The Texas Longhorns believe they’ve found their answer at quarterback in the form of sophomore Sam Ehlinger. Behind the impressive play of the 6-foot-2 signal-caller, Texas went 9-4 during 2018 and finished the year ranked No. 15 heading into bowl season. While Ehlinger is not yet eligible for the NFL draft, he’s already making a name for himself and drawing attention as a future prospect.
Ehlinger played 13 games this season, completing 64.3 percent of his passes for 3,123 yards and 38 total touchdowns (25 passing) with just five interceptions. While he posted multiple impressive stat lines this season, the fact he went 10 straight games during the middle of the year without an interception may be his most impressive statistic.
Although Ehlinger has the makings of an interesting draft prospect, he’s only two years removed from high school. According to NFL draft rules, a player must be at least three years removed and have used up their college eligibility before declaring. In turn, this points to the Texas quarterback’s first potential opportunity to test the NFL waters coming in the 2020 NFL Draft.
While Longhorns fans have more time with their new starting quarterback, let’s take a look at what’s being said about Ehlinger’s stock and current early projections.
Sam Ehlinger’s Current NFL Draft Stock
With the emergence of Ehlinger this season, many NFL draft analysts haven’t provided much on the young quarterback. Or at the very least, they simply haven’t updated beyond the 2019 draft to this point. Ehlinger’s situation is an interesting one, especially considering he’s played so well it’s essentially made Shane Buechele an afterthought. But a few things do stand out about the Texas quarterback’s future outlook, and it’s been somewhat of a split in opinions.
Bleacher Report’s Brad Shepard labeled Ehlinger as the No. 2 candidate to win the 2019 Heisman Trophy Award. He stated the Texas signal-caller has the chance to be one of the top players in college football for a variety of reasons.
When you couple Ehlinger’s statistics, his growth and maturation in 2018 and his drive to make his childhood favorite one of the nation’s best teams, it’s easy to like how ’19 shapes up for him being one of the best players in the nation.
Ehlinger is a do-it-all player who can beat teams with his arm and his feet. With Herman calling plays, it’s only going to get better for the ‘Horns as they continue to improve their arsenal of offensive weapons.
If Ehlinger is able to produce a junior season which builds on his 2018 success, his name could prove to be in the mix among the top quarterbacks in the 2020 draft.
Latest NFL Draft Rumblings on Sam Ehlinger
This is where the real fun begins, as it’s essentially anyone’s guess as to what type of prospect Ehlinger could turn into. Texas radio host Rod Babers of ‘The Horn’ and ‘Longhorn Blitz’ jumped on the Heisman Trophy hype train prior to the Sugar Bowl matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs.
And while this only adds to the intrigue around the quarterback’s draft outlook, it seems the public consensus isn’t on board with Ehlinger as a top 2020 prospect. BetStars USA offered up a poll on Twitter prior to the Big 12 Championship game asking if the Longhorns quarterback is a third-round pick or better currently.
Obviously, we need a much larger scope to go off when really evaluating Ehlinger’s draft stock, but the good news is that he has an entire year to build it up even more.