NFL Draft

Top 10 quarterbacks of the 2023 NFL Draft:

We have arrived at the end of our positional draft rankings for this year and of course we finish up with the most-discussed group – the quarterbacks. I like to always conclude this series with the signal-callers, because with all the other positions, I can tick boxes and rank them in a more straight-forward manner, while this is the toughest spot to evaluate. So many things have to go right in their development and more than anywhere else, landing spot is a major factor. I try to weigh physical talent, mental fortitude, the knack for being a play-maker and the poise these guys play with, in accordance to ever-changing demands for the position.

To me there’s a big three, that I can see in any order depending on who you ask, and all are worthy of being top-ten picks. Then there’s one prospect more I believe belongs in the first round, before we have a major drop-off to three names I have in the third- to early fourth-round range. The final three names I believe have the potential to develop into sport-starters, but I personally wouldn’t be comfortable with ahead of day three. Beyond that point, there are a few guys I think could turn themselves into quality backups, along a couple of names sprinkled in that have some starter tools, but are far from a point where they can be real-time contributors at the pro level.

Here is my final top ten for 2023:

Bryce Young


1. Bryce Young, Alabama

5’10”, 195 pounds; JR


The number one quarterback in the country in 2020, Young spent his first year at Alabama backing up Mac Jones. He came out in his first game as a starter the following season and was brilliant immediately against Miami in the 2021 opener, setting Alabama school records for passing yards (344) and touchdowns (four) for a debut showing, in just the first 35 minutes. Leading the Crimson Tide to an amazing overtime comeback win over Auburn and putting together a run at a national championship late, he was named the 2021 Heisman trophy winner and a first-team All-American selection. He completed 66.9% of his passes for nearly 4900 yards and 47 touchdowns, compared to seven INTs. This past season, Alabama didn’t quite have the same team success and Young’s numbers were slightly lower, but he still had tremendous moments and played extremely well throughout the year, with basically the same yards per attempt number (8.9 vs. 8.8), accounting for 36 total touchdowns and only five picks.


+ Easy in his drops, offers a rapid release and high-level accuracy to all levels of the field – That’s what made him such a great fit for Alabama’s RPO-heavy offensive system

+ Displays the flexibility to change up the angles of his arm and put a variety of paces or trajectories on the ball

+ So crisp with his ball-handling, executing fake handoffs, pulling the ball on boots, working in slight-of-hand stuff, etc.

+ Once he gets to the top of his drop and sees his receiver hit the landmark, Young can get the ball out so quickly; And even if his feet are still transitioning as he has to come off somebody late, he can put it to the right spot

+ Delivers some of the most beautiful teardrop throws down the sideline, often times just beyond the outstretched arms of a trailing defender

+ Consistently leads his targets to green grass with his ball-placement and sets up YAC opportunities

+ Unlike some other small quarterbacks we’ve seen in the league like Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray, who avoid that area of the field, his throwing over the middle of the field is phenomenal, because of how high a level his anticipation and ball-placement are

+ Actively slows down his receivers to take advantage of high-low stretches and force them to stop in order to not lead them towards traffic


+ Quickly showed a ton of command, getting the ball out rapidly or buying extra time and making good decisions late

+ A lot of times Young knew pre-snap where he wanted to go on downfield routes and already slid that way without tipping off safeties with his eyes, where you see how easy he moves laterally to set up his base

+ Shows an understanding for leverage advantages and routinely hits guys versus man, as they create that little bit of natural separation out of condensed sets

+ Processes information at a high level, to understand where the voided space in zone-coverage is, even if he has to turn his head for play-fakes initially or just never actually looks that way, but due to the movement of a key defender flashing by his eyes, he knows he should hit that window

+ He’s so good on those levels-oriented concepts, where he has to read the depth of second-level defenders and the stretches in those shallow zones

+ Routinely comes back to hooks over the middle of the field or even backside curls, after looking downfield initially, as well as have the stripe of his helmet facing North until the last moment, when he knows he has the back open for the checkdown

+ His toughness to stand in and deliver ropes over the middle of the field, whilst knowing somebody is about to charge into him full-force, is unquestioned

+ Was the highest-graded quarterback in the country by PFF each of the last two years (92.0 and 91.3), with a big-time throw rate (6.0%) three times as high as his turnover-worthy play rate (2.1%), while his average depth of target went up by a full yard in 2022 (9.0 to 10.0)


+ Just has an uncanny calmness, in the way he hangs back in the pocket, even if there’s chaos around him and he has to make those subtle movements, whether fluid or abrupt, showing a very strong core to quickly get back into a throw-ready position

+ Very elusive with the way he can buy time inside the pocket and manipulate rush angles of multiple pressure points, but also when he takes off as a runner – The best way to describe him in that regard is “slippery”

+ Has that innate sense for where all 21 other players are and what he “can get away with”, regularly hitting receivers on secondary and tertiary routes after having drifted outside the pocket – It looks like he’s playing a first-person game from a third-person perspective

+ Shows that play-making ability, when he draws in a linebacker to open up one his guys behind it or just flip it out to somebody late, even as he’s being dragged down

+ Frequently makes off-platform throws outside the pocket without any issues – Delivered a ball the numbers to his tight-end Jaleel Billingsley in the 2021 SEC Championship game, where he literally had his legs taken out from underneath him and got it there whilst he was airborne

+ However, unless he actually points out where receivers are supposed to go, he’s extremely disciplined with always keeping those two hands on the football, without taking away from his movement skills

+ Recorded an unheard of 67.5 PFF passing grade under pressure in 2022 and his elusiveness is illustrated by a 12.5% pressure-to-sack conversion rate

+ His time to throw rate went up by 0.23 seconds this past season, up to 3.04 seconds, which was the 20th-highest among FBS quarterbacks, speaking to a lesser group of pass-catchers and having to create individually


– While he obviously weighed in at 204 pounds at the combine, he probably plays in the 190-pound range and that’s what it looks like when you look at how easily he’s taken down behind the line

– Doesn’t have a Howitzer of an arm necessarily, where he can’t hit those deep comebacks from the opposite hash on a rope and consistently drive the ball if there’s no space to step into throws

– Even though he did win plenty from within the pocket, you have to question how well that out-of-structure playmaking will translate to the next level, if the speed of the NFL even allows him to get out of traffic as regularly and what happens when teams push the pocket from all sides, where there aren’t any lanes for him escape

– You see moments where he doesn’t initiate/lead the motion with the back-hip and deep balls die on him because of it


The discussion about Bryce’s lack of size obviously is an important one to be had in NFL buildings, but at this point I’m kind of sick of having to only hear that be mentioned in the discussion around him. Durability is the one area that might really worry people with him, but unless you understand how to protect yourself, it doesn’t matter how you’re put together. Young will have to re-wire a little bit how aggressive he can be with targeting his receivers off-schedule and when he can’t put the appropriate force behind the ball, because those windows close quicker than they did in the SEC even. However, I can’t teach somebody else those natural play-making skills that he possesses, and there are moments of him actively dirting the ball when he knows it’s not there working outside the pocket. The calm in the chaos and the presence of mind for space he displays has me optimistic that he will be able to win from within the tackle box, get to the right solutions against man or zone and put the ball where it needs to be. How successful he can be early on will depend on the willingness of his future coaching staff to spread the field and let that vision shine, but I think this is a special distributor and play-maker, who can have a lot of success at any level.



