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Steelers 2023 NFL Draft Big Board: QB Rankings and Scouting Reports

The BTSC NFL Draft Big Board is back, and we kick things off with the quarterbacks!

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Alabama v Kansas State Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Draft season is here, ladies and gentleman, and BTSC is excited to bring you our exclusive NFL Draft Big Board for the third consecutive year! Between January and April, we will be giving you an in-depth look at over 250 prospects in this draft class, ranking and analyzing noteworthy prospects at each position.

We will unveil this board one position at a time, with the final top 250 draft board coming out right before the draft. This compilation of rankings, stats, and analysis is completed by a combination of BTSC staff and community members. The rankings and grades are my own and will be updated throughout the process, while the stats and measurables are compiled by site moderator SNW. The analysis is a collaborative effort, which includes myself, Ryland B., Jeremy Betz, Noah_E., Necksnation, John O’Malley, Adam Curry, and Steve Martucci.

As it pertains to the grading scale, first-round grades will include top-five, top-ten, mid first, and late first grades. Rounds 2-4 will have early, mid, and late grades, while grades fifth round or worse will have a generic round grade. Prospects with a Round 7 grade will not be differentiated from those with an undrafted grade.

Just like last year, each big board article will be a complemented by a separate article discussing whether or not the Steelers should draft said position in the 2023 NFL Draft. Ryland will be heading up that portion of the draft coverage once again this year.

Our first position will be the position most talked about each offseason: quarterback. The Steelers drafted their starter last year in Kenny Pickett, but with Mason Rudolph likely to leave and Mitch Trubisky costing a decent bit against the cap, the team may look to add a quarterback in the later rounds.

If you have any thoughts on this quarterback class, be sure to share it in the comment section below. Let’s dive in!

1. Bryce Young | Alabama | 6’0”, 194 lbs

2022 Stats: 245 COMP, 380 ATT, 3328 PASS YDS, 32 TD, 5 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: Top 5 Overall

Andrew Wilbar: Bryce Young may not check every box when it comes to stature, but putting measurables aside, he is the clear-cut number one quarterback in this class. There are concerns about long-term durability, but although they are valid concerns, I just do not see it as enough to dethrone him from QB1 status in this draft. I cannot help but think Houston would be a great fit for the Alabama standout, since it is a southern team who will not have to worry about inclement weather for at least eight games each season. Their divisional opponents also include two warm-weather teams and a team that plays inside dome. His combination of accuracy and creativity as a passer not only raises his floor, but it will also allow him to start from day one and command an NFL offense. He is a true point guard at the quarterback position, and the team that drafts him could be getting one of the league’s top playmakers for years to come.

2. C.J. Stroud | Ohio State | 6’3”, 215 lbs

2022 Stats: 285 COMP, 389 ATT, 3688 YDS, 41 TD, 6 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: Top 10 Overall

Jeremy Betz: Stroud stands out as a big-arm QB with the ability to hit receivers anywhere on the field. He also boasts underrated athleticism, which he displayed in maybe the best game of his career against the best defense in the country vs Georgia in the 2022 College Football Playoff Semifinal. When you combine his prototypical size with his experience and all-encompassing skill set, you have a true first round talent at the QB position. Despite early concerns in his career about accuracy, specifically under pressure, Stroud has mostly fixed those issues, however he still makes the occasional head-scratching overthrow. Stroud’s biggest strength might be his ability to throw with accuracy and anticipation on the move. He also shows poise when the play breaks down and he has to make the tough, off-script throws. Scouts will be interested to see just how athletic he is in the pre-draft process. Stroud may well cement himself in the first overall pick conversation by April.

3. Will Levis | Kentucky | 6’3”, 222 lbs

2022 Stats: 185 COMP, 283 ATT, 2406 YDS, 19 TD, 10 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: Top 10 Overall

Ryland B.: Will Levis puts mayonnaise in his coffee and eats bananas with the peel on. He runs the ball with reckless abandon. He’s what you’d call a “football guy.” But grit and toughness don’t fully define his game. Levis has the ideal build and athleticism of an NFL quarterback with one of the best arms in this class. His physical tools just scream that he’s a franchise quarterback. But despite all of his NFL-ready traits, there’s no denying that Levis is still very much a project. Despite an elite arm his accuracy can be hit and miss and he’s yet to show that he’s a good off-schedule playmaker. Additionally, a lot of improvement is still needed when it comes to reading defenses, going through progressions, and pocket awareness. All of these detractors make me worry that Levis has “bust” written all over him, but his tremendous arm talent and mobility will surely intrigue NFL front offices — and for good reason. Levis has all the unteachable traits in spades, while all of his weaknesses are certainly coachable.

