Right now, the “Quarterback U” college football argument is pretty one-sided. It is hard to argue against what Lincoln Riley has accomplished at Oklahoma.
The program produced back-to-back Heisman winners and No. 1 picks in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray in 2017 and 2018. Last year, Alabama transfer Jalen Hurts had his best college season, and was taken in the second round by the Philadelphia Eagles.
This year presents an interesting challenge. Projected starter Spencer Rattler, the former No. 1 QB recruit in the country, is the first homegrown player that Riley will plug in at quarterback, with Mayfield (Texas Tech), Murray (Texas A&M), and Hurts all transferring in. It would surprise if he isn’t the next star in that system.
247Sports ranked the top 10 “modern QBU” college football schools, weighing in the last five NFL Drafts. Oklahoma at No. 1 is no shocker, but the rest of the list is very interesting.
— 247Sports (@247Sports) June 16, 2020
247 is focusing on player development and ability to get players drafted in this ranking. With the emergence of transfers in the sport—and at the QB position specifically—they’ve decided to credit both the team that recruits the player, and the school that he is drafted from in the point system.
While we’ve still assigned seven points for any first rounder produced, one point for any seventh rounder produced and all of the corresponding point values in between, there is some gray area at quarterback regarding what it means to produce a draft pick. Alabama evaluated, recruited and developed Jalen Hurts for three years before he transferred to Oklahoma and was drafted one year later. For our purposes, we have given Oklahoma six points for a second-round draft pick but credited Alabama with five points for the evaluation and recruitment (so a minus of one point per the transfer school).
Oklahoma is the only school with three quarterbacks drafted in the last five years. On the other side of the coin, Florida cracks the list without a draft pick. Jeff Driskel, Jacoby Brissett, and Will Grier all left Florida and wound up being selected in the draft after leaving their new programs.
North Dakota State may be the most surprising inclusion. The FCS power has made an impact though, with Carson Wentz emerging as a star for the Eagles after going in the early first round, and Easton Stick being selected in last year’s fifth round. Trey Lance, the current Bisons starter, could join them next spring.