The 2023 NFL Draft is only a month away, so it is time for an updated look at our top 10 quarterbacks in the class.
The 2023 NFL Draft class is a stark contrast to the previous year. In 2022, Kenny Pickett was the only signal-caller off the board on day one, with the next one (Desmond Ridder) not being taken until No. 74 overall in the third round.
It would be a surprise to see less than five go before No. 74. We have already witnessed a team trade the farm to move up and secure one of the top passers, even if they are not sure which passer yet.
2023 NFL Draft: Bryce Young, CJ Stroud Lead Updated Top 10 QB Rankings
The Panthers traded multiple firsts, multiple seconds, and DJ Moore to jump from No. 9 to No. 1. Rumors are swirling about another team moving into the top three to position themselves for a franchise player behind center, too.
Is the talent worth all the hype? Find out now in our updated top 10 quarterback rankings. Do you agree with my order? What would you change?
QB10: Aidan O’Connell (Purdue)
Weight: 213 pounds
DOB: 9-01-1998 (24 years old)
Good Stat: 90.6 PFF grade in 2021
Bad Stat: 24 INTs past two seasons
Aidan O’Connell looks the part of an NFL quarterback when sizing him up. He is built well, strong-armed, and displays top-tier accuracy on throws outside the numbers. O’Connell received little fanfare after high school, signing with a JuCo program before changing his mind and walking on to the Purdue team.
This belief in himself paid off, with O’Connell taking over the QB1 role full-time in 2021 and 2022. He burst onto the scene last season, completing 71.8 percent of his passes and setting a school record in passing yards in a single campaign.
O’Connell wins with his touch to the sideline. His timing and anticipation on these throws are impeccable, and he is never shy to stand in the pocket and take a monster hit to deliver a pass to his receiver. NFL teams will love his leadership and intensity.
His UDFA grade on my board is due to his rawness in every other aspect… plus his advanced age. O’Connell will turn 25 years old as a rookie and has to develop for a couple of seasons before he is ready to even think about starting an NFL game.
His size profile, arm strength, and unwavering belief in himself will help O’Connell stick around longer than some others in this class. If the Boilermaker signal-caller is drafted, he would be the first from the school since Curtis Painter in 2009.
NFL Draft Grade: UDFA
QB9: Tanner McKee (Stanford)
Weight: 231 pounds
DOB: 4-27-2000 (22 years old)
Good Stat: 22 career starts
Bad Stat: 61.2% completion in 2022
Tanner McKee is another prospect who checks every box physically. He stands tall at 6-foot-6, allowing him to see over the tall linemen that litter NFL rosters. McKee holds his 231 pounds well, but his time at Stanford left an underwhelming feeling for draft scouts.
Now, the talent around McKee was a far cry from the supporting cast that most of these quarterbacks had in 2022. He had virtually zero time to work the pocket and allow the receivers to come out of their breaks. McKee was sacked 65 times since becoming the Cardinal starter in 2021. No one can succeed in these circumstances.
That being said, McKee’s relative inexperience shows up on tape. The former four-star recruit took a two-year mission to Brazil before enrolling at Stanford, and while the trip is bigger than football, it did negatively impact his time to develop and hone his craft.
McKee’s lack of talent around him is apparent, but he tends to drift, even with a clean pocket. Add in his happy feet and this presents a clear and present danger for his projection to Sundays. On top of that, McKee is a tick slow as a processor, sometimes closing the window to his receiver before the ball ever leaves his hands.
McKee is still an intriguing option late on day three, but I don’t see the top 50 hype that some others do. He has the tools to become a long-time backup quarterback in the NFL.
NFL Draft Grade: Late Day Three