20 quarterbacks to know for next year’s NFL draft: Strengths, weaknesses and more

NCAAF

Want a quarterback? Look no additional than the 2023 NFL draft class.

After we noticed just one first-round passer — and no different QBs taken earlier than choose No. 74 — in 2022, subsequent yr’s class guarantees to have extra expertise on the place. Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Alabama’s Bryce Young are already being mentioned because the potential No. 1 total choose, and a minimum of three different quarterbacks have Spherical 1 upside. Quite a few others may make a giant bounce through the 2022 season and emerge as Day 1 or 2 candidates. We’re greater than 10 months out, and loads can change. However there’s a ton of expertise with this group of passers.

So who’re the top names to know for 2023? The place do the perfect quarterbacks stand out, and the place do they nonetheless want to enhance? And who’re the perfect of the remaining — passers to control over the approaching months and the course of the upcoming faculty soccer season? We took a more in-depth take a look at 20 passers who could possibly be within the draft dialogue subsequent spring, together with an in-depth breakdown of how the highest 5 stack up. Plus, we answered massive quarterback questions, from who will go No. 1 to which teams may be focusing on a signal-caller in April.

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Top five | Best of the rest
Four big questions

The highest 5 to know

Top: 6-foot-3 | Weight: 215 kilos
Class: Redshirt sophomore

The place he excels: Stroud obtained off to a shaky begin in 2021 as a first-year starter, however he continued to get higher because the season progressed. His development from the opening week to the miraculous Rose Bowl victory has scouts enamored with Stroud’s potential. That very same kind of ascension is predicted throughout his second season beneath heart for the Buckeyes. The outdated saying that one ought to “scout the participant, not the helmet brand” applies for Stroud. Rather a lot shall be manufactured from Ohio State quarterbacks failing to supply on the subsequent stage, however every presents a unique case.

The place he wants work: Scouts wish to see that Stroud understands the distinction between ball placement and accuracy. He accomplished practically 72% of his passes final season and persistently put the ball within the strike zone, however there have been occasions when receivers needed to dig the ball out or bounce for it. Putting the ball in higher areas and placing much less stress on receivers on the catch level would carry one other dimension to his recreation and will assist him unlock the following stage of his improvement as a passer. Another expertise Stroud may enhance on: manipulating defenders extra along with his eyes and creating extra by utilizing his legs.

Why I am intrigued along with his first-round potential: Instincts, continued development and high-end decision-making make Stroud a contender for the No. 1 total choice in April. Regardless of shedding first-round wideouts in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, the Ohio State offense is predicted to be explosive. Stroud shall be making his thirteenth profession begin, however he has improved in every one, and he completed final season with a career-high 573 passing yards against Utah.


Top: 6 toes | Weight: 194 kilos
Class: Junior

The place he excels: Poise. It is the singular trait that would set him other than the opposite QB prospects within the 2023 class. Take a look at the comeback victory in time beyond regulation in opposition to Auburn. Take into consideration how he continued to assault within the national championship game in opposition to Georgia regardless of shedding his high two targets in John Metchie III and Jameson Williams in consecutive weeks. There wasn’t a lot that appeared to faze Younger throughout his first season as a starter.

The place he wants work: Measurement shall be always introduced up relating to Younger and can stay a query mark for groups that rely closely on dimension thresholds. Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees are among the many shortest QBs we have seen go on to have success on the subsequent stage, however all of them have a considerably thicker construct than the slender Younger. Even so, sturdiness hasn’t been a difficulty up to now for the Crimson Tide star. On the sphere, pocket maneuverability is a constant challenge. The flexibility to all step up into the pocket and create throwing home windows inside it stood out for Murray, Wilson and Brees, however Younger has a propensity to get caught on the apex of the pocket with out persistently seeking to climb into it and ship on throws. He as a substitute appears to flee out of aspect exit doorways to attempt to create off-script performs. If Younger can change into in step with working up into the pocket, navigating and distributing the ball in that style, dimension will not be such a priority.

Why I am intrigued along with his first-round potential: The aggressive hearth and quietness he performs with is not regular for a prospect of his age, particularly contemplating he took over beneath heart in Tuscaloosa for 2 first-round picks. Younger has loads of arm energy and the high-level accuracy to achieve the NFL. His skill to win inside the pocket and create performs exterior of the traditional confines of the playbook locations an amazing quantity of stress on opponent defenses.

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Freshman quarterback Bryce Younger is awarded the 2021 Heisman Trophy, giving Alabama soccer back-to-back winners.