Anthony Richardson


2. Anthony Richardson, Florida

6’4”, 240 pounds; RS SO


A four-star recruit in 2020, Richardson only threw two passes as a true freshman (one completed for a touchdown) and wasn’t even expected to start the following season, after taking a redshirt. However, he did see action in seven games and played in two full contests, converting 64 pass attempts into 529 yards and six touchdowns vs. five interceptionss, along with just over 400 yard and three TDs on 51 carries, averaging 7.9 yards per. This past season he completed 53.8% of his passes for 2549 yards and 17 TDs compared to nine picks, along with 103 carries 654 yards and nine TDs (started all but Florida’s bowl game – 12 total).


+ Presents a huge frame and is very willing to sit in the pocket and deliver the ball to anywhere on the playing surface

+ Can make some jaw-dropping throws down the field and create explosive torque to extend throwing windows, because he can get the ball from point A to point B at the same time as other guys, even if it leaves his hand a beat later

+ Playing single-high coverages if highly dangerous against Richardson, because if he can just hold that guy in the middle for a split-second, he can fire the ball down the sideline for huge plays

+ With that rifle attached to his right shoulder, he can fire the ball to his receivers over the middle, particularly on drive-throws in the 15-25 yard range

+ You see him be able to hit his receivers on corner, deep in-breaking routes and others at the last possible moment, where even though he’s not on time, they end up cashing in

+ Pins the ball right onto the chest of his wideouts on deep curl routes and is able to defeat even tight man-coverage

+ However, he can also throw the ball with touch to his receivers on crossers and allow his guys to run underneath them

+ Didn’t receive much help from his receiving corp, whether it’s about dropping passes (7.4% drop rate) or just coming up with combat catches when the ball is put to the right spot, but also route spacing, where they seem to be in the same area frequently and Richardson typically zips it to the deeper target


+ Far from a one-read-and-run type of quarterback, showing the capability of executing full-field reads and hitting receivers all the way at the opposite sideline from where he started

+ Anticipates creases between shallow zones well, as one route pulls away one defender and can put the ball right on the numbers, rather than creating potential for disruption at the catch-point

+ Manipulates defenders in the flat- and hook-area just about as good as anybody with his eyes, in order to open up windows for himself

+ Has highly underrated pocket presence, using incremental and more dramatic movement depending on what’s needed, and if anything, his eyes stay locked down the field for too long

+ Can slide laterally and buy a little bit of extra time without having to leave the pocket, and what I love – as long as he’s moving between the tackles, both hands stay on the football pretty much all the time

+ Regularly is able to deliver the ball whilst working towards the line of scrimmage and some of the throws he makes hopping up into the pocket, at times with both feet off the ground, are just astounding

+ His pressure-to-sack conversion rate of 9.2% in 2022 was top-ten among FBS quarterbacks and ahead of every single one currently projected to be drafted this year

+ The chin stays up when he leaves the pocket and he can throw the ball with velocity off the wrong foot towards the sideline 15-20 yards from the launch point, if flushed out wide


+ The first time I actively watched Richardson late in the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma (2020/21), he trucked a safety, He followed that up with like a 30-yard scramble and a 27-yard TD pass down the seams to finish the game, where they got blown out

+ Has that crazy acceleration to beat the initial angles of defenders and that suddenness to make guys miss, plus then he’s more than willing to run through second- and third-level defenders in his path, where he is setting the tone at contact

+ Can be used as a true power runner between the tackles, following pullers and working off hits, as well as show the burst to get around the corner on QB sweeps

+ Integrates shoulder- and head-fakes to affect defenders in the open field and get around them – had an insane missed-tackle forced rate of 37.9% on his carries last season

+ Diversifies your run game portfolio the day he arrives at his pro team, with clean reads at the mesh point on option plays already and consistently attracting eyes when he carries out play-fakes

+ And you can tell that this guy has huge hands looking at some of the hits he takes and somehow is able to hold onto the ball (just five fumbles across 464 combined drop-backs and rushes in 2022)

+ Had a historic combine showcase, running a 4.43 in the 40 and setting records in the vert (40.5 inches) and broad jump (10’9”) at 244 pounds; Also showed flicked the ball with such easy and you saw throw the ball 65 yards through the air – with pace

+ With that athleticism and elite arm talent, you can call up any pass or run schemes imaginable (theoretically)


– The decision-making is highly questionable at times, flinging the ball up for grabs whilst getting dragged down at times – Finished with more turnover-worthy plays (five) than big-time throws (four) in half a season of 2021 and while that improved this past season, it still wasn’t on par with the top of the class (5.5 vs. 3.3% respectively)

– Leaves his feet behind on too many occasions or just flicks the back-hip forward when he sets up throws, which leads to inaccuracy – When he knows where he wants to go pre-snap against off-coverage in particular, he gets pretty lazy with his foot-work

– On passes thrown less than ten yards past the line of scrimmage, Richardson only completed 58% of those (51-of-88), with four touchdowns versus interceptions – Lacks consistency and focus with the way he delivers the ball underneath

– Trusts his speed a little too much when it comes to just taking off up the middle and misjudges how quickly creases can disappear, which will only be highlighted more in the NFL


Full transparency – I flirted with the idea of putting Richardson at number one. He’s certainly not as far along as a decision-maker and distributor of the football as the other two young in my top tier, but considering he’s started just 14 career games with the natural feel for the position he displays, he’s not nearly as much of a project as people make him out to be and he’s probably the only guy in this class capable of one day being in the conversation for best quarterback in the league. I would definitely say he’s more inexperienced than raw, in terms of identifying coverage rotations and understanding when to replace blitzes with hot-routes. The pocket navigation and ability to move zone defenders with his eyes is already tremendous for the limited snaps he’s logged. Where he does need to still mature is understanding when plays are dead, but even with that – from week seven on last season, he only had four turnover-worthy plays against some pretty good competition. He’s my QB2 and if you have the infrastructure to allow him to learn through some early mistakes, without trying to spurt his growth by running some kind of gimmicky offense, I can see the argument for him being number one on your board.



C.J. Stroud


3. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

6’3”, 215 pounds; RS SO


The third-highest ranked quarterback in the 2020 class, behind only Bryce Young and D.J. Uiagelei, Stroud had a year to learn behind Justin Fields, but then took over right from where his predecessor left off, completing a Ohio State record 71.9 percent of his passes for over 4400 yards and 44 touchdowns in 2021, with only six INTs, and finishing fourth in the Heisman race (first-team All-Big Ten). His numbers were barely off those this past season (66.3 completion percentage, 3688 yards, 41 TDs vs. six INTs), when he was third in Heisman voting and the Big’s Ten Offensive Player of the Year for the second time in a row, having shared the award with now-Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III in 2021.


