Two signal callers have put together very strong, early candidacies. Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield have had great starts, but there are a host of other contenders and a whole lot of football still to be played.
Jackson and Kelly Bryant compete this week, and Derrius Guice and Nick Fitzgerald will both also get an opportunity to shine.
Others considered: QB Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State), RB Derrius Guice (LSU), QB Trace McSorley (Penn State), QB Luke Falk (Washington State), QB Nick Fitzgerald (Mississippi State), QB Shea Patterson (Ole Miss), RB J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State), QB QB Jesse Ertz (Kansas State), RB Bryce Love (Stanford), WR A.J. Brown (Ole Miss)
10. QB JT Barrett [Last Week: #3] (Ohio State)—He didn’t play terribly, but a 54% completion percentage, 0 TDs, 1 INT, and only 183 yards isn’t going to cut it as a passer when your team loses. OSU now has to battle to get back in the playoff picture with a tough path ahead.
9. QB Jalen Hurts [Last Week: #7] (Alabama)—Hurts falls again because he hasn’t proven he’s developed much as a passer. Still, he combined 128 passing yards with 154 rushing yards for a strong outing. He’s a real factor in the race, especially given the team he plays for.
8. RB Royce Freeman [Last Week: #8] (Oregon)—Don’t sleep on Freeman in this race. He has rushed for 303 yards and 6 touchdowns already this season.
7. QB Josh Rosen [Last Week: NR] (UCLA)—Winning the Heisman on the West Coast is tough, and it may be all-the-tougher this season with a number of legitimate contenders from the PAC 12. Still, Rosen looks really good so far in 2017, finally living up to his potential.
6. RB Saquon Barkley [Last Week: #6] (Penn State)—Barkley has been a stat-monster but had a relatively quiet—though still strong—performance against Pitt.
5. QB Jake Browning [Last Week: #5] (Washington)—Browning will not win this race on stats, and throwing the INT against Montana hurts a bit. Still, he is steady and key to his team.
4. QB Sam Darnold [Last Week #4] (USC)—A better week for Darnold and a great win for his team certainly puts the Trojan back on solid ground. However, he already has four interceptions in this young season, allowing Bryant to pass him up.
3. QB Kelly Bryant [Last Week #9] (Clemson)—There was nothing eye-popping about Bryant’s stat line, but he generated almost all of his team’s offense in a critical game for the Tigers. Rising from a seeming shoulder injury to lead his team to victory will really boost his candidacy.
2. QB Baker Mayfield [Last Week #2] (Oklahoma)— Mayfield holds this spot and pushes for #1 after a signature performance in his team’s signature win this week.
1. QB Lamar Jackson [Last Week: #1] (Louisville)—Jackson became the second player in FBS history to pass for 300 and throw for 100 in back to back games. No one puts up stats nor is as crucial to his team’s success as this signal caller.