4. Anthony Richardson | Florida | 6’5”, 236 lbs

2022 Stats: 176 COMP, 327 ATT, 2549 YDS, 17 TD, 9 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 1st

Necksnation: Anthony Richardson has excellent physical tools, but will he translate smoothly to the next level? The redshirt sophomore is absolutely electric as a ballcarrier, where his agility and strength make him a nightmare to tackle. At 6’4” and 236 lbs, he has great size for the position, and he uses it as an asset on the field. His mobility may be his greatest strength, and he made a number of highlight reel runs in 2022 that put the country on notice. Additionally, he has excellent arm talent, and he is more than capable of making throws of 60+ yards. However, he is still quite raw, and has a number of areas in which he needs to improve as a passer. His accuracy is inconsistent, and there were many instances where he overthrew receivers on deep balls. And while he gets great velocity on his throws, he hasn’t really mastered the art of throwing with touch, which is something he’ll need to work on in order to succeed in the NFL. He needs to improve at reading defenses, and he struggled with turnovers at times in college. Richardson might have the highest ceiling of any QB in this class, but he’s far from a sure thing.

5. Hendon Hooker | Tennessee | 6’4”, 218 lbs

2022 Stats: 229 COMP, 329 ATT, 3135 YD, 27 TD, 2 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 2nd

Necksnation: Hendon Hooker will be 25 at the time of the NFL draft, and he won’t see the field for a while as a rookie due to his ACL tear from November. However, Hooker is no stranger to long odds, breaking out in 2021 as a redshirt junior and leading Tennessee to their best season in decades the following year. Hooker possesses a solid frame for the position, and his physical traits are stellar as well, as he has pretty good arm strength and excellent mobility. He is one of the most exciting players to watch with the ball in his hands, which is largely due to his ability to extend plays,, a characteristic that he demonstrated frequently at Tennessee. Additionally, his accuracy has generally been solid, and he did a great job of limiting turnovers in college, throwing a combined five interceptions over the past two seasons. However, his decision making is a bit of an issue, as he tends to look to scramble if his first read isn’t there. For a 25 year old QB, it’s certainly concerning that he still stares down his targets and struggles to go through progressions. And while his arm is good distance wise, he doesn’t always generate a ton of velocity on his throws. He projects as a late Day 2 pick who could fall into Day 3, as his red flags could easily scare teams off and cause him to slip.

6. Jaren Hall | BYU | 6’1”, 205 lbs

2022 Stats: 248 COMP, 376 ATT, 3171 YDS, 31 TD, 6 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 3rd

Noah_E: Hall is effective as both a runner and a passer. He throws with very good velocity and has excellent ball placement, especially on long balls. He’s a quick decision-maker and at his best when he’s on the move. However, he also has great pocket presence and knows when to climb the pocket to avoid pressure. While he has very good accuracy, it takes a hit when he isn’t able to set his feet, and he has yet to prove that he can read a defense at a high level. Hall has just about everything you want in a modern-day quarterback, but he’ll be a 25-year-old rookie with an injury history. Even so, if I’m a team looking to draft a QB on day 2, I would pull the trigger in a heartbeat. I think the Bucs at the back end of the first round could be a great fit as a successor to Brady.

7. Tanner McKee | Stanford | 6’6”, 228 lbs

2022 Stats: 264 COMP, 426 ATT, 2947 YDS, 13 TD, 8 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: Early 4th

Andrew Wilbar: McKee is a gifted pocket passer with great size and a strong arm. What I love the most about McKee is his ability to deliver the ball from many different arm angles, allowing him to accurately deliver off-balanced and off-scripted throws. In all fairness, Stanford’s offensive line had its share of struggles in 2022, but McKee took a lot of sacks he did not have to this past season. Too often on tape you will find him holding onto the ball too long and failing to sense pressure, which was extremely detrimental for an RPO-heavy offense like Stanford’s. He also sticks onto his first read too long, which prevents him from scanning the whole field and finding open receivers. It is clear he does not possess the mobility to create chunks of positive yardage on the ground, and that may be the determining factor in whether or not he is selected within the first two days of the draft. NFL teams are willing to gamble on talented passers, but having minimal mobility really limits his ceiling.

