KJ Jefferson is the top-ranked SEC quarterback in ESPN’s new QB tiers, which it published on Tuesday morning.

ESPN’s David M. Hale ranked all 133 quarterback situations nationally, and Arkansas’ graded out very well. Jefferson is in tier 2, alongside Michigan’s JJ McCarthy, Kansas’ Jalon Daniels and UTSA’s Frank Harris.

Jefferson is the first SEC quarterback to appear in ESPN’s tiers. There are only 6 quarterbacks above him: North Carolina’s Drake Maye, USC’s Caleb Williams, Oregon’s Bo Nix, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., Utah’s Cameron Rising and Florida State’s Jordan Travis.

Here’s some analysis on Jefferson from ESPN:

Jefferson’s reputation seemed to take a hit as a result of Arkansas’ disappointing 2022 season, but that’s absurd. He was, arguably, the lone reason the Hogs were competitive. He was on the field for 428 snaps vs. Power 5 opponents last season and off it for 154. With Jefferson, Arkansas averaged 6.3 yards per play, 8.3 yards per pass and 5.3 yards per rush with a 113.1 passer rating. Without him, the Razorbacks averaged 5.2 yards per play, 7.2 yards per pass, 4 yards per rush and had a 69 passer rating.

Arkansas struggled last season, but Jefferson played well in his 4th season with the Razorbacks. He threw for 2,648 yards and 24 touchdowns compared to just 5 interceptions. He also rushed for 640 yards and 9 more scores on the ground.

Arkansas has reached bowl eligibility in back-to-back seasons.