The 2022 NFL Draft is shaping up to be a unique one at quarterback. With less than two months to go before the first round kicks off, there remains no clear QB1 in this year’s class. And the logjam at the top of the quarterback rankings isn’t limited to just two or even three names. Instead, four prospects are vying for that all-important best-in-class designation, and the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine was supposed to provide some clarity.
Unfortunately, it didn’t.
Much like the 2022 Senior Bowl, the NFL Combine ended its round of quarterback workouts with none of the participants separating from the pack. Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis, and Desmond Ridder all looked good, and Matt Corral — who didn’t participate because of injury — remains the intriguing mystery.
Ridder was the best athlete of the bunch, in part because Willis didn’t partake in the athletic drills. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.52), had the highest vertical jump (36 inches), and the longest broad jump (10’7″). He was impressive in the throwing drills too, and at 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds, he checked just about every box.
Pickett wasn’t far behind Ridder in the athletic testing. He had the third-fastest 40-yard dash among quarterbacks (4.73), the third-highest vertical jump (33.5 inches), and the third-longest broad jump (10’1″). His 20-yard shuttle tied Ridder at 4.29 seconds.
Where Pickett separated himself was the on-field passing drills. He threw the most consistent and most catchable football of all the quarterbacks at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, which has been a constant talking point around Pickett’s game. But it wasn’t all positive news for the Pittsburgh standout; his hands measured 8.5 inches, which will rank among the smallest in the NFL at quarterback next season.
As for Willis, there wasn’t much to take away other than his incredible arm strength in the on-field reps. He can flat-out sling it. His passes had the most velocity, and there isn’t a wide receiver in the NFL who’ll be able to outrun his deep ball. But until we have a confirmed 40-yard dash and other athletic scores for Willis, he’ll remain in Pickett’s shadow as a passer. His best chance at becoming QB1 is by proving he can be the next in the line of top-shelf offensive weapons at quarterback along the lines of Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Kyler Murray. His next chance to do that will be at his pro day on March 22.
Like Willis, Corral will have a chance to build his draft buzz once his pro day rolls around on March 24.
We currently have the 2022 NFL Draft quarterback rankings as follows: 1) Pickett, 2) Willis, 3) Corral, 4) Ridder and 5) Sam Howell. Ridder’s performance will bump him above Corral until the Ole Miss star works out later this month.