Top: 6-foot-4 | Weight: 224 kilos
Class: Redshirt sophomore

The place he excels: Though he was solely a redshirt freshman final yr, Van Dyke appeared in 10 video games (9 begins) and instantly turned the chief of the Hurricanes’ assault after D’Eriq King went down with a shoulder harm. Working from a powerful and balanced throwing base, Van Dyke has a powerful sufficient arm to get the ball to every stage of the sphere. He’s at his greatest within the pink zone, the place 16 of his 25 landing passes got here from final season (with one interception). He shows nice contact and really feel when layering the ball.

The place he wants work: Van Dyke was closely reliant on run-pass choice throws as a freshman, and he accomplished 77% of these varieties of passes. However he should show extra consolation with progression-based passes. Final yr’s matchup with North Carolina supplied a snapshot of who Van Dyke is as a prospect. He continued to battle till the waning moments of the fourth quarter, however his sight and anticipation for non-RPO passing ideas simply weren’t there.

Why I am intrigued along with his first-round potential: Rather a lot is predicted of Van Dyke now that he’s the unquestioned starter. He’s a well-built pocket passer with sufficient mobility to get out of hurt’s means. Now beneath the tutelage of offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, the second-year signal-caller may make important strides in 2022. The previous two Miami quarterbacks chosen earlier than the third day of the draft have been Steve Walsh (first spherical of the 1989 supplemental draft by the Dallas Cowboys) and Vinny Testaverde (No. 1 total within the 1987 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).


Top: 6-foot-3 | Weight: 232 kilos
Class: Redshirt senior

The place he excels: After three seasons at Penn State, Levis elected to graduate switch to Kentucky. Underneath then-offensive coordinator Liam Coen, he performed from quite a lot of totally different pre-snap platforms with the Wildcats, experiencing success from beneath heart, within the shotgun, from the pistol and even on designed rollouts. Levis has a quick three-quarter launch, and the ball comes off his hand with vitality and velocity. He’s at his greatest when he can flip his again to the protection on play-action passes, reset his eyes and assess the protection. And Levis can be a aggressive runner who’s fearless when escaping the pocket.

The place he wants work: Resolution-making and lower-body stiffness are areas the place scouts wish to see development this season. Plenty of his deficiencies focus on an absence of again hip rotation, which ends up in erratic accuracy. Levis has solely three video games over 13 begins by which he did not throw an interception. He wants to point out extra confidence with exhausting all choices on progressions, as he tends to prematurely hand over on passing ideas and instantly flip right into a decided runner. When breaking containment, he loses sight of targets and falls again on his working skill. Levis depends upon overpowering and difficult tacklers, but in addition he wants to higher defend himself when working exterior of construction. I would prefer to see him preserve his eyes searching for reappearing targets whereas on the run.

Why I am intrigued along with his first-round potential: Though the components are there, Levis is a uncooked prospect. Kentucky has a brand new playcaller in Wealthy Scangarello this season, however a number of related ideas are anticipated to stay intact for the Wildcats’ offense, so it is going to be fascinating to see how Levis makes the following step within the system.


Top: 6-foot-4 | Weight: 236 kilos
Class: Redshirt sophomore

The place he excels: Richardson has a number of traits evaluators prefer to see on the place, however he solely has 66 profession passing makes an attempt and 58 rushes, and he piled up 556 passing yards in 12 video games performed. He has a stocky and durable construct, and regardless of a crazy arm movement, the ball comes off his hand with loads of vitality. However he additionally understands when and how one can put contact on his passes. And along with his downhill dashing skill and imaginative and prescient as a ball service, he might be an extension of the working recreation.

The place he wants work: Richardson rotated each different collection final season with now-Arizona State quarterback Emory Jones, so he hasn’t had many alternatives to stay on the sphere for an prolonged time frame. And Richardson had 5 interceptions within the eight video games throughout which he noticed motion. His decision-making facilities round confidence in his arm energy, which might get him into bother typically. Being extra decisive and demonstrating extra consolation and consistency when taking part in inside the confines of the pocket are issues that scouts wish to see subsequent season.

Why I am intrigued along with his first-round potential: Richardson shall be in a brand new offense beneath new coach Billy Napier as he enters his redshirt sophomore season because the unquestioned starter. And Richardson has the potential to generate pleasure due to his high-end traits. However proper now, it is merely solely that.

Better of the remaining

These 15 quarterbacks are listed alphabetically.

