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Detroit Lions 2022 draft watch: 12 college quarterbacks to keep an eye on this year

Identifying who and when to watch the top QB prospects in 2021.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Oklahoma v Florida Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

It’s always NFL draft season for the Detroit Lions college scouts, and with the college football season ramping up this weekend, it’s a good idea to slowly start familiarizing ourselves with some college prospects.

One of the biggest decisions general manager Brad Holmes will have to make is at what stage will he be comfortable that he has his quarterback of the future. Now, it’s entirely possible he thinks he already has his guy in Jared Goff, but even if that’s the case, most experts believe the Lions will be holding another high draft pick, so you can guarantee Holmes is doing his homework on the quarterback options in the 2022 draft cycle.

“I think it’s just smart drafting business that when you’re picking in the top 10, that you make sure that you know that quarterback class very thoroughly,” Holmes said back in March.

But let’s be honest. The average fan doesn't have the time to watch multiple games of each of the top college quarterback prospects. So we at Pride of Detroit tried to simplify things for you by creating a quarterback watch schedule.

Here’s how works. We took the top-12 quarterbacks most draft experts are talking about right now and identified the most important games on their schedule. Next, we highlighted which of those games were happening each week of the college football season. That way, every week you can pick the best games to watch that weekend to help you familiarize yourself with this quarterback class.

For example, if you want to watch Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler’s best matchups this season, carve out some time on October 9 when he faces off against Texas, November 20 against Iowa State, and November 27 against Oklahoma State. In addition to Rattler, here’s a look at the other prospects that are included in this reference guide:

  • Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma
  • Sam Howell, North Carolina
  • Malik Willis, Liberty
  • Matt Corral, Mississippi
  • Carson Strong, Nevada
  • Kedon Slovis, USC
  • Phil Jurkovec, Boston College
  • Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
  • Brock Purdy, Iowa State
  • Graham Mertz, Wisconsin
  • J.T. Daniels, Georgia
  • Jayden Daniels, Arizona State
  • Note: Miles Brennan, LSU, was removed from the watchlist after breaking his arm

Here’s a week-by-week look at the quarterback watch schedule, so you can maximize your enjoyment of studying this quarterback class.

Note: With the college football schedule typically flexing to put the best games on television, we have only included times and channels for the first month of the season.

September 3, 4

  • Sam Howell (North Carolina) vs. Virginia Tech on Friday, 6:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Graham Mertz (Wisconsin) vs. Penn State on Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, on FOX
  • Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati) vs. Miami (OH) on Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, on ESPN+
  • J.T. Daniels (Georgia) vs. Clemson on Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, on ABC

September 11

  • Brock Purdy (Iowa State) vs. Iowa, Saturday 4:30 p.m. ET, on ABC

September 18

  • Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati) vs. Indiana, Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, TV TBD

September 24, 25

  • Malik Willis (Liberty) vs. Syracuse, Friday, 8:00 p.m. ET, on ACCN
  • Graham Mertz (Wisconsin) vs. Notre Dame, Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, on FOX

October 2

  • Matt Corral (Mississippi) vs. Alabama
  • Carson Strong (Nevada) vs. Boise State
  • Phil Jurkovec (Boston College) vs. Clemson
  • Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati) vs. Notre Dame

October 9

  • Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma) vs. Texas
  • Kedon Slovis (USC) vs. Utah
  • J.T. Daniels (Georgia) vs. Auburn

October 16

  • Sam Howell (North Carolina) vs. Miami (FL)
  • Jayden Daniels (Arizona State) vs. Utah

October 23

  • Matt Corral (Mississippi) vs. LSU
  • Carson Strong (Nevada) vs. Fresno State
  • Kedon Slovis (USC) vs. Notre Dame
  • Brock Purdy (Iowa State) vs. Oklahoma State

October 30

  • Sam Howell (North Carolina) vs. Notre Dame
  • Graham Mertz (Wisconsin) vs. Iowa
  • J.T. Daniels (Georgia) vs. Florida

November 6

  • Malik Willis (Liberty) vs. Matt Corral (Mississippi)
  • Kedon Slovis (USC) vs. Jayden Daniels (Georgia)
  • Carson Strong (Nevada) vs. San Jose State
  • Phil Jurkovec (Boston College) vs. Virginia Tech
  • Brock Purdy (Iowa State) vs. Texas

November 13

  • Matt Corral (Mississippi) vs. Texas A&M
  • Jayden Daniels (Georgia) vs. Washington

November 20

  • Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma) vs. Brock Purdy (Iowa State)
  • Malik Willis (Liberty) vs. Louisiana Laf.
  • Phil Jurkovec (Boston College) vs. Florida State

November 27

  • Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma) vs. Oklahoma State

At-a-glance QB watch schedule reference guide

If you’re a more visual learner, here’s an at-a-glance reference guide to the above schedule:

Detroit Lions 2021 QB watch schedule