football Edit

Elite 11 Pro Day: Ranking the QBs

Ryan Montgomery
Ryan Montgomery

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. - Rivals charted all 400 throws at Wednesday's Elite 11 Pro Day with a simple grading scale for each based on a number system, with a range from 3 down to 1. Three represented "money" throws, on-time and accurate. Two represented catchable balls on target. One represented an off-target attempt.

Here is our ranked order of QBs.


Jones was the top standout of the night. His pro day session was by the far the most put together and mistake free. We anticipated Jones would be able to flash in the Pro Day setting, and he did exactly that. Not only did he throw with impeccable accuracy and timing, but he did it with one of the strongest displays of arm strength we saw throughout the day and unlike others, his arm did not give out as he made his way from start to finish. What put him over the top was his ability to also mix in the finesse and take some of the more touch-worthy throws when needed. Jones is already a top-100 prospect, but he showed he firmly belongs in the five-star discussion as the year progresses.


The Ohio State commit backed up his strong performance in night one with an excellent showing during the pro day as he had no misses and only a few that weren’t perfectly tight spirals especially late in his workout. But that’s being very picky. The five-star quarterback has awesome physical presence, he rips the ball out so easily, he leads his receivers where they don’t have to slow down to make the catch and after this showing, St. Clair will be in the discussion for the No. 1 quarterback in the class.


The surprise of the night, McDaniel had a phenomenal showing during the pro day as he was in rhythm and throwing with confidence. The Arizona commit threw a dynamite deep ball, looked great rolling out and throwing across his body and numerous times put the ball right on the hands of his receivers. One or two passes were slight overthrows bu there were no complaints on how the Hughson, Calif., three-star QB performed as McDaniel was one of the best all night.


There were quarterbacks throwing the ball harder but maybe no quarterback on Wednesday night had the touch and the placement of Lewis, who remains committed to USC but has Auburn pushing and he visits Colorado this weekend. He timed up well with the receivers and put the ball on the money often. One poor throw knocked the five-star quarterback down a few spots but other than that there were some real money throws during his time on the field.


One of the most discussed prospects from day one, Longstreet had all eyes on during his pro day and he did not disappoint. The Texas A&M pledge showed some pop and really got people keyed in on his deep balls. He showed his ability to put the ball where it needs to be at nearly all spots of the field.


The four-star Texas commit showed a ton more energy during this portion of the Elite 11 and threw some beautiful deep passes, something that is his calling card, to really put together a nice performance during the pro day. He missed one deep and threw behind his receivers slightly a few times but the Saraland, Ala., standout backed up his lofty ranking and overall had a very strong performance as the ball pops off his hand.


The Georgia commit has had a very strong showing in the first two days of Elite 11. His pro day session was largely impressive, flashing some serious pop and velocity. Montgomery would admit there were one or two throws he would want back, but a large amount of his throws were exactly what we were looking for. The deep ball passing and his throws when rolling out and on the move were excellent. Montgomery certainly looked the part during the pro day.


Russell was one who probably would like a do-over on his first eight throws or so as he let some get away from him, but once he rebounded, he had some of the best balls of the day. The Alabama commit has one of the strongest arms in the country, firing bullets from start to finish. With his arm strength and great timing, Russell had some of the better deep ball connections we saw. Russell’s Day 2 performance combined with the first day give us a great feeling about his abilities moving forward and his status as a top-50 prospect.


Possibly the most surprising prospect of the week, Sagapolutele has some serious juice in his left arm. After a very strong day one and rail shot competition victory, the uncommitted three-star was among the standouts in the pro day. There was not much at all he missed with only a couple of passes that hit the ground on his own doing. A tight spiral, excellent placement and strong on the move, Sagapolutele has absolutely raised his stock this week.


Sperry finished out the day so he didn't have the freshest wide receivers at his disposal, but he had a quality performance with very few mistakes. Sperry is almost always consistent as a passer and he showed that once again. The deep ball passing was his strongest asset and his throws to the sidelines were not far behind. The Oklahoma commit had a very clean pass through the pro day.


Early in the session, Knight had some magnificent throws rolling right and then a play-action pass that were some of the best all night. The four-star lefty Notre Dame commit zipped the ball so well, it comes out so cleanly and there is a ton of Michael Penix, Jr.’s style in his game and throwing motion. The top-rated dual-threat QB would have been even higher in these ratings if not for his final throws, though, where he was a little late on some passes and then placed the final throw instead of zipping it in there.


The biggest takeaway from Nickel’s pro day performance was he is almost always in rhythm. His full session won’t wow you in any specific way, but he had some very strong throws mixed in. How he finished the day was very impressive, showing he was getting better the more he continued.


The Severn (Md.) Archbishop Spalding four-star struggled a little on the opening night but had a strong showing during the all-important pro day where he threw some beautiful deep balls, had some great throws to the sideline and did a nice job of leading his receivers where they didn’t have to break stride to catch the pass. There was one missed throw when Washington was rolling to his right but other than that he had a very nice showing. After the event, he also chucked a ball about 45 yards and posed hoping it would hit the crossbar. It did - and the crowd went wild.


There were some misses but more hits for the four-star North Carolina commit who was probably a little more solid on night one than the pro day but has really shown well throughout the Elite 11. The Kernersville (N.C.) East Forsyth standout struggled a little throwing accurately while rolling to his right but had a few pristine deep balls and then showed great touch on the final throw to hit his receiver in the back of the end zone.


It was a mixed bag for the four-star Nebraska commit from Orange (Calif.) Lutheran. After missing on a deep ball to his right, Lateef bounced back on the next throw and threw a beauty to his left. There were some misses low and a couple balls hung up too long but then Lateef had a great seam route pass and put nice zip on some of the out routes to his receivers.


There were some really positive flashes for the four-star Oregon commit as Smith looked great rolling to his left and throwing on time to his receivers and late on touch passes into the end zone there were no issues. But Smith’s final tally was lower because he threw behind on a slant route and then had a stretch of three missed throws late in his session.


Hawkins, who has shown to be valuable when on the move, started a bit shaky out of the gate, but rounded it out with some very impressive throws. If there were one primary critique for Hawkins’ pro day, it would be that a few of his passes looked to hang up in the air a bit too long, giving the appearance of a floater approaching his target. His deep ball passing was where he was at his best on Day 2. What we did not see in this event is Hawkins’ mobility and the use of his feet, so there is certainly more to his game.


If there was a quarterback velocity competition at the Elite 11 Finals, Taylor would certainly be one of our top picks to win it. And while his arm strength was excellent, the Mississippi State commit let a few too many throws get away from him. The overall run through the pro day was an inconsistent one for Taylor, making some highlight-reel throws followed up by some wide misses and even some short passes he pulled too far. Taylor has a chance to be very talented in his future, but there is some development ahead.


Manske actually started hot out of the gate, but the pace and effort in the first half of the pro day caught up to him. He slowed down as he went and his arm began to die out on him. Some of his strongest throws of the day came over the middle as he delivered catchable strikes.


The four-star Missouri commit had a tough night but even still showed some really impressive flashes. One ball must have come off his hand poorly because it was not even a spiral and got nowhere near his receiver. But the Royersford (Pa.) Spring Ford standout also missed rolling to his left and right at times even though he’s made those same throws look great numerous times. There were plenty of bright spots, though, as he threw a nice slant and then came back with two exquisite sideline throws.