+ The most natural passer in the draft when you look at everything from the first step to the index finger rolling off on the follow-through, being able to put the ball onto the frame of targets at all three levels of the field

+ Looked like an absolute machine at the combine, with how balanced his footwork was, the consistency in his release, the pin-point accuracy with guys he’s never thrown to and just how natural a passer he looked to be

+ Highly confident outside-the-numbers thrower, where it’s driving curl and out routes or lofting the ball downfield – Has no issues delivering deep outs from one hash to the opposite sideline

+ Loves to stretch defenses with go balls, which routinely whistle right by the defender’s helmet and land perfectly in stride, but also got a lot of his production on crossers

+ That’s why he was asked to execute a lot of touchdown-to-check type pass concepts, leading to an average depth of target at 10.7 yards

+ Along with that, his ability to take one hitch and drive intermediate throws in the 15-20 yard range on deep in-cuts on dagger patterns and others is as good as you’re going to find in this class

+ Frequently throws the ball towards blind-spots of defenders and allowing his targets to make plays on back-shoulder balls or force defensive pass interference

+ Rapidly gets his head around and is ready to unload after turning his back to the defense on deep play-action fakes


+ There’s good rhythm to his drops and no need for any hitches when the primary is there for him

+ Stroud displays good anticipation and hits receivers right out of their breaks on timing-based patterns

+ Yet he also doesn’t mind waiting things out and attacking soft spots in zone coverage that are about to develop, hanging at the top of his drop

+ Excels at communicating with his receivers with where he puts the ball and frequently protects them by not leading them into big hits

+ Hits a bunch of benders and seam routes, just as his guys get even with trailing defenders or have cleared the underneath coverage, where he stops them in the window before the safety can barrel down to take somebody’s head off

+ Showcases the football IQ to diagnose advanced coverage rotations and put enough mustard on the ball to hit his receivers before their routes lead them into zone defenders

+ Even when he knows he has a free rusher barreling down on him, Stroud can loft the ball over the top of safeties as he has a receiver streaking down the middle

+ When Stroud is throwing the ball deep across the field, he makes sure to loft the ball over the ancillary coverage, where a defender may hang there and have the freedom to fall off, to not put it at risk for turnovers


+ Can cut down the length of his hitches if there’s no room to actually step into throws, but also make that longer slide up with pressure off the edge and push towards the B-gap

+ His eyes stay down the field with bodies around him and even when he gets bumped at times, he’s really good at re-setting his base and launching the ball

+ Swift in the way he moves sideways to avoid a rusher up his face, re-set his platform and get the ball out

+ Against popular belief, Stroud finished fourth among all FBS quarterbacks in net yards per pass attempt outside the pocket

+ While Stroud is at his best making big throws from the pocket, when he does get outside, his eyes stay up and he delivers the ball to the sideline, without putting it at risk

+ Is aware of targets working across the field and can put the ball to where they can create separation from nearby defenders without having to settle his feet

+ Led a furious comeback to beat Utah 48-45 in the Rose Bowl, throwing for 573 yards and six touchdowns that day

+ I was so impressed in Ohio State’s 42-41 loss to Georgia in the CFP semifinal (where the kicker missed a potential game-winning FG at the end), because of the way he would punish defenses for voiding the space in front of him for some crucial scrambles and the way he would extend plays by getting outside the pocket, along with those big-time throws down the field from platform


– Had the benefit of being pressured on just the 123rd -highest rate in the FBS (24.3%) and got to throw to two first-round picks at receiver in 2021 (Olave, Wilson), along with Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who could end up getting drafted about as high as either one of them, before Marvin Harrison Jr. emerged as the best pass-catcher in the nation this past season

– Wasn’t asked to make a ton of multi-level reads, where he more so just needed to confirm information post-snap and had targets come into his vision whilst checking if the deeper throw is there or would check it down to the back that way

– Legitimately turns down opportunities to take off as a runner and other than his very last collegiate game, you saw very little of Stroud in terms of getting outside the pocket and creating off schedule, thanks to the way head coach Ryan Day and company provided space to attack

– When he does start to move, he’s quick to take the off-hand away as soon as he tries to get into creation mode, and his numbers under pressure dropped off dramatically

– Had some issues against cover-zero rain, where the defense creates a free rusher and has a mugged-up linebacker bail out if accounted for, pulling the ball down and taking sacks, while adding an extra pad of the ball frequently


The Ohio State quarterback conversation is mostly dumb. I’m very much against helmet-scouting and I try to always scout traits that may translate rather than saying players can’t do certain things. With that being said, Stroud’s job was made a lot easier by the offensive system, with how good they were at creating space against zone coverage, along with the incredible receiving corp, which could consistently separate against man. You combine that with how little he’s shown in terms of off-schedule play-making and you wonder if his game is suited to the modern game in a way that allows him to one day be among the elite names at the position. With that out of the way – he’s the best pure-pocket passer in the class, thanks to how easy everything about his ability to set up and deliver the ball on time and target is. Now it’s about the idea of “if he did it once, can we teach him to do it more often?”, looking at how much more he can provide in terms of mobility to extend plays. What is really encouraging to me is the fact he played his best in the final games of both his seasons with the Buckeyes. I think depending on the team, you can make an argument for having this guy anywhere from number one to three, although I personally lean towards the latter end of the spectrum.



Will Levis


4. Will Levis, Kentucky

6’3”, 220 pounds; SR


A former three-star recruit, Levis comes from a highly accomplished family in football and other athletics, while personally setting several records at his high school. He only started a couple of games and was primarily used in certain QB run packages his two years with Penn State behind Sean Clifford, before he transferred to the SEC ahead of the 2021 season. There, he immediately transformed that Kentucky passing offense, finally giving them a vertical component, they had never had, and was voted a team captain week one. Levis ended 2021 completing 66.0 percent of his passes for 2826 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, along with another 376 yards and nine TDs on the ground. This past season he was fighting through multiple injuries (foot, finger and shoulder), but still completed 65.4% of his passes for 2406 yards and accounted for 21 TDs compared to ten picks.


+ Has such easy zip on the ball, coming from his wrist, allowing him to be very compact with his delivery

+ Does a great job of creating velocity on the ball and fully rotating his upper body through, when given room, to put it on the money

+ Can let it fly 60+ yards through the air on those big post routes when he gets somebody working against the center-fielding safety

+ Fully capable of getting the ball outside the opposite numbers on a line throwing deep out and corner routes, as well take advantage of cushion by the field-side corner or a widening slot defender working towards the flats in the quick game and on spacing concepts

+ You saw the Wildcats take advantage of Levis’ huge arm by keeping extra bodies in protection and calling up two-man concepts at times, where he had no options less than 20 yards down the field

+ However, he does also understand when to take heat off the ball and flip it to his outlets

+ Kentucky ran a lot of play-action, where he was asked to turn his back to the defense and settle off half-rolls, etc. before firing the ball down the field

+ Pretty swift with his ball-fakes, effectively selling tosses and bootlegs for throw-back screens – Is able to ride the back on fake handoffs or RPOs and rapidly get the ball out to his guys on glance/slide routes


+ Identifies his best matchups against man-coverage and is able to defeat sticky defenders with regularity, because the ball is put where it can’t be contested

+ Against zone coverage, he quickly attacks the space opened as defenders widen in their drops and can hit secondary windows, by waiting a beat and letting his guy clear the guy floating that way

+ Can shorten up his release to get the ball out that split-second earlier, as he sees receivers start to settle down in soft-spots

+ While his eyes consistently start deep, when he sees a leverage advantage, he will come right down to his check-down

+ Has moments when his feet are totally aligned to throw the ball down the field, but at the last moment he feels like the coverage forces to hit a secondary target underneath, where he can still get it there without re-setting

+ There are several highly impressive throws into tight windows on the intermediate level – digs, overs, etc. – where it looks like he tried to put a hole into the chest of the receiver

