There is a growing movement in the Dynasty community toward “devy” players. The term “devy” refers to developmental players carried on the dynasty league rosters. These devy players are usually college players but can even be high school athletes. Each week of the offseason and season, we looked at a different set of devy rankings.
As we survey devy prospects, we examine traits, abilities, and skill sets that will translate to the NFL. This week, our final edition of the season, we will look at the top 10 devy quarterbacks eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft. We value the players who will contribute at the professional level higher than the younger players.
10. Ryan Findley (North Carolina State) – The redshirt Senior graduated from Boise State in three years and transferred to North Carolina State for the 2016 season. Findley only appeared in a total of eight games for Boise State prior to transferring. He put up 3,059 yards in his first season with the Wolfpack. Findley has continued to improve and anchor the North Carolina State offense. In 2017, he threw for 3,055 yards on 243-of-402 passing, including 18 touchdowns against 8 interceptions. He added three more scores on the ground. It was against Arizona State in last year’s Sun Bowl that thrust Findley onto the national scene. In that contest, Findley completed 24 of his 29 pass attempts (82.8% completion percentage) for 318 yards and a touchdown in the lopsided 52-31 victory. He is a player to watch this season in a tough ACC. With only two soft games before the canceled game against West Virginia last Saturday, we will soon see how much he has improved.
9. Jake Browning (Washington) – The Senior is a tad undersized for many draft analysts (6-foot-2, 209 pounds) but will still be in a position to be drafted on the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft. Browning is accurate but lacks the arm strength to be a main contender to be the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. In 2017, he completed 230 of his 336 passes for 2,719 yards, 19 touchdowns, and just 5 interceptions. Browning and the Huskies had a difficult matchup in the opener against the Auburn Tigers, one of the best defenses in college football. He completed 18 of 32 passes for 296 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception in that contest. The competition will get much easier for Browning and Washington as the PAC12 is a soft conference this season.
8. Jake Bentley (South Carolina) – Bentley is still very young as he entered college a year early. He is now a true Junior. The Gamecocks have a young, strong receiving corps and the youngster could emerge as an elite SEC starter this season. Bentley is still developing but has a high ceiling. Entering year three as a collegiate passer, hopes are high for Bentley. In 2017, he completed 62.2% of his passes for 2,794 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Bentley started the 2018 campaign strong against Coastal Carolina with 22-of-29 passing for 250 yards and 4 touchdowns. The next week was a much tougher opponent in Georgia. The passer completed 30 of 47 passes for 269 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions in the 17-41 loss. As the competition gets stronger, Bentley will have an opportunity to show he belongs higher on this list.
7. Bryce Perkins (Virginia) – The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Junior exploded against Richmond in the season opener. He threw for 185 yards and ran for another 105 on the ground, with 3 total touchdowns. He is not a natural passer but has athleticism like few others. He was a January enrollee and stepped up in spring practice. Perkins took a circuitous route to land with the Cavaliers. After heading to Arizona State out of high school, Perkins redshirted in 2015 and lost the 2016 season to an injury. In 2017, he led Arizona Western Community College to the national championship game, losing 31-28. Perkins is definitely a player to watch as this season unfolds.
6. Jacob Eason (Washington) – While it seems strange that Eason is ranked higher than his teammate on this list, but Eason showed promise in Georgia before transferring. He was injured early in the 2017 season and was supplanted by Jake Fromm, who led the Bulldogs deep into the NCAA playoffs. His emergence led to Eason’s transfer. With Browning graduating after the season, Eason is set up for success as the Huskies’ quarterback.
5. Drew Lock (Missouri) – The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Senior from nearby Lee’s Summit has been very productive throughout his Missouri career. Lock threw for almost 8,700 yards his first three collegiate seasons. The concern is that his career completion percentage is far below the 60% level, an acceptable level to project NFL success. History has not been kind to passers with all four college seasons below this mark. But, Lock ended 2017 on a high note so expectations are high for 2018. Against three soft opponents to begin the season, Lock has completed 78 of 113 passes (69%) for 1,062 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 1 interception. He will be tested in the SEC as the competition increases.
4. Dwayne Haskins Jr (Ohio State) – The 6-foot-3, 210-pound redshirt Sophomore has the confidence of those around the Ohio State program, and for good reason. Haskins was a four-star recruit who is already an OSU Scholar-Athlete. In his high school career, Haskins threw for 5,308 yards and 54 touchdowns. He was named to the Under Armour All-American game. Buckeyes’ fan site LandGrantHolyLand.com had this to say about Haskins last year, “… when J.T. Barrett IV is gone after this season, the next man up is Haskins. The former four-star from Potomac, Maryland has really impressed this offseason as a redshirt freshman. His touch, rocket arm, and aggressiveness remind more than a few of Cardale Jones, including starting quarterback J.T. Barrett IV. ‘He has kind of a mentality almost like Cardale,’ Barrett said, per Eleven Warriors. ‘His arm can take him places, but then also too, it can get him in some tight spots as well. But when he is set up to throw the ball and he is in rhythm, he can rip it.’” He started off the 2018 year with a bang against Oregon State. In that contest, he completed 22 of 30 pass attempts for 313 yards, five touchdowns, and 1 interception. The 73.3% completion percentage is eye-popping. Against a very good TCU defense on Saturday night, Haskins completed 24 of 38 passes for 344 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also added a rushing touchdown in the contest. The great game, leading the Buckeyes to a victory put Haskins on the national stage for the Heisman race.
