theScore's prospect rankings series takes a position-by-position look at the top players available in the 2023 NFL Draft.
QB | RB | WR | TE | OL
EDGE | DL | LB | CB | S
Young's career at Alabama was outstanding. He has an impeccable feel for the game as the point guard of his offense, terrorizing opponents both within structure and when a play breaks down. His ability to create off-script while maintaining masterful field vision is a rare trait that simply can't be taught. Young also demonstrates pinpoint accuracy to all levels of the field from the pocket, and more than enough arm talent to execute any throw required of him in an NFL offense. His significant lack of size, which makes him an all-time outlier at the quarterback position, is the only real concern about his game. Fair or not, it creates a gigantic range of outcomes for his career. Young had no issues finding windows and throwing over the middle of the field - an area of struggle for other small quarterbacks - but taking punishment from NFL defenders at his size is a legitimate concern. We're not going to bet against him, though. The tape is too good.
Stroud has everything you could possibly want from a pocket passer. The arm talent is there, as is the accuracy and ball placement to all levels of the field - young quarterbacks with his level of understanding of leverage aren't too common. He also earns more opportunities to feature those abilities by manipulating the pocket, resetting, and attacking downfield. The primary concern about Stroud's game has long been about his ability to create outside of structure, but he finally broke through in that regard with a spectacular performance against Georgia's vaunted defense in the College Football Playoff. He's a future Pro Bowler if that's the player we get consistently at the NFL level.
Richardson will largely be advertised as an athletic project who needs time to develop at the next level, and we'll call that a half-truth. There's certainly work to be done, but that's the case with almost any quarterback prospect. The notion that Richardson's a massive developmental undertaking who should spend at least a year sitting behind a veteran is greatly exaggerated. A deeper look at his game reveals a player who is quietly much more refined than one would expect despite his limited experience. There are accuracy lapses, but he's shown plenty of touch and good ball placement when everything is right with his lower half. Cleaning up his feet and getting him some much-needed live reps could be all he needs to kickstart a rise to stardom. Richardson's rare skill set gives him a ceiling in the mold of the elite athlete quarterbacks who are dominating today's NFL, and he's exactly the type of player teams should be lining up to draft with the first few picks.
Levis is your classic lottery-ticket QB prospect. Watch tape and you'll find plenty of throws that'll have you ready to buy in. But there are also a number of plays that'll make you cringe. Your level of open-mindedness and willingness to let the process play out will go a long way in determining whether or not you can stomach Levis as an NFL prospect. But consider this: Josh Allen was drafted behind Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold because, as it turns out, there was too much focus on his faults. Levis' shortcomings at this stage aren't unlike those of Allen in 2018 - accuracy is hit or miss, he makes some reckless decisions, and he often invites pressure in the pocket. He also has many of the rare physical traits that allow Allen to do things that other quarterbacks can't. None of this is to say Levis is going to be Allen, or anything close. But if those unlearnable physical traits give him a chance, however small it may be, you can see why teams would be willing to take a swing.
Hooker's production at Tennessee was off the charts. Throwing for 58 touchdowns and only five interceptions in two years is virtually unheard of. Josh Heupel's offense, which masterfully created space for its playmakers, deserves plenty of the credit for that statistical output. Hooker, for his part, has an intriguing skill set. He's a technically sound passer who works extremely well within the structure of his concepts, and he's remarkably calm in the pocket - sometimes even to a fault. There's also an athletic element to his game; he's an effective ball carrier on scrambles and designed runs. But his accuracy and ball placement are more inconsistent than his numbers suggest, and there aren't a lot of examples of him working through multiple progressions from the pocket. He may need some significant development time after playing in an offensive system that is like nothing we will ever see in the NFL. Add in his age (25), along with the possibility his rookie season is a write-off due to a torn ACL suffered in November, and there's plenty of risk to consider.
Nobody will fault you for hesitating to buy in on another BYU quarterback so soon after The Zach Wilson Experience. The Cougars still make life easy on their signal-callers with a great offensive line - something that helped mask Wilson's shortcomings in college - but Hall is different player. Notably, he demonstrates a level of poise and decision-making that evaded his predecessor in Provo. Hall doesn't have nearly as much arm talent as Wilson, and his size raises reasonable questions about his NFL ceiling. He's also already 25 years old. But there's still plenty to like about his game, including some impressive ball placement, and the ability to make plays with his legs. Hall is our pick for this year's under-the-radar quarterback who could surprise at the next level.
Tune should be getting more attention among mid-round QB prospects in this draft. He doesn't have a great arm, but it's certainly good enough to thrive at the short and intermediate levels of the field - especially with his accuracy and ball placement. Tune is also a steady presence in the pocket, demonstrating the ability to buy time with subtle movements and then resetting to make a throw. There's starter potential in his future if he can become a little more decisive with his post-snap decisions and address his tendency to lose sight of underneath zone defenders.
Thompson-Robinson is an interesting flyer. He'll have to clean up his base if he's ever going to deliver the football downfield consistently, and he has a tendency to get victimized by underneath defenders in coverage. In general, his decision-making when a play breaks down has to improve significantly. But Thompson-Robinson's arm talent is clear, and he flashes accuracy at the lower levels of the field. There's reason to believe a coaching staff could harness his raw ability as a passer, while also making use of his athleticism as a runner, with the necessary development time.
McKee is an old-school prototype at quarterback: big body, big arm. He's got the frame evaluators have long sought under center, and the arm strength to rip throws into a tight window. He doesn't pair that with the necessary accuracy and touch just yet, but that's something that can perhaps still be developed, given he's one of the younger mid-late round QB options in this draft. McKee's ceiling will be limited due to the fact he offers next to nothing in terms of mobility. He'll have to master the art of dealing with pressure and extending plays within the pocket to be a capable starter, and there's plenty of development required in that regard.
Bennett wasn't just along for the ride as Georgia steamrolled the competition en route to consecutive national titles. And while size, arm talent, and some decision-making inconsistencies will likely hold him back from reaching similar heights in the NFL, he should be able to carve out a nice career for himself as a backup. Bennett works the quick game effectively, throws receivers open with anticipation, and has the athleticism to get outside the pocket and make plays on the run. You could do a whole lot worse with your long-term backup QB, even if he'll turn 26 during his rookie season.
Other notable prospects
Aidan O'Connell, Purdue
Jake Haener, Fresno State
Max Duggan, TCU
Tyson Bagent, Shepherd
Malik Cunningham, Louisville