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. During each week of the offseason and season, we will look at a different set of devy rankings.
As we survey devy prospects, we will be looking at traits, abilities, and skill sets that will translate to the NFL. This week, we will look at the Top 10 devy quarterbacks eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft.
10. Jacob Eason (Georgia) – The 6’6”, 217-pound true Sophomore was recruited from the state of Washington to travel all the way down to the SEC to play college football. Many people were wondering if he would honor his commitment to Georgia after coach Mark Richt was encouraged to look for another job, and subsequently landed at the University of Miami. Eason was the top-ranked quarterback for most of the recruiting services and added Gatorade Player of the Year honors. He recently turned 20 years of age and has a very bright future. The issue for Eason is that – after leading the Bulldogs to a solid season and Liberty Bowl victory over TCU in 2016, he was replaced earlier this season by true Freshman Jake Fromm. Eason has only attempted 7 passes on the season while Fromm is playing very well (completing 75 of 121 passes for 1,162 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions). As though Fromm was not competition enough, Georgia just landed the top quarterback, and arguably the best player in the player in the 2018 recruiting class, Justin Fields. We still rank Eason high with the thought that he will transfer and be a starter at a different school in the near future.
9. Dwayne Haskins Jr (Ohio State) – The 6’,3”, 210-pound redshirt Freshman 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, “… when J.T. Barrett 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. ‘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.’” Haskins is a player to watch as this season progresses and 2018 begins.
8. K.J. Costello (Stanford) – Costello has NFL size (6’4”, 216 pounds) and a great high school pedigree. For the 2016 recruiting class, ESPN and Rivals listed him as the second-best pocket passer in the country, behind Jacob Eason (above). Costello was prolific in high school, even breaking Carson Palmer’s high school record with 8,222 passing yards. In his high school career, Costello also threw for 62 touchdowns and ran for 19 more. Costello has seen action after the injury to Keller Chryst. He has been very good in the five games since taking over for Chryst. In the game against UCLA where Costello replaced Chryst, he completed 13 of 19 passes for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns. He added another touchdown on the ground. After starting the season 1-2, Stanford is 4-0 in since Costello came into the lineup replacing Chryst. For the year, he has completed 43 of 67 yards (64%) for 492 yards, 4 touchdowns, and no interceptions. He has added 2 touchdowns on the ground. Costello has been sharp and should hold onto the job the rest of the season.
7. Joshua Jackson (Virginia Tech) - The redshirt Freshman does not have the requisite size (6’1”, 215 pounds) many NFL evaluators desire, but he is a good player. Jackson was rated as a 4-star recruit by ESPN Football Recruiting and the 184th player in the 2016 ESPN Top 300. He was ranked as the No. 9 dual-threat quarterback and the No. 4 player in the state of Michigan by ESPN. Jackson grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan as the son of a long-tenured assistant coach for the Wolverines. He had a monster of a game against East Carolina earlier in the season. In that contest, the youngster completed 24 of 31 passes (77.4%) for 372 yards and 5 touchdowns. That game put the Hokies’ quarterback on the national stage. For the 2017 season, Jackson has completed 136 of 212 passes for 1,832 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 4 picks. The numbers only tell part of the story. Jackson has been excellent in the Hokies. He is completing 64% of his passes and has the team sitting at 6-1, poised to make a strong push toward the college playoffs.
6. Jake Browning (Washington) – The Junior is a tad undersized for many draft analysts (6’2”, 209 pounds) but has been very good this season. Browning is accurate but lacks the arm strength to be a main contender to be a first-round pick. The Huskies were challenging for a playoff appearance before losing to Arizona State a week ago. The seven points scored in that loss were much less than previous scores this season. Before that contest, the Browning-led Washington offense had scored at least 30 points in every contest. But, against the Sun Devils, Browning only had 139 passing yards and no touchdowns through the air. For the season, he has completed 139 of 203 passes (69%) for 1,605 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Browning has added 4 more touchdowns on the ground.
