NFL Draft News & Analysis

2023 NFL Draft Big Board: Ranking the top five quarterbacks

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) looks to pass the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first quarter at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The PFF draft board was due for a refresh at the midway point of the 2022 college football season.

Quarterback-needy teams, you’re in luck: This is one heck of a quarterback class, with five signal-callers making the top 50. It’s also a strong class at edge defender, running back, defensive tackle, cornerback and tight end.

Here are the top five quarterbacks in this year's draft class.

 

1. Bryce Young, Alabam

Big board rank: 1

Even without the two top-50 picks he had at receiver a season ago, Young is still the second-highest-graded passer in the Power Five (90.1).

He’s come up big in crunch time on multiple occasions and shown the “it” factor it takes to succeed in the NFL. The scary thing is that his stats should look even better, but he’s suffered a 8.1% drop rate from his receivers this year. His size could scare teams off in a talented quarterback class, but it’s about the only knock on his game.

2. Will Levis, Kentucky

Big board rank: 3

Levis has tools for days. Quick release, howitzer arm, legit rushing ability — Levis has it all. And unlike most quarterbacks billed for their tools at the collegiate level, Levis isn’t far off from being able to operate an NFL offense because he’s been doing it the last two years under current (Liam Coen) and former (Rich Scangarello) NFL offensive coordinators.

3. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

Big board rank: 4

Stroud will get the “Ohio State quarterback” knock, given the success of his predecessors, but he operates the position differently than Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields did. He’s a pure pocket passer who’s been tremendous at avoiding sacks over his career, with only an 12.7% pressure-to-sack conversion rate.

4. Tanner McKee, Stanford

Big board rank: 17

While McKee is technically a redshirt sophomore, he was in the same recruiting class as Trevor Lawrence before taking a two-year LDS mission after high school. Between middling receiver talent, a dated scheme and a porous offensive line, he’s had to overcome a fairly rough situation for the Cardinal the past two seasons. Still, he’s shown growth from 2021 to 2022, as he’s earned a 75.8 passing grade this season.

5. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee 

Big board rank: 49

Hooker has skyrocketed up draft boards with his performance this season. Once known more for his rushing ability, Hooker has made leaps and bounds as a passer since transferring from Tennessee. He’s seen his grade improve every year as a passer all the way up to 85.8 this season. His playmaking ability and downfield accuracy will draw attention, even if he is on the older side.

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