Ranking the Elite 11 quarterbacks
MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. - The Elite 11 has wrapped up and it's time to break down the 20 quarterbacks who were in attendance. Rivals National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney and National Recruiting Analyst Sam Spiegelman were on site all week.
They rank their own "elite 11" and give their takes on all 20 QBs that competed at the event.
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RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series
1. QUINN EWERS
The nation’s No. 1 quarterback usually doesn’t line up behind center or always throw from a traditional arm angle, so the Elite 11 Finals certainly served as a learning experience. Nonetheless, Ewers has as much arm talent as any quarterback in the country.
He impressed during drills opening night, at his pro day and again during the accuracy challenge. Ewers has the ability to make every throw anywhere on the field and his best is better than most. He makes difficult throws look effortless and his desire to absorb knowledge is very tantalizing.
2. CADE KLUBNIK
Klubnik impressed at every turn from red-zone fades to the pro day to putting up some of the best throws from start to finish at the accuracy challenge. The Rivals100 passer is accurate in the short field as well as downfield and checks the box to make every throw. He timed his throws well in the middle of the field and effortlessly challenged downfield with accuracy.
The Clemson commitment is nearly back to full strength after rehabbing a torn AC joint in his throwing shoulder and should be a full go for the season in a few weeks, which says a lot after capturing MVP honors at the event and showing well in each respective category throughout.
3. CONNER WEIGMAN
Texas A&M-bound Weigman won the opening night HORSE competition and also impressed at his pro day and in the accuracy challenge. He has a big arm, he can sling it and delivered some really impressive throws on the move with accuracy and touch. Weigman’s timing was on-point and he was sharp inside the hashes and outside the numbers.
Weigman’s mobility — his ability to make throws on the run and also the threat to take off and run — makes him an ideal fit in Jimbo Fisher’s offense.
4. DEVIN BROWN
Brown was one of the big surprises at the Elite 11 and made a statement to move higher in the rankings with his performance. The USC commit had one of the strongest arms at the event and he’s also accurate, making all the throws look easy as he’s comfortable dropping back, going through his progressions and then zipping the ball where it needs to be.
A transfer out of Arizona and now at Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon, USC recruited Brown heavily and we’ve now seen why as he’s right there with some of the top quarterbacks nationally.
5. WALKER HOWARD
There was never a question about Howard’s arm strength or capability to drive the ball where it needed to be, but at the Elite 11 we wanted to see if he could be an accurate passer, something that he struggled with at times during the Rivals Camp Series stop in Dallas.
The LSU commit answered all those questions and now healthy, Howard proved he’s an outstanding quarterback with lots of skills. He can throw on the run, he can hit targets all over the field and his accuracy was excellent through all the workouts.
6. MAALIK MURPHY
Another consistent performer throughout the week of Elite 11 Finals was Murphy, who of course looks the part, but also has a cannon of a right arm to match. The Texas commitment has an unconventional delivery, but the results are real.
Murphy is deadly accurate and throws ropes all over the field. He can effortlessly lob it downfield with accuracy and fantastic timing. That arm strength allows him to be on-point throwing all over the field.
After a strong showing this offseason, a lot of eyes will be on Murphy this fall.
7. KATIN HOUSER
Houser was dealing during his pro day and can fire passes in underneath. The Michigan State-bound passer also has plenty of arm power. When he squares up, he can deliver lasers and when he’s in a rhythm, Houser really puts on a show.
Houser moved well in the pocket during the pro day and completed some of the more impressive throws downfield. Throughout the week, Houser definitely had moments in which he shined.
8. TY SIMPSON
Everything we loved about Simpson before we still love: He’s a coach’s son, he’s a gym rat, he has a tough, competitive, determined mindset. Did the Alabama commit blow us away with any particular drill or set of throws? Not really. But Simpson does not make mistakes. He delivers the ball on time, he is accurate and whatever the drill is, the high four-star puts the ball on the money.
In games, Simpson is a playmaker. In this setting we couldn’t really see a lot of that but he was very solid throughout the event and his deep ball is great.
9. DREW ALLAR
There have been some rave reviews about Allar from this event and while we’ve liked him – especially because he’s very big and very capable as a thrower – we would still have him a little further down the list than others. Allar reminds us a bit of Christian Hackenberg at the same stage – a pocket passer who has a very live arm and who can make all the throws, but not very mobile and so an offense will have to be tailored around that.
