Building the Perfect Big 10 QB
Our guy Vincent Page put out his “Building the Perfect SEC QB” article last week and as he mentioned, this is a new series here at WNS. So now it’s time to do it for the Big 10. There are three important things to keep in mind; first, I am not allowed to choose the same player for multiple traits, second, this is not limited to draft eligible prospects- every Big 10 QB is eligible for this, third, “thank god condition #2 is in place” because oh my is the Big 10 QB crop bad.
Hunter Johnson, Northwestern
There are two reasons for this selection. First, Johnson in admittedly very limited playing time (only 27 career pass attempts) has completed nearly 80% of his passes. Johnson transferred from Clemson after backing up Kelly Bryant, and then sat out this past year. He’s a shoo-in for the Wildcats’ starting QB spot this coming season, given he was at one point the number 1 ranked QB in the country.
The second reason is the obvious fact that I’m not going to doubt the mental acumen of a QB coming from the academically prestigious Northwestern. There’s not a whole lot to go around in this conference in terms of QBs but this was one of the easier selections to make.
Justin Fields, Ohio State
If I was allowed to use one player for multiple traits, I’d likely just end up with Justin Fields in every trait. However, rules are rules and thus Fields, a former #1 QB in the country, in his own right takes this spot. In limited action at Georgia last year, he showed off the cannon he has attached to his right shoulder and can launch the ball down the field and make all the necessary throws. Now in an offense such as, Ohio State’s that just produced a 50 TD season out of Dwayne Haskins, Fields should be in for at least two seasons of special production.
Shea Patterson, Michigan
I’ve written about Patterson before and how he’s already a maxed out player but, there’s no denying that he’s an accurate passer. While not a field general that is accurate in every facet of the passing game, Shea is at his best in the short and intermediate passes. What helps him further is that Jim Harbaugh doesn’t ask him to do much with the deep ball. He completed 65% of his passes last year in a somewhat down season. I’m however going to stick to my proverbial guns and say that Patterson can sniff the 70% completion territory.
Nate Stanley, Iowa
This was a toss up between Stanley and Elijah Sindelar of Purdue but, I decided to go with Stanley. Stanley is 6’4” 242lbs according to ESPN. He uses his size as well as his body control to break off would-be tacklers in the pocket and Stanley has an impressive arm in his own right. Stanley enters the season as my #1 QB in the conference for the 2020 draft and should have his own fans in the league given his size, strength and speed. Some team is going to find themselves clamouring to get their hands and mold Stanley into something special.
Adrian Martinez, Nebraska
If you’re unfamiliar with Adrian Martinez, I don’t exactly blame you. First, he’s only a true sophomore. Second, Nebraska was not a good team last year in their first year under Scott Frost. Expect that to change this coming season. We’ve seen Frost use mobile QBs and turn them into absolute superstars in the past and Adrian Martinez may be his fastest guy yet. Martinez has outstanding speed in the open field on designed runs, but he also has the field vision and elusiveness of a running back which allows him to create space to either take off and run or escape the pocket and throw downfield. It doesn’t hurt that, for a mobile QB, he’s got the size and strength to rag doll defenders that other mobile QBs in the conference such as Shea Patterson don’t possess.