Athlon Sports ranks every Pac-12 quarterback for 2022 – Ducks Wire

For those counting, and evidently, Athlon Sports did, there are 131 college football teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. That’s 131 starting quarterbacks and the site did the painstaking work of ranking every single one of them.
So where do the most likely starting signal callers that navigate the Pac-12 rank? Some of the results may be surprising and possibly questionable. They think highly of USC’s Caleb Williams, although he hasn’t played one game in the conference.
But when it comes to new Oregon quarterback Bo Nix, who has three years of experience in the SEC … well, let’s say their ranking isn’t quite as high as his counterpart in Los Angeles.
We have included how each Pac-12 quarterback ranks within the conference, their overall ranking, and a snippet of what Athlon had to say about each player.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Overall ranking: 115
Improved play under center would significantly boost the overall production of this offense, and Lewis opens the fall as the favorite to start after throwing for 1,540 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushing for 190 yards and two scores last season. However, Lewis did not eclipse more than 170 yards in any other matchup and averaged just 6.0 yards per attempt. If Lewis doesn’t take a step forward, Tennessee transfer JT Shrout could push for the job.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Overall ranking: 95
Plummer played in 21 games over the last four years at Purdue and threw for 3,405 yards and 26 touchdowns to 10 picks. The Arizona native has flashed potential at times as an off-and-on starter with the Boilermakers, and the ’22 season should provide an opportunity to make a splash as the full-time starter.
Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner
Overall ranking: 58
Coach Herm Edwards and new play-caller Glenn Thomas landed Alabama transfer Paul Tyson prior to spring practice, and Jones committed to the team in early May. The Georgia native flashed potential as the backup from 2018-20 and replaced Kyle Trask after his departure to the NFL prior to ’21. However, Jones had an up-and-down season in Gainesville. If Jones can play with more consistency and cut down on some of the mistakes, he should finish much higher on this list by December.
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Overall ranking: 57
Injuries have wreaked havoc throughout Penix’s career, but if he can stay healthy, there’s optimism for the Tampa native to post his best season in ’22. Penix is reunited with former Indiana offensive coordinator (and new Washington coach) Kalen DeBoer after the two worked together in Bloomington in ’19. If Penix can stay healthy, reuniting with DeBoer should result in the best season of his career. And if he’s forced to miss time for any reason, the Huskies have two capable quarterbacks ready to go in Dylan Morris and Sam Huard.
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Overall ranking: 56
J.T. Daniels considered Oregon State as a transfer destination this offseason but eventually opted for West Virginia. Despite missing on a transfer, the Beavers are still in good shape at quarterback. After starting the final three games of 2020, Nolan played in all 13 contests last year (12 starts) and threw for 2,677 yards and 19 touchdowns. Nolan’s steady play, accuracy and mobility are all huge assets for Oregon State’s offense going into the ’22 season.
Syndication: The Register-Guard
Overall ranking: 55
The former five-star prospect might not post huge numbers and has room to improve on accuracy and generating more big plays downfield. However, considering what Oregon returns on defense and around the quarterback, solid play from Nix is likely enough to earn a trip to the Pac-12 title game.
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Overall ranking: 40
Arizona coach Jedd Fisch was forced to start three quarterbacks due to injuries last fall. Combine the carousel under center with a first-year coaching transition and roster short on talent, it’s easy to see why the Wildcats finished 1-11 in ’21. However, there’s optimism in Tucson going into the fall. De Laura’s arrival from Washington State gives Arizona a potential all-conference candidate at quarterback.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Overall ranking: 39
McKee seems primed for a breakout year in 2022. The former four-star prospect in the ’18 signing class spent two years on an LDS mission and played in one contest in his return to Stanford in ’20. McKee shook off the rust as the year progressed, throwing for 2,327 yards and 15 touchdowns over 206 completions.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Overall ranking: 33
Few quarterbacks in college football are more intriguing than Ward going into the ’22 season. The FCS Incarnate Word transfer was a huge catch for new Washington State coach Jake Dickert and has the talent to rank among the top signal-callers in the conference if he can make a quick transition to the FBS level.
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Overall ranking: 16
DTR’s decision to opt for another year in Westwood was great news for the Bruins after the Las Vegas native posted his best all-around season at UCLA. Thompson-Robinson has to navigate some new pieces around him along the offensive line and in the receiving corps, but coming off his best season at UCLA, there’s no reason to believe he will regress in ’22.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Overall ranking: 15
Rising’s insertion into the starting lineup helped Utah recover from a 1-2 start to eventually emerge as the Pac-12 champion last fall. The Texas transfer suffered a shoulder injury in the ’20 opener and opened the following season No. 2 on the depth chart behind Charlie Brewer. After nearly rallying the Utes to a comeback win over San Diego State on Sept. 18, Rising started the rest of the way for coach Kyle Whittingham’s team. The junior doesn’t make many mistakes, can extend plays as needed, and is a perfect fit for Utah’s offense. With a full offseason to work as the No. 1 quarterback, look for Rising to take a step forward in his second year as the starter.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Overall ranking: 3
Lincoln Riley’s rebuilding effort in Los Angeles got a lot easier thanks to Williams’ decision to follow his former coach at Oklahoma to the West Coast. The Washington, D.C. native wasn’t slated to start in ’21, but a few sluggish performances by the Sooners’ offense (and quarterback Spencer Rattler) pushed the five-star prospect into action midway through the year. Although his surroundings are new, Williams already knows Riley’s scheme and has one of the best receiving corps in college football at his disposal.
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