2023 NFL Draft: Quarterbacks a mystery after Stroud, Young

Stanford Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee (18). Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Stanford Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee (18). Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

Everyone is hyping up next year’s QB class, but what do we really know about the 2023 NFL Draft quarterbacks outside of Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud?

Many arguments have been made during the 2022 offseason that teams looking to draft a quarterback should hold off until the 2023 NFL Draft. I’ve said this myself.

I was not a big fan of the 2022 quarterback class. I didn’t have a single QB with higher than a second-round grade, and none of the quarterbacks this year cracked the top-40 overall players on my final big board.

Though we still need to see a larger sample from Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud, it doesn’t take an NFL Draft expert to tell you that they are going to be better prospects than any QB that entered the 2022 draft. However, outside of those two signal-callers, the rest of the quarterback group is a mystery.

There is certainly no consensus QB3 at the moment in next year’s class. Though there are some players with upside, none of them have yet to put it all together, and many have been quite underwhelming from a statistic standpoint.

Recently, NFL Draft expert Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus released his top-5 quarterback rankings for the 2023 NFL Draft. He had Stanford’s Tanner McKee as the best QB prospect outside of Stoud and Young. However, there’s not much to go off here.

QB3 in the 2023 NFL Draft is far from consensus

McKee has appeared in just 11 career games in his first two seasons at Stanford. Last year in 10 contests McKee recorded just 2,327 passing yards for 15 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. His unimpressive numbers and below-average 7.3 adjusted yards per attempt aren’t good reasons to get excited.

Renner’s fourth QB, Will Levis posted similarly mediocre numbers during his first season as a starting quarterback. After transferring from Penn State, Levis led Kentucky for 13 games in 2021, but his 7.7 adjusted yards per attempt and 2/1 TD to INT ratio were nothing to write home about.

Anthony Richardson — Renner’s fifth-ranked QB in the 2023 draft class — might have the best physical tools of the group, but 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in 7 games are very underwhelming. Richardson also had a completion percentage below 60.0 and a dismal adjusted yards per attempt of just 6.6.

Some of the other QB prospects said to be in contention to be the third quarterback off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft include Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke, Clemson’s D.J. Uiagalelei, North Carolina State’s Devin Leary, Louisville’s Malik Cunningham, and Boston College’s Phil Jurkovec.

This doesn’t even include Spencer Rattler — a former projected top-10 pick who was forced to transfer from Oklahoma to South Carolina.

Next. Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson become top picks in 2018 NFL re-draft. dark

The good news for QB-needy teams is that it’s possible that a few of these players have breakout campaigns in 2022. As of right now, however, it’s impossible to predict the order of the quarterbacks outside of Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud next year and teams looking for a QB may be willing to trade into the top two to make sure they are getting a franchise quarterback.