Creating the perfect SEC quarterback for 2020
We’re not totally sure what the 2020 college football season will look like. But we do know that there are some talented quarterbacks in the SEC. Yes, the conference just lost No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow, No. 5 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa and 5th-round pick Jake Fromm to the NFL Draft, but there’s still plenty of talent at the position.
Who are the best of the best? We’ve put together elite skills from 5 SEC quarterbacks to form the perfect quarterback for the 2020 season.
Whose skills made the cut? Here are the assets we’d use for our perfect QB for the upcoming season:
Arm strength: Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
Normally, this spot would go to former Florida/current Arkansas QB Feleipe Franks, no question. But Franks’ throwing strength is a question heading into 2020. Franks should be fully healthy for Week 1, but after the gruesome dislocated/fractured ankle, I’d like to see how he looks for a couple of weeks to start the year.
With injuries like that, it can be tricky getting back into the flow of the game and trusting yourself like you used to. If he’s not stepping into his throws with as much confidence, his passes could lack some of his trademark zip. Thus, for this year, I’m giving the arm strength slot to Mond.
Yes, Mond regressed a bit in 2019, but there’s no doubting his cannon of a right arm. He can make every throw and can often do so while on the move or throwing from his back foot.
Throws like this one — 40 yards, across his body — show just how much arm talent Mond has:
Im four games in on Kellen Mond and I’ll have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised. He’s mobile, he stays calm in the pocket under pressure, isn’t afraid to take a hit to get a throw off, can throw on the run, and has plenty of arm talent. Lots of NFL throws in his game! #devy pic.twitter.com/yZrHM1ZNDS
— Caleb Pierson (@PiersonFF) January 9, 2020
And, who can forget this throw to Kendrick Rogers against Clemson in 2018?
He’ll need to show more consistency in 2020, but he has the arm strength to bail himself out of a number of mistakes. Now, Jimbo Fisher just needs to get Mond to make the right throws more often.
Legs: John Rhys Plumlee, Ole Miss
This is probably the easiest call on the list. Plumlee showed he was an elite runner last year while splitting the Ole Miss starting job with Matt Corral. He ran for 1,023 yards and 12 touchdowns in only 9 games, averaging 6.6 yards per rush.
Look at what he did to LSU. Yes, the Rebels still lost, but Plumlee was dynamic, running for 212 yards and a whopping 4 touchdowns:
He needs to develop more as a passer this fall, but that’s not why I have him on this list. He’s already the best rushing quarterback in the SEC for 2020 by a wide margin.
Body: Jamie Newman, Georgia
At 6-4 and 230 pounds, Newman has the size NFL scouts love. He’s also the best dual-threat quarterback in the SEC, even if he hasn’t played a single snap in the conference to this point.
Plumlee is the better pure runner, but Newman is perhaps the best rushing quarterback Georgia has ever had and also had a 26-to-11 touchdown-to-interception ratio at Wake Forest last season.
Here he is flashing some speed as a runner:
And here he is showing off his arm:
Jamie Newman has Wake Forest ROLLING this season after another big win against Boston College!
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 2, 2019
If he has a good season in Athens, he could rocket up NFL Draft boards. We only have to look to last year to find the last time a graduate transfer quarterback went from fringe prospect to No. 1 overall pick. Yes, that would be Joe Burrow (although Burrow spent 2 years at LSU).
Poise: Bo Nix, Auburn
Nix stepped into a situation at Auburn that isn’t easy for a true freshman. He was given the keys to a Gus Malzahn offense and expected to avoid mistakes. That’s not easy. But, he only threw 6 picks. His completion percentage leaves a bit to be desired, but I like the trajectory of Nix’s career.
How poised was Nix to start his career? Well, here’s a pass that led Auburn to a victory over Oregon in Week 1:
BO NIX IS 19 WITH THE POISE OF A HARD NOSED VET. pic.twitter.com/LKYIIm4ask
— quarantine shorty. (@theaaronwash) September 1, 2019
This fall, he’ll enter a new system under new Auburn OC Chad Morris. Morris had success at Clemson with Tajh Boyd, so we’ll see if Nix can continue to adjust to whatever comes his way on The Plains.
Accuracy: Kyle Trask, Florida
Trask is the SEC’s returning leader in completion percentage, as he connected on 67% of his passes in 2019. That was below only Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, both of whom were top-5 picks in the recent 2020 NFL Draft.
Throwing receivers open? Check:
Ability to make big plays throwing off his back foot? Also check:
Kyle Trask with the deep version of the jump pass connecting with Trevon Grimes for 41 yards pic.twitter.com/popUCq7uI7
— Inside The 5 (@InsideThe5) November 16, 2019
Yes, Trask will be without some of his top weapons for 2020. WRs Van Jefferson, Tyrie Cleveland and Josh Hammond are gone, but Kadarius Toney and Trevon Grimes are back, and Kyle Pitts might be the top tight end in the country.