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Pro Football Focus Ranks Spencer Sanders 84th among 130 FBS Starting QBs




There aren’t going to be many lists this preseason that rank Spencer Sanders as the second-worst starting quarterback in the Big 12.

That’s where Pro Football Focus pins Oklahoma State’s young gunslinger, only ahead of Kansas’ quarterback battle between Thomas MacVittie and Miles Kendrick in the Big 12.

PFF ranked Sanders 84th out of the 130 projected FBS starters.

“Sanders does his best work as a runner, where he earned a 70.4 grade on designed carries. As a passer, he did not fare well, and that’s not viable for an Oklahoma State offense that requires him to throw downfield a considerable amount. On throws of 10-plus yards downfield, Sanders tied for 99th in passing grade. Oklahoma State can make some noise, but they’ll need Sanders to step up significantly as a passer to do so.” [PFF]

Here is how the outlet ranked the Big 12 starters:

6 – Sam Ehlinger, Texas
8 – Brock Purdy, Iowa State
20 – Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma
25 – Skylar Thompson, Kansas State
26 – Charlie Brewer, Baylor
50 -Alan Bowman, Texas Tech
52 – Jarret Doege, West Virginia
60 –  Max Duggan, TCU
84 – Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State
107 – Thomas Macvittie/Miles Kendrick, Kansas

One thing that will particularly rub OSU fans the wrong way is how high PFF ranked Oklahoma freshman Spencer Rattler, considering Rattler completed only seven passes in his redshirt year. Here is what PFF said on Rattler:

“Rattler coming in at No. 20 is solely a projection, as we saw very little of the five-star recruit in 2019. In Lincoln Riley’s five years at Oklahoma, the Sooners’ starting quarterback has ranked second, first, first, first and second in PFF grade among all FBS quarterbacks. It’s lofty to expect Rattler to continue that trend, but given his high recruiting status, the slew of weapons at his disposal and the quarterback-friendly offense in which he’s set to play in, Rattler is set up for success in 2020.” [PFF]

Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence led the list of 130, and Ohio State’s Justin Fields is predictably second. According to PFF, the list is made by “taking into account each projected starter’s play-by-play grading profile in addition to several other data points.”

Perhaps the only player who should feel more hard-done by these rankings than Sanders is Auburn quarterback Bo Nix. Nix came in at No. 95 after throwing for 2,524 yards and 16 touchdowns as a freshman in 2019. His performance got him the SEC’s Freshman of the Year award.

This should serve as nice bulletin-board material for Sanders as he enters his redshirt sophomore campaign with a team expected to compete for a Big 12 title in 2020.

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