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Published: June 19, 2015 at 11:55 a.m.

15 for '15: Strongest arms in college football

» Complete 15 for '15 series

CFB 24/7's "15 for '15" series continues with a look at 15 quarterbacks who can lay claim to having the strongest arms in college football. While one doesn't have to have a cannon on your shoulders to play the position well, having an arm that can make all the throws is extremely important when facing speedy defenses. It can be hard to judge arm strength without lining up everybody and using a radar gun but make no mistake, these signal-callers can spin it.

15 Photos Total

  • Standing 6-foot-7 and weighing in at 230 pounds, Lynch has the body to put some oomph into his throws. His strong arm is a big reason why he's re-writing school record books, and his passing helped guide Memphis to a share of its first conference title in more than 40 years. While he does a good job of dialing things back on short and intermediate throws, Lynch can certainly sling it if need be. 15

    Mark Humphrey / AP

    15. Paxton Lynch, Memphis

    Standing 6-foot-7 and weighing in at 230 pounds, Lynch has the body to put some oomph into his throws. His strong arm is a big reason why he's re-writing school record books, and his passing helped guide Memphis to a share of its first conference title in more than 40 years. While he does a good job of dialing things back on short and intermediate throws, Lynch can certainly sling it if need be.

  • Williams is known more for his ability to run than a high throwing percentage, but he's got a top-notch arm that can spray the football all over the field. As he has grown more accurate, he's become a better QB and has started to thrive in Larry Fedora's offense to the point where he set a school record for total offense in 2014. Whether the throw is short or long, there's little chance of it coming up short due to lack of arm strength from Williams. 14

    Chuck Burton / AP

    14. Marquise Williams, UNC

    Williams is known more for his ability to run than a high throwing percentage, but he's got a top-notch arm that can spray the football all over the field. As he has grown more accurate, he's become a better QB and has started to thrive in Larry Fedora's offense to the point where he set a school record for total offense in 2014. Whether the throw is short or long, there's little chance of it coming up short due to lack of arm strength from Williams.

  • Johnson is being given the keys to Gus Malzahn's fast-paced offense and many around the SEC expect him to be a significant upgrade over <a href="http://www.nfl.com/labs/rr/pathtothedraft/marshall" target="new">DB-turned-QB-turned-DB Nick Marshall</a>. Johnson has the size of Cardale Jones, and was highly regarded coming out of high school in part because of his ability to make all the throws. He showed what he can do in a win over Arkansas last season, and Tigers fans expect more of the same from the guy who is already drawing comparisons to Cam Newton with his size and arm. 13

    Butch Dill

    13. Jeremy Johnson, Auburn

    Johnson is being given the keys to Gus Malzahn's fast-paced offense and many around the SEC expect him to be a significant upgrade over DB-turned-QB-turned-DB Nick Marshall. Johnson has the size of Cardale Jones, and was highly regarded coming out of high school in part because of his ability to make all the throws. He showed what he can do in a win over Arkansas last season, and Tigers fans expect more of the same from the guy who is already drawing comparisons to Cam Newton with his size and arm.

  • Prescott bypassed a jump to the NFL to return to Starkville, and it's not a stretch to say he'll leave town as the best in school history. One of the reasons he's been able to thrive is not just his ability to take off and run, but his strong arm. A stocky build allows him to really put something on throws when he needs to, and he's continued to harness his arm at multiple levels. 12

    Dave Martin / AP

    12. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State

    Prescott bypassed a jump to the NFL to return to Starkville, and it's not a stretch to say he'll leave town as the best in school history. One of the reasons he's been able to thrive is not just his ability to take off and run, but his strong arm. A stocky build allows him to really put something on throws when he needs to, and he's continued to harness his arm at multiple levels.

  • Kiel was ranked by some recruiting services ahead of Jameis Winston coming out of high school, and his prototypical size for a pro-style quarterback combined with a strong arm are the biggest reasons why. It took him awhile to find a good fit at the college level, but his progression as a passer was a big reason why the Bearcats won a share of the AAC title last year. He can throw it all over and gives fits to any defense. 11

    Al Behrman / AP

    11. Gunner Kiel, Cincinnati

    Kiel was ranked by some recruiting services ahead of Jameis Winston coming out of high school, and his prototypical size for a pro-style quarterback combined with a strong arm are the biggest reasons why. It took him awhile to find a good fit at the college level, but his progression as a passer was a big reason why the Bearcats won a share of the AAC title last year. He can throw it all over and gives fits to any defense.

