football Edit

CFB Playoff: Ranking the QBs for top contenders

Trevor Lawrence
Trevor Lawrence (AP Images)

There are really just six serious contenders to make the College Football Playoff, as the most recent ranking was released Tuesday night.

Alabama remained No. 1 and five others – Notre Dame, Clemson, Ohio State, Texas A&M and Florida – still have the most legitimate hope to make the playoff.

We take a look at where the starting QB for each of the six teams ranked in high school and how National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell ranks them now.

College Football Playoff Ranking
Team (Record)

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0)

2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-0)

3. Clemson Tigers (9-1)

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0)

5. Texas A&M Aggies (7-1)

6. Florida Gators (8-1)

7. Iowa State Cyclones (8-2)

8. Cincinnati Bearcats (8-0)

9. Georgia Bulldogs (6-2)

10. Miami Hurricanes (8-1)

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CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team

COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series

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1. TREVOR LAWRENCE, Clemson

Trevor Lawrence
Trevor Lawrence (USA TODAY Sports Images)

High school evaluation: Considered to be the top-rated quarterback in the history of Rivals, Lawrence had all the tools scouts look for in an elite quarterback. He had the size, accuracy, arm strength, football IQ and athleticism to be a special player. Lawrence was one of the few players that went wire-to-wire as the top player in the Rivals250.

Farrell’s take: Lawrence has lived up to the hype, winning a national title as a freshman. He could have been categorized as a dual-threat or a pro-style quarterback out of high school and doesn't get enough credit for his ability to move. His downfield accuracy is what separates him from everybody else.

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2. JUSTIN FIELDS, Ohio State

Justin Fields
Justin Fields (Associated Press)

High school evaluation: Fields was really the only serious challenger to Lawrence at the top of the Rivals250 in 2018. His mobility, arm strength and timing were so outstanding at the high school level. Fields did a great job going through his reads and delivering an accurate ball. His efficiency, even against elite competition, was incredibly impressive.

Farrell’s take: Fields is very good at feeling the rush and throwing on the run with touch and accuracy down the field. He's a pass-first quarterback with good accuracy and isn't lumped in that dual-threat model where he would be a run-first quarterback.

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3. KYLE TRASK, Florida

Kyle Trask
Kyle Trask (Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports)

High school evaluation: Trask was a relative unknown at the high school level but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t talented. Serving as the backup to D’Eriq King, Trask didn’t see a ton of action in high school but caught some eyes in the camp setting. He had good size and an average arm at the time but wasn’t a very polished quarterback.

Farrell’s take: His strength is accuracy. Trask throws receivers open, hits back shoulder passes and throws a lot of the passes you want a quarterback to be really accurate with. His arm strength is average to above average and that's the only thing holding him back but he's really shown the ability to fit the ball into tight windows. He's obviously a very persistent quarterback. He didn't transfer out of high school and didn't transfer when Feleipe Franks won the job. He's really confident in his own abilities.

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4. MAC JONES, Alabama

Mac Jones
Mac Jones (Caitie McMekin/USA Today Sports)

High school evaluation: Jones was a very popular recruit because he showed up to every event and almost always had success. Analysts loved how accurate he was throwing the ball and he had swagger about him that gave his teammates confidence. Jones usually threw the ball with great timing and was able to quickly adjust to working with new receivers. The biggest issue with his game was his arm strength and ability to fit the ball into tight windows.

Farrell’s take: Jones has average arm strength and that could hold him back at the next level but it hasn't hurt him in college. He throws a nice deep ball and has nice touch on all his passes. He's a very confident kid with a short memory and always felt the could hold his own with anybody in his class.

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5. IAN BOOK, Notre Dame

Ian Book (12)
Ian Book (12) (ACC)

High school evaluation: Book wasn’t a prospect that impressed from a physical perspective but he had a lot of success at the high school level. A very efficient passer, the best aspects of his game at the time were his ability to quickly make his reads and deliver the ball accurately. Book showed off some mobility but it wasn’t necessarily one of his strengths. Deep passes were a bit of struggle for him but he had adequate arm strength. Book’s size was also a concern at the time.

Farrell’s take: Book’s arm strength is average and size was an issue. He was short and strong but not put together. He was a quick decision maker and got the ball out of his hand but didn't really go through progressions and wasn't outstanding at reading defenses. Now he's turned into a very good decision maker whose best asset is knowing when to run it and when to throw the ball. He's a leader but is more of a game manager. You don't want him to have to come from behind but he won't make mistakes that will hurt you.

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6. KELLEN MOND, Texas A&M

Kellen Mond
Kellen Mond (AP Images)

High school evaluation: Mond earned his fifth star after his senior season. He had an “it” factor about him that helped push him over the edge. Mond’s mobility, arm strength and accuracy under pressure were just a few attributes that impressed scouts. The way Mond was able to make plays on the run was also very impressive.

Farrell’s take: I saw Deshaun Watson-potential in Mond and that hasn't developed from an accuracy standpoint and that's been his biggest downfall. He has the arm strength, the ability to run and keeps defenses off balance but he is still spraying the ball. I thought that would be something he would work through and he hasn't yet. He's frustrating to watch but when he's on, there are very few guys that are more efficient than he is.

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