4. Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe
Zappe is the FBS passing leader right now this season, with nearly 5,000 yards through the air (4,993), and he has lapped the field in passing touchdowns with 52–40 is the next highest total.
Zappe’s draft stock is on the rise, but with less than ideal size (6-foot-1) he’s still more likely a Day 2 or Day 3 pick. Concerns about his level of competition, and inflated numbers operating the Hilltoppers’ Air Raid offense can start being answered at the Senior Bowl.
If the Lions wait beyond the first round to take a quarterback in April, Zappe will land in the conversation for them. For fans, an opportunity to watch him operate is coming Friday night.
How to watch Zappe: Conference USA Championship Game vs. UTSA, Friday Dec. 3, 7:00 p.m, ET, TV: CBS Sports Network
3. Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder
Ridder has led the unbeaten Bearcats to a likely berth in the College Football Playoff, with business to take care of in the AAC title game. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has compared him to Josh Allen. and more recently SI.com mocked Ridder to the Lions with their second first-round pick.
The comp to Allen feels apt for Ridder, which invites upside that rivals any quarterback in the 2022 draft class. He may fall into the second round though, alllowing the Lions to use their two first-rounders elsewhere and take him early on Day 2.
How to watch Ridder: AAC Championship Game vs. Houston, Sat. Dec. 4, 4:00 p.m. ET, TV: ABC