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2023 NFL Draft Watch List: Tiering the Best College Quarterbacks

Best College Quarterbacks

The conclusion of the 2022 NFL draft means that teams and fans alike can start looking forward to next year’s crop of players. It is way too early to have conclusive opinions on where each player will rank due to a full season of games and the player development ahead of us. This tier ranking previews how these players are viewed going into the season against the rest of their position group. These tiers are subject to change but give a quick outlook on the expectations heading into the season. Note that order of players within the tiers is arbitrary, and one player listed over another in each tier does not mean that we’ve ranked them higher.

​​Tier 1: The Top Two Talents

C.J. Stroud | Ohio State

Bryce Young | Alabama

Tier 1 quarterbacks are considered to be the cream of the crop for this year’s QB class. These players have multiple physical and mental traits that give them the highest possibility of succeeding at the professional level. The combination of arm talent, athleticism and mental processing are evident in these two which put them in the first tier for this ranking. These are the types of players a quarterback needy team would draft towards the top of the first round.

Tier 2: Fighting for the 3rd Spot

Jaren Hall | BYU

Will Levis | Kentucky

Hendon Hooker | Tennessee

Jake Haener | Fresno State

Tanner McKee | Stanford

Tier 2 recognizes the quarterbacks that have some intangibles that put them in the first- or second-day conversation of the draft. Players such as Hendon Hooker, Tanner McKee and Will Levis are considered to have some of the best physical tools and arms in next year’s draft. Their stature gives them more vision of the field and longer tools to whip the ball around. Others in this tier, such as Jake Haener and Jaren Hall, are considered to be smaller in stature standing around 6-foot-1 but have shown promising accuracy and decision making. This tier describes the players that may not have every box checked but showed upside in becoming starters at the next level.

Tier 3: Potential Draft Picks

DJ Uiagalelei | Clemson

Phil Jurkovec | Boston College

Devin Leary | NC State

Tyler Van Dyke | Miami (FL)

Grayson McCall | Coastal Carolina

Spencer Rattler | South Carolina

Kedon Slovis | Pittsburgh

Sam Hartman | Wake Forest

Tier 3 is composed of players who have draftable traits but have either performed below expectations during their college career or more to prove. Some players such as Tyler Van Dyke, Spencer Rattler, or DJ Uiagalelei have big arms and decent production but are either lacking high-end traits or the consistent winning edge against tough competition. Others, such as Sam Hartman and Grayson McCall, are good college quarterbacks but are considered to be deficient in the high-end physical traits. Phil Jurkovec’s 2021 season was cut short by a hand injury so he will need to show what he is made of this year. Each of these players have a chip on their shoulder to prove they can handle the next level with their skill sets.

Tier 4: Next Year’s Sleepers

Cameron Ward | Washington State

Anthony Richardson | Florida

Tier 4 quarterbacks have special talents that need to be proven at the highest level and display they can compete at a draftable caliber. Their play styles and experiences can make it difficult to transition to the professional level. These sleepers could develop into potential draft picks if they come out in 2022 showing strides in their development. Anthony Richardson is a great example because so far has been largely productive on the ground where he can break plays with his athleticism and speed. His passing ability and decision making will need to improve in order to raise his grade. Cameron Ward transferred to Washington State from Incarnate Word after a great freshman year. Playing at a higher level of competition than the FCS will help his draft consideration in the following years.

Read: Mike Tannenbaum Tiers the Starting Quarterbacks in the NFL