The 2023 college football season is nearing its end. This past weekend was the third-to-last week before the conclusion of the campaign and just before conference championship games. So, this was the time for teams to build some momentum to either climb up the College Football Playoff rankings or qualify for a bowl game.
It just so happens that some of the top quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft are competing in big games in this final stretch of the season. That was evident in Week 11. Let's look at how each of our top-ranked quarterbacks performed.
Previous editions of "In the Market" can be found in the links below.
Taking Stock: How top 2024 NFL Draft QBs fared in Week 11
Caleb Williams, USC
Caleb Williams may be far out of Heisman Trophy contention, but he will be one of the first two quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft, make no mistake about it. But the USC Trojans have been in free fall the past month, as they picked up their fourth loss in the last five games after Week 11.
Williams and the Trojans took on the No. 6 Oregon Ducks, and the team lost 36-27. Don't let the score fool you, the game was dominated by Oregon. Early in the fourth quarter, Oregon led 36-14 on a 19-yard touchdown run by Bucky Irving. Williams stopped the bleeding with a nine-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brendan Rice with over 11 minutes left in the game.
Overall, Williams threw for 291 yards and a touchdown while completing 19-of-34 pass attempts, and ran for a touchdown. Williams had a clean pocket for the majority of the game (23-of-39 dropbacks), where he threw 15 completions for 208 yards and a touchdown on 22 pass attempts, per Pro Football Focus. On 16 dropbacks under pressure, Williams threw for 83 yards while completing 4-of-11 passes.
Williams will play for the final time this regular season against UCLA. From there, it will remain to be seen if he will play in a bowl game for the Trojans, or opt to sit in preparation for the NFL Draft.
Next Game: vs. UCLA, Saturday, Nov. 18, 3:30 p.m. ET
Drake Maye, North Carolina
Drake Maye and the North Carolina Tar Heels got back in the win column last week when they faced the Duke Blue Devils. Maye showcased why he can be one of the best quarterbacks at the pro level at the expense of his ACC rivals.
There was the lateral to running back Omarion Hampton while he was being tackled to the ground, and his fourth-down pass in the third quarter while he was getting sacked to gain the first down. Words don't do these plays justice, such just take a look for yourselves.
These are just some of the plays that Maye made. While the majority of the attention was on Williams throughout the year, Maye's awareness of the field to turn a potential negative play into a positive can't go unnoticed.
In the 47-45 double overtime win, Maye completed 28-of-43 pass attempts for 342 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Maye also ran for 22 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
Next Game: at Clemson, Saturday, Nov. 18, 3:30 p.m. ET
Michael Penix Jr., Washington
Michael Penix Jr. is coming off a strong performance in Week 10 against the USC Trojans. In Week 11, he faced a Utah Utes team that had put up fights in nearly all of their games, with the exception being against the Oregon Ducks, where they were beaten 35-6.
Penix didn't dominate the Utes defense like Bo Nix did earlier this season. But, he did play well in the 35-28 win. The senior quarterback threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns while completing 24-of-42 pass attempts. Penix thrived on deep passes, as he completed 5-of-12 throws for 169 yards and two touchdowns, per Pro Football Focus.
The Huskies will continue their tough stretch of the season, as they face the No. 11 Oregon State Beavers. Penix and the team will look to continue their undefeated streak and ensure the team can make it to the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Next Game: at No. 11 Oregon State, Saturday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m. ET
Bo Nix, Oregon
Ever since their loss to Washington back in October, the Oregon Ducks have been playing like the most dominant team in the country. They have the defense to put a stop to some of the top offenses in college, while their offense is able to score points at will. Bo Nix is a main reason for the latter.
Facing off against USC, Nix could not have had a better start. His first two passes of the game were touchdowns -- a 77-yarder to wide receiver Tez Johnson and a 84-yarder to wideout Troy Franklin. Two passes, 161 yards, and two touchdowns. Not bad.
Nix and the Ducks would pull off a 36-27 win over USC. In the game, Nix threw for 412 yards and four touchdowns while completing 23-of-31 pass attempts. It certainly helps that Oregon's offensive line held up and allowed just three pressures on 32 dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus. On five pass attempts for 20-yards and further, Nix threw four completions for 176 yards and three touchdowns.
Next Game: at Arizona State, Saturday, Nov. 18, 4:00 p.m. ET
Quinn Ewers, Texas
In Week 11, Quinn Ewers made his return from a grade 2 AC joint sprain suffered in Week 8 on a tackle against the Houston Cougars. Maalik Murphy filled in for their next two games before head coach Steve Sarkisian revealed that Ewers was cleared.
Facing off against the TCU Horned Frogs, Ewers did take a backseat on the stat sheet to running back Jonathan Brooks, who ran for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. But Ewers did play well enough to put the team in a large enough lead in the first half to give them the 29-26 win over the Horned Frogs.
Ewers completed 22-of-33 passes for 317 yards and one touchdown while throwing one interception. It helped that Ewers had a clean pocket for most on 31-of-34 dropbacks, as he threw 21 completions for 299 yards, one touchdown, and one interception on 30 pass attempts, per Pro Football Focus.
