Summer scouting season is underway and it kicks off with the 2023 quarterback class. Here is my 2023 NFL draft quarterbacks watch list.
Top 5 2023 NFL draft quarterbacks watch list
Alabama’s Bryce Young is coming off a Heisman season and is looking to build off that, as he’s regarded as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation at making throws out of the pocket and out of structure.
Although, his draft stock may be hurt by his slight frame. Young looks more like a slot receiver compared to what a franchise quarterback is billed at.
Young led the Crimson Tide to a win in the SEC Championship game, becoming the only quarterback to beat the vaunted Georgia defense last season. In that game he was 26 of 44 passes for 421 yards and three touchdowns.
While the Crimson Tide ended up losing in the title game in the rematch against Georgia, Young showed throughout the season that he could play the position at a high level.
In the play above you see Young’s quick feet moving him to allow him a clean pocket. He throws a rope in-between two defenders outside the hash marks.
His anticipation and touch at this level makes him one of the top quarterbacks in the nation and number one in this 2023 NFL draft quarterbacks watch list.
Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud is one of the most pro-ready quarterbacks in this class. He completed 72% of his passes in 2022. Stroud will look to build off what he did in the Rose Bowl game against Utah.
Stroud is accurate, aggressive, willing to attack the middle of the field, and reads the field extremely well as a passer.
Pre-snap, Utah shows single-high coverage in the defensive backfield. However, the post-snap reality does not match the pre-snap expectations. The Utes defense converts into a two-deep shell.
Stroud, after opening to the left side of the field, reads the rotation and throws to the post route to Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
He’s a smart signal-caller who is a natural leader with great instincts and the ability to quickly cycle through his reads. Which makes him the second quarterback on my 2023 quarterback watch list.
Tyler Van Dyke
There is excitement in the area around the Miami Hurricanes this season, mainly in part to new head coach Mario Cristobal. Tyler Van Dyke’s play last season is another big reason for that excitement.
In 2021, as a sophomore, he played in 10 games as he passed for 2918 yards on 326 attempts with a completion percentage of 62 for an average of 9.0 yards per pass, with 25 TDs. He also took 23 sacks while putting up a QB rating of 108.9. After the first year as starting quarterback, he earned ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
This touchdown early in that contest is a good example of how well Van Dyke sees the field and throws with anticipation. He hits the post route for a touchdown on a switch concept, letting the ball fly as the receiver gets into his break.
Van Dyke is my third ranked prospect in this 2023 quarterback watchlist because of his processing skills. Also, he uses good technique, squaring his shoulders to the target and stepping into his throws
Kentucky’s Will Levis came from nowhere last year and is now looked at as a legitimate first-round talent. He has great physical gifts as well as good accuracy and a powerful, quick release. Levis also possesses a natural feel for the game
Levis offers a nice blend of size, arm strength, and toughness. In the pocket, he has a good feel to climb and avoid pressure — and also possesses enough athleticism to extend plays with his legs.
If he can work on ball placement issues, and lower-body inconsistencies with his mechanics, he’ll live up to the hype.
The Wildcat product has an elite quick-release coupled with fast processing skills which makes him an ideal for a condensed formation offense, similar to the likes of the Rams.
In his first year starting at Stanford, Tanner McKee showcased a handful of NFL traits. He has elite size for the position — standing 6’6″ and weighing 230lbs — and has the arm strength to match.
The Cardinals product’s accuracy is decent, but his ball placement is one of his best traits overall. McKee shows excellent accuracy on short timing routes to backs and receivers. He frequently places the ball in front of the receiver to lead them to potential yardage after the catch.
This completion against Oregon highlights two of his strengths: Aggression and ball placement. McKee is not afraid of challenging small throwing windows, and has no fear throwing over the middle. Couple that with accuracy, and McKee can have a solid foundation for the NFL.
He’s an intriguing pro prospect due to his obvious tangibles. McKee looks the part, possessing prototypical drop-back passer qualities, is a quick decision-maker, and has decent accuracy. He can easily transition into a pro-style offense which makes him the fifth prospect on this watch list.
2023 NFL Draft Quarterbacks Honorable Mentions:
Phil Jurkovec-Boston College, Spencer Rattler– South Carolina, Hendon Hooker-Tennessee, Anthony Richardson-Florida, Jake Haener-Fresno State.