For 24 teams it's NFL Draft season, which means you, a football fan, are morally obligated to start learning everything about the incoming class of quarterback prospects.
And I get it -- by now, you've probably seen a post on some social network that the 2022 NFL Draft class of quarterbacks is sexy. So let me reiterate -- it's not nearly as tantalizing as last year's group headlined by Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, and Mac Jones nor the 2020 class with Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa.
But quarterbacks will go in the first round, most of which will be starting during the 2022 season.
I've been tasked to provide an "introduction" to class of 2022 quarterbacks you need to know.
Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
Strengths: Quick release, arm strength is solid. Keeps his head up after being forced out of the pocket. Athleticism isn't spectacular, but he gets the most out of his physical abilities when eluding rushers. Plays with high energy and is unafraid of making any throw. Loads of experience. Started 49 games for the Panthers. Can make anticipation throws.
Weaknesses: His accuracy isn't a major flaw, but he's not surgically accurate. Tends to trust his arm a tick more than he should in improvisational situations. Only had one year of elite productivity in college and will turn 24 before his rookie season.
Stylistic NFL comparison: Joe Burrow Lite
Matt Corral, Ole Miss
Strengths: Above-average arm talent and throws the ball with a lightning-quick release. Legitimate designed run-game athleticism. Plays with quarterback amnesia. If he makes a bad throw on one drive, he'll rip it through traffic on the next. Agile, fast, and he runs with tenacity. He's not Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen, but his legs will be an asset in the NFL.
Weaknesses: Ball placement is noticeably hit or miss. Won't flat-out miss many receivers but often doesn't hit them in stride. Deep passing left a little to be desired. Operated a predominant RPO offense that featured a litany of easy, schemed-open throws and didn't ask him to get to his second read often. Has a tendency to overextend plays that leads to him taking unnecessary hits.
Stylistic NFL comparison: Stronger-armed Jalen Hurts
Malik Willis, Liberty
Strengths: Massive arm that will be among the top 10 arms in the NFL upon his arrival to the league. Supreme athletic gifts. Will be a serious threat in the designed run game and has a flair for the dramatic as an improviser. Has the body of a tall running back and runs like that. Will run past some slower linebackers. From a clean pocket, his accuracy is very good. Zip, touch, placement are almost always on point in that scenario. Very capable throwing on the run. Wants to hit the big-time throw often.
Weaknesses: Not a deft coverage-reader. Can get baited by secondary members into interceptions. Aggression that leads to big plays also gets him into trouble at times. Pocket presence needs work.
Stylistic NFL comparison: Smaller Josh Allen
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
Strengths: Snappy release. Arm strength slightly exceeds NFL starter requirements. He's a smooth athlete. Checks the accuracy box. Plenty of pinpoint throws through traffic at the intermediate level and showed nice touch downfield. Smart with the football. Not going to put it in harm's way often. Very experienced. Started 49 games at Cincinnati
Weaknesses: Despite his fluidity as an athlete, he's awkward improvisationally. Tends to retreat in the pocket against pressure inside of drifting laterally away from defenders. Played lower level of competition, and his team had a talent advantage in most of those contests.
Stylistic NFL comparison: Taller, lankier Derek Carr
Carson Strong, Nevada
Strengths: Loads of in-the-bucket throws down the field on film. Aggressive about tight-window throws, and hit many of them in college. Will certainly give his receivers a chance to make a play on the football. Pocket presence is advanced. Started 31 games over three seasons at Nevada.
Weaknesses: Immobile. Has massive struggles even moving inside the pocket, and will not be able to create outside of structure in the NFL. Accuracy is good but not a clear-cut strength. Wasn't ultra-efficient on long throws, just attempted an insane amount of them.
Stylistic NFL comparison: Jared Goff
Sam Howell, North Carolina
Strengths: Big arm. Will stretch defenses vertically and can make the long sideline throw from the far hash. Tough runner. Not timid about taking, attempting to run through contact. Will break some tackles. Play is never over for him. Good amount of experience (37 games) for only being 21 years old.
Weaknesses: Frenetic playing style. Often holds on to the ball far too long. Will not be able to ad lib with as much success scrambling in the NFL as he did in college. Doesn't have crazy arm talent; zip on his passes noticeably subsides when he's on the run or needs to throw from an imperfect platform. Average-at-best athlete by today's quarterback standards. His accuracy is a roller coaster. Coverage reading needs work. Occasionally gets overaggressive and puts the ball in precarious situations.
Stylistic NFL comparison: More polished Josh Dobbs
Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky
Strengths: Whip-like delivery. Ball is out of his hands in a hurry on every throw. Loves and will hit the difficult throws down the field and at the intermediate level. Drifts away from pressure well while keeping his eyes up in the pocket. Some creativity to his game, and his arm talent is above-average. Accuracy is mostly very good.
Weaknesses: Smaller frame and only average athleticism for the position despite his willingness to improvise. After fitting a bunch of difficult throws into his target, he'll be slightly off with his ball placement on an easy throw or two. Arm talent is more impressive than his arm strength. He'll attempt the long "NFL" throws but the ball takes an extra split second to arrive.
Stylistic NFL comparison: Rough-around-the-edges Baker Mayfield
Anthony Brown, Oregon
Strengths: Big frame, designed-run acumen and experience. Plus athlete who can make splash plays happen in the run game. Arm is above-average. Has no problem stretching the field vertically. Loads of experience. Started 40 games at Boston College and Oregon combined.
Weaknesses: Will make bad decisions on deeper throws. Accuracy and anticipatory abilities are average at best. Opts to check it down in critical situations, and not deft at moving to his second read. Pocket presence could improve.
Stylistic NFL comparison: Marcus Mariota