+ There was one ball against Georgia on a bootleg to the left, where he drilled a crosser in-between three zone defenders, which was as good as I’ve seen from anybody in this draft

+ There were several things for the 2022 Kentucky offense compared to the year prior, that I just cringed watching – full line slides with the back picking up the D-end, receivers seemingly not knowing their routes, guys running into each other, etc.; And the Wildcats averaged 80 rushing yards per game and a full two yards per carry less than they did the year prior


+ Dealt with pressured on an insane 37.8%(!) of dropbacks in 2022 – The amount of times he got stepped on or absolutely smoked back there and still was able to deliver a ball his receivers could make a play on it down the field is remarkable

+ As long as the protection isn’t killed instantly, he doesn’t allow rushers in his area to affect his mechanics and will gladly hang at the top of his drop to give his receivers that little bit of extra time to break open

+ Shows the sudden movement inside the pocket to gain ground by hitching up or sliding sideways whilst pulling the shoulder away from rushers

+ Can freeze edge rushers momentarily and then beat them around the corner

+ Levis is one of the most impressive on-the-move throwers in the country, with the ability to roll to the left, square his shoulders and hit receivers working across the field with him, where the hang defender towards the sideline doesn’t become an issue to jump in front of the pass

+ When he didn’t have to deal with the turf toe in 2021, he was a major contributor on the ground, forced 20 missed tackles and averaged 3.0 yards after contact as a junior (on 107 carries), with 18 runs of 10+ yards

+ Delivered plenty of crucial scrambles for first downs that year, when defenses left a lane open for him, while not shying away from dropping the shoulder on an awaiting defender, if needed

+ Very effective at finding a crease and pushing the pile, to convert QB sneaks for first downs in short-yardage situations


– His base and feet positioning can break down deeper into the play-clock and too often he refers to “arming” it out there, where the front-toe isn’t pointed towards the target and there’s some disconnect

– Underthrew a bunch of his deep balls, not due to lacking arm strength, but rather not finding the right trajectory and touch, as well as just being a beat late getting his feet aligned

– A lot of his production has come on screens and lay-ups off RPOs, where he didn’t have to work through processions and scan extended areas of the field – nearly a quarter of his passes were thrown behind the line of scrimmage

– Takes way too many unnecessary hits and allows tacklers to flip him in the air, instead of just sliding a yard or two earlier

– Had nearly twice as many turnover-worthy plays (13) than big-time throws (seven) this past season, attempting passes whilst getting hit and trying to force the ball into miniscule windows, where he lacks the needed maturity


At this point, the hate for Levis has just gotten out of control. How inconsistent he is at this point with setting up his lower half and some of the moments where he puts the ball in harm’s way are concerning. However, the tape of this guy standing tall inside the pocket, deal with multiple pressure points and deliver the ball to his targets without being able to step into throws is what old-school NFL coaches are looking for. Plus, then what he can deliver on the move is very impressive. Levis’ big-time throw rate of 4.1% compared to turnover-worthy plays (2.6%) was a lot better in 2021, when he actually had an NFL-level offensive coordinator, at least one reliable target (saw 15 of 201 catchable passes dropped) and some offensive line help. That first year as a starter, he also received a 90.6 grade by Pro Football Focus. Levis’ toughness is unquestioned, everybody on his teams absolutely love him and he’s not somebody who invites chaos by getting into scramble mode unnecessarily, indicated by a time-to-throw of 2.62 and 2.58 respectively in his two seasons as a starter. I certainly don’t think he’s a top-ten level prospect like the first three names and he’s actually the one that needs the most work in terms of mechanics and decision-making, but I think he has the tools to become a franchise signal-caller in the right situation.



Hendon Hooker


5. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee

6’4”, 220 pounds; RS SR


A four-star recruit back for Virginia Tech in 2017, following a redshirt year and then seeing limited action as a backup the following season, Hooker certainly had some flashes over the next two years with the Hokies (197-of-312 for 2900 yards and 22 TDs versus seven INTs passing, just under 1000 yards and 14 TDs on 243 rush attempts). However, his career really took off when he decided to transfer to Tennessee ahead of the 2021 season and instantly transformed the Vols offense, as they went more to an up-tempo approach under Josh Heupel and hit a lot more big plays through the air. Through his two years at Tennessee (24 games), Hooker completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 6080 yards 58 touchdowns compared to only five interceptions, along with another 1046 yards ten TDs on the ground (270 carries). He was given the award for SEC Offensive Player of the Year, but weirdly wasn’t invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony.


+ Offers prototype size, arm strength and movement skills for the positional

+ Has massive 10 and ½-inch hands to control the football

+ Showcases the arm talent to drive the ball towards the sidelines and let it fly down the field, but can also float ball over the head of trailing defenders down the seams

+ Beautifully drops deep balls into the bread-basket of streaking receivers several times

+ Delivers the ball towards the upside shoulder on dig and shallow post routes, in order to lead his targets away from the defenders they’re locked up with

+ Consistently makes receivers work back down the ladder on hitch and curl routes, in order to not see the pass contested

+ Can flip the ball to his outlets with touch and let his backs go to work

+ Really quick to flip his base around off play-action or just getting to the opposite side of the field, in order to get the ball out


+ Hooker looks very comfortable playing the quarterback position, in terms of the way he sees the field and translates information by the defense

+ Whether you look at raw numbers, grading scales or the tape, he’s show improvement every year as a starter, especially the consistent base and how quickly he sets his feet

+ Regularly anticipates windows underneath and hits receivers just as they cross the face of defenders in zone coverage

+ Understands how the picture will change post-snap as he sees safety rotations beforehand and is ready to get to secondary routes according to that

+ Willing to hang at the top of his drop and wait out deep option routes, where he and speedster WR Jalin Hyatt created magic on last season, because they consistently read the key defender the same way

+ Doesn’t let many opportunities to go for big plays slip through his hands, leading to a big-time throw rate of 5.2% for his time with the Vols

+ While the level of difficulty wasn’t particularly high on those, Hooker routinely recognized and punished defenses when their route-combination led to coverage busts

+ Takes tremendous care of the ball, not forcing throws into tight windows or putting it up for grabs, which led to a turnover-worthy rate of a miniscule 1.1% (second-best in the FBS) and just five interceptions these past two seasons across 632 combined pass attempts


+ Keeps his eyes up and can deliver the ball in a lot of different ways outside the pocket, multiple times hitting receivers as the work across the field parallel to him in 2021, when they weren’t quite as successful on schedule

+ Even on the run, he doesn’t force throws, yet can deliver the ball pretty accurately without having his feet set

+ However, he can also bob and weave inside the pocket with sudden movements to get to those open creases, to release the ball from

+ Very elusive as a runner, often times splitting defenders and making guys miss, but more so it’s his ability to bounce off hits and stay alive – forced 121 missed tackles across 517 career carries and averaged 3.8 yards after contact

+ Not somebody, who edge defenders can shuffle inside on the mesh-point with or mid-point zone-reads and other option plays against

+ You see him dip inside of pursuit defenders or cross them over in the open field frequently, in order to rip off bigger gains than drawn up

+ The Volunteer coaches utilized his talents on the ground on QB lead, sweep and draw plays fairly regularly in 2021, before he really mastered the offense from within the pocket last season

+ What you really like about him as a designed runner is the suddenness to press the hole and then navigate around the blocker


