USC football QB Kedon Slovis rightly praised in ranking that disrespects Pac-12 passers

USC football quarterback Kedon Slovis. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
USC football quarterback Kedon Slovis. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

USC football star Kedon Slovis is a Top 10 quarterback, per PFF.

If you’re a USC football fan who wants to talk trash about rival quarterbacks, the Pro Football Focus ranking of all 130 starting quarterbacks was made with you in mind.

Kedon Slovis got top billing in the Pac-12 after his exciting freshman debut in 2019. Meanwhile, most of the other quarterbacks in the conference ended up with pretty harsh rankings.

Is it fair to totally agree with Slovis’ place while also taking exception to the rest of the list? Apparently so.

Kedon Slovis is getting his due as USC football’s next great hope.

PFF’s Anthony Treash absolutely raved about Slovis as the No. 7 quarterback overall in his ranking, which was based on each passer’s play-by-play grading profile.

“Few expected Slovis to look like one of the best quarterbacks in college football after he was thrust into the starting role in Week 1 of 2019,” Treach wrote. “Yet Slovis, a three-star true freshman last year, was the only other quarterback to rival Joe Burrow’s historically good accuracy over the course of the college football season.”

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In addition to his special accuracy, Slovis was by far the top passer in the country on long-developing plays.

Slovis’ success in USC’s Air Raid was an example of the perfect quarterback-OC marriage. Graham Harrell’s system and the Arizona-product were made for each other.

The rest of the Pac-12 is not so lucky. Or, the rankings go off the rails outside of the Top 10.

The next-highest rated quarterback is Arizona’s Grant Gunnell at No. 13. Treash calls Gunnell “a breakout waiting to happen.” Maybe that’s true, but ranking him in the Top 15 on a total of 185 dropbacks feels premature.

The generous ranking for Gunnell is only further highlighted when you have to scroll, and scroll, to find Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels. He sits a lowly 63rd while being praised for his turnover management but ripped for “below-average” accuracy.

All due respect to the numbers, but anyone who watched Daniels in his debut season last year knows he warrants significantly more respect.

Below Daniels, there isn’t much hope for Washington’s Jacob Sirmon at No. 77, Oregon State’s Tristan Gebbia at No. 85 and Washington State’s Cammon Cooper at No. 93. If the Pac-12 season goes forward in the spring, the Trojans will get a first-hand look at Sirmon and Cooper.

USC is already plenty familiar with PFF’s No. 96-rated quarterback: Dorian Thompson-Robinson of UCLA.

Bruin fans could certainly take exception to that rank, though PFF does have numbers to back up their assertion that DTR is the second-worst start in the conference going into 2020 (ahead of only Colorado’s eventual QB pick). He had the second-most QB-fault incompletions of last season and ranked 107th in turnover-worthy plays.

As for the rest of the Pac-12, Stanford’s Davis Mills follows up a non-descript 2019 campaign with a non-descript No. 55 ranking.

If Oregon is going to defend their Pac-12 crown, they’ll need projected starter Tyler Shough to outperform his No 47 ranking.

The same goes for Utah, who is set to trade in a Top 10 quarterback in Tyler Huntley for South Carolina transfer Jake Bentley. He begins his Ute career ranked 38th.

(Not to be repetitive, but Stanford, Oregon and Utah would probably take Jayden Daniels in a heartbeat.)

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At least Chase Garbers fits in nicely at No. 21. The Cal quarterback was a stud when he was on the field in 2019. Unfortunately, he missed a lot of time with injury and the Bears suffered mightily.

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