5. Will Grier (West Virginia) – Grier was rated by Rivals.com as a four-star recruit and was ranked as the second-best dual-threat quarterback in his class and 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 Junior is smaller than ideal (6’2”, 205 pounds) but has a strong arm and is sharp mentally. Grier threw for 5 touchdowns to beat Texas Tech a week ago. Draft analyst, Dane Brugler, tweeted this about Grier, “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, “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.” This quote is from last week, so those numbers have only increased. College Football Talk tweeted Saturday night, “Ex-Florida/current WVU QB Will Grier has 26 TD passes in seven games. UF has 26 TD passes their last 23 games, dating back to Nov. of 2015.” There is little doubt that the Gators could use Grier given their offensive struggles the past two seasons.
4. Daniel Jones (Duke) – The redshirt Sophomore has played well since grasping the starting job a year ago. As a redshirt Freshman in 2016, he garnered an Honorable Mention Freshman All-America nomination by Campus Insiders and was the recipient of Duke’s Carmen Falcone Award as the team’s Most Valuable Player. Jones was an easy recruit for Duke as a 6’5”, 190-pound, dual-threat quarterback playing high school football nearby in Charlotte, NC, just down the road. Jones had a monster game in the victory over Northwestern earlier in the year. In that game, he completed 29 of 45 passes for 305 yards and 2 touchdowns compared to 1 interception. He added another 108 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. For the year, Jones has 1,670 passing yards, 11 combined touchdowns, and completing 54.5% of his passes. He could turn professional after the season or wait another year or two. Given the expected quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft, we hope that Jones and all others on this list who are eligible stay in school for another year. He needs to work on his passing efficiency.
3. Ryan Findley (NC State) – The redshirt Junior 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. Findley put up 3,059 yards in his first season with the Wolfpack. He has continued to improve and anchor the North Carolina State offense. In his second season with the team, Findley has completed 172 of 248 passes (69%) for 1,968 yards, 11 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. No interceptions on 248 pass attempts is astounding.
2. Jake Bentley (South Carolina) – Bentley is still very young as he entered college a year early. The Gamecocks have a young, strong receiving corps and the youngster could emerge as a viable SEC starter next season. Bentley is still developing but has a high ceiling. At present, he is a middle-of-the-road college quarterback who will continue to improve. For the season, Bentley has completed 129 of 212 passes for 1,585 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions.
1. Shea Patterson (Mississippi) – The 6’1”, 197-pound true Sophomore had his redshirt removed late last season and made an immediate impact. In his first contest, Patterson was awesome. He completed 25 of 42 passes for 338 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 pick. Patterson was an All-American recruit on several lists (USA Today, U.S. Army, among others) due to his play-making ability inside – and outside – of the pocket. He is electric. Patterson was named the Most Valuable Player of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl after completing 6 of his 9 passes for 90 yards and 2 touchdowns while leading his West team to a 37-9 victory over the East. In addition, Patterson was named the Most Valuable Player of the Elite 11 QB competition. We are excited to watch him develop, especially with the talent Mississippi has at the wide receiver position. He has picked up this season where he left off in 2016. In the season opener, Patterson broke the school single-game yardage record, according to Bruce Feldman. In that contest, Patterson completed 28 of 34 passes for 429 yards, 4 touchdowns, and no interceptions. He was pulled early in the fourth quarter. For the season, Patterson has 166 completions on 260 pass attempts for 2,259 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. He has added one more score on the ground. The Mississippi defense is lacking but the quarterback has played well this season. It appears that Patterson season is over. Bruce Feldman tweeted Sunday morning, “SOURCE: #OleMiss QB Shea Patterson is expected to miss the rest of this season with a knee injury. 247Sports first reported the news.” He tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Saturday's loss to LSU. So, these are likely Patterson’s 2017 season totals.