Georgia football: Is Carson Beck really the nation's top returning QB?

Georgia quarterback Carson Beck (15) throws a touchdown pass to Georgia wide receiver Rara Thomas
Georgia quarterback Carson Beck (15) throws a touchdown pass to Georgia wide receiver Rara Thomas / Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

Pro Football Focus is known for dishing out controversial opinions based on their own grading system and the latest was Georgia football's Carson Beck being ranked their No. 1 returning quarterback in college football for 2024.

While this may not be quite as controversial as some other takes PFF has had, it's one that has generated plenty of debate and has me wondering: is this true?

Is Beck really the best that 2024 college football will have to offer?

At times during the 2023 season, I would say that not even Georgia fans would have claimed this to be true. He had some slow starts to games that drove fans nuts, but that was more so on the offensive coordinator than it was on Beck. However, he did finish with nearly 4,000 yards and 24 touchdowns to just six interceptions. He also completed 72 percent of his passes.

Overall, Beck was really effective and consistent in 2023 and probably should have gotten a chance to play for a national title -- don't even get me started on the drop from No. 1 to No. 6 because of a three-point loss to Alabama in the SEC title game.

But is Beck better than the rest? Let's look at what some other top returnees did last year:

Quinn Ewers: 3,479 yards, 22 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 69% completions
Dillon Gabriel: 3,660 yards, 30 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 69% completions
Jalen Milroe: 2,834 yards, 23 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 66% completions
Jaxson Dart: 3,364 yards, 23 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 65% completions
Shedeur Sanders: 3,230 yards, 27 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 69% completions
Noah Fifita: 2,869 yards, 25 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 72% completions

And those are the guys who I believe will be the best returnees in college football. And Beck blows them all out of the water, numbers-wise.

Although he may not be quite the athlete that some of the other guys on this list are, he's a 6-foot-4, 220-pound gunslinger with a massive arm who is arguably the most accurate passer in the country. And he's a winner who led Georgia to a 13-1 record in his first year as a starter.

So yeah, I think PFF actually got this one right.