3. Jarrett Stidham (Auburn) – Stidham redshirted in 2016 after leaving the Baylor program following his Sophomore year. He left the program just as the scandals were hitting the news. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder is a redshirt Junior. For those that have forgotten about the buzz Stidham garnered as a high school recruit, here are a few reminders. Former Baylor coach Art Briles called Stidham "the best young guy [he's] ever been around." Let’s remember that Stidham played high school football in a Briles’ system at a high school Briles previously coached and played well as a Freshman after Seth Russell went down with the neck injury. In its recruiting profile, ESPN compared Stidham to "Derek Carr as a passer and Marcus Mariota as a runner." While that may be too a little too ambitious, Stidham does have the tools to be successful. He ran a 4.66 40-yard dash in high school. The ESPN scouting profile said, "He is only going to get bigger and better with more experience … He's the type of player that can fit into any scheme and add the dimension of a constant running threat. He is extremely attractive because there is a high ceiling for development." At Auburn, Stidham has one of the best groups of wide receivers in the SEC. In 2017, he threw for 3,158 yards with a 66.5% completion percentage and an 18:6 TD:INT ratio. Stidham has the Tigers poised to go deep into the college playoffs after a big victory against Washington in the opening week. In the game against the stiff Huskies defense, he completed 26 of his 36 passes (72.2% completion percentage) for 273 yards and a touchdown. He tossed were several NFL-caliber passes. It was a great showing for Auburn and the quarterback. The game against LSU on Saturday was not as stellar as Stidham threw two interceptions in the loss. While he did not play poorly, opportunity was there for the Auburn passer to overcome a stiff defense.
2. Will Grier (West Virginia) – Grier was rated a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and was ranked as the second-best dual-threat quarterback in his class, listed as the 46th player overall. Grier was offered scholarships to play football at Auburn, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wake Forest. He committed to play quarterback at the University of Florida. Shortly after, Grier received a one-year suspension, effective October 12, 2015, after it was revealed that he had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Once his appeal was rejected, Grier transferred to West Virginia. The redshirt Senior is smaller than ideal (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) but has a strong arm and is sharp mentally. Draft analyst, Dane Brugler, tweeted this about Grier last season, “Plenty of good/bad on Grier's film, but some of his best plays come when he's under pressure or forced to move his feet. He has NFL skills.” We see much of the same. Grier is not a conventional pocket passer. Noted draft analyst Kyle Crabbs had this to say last year, “In short, he has shown an NFL arm, will end the season with a workload the NFL has already proven to be comfortable drafting (approximately 600 pass attempts or more), will be 23 years of age on draft night 2018, and is an NCAA leader in passing touchdowns (21 through six games, T1st), passing yards (2,092 through six games, 9th) and quarterback rating (167.8 through six games, 10th). Ignore the spread offense. Grier found success early in his career in Florida as well and has brought that success with him to Morgantown. Perhaps it’s time we all took notice.” In 2017, Grier threw for 3,490 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He started the 2018 year off in strong fashion in the shellacking of Tennessee. In that game, Grier completed 25 of 34 passes for 429 yards and 5 touchdowns. His game against North Carolina State was canceled so fans will have to wait a week to see Grier in action.
1. Ryan Herbert (Oregon) – The true Junior is a great athlete with an NFL physique (6-foot-6, 225 pounds). In high school, Herbert threw for 3,130 yards and 37 touchdowns as a Senior. He added another 543 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Herbert hit .400 for the baseball team and had a 1.98 ERA. Additionally, Herbert was a starter for the 6A’s school basketball team that lost the state championship as a Sophomore. After completing 63.5% of his passes and owning a 19:4 TD:INT ratio as a true Freshman, Herbert was very impressive in year two. In 2017, his completion percentage jumped to (67.5) and a 15:5 TD:INT ratio. We have Herbert as the top passer for the 2019 NFL Draft. In the opener against Bowling Green, Herbert and Oregon started slowly, falling behind 0-10 in the first quarter. But, the star passer has shown why his stock is soaring. In that game, he threw for 281 yards and 5 touchdowns, with 2 interceptions. Herbert added another 41 yards a score on the ground. There will be some rough spots for the Ducks offense given its lack of talent, but Herbert is a star. The three patsy opponents to begin the season will soon give way to the PAC12 defenses.