The Steelers Search for QB1: Part IV: High School Statistical Analysis of the 2022 NFL Draft Top 5 QBs

By Jeremy Hritz

This is part 4 of a 7 part series taking an in-depth look at the top-5 quarterback prospects in this year’s draft, analyzing everything from their strengths, weaknesses, college and high school statistics, and much, much more. As the Pittsburgh Steelers seemed primed more than ever to draft a quarterback in the first round, the more informed we can be about this class, the better.

Monday, 4/11/22: Part I: The Flaws of the 2022 NFL Draft Top 5 QBs

Tuesday, 4/12/22: Part II: The Strengths of the 2022 NFL Draft Top 5 QBs

Wednesday, 4/13/22: Part III: Analysis of the Top-5 NFL Draft QBs College Statistics

Thursday, 4/14/22: Part IV: High School Statistical Analysis of the 2022 NFL Draft Top 5 QBs

Friday, 4/15/22: V: Synthesizing the Data/Observations Into a Categorical Analysis of the 2022 NFL Draft Top 5 QBs

Saturday, 4/16/22: The Steel Study 2022 NFL Draft Top 5 QB Rankings

Sunday, 4/17/22: Hritz Mock Draft 5.0

Today, we go deep into the vault and take a look at the high school statistics of the top 5 quarterback prospects in this year’s draft. Of course, high school football performance is not indicative of how a player will perform in the NFL, but it is helpful to see if any patterns carried over into a player’s collegiate career, and this helps illustrate what elements are ingrained in the prospect. I compiled the passing statistics, but not the rushing, and you can view them in the following table.

Malik Willis3962353318594114
Kenny Pickett4982964104593514
Sam Howell1361805134155914541
Desmond Ridder2991611825531412
Matt Corrall860547101786310322

So what stands out, if anything, and can we draw any conclusions when looking at these HS statistics in tandem with college numbers? Here are a few quick thoughts.

As was the case in college, so it was in high school: Matt Corrall had the highest completion percentage of the top 5. Evidence that accuracy is an innate component of his game?

How about total number of passes attempted in both college and HS? Howell (2478), Willis (784), Pickett (2172), Ridder (1603), and Corrall (1772). What does this mean? In terms of sheer volume and more experience throwing the football in game settings, nobody had a greater number of throws than Howell.

Howell threw for 145 touchdowns in high school and another 92 in college. That’s 237 total touchdown passes. The next closest? Corrall with 160.

How about average yards per completion? Howell (17), Corrall (19), Ridder (11.3), Willis (14.1), and Pickett (14). This is consistent with the college data, and Howell’s numbers show he has always had a penchant to attack down the field.

What patterns, trends do you see? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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