Armstrong posted faculty data for passing yards (4,449), completions (326) and passing touchdowns (31) in 2021. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound left-handed thrower has made strides along with his footwork and mechanics. He can also make issues occur on the bottom. Now beneath the tutelage of first-time head coach Tony Elliott, Armstrong would be the nucleus of what has the potential to be a extremely explosive offensive assault.


Cunningham has a slender 6-foot-1, 200-pound body and reveals suddenness as each a passer and rusher, however he’s a improvement QB prospect. I noticed his seven-touchdown efficiency (5 passing, two dashing) against Duke stay final season and obtained a glimpse at his potential. Cunningham’s taking part in model forces defenses to defend each blade of grass; he’s a game-changing participant who can create and assemble explosive performs in bunches along with his arm and his legs.


Haener’s profession started at Washington, however he transferred to Fresno State in 2019. In 13 begins final season, he completed with 4,096 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Haener is a fearless risk-taker who has the boldness that he can match a soccer by a coin slot when testing throwing home windows. His tape reveals numerous excessive and low moments, however that comes from his taking part in model. Whereas he will not meet many dimension thresholds for some groups (6-foot-1, 195-pounds), he has related traits to among the extra profitable smaller backup QBs within the league, together with Case Keenum and Taylor Heinicke.


Corridor completed final season with 2,583 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns to solely 5 interceptions and 307 dashing yards in 10 begins final season. He was previously a member of the Cougars’ baseball crew (2019 and 2020), and a number of his throwing mechanics are harking back to an outfielder. At 6-foot-1 and 205 kilos, he has bouncy and lively toes within the pocket. Corridor’s consistency might want to enhance in 2022, and I would prefer to see him keep on the sphere after he battled by cracked ribs and an ankle harm final season.


The 6-foot-1, 208-pounder is on the heart of an unconventional offense targeted on run-pass choices, and Hartman’s specialty is reacting after placing defenders in a bind. He shows a median arm and is at his greatest when in a position to assault the beneath areas of the sphere. However his 57.2% profession completion charge suggests he must change into extra constant along with his ball placement and contact on deep passes.


After making appearances in 21 video games (15 begins) whereas at Virginia Tech, Hooker elected to switch to Tennessee earlier than the 2021 season. At 6-foot-4 and 218 kilos, he’s a relaxed and mechanically sound passer in coach Josh Heupel’s unfold, hurry-up and shred offense — which permits Hooker to play freely with a number of one-step dropbacks. He recorded profession highs in passing yards (2,945) and touchdowns (31), and he set the single-season program report for completion charge (68.2%). Hooker shall be a 25-year-old rookie at first of his NFL profession.


A stoutly constructed prospect at 6-foot-3 and 245 kilos, Jefferson continues to be refining his recreation and determining the small print of taking part in the place. He closed final season with 2,676 passing yards, 21 passing touchdowns and 4 interceptions whereas including 664 dashing yards and one other rating on the bottom. As a passer, Jefferson generates a number of his energy from his higher physique, which helps him get loads of zip on throws. However that causes his accuracy to be hit and miss in stretches. Jefferson is a high-level competitor, however he typically tries to flee and execute quite than take the play that’s given to him.

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KJ Jefferson runs for 110 yards and a landing, serving to No. 21 Arkansas safe a 24-10 win over Penn State within the Outback Bowl.


After transferring from Notre Dame following the 2019 season, Jurkovec began in 10 video games in 2020 at BC. Many have been excited to see him make a leap in 2021, however the 6-foot-5, 226-pound passer suffered a fractured proper wrist throughout Week 2, which sidelined him for the following eight video games. Jurkovec has a number of bodily traits and reveals rhythm and timing within the brief to intermediate areas, however his deep accuracy might want to enhance. His vertical throws are inclined to flutter. Jurkovec is cellular sufficient to evade and choose up yards in vacated areas, however his decision-making has to get higher.


A 6-foot-1, 212-pound conductor of the unfold assault for the Wolfpack, Leary flourished throughout his first season because the full-time starter. His 35 landing passes broke the crew’s earlier single-season mark set by Philip Rivers (34) in 2003. Leary is decisive, has an explosive throwing movement from the pocket and is not afraid to assault the intermediate and deep areas exterior the hashmarks. Many NC State coaches rave about his competitiveness.


The maestro of one of the inventive offenses within the nation, McCall has thrived throughout his profession with the Chanticleers. Their scheme works tirelessly to tie the eyes of defenders in knots, and McCall is environment friendly in making the fitting selections on the proper time. McCall completed final season with 2,873 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and solely three interceptions. He has below-average arm energy, however the 6-foot-3, 210-pound QB takes benefit of voids created within the protection. Executing pro-style ideas and reads will proceed to be the most important hurdle for McCall.


