2. Tanner Morgan, QB, Minnesota
After setting single-season passing records in yards and touchdowns, it’s fair to consider the 2019 season as Tanner Morgan‘s breakout season. After an Outback Bowl win over No. 9 Auburn, both Morgan and the Gophers will look to build upon their strong 2019 campaign. While Tyler Johnson will now be catching passes from Tom Brady, Minnesota will be returning what may be the best NFL prospect at receiver, Rashod Bateman.
The Golden Gophers won’t catch anyone off guard this fall as they face off against only Big Ten competition this fall. Morgan displayed many of the intangibles NFL scouts will look for in a future franchise quarterback last fall and is one of the top quarterbacks in reading defenses and leading receivers. Morgan has demonstrated a knack for finding soft spots in defenses and hitting his receivers in stride.
The 6-foot-2 quarterback is a confident downfield passer despite lacking the desired NFL level arm strength. Morgan is most effective as a mid-range passer and compares favorably to both Fields and Lawrence in the mid-rang completion percentage despite lacking their downfield ability. Morgan has also demonstrated he is an effective passer on the move, making him a little more dimensional.
While the Gophers lost offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca in the offseason, if Morgan can continue to pick defenses and hit his receivers in the mid-range and middle of field passes, he could find his way moving up 2021 NFL Draft boards and into the first round. To do so, demonstrating improved arm strength will be key this fall.