Texas QB Quinn Ewers was predicted to be one of the top QB prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft cycle. Now, it’s uncertain if he’ll declare or return to school. What does Ewers appear to be trending toward doing, and what is the right decision for the five-star talent?
Will Texas QB Quinn Ewers Declare for the 2024 NFL Draft?
In the summer months, Ewers was commonly mocked as one of the first quarterbacks off the 2024 NFL Draft board behind North Carolina’s Drake Maye and USC’s Caleb Williams.
It was the expectation that Ewers would take the next step in his development over the course of the 2023 campaign after transferring over from Ohio State in 2022 and showing promise as the team’s starting QB.
A shoulder injury suffered against the Houston Cougars knocked Ewers out of a couple of games, but there’s still a large enough sample to evaluate him in 2023. In eight games so far, he’s completed 173 of 246 attempts for 2,232 yards, 14 touchdowns, and four picks.
Ewers’ completion percentage improved from 58.1% in 2022 to 70.3% in 2023, and he’s also been more involved as a rushing threat, with five rushing touchdowns.
Ewers’ statistical improvement isn’t a mirage. There has been some tangible growth on tape. But at the same time, the 2024 NFL Draft QB class has gotten stronger, and it’s unclear if Ewers has done enough to give himself early-round security.
Earlier today, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported that Ewers “has yet to decide” on his path forward for 2024. Inside Texas also reported that the expectation is that he will return to Texas for the 2024 campaign rather than declare — though Ewers himself has not confirmed.
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Ewers has two other highly touted recruits in Maalik Murphy and Arch Manning breathing down his neck. However, Ewers has played well enough to maintain the starting job were he to return.
This decision is about Ewers and Ewers alone — and whether he feels he has more to gain from an extra year and more space to rise in the 2025 QB group.
Should Ewers Declare for the 2024 NFL Draft?
On my 2024 NFL Draft board, Ewers entered the season as an early Day 3 prospect. A former five-star recruit, he had the necessary arm strength and angle freedom — but he lacked much in the way of operational prowess.
On Ewers’ 2022 film, poor field vision, a lack of mechanical discipline, inconsistent decision-making, and streaky downfield ball placement all stood out. And on top of those intangible flaws, he’s never had the elite creation capacity to compensate.
In 2023, we’ve seen modest improvements in several areas. Ewers has improved his outlet awareness and has visibly grown with his mechanical discipline and accuracy on short passes. More comfort within Steve Sarkisian’s offense has helped with his efficiency.
Additionally, there have been times when Ewers has missed a throw downfield early in a game, only to hit it later on with improved velocity drive and trajectory. Those flashes of in-game learning can’t be overlooked, and they shed light into his developmental potential.
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All this being said, Ewers’ ball placement in the deep third is still fairly inconsistent, and his mechanics and field vision have room to keep tracking upward. Additionally, at just 195 pounds, he falls well below the NFL’s desired size threshold, and his injury history may fuel questions about his durability.
Ewers has improved his anticipation and situational precision enough to be considered as a Day 2 prospect. But especially in a 2024 NFL Draft that has Jayden Daniels, Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr., Carson Beck, and others past the top two passers, Ewers might be better suited to return to school.
By returning to school, Ewers would be able to gain another year of comfort in Sarkisian’s system. He’d be able to add more weight to his frame and spend more time refining his mechanics and full-field processing ability.
There is a chance Ewers would lose several of his top targets — namely Adonai Mitchell, Xavier Worthy, and Ja’Tavion Sanders — to the 2024 NFL Draft. But Texas has several highly rated WRs coming up through the pipeline to fill the void.
At his weight, without top-end athleticism, Round 1 is by no means a guarantee. But Ewers might have a better chance of earning Round 1 capital by returning to school and further refining his operational skills to further insulate his high-level arm talent.
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