  • Cook has a chance to be the first quarterback taken in the 2016 NFL Draft, and is already drawing plenty of attention from scouts who will be looking to make a stop in East Lansing this fall. His arm has gotten stronger each offseason, and it's no wonder NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah has stated <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000390155/article/shades-of-carson-palmer-in-michigan-state-qb-connor-cook" target="new">Cook draws comparisons to Carson Palmer</a> thanks to his stature and ability to place the ball anywhere on the field. 10

    Nick Wass / Associated Press

    10. Connor Cook, Michigan State

    Cook has a chance to be the first quarterback taken in the 2016 NFL Draft, and is already drawing plenty of attention from scouts who will be looking to make a stop in East Lansing this fall. His arm has gotten stronger each offseason, and it's no wonder NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah has stated Cook draws comparisons to Carson Palmer thanks to his stature and ability to place the ball anywhere on the field.

  • Coker has become a bit of a folk legend since he transferred from Florida State given how much praise was heaped on him initially, only to get beat out last season by Blake Sims as Alabama's starting quarterback. Still, it's not hard to understand why a number of coaches are <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000354344/article/jimbo-fisher-alabamas-jacob-coker-will-be-high-nfl-draft-pick" target="new">high on the signal-caller</a> given that he displayed a strong arm coming out of high school, and numerous teammates can vouch for his ability to spin it. The only question might be if he actually winds up taking the field in more than a backup capacity this year in order to put his arm on display. 9

    Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

    9. Jacob Coker, Alabama

    Coker has become a bit of a folk legend since he transferred from Florida State given how much praise was heaped on him initially, only to get beat out last season by Blake Sims as Alabama's starting quarterback. Still, it's not hard to understand why a number of coaches are high on the signal-caller given that he displayed a strong arm coming out of high school, and numerous teammates can vouch for his ability to spin it. The only question might be if he actually winds up taking the field in more than a backup capacity this year in order to put his arm on display.

  • Lunt developed a reputation for having a cannon back in high school, and that same arm has been one of the few bright spots for the Illini when he's on the field. He can launch the ball down the field as easy as he can drill a quick slant. Lunt has prototypical size for a pro-style QB, and the right arm to match. 8

    Bradley Leeb / Associated Press

    8. Wes Lunt, Illinois

    Lunt developed a reputation for having a cannon back in high school, and that same arm has been one of the few bright spots for the Illini when he's on the field. He can launch the ball down the field as easy as he can drill a quick slant. Lunt has prototypical size for a pro-style QB, and the right arm to match.

  • Adams will compete in fall camp to replace Marcus Mariota, and his quick release and powerful arm are big reasons why he could be considered the favorite to take over as quarterback of the Ducks. He was one of the most successful FCS players in the country the past two years, and showed he was able to shred defenses at any level by making every throw. His rushing ability gets a lot of the press, but that does a disservice to his quality arm -- all despite Adams being pretty small and wiry for a quarterback. 7

    Elaine Thompson

    7. Vernon Adams, Oregon

    Adams will compete in fall camp to replace Marcus Mariota, and his quick release and powerful arm are big reasons why he could be considered the favorite to take over as quarterback of the Ducks. He was one of the most successful FCS players in the country the past two years, and showed he was able to shred defenses at any level by making every throw. His rushing ability gets a lot of the press, but that does a disservice to his quality arm -- all despite Adams being pretty small and wiry for a quarterback.

  • Mauk has been labeled a gunslinger for quite some time, and it has equal parts to do with his decision making and his big arm. He launches the ball deep as effortlessly as he throws a quick out route, and he probably has the best arm in the SEC. That Mauk is only 6-foot-1 doesn't seem to be a hindrance to spinning the ball downfield. 6

    John Raoux / AP

    6. Maty Mauk, Missouri

    Mauk has been labeled a gunslinger for quite some time, and it has equal parts to do with his decision making and his big arm. He launches the ball deep as effortlessly as he throws a quick out route, and he probably has the best arm in the SEC. That Mauk is only 6-foot-1 doesn't seem to be a hindrance to spinning the ball downfield.

