It’s about that time of the year when everyone hyper analyzes the quarterback class, and we all correctly predict the future of these players, Right? Last year’s quarterback draft class was lackluster, so this season is due to be spicy. There could be up to five quarterbacks taken in the first round. Here are my early rankings.
Bryce Young will most likely become the highest rated quarterback prospect since Joe Burrow. He isn’t the flashiest, but the plays he makes are exceptional, and he sees things others don’t. The Alabama offense has been extremely dysfunctional, especially for Nick Saban’s standards. Young has done everything for that offense, but he can’t overcome the lack of weapons.
Sure, Young won’t wow people at his pro day, but that doesn’t matter. Pro day heroes don’t always succeed in the NFL, where deciphering a defense is key and necessary to win. His processing ability will be elite on day one and if given weapons he can make an instant impact.
Bryce Young shows an alien-like ability to make throws that other quarterbacks wouldn’t even think of attempting. You add this to his calm demeanor, and it creates an elite level prospect.
Projection: Top 5 Pick
I don’t believe Stroud is the best quarterback in this draft class, but I do believe he will be the first quarterback taken. Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes have paved a new vision for coaches and general managers, and finding one of those quarterbacks can save your job. Stroud possesses one of the most beautiful deep balls we’ve seen recently. He led one of the best offenses in college football to a playoff spot and was a Heisman finalist.
Not only that, but he’s 6’3 with a big arm that can move around in the pocket. When he runs out of the pocket, he always keeps his eyes downfield for the big play, making defenses stay honest. There is no doubt how talented this guy is, but he might be all finesse. In his career, he’s been suspect and sometimes just straight up inconsistent. He seems uncomfortable when a team is good enough to play man with his elite receivers and justs holds the ball. He’s never played a game without an elite core around him, and he’ll most likely not have that immediately at the next level.
Projection: Top 5 Pick
Hey, Dan Mullen, why wasn’t this player getting more reps during your last year? It’s a serious question, even last year it was clear that he was the better quarterback and for a guy who needs all the reps he can get that significantly stunted his growth. Richardson is a bit of a project. When he enters the NFL, he’ll be a solid or better running quarterback on day one. It’s just a question of if he can improve on the processing aspect of the game.
Before we get into his weaknesses, let’s talk about what he does well. He has the best arm in this class, and it will translate to Josh Allen level arm strength in the NFL. Like I said earlier, he’s an elite runner, practically a running back (not like that), he can make defenders look foolish. In the short game though, he is able to work the whole field with accuracy.
Ok, ok, let’s get into the negatives. He’s a super raw passer, probably not a starter day one in the NFL. In a perfect situation, Richardson would be drafted by a yeam that didn’t need him to start immediately. He’ll need a good coaching staff to develop him. The arm strength I talked about earlier comes with some drawbacks, much like giving a million dollars to a teenager, he doesn’t seem to know what to do with it or how to use it. There are so many times when he doesn’t need to throw it on a line, but he still does, and it’s infuriating. Occasionally, he takes far too long to throw, and it leads to driving killing sacks. He’ll also make off platform “F-it” throws which led to turnovers.
All of this is fixable by good coaching. I see him as Malik Willis on steroids. He has a better arm and is more athletic than Willis.
Projection: Top 20 pick
Honestly, I was afraid to rank Levis too high or too low. He is going to create the biggest discourse this year and will garner the most clicks. I haven’t watched enough to take a stand, but I do have an idea of what level of prospect he is. Levis is a great athlete with good arm strength and accuracy. So, what’s the problem? Not to channel my non-existent Blink 182 but, it’s all of the small things (only song I know from them, I promise). He’s super inconsistent and shows some stupidity on film, but this type of prospect will get limitless amounts of hype due to Josh Allen and Justin Herbert having the same critiques.
One of the best things about Levis is that he is proven against SEC competition, which is the highest level of football besides the NFL. During the few games I’ve watched of Levis, his line didn’t block and his receivers were not on the SEC level that you would expect. There are countless things that he does right, but his teams failed him.
Levis will be a pro day darling and can make jaw dropping throws that look effortless. He’s athletic and can move very well in the pocket. His processing seemed good if you take out some stupid mistakes that he has made, but then again those exist and could be his downfall.
Will Levis is undoubtably the most polarizing quarterback in this draft class, and it will take a lot of more film watching to formulate a stronger opinion.
Projection: 1st overall-Late first
It’s astonishing how much obvious criticism and often “meme” like problems he avoids as a prospect. The first criticism is that he is only three months younger than Stetson Bennett, who many people think is too old to draft. Add to that an ACL injury that will most likely sit him out of his first season, you are looking at a 26-year-old rookie. How much can a 26-year-old develop?
As a passer, he shows good processing and will at least be a competent NFL passer on day one. That means his floor is pretty high, especially compared to other players in this class. However, he lacks the arm talent of a top echelon quarterback and most likely will never be elite.
As a runner, he shows alot of positives and can be efficient in the designed run game. Even though he shows this athleticism, he doesn’t use it in the pocket enough and seems to lack an internal clock and will often give up sacks without trying to make a play out of structure.
All in all, Hooker will be a very solid day two pick and maybe even a starter for an already good team. There is alot to like, and one has to question how high he would be drafted if it wasn’t for his age and injury history.
Projection: Late first
There’s my list, let’s hear yours in the comments section below!