2024 NFL Draft: Top QB performances from week 12 of college football

The quarterback class for the 2024 NFL draft is starting to take shape.

Some are solidifying themselves as names to watch come April, while others are not living up to their pre-season statuses.

Seeing how this quarterback class will end up playing out is the talk of the draft, as quarterback play in the NFL has seen a bit of a dip this season.

More teams will look to this stacked class to fill in as both franchise quarterbacks and solid backup options.

For now, the 2024 class is still making its rounds in the college ranks, and some of the notable names had some interesting performances last week, to say the least.

USC QB Caleb Williams

Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

USC did not finish their regular season on a high note.

They lost their fifth game in six weeks to bitter rival UCLA, dropping them to a mediocre 5-4 in the Pac-12. It’s been a slog to the finish for the Trojans.

Considering that they have arguably the best quarterback in the country right now in Caleb Williams, this is a shame.

Amid a devastating loss, Williams went 31-of-42 for 384 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

He still showed off his ability outside of structure and did not answer any scout’s questions about staying in the structure of an offense. As he goes through the pre-draft process, it will be interesting to see how teams account for his creative style of play.

Will they look to dial it back or find a way to build an offense around his instinctual play-making, gun-slinging abilities?

Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The good news? Michigan is still in the College Football Playoff picture.

The bad news? Their quarterback J.J. McCarthy has not looked good amid the suspension of head coach Jim Harbaugh.

In the past two weeks, McCarthy has gone 19-of-31 (61.3%) for 201 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. His game against Maryland, a defense that is now eighth in the Big Ten against the pass, was putrid.

Did the Wolverines end up with the win, sure, but McCarthy has to play much better if this team wants a shot at winning next week against Ohio State.

The Buckeyes haven’t scored less than 35 points since November started and are surely looking to keep that trend going against Michigan.

McCarthy will have to step up and show that these past two weeks have been flukes if he wants to pull off this big win in the Big House.

UNC QB Drake Maye

Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

While Williams’ stock falters, UNC quarterback Drake Maye continues to make his claims for QB1 in the draft.

Maye and the Tar Heels ended up falling to the Clemson Tigers 31-20, but Maye continues to show why he is at the top of the draft boards with sensational throws that translate to the next level.

North Carolina is another team that has disappointed this season, as there were ACC championship hopes when the season began.

But, with them not having much to play for beyond their matchup against NC State this week, Maye will more than likely be looking towards the pre-draft process.

Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.

Craig Strobeck-USA TODAY Sports
Craig Strobeck-USA TODAY Sports

Just keep winning, Michael Penix Jr., just keep winning.

Washington is still undefeated as they survive a scare against #11 Oregon State 22-20.

Penix Jr. went 13-for-28 for 162 yards and two touchdowns on the day. He also added another touchdown on the ground.

Penix just continues to make highlight throws and keeps showing off that he may have the most consistent deep ball in the country.

Even in the rain, Washington was able to push the ball down the field when it mattered most.

As long as the Huskies keep winning, Penix will continue to climb up draft boards.

Oregon QB Bo Nix

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Bo Nix continues to put up eye-popping numbers as quarterback for the Oregon Ducks.

Against Arizona State, Nix was 24-of-29 for 404 yards and, let me make sure this is correct…yes, six touchdowns. Nix tied the single-game record for most touchdown passes

Nix and this Oregon offense are playing on a different level. The only team with more yards per game are the LSU Tigers (more on them in a minute).

Nix is a controversial prospect because a good chunk of his successful throws come near the line of scrimmage. However, he can make throws down the field. He has made NFL-caliber throws throughout this season, he just hasn’t had to consistently.

Hopefully, Oregon can make it into the College Football Playoff and Nix has a chance to put these notions that he can’t push the ball down the field to bed.

LSU QB Jayden Daniels

Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports

LSU took care of business like they were supposed to against Georgia State, and they did it convincingly: the final score was 56-14.

Even in a game that seems as meaningless as this, Daniels continues to rise up draft boards with his play. Daniels ended the game 25-of-30 for 413 yards and six touchdowns while leading his team in rushing with 10 carries for 96 yards and two more touchdowns.

That’s eight touchdowns and 509 total yards accounted for.

He is playing in a world all his own.

Daniels should easily be the front-runner for the Heisman, and probably for the race to QB3 in April.

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Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire