As it stands, Clemson's Trevor Lawrence will be the first overall pick. And while the Big Ten will begin its season next month, which means Ohio State's Justin Fields will have an opportunity to make his case, it's hard to envision any scenario that doesn't include NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announcing Lawrence's name at the top of the 2021 NFL Draft.
But even with a limited college schedule on Saturday there's still plenty to discuss, both among the quarterbacks that played and those that will soon see the field for the first time this fall. Let's get to it.
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
We'll repeat what we said a week ago: Remember the start of the 2019 season, when Lawrence didn't quite look like the same player who dominated as a freshman the year before? Well, he's playing the best football of his career, though on Saturday vs. the Citadel he -- along with the other Clemson first-teamers -- was done for the day by halftime with the Tigers leading 49-0.
Lawrence finished 8 of 9 for 168 yards and three touchdowns, and he rushed for another score. It feels like the weekly QB Watch will become his personal hype reel because every throw he makes has the potential to leave you jaw agape, marveling at what you just witnessed. Here are his three touchdown tosses against the Citadel:
That was a seed but how's Lawrence's deep-ball accuracy?
OK, but can he do it two times in a row?
Yes, that's an admittedly overmatched defense, but here's the takeaway: Those are all NFL throws, all put right on the money. Put another way: Remember a year ago when folks (like, say, us) had to twist ourselves into pretzels to make excuses for why Jordan Love struggled against Mountain West opponents? There's none of that with Lawrence, who is playing the best football of his college career.
D'Eriq King, QB, Miami
Man, King and new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee ain't fooling around. That was hard to suss out in the season-opener against UAB when the Hurricanes leaned on the run and King only threw for 141 yards. But on Saturday against 18th-ranked Louisville, King showed why he might be Miami's best quarterback in more than a decade (no, seriously), finishing 18 of 30 for 325 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Listed at 5-foot-10 (though he's probably shorter than that), King, who transferred from Houston, needed to show that he could throw accurately to all levels, something he's struggled with during his college career (he managed to complete just 52.7 percent of his throws in his four starts in 2019).
It's worth noting that Louisville's defense was, in a word, awful. Blown coverages, missed assignments poor tackling all led to wide-open King throws and easy Hurricane points (for example), but the Miami QB flashed his mobility and arm talent too. This was perhaps his most impressive throw of the night:
And this back-shoulder throw to tight end Will Mallory on Miami's first drive of the game was a close second:
There's a long way to go, but King, who is considered one of the team's hardest workers and a locker room leader, was impressive against a ranked Louisville team.
Shane Buechele, QB, SMU
If you just look at the box score, Buechele's numbers vs. North Texas blow you away. He threw four touchdowns, ran for another and SMU was in control from start to finish. But in watching the game, Buechele was throwing to wide-open targets or completing screen passes that went to the house.
That said, Buechele has been mostly accurate in SMU's two wins (on Saturday he did throw just behind his receiver on a slant in the end zone late in the first half and the team had to settle for a field goal), completing 72.5% of his throws, which is nearly a 10 percentage-point improvement from last season. Questions remain about his arm strength -- several of his throws died on him Saturday -- and he in terms of athleticism he won't be confused with Lawrence, King or Fields. But if he continues to complete nearly three-quarters of his throws and make good decisions, he'll have a shot to play at the next level.
QBs we're excited to see this fall
With the return of the Big Ten next month, here are two quarterbacks we can't wait to see on the field.
Justin Fields, Ohio State. Fields transferred from Georgia and in 2019 immediately stepped in for Dwayne Haskins at Ohio State, where in his first season he threw for 3,273 yards and completed 67 percent of his throws, including 41 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Fields ran for another 484 yards and 10 scores. And while he's a first-round talent, another year in the Buckeyes system will only enhance his draft stock; he has off-the-charts athleticism and plus-arm strength, but Fields needs to improve his accuracy on downfield throws and his ball security. There's a lot to love about his game, and the expectation is that he'll only get better with more reps.
Tanner Morgan, Minnesota. Morgan doesn't have a strong arm but he's one of the best anticipatory passers in the country. He also regularly makes the right read and delivers the ball on time and in a spot that allows his receivers to maximize yards after the catch. For us, he entered the 2020 season as a Day 3 prospect with the chance to only improve this stock. But that can change with a strong fall campaign.