– Worked in the most college-y offense you will find, where they were spreading defenses all the way out to the sideline and created a ton of wide-open targets, as well as often times the receivers to one side just jogging, because the designated receiver was already pre-determined and he needed to read one key

– Needs to operate with more eye discipline and not stare down his targets, in order to allow floating zone defenders to be led to the ball

– Once or twice every game it seems like a throw is totally getting away from Hooker, as he just “arms” it out there as he’s not able to create a solid platform for himself, and in particular those passes went high

– Simply has to get better dealing with pressure, which he was only under on 23.6% of his dropbacks last season, yet his completion percentage (51.2%) and yards per attempt (6.1) went down dramatically, plus he took 27(!) sacks, where he just padded the ball back there – Seems oblivious to backside slot blitzers if he just works one half of the field

– Tends to run himself into trouble at times instead of sticking in the pocket (just five passes outside the pocket vs. five scrambles) and is playing with fire to some degree, when he takes big shots as a runner – Just tore his ACL in November and already turned 25 years old in January


If you just showed some random person the physical dimensions and the statistics Hooker put up over the last two years, they may say he should go first overall. There is a lot to like in terms of the pure thrower, the amount of big plays compared to putting the ball at risk and the sudden mobility. Unfortunately, it’s so tough to see that college production translate to the next level and his career pressure-to-sack conversion rate of 30.1% is absurdly high – that number was actually worse when you just look at his time with Tennessee. I just believe his learning curve will be immense, because of how much the game was simplified for him in that Josh Heupel offense, which simply doesn’t translate to the next level, looking at different variants of these Art Briles-inspired Air Raid systems. The only quarterbacks we’ve seen coming from those have special physical ability to add something on top of their future system, which to me Hooker’s skill-set lends itself more to a traditional pocket passing attack – and he has no experience making decisions in anything that would resemble what the NFL asks of him there. To me there’s no way that’s a worthy investment in the first round for a guy I won’t be able to put on the field for his rookie season. He seems to a very smart, mature young man. So I think there’s enough redeeming qualities to invest in him middle of day two.



Dorian Thompson-Robinson 2


6. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA

6’2”, 205 pounds; RS SR


One of the top-50 overall recruits in 2018 and the number two dual-threat QB behind only Justin Fields, Thompson-Robinson immediately got onto the field for the Bruins, starting eight games as a true freshman. Across the past four seasons, he’s started all 40 games he’s available for (taking advantage of the COVID exception) and improved his numbers every season. Since 2020, he’s completed 66.3% of his passes for 231.0 passing yards and 53.8 rushing yards per game, accounting for 84 touchdowns versus 20 interceptions (19 games), whilst averaging 8.3 yards per pass and 5.2 yards per rush. He made second-team All-Pac-12 twice and then honorable mention last season.


+ Very talented dual-threat prospect, who has improved as a passer every single year at UCLA

+ Showcases the arm talent to make pretty much any throw on the field, regularly beaming the ball to his targets on out routes

+ Good rhythmic passer, who can hit throws over the middle of the field on time, with no fat on his drops or unnecessary hitches

+ Puts the zip on the ball to test tight windows and has some impressive honey-hole shots and such as on tape

+ Can whistle the ball past or layer the it over hook defenders and right on the numbers of his receive breaking towards the middle on dagger concepts

+ Displays the arm talent to be fading away from pressure and still put the ball onto the frame of his receivers on crossing routes without being able to get his cleats into the throw

+ Is able drop down the arm angle and shorten his release on quick leak routes and swings to the back, when needed

+ Can flick his hips around and just flip it to guys sitting down their route against the direction DTR is rolling

+ Saw 28 of his 469 catchable targets dropped over the last two years and I saw a bunch of others that weren’t counted that way, but really should’ve been caught through minimal contact


+ Wants to win from within the pocket and you see several moments of reading the field-side concepts and coming back the other way for digs, curls and seam routes, as well as getting to the back

+ Does not blink and rips throws even though he knows he’s about to be blown up with a free rusher charging at him

+ Showcases impressive lateral movement skills to slide away from a pressure point and buying enough time for himself to allow receivers to break open

+ Excels at manipulating single-high safeties with his eyes to open up seam shots and other throws over the middle of the field

+ Does a nice job of widening linebackers one way with his eyes and then flipping it to a running back or tight-end hooking up over the middle to replace the defender

+ Had passer ratings of 104+ each of the past three seasons, while looking at his passing charts from last year, the only area of the field where his rating was below 85 was on throws 20+ yards outside the left hash

+ Really worked on getting the ball out in order to avoid negative plays last season, with his lowest time-to-throw mark (2.8 seconds) and one of the best pressure-to-sack conversion rates in the country (11.0%)


+ Frequently is able to make free rushers look stupid one-on-one and extend plays for himself as a passer, getting outside the pocket as a passer in an instant with the rocket-arm to make impressive off-platform throws

+ Has some crazy quick-twitch when he’s booting towards an unblocked defender and is able to dip underneath him

+ Brings an incredible level of toughness – Watching him in some of these high-level games like USC last year, he may have made some mistakes, but he takes and gets up from some massive shots, but never gives up

+ Quick acceleration with the ball in his hands and consistently burnt defenses on third down when given a lane, as well as get around the corner when the D-end crashed inside on zone-read

+ When he turns on the burners, he’s striding away from safeties, with that 4.56 speed – had a 69-yard touchdown in the ’22 opener against Bowling Green, where that speed really was on display

+ Can shake guys out of their boots and I’ve seen this man fully clear safeties who didn’t try to go low on him, when he decided to hurdle them – Forced 47 missed tackles across 248 carries these last two years combined

+ Yet he can also pull his pads through hits and gain yards after contact, with a frame that has gotten stronger throughout his time at UCLA

+ I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a quarterback put as much effort into being a blocker than this guy, springing RB Zach Charbonnet free on several occasions


– Still very inconsistent with his accuracy to every level, in particular going high over the middle – He may have a beautiful hole-shot one play and then just dirt a ball over the middle on the very next

– Allows his base to get too wide and narrow, where you see some heel-clicking, toes-y footwork and the front-foot not being opened enough, which leads to plenty of lay-ups being missed

– Forces too many balls into contested windows and allows them to get batted up for greedy hands by nearby defenders, without the perfect placement to get away with those

– In just one of his five seasons with the Bruins, DTR had a better rate of big-time throws than turnover-worthy play rate, with 2.8% vs. 4.1% last year

– Needs to do a better job of protecting his body and the football – had seven fumbles in 2022


I’ll be totally honest here – had you asked me two years ago if DTR is a legit NFL prospect, I would’ve probably grimaced and said he’s more so a late-round flyer. However, the continuous improvement he’s shown as a passer has me a lot more optimistic now. The two big areas with him are the consistency in his lower body and therefore the ball-location, along with the overly aggressive decision-making. In terms of physical tools, toughness and work habits he’s displayed, those are all top-tier. DTR looked impressive at the scouting combine, coming in taller and heavier than expected at 6’2” and 203 pounds, and you saw some real power when the ball came off his hand, with some impressive drive throws and deep balls (his 62 MPH fast ball also led all QBs in Indy). Evaluators have gotten a lot more comfortable with the idea of improving accuracy, even though I will acknowledge there are some rough moments on tape. With that being said, I would much rather use a late third-round compensatory pick on this project than a top-50 selection on Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker.