8. Max Duggan | TCU | 6’2”, 201 lbs

2022 Stats: 253 COMP, 397 ATT, 3546 YDS, 32 TD, 6 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: Late 4th

Ryland B.: Max Duggan has fascinated me as a quarterback prospect ever since he willed his team down the field on a game-tying drive against Kansas State in the 2022 Big 12 Championship Game. Duggan’s underdog story, tough-as-nails playing style, and proven winning ability makes him easy to root for. He may not be as strong an athlete as some of the bigger names on this board, but he still possesses an NFL-caliber (but not exactly elite) arm that can make some tough throws down the field. He’s also a threat to run on both designed QB rushes as well as when plays break down. Duggan has sneaky speed and a linear, hard-nosed running style. As a passer, Duggan has flashes of brilliance when it comes to ball placement but his overall accuracy could use some work. He often tries to make too much happen when under pressure which can result in ill-advised throws. Duggan grades out as a late round quarterback, but if he can improve his decision-making and accuracy (more specifically, his mechanics), his future has some definite upside.

9. Jake Haener | Fresno State | 6’1”, 200 lbs

2022 Stats: 252 COMP, 350 ATT, 2896 YDS, 20 TD, 3 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: 5th

John O.: As the stats indicate, Haener is accurate, throws the ball well around much of the field, plus has proven to be clutch at times when needed. He beat UCLA in 2021 with multiple comeback drives. Despite being injured early in the 2022 season, he led Fresno St. to the Mountain West title via another late comeback effort. His mobility isn’t optimal, however. He’s more of a pocket-style, quick release thrower, but Haener has always been thought to have NFL-level skill. While slightly undersized in stature, he comes from a QB-friendly system that allowed him to sling passes almost whenever. His arm talent seems average, although he can read defenses better than many on this list. Overall, Haener reminds me of a career backup like Gardner Minshew. Case Keenum comes to mind also. For an NFL team looking for a cheap backup, a team could do worse than selecting Haener in round five or so.

10. Tyson Bagent | Shepherd | 6’3”, 210 lbs

2022 Stats: 400 COMP, 572 ATT, 4580 YDS, 41 TD, 2 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: 5th

Andrew Wilbar: Tyson Bagent is the Division II version of Trevor Lawrence. Long hair and all, Bagent rolled over lesser competition, passing for over 9,500 passing yards and 94 touchdowns in the past two seasons combined. In that time span, he posted a 69% completion percentage. To the oversight of many, Bagent actually set the NCAA record across all divisions for career touchdown passes with 159. However, it is extremely difficult trying to give an accurate evaluation, as all his competition was against clearly inferior talent. From what I have seen of him, Bagent does a great job making throws on the run outside the pocket, and he displays tremendous poise inside the pocket. If he can display that same poise when facing legitimate competition, he has the tools to succeed in the NFL.

11. Clayton Tune | Houston | 6’3”, 215 lbs

2022 Stats: 334 COMP, 496 ATT, 4074 YDS, 40 TD, 10 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: 5th

Noah_E: A starter for the last three-and-a-half years at Houston, Clayton Tune has what it takes to be an NFL quarterback. He has prototypical size and great mental abilities. He possesses elite escapability, great pocket presence, and very smooth footwork. He utilizes his strong arm and quick release to make throws look effortless. His accuracy is a tad inconsistent, especially as a deep passer, but overall his ball placement is solid. Now he isn’t going to go out there and make those jaw-dropping throws with insane arm angles like the Patrick Mahomes or the Josh Allens of the world. But he makes the throws that he’s asked to make and even without the physical gifts, I think if anyone is NFL-ready, it’s Clayton Tune.

12. Malik Cunningham | Louisville | 6’1”, 200 lbs

2022 Stats: 136 COMP, 218 ATT, 1568 YDS, 8 TD, 5 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: 5th

Andrew Wilbar: Without looking up the stats, if I told you Malik Cunningham had more passing yards, more passing touchdowns, more yards per attempt, a higher completion percentage, and just as many rushing touchdowns as Lamar Jackson did at Louisville, would you believe me? Well, Cunningham did have two more years than Jackson to accomplish those feats, but one trait Cunningham possesses that Jackson did not in college is decent accuracy. He will have the occasional errant throw