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Where Does Tommy DeVito and Syracuse’s Opponents Land in PFF’s Quarterback Rankings?

Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Can you smell that? That is the sweet scent of college football coming back. Syracuse begins its season in less than two months, so what better time to take a deep dive into preseason positional rankings than right now.

Pro Football Focus, the KenPom of college football, released its 2021 Preseason Quarterback Rankings on Monday. It ranked all 130 FBS starting, or at least presumed starting, QBs based on their “play-by-play grading profile and several other data points, in addition to film and scheme review.”

To no surprise, Syracuse’s Tommy DeVito falls under the “needs to improve/more reps” category. PFF slots the rising senior in at No. 95 on the preseason rankings.

95 out of 130. Not great.

“The quarterbacks in this group likely aren’t leading explosive offenses in 2021,” reads the scouting report. “They aren’t going to be responsible for their teams having immense success without help from elite supporting casts on both sides of the ball.”

The scouting report is right. First, Syracuse isn’t going to be an offense-first team this upcoming season. There are too many question marks and not enough talent on that side of the ball. Plus, if the Orange do have success offensively, it will most likely be because of Sean Tucker’s running or Taj Harris’s playmaking.

DeVito is coming off a season where he only played in four games due to injury. He threw for 148 yards per game at a 50% clip for four touchdowns and two interceptions. DeVito’s numbers do not jump off the page and support why he’s in the bottom 30-percentile of PFF’s rankings.

Opposite of DeVito, many of Syracuse’s opponents are towards the top of this quarterbacks list. The Orange will face seven QBs that rank in the top 50 on the list. Here is where all of the opposing quarterbacks rank:

  • No. 8 – D.J. Uiagalelei (Clemson)
  • No. 16 – McKenzie Milton (Florida State)
  • No. 19 – Malik Willis (Liberty)
  • No. 21 – Sam Hartman (Wake Forest)
  • No. 30 – Phil Jurkovec (Boston College)
  • No. 34 – Malik Cunningham (Louisville)
  • No. 44 – Devin Leary (NC State)
  • No. 52 – Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh)
  • No. 61 – Braxton Burmeister (Virginia Tech)
  • No. 68 – Kurtis Rourke (Ohio)
  • No. 94 – Noah Vedral (Rutgers)

Syracuse is also playing UAlbany, but the Great Danes are an FCS team, so they were not eligible for PFF’s list.

If you put DeVito in that list, he would be dead last. So, other than its non-FBS opponent, Syracuse has the worst quarterback on its schedule.

DeVito also came in 12th out of 14 ACC quarterbacks on the list. Only Duke’s Gunnar Holmberg and Georgia Tech’s Jeff Sims were below him. Here is where all of the ACC quarterbacks landed in PFF’s rankings:

  • No. 2 – Sam Howell (North Carolina)
  • No. 3 – D’Eriq King (Miami)
  • No. 8 – D.J. Uiagalelei (Clemson)
  • No. 16 – McKenzie Milton (Florida State)
  • No. 18 – Brennan Armstrong (Virginia)
  • No. 21 – Sam Hartman (Wake Forest)
  • No. 30 – Phil Jurkovec (Boston College)
  • No. 34 – Malik Cunningham (Louisville)
  • No. 44 – Devin Leary (NC State)
  • No. 52 – Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh)
  • No. 61 – Braxton Burmeister (Virginia Tech)
  • No. 95 – Tommy DeVito (Syracuse)
  • No. 100 – Jeff Sims (Georgia Tech)
  • No. 124 – Gunnar Holmberg (Duke)

Syracuse Football begins its season against Kurtis Rourke (No. 68) and Ohio on September 4. The Orange then have their home opener on September 11 versus Noah Vedral (No. 94) and Rutgers.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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