Jake Haener


7. Jake Haener, Fresno State

6’1”, 195 pounds; RS SR


Once a three-star recruit in 2017 for Washington, Haener only threw 13 passes as a Huskie, due to losing the starting battle to Jacob Eason, before transferring to Fresno State in 2020. He entered the transfer portal after putting up career-highs across the board in 2021, completing 67.1 of his passes for 4096 yards and 33 touchdowns, compared to nine INTs, but ultimately decided to stay with the Bulldogs. This past season was when he improved from second- to first-team All-Mountain West in 2022, when he missed three games (ankle badly rolled up on), but improved his completion percentage (72%) and TD-to-INT ratio (20-to-3).


+ Does a great job of being a rotational thrower and not limiting himself by not having his upper and lower body out of sync

+ Is able to get his cleats in the ground and the ball out in a hurry, when the primary is open or he needs to replace the blitz

+ Can shorten up his release for the RPO and shotgun play-action game, or drop the arm angle and wrap around defenders when necessary

+ Beautifully feather the ball for receivers at a full sprint, to run through

+ Has proven on several occasions that he can drive those far-hash throws on deep outs and comebacks with velocity

+ Improved his completion percentage, passer rating, TD-to-INT ratio and PFF grade each of the three seasons he spent with the Bulldogs

+ Earned NFL passer ratings of above 80 to every level of the field this past season and had basically double the big-time-throw rate (4.3%) than the percentage of turnover-worthy plays (2.2ae%)

+ Nifty ball-handler, who can ride the fake to his back without compromising his base, switch hands and transition from the tucking the ball to become a passer again, yet he only fumbled twice across 562 plays last season


+ Operated a spread-based offense at Fresno State very effectively, chipping away with short completions against soft zone shells

+ Great timing-based thrower, who routinely hits his receivers just as they come out of the break

+ Consistently delivers the ball away from the next-closest defender, such as to the outside against a corner driving on a curl route out wide

+ Shows a high level of anticipation and can put the ball into fairly tight windows on high-low stretches and putting the ball to where receivers pushing towards a safety have to stop or at least turn around for it

+ You can’t allow Haener’s receivers to freely release up the seams versus single-high coverages, because he’ll hit those in a hurry

+ Does a great job of manipulating second-level defenders, in order to open up passing windows, and regularly completes passes between those linebackers

+ You regularly see Haener progress to his third read or work a high-to-low and check it down ultimately, when nothing is there

+ Understands when the coverage dictates that defenders are leveraged in a way, where he should dump it off quickly and let them get positive yardage – Gets to his checkdown with conviction after having his chin up and eyes downfield all the way up to that point


+ Doesn’t shy away from ripping throws over the middle even with a hit on him being imminent

+ I really like the way Haener navigates the pocket, regularly climbing and then getting wide, in order to buy enough time for receivers to work away from the ancillary coverage

+ Has more quickness to elude pressure than you’d expect and has a knack for taking advantage of rush angles

+ If you leave a lane open right in front of him, Haener will quickly punish you for it with 8-10 yard gains

+ Keeps his eyes up when he gets outside the pocket and can deliver the ball right onto moving targets with different trajectories

+ Does a great job of squaring his shoulders and getting into a throw-ready positions whilst on the move, with no problems getting the job done when rolling to the left

+ This is one tough son of a gun – the way he gutted out the ’21 UCLA game and continued to rip throws and delivered a couple of touchdowns at the end to pull off the comeback, even though it looked like somebody shoot him into the ribs every single play, showed me so much

+ Was easily the most consistent quarterback of Senior Bowl week, being right on point on multiple deep balls, never dropping his eyes with bodies around him inside the pocket, pointing at receivers to adjust their routes on the fly and delivering accurately on the run; He was also named the MVP of the actual game


– Doesn’t have the prototype or athletic profile scouts quite covet typically, where he has to consistently play the position on time

– Tends to drift a little bit towards the receiver he’s targeting and makes you question if he quite has that NFL arm strength to stay on the spot and deliver to all areas of the field, plus he needs to narrow his base a little more at times

– You like that Haener tries to put the ball away from where defenders can’t make a play on it, but he tends to overthrow his receivers on vertical routes and doesn’t give them a real chance at times, with the ball landing out of bounds

– Sometimes gets pre-occupied with where he wants to go with the ball before taking the snap and misses opportunities for easier completions

– With the limited speed, those plays where Haener gets outside the pocket and is able to allow his receivers to work their way open, will be shut down a lot quicker – only had one season with a pressure-to-sack conversion rate below 20% at Fresno State already


Is this a guy who will step out of an NFL huddle and look like he will launch the ball over the heads of defenders or just run away from them? – No. However, Haener plays quarterback with great rhythm, anticipation and accuracy. The football IQ, situational awareness and innate feel for defenders around him are certainly pro-level. Before the hype got out of control in the Bay Area and I just compared the two guys as a prospects, I would’ve called Haener a deluxe version of 49ers signal-caller Brock Purdy – who I liked as a top-ten QB in last year’s draft. That’s why I highlighted him as one of “my guys” a couple of weeks ago. I’m fine with Haener going anywhere on day three and think he can be an effective trigger-man in the right situation, where he has the weapons that can do damage after the catch if he delivers from within structure, plus he can adds some elusiveness to make something happen a couple of times per game. At worst, he should be one of the best backups in the league for a long time, but if the right situation arises, he could absolutely be a starter for extended stretches.



Tanner McKee


8. Tanner McKee, Stanford

6’6”, 230 pounds; RS JR


A top-50 overall recruit in 2018, McKee served a two-year Christian mission in Brazil, to put his collegiate career on ice. He saw action in one game (at Auburn) in 2020, before taking over for Davis Mills as the full-time starter the following season, when he completed 65.4 percent of his passes for over 2300 yards, 15 touchdowns versus seven INTs, plus another four scores on the ground, across ten contests. Last year, calling the shots for yet another 3-9 Cardinal team, all of his numbers got slightly worse (62.0% completion percentage, 6.9 yards per attempt and 13 TDs vs. eight INTs). He was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection in 2021 and earned team captain status in ’22.


+ Operates from a wide base and is very clean in his mechanics, with a smooth release and delivering a very catchable ball

+ Will gladly work that one-on-one matchup with his X receiver, if you leave that on the backside for him

+ Consistently places the ball away from the closest defender, so those guys can’t rake at it the opposite side, and often times active intentionally makes his targets reach low, to not allow passes to batted up for grabs in crowded areas

+ Is able to defeat tight man-coverage and corners trying to play the back-shoulder, by just placing the ball over their head, where the receiver can make a play on it

+ His best throws come on in-breakers, hitting them right in stride to make them run through the catch

+ Is willing to drive the ball towards tight windows as well, firing skinny posts as the safety stays flat-footed (on the hash)

+ Yet he also understands when to take speed off the ball and make the job easier for his targets out in the flats or running backs still getting ready it

+ Gladly throws the ball up to his big targets and allows them to make plays on it by climbing the ladder


+ Looks comfortable scanning the field, whilst maintaining a consistent base and maintaining a throw-ready posture

+ Really excels at attacking space underneath with the quick pass game, identifying advantages based on defensive looks (pre-snap), particularly working levels concepts and putting those hook defenders into conflict

