Grayson McCall Deserves More 2022 NFL Draft Attention

Photo: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall is among the top 10 2022 NFL quarterbacks despite being just a sophomore—and really, he’d probably be a popular top-five option if he had some tougher competition on the schedule.

There are two sides to the token with issues like this. McCall has a respectable supporting cast with an asset in wide receiver Isaiah Likely with the Chanticleers, but doesn’t have the same type of team around him that he would at a place like Alabama. Still, the entire idea that a quarterback is not able to be what he appears to be because he plays mostly lower-level competition (without having any tape to back up that notion) is unfounded until we actually evaluate that quarterback against a formidable opponent (if and when he is afforded the opportunity to play one).

That perspective aside, there is also something to be said about evaluating a quarterback as an individual, and there are several things we can give McCall high praise for when zeroing in on just him and his personal abilities. Coastal Carolina’s spread option offense is one of the most entertaining to watch in college football and also requires a quarterback with all the right stuff mentally to run it, which McCall clearly has.

McCall is an athlete with impressive athleticism and he’s impressed with the way he’s able to make plays on the ground as well as extend plays and find his way out of potential sacks. But, as all quarterbacks who have a hope of succeeding after they slow down athletically in their career should be, he is first and foremost a reliable passer.

The signal-caller finished the 52-20 victory over the Arkansas State Red Wolves completing 18-of-23 passes (78.3%) for 365 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions, bringing him to an outstanding completion percentage of 79.8% for 1,478 with 14 touchdowns and just one interception. That ratio, along with that stat line in general, is a reflection of how well McCall has taken care of the football, been accurate at all levels of the field, and has been a contributor to an offense that finds success in both the air and on the ground—Coastal Carolina is ranked No. 15 in the country and is 6-0 for a reason, after all.

According to Pro Football Focus, McCall’s 92.1 passing grade and 152.3 passer rating put him ahead of every other quarterback in the nation, he’s fourth among the nation’s quarterbacks in completion percentage for passes thrown past the line of scrimmage (67%), and leads the FBS in both average yards per attempt (13.6) and completion percentage.

Some of the attention McCall has garnered from fans analysts across the nation is for less technical reasons and purely for how fun he is to watch. That idea ties into how gritty and effective he’s shown to be in the ground game as well—obviously he’ll have to be careful in certain situations at the NFL level with some of the chances he takes, but you can bet he’ll be able to create some valuable things as a rusher and buy himself some more time in a way that will be much appreciated in the pros. And, speaking on intangibles like locker room support, teams get behind a guy that puts this much effort into making the play himself.

So far on the ground this season, McCall has carried the ball 31 times for 79 yards and two touchdowns, bringing him to a career total of 144 carries for 659 rushing yards with nine touchdowns. 

McCall isn’t getting the same type of recognition and eyeballs on him as some of these other prospects, but he’s very much right there with them.

Written By:

Crissy Froyd

Feature Writer

Crissy Froyd is a graduating senior at LSU, also serving as the managing editor of the LSU division of USA TODAY SMG. Crissy has specialized primarily in quarterback analysis and features for the better part of her career and covers the Tennessee Titans in addition to the LSU Tigers.