Ranking the Big Ten quarterbacks after Week 1 per PFF

One of the best things about Wisconsin’s debut win last Saturday? Graham Mertz looked cool, calm, and collected under center, completing 14 of his 16 passes and throwing a touchdown.

The biggest question heading into the season for the Badgers and for certain other Big Ten teams revolved around the quarterback position. Through Week 1, some have surpassed early expectations while others have faltered.

Pro Football Focus rates performances for all positions each week, and Mertz graded out well in Wisconsin’s win over Illinois State. Where did the other Big Ten quarterbacks land and who topped the charts? Here is a look at how PFF graded the Big Ten quarterbacks in Week 1:

Spencer Petras - Iowa

Oct 30, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Nick Herbig (19) strips the ball away from Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras (7) during the second quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 33.1

Cade McNamara - Michigan

Dec 31, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) looks to throw against the Georgia Bulldogs in the third quarter during the Orange Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 48.4

Gavin Wimsatt - Rutgers

Gavin Wimsatt is shown during Scarlet Knights’ Fan Fest, in Piscataway. Sunday, August 7, 2022

PFF Grade: 51.3


Alan Bowman - Michigan

Apr 2, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh listens in as quarterback Alan Bowman (15) huddles up the offense during the Spring game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 55.5

Sean Clifford - Penn State

Jan 1, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) looks to throw during the second half against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the 2022 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 56.8

Aidan O'Connell - Purdue

Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell (16) throws the ball during a NCAA Big Ten Conference football game against Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.
211016 Purdue Iowa Fb 009 Jpg

PFF Grade: 57.9

Payton Thorne - Michigan State

Dec 30, 2021; Atlanta, GA, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Payton Thorne (10) celebrates after a victory against the Pittsburgh Panthers in the second half during the 2021 Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 64.0

Evan Simon - Rutgers

Sep 3, 2022; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights quarterback Evan Simon (3) and Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Kyle Monangai (23) celebrate after defeating the Boston College Eagles at Alumni Stadium. Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 67.2

Connor Bazelak - Indiana

Indiana’s Connor Bazelak (9) throws the pass during the first open practice of the 2022 season at the practice facility at Indiana University on Tuesday, August 2, 2022.

PFF Grade: 71.7

Taulia Tagovailoa - Maryland

Dec 29, 2021; New York, NY, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) runs the ball as Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Dax Hollifield (4) pursues during the second half of the 2021 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 72.2

Casey Thompson - Nebraska

Sep 3, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Casey Thompson (11) passes against the North Dakota Fighting Hawks during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 76.9

Ryan Hilinski - Northwestern

Aug 27, 2022; Dublin, IRELAND; Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Ryan Hilinski with the trophy after defeating Nebraska in the Aer Lingus college football series at Aviva Stadium. Credit: Brendan Moran-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy DeVito - Illinois

Sep 11, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi (3) applies pressure on Syracuse Orange quarterback Tommy DeVito (13) in the fourth quarter at the Carrier Dome. Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 79.8

Graham Mertz - Wisconsin

Sep 3, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) throws a pass during warmups prior to the game against the Illinois State Redbirds at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 81.4

CJ Stroud - Ohio State

Apr 17, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud (7) during the annual spring game at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 83.1

Tanner Morgan - Minnesota

Dec 28, 2021; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl at Chase Field. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 86.6

J.J. McCarthy - Michigan

Sep 3, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) rushes for a touchdown in the second half against the Colorado State Rams at Michigan Stadium. Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

PFF Grade: 90.2

Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire