College QB Power Rankings - Week 3

Rudolph, Darnold take their rightful place, Allen off the radar

September 19, 2017 - 6:50 pm

Derek Kramer


After watching the Bills muster up a pathetic three points in a laughable showing on offense, it seems that the College Quarterback Power Rankings may be more important now than ever. While the signs have pointed to the Bills looking at a quarterback in 2018, if the offense continues like this, it will be simply a guarantee. 

Week 3 saw the craziest shifts in the rankings, after the top-four were the same from Week 1 to Week 2. We have a new top-ranked quarterback in Mason Rudolph, Sam Darnold has gotten into his groove, and we saw the first signs of uneven play from Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson. 

And poor Josh Allen. There is a moment where you have to simply feel bad for this guy. More on Allen later. 

Once again, times for the next games are in the rankings, so you know when to watch certain quarterbacks! 

Let the third set of quarterback Power Rankings begin! Make sure to "COLLEGE" to 550-550 in order to keep up with anything new Jeremy White sees from the college quarterbacks!

1.) Mason Rudolph - Oklahoma State
Week 3 Stats: 23 of 32, 497 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT vs. Pitt

Mason Rudolph was straight-up dealing out there on Saturday. I was honestly surprised to see him come out in the second half after the senior threw for 423 yards in the first half alone. There was no throw too challenging and was nearly flawless after the first drive. Rudolph showed some issues with the pass rush getting to him early in this game, but he still avoided bad plays while feeling the pressure out. There was a sack he took pinned back to their own end zone, where Rudolph recognizes he is in his end zone and knows the rush is going to get him. He slides up and stretches the ball past the goal line to avoid a safety. Then, after driving the rest of the 10-play drive, he was downright surgical. He gets a nice test next on national TV, with a contest with #16 TCU. 

NEXT GAME: Saturday vs. #16 TCU - 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

2.) Sam Darnold - USC 
Week 3 Stats: 28 of 49, 397 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs vs. Texas

Sam Darnold finally gets up into the top 2. His #4 ranking over the last two weeks was more about how spectacular Rudolph, Jackson and Rosen were to start the season, combined with Darnold's hiccup against Western Michigan. Darnold finally gets into the top 2, despite another 2 interceptions (they weren't his fault) against Texas in a gritty double overtime win. Darnold was making several standout throws, but there is one issue he had against Texas that needs a closer look: He was bailing out of perfectly clean pockets and feeling "phantom pressure" that was not really there. If Darnold can fix that issue, it's smooth sailing. He'll be available to watch this weekend on ABC. 

NEXT GAME: Saturday at Cal - 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

3.) Lamar Jackson - Louisville
Week 3 Stats: 21 of 42, 317 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT; 17 carries, 64 yards vs. Clemson

A tough Clemson defense was what was needed in order to keep Lamar Jackson from reaching "football god" status. Jackson was not the super-human that we have seen in the first two games of this season. Honestly, I'm not too surprised. Clemson is a very good team with legitimate aspirations for a championship repeat. Jackson had some great moments, but this time it was coupled with some frustrating moments as well. One of his best plays, Jackson is under pressure, rolling right and with the flick of his wrist, flings a perfect strike for a touchdown. However, we saw Jackson throw a cringe worthy pick-six, where he simply tried to throw it over the linebacker sitting in zone and it backfired. Expect more of dominant Lamar Jackson against lowly Kent State, but we know have seen some cracks in the armor of Jackson's case for the first round. 

NEXT GAME: Saturday vs. Kent State - 12 p.m.

4.) Josh Rosen - UCLA 
Week 3 Stats: 34 of 56, 463 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs; 7 carries, 32 yards, 1 TD vs. Memphis

There is an easy joke here about Rosen's roller coaster of a performance against Memphis: He's the perfect Buffalo Bill. The exciting, frustrating, up, down, "hooray", "why did you do that?" performance that Bills fans are pretty acclimated with. Rosen was fairly inconsistent, with some decisions that were terrible that ultimately cost his team the game against Memphis. His two interceptions were really terrible decisions, including the pick-six where he throws across his body when he had time to set his feet for the throw. It is becoming apparent that the team around him is quite weak, and more times than not, Rosen has been up to the challenge. But he finally felt the consequences of some bad decision making that he got away with in the Week One comeback. Give him some better protection and he'll be just fine. 

