Sean Pendergast

College Football Week 1: Guide To Scouting Future Houston Texans QBs

Spencer Rattler could be Lincoln Riley's latest Heisman finalist.
Spencer Rattler could be Lincoln Riley's latest Heisman finalist. Screenshot
It was about a year ago this weekend that Deshaun Watson signed his mega deal, a four-year contract extension worth almost $160 million, which at the time was the biggest contract in league history for any human being not named "Patrick Mahomes." When a team signs a player to a deal like that in September 2020, the last thing they're thinking about is where they plan to trade him six months later, and what college quarterbacks to scout for the NFL Draft in 2022.

But with the Texans, here we are.

For the record, while seeking trade partners in such a short period of time, for a player signed to a Watson-esque deal, is unprecedented and rare, it's only the second most bizarre thing about this saga. Yeah, there's that whole thing about 22 civil lawsuits, but I digress.

Indeed, the 2021 college football season now has significantly more juice for Texan fans, in part because the team actually HAS HIGH DRAFT PICKS this year, unlike three of the last four years (thanks O'Brien!), plus they will be shopping for a franchise quarterback, barring some unforeseen epiphany from rookie Davis Mills in the next few months.


Hey, Week 1 of the college football season is here, so let's get you the list of names you need to for the upcoming season, and where you can watch them this weekend. I will formulate my list based on quarterbacks that are in the Pro Football Focus Top 100 NFL prospects for 2021.  Below is the list of those seven quarterbacks that made the list, with their ranking, their PFF scouting report, and their opponent for this weekend. Also, I've included some other names to keep an eye on this season, sort of an "honorable mention."

Here we go, for Week 1, the Future Texan QB Scouting Guide:

1. QB SPENCER RATTLER, OKLAHOMA (SAT 9/4 vs Tulane, 11 a.m., ABC)

PFF Scouting Report:
It wasn’t a perfect redshirt freshman year for Rattler by any means, but he showed more than enough in his first year as a starter to be considered a franchise-type quarterback talent. He oozes arm talent and playmaking ability after earning a 92.5 passing grade in 2020.

7. QB SAM HOWELL, NORTH CAROLINA (FRI 9/3 at Virginia Tech, 5 p.m., ESPN)

PFF Scouting Report:
Howell may be short at a hair over 6-foot, but don’t call him undersized. He has a running back build at 225 pounds and a JUGS machine arm. Over his two years as a starter, Howell has proved he can attack every inch of the field about as accurately as any quarterback in the country.

16. QB MALIK WILLIS, LIBERTY (SAT 9/4 vs Campbell, 5 p.m., ESPN3)

PFF Scouting Report:
Willis has running back-esque ability on the ground and one of the strongest arms in the country. He led all quarterbacks in college football with 1,043 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns last season.

19. QB KEDON SLOVIS, USC (SAT 9/4 vs San Jose State, 4 p.m., PAC 12)

PFF Scouting Report:
Slovis has been the most accurate returning quarterback in college football over the past two seasons. And he's going to have to maintain that because his physical ability leaves a lot to be desired. With marginal arm strength, Slovis still has more career turnover-worthy plays than big-time throws.

37. QB CARSON STRONG, NEVADA (SAT 9/4 at Cal, 9:30 p.m., FS1)

PFF Scouting Report:
Strong has one of the quickest releases in the country as well as one of the strongest arms. He can zip it to any level with ease and took a massive step forward last season with an 85.8 passing grade.

68. QB MATT CORRAL, OLE MISS (MON 9/6 vs Louisville, 7 p.m., ESPN)

PFF Scouting Report:
Corral’s physical stature in no way matches up with his arm. He’s got a boomer of a right arm but stands a meager 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds. He’s a solid athlete with the ability to extend and make plays on his own. He just needs to reel in his attacking nature and learn to take better chances with the football downfield.

87. QB PHIL JURKOVEC, BOSTON COLLEGE (SAT 9/4 vs Colgate, 11:00 a.m., ACCN)

PFF Scouting Report:
You want tools? Jurkovec has them. You want consistency? Jurkovec is not your man … yet. Last season was his first year as a starter after transferring from Notre Dame, and he alternated high-end plays with boneheaded decisions all year long. He finished with 24 big-time throws in 10 games with 18 turnover-worthy plays, as well.
OTHERS TO WATCH:
* D'ERIQ KING, Miami (FL), SAT 9/4 vs Alabama, 2:30 p.m., ABC
* DESMOND RIDDER, Cincinnati, SAT 9/4 vs Miami (OH), 2:30 p.m., ESPN+
* TYLER SHOUGH, Texas Tech, SAT 9/4 vs Houston, 6 p.m., ESPN
* J.T. DANIELS, Georgia, SAT 9/4 vs Clemson, 6:30 p.m., ABC

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast