Quarterbacks highlight this year’s class in contrast to 2022’s comparatively weak selection at the QB position. Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud lead the pack as the projected number 1 and number 2 picks respectively, assuming the Chicago Bears trade down in the draft for more depth. Both Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Kentucky’s Will Levis have strong cases as first round picks as well.
Young, who is widely considered the best quarterback in his class, possesses ample strength in the one capacity Stroud struggles most: chaos. Young has proven a capable playmaker who can find success when structure breaks down. However, he is also capable of succeeding in a structured environment, making him an ideal quarterback for teams looking to find a player that can be dropped into an NFL offense. Young’s physical attributes struggle in comparison to other quarterbacks however. Drawing comparisons to the 2019 first overall pick and rookie of the year, Kyler Murray, Young measured in at the combine at only 5 ’10, 204 pounds, well below the ideal size for an NFL quarterback.
Stroud is arguably the most complete quarterback, having competed in a difficult division and leading the third best offense in college football in 2022. Stroud measured in at 6 ‘3 2018 pounds, an ideal size for an NFL quarterback. He has proven in college to be a strong passer with ability to accurately and efficiently get through his progressions but has issues committing to tight window deep throws and short range accuracy. Stroud’s primary flaw is his tendency to panic under pressure.
Kentucky’s Will Levis fits the prototypical NFL Quarterback build at 6’3, 232 pounds. Levis is known to have an extremely strong arm and has played in a Shannahan McVay style offense for the past 2 years. Throwing 10 interceptions to only 19 touchdowns and 2300 yards in 2020 and possessing a tendency towards taking unnecessary hits, Levis’ lack of production in college will be a major factor limiting how high he rises on teams draft boards.
Anthony Richardson is by far the most polarizing prospect in this year’s draft. Richardson’s measurables are off the charts, measuring in at 6 ‘4, 244 pounds with a 4.43 40 yard dash, 40.5 inch vertical jump and 10”9’ broad jump, a combine record for NFL quarterbacks. He also recorded a throwing speed of 61 miles per hour which Richardson posted a relative athletic score (RAS) of 10.00 out of 10. RAS is a method of judging a players athletic ability and is used as one type of player evaluation for the draft. Further echoing comparisons to 2016 MVP Cam Newton, Richardson is one of 2 quarterbacks in combine history to garner a 10 RAS score; the other: Cam Newton. However, despite otherworldly measurables, AR12 only threw for 2549 yards and 17 touchdowns to 9 interceptions with a completion percentage of 53.8. He struggled with anticipation and accuracy issues in his 12 starts in 2022 and will need to develop improved mechanics to succeed at a pro level.