(Photo: Ben Queen, USA TODAY Sports)

 

With ProFootballFocus' marvelous scouting at our fingertips, EerSports is taking a look at the top returning players for West Virginia in 2018. But.... what do these ratings mean on their own? A good bit, but what gives them some perspective is where it ranks with the other teams in the Big12 Conference. With that in mind, we're going to take a look at where West Virginia ranks in relation to the Big12 at every position on the field - at least as far as ProFootballFocus is concerned. Then, we'll give some context to those rankings and share some thoughts below. Today, we'll take a look at the quarterback position.

PFF Ratings

1. Will Grier, West Virginia - 91.7 rating

2. Dru Brown, Oklahoma State - 79.8

3. Kyle Kempt, Iowa State - 79.6

4. Charlie Brewer, Baylor - 79.3

5. Sam Ehlinger, Texas - 77.9

6. Kyler Murray, Oklahoma - 70.2

7. Skyler Thompson, Kansas State - 68.2

8. Peyton Bender, Kansas - 55.1

9. Shawn Robinson, TCU - 52.1

10. McLane Carter, Texas Tech - 45.9

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Where West Virginia ranks - Way, way out in front. Will Grier was the second best quarterback in the league last year (behind Baker Mayfield, per PFF), and he's by far the best returning quarterback in the league this season. In fact, Grier was second in the entire country behind Mayfield, making him the highest-rated returning passer in the nation. What's alarming is how far ahead he is of his counterparts in this league, and it's a major reason why our own Mike Casazza detailed how it's a good year to have Will Grier under center.

Sample Size is something to remember - This is worth noting, as the rating system begins at a 50 and adjusts based on positive plays (up) and negative plays (down). So it's hard to really judge someone like TCU's Shawn Robinson, who's slightly above the starting point, but only played 99 snaps. The same can, sort of, be said for McLane Carter at Texas Tech, who went down several points, but only played 96 snaps. Where this really comes in to play, though, is with Peyton Bender. The guy played more than half a season and registered a 55.1. That's not great to say the least. And then there's Kyle Murray, who only played 76 snaps, yet jumped all the way to a 70.2. Odds are, his rating will be considerably better than that with a full season. This is, of course, something that will come into play at every position in this exercise, as teams' best players and seniors move on to bigger and better things.

Texas is still in a quarterback battle.... maybe - I put Sam Ehlinger here as all signs point to him winning the job over Shane Buechele. They split the snaps last year (567 to 412 in favor of Ehlinger), and Ehlinger played better according to ProFootballFocus (77.9 to 72.3).

Oklahoma State's transfer senior - Never heard of Dru Brown? Can't blame you for that, as he spent the last two seasons at Hawaii playing games long after you've gone to sleep. The Rainbows are not slinging the ball all over the place like they once were, but Brown did tally over 5,200 yards and 37 passing touchdowns in two seasons. His 79.8 rating is above average in college ball and puts him second among the quarterbacks in the league, but will it translate to Big12 play?