I used to take Trey Wingo for granted. He was the steady voice that talked to me about football from the comfy confines of SportsCenter, NFL PrimeTime, and NFL Live for almost a quarter of a century; just shy of half my life.
Sadly, he left ESPN 2-1/2 years ago.
Occasionally he writes something though, and on Thursday evening, one of those somethings hit my inbox . . .
Trey Wingo’s Plugged-In Top 5 QB Rankings Includes Surprise at 3.
I’m going to share the intro to the article because I like that Trey Wingo calls it like it is (no sugar-coating here):
My No. 1 quarterback in this draft is Bryce Young’s brain and C.J. Stroud’s body. That’s my No. 1, far and away. There’s not a quarterback in this draft that I can say with certainty is going to be a success. The top five all have flaws that could derail their NFL careers.
There’s not a surefire quarterback in this draft. There’s not one that I would be willing to put all the chips in for. This thing is such a crapshoot.
Wingo then points out what we all know - that the last few drafts have been sort of up and down.
He also points out that only one of the top-2 quarterbacks from the 2015-2018 drafts is still with his original team. (Spoiler: That QB just won the Super Bowl.)
This isn’t an article about Trey Wingo though . . . it’s an article about him saying that the Seahawks are “an intriguing place” for one specific quarterback to land.
So let’s jump to that part . . .
Florida QB Anthony Richardson is the #5 QB on Trey Wingo’s list.
Here’s my question about Anthony Richardson: Was anybody talking about him a month ago?
Fair point, but also OUCH!
This guy came out of nowhere. He might have been a fourth-round pick a few months back. The best way to describe Richardson is there’s not a player in this draft with a lower floor and a higher ceiling.
The width of what Richardson can be is as wide as the Grand Canyon.
Have I mentioned that I like how Trey Wingo calls it like he sees it?
Well, I do.
Even when he’s critiquing my favorite QB in this year’s draft.
And are you willing to take that risk at 4? At 7? Are you willing to take that swing? Because there’s no middle ground with Richardson.
Any team that takes Richardson high in this draft better be confident in their job security as a coaching staff and a front office. Would Seattle be an intriguing place for Richardson to land?
Yes, Seattle would be an intriguing place for Richardson to land.
But maybe he could slide to #20 first?
The rest of Trey Wingo’s article isn’t really Seahawks-related.
Well, not specifically . . . except in the sense that the Seahawks could maybe, possibly be in the market for one of the top QBs in this year’s draft given that they have the 5th overall pick.
But Mr. Wingo shares some thoughts on the other top QBs that I found interesting, so I’m going to share them here in the ‘Bonus Coverage’ section because . . .
You never know what will happen on Draft Day.
Alabama QB Bryce Young is, unsurprisingly, #1 on Mr. Wingo’s list.
This observation about Mr. Young should make the Carolina Panthers at least a little bit nervous about taking him with the #1 pick:
(Bryce Young) bulked up to 204 at the Combine. What did he do at the Combine? He didn’t work out. And then, when they had his pro day, Young didn’t weigh.
That’s someone trying to manipulate and game the system. Young’s never weighed and played at the same time because he knows the results.
Gaming the system? That sounds like something Kyler Murray would do.
That’s a Call of Duty joke for those that missed it.
(cue the visual)
Someone graphed Kyler Murray’s average career fantasy points, then marked when the new Call of Duty game comes out ever year pic.twitter.com/SxVVJXx5eK— Kyle Ledbetter ☀️ (@SportsDSD_) July 27, 2022
Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud is #2.
Again, this isn’t a surprise. Most analysts have had Young and Stroud as the top two in this year’s draft for (wait for it) ever.
From a measurables standpoint, (Stroud) checks all the boxes. He’s 6-foot-3, 214 pounds with a 32 5/8-inch (arm) and 10-inch hands. He has the arm to make every throw and the moxie to try.
But football isn’t played in a lab.
Wingo goes on to talk about the S2 Cognitive Test and how it has replaced the Wonderlic as the “go-to pre-draft test for quarterbacks”.
The surprising part of this isn’t directly in the newsletter’s article though, it’s in the link for the S2 Cognitive Test which takes you to a different article (about the S2 test).
THAT is where the surprise is.
The 2022 NFL Draft’s highest scorer was none other than Mr. Irrelevant, 49ers QB Brock Purdy.
Circling back to Stroud (and away from Wingo’s article for a moment) . . .
According to Bob McGinn’s ‘NFL Draft Series’ (which is in its 39th year of publication), Stroud did really, really, REALLY bad on the S2 Cognitive Test - especially compared to his peers in this year’s draft:
Multiple sources said Young’s total score was 98% whereas Stroud’s total score was 18%.
Some other total scores in the class of quarterbacks this year were 96% for Fresno State’s Jake Haener, 93% for Kentucky’s Will Levis and Brigham Young’s Jaren Hall, 84% for Houston’s Clayton Tune, 79% for Florida’s Anthony Richardson and 46% for Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker.
McGinn goes on to quote an anonymous NFL executive:
“If you get a high score as a quarterback it’s not saying you’re going to be a great player. But if you get a low score, it’s 100% — none of the quarterbacks that got a low score became good players.
“The benchmark is 80. Eighty and above is good. Stroud was 18. It’s incredibly terrible. He’s going to be off (some team’s) boards. He will not be picked by those teams.”
Coming back to Wingo to close this out . . .
Wingo ends the section on Stroud with this passage:
While (the S2 results are) just one data point, scoring poorly causes talent evaluators to take a closer look at why. And if Stroud makes an unexpected fall next Thursday, it’ll be at least part of the reason why.
Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker is #3.
I like Hendon Hooker a lot better than Anthony Richardson and Will Levis. He just got hurt.
If Hooker hadn’t torn his ACL, I think he’d be drafted a lot higher than where he’s projected. He ran a complex offense at Tennessee and in a really, really difficult league.
Wingo ends the (very short) section on Hooker by saying that Hooker “has the potential to be better than any of these guys.”
SHOCKED, I am.
Kentucky QB Will Levis is #4.
As an Anthony Richardson fan, I’m surprised by this - but to each their own.
Wingo calls Levis out for always wanting to show off his arm; Wingo says that’s a mistake and points out that the better quarterbacks have more than one pitch (so to speak).
I hate it when we go to these pro days and like, “Oh my god, he was on his knees, and he threw it 90 yards.” But when the hell are you doing that?
Give me a functional football thing. And then I’ll get excited.
Florida QB Anthony Richardson is the #5 QB on Trey Wingo’s list.
Yep, we already covered that (in the actual article).
Just wanted to remind y’all.