NEXT GAME: Saturday at Stanford - 10:30 p.m. (ESPN) 

5.) Baker Mayfield - Oklahoma
Week 3 Stats: 17 of 27, 331 yards, 4 TDs vs. Tulane

Mayfield did what many expected him to do, dominate an inferior Tulane team. Mayfield showed nice touch on several of his throws, including an 82-yard bomb for a touchdown. Mayfield still is not the prototypical pocket passer and, paired with his off-field past, is not likely to enter the first round. But the senior has an advantage that many in this class do not, the Senior Bowl. Mayfield will have something to say about his place in the pecking order, but don't expect him to enter the top 3 anytime soon. But if you believed in Johnny Manziel without the constant partying, you'll want to believe in Mayfield. 

NEXT GAME: Saturday at Baylor - 6:30 p.m. (FS1)

6.) Jake Browning - Washington 
Week 3 Stats: 19 of 22, 255 yards, 4 TD vs. Fresno State

Browning was nearly perfect in a game against Fresno State, throwing more touchdowns (4) than incompletions (3). Browning's real workload comes later this season, when he will have to engage in track meets with the likes of UCLA (Rosen) and Washington State (Luke Falk), as well as other respectable teams like Oregon and Utah. For now, expect Browning to continue to beat up on lesser competition. We can begin the true analysis of his play when the stakes are higher starting in late October.  

NEXT GAME: Saturday at Colorado - 10 p.m. (FS1)

7. Nick Fitzgerald - Mississippi State
Week 3 Stats: 15 of 23, 180 yards, 2 TDs; 14 carries, 88 yards, 2 TDs vs. #12 LSU

Nick Fitzgerald, you just made the list! The wrestling reference can now be checked off.  Fitzgerald has a fun two-way style that is appreciated by college fans. He looked pretty solid in the total domination of LSU. I'd like to see a lot less of the burying his shoulders and plowing into tacklers if he is going to be a player to watch. However, his body of work cannot be overlooked anymore. While I expect this junior to remain in school and become part of the 2019 class, his play in the defensively stout SEC has been rather impressive. 

NEXT WEEK: Saturday vs. #11 Georgia - 7 p.m. (ESPN)

8. Luke Falk - Washington State
Honorable mention
Week 3 Stats: 37 of 49, 396 yards, 6 TD vs. Oregon State

Welp, that is certainly one way to bounce back from getting benched. Falk rebounded from a putrid game against Boise State that saw him riding the pine with 6 touchdowns in a torching of Oregon State's defense. Falk showed nice touch with many throws, including two fades into the end zone, not a throw that many quarterbacks can hit as consistently as he did in this game. However, there was a rather silly throw he made in his own end zone, throwing a checkdown to his back that resulted in a safety. That lack of situational awareness is very troubling, as he had plenty of time in the pocket to assess where to place that football. Falk better be ready, he's going to have to play keep up with Darnold and USC in two weeks.  

NEXT WEEK: Saturday vs. Nevada - 6 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)

Honorable Mention 
Riley Ferguson - Memphis (23/38, 398, 6 TD, 1 INT vs UCLA) 
Ferguson looked very good in this game against Rosen and UCLA going shot for shot on his more highly touted peer. Ferguson seems to rely on his arm more than proper mechanics, but with proper coaching, could be a solid developmental prospect. He may enter the conversation as a day two pick. 

Let's have a talk about Josh Allen...

Heading into the season, many draft pundits seemed to fall in love with Wyoming's Josh Allen. Allen is 6' 5", 230-pounds, big arm and velocity, all the things that scouts seem to fall in love with. However, Allen has shown a propensity to collapse against better competition. While half of Allen's struggles are about the terrible roster of Wyoming against conferences like the Big Ten and Pac-12, Allen has made bad decisions on his own accord. Allen is quickly being taken less seriously and being seen more as a project. 

And part of that really needs to be the case. 

The problem with Allen's lack of talent around him is that it's actually hurting his development and creating some awful tendencies. He's rarely setting his feet, often relying on solely his arm to make plays and has formed a gun slinging mentality that would make Blake Bortles blush. Allen is going to need some time to develop better tendencies and clean up his mechanics. If a team drafts him, they need to bury him on the depth chart like how the Chiefs are with Pat Mahomes. We cannot write off Josh Allen, but it's becoming clear that he should not see a snap in the NFL next year if he makes the jump.

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