He’s outplayed a high three-star ranking at this event, though, and his arm strength has been impressive to see.
10. NICK EVERS
The Florida commit warmed up throughout the event and after a slow start, he made all his throws, looked smooth doing it and by the end of the Elite 11 he had catapulted himself into the upper echelon.
The Flower Mound, Texas, standout has good arm strength and making all the throws is not an issue even if he's not a 'wow' quarterback every time. Still, Evers can sit in the pocket and deliver the ball, he can throw on the run and with his demeanor and coachability, Dan Mullen is getting a good one in Gainesville.
11. A.J. DUFFY
A comparison to North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell has been made and it’s funny because Howell was also throwing some at this event as a camp counselor and the similarities are evident. Both are filled-out quarterbacks with a lot of zip on their passes as their physical makeup and arm strength seem to mirror each other.
A coach’s son as well, Duffy has no problem working through progressions, grasping the drill and then executing it. His accuracy was great. On the deepest throws, the Florida State commit put everything into it but his arm strength is definitely fine.
AND THE REST (in alphabetical order) ....
Brown had his good moments where he put zip on the ball and he hit receivers. He’s a big-bodied quarterback who can harness that strength to make throws. But the consistency was not there all week. On film, Brown makes all the throws and can throw on the run amazingly well but we didn't see that from the Miami commit at this event.
Carter is well-equipped from a physical standout. He has a cannon for a right arm and can chuck it all over the field. During the accuracy challenge, he was firing passes on-point for much of the event. Accuracy remains an issue on more difficult attempts outside the numbers or pressing downfield, but Carter has a smoothness to him and a ton of raw athleticism that makes him an intriguing option under center.
He has Power Five ability without question and could certainly jump-start a Group of Five offense as well.
Geriner gets it out quickly, he’s accurate and on time, and his throwing motion is flawless but the Auburn commit is not going to be a runner in the SEC. The pro-style quarterback looks bigger than his listed 6-foot-3 and is definitely a guy who’s going to sit behind a massive offensive line and pick apart defenses.
His arm strength is there, the accuracy is there and he can deliver the ball without issues. He’s just not going to be a quarterback who is.a threat to get outside of the pocket and run.
There have been moments where Jackson looked like one of the smoothest and purest throwers in the country with phenomenal accuracy but then also times where there were overthrows and accuracy issues. On the whole, the Tennessee commit was very impressive.
Jackson plays the position effortlessly, the ball comes out nicely and there is a lot of talent. He will have to add some weight to his frame to take those SEC hits but he will be a very interesting addition to a Josh Heupel offense.
Quietly one of the more impressive passers of the week was Johnson, who was on the money during the accuracy challenge and turned heads with his ability to make accurate throws on the move and also challenge downfield.
Mobility is a key element in Johnson’s game and it’s an added dimension that makes him such an intriguing fit at Utah. He has a really good arm and the ability to be a dangerous dual-threat option in the Pac-12.
One of the standouts from the pro day workout, Pyron impressed with his ability to make accurate throws on the move and throws a terrific fade ball. In fact, the Baylor commitment is really solid throwing outside the numbers as well as challenging down the seams.
Ball placement with receivers in motion was a bit of a hurdle throughout the week, but Pyron had his moments where he looked the part.
Richesson was not a national name coming into this event and he has only a handful of offers but the Nashville (Tenn.) Lipscomb Academy prospect has arm talent and could definitely play in the Power Five.
He’s a smooth passer and while he was not in the upper echelon of quarterbacks at the event, Richesson clearly held his own on the field and could see his recruitment tick up when all is said and done.
Swann is who he is: A very capable quarterback who isn’t going to blow anyone away with his athleticism but who’s an ultra-competitor that can put the ball on the money. In this setting, there are guys who flash more but the Maryland commitment does what’s expected of a quarterback – he throws the ball on time, to the right spot and does not make many bad throws ever. Mistakes are at a minimum when he’s on the field.
The Rivals100 quarterback from Kentucky certainly has to continue to focus in on accuracy, but Wimsatt showcased a big arm and a ton of upside throughout the week in Los Angeles. The Rutgers pledge impressed during the accuracy challenge and was throwing lasers, but faced some hiccups during his pro day hitting the mark consistently.
Wimsatt is mobile and has a strong arm to challenge downfield. He brings a ton of upside to the position.