+ The footwork and ability to play with timing are already at an NFL level, and he posted a swift time-to-throw mark right at 2.5 seconds as a starter

+ Stanford used a lot of slow mesh points on play-action and their RPO game, where he consistently made the right decision and delivered the ball on the money with little wasted time getting it ot

+ Effectively works in subtle shuffle–steps, hitches up inside the pocket and stays ready to release

+ Displays the anticipation and ball-placement to let the ball go before receivers have cleared the coverage and put it where defenders can’t even react quickly enough to attack the catch-point – Such as post routes/seams, where the trailing DB/LB is still right there at the inside hip

+ Actively stops his receivers in the window against zone-coverage and doesn’t make them hang up to dry, with incoming hits

+ Understands when the play isn’t there and he needs to throw the ball out of bounds – Only 1.5% of his dropbacks were counted as turnover-worthy plays, compared 3.3% big-time throws


+ Shows calm under pressure, to kind of slither through creases and at least be able to get back to the line of scrimmage

+ If one side is caved in, he’s pretty light on his feet drift the other way and flip the ball to his checkdown

+ For somebody labelled as a pure pocket passer, McKee’s accuracy whilst rolling to the right is actually pretty impressive, putting it to where guys can run through the catch or putting it over ancillary zone defender

+ When he does take off or when he was tasked with QB sneaks in short yardage situations, McKee has been fairly effective, with 18 first downs on 70 non-sack carries

+ Down seven with just one-and-a-half minute left in regulation against Oregon McKee got sandwiched by two D-ends and stayed down for a while, before getting back up and leading them to an awesome comeback win in overtime

+ Played during the weakest two-year stretch of Stanford run games I have witnessed to complement him and the coaching staff didn’t do him many favors in terms of schematic advantages created on a weekly basis, where there legitimately wasn’t anybody open


– Has that lanky type of build and over-the-top throwing motion, which elongates his delivery and doesn’t allow him to impress with sudden movement – had seven passes batted down at the line each of his two seasons as a starter despite his high release point

– With defenders having that extra split-second to react to the release and McKee not having enough mustard on his drive-throws, the number of undercut routes near the numbers will only increase against NFL athletes

– I would define him as having general accuracy and pin-point throws are missing from his game – Could stand to add a little more air under his deep balls, as they come up just short or too far regularly, with a pretty flat arc

– Lacks the suddenness to make rushers miss inside the pocket – had a pressure-to-sack conversion rate of 27.5 and 27.0% respectively these last two years

– Finished his career with a negative 90 yards rushing and just two missed tackles forced as a runner, without the burst or shake to really challenge opponents when he gets out


If we had a draft in the year 2000, McKee might’ve been a first-round pick. When kept clean and operating in rhythm, there’s a lot to like about him as a pocket passer. He’s a mature decision-maker, anticipates at a high level and puts the ball onto the frame of his targets with consistency. Unfortunately, he seems like too much of a statue back there for what we see succeed in the NFL today. When plays aren’t there or the defense gives him a look he’s not comfortable with, there’s just not really anything he can provide off-script, and his pocket presence isn’t at a level for him to get away without that. So I look at him as somebody who can be a spot-starter, but if he were to end up with a team that gives him a chance, they will probably be looking to upgrade soon, because you’re not getting enough from the position to compete for championships. If I had to find two recent comparisons, I would say the guys he reminded me of are Mike Glennon and to some degree the guy he actually replaced at Stanford in Davis Mills. Since both of them were drafted in the early third round, that’s where I could see McKee go as well, although I value him more so in the fourth.



Jaren Hall


9. Jaren Hall, BYU

6‘0“, 205 pounds; RS SR


One of the top-1000 overall recruits back in 2016, Hall spent two years on a religious mission only saw real action in a couple of games through the first three years (46 pass and 33 rush attempts), including a medical redshirt in 2020. He finally became the starter the following year, when he completed 63.9 percent of his pass attempts for nearly 2600 yards, 20 touchdowns versus five INTs, along with another 300 yards and three more scores on the ground. This past season, he was named the Independent Offensive Player of the Year, completing 66 percent of his passes for nearly 3200 yards and 31 TDs versus six INTs, along with another 350 yards and three TDs rushing.


+ Shows good mechanics to get the ball out on time in the quick game against soft zones

+ Love the way he gets to the top of his drop without a hitch and can let the ball fly down the field, dropping some dimes over the outside shoulder of the flanker on go routes

+ BYU coaches had him throw blaze-outs to the single receiver all the way across the field, when they put the formation into the boundary

+ Has the arm strength to release off his back-foot and put the ball in stride for his targets on 40-yard throws

+ Combining the pace he can put on the ball and some of the high-level location allow him to defeat coverage even when he’s a beat late and his receivers regularly were able to bring it in, even as they had somebody right on their back

+ His touch throws on deep crossers and stuff like that is about as good as for anybody in this class

+ Throws some absolute strikes into voids in zone coverage, such as honey-hole shots versus cover-two – Hall regularly trusts himself to fit the ball between the corner and safety on the deep out of flood concepts or fire in skinny posts versus three-deep

+ On deep balls, Hall puts the ball to where his receivers can take advantage of their size and make plays on the ball, He’s one of the best post throwers we have in college football


+ Plays the position with a high level of poise and confidence

+ Good timing-based passer, who regularly releases the ball before his receivers are out of their breaks

+ Does a nice job of holding safeties in place, in order to take shots outside the numbers against single-high looks or create enough of a window to bang in seam routes and in-cuts against two-deep coverages

+ Is aware of and can layer balls over flat defenders to either side of the field

+ Places the ball to where ancillary zone defenders can’t close in time on throws and his targets can work away from guys that end up matching them, when it looks like the coverage is there

+ Understands the idea behind certain play-action concepts, to keep safeties occupied with the deep post and hitting a dig or crosser underneath it

+ Shows the maturity to dump it off to his back if the deep concept isn’t there or the area underneath is voided – Has a career big-time throw percentage if 6.1% vs. a turnover-worthy play rate of just 2.4%, according to PFF

+ Very comfortable executing rollouts, waiting for defenders to commit and hitting the right target


+ Such an easy thrower on the move, who can deliver the ball on target off the wrong foot or both of them in the air at times – BYU heavily utilized that on bootlegs

+ Has gotten so much better at avoiding negative plays, decreasing his time-to-throw and pressure-to-sack conversion rate all three years of action, with 2.78 seconds and just 11.9% respectively this past year

+ Shows the light feet to dove-tail around pressure point and slide back up, to re-find his platform

+ Makes some plays that raise your eyebrows, trying to spin out to the left side and having to spot up because someone takes away the corner for him, yet he can still drive the ball to the opposite sideline

+ However, he can also make a free nickel blitzer miss by dipping up as if he was stepping up and bubble around that guy

+ Has that extra gear as a runner, to beat edge defenders around the corner when he has to make something happen himself, and you see the quick burst to take a lane opening up in front of him against zone coverage, to punish defenses with first downs (ran a 4.63 at his pro day)

+ Hall isn’t somebody you can keep leave unoccupied potentially pulling the ball on zone read plays – just ask Baylor, who let him run untouched for a 55-yard touchdown in 2021, as everything tried to crash inside on a third-and-one, or Utah, who he got to the sideline against and outraced for a 66-yard score

