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Fantasy Football: How 2023 NFL Draft's quarterback class stacks up using key stable metrics

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) warms up before the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Young‘s and C.J. Stroud‘s dominance on display: The odds-on favorites to go first overall in this year’s draft back up the hype with elite numbers across the board.

• Red flags for Florida’s Anthony Richardson are evident: While Richardson has potential, evaluators' concerns will only be confirmed when comparing his stable metrics to the rest of this year’s rookie class.

• Learn more about this rookie class by checking out the other positions ranked so far: We evaluated running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, edge defenders and interior defensive linemen based on their stable metrics.

Estimated Reading Time: 10 mins

NFL draft season is well underway, and there are plenty of fantasy football general managers who are building their rookie draft boards for dynasty purposes. Utilizing all information available is going to be key in building those draft boards, and looking at how each position stacks up against one another from an analytics standpoint is just one of the many tools to consider during the evaluation process. This series focuses purely on the key stable metrics that translate more often than not from college to the NFL.

A few notes about how this series will work:

  • Rankings are based entirely on how these players performed in PFF’s stable metrics over the past two seasons.
  • Athletic ability and size are not taken into account for this process. Again, this is just one of many evaluation tools to consider.
  • This list includes all 14 quarterbacks from Mike Renner’s draft board but does not provide any weight to projected draft capital or the ranking.

Top QBs in PFF passing grade from a clean pocket since 2021

Player Clean-Pocket Passing Grade Clean-Pocket Dropbacks
Bryce Young, Alabama 95.3 710
C.J. Stroud, Ohio State 94.3 704
Clayton Tune, Houston 93.2 791
Jake Haener, Fresno State 92.5 705
Jaren Hall, BYU 91.9 588
Stetson Bennett, Georgia 91.7 648
Hendon Hooker, Tennessee 91.3 622
Max Duggan, TCU 90.2 528
Aidan O’Connell, Purdue 89.0 806
Tanner McKee, Stanford 87.3 653
Will Levis, Kentucky 86.2 519
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA 85.0 578
Anthony Richardson, Florida 84.6 294
Malik Cunningham, Louisville 81.7 489

Earning high marks from a clean pocket speaks a lot to a quarterback’s ability to make the right decisions in ideal situations and maximize opportunity while the offensive line is doing its job. While out-of-structure plays can be exciting, leading to highlight-reel plays, there’s often a lot of “noise” involved in those plays, including good or bad luck that factors in. The ability to perform within structure has a higher rate of translating to the NFL from college, and from week to week or year to year.

Bryce Young earns his superlative as the best decision-maker in this year’s class, posting a 6.6% big-time throw rate (tied for first) and just a 0.9% turnover-worthy play rate (second) on more than 700 clean dropbacks. Young also recorded the highest adjusted completion rate from a clean pocket (80.8%) in this class.

C.J. Stroud was not far behind Young in passing grade from a clean pocket, although he did have a higher turnover-worthy-play rate (2.1%). However, Stroud’s production from a clean pocket outpaced the rest of the class. He led the group in passing yards (6,904), touchdowns (74) and yards per attempt (10.4).


Top QBs in PFF passing grade on straight dropbacks since 2021

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