co-offensive coordinator in a Texas offense that made David Ash a strong fantasy option at times last year, and he was offensive coordinator for most of the time Taylor Tharp and Kellen Moore dominated at Boise State. All of which gives Kennedy strong upside should he win the job.

30. Jamiell Showers, Jr., UTEP

Showers should be considered the favorite to win the starting role for UTEP after transferring from Texas A&M, where he was almost universally expected to start before Johnny Manziel surfaced. Showers is a promising dual-threat player who should have high fantasy upside in an offense featuring standout players like Nathan Jeffery (running back) and Jordan Leslie (receiver) with a schedule that features a number of pushover defenses.

31. Bo Wallace, Jr., Mississippi
32. Keenan Reynolds, So., Navy
33. Michael Brewer, So., Texas Tech
34. Logan Thomas, Sr., Virginia Tech
35. Blake Bortles, Jr., UCF