Big Boards Taking Shape
The 2023 NFL Draft is quickly approaching, with draft night on April 27. The combine and pro days are behind us, meaning prospect rankings are rounding into form. Plus, team needs are clear with free agency winding down. It’s time to start making NFL picks for the draft.
Let’s start with the top quarterbacks in the 2023 class. A handful of signal-callers have separated themselves after excellent pro days and combines. There are several names to watch that could sneak up draft boards too. These are great options in online NFL betting.
1. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
Quarterback C.J. Stroud has been perhaps the biggest winner in NFL expert picks. He put on a clinic in throwing sessions at the combine and at Ohio State’s pro day. There’s one trait that separates Stroud from the rest – intentional ball placement.
Stroud is fantastic at layered throws. He can lace a bullet in between defenders, or float a beauty over zone coverages. Oftentimes, it looks like Stroud walked up to his target and handed him the ball. That’s how good the Ohio State product’s accuracy is. After the Carolina Panthers traded for the No. 1 pick, Stroud jumped to the NFL odds’ favorite to be selected first (-150).
2. Bryce Young, Alabama
Don’t sleep on Alabama’s Bryce Young. The top quarterbacks of the 2023 class are 1A and 1B. Young has traits that Stroud does not, mainly his mobility. The Alabama product is exceptional at making unscripted plays. Playmaking is something every franchise is chasing, especially since Patrick Mahomes took the league by storm. Young is also capable of making any throw with great accuracy. However, his ability to make layered throws is a notch below Stroud’s. Young is a close second to be the first player selected (+110).
3. Anthony Richardson, Florida
Anthony Richardson has been one of the hottest names since the combine. Richardson’s elite athleticism shined as his 40½ inch vertical jump was the highest ever for a QB. Plus, he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at 6-foot-4, 244 pounds. Richardson has fantastic measurables that no other quarterback prospect can replicate. He even showed off his cannon for an arm by hitting the ceiling of Florida’s facility on his pro day. According to NFL lines, Richardson is the favorite to be selected at third overall (-145).
Video: Florida QB Anthony Richardson hits the roof of the facility during his Pro Day. pic.twitter.com/fGybAY2hdj
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 30, 2023
4. Will Levis, Kentucky
This is where we could see a gap between quarterback prospects. Stroud, Young and Richardson could easily be the first three players off of the board. At one point, Will Levis was in the conversation to be the first QB selected. However, he is sliding. Levis is still expected to be a first-round pick, but he could slide outside of the top 10. He is a raw prospect with a large frame and great intangibles, similar to Richardson. Most NFL predictions expect Richardson to be selected before Levis (-300).
5. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
Hendon Hooker is the sneaky QB prospect to watch. Over the last week, reports emerged that some teams have Hooker as the third-best quarterback available, over Richardson and Levis. He is generating some first-round buzz after several visits, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions. Hooker looks the part on tape, with great mobility and accuracy. His deep ball is about as good as it gets. Will Hooker crack the first round?
6. Tanner McKee, Stanford
This is where we get into second-day prospects. Quarterback Tanner McKee is your typical NFL prospect. He stands at 6-foot-6 and is a traditional pocket passer with great arm talent. However, McKee was inconsistent at Stanford with shaky mechanics. He is a project prospect, but his upside should yield a second-day selection.
7. Jake Haener, Fresno State
Quarterback Jake Haener could end up being the best value. Some tabbed Haener as a sleeper throughout the 2022-23 college football season thanks to his playmaking and arm talent. After winning the MVP Award in the Senior Bowl, the hype increased. Haener flashed high-level accuracy and playmaking in college. However, he lacked consistency. If you are looking for the next Brock Purdy, Haener could be it.
Jake Haener is unbelievable
— Sidelines – FresnoState (@SSN_FresnoState) December 17, 2022
8. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
Dorian Thompson-Robinson is one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the class. He posted a 4.56 40-yard dash time in the combine. There are no questions about his traits. Thompson-Robinson has excellent mobility with adequate arm strength. However, inconsistent play and poor decision-making are concerns.
9. Jaren Hall, BYU
Quarterback Jaren Hall was another winner in the Senior Bowl. He has drawn some comparisons to Russell Wilson. He has a small frame at six-foot tall, but Hall is an excellent playmaker with good touch. His arm strength is the main concern. Hall could still be a great value in the later rounds.
10. Aidan O’Connell, Purdue
While Aidan O’Connell lacks some traits, it’s difficult to overlook his production in college. O’Connell took over many games thanks to exceptional poise and accuracy. He lacks athleticism and arm strength, but O’Connell’s anticipation on throws gives him a shot at the next level.
Houston’s Clayton Tune is another name drawing some praise. Also, many still wonder where Georgia’s Stetson Bennett will be selected. Per NFL betting odds, the sixth round is the most likely spot (+250).
We have plenty of NFL Draft stories on deck that will prepare you for draft night. Next, we will break down the top running backs of the 2023 class.