Purdue’s quarterback room is poised for success

Most of the time, the play of the quarterback will determine how a season goes. The good news for Ryan Walters and Graham Harrell is that their quarterbacks on the roster are quite talented.

Going into the 2023 campaign, you could say it was an up and down year with Hudson Card behind center, but Purdue was exponentially better when he was on the court. I still feel like the Boilermakers would have beaten Northwestern if they had their starting quarterback instead of throwing Browne and Meredith into the fire.

But injuries happen, and do happen often, at Purdue. This year the importance of keeping Hudson Card upright will be paramount, so if you look at the transfer portal and the players coming to Purdue, there was so much emphasis on the offensive line.

Sure, Card can run, extend plays and make the guys around him better. Now imagine that skill set with an offensive line that doesn’t openly let itself be beaten, that could be the case this fall.

Not only does Purdue have Hudson Card as its quarterback leader, but they also have an outstanding true freshman in Marcos Davila, who is expected to be the backup quarterback.

Davila, at 6-3 and 235 pounds, is a big QB, who is more of a pocket passer than a play extender. The true freshman enrolled early and it paid off: in the Spring Game, he made exceptional throws, ripping the ball all over the field.

One would assume that Ryan Browne is then the third quarterback. Browne brings a different dynamic to the quarterback room, as he is primarily a runner. I would love to see a Browne specific package, similar to some of the heavy lineups we saw with him in the Northwestern Game.

Finally, redshirt sophomore Bennett Meredith received some playing time last season when Card was injured. Meredith will be competing with Browne for the third quarterback spot, but ultimately, if the Boilers lost both Card and Davila, I think we would see split time at the position between Browne and Meredith.

Card has an opportunity this season to put his name on the draft boards for the spring. He will have had two significant seasons as Purdue’s starting quarterback. If he has a successful 2024 season, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear his name called in the 2025 NFL Draft.

Davila, if forced to play, would require the playbook to be cut, but would not be as important as many would think from QB1 to QB2, in terms of throwing ability, where Purdue would hurt is with the ability to extend games. .

Ryan Walters and Co. should feel more comfortable this year with who is behind center than last year, Card with experience in a new system and a legitimate backup will allow the Boilers to open the book of game more than they were able to last fall.