NFL Draft News & Analysis

2023 NFL Draft: Quarterback prospect superlatives

Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Will Levis (7) holds up the Governor’s Cup trophy after winning the game against the Louisville Cardinals at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

• Strongest arm: Kentucky's Will Levis takes the superlative in a tight battle with Florida's Anthony Richardson.

• Best pocket presence: Among other superlatives, Alabama's Bryce Young boasts a calm but calculated demeanor in the pocket while working through his progressions.

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In case you haven’t heard, the 2023 NFL Draft features a pretty darn good quarterback class. It looks like we could get four top-10 picks at the position, so it should as no surprise that it’s only those four who took home a superlative. 


Strongest Arm: Will Levis, Kentucky

Levis and Florida's Anthony Richardson are neck and neck for pure velocity in the draft class. I give Levis the edge, however, because of his ultra-tight throwing motion. When you’re attacking tight windows, pairing a cannon with a quick release is precisely what you want. 

Best Deep Ball: C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

It was hard to look anywhere else for this superlative. Stroud led all quarterbacks in completions (63) and adjusted completion percentage (55.3%) on deep passes over the past two seasons. Even at the combine, Stroud’s deep ball shined. 


Best Pocket Presence: Bryce Young, Alabama

He may be small, but he’s still one tough athlete. Young is so good at finding space in the pocket to work through his progressions. He’s willing to take a shot while delivering a strike when he needs to but will also dump it when nothing is there. Young converted only 12.5% of his pressures into sacks last season. 


Best Decision Maker: Bryce Young, Alabama

Young’s decision-making not only shines in his ability to create big plays but also in his ability to take care of the football. He posted a 2.0% turnover-worthy play rate in each of the past two seasons. That was the second-best figure in college football over that span. Of course, Young’s decision-making also shines through in his 93.0 passing grade over the past two seasons — tops in the draft class.


Most Accurate: Too Close to Call

Over the past two seasons, C.J. Stroud has thrown the highest rate of passes charted as accurate (68.0%) while Bryce Young had the fewest rate of passes charted uncatchable (16.0%). Watching them throw for throw on tape, it’s near impossible to make a decision. Both should be above average by NFL standards early on in their careers. You be the judge:


Best Runner: Anthony Richardson, Florida

This one bore out both on tape and at the combine. Richardson went for 713 yards at 7.3 a pop and nine scores on the ground last season for the Gators. He also broke the combine record for quarterbacks with a 40.5-inch vertical at a whopping 244 pounds. Richardson will be a Tier 1 rushing threat at the quarterback position in Year 1. 


Best Outside of Structure: Bryce Young, Alabama

This one was the biggest no-brainer on the list. Young is as good as you’ll ever see from a college prospect in this regard. He led all quarterbacks over the past two seasons with 11 passing touchdowns and seven big-time throws on out-of-structure plays.

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