Oklahoma Football: Athlon Sports Big 12 quarterback rankings – Sooners Wire

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How it stands at the quarterback position can determine a lot about your favorite football team’s future. Nothing’s guaranteed on the field, but having the best quarterback in the conference gives you a leg up on the competition. Well, at least it should.
One of the more disappointing aspects of the 2021 season was the Oklahoma Sooners had a significant talent advantage at quarterback compared to their conference mates, but weren’t able to take advantage. There were a host of reasons, but the play of Spencer Rattler and Caleb Williams wasn’t what Oklahoma has come to expect at the position in recent years.
Perhaps, we’ve been spoiled by the Heisman-level play provided by former quarterbacks Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts. At the same time, in several games in 2021, the quarterback play was subpar leading to losses at Baylor and Oklahoma State and creating way-too-much drama in a win over Kansas.
Dillon Gabriel takes the reigns at quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners with lowered expectations nationally. Inside the Big 12, however, Gabriel is considered the best in the conference according to Athlon Sports Steve Lassan. Recently, Lassan projected each of the starting quarterbacks for the Big 12 and ranked them 1-10 with Gabriel coming out on top.
Despite the coaching change and the switch to Jeff Lebby’s offense, the Sooners remain a favorite in the Big 12. Having the best quarterback helps. But as we saw in 2021, it’s going to take more than a quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners to win games in the new-look defensive Big 12.
The defenses Baylor and Oklahoma State will put on the field in 2022 is what make each a significant contender for the conference crown. Spencer Sanders and Gerry Bohanon may not be the quarterback Gabriel has proven to be, but their teams aren’t asking them to throw 40 times to win a football game. Efficiency and ball security are the names of the game in Stillwater and Waco, and when those two are efficient and protect the football, their teams are difficult to beat.
There are still several quarterback battles to play out in spring ball, but here’s how Athlon Sports ranked the Big 12 quarterbacks.
Patrick Breen/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC
“Promising freshman, but will the Mountaineers explore a transfer?”
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
“Losing running back Breece Hall and tight end Charlie Kolar to the NFL won’t make Dekkers’ transition into the starting lineup any easier.”
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
“Daniels’ promising finish to the 2021 season could mean coach Lance Leipold has found his QB.”
John E. Moore III/Getty Images
“If Smith wins the job, he’s going to post monster numbers under new coordinator Zach Kittley.”
Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports
“If Duggan can stay healthy and hold off Chandler Morris for the starting nod, there’s a good chance he finishes ’22 much higher on this list.”
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
“The combination of Martinez and running back Deuce Vaughn is going to be a nightmare for Big 12 defenses.”
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
“Baylor needs to reload at receiver, but the offensive line returns intact, and Bohanon will benefit from another offseason under coordinator Jeff Grimes.”
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK
“The talent is there to be No. 1 by the end of ’22.”
Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic
“Can Sanders pick up where he left off in the Fiesta Bowl?”
April 10, 2021; Orlando, Florida; UCF Knights quarterback Dillon Gabriel (11) passes the ball during the UCF Spring Game Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
“Sooners need to rebuild up front, but Gabriel’s familiarity in the offense should show right away.”
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