There is some interesting news regarding Ewers, as he reportedly planning to return to Texas for the 2024 season and forgo the NFL Draft. Ewers will have until Jan. 15, 2024, to make his decision. So that will be something to keep an eye in the next two months.
Next Game: at Iowa State, Saturday, Nov. 18, 8:00 p.m. ET
Shedeur Sanders, Colorado
The Colorado Buffaloes would probably like to return to the first three weeks of the season. They were the talk of college football and 3-0. But since then, the team went 1-6 and are in danger of missing out on a bowl game. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders has shown to be one of the top quarterbacks in college for his ability to make plays. The thing is, his offensive line has really let him down.
Facing off against No. 21 Arizona, Sanders had a productive day, throwing for 262 yards and two touchdowns on a 62.9 completion percentage (22-of-35 attempts), while running for 29 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. The thing is, Colorado lost 34-31.
Sanders was under pressure 11 times on 47 dropbacks, throwing just two completions for 29 yards on six attempts, while getting sacked twice, per Pro Football Focus.
Colorado needs two wins in the final two games to qualify for a bowl game. Their next opponent? The Washington State Cougars.
Next Game: at Washington State, Friday, Nov. 17, 10:30 p.m. ET
One 2024 NFL Draft QB sleeper who turned heads in Week 11
Jayden Daniels, LSU
Jayden Daniels may not be considered a sleeper, so to say, but he is ranked below a bevy of top quarterback prospects in this year's draft. But Daniels solidified himself as a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate in Week 10 when he faced the Florida Gators.
Daniels picked apart the Gators defense and put up numbers like you would playing on rookie difficulty on "Madden NFL." In the 52-35 victory, Daniels threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns while completing 17-of-26 pass attempts. Furthermore, he ran for 234 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Seriously, it was something to behold.
With this performance, Daniels became the first player in college football history to throw for over 350 yards and over 200 yards in a single game, per the Associated Press.
On the year, Daniels has recorded 3,164 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns, and four interceptions on a 71.4 completion percentage while running for 918 yards and eight touchdowns on 114 carries.
While Daniels may not be a first-round prospect, he could very well intrigue a team to take a chance on him with his incredible playmaking abilities.
One 2024 NFL Draft QB who needs to show teams more after Week 11
Tyler Van Dyke, Miami
Once considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the country, Tyler Van Dyke has fallen off the radar. This season, he played relatively well early on. but a slump forced him to go to the bench in favor of freshman Emory Williams. His stay on the bench wasn't that long, as he had to enter in relief of Williams after suffering an injury.
Van Dyke's first start since the benching will be a tough one, as Miami faces No. 10 Louisville.
Updated NFL Draft order: Who's buying in the NFL?
- Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers (1-8))
- New York Giants (2-8)
- New England Patriots (2-8)
- Arizona Cardinals (2-8)
- Chicago Bears (3-7)
- Green Bay Packers (3-6)
- Los Angeles Rams (3-6)
- Tennessee Titans (3-6)
- Atlanta Falcons (4-5)
- Washington Commanders (4-6)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)
- New York Jets (4-5)
- Denver Broncos (4-5)
- Los Angeles Chargers (4-5)
- Indianapolis Colts (5-5)
- Las Vegas Raiders (5-5)
- Buffalo Bills (5-5)
- Cincinnati Bengals (5-4)
- New Orleans Saints (5-5)
- Arizona Cardinals (via Houston Texans (5-4))
- Minnesota Vikings (6-4)
- Dallas Cowboys (6-3)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)
- Houston Texans (via Cleveland Browns (6-3))
- Miami Dolphins (6-3)
- Seattle Seahawks (6-3)
- San Francisco 49ers (6-3)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3)
- Baltimore Ravens (7-3)
- Detroit Lions (7-2)
- Kansas City Chiefs (7-2)
- Philadelphia Eagles (8-1)
The Chicago Bears and the New York Giants are favored to earn the first two picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Bears will do so with the Carolina Panthers' first-round pick, and the NFC South team is showing no signs of picking up wins down the stretch. As for the Giants, they were embarrassed 49-17 by the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams should end up with either Caleb William or Drake Maye.
Kyler Murray made his return for the Arizona Cardinals and showed why he is their quarterback for the foreseeable future, leading the team to a 25-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
The New England Patriots lost 10-6 to the Indianapolis Colts in Frankfurt, Germany, with Mac Jones getting benched for Bailey Zappe. The Patriots will likely end up with a new quarterback next season, but it will remain to be seen if they can end up with a high enough first-round pick to draft Williams or Maye.
Jordan Love is the Green Bay Packers' starting quarterback, but the team is currently ranked in the Top 10 of first-round. Would they consider using it on a signal caller if they end up in the Top 5?
The Los Angeles Rams could select their quarterback of the franchise to replace Matthew Stafford down the road if they so choose. Imagine Sean McVay coaching either Williams or Maye? Talk about unfair.
If this season has proven anything, it's that the Atlanta Falcons need to find their long-term quarterback. Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke have shown this season that they can't fill that role.