As part of its 16 for ’16 series, NFL.com made a list of its clutchest quarterbacks heading into the college football season and there are not many from football’s best conference. There are quite a few surprises for some of these names, but the top guy on this list shouldn’t surprise anyone. Deshaun Watson was the top dog in regards to clutch factor and this is the reasoning for it:
“Watson had never lost a game he started and finished until falling in the CFP title game against Alabama in January, and that game might have been his most impressive career performance. One factor that makes him so tough to beat: on the rare occasions when he struggles as a passer, he can make up for it as a rusher. Notre Dame and Oklahoma learned that the hard way last year.”
The only SEC quarterback to make the list was Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly at No. 13. The conference has a lot of young quarterbacks, which is probably the reason there is one lone QB from the conference on this list. Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs and Georgia’s Jacob Eason will certainly be guys to keep an eye on though as the season gets going.
Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), Josh Rosen (UCLA) and C.J. Beathard (Iowa) round out the top five. Mayfield is an interesting choice because he’s actually lost head-to-head with Watson twice. Barrett is a good QB who owns the Big Ten record for most touchdowns responsible for in a single season with 45 and is a national champion (2015).
There are still another 11 quarterbacks on this list so if you want to check out the rest of the best clutch performers you can find that list here.