College football is back, and that means it’s time for the rollout of our 2022 Big Board! Starting at the quarterback position, here are a few of the guys we’re excited to watch this season:
Clayton Tune – Houston
Given the keys to the Cougars’ franchise after the departure of D’Eriq King in 2019, Clayton Tune is an excellent combination of pocket passer and scrambler who orchestrates this high-flying, Dana Holgorsen offense. While showcasing great poise and toughness from the pocket, Tune routinely spreads the ball around to his many different pass catchers, displaying his quick release and decisiveness once he sees his receiver coming open. What you like about the Carrollton, Texas native is his readiness to take vertical shots to make the defense defend the whole field, and he’s a deceptively fast athlete who’s very capable of both extending plays with his legs and racking up yardage when the defense isn’t looking.
Sean Clifford – Penn State
At 23 years old and with 20 career starts already under his belt, Sean Clifford is one of the more seasoned senior quarterbacks in this year’s class. Showing command at the line of scrimmage, changing plays based on the defensive formation, and ensuring he gets his offense’s best player (WR Jahan Dotson) the ball regularly are all aspects of Clifford’s game that demonstrate his maturity and degree of preparedness for the next level. In addition to his smooth set-up, delivery and ability to scan the field, the redshirt senior from Cincinnati is a capable runner who’s already third all-time among PSU quarterbacks in rushing yards. After a disappointing 2020 campaign that saw the Nittany Lions fall under .500, NFL teams are eager to see if Clifford’s experience will elevate his performance against a tough Big Ten schedule, beginning September 4 at Wisconsin.
Anthony Brown – Oregon
After starting for 2.5 years at Boston College, Anthony Brown transferred to Oregon in 2020 where he played in the Ducks’ final two games of the season, entrenching himself as the team’s signal-caller going forward. With a tall, athletic frame, the 6-foot-3, 226-pound New Jersey native is the next dangerous dual-threat quarterback for the notoriously high-powered Oregon offense. With the build and speed of a wide receiver, Brown displayed in last year’s bowl game vs. a stout Iowa State defense the ability to move the ball efficiently with both his arm and his legs. NFL talent evaluators want to see Brown remain healthy for a full starting season – something he’s done only once to date – but a projected 3.5+ years of starting experience at the collegiate level will certainly bode well for his NFL chances.
Holton Ahlers – East Carolina
Standing at 6-3, 231 pounds, Holton Ahlers is no small man. The soon-to-be four-year starter possesses good NFL size for the position and frustrates many would-be sackers with his strength to break tackles. What’s impressive about the southpaw (and hometown hero for ECU) is that he looks to throw the ball downfield rather than run, and he isn’t afraid to thread the needle with his pass while putting trust in his receivers to make a play. NFL evaluators appreciate his ability to come off his primary read to find secondary targets, and he displays his veteran savvy by looking off safeties prior to throwing over the middle of the field.
Check back throughout the coming days to see the Big Board fill out at the other positions!