If you had to choose a Pac-12 QB for one pass, one game or one career, who would it be? Here’s what these quarterback experts had to say.
The Pac-12 not only has the best lineup of quarterbacks in the country, it has the best lineup of quarterbacks that the so-called conference of quarterbacks has produced in many years.
I hit the books over the summer to find an appropriate comparison for the quartet of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Luke Falk and Jake Browning, and it was not a quick process.
The 2010 class is the closest chronologically, with Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Jake Locker and Nick Foles — all four were mid-to-high round draft picks and had/have NFL careers.
The 2002 class wasn’t half bad, with Carson Palmer, Jason Gesser, Kyle Boller and Cody Pickett.
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If I had to pick one, though, it would be the ’87 group — yes, that’s going way back — with Troy Aikman, Rodney Peete, Bill Musgrave, Timm Rosenbach and Chris Chandler. (Chandler was a Pro Bowler, don’t forget.)
I also thought it would be insightful to interview quarterback analysts about the Pac-12’s top current passers.
Specifically, I asked for their QB of choice in each of three categories:
For one pass.
For one game.
For one career.
The responses weren’t entirely predictable.
Please note: The interviews were conducted prior to the season — although I don’t know that anything would have changed — and I limited the options to USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Washington State’s Luke Falk and Washington’s Jake Browning.
Oregon’s Justin Herbert is very talented, obviously, but he was also a slightly lesser-known commodity. (That was true of Stanford’s Keller Chryst, to an even greater extent.)
Credentials: Reporter for Sports Illustrated and FOX, author of “The QB: The making of Modern Quarterbacks”
One pass: Falk
One game: Darnold
One career: Darnold
Comment: “Darnold is stronger, tougher to corral. He puts guys in positions to make plays. Falk is really smart. In that system, he’s asked to make a lot of throws on third-and-nine or fourth-and-six. Those are tough, and he makes them constantly. Rosen is the wild card. He’s the best pure passer.”
One pass: Rosen
One game: Darnold
One career: Falk
Comment: “Rosen is the best pure thrower. Darnold finds a way to make plays when the game is on the line. For four…