  • The Tigers were a different team when Watson was under center last season, and his playmaking ability was evident with every snap he took. Whether it's a throw over the middle of the field or a deep bomb outside the hashes, Watson can sling the ball on a rope and that should only continue as the young signal-caller gets stronger with age. 5

    Bob Leverone / Associated Press

    5. Deshaun Watson, Clemson

    The Tigers were a different team when Watson was under center last season, and his playmaking ability was evident with every snap he took. Whether it's a throw over the middle of the field or a deep bomb outside the hashes, Watson can sling the ball on a rope and that should only continue as the young signal-caller gets stronger with age.

  • Bercovici's bio lists that he has a "cannon for an arm" and it's hard to disagree after seeing what he did in three starts last season. If you need anybody to vouch for how hard he can throw, just ask the two Pac-12 schools in Los Angeles after he threw for 488 yards against UCLA and had five touchdowns against USC. The latter game in particular allowed Bercovici to flaunt his cannon arm when <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000405137/article/arizona-state-tops-usc-on-hail-mary-to-complete-comeback" target="new">he launched a Hail Mary 55 yards for the game-winner</a>. 4

    Gus Ruelas / Associated Press

    4. Mike Bercovici, Arizona State

    Bercovici's bio lists that he has a "cannon for an arm" and it's hard to disagree after seeing what he did in three starts last season. If you need anybody to vouch for how hard he can throw, just ask the two Pac-12 schools in Los Angeles after he threw for 488 yards against UCLA and had five touchdowns against USC. The latter game in particular allowed Bercovici to flaunt his cannon arm when he launched a Hail Mary 55 yards for the game-winner.

  • When he committed to the Nittany Lions, there were some that thought it would be Hackenberg who would finally break the long drought Big Ten quarterbacks have had in the first round of the NFL draft due in part to his big arm. While Connor Cook might beat him to it, Hackenberg still has an elite arm that will continue to get stronger and has all the makings of a quality passer, even despite a sophomore slump in 2014. 3

    Gene J. Puskar / AP

    3. Christian Hackenberg, Penn State

    When he committed to the Nittany Lions, there were some that thought it would be Hackenberg who would finally break the long drought Big Ten quarterbacks have had in the first round of the NFL draft due in part to his big arm. While Connor Cook might beat him to it, Hackenberg still has an elite arm that will continue to get stronger and has all the makings of a quality passer, even despite a sophomore slump in 2014.

  • Boykin has impressive athleticism and that's on full display nearly every play he takes under center. The Horned Frogs' amazing run in 2014 was due mostly to the development of their quarterback as a passer, and that was apparent when Boykin tossed effortless deep bombs on series after series. Whether it's 50 yards downfield or on a quick throw to the flat, the Heisman front-runner can spin it with some serious force. 2

    Ashley Landis / Associated Press

    2. Trevone Boykin, TCU

    Boykin has impressive athleticism and that's on full display nearly every play he takes under center. The Horned Frogs' amazing run in 2014 was due mostly to the development of their quarterback as a passer, and that was apparent when Boykin tossed effortless deep bombs on series after series. Whether it's 50 yards downfield or on a quick throw to the flat, the Heisman front-runner can spin it with some serious force.

  • There are big quarterbacks and there are quarterbacks like Jones, who is built like a tank. Naturally that large size translates into a big arm and he showcased that time after time in leading Ohio State to a national title last season. He tossed a football a reported 74 yards at the Buckeyes' spring game, but that's just one measure of how big of a cannon the signal-caller has on his right shoulder and a big reason why NFL scouts are already drooling over his potential. 1

    Ric Tapia / Special to NFL.com

    1. Cardale Jones, Ohio State

    There are big quarterbacks and there are quarterbacks like Jones, who is built like a tank. Naturally that large size translates into a big arm and he showcased that time after time in leading Ohio State to a national title last season. He tossed a football a reported 74 yards at the Buckeyes' spring game, but that's just one measure of how big of a cannon the signal-caller has on his right shoulder and a big reason why NFL scouts are already drooling over his potential.