McKee got here off the bench throughout final season’s opener in opposition to Kansas State and shortly claimed the beginning function for Stanford. He completed with 2,327 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, and he tied a freshman report (Steve Stenstrom in 1991) for single-season TD tosses over his 10 video games (9 begins). At 6-foot-6 and 228 kilos, McKee is an in-rhythm and on-time passer who has expertise from varied totally different pre-snap platforms.


Rattler went from the 2022 draft’s QB1 race to a backup on his personal crew at Oklahoma. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder transferred to South Carolina to play with the Gamecocks and try and recreate the thrill that surrounded him previous to final yr. A gifted passer and savvy mover within the pocket, Rattler lets the ball go along with a fast flick of the wrist, showcasing loads of arm energy and accuracy. Rattler’s greatest challenge has at all times been his all-or-nothing strategy, and he must develop persistence and self-discipline in some locations.

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Mel Kiper Jr. breaks down which gamers groups ought to preserve their eye on for the 2023 NFL draft.


A contact, timing and anticipation passer with restricted arm energy and mobility, Slovis is snug when working contained in the framework of the offense. He thrives off profiting from the beneath areas. After transferring from Southern California to Pitt after final season, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound passer will now be in a brand new but related offense with Pat Narduzzi.


Thompson-Robinson contemplated declaring for the NFL draft this yr, however he elected to return for his fifth season. He has began 27 video games over the previous three seasons, and he holds a spot within the high 5 in program historical past for passing yards (7,541), completions (594) and landing passes (61). The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Bruins senior is a strong thrower who has struggled with consistency. Final yr’s matchup with USC supplies a synopsis of his profession as a complete: A six-touchdown efficiency (4 passing, two dashing) started with two interceptions within the first quarter.


A wild card to control through the upcoming season, Ward was one of many best-kept secrets and techniques in Texas through the 2020 recruiting cycle primarily as a result of he performed within the wing-T offense in highschool. He joined Incarnate Phrase and lit up the FCS ranks throughout his two seasons there, setting program data in profession passing yards (6,908) and touchdowns (71) in solely 20 video games performed. He’s a 6-foot-2, 223-pound passer with a sudden sidearm launch. Scouts are already intrigued by his ability set however wish to see how he performs in opposition to higher opponents after transferring to Washington State.

Large questions

Will Younger, Stroud or another person be the primary QB off the board?

It is nonetheless early, but when I needed to make the decision proper now, I would say Stroud. Together with his high-end traits and upward trajectory, it is simple to see why a crew may fall in love with the Ohio State signal-caller’s recreation and make him the primary participant on the place off the board. Younger and Stroud will possible be hooked up on the hip all through the season and pre-draft course of as QB1 candidates, much like what we noticed with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota in 2015.

What number of QBs will go in Spherical 1?

Popping out of summer season scouting, Younger and Stroud are the one two QBs I see as possible first-round picks. What number of first-round QBs we’ll see relies on what number of of those prospects take the following step of their improvement. It’s actually doable that many will, but it surely’s not assured. Levis and Richardson are toolsy passers with first-round traits, however they each nonetheless must exit and show it over the length of a season. We’ll see who else emerges over the following 10 months.

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Mel Kiper Jr. breaks down Alabama quarterback Bryce Younger’s expertise and why he has him as the highest quarterback on the board for the 2023 draft.

At this level within the course of, what NFL crew most must draft a QB to construct round?

Seattle Seahawks. They’re content material with a QB competitors between Drew Lock and Geno Smith for 2022, but it surely’s clear the crew does not have a long-term resolution beneath heart. And contemplating Seattle continues to be within the early phases of a rebuild, it is arduous to think about it not being in place to deal with quarterback in April. Normal supervisor John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll seem absolutely invested in seeing how this season goes with the present group after which wanting on the 2023 class if they don’t seem to be glad.

What’s a sleeper crew to look at within the QB dialog for April?

Philadelphia Eagles. Jalen Hurts is the unquestioned starter in 2022, however a number of this season hinges on his continued improvement as a passer. GM Howie Roseman gave the franchise loads of flexibility after a pre-draft commerce with the New Orleans Saints supplied Philadelphia with an additional first-round choose in 2023, and he is not one to be shy when pursuing a signal-caller. If Hurts is stagnant this fall, search for the Eagles to be on the heart of the race for a QB subsequent spring.

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