The Steelers Search for QB1: Part V – Synthesizing the Data/Observations Into a Categorical Analysis of the 2022 NFL Draft Top 5 QBs

By Jeremy Hritz

This is part 5 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, based on all of my research, film study, and statistical analysis, I have made an attempt to synthesize all of the information objectively and rank the top 5 quarterback prospects against each other in 10 different categories. They are:

  • Arm Strength
  • Mobility
  • Accuracy
  • Ball Security
  • Pocket Presence
  • Toughness
  • Mechanics
  • Pro-Style Offense (familiarity based on college system)
  • Level of Competition (quality of teams played in college)
  • Experience 

In ranking the prospects against each other, I tallied a total score for each prospect, and an average score as well. The higher the total, the lower the ranking, vice versa. As you will see based on the numbers, the players are close to each other numerically. The purpose of this exercise is to provide for another perspective to evaluate these quarterbacks to determine who is the best fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Here are the rankings: 

Arm StrengthMobilityAccuracyBall SecurityPocket PresenceToughnessMechanicsPro-Style OffenseLevel of CompetitionExperienceTotal
Malik Willis114143545533 (3.3)
Kenny Pickett453511113125 (2.5)
Sam Howell242352232328 (2.8)
Matt Corrall331225351429 (2.9)
Desond Ridder525434224233(3.3)

Quarterback Prospect Breakdown

1. Kenny Pickett – 25 points (2.5 average)

#1 Ranking: Pocket Presence, Toughness, Mechanics, Pro-Style Offense, Experience

2. Sam Howell – 28 points (2.8 average)

#1 Ranking: None

3. Matt Corrall – 29 points (2.9 average)

#1 Ranking: Accuracy, Level of Competition

4. TIE: Malik Willis – 33 (3.3 average)

#1 Ranking: Arm Strength, Mobility, Ball Security

4. TIE: Desmond Ridder – 33 (3.3 average)

#1 Ranking: None

Notable Observations

  • Despite ranking as #1 overall in three different categories, Malik Willis was tied for the 4th overall QB with Desmond Ridder.
  • Sam Howell and Ridder both had 0 #1 rankings in any of the 10 categories. 
  • Kenny Pickett, the highest rated QB based on this analysis, ranked #1 in five different categories. 
  • It’s important to keep in mind that not every category is equal, and a better way for me to do this analysis would be to assign different weights to them. For instance, toughness is important, but toughness without outstanding arm strength is for naught. 
  • Howell had the lowest number of #5 rankings in the categories with 1.
  • Surprisingly, when comparing these rankings with what is commonly presented in the media, they are the reverse order. Willis is consistently the #1 rated prospect, but he is tied for #4 here. More evidence of his boom or bust moniker. 

What are your thoughts about these rankings? I’d love to hear them below in the comments, and be sure to check out my own rankings of the top #5 quarterbacks tomorrow on The Steel Study.

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