Jake Haener has moved on from Fresno State to begin his pro career. Which means the spot for the best quarterback in the Mountain West is open.
Here’s a ranking of the most talented quarterbacks in the Mountain West.
Best Mountain West Quarterbacks, Ranked
|1||Chevan Cordeiro||San Jose State|
|2||Taylen Green||Boise State|
|3||Jalen Mayden||San Diego State|
|4||Mikey Keene||Fresno State|
|5||Dylan Hopkins||New Mexico|
1. Chevan Cordeiro, San Jose State
Cordeiro was on the all-Mountain West second team in 2022 with Haener being on the first team, so as great as Taylen Green of Boise State is, Cordeiro also has a good argument for this top spot.
Cordeiro is very familiar with the conference. He played at Hawaii for four seasons, making the 2020 All-Mountain West honorable mention list. He threw for 6,167 yards, 45 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions while completing 59% of his throws there.
Then he enjoyed a career year at SJSU. He led the league with 3,251 yards and 23 touchdowns to go with a 61% completion rate. He was outside of the top five in the conference with six picks. He also ran for nine touchdowns, which is the most in a single season by an SJSU quarterback in the modern era.
A 6-foot-1, 187-pound senior, Cordeiro has a good shot to become the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year in 2023.
2. Taylen Green, Boise State
Many regard Green among the top two quarterbacks in the Mountain West, and many even put him at No. 1.
He certainly was impressive last year. Though he didn’t start until Week 5, he still earned the Mountain West Freshman of the Year award as he ranked fourth with 12 passing touchdowns and fifth with 157.3 passing yards per game among freshmen in the country.
In a season in which he also earned Freshmen All-American and all-conference honorable mention accolades, Green threw for 2,042 yards, fourth in the conference, on a 61% completion rate while throwing six picks. He also rushed for 437 yards and eight touchdowns.
Green, a 6-6, 220-pound sophomore, likely isn’t done earning awards and recognition at Boise State.
3. Jalen Mayden, San Diego State
Mayden also wasn’t a Day 1 starter at San Diego State – at quarterback, anyway.
After beginning SDSU’s 2022 season at safety, Mayden moved back to quarterback and still finished top five in the conference with 2,030 passing yards to go along with 12 touchdowns and a 60% completion percentage while throwing 10 picks. He also rushed for 231 yards and three touchdowns.
Mayden was a four-star prospect out of high school, and then began his collegiate career at Mississippi State. The 6-3, 220-pound senior spent the last two seasons at SDSU and finally seems to be solidified as the team’s signal caller.
With a full season behind center, Mayden should earn some all-conference recognition.
4. Mikey Keene, Fresno State
Fresno State fans may not have to wait long for more good quarterback play even though Haener is now in the NFL.
Keene, a former three-star high school recruit, spent the last two seasons at UCF and was ranked the 13th-best quarterback transfer in the country. The 5-11, 184-pound redshirt sophomore has three years of eligibility left.
As a true freshman, Keene threw for 1,730 yards, 17 touchdowns, and six interceptions in 11 games. A year later, he completed 60 of 83 passes for 647 yards, six touchdowns, and just one pick in four games in his redshirt season. He was 8-3 as a starter at UCF.
Keene may still need some time to hone his craft, but Fresno State shouldn’t be in too bad of a position at quarterback.
5. Dylan Hopkins, New Mexico
Hopkins has made some great plays in his career. He could provide a pivotal spark for his new team, as New Mexico tries to improve on its 2-10 record from a year ago.
Hopkins, a 6-2, 215-pound redshirt senior, spent the last five years at UAB and played in 32 games. Then he decided to join Bryant Vincent, who was UAB’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach before taking up the same responsibilities for the Lobos this offseason, at New Mexico.
Hopkins was on the Conference USA All-Freshman team in 2019 with a 3-2 record as the team’s starter. He didn’t play in 2020, then made 21 starts the following two seasons. He ended his time at UAB with 4,472 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions while completing 63% of his passes.
Hopkins already has familiarity with the coaching staff. He could find some success pretty quickly at New Mexico.