2024 NFL Draft quarterbacks recap: Week 3

A quarter of the college football season is done, and the ranking of quarterbacks eligible for the 2024 NFL Draft doesn’t look any clearer.

While this problem is a mix of poor opponents (some teams have yet to play a marquee game), the quarterback class appears to be an uncertain mix of talents and ceilings.

Week 3, however, brought a solid mix of top games and performances, which may help paint a better picture as we head toward next year’s NFL Draft.

Quarterbacks who did not play: Tulane’s Michael Pratt (injury), USC’s Caleb Williams (bye week)

Florida State QB Jordan Travis

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Score: 31-29 win vs. Boston College

Stats: 15-24 222 yards, 2 touchdowns; 4 carries, 38 yards

Thoughts: A shoulder injury hindered Jordan Travis’ effectiveness, and it shows as his play began to decrease following the injury. However, Travis still showcased the rushing ability that will make teams interested in him as a potential developmental quarterback.

Travis’ most impressive play was an out-of-structure play where he bailed out of the pocket, kept his eyes down the field, and delivered a strike to a wide receiver. This isn’t an “NFL throw” in the typical sense, but working out of the pocket is what NFL teams want now.

Texas QB Quinn Ewers

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Score: 31-10 win vs. Wyoming

Stats: 11-21 131 yards, 3 touchdowns; 1 rushing touchdown

Thoughts: Don’t let the touchdowns fool you because this wasn’t good enough from Ewers. Just a week removed from an impressive performance against Alabama, Ewers struggled to dominate against Wyoming and looked rather pedestrian at times.

While beating Alabama will help Ewers’ draft stock, following that up with a disappointing performance against Wyoming won’t help it. You have to handle business against teams like Wyoming, point blank.

Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.

© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Score: 41-7 win vs. Michigan State

Stats: 27-35 473 yards, 4 touchdowns

Thoughts: Michael Penix is for real as a football player, and this game cemented it. From the opening snap, Penix looked like the real deal, throwing dimes across the field like it was a video game. There were hardly any mistakes from the veteran quarterback, and he’s certainly cemented himself as a Heisman favorite.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much Penix can do for his draft stock right now. He’s not getting any younger, and the concerns about his injury history still loom large. Showing he can work through progressions consistently might help, but Penix is in an offense designed to get the ball to a simple read.

Oregon QB Bo Nix

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Michael;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Michael</a> C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Score: 55-10 win vs. Hawai’i

Stats: 21-27 247 yards, 3 touchdowns

Thoughts: A commanding performance for Bo Nix, but like Quinn Ewers, that is expected in games against weaker competition. Still, throwing only six incomplete passes and three touchdowns showcases an understanding of the offense and how to work within structure.

Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Score: 31-6 win vs. Bowling Green

Stats: 8-13, 143 yards, 2 touchdowns, 3 interceptions

Thoughts: It’s not fair to J.J. McCarthy to overreact and draw blanket statements, but this was a disappointing performance against an opponent that he should’ve looked better against. It’s possible he struggled to get in a groove or just had a bad game, but it’s worth watching as Michigan opens up its conference slate.

Colorado QB Shedeur Sanders

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Score: 43-35 win vs. Colorado State

Stats: 38-47 348 yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception

Thoughts: It was not Shedeur Sanders’ most convincing moment, but as the game went on, he began to look more and more comfortable in the game. That comfortability resulted in an impressive final drive where he found the soft spots in Colorado State’s zones and led the Buffaloes down the field for a game-tying touchdown.

It’s unclear what impacted Sanders’ start to the game, but the injury to Travis Hunter and the general vibe around the game might have played a role. With College Gameday in attendance and a long list of celebrities that looked more like a Met Gala than a football game, there were added stakes around this game that could have impacted Sanders’ psyche.

North Carolina QB Drake Maye

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Score: 31-13 win vs. Minnesota

Stats: 29-40, 414 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions

Thoughts: It was an up-and-down performance for Maye against a good Minnesota defense, but he was still impressive in his feel for the offense and his wide receivers. There are some throws he’ll like back — the ball flatlined on one of his interceptions — but Maye’s arm talent is for real. He can smoke a ball in there and will always find a way to make a big-time play for the offense.

Duke QB Riley Leonard

Photo by Lance King/Getty Images
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Score: 38-14 win vs. Northwestern

Stats: 15-20, 219 yards; 13 carries, 97 yards, 2 touchdowns

Thoughts: This was a typical Riley Leonard performance, as he was most effective when running the football. It’s not that Leonard wasn’t good enough throwing the ball, but the bulk of his big-time plays came when the ball was in his hands.

This isn’t a surprise, but it’s something to keep an eye on as the season progresses. If there is a team that can take away the run game aspect of Leonard’s game, how will he respond?

Western Kentucky QB Austin Reed

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Score: 63-10 loss vs. Ohio State

Stats: 21-37, 207 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception

Thoughts: Austin Reed and Western Kentucky were expected to lose this game, and they did. However, some of the initial throws were impressive for Reed. There is a discussion to be had about Reed’s potential as an NFL Draft prospect, especially with some of the impressive throws he put on tape against a top college football team.

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Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire