2023 NFL Draft: Quarterback Class Has A Ton Of Potential

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) scrambles against the Auburn Tigers during the Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.Ncaa Football Alabamaat Auburn
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) scrambles against the Auburn Tigers during the Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.Ncaa Football Alabamaat Auburn /

While the 2022 QBs didn’t impress much, things will change when the 2023 NFL Draft rolls around.

The 2022 NFL Draft was a draft dominated by defense (specifically edge rusher, corner, and safety) and a deep wide receiver class. The one thing missing was a stellar group of quarterbacks. Despite some pushes that the class wasn’t as bad as advertised, the NFL clearly agreed, as one quarterback was drafted in the first two rounds, that of course being Pitt’s Kenny Pickett. A few went in the third round, but it was overall underwhelming.

The 2023 NFL Draft will be different. There’s no guarantee it’ll be as incredible as the 2021 group was championed as, but there are a couple top guys who have been on the radar for a while, with several others potentially making a jump. Let’s take an early snapshot of the position.

The Top Guys

There are two quarterbacks who are likely to be in top pick contention for the 2023 NFL Draft. Those two are Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Alabama’s Bryce Young.

Stroud took the reigns as the starter last fall for the Buckeyes, and while his first start against Minnesota was shaky, he righted the ship to quickly become one of the best quarterbacks in college football. His precision is impressive, whether it be throws outside the hashes or layered throws between levels of defenders. His accuracy and touch are advanced, as is his pocket maneuverability.

As for Young, he plays well from the pocket, but where it gets fun is when he has to scramble and play a bit of gunslinger ball. He can make plays on the move, out of structure, and off-platform. Young has made some dynamite throws with pressure in his face, and he has impressive arm strength, as evidenced by multiple occasions of hitting Jameson Williams in stride last fall.

Who Can Make The Jump?

Every year, there’s a riser. Who could it be this year? There are plenty of guys to consider.

The popular answer is Kentucky’s Will Levis, who had a surprising 2021 campaign after transferring from Penn State, where he didn’t get much run. Levis generates sufficient velocity on the football and can make throws all over the field, but can his processing skills take a jump? How will things work out without Wan’Dale Robinson?

There are still Spencer Rattler believers out there, and he will have a great pair of tight ends at South Carolina this season (one of whom was a teammate at Oklahoma) to improve upon his skills over the middle of the field.

Tyler Van Dyke is the “toolsy” thrower getting hype already this summer because he has a strong arm and the physical profile. Still, his process will need to speed up this season for him to take a true leap.

Two other ACC names will dominate the conversation as pure throwers and steady options. Phil Jurkovec has the arm, toughness, and athleticism, and NC State’s Devin Leary is another effortless thrower of the football.

As for some deeper sleepers. Hendon Hooker could be in store for a big year at Tennessee with multiple top receiving options. Tanner McKee could have a strong year at Stanford. Anthony Richardson is the ultimate wild card at Florida, with just 66 attempts in college so far. Jaren Hall might be the guy to watch late on Saturdays at BYU, and Cameron Ward is another deep sleeper with tons of arm talent at Washington State.

Who will emerge in the 2023 NFL Draft from those above to challenge Stroud and Young? We will see. The good news is that it’s going to be a fun year at the quarterback position and a better one for the 2023 NFL Draft.