Pro Football Focus tabs just 1 B1G QB as a Top 10 returner for 2022
The B1G wasn’t known as a quarterback league during the 2021 season, but there was still some strong play from a couple different players at the position.
Most notably, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell and Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa stood out throughout the year. Penn State’s Sean Clifford, Michigan’s Cade McNamara and Michigan State’s Payton Thorne also enjoyed solid years.
Only one was included in Pro Football Focus’ list of top returning quarterbacks for the 2022 season. Stroud came in at No. 4 on the list, behind Alabama’s Bryce Young, South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler and Caleb Williams, who is still in the transfer portal.
Stroud ended the 2021 season with 4,435 yards and 44 touchdown passes in his first year as the starter at Ohio State. He completed 71.9% of his passes, as well.
Here’s what PFF had to say about Stroud:
While Stroud was blessed with one of the best ecosystems in the country and had his fair share of inconsistencies in 2021, he still finished with a 91.8 passing grade for the season, ranking fourth in the FBS. He battled a shoulder injury through his first three starts, which hurt his accuracy and caused him to sit out against Akron in Week 4. Stroud then returned in Week 5 and was sharp the rest of the way.
He earned an 89.0-plus PFF grade in five of his last nine starts and posted the highest rate of accurate passes in that span. The first-time starting quarterback did an excellent job of evading sacks when under duress, leading to the ninth-lowest pressure to sack conversion rate in the FBS (10.8%).
It was a little bit easy for Stroud, given all the open throws created for him, but he did show immense growth as the season progressed when moving off his first read.
Stroud will be one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy in 2022, especially after such a prolific run in 2021. But it is surprising that no other B1G quarterbacks made the cut at this way-too-early look at the position.