Bryce Young will be the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and multiple quarterbacks will be taken within the first five picks on April 27. However, some scouts around the league aren’t nearly as high on the 2023 quarterback class.
Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis are the consensus top four quarterbacks in the draft class. All four signal-callers are projected top-10 picks and there remains a distinct possibility that they are drafted within the first six picks.
Related: 2023 NFL Draft prospect rankings
As the 2023 NFL Draft draws closer, there is also a growing buzz surrounding Hendon Hooker and the increasing likelihood that he is a first-round pick. While many around the league now expect five quarterbacks to be picked in Round 1, some talent evaluators clearly believe that several of the selections will prove to be mistakes.
Bob McGinn of GoLongTD.com spoke to NFL scouts about the entirety of the 2023 quarterback class. While some scouts offered tepid evaluations of the top prospects at the position, some were far more critical.
“It’s the most overhyped, and understandably so, group that I can recall. Every one of them is flawed, and some with major flaws. So I think they all get overdrafted and, unfortunately, they all underperform. Even if they become starters they’re bottom-half-of-the-league starters.”Anonymous AFC scout on the 2023 NFL Draft quarterback class
An overwhelming majority of the NFL scouts polled agreed there isn’t a generational quarterback prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. Evaluators weren’t willing to put any of the players, including Young, on the same tier as Trevor Lawrence or Andrew Luck.
Related: 2023 NFL Draft order, picks by team
However, that isn’t surprising. While Young is very talented and earns rave reviews for his intangibles, he is 5-foot-10 and has never played above 205 pounds. Teams are rightfully concerned about his long-term durability and because he doesn’t have the elite arm strength, like Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes, he won’t be compared to a once-in-a-decade quarterback prospect.
Stroud, Richardson and Levis each have their own on-field red flags that may prevent them from being successful, long-term starters in the NFL. But even among those highest on each of the quarterbacks, no one ever compared them to Lawrence or Luck.
Another AFC talent evaluator told McGinn that the history of the NFL Draft suggests a majority of the quarterback prospects in 2023 will become busts.
“History tells us probably four of the (top) five will be busts. It’s crazy.”Anonymous AFC evaluator on the 2023 NFL Draft quarterback prospects
The judgment might be tied more to the evaluator’s assessment of the quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft more than draft history. Looking back at the 2021 NFL Draft, Lawrence and Justin Fields have proven to be worthwhile picks. As for Mac Jones, his struggles in 2022 could be tied to a defensive coordinator calling the offensive plays and a special teams coordinator serving as his quarterbacks coach.
Going back a year earlier, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa have all become franchise-caliber quarterbacks. As for the 2022 and 2019 draft classes, neither were viewed as good years for quarterback prospects.
One thing that is made clear from the criticisms of this year’s quarterback class, the 2023 NFL Draft is one of the most divisive in several years with everyone around the league having a wide range of opinions.