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Not Sold on Dylan Morris at Husky QB? PFF Offers a Differing View

Pro Football Focus ranked all 130 FBS starting quarterbacks. See where the UW leader ended up.

His critics don't like him as the University of Washington quarterback primarily because, well, he's short. And last season, they pointed their mental radar guns at him from their couches and deduced he didn't have much of an arm. 

Into spring practice, media types next asked coach Jimmy Lake and offensive coordinator John Donovan, who seemed surprised by the question, whether or not they would consider using two quarterbacks at once.

Dylan Morris, however, says not so fast in trying to get rid of me.

He can point to a new Pro Football Focus listing that ranks all 130 potential starting quarterbacks at the FBS level. 

He's on there, up high.

PFF has Morris listed No. 28 nationally. 

This makes him the second-highest rated quarterback in the Pac-12, trailing only USC's Kedon Slovis at No. 10.

The PFF analysis of Morris, based heavy on statistical analysis and just plain numbers-crunching, goes as follows:

Morris is a pretty limited passer and won’t provide much in the deep passing game, but he takes exceptional care of the ball elsewhere and doesn't make many mistakes. In four starts in 2020, he earned an 81.9 passing grade, posted a minimal 1.6% turnover-worthy play rate and led the Huskies to the fourth-most efficient passing offense in the Pac-12. He was automatic from a clean pocket and when not trying to do anything special downfield. Most teams would love to have such a safe passer.

Ah, but the 6-foot Morris still can't seem to satisfy the Seattle faithful after leading the UW to a 3-1 record in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. This included the stirring comeback against Utah, which saw the Huskies rush back from a 21-0 halftime deficit to win 24-21. A 4-0 record might not have been enough to get everybody on board with this QB either.

Interestingly enough, former UW quarterback Jake Haener, is ranked 41st on the PFF list, which puts him ahead of all Pac-12 quarterbacks except three — Washington State's Jayden de Laura (31st), Slovis and Morris. The analysis on Haener goes as follows:

Haener, formerly with Washington, made his up-and-down Fresno State debut in the 2020s. He earned three single-game PFF grades north of 80.0, but his other three outings didn’t crack 60.0. At the end of the day, he showed a high ceiling for a Group of Five quarterback, as evidenced by his 8.3% big-time throw rate that ranked eighth in the FBS. There’s certainly reason to be bullish on him heading into the fall.

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Absent from this list is former UW QB Jacob Sirmon, now at Central Michigan, with PFF choosing to rate returnee Daniel Richardson as the starting quarterback and putting him 103rd overall.

Husky QBs always have played to an exceedingly tough crowd. It's almost sport to batter the offensive leader at some point in his career. Boo him from the stands and destroy him on online. 

Jake Browning started for four seasons and took the Huskies to the Fiesta Bowl, the Rose Bowl and the College Football Playoff in the Peach Bowl, but a large segment of fans got tired of him and couldn't wait to see him graduate and give way to Jacob Eason.

Of course, a lot of those people formed a great dislike for Eason after his team went 8-5 and he threw some pick-sixes that were costly. It didn't matter that he might have had the strongest arm on the West Coast since John Elway and that his decision-making could be fixed with a good quarterback coach tutorial.

The parents of these same vociferous UW fans once booed Warren Moon so unmercifully at Husky Stadium that he almost went home to Los Angeles instead of into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

And so it goes.

Morris remains the guy who became a Husky starter as a redshirt freshman, which is no small feat at any position, let alone quarterback. He's the player whose presence might have played a factor in sending Sirmon to Central Michigan and maybe Ethan Garbers to UCLA.

In the UW quarterback room, graduate transfer Patrick O'Brien from Colorado State and Nebraska isn't going to beat out Morris or share the job with him. He has no track record at either prior school to indicate he's a better option.

There is the matter of 5-star recruit Sam Huard joining the program and needing to play some, because, well, he's a 5-star prospect. He can spell Morris when needed. A lot of fans want that to happen sooner than later. 

Then maybe they can boo him, too.

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