+ More than a third of his carries last season (32 of 86) resulted in first downs or touchdowns, in part because in the designed plays for him, he does a nice job of following and even partially guiding lead-blockers with the off-arm, along with the shiftiness once he gets to the open field


– You feel like Hall allows his height to affect his release point and you see a bunch of throws over the middle end up too high, along with allowing his arm angle to break – his worst passer rating came on those passes with 10-19 yards of depth between the numbers (27-of-45 for 457 yards, three TDs and INTs each)

– Tends to stare down his receiver when he waits for them to break open, which not allows coverage to close in, but also D-linemen to read his eyes and get their hands up – had 11 passes batted down over the past two seasons (672 combined attempts)

– Needs to do a better job of feeling rushers closing in on him and holding onto the ball, fumbling six times of the past two seasons (846 combined drop-backs and designed runs), resulting in a 41.1 PFF grade under pressure

– While he did have a couple of splash throws, too often he would just overshoot some his receivers, who were open by quite a bit, and had a very inconsistent week overall at the Senior Bowl; Those showed up at BYU as well, when he had to rush his motion a little bit

– 52 completions for 448 yards and five touchdowns this past season came off screens


Just on the surface, Hall came in smaller than I expected at the combine (right at the six-foot mark), he already turned 25 years old a couple of weeks ago and has an extensive injury history. That’s a rough combination before you get to the tape. And whether it’s the inconsistency in release point, tipping off defenders with his eyes or not being aware of pressure off the edge, there are some things that worry you there too. With that being said, there are a bunch of impressive throws with him to all levels of the field, along with start–stop quickness in and out of the pocket, some creativity for secondary windows and throwing opportunities opening up, as well as the capability of putting the ball where it needs to be off-platform. Outside of the Hendon Hooker/Dorian Thompson-Robinson tier that I consider in the third-to-fourth round range, this is my favorite developmental option with some starter potential on day three, even though I could see some team take him a day earlier.



Clayton Tune


10. Clayton Tune, Houston

6’3”, 215 pounds; RS SR


One of the top-1000 overall recruits in 2018, Tune stepped in for the injured D’Eriq King for the last two games as a true freshman at Houston and then took over yet again for seven contests in year two. He improved his total and efficiency numbers every single year with the Cougars, while being a team captain in each of the final three and making first-team All-AAC in 2022, with his best numbers yet – 67.3 completion percentage, 4074 yards and 40 touchdowns versus 10 interceptions, plus a drastic jump on the ground, with another 544 yards and five TDs.


+ Generally throws the ball with anticipation and plus ball-location

+ Confidently drives passes towards the single receiver in the boundary on deep curl, comeback and out routes

+ Excels on those into-the-bucket throws, making his receivers fade down the field to create that late separation and window for the ball to be caught

+ Frequently rips intermediate-to-deep in-breaking routes in-between zone defenders

+ Loves to throw those corner routes from the slot and is capable of hitting them to either side of the field, with enough arc to get it over the head of the flat defender

+ Can alter the trajectory and touch he puts on the football when coming back to deeper routes down the field, where he has to throw guys open to some degree

+ Put together three straight seasons with a big-time-throw rate of 5.6% of better and turnover-worthy play percentage of 3.0% or less


+ His shoulders are always pointed North, both hands are on the ball and he doesn’t mind hanging at the top of his drop, with bouncing feet

+ When asked to actually read out concepts and work through progressions, he does so in a pretty disciplined fashion

+ Understands how to protect his receivers by not leading them into contact and throwing it low, so defenders can’t dislodge the ball from them with big hits

+ Really glides laterally in order to buy a little extra time whilst staying in a throw-ready position

+ Even deep into the play-clock, if there’s space for him to navigate, the feet are constantly moving, he still crosses over as the gains depth and lets his back-heel lead the maneuvering

+ Routinely moves up and back in the pocket to take away angles by the rush and give his targets enough time to break open

+ Showcases the willingness to stand in the face of pressure, re-set quickly and deliver the ball without letting defenders running at him affect the motion significantly

+ Saw an insane 59(!) of his 621 catchable targets dropped over the last two years


+ Shows plus feel for rushers having an angle on him and when it’s time to take off

+ Has some surprising escapability, with more shiftiness than you’d expect, while not going down easy

+ Showcases the creativity to see secondary plays develop and the ability to put the ball towards where his receivers are heading whilst releasing off-platform

+ Understands how the threat of him moving around can affect defenders and how to open up targets for himself on secondary plays

+ Gets back downhill and the shoulders turned enough to deliver the ball anywhere on the side he’s rolling towards

+ When he’s given a lane, Tune has some pretty good wheels and surprised with running a 4.64 at the combine, along with a three-cone drill and both jumps in the 87th percentile or better

+ You see reduce his surface area and some tacklers slip off him, leading to 25 forced missed tackles and 35 first downs gained across 128 rush attempts

+ Doesn’t take many unnecessary hits, sliding once he’s picked up the first down regularly

+ Showcases desired leadership qualities and feels comfortable in high-leverage moments, leading several crucial two-minute drills throughout his time with the Cougars


– Tends to stare down his receivers and has to show better eye-discipline to not lead ancillary coverage defenders towards his targets; Particularly on longer-developing stuff over the middle that was an issue – went 39-of-71 for 681 and three touchdowns vs. six interceptions (66.7 NFL) throwing between the numbers in the intermediate range (10-19 yards)

– Certainly benefitted from a wide-open spread offense, that creates large windows and gives him space to attack, and having a speed demon like Tank Dell running by or stretching defenses vertically, as well as just consistently being able to separate, who accounted for over 2700 yards and 29 touchdowns over the past two seasons combined

– I thought his accuracy on the move was ROUGH during Senior Bowl week, which especially stood out on day three during red-zone full team plays; He also badly missed a simple bubble screen on some two-on-threes and sailed a seam ball later during team portion on the second day

– Other than the 56 screens he threw last season – off which he gained nearly 700 yards – Tune’s time-to-throw at 3.2 seconds just won’t fly in the NFL

– As good as his fundamentals are on schedule, if defense are able to make him feel pressure, his eyes tend to look down and as soon as Tune starts to move around, that second hand comes off the ball and you it swing around quite a bit, leading to seven fumbles across 597 combined drop-backs and designed runs


Tune is another guy from a college offense, that makes it tough to project how much he can grow out of, due what they did schematically. The amounts of screens he threw and how often he would hit the primary read after reading things out is a luxury he won’t be given at the NFL level. You see the arm talent to deliver to all areas of the field, put the ball into tight windows and throw his receivers open when they seem covered. Unfortunately, his eye-discipline isn’t where it needs to be and when he did start to feel the rush coming in certain games, he would abandon ship and put the ball out there for defenders to swipe at. Watching the tape, his ability to elude pressure and create plays outside the pocket were definitely better than I gave him credit for based on the TV broadcasts and what he showed down in Mobile. You combine that with his efficient movement skills within the tackle box, if you can teach him to operate in an offense that demands some more full-field reads, but maybe you have an extensive route-tree he can work with his X-receiver early on, whilst getting comfortable, we may be looking at a guy with spot-starter potential.




The next few names:

Aidan O’Connell (Purdue), Stetson Bennett (Georgia), Adrian Martinez (Kansas State), Max Duggan (TCU), Tyson Bagent (Shepherd) & Malik Cunningham (Louisville)



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