The perceived top quarterback prospects -- Alabama's Bryce Young, Kentucky's Will Levis and Ohio State's C.J. Stroud -- were sidelined this week as others competed for a conference championship, but that created an opportunity to familiarize oneself with other options.
Here is a look at some of the notable quarterback prospects that were in action last weekend:
Max Duggan, TCU: Stock Stagnant
Stats (31-28 loss vs. No. 10 Kansas State): 18-of-36 passes completed, 251 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 15 carries, 110 yards, 1 TD
Duggan laid it all on the line in Saturday's loss to Kansas State. The opposition was able to pressure him early and often, which likely led to some angst in the pocket. There were moments where it felt like he was anticipating pressure, taking his eyes away from downfield and rushing too early. Duggan took some big hits but always popped back up. He rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown on the day, including this one:
Unfortunately, the undefeated season also essentially came to an end on a Duggan run. His elbow touched down just shy of the goal line in overtime and the team was unable to score a touchdown.
The Wildcats allowed big plays up the seams through the air and on the ground. His downfield accuracy was poor all day, which could have been related to his discomfort in the pocket. On one particular throw, he overthrew a wide open Derius Davis up the seam. On a second play up the seam, he found wide receiver Blair Conwright, but it was dropped. The Horned Frogs had some opportunities but were unable to finish the job. Fortunately, it did not cost them a chance to compete for a championship.
Jake Haener, Fresno State: Stock Up
Stats (28-16 win vs. Boise State): 17-of-27 passes completed, 184 yards, 1 TD; 5 carries, -17 yards
Haener does not have ideal size for the quarterback but he is a gritty player that will fight through injury. He does a good job of working through his progressions and taking the checkdown when nothing else is available to him. The senior is just a savvy player that can manipulate defenses with his eyes. There are moments where he will pre-determine his read and throw into coverage, but he is difficult to defend when playing within structure. Haener showed good awareness sliding inbounds late to keep the clock moving with a 12-point lead. It is easy to envision him hanging around the league for a long time because of his understanding of the game.
The California native's lone touchdown came on a post to wide receiver Zane Pope. It was a tight window but Haener was able to drive it in for the score.
Aidan O'Connell, Purdue: Stock Down
Stats (22-43 loss vs. No. 2 Michigan): 32-of-47 passes completed, 366 yards, 2 INT; 6 carries, -36 yards
O'Connell is a tall, lanky quarterback. Coming into the year, he was high on my personal list of quarterback prospects but the development has not been as expected this year. When he plants, he is able to drive the ball to all levels of the field but is footwork in the pocket is still jittery. Touch and anticipation down the field could have been better.
Purdue was in the hunt against Michigan until O'Connell threw an interception midway through the fourth quarter. It put the Wolverines in a position to go up by 17.
Michael Pratt, Tulane: Stock Down
Stats (28-45 win vs. No. 22 UCF): 20-of-33 passes completed, 394 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT; 6 carries, 48 yards, 1 TD
On the surface, Pratt's numbers were very impressive but he honestly left a bit on the table as well. There were inaccurate throws that he usually makes. The junior completed his one and only throw beyond 20 yards, according to TruMedia. He struggled when targeting the left side of the field. Pratt does a good job of reading defenses and driving the ball into soft spots in the opponent's zone. As a runner, he gets up to speed quickly and has good top end speed.
Tulane was victorious in their only Power 5 contest (against Kansas State) this season. They will have a second opportunity Jan. 2 against USC. It is another chance for Pratt to perform on an elevated stage.
Cameron Rising, Utah: Stock Up
Stats (47-24 win vs. No. 4 USC): 22-of-34 passes completed, 310 yards, 3 TD; 8 carries, 18 yards
Rising has good size for the position but he does not have the speed to extend plays consistently and pull away from defenders. He has a good feel for the game and was targeting all points of the field. There were a few drops that did not help his case, but the senior also got away with an interception down the boundary. When looking at the pass bins, he was credited with one completion beyond 20 yards on four attempts. His least successful zones were along the boundary so it led to a deeper dive into his season-long play. Here is a look at his success throwing into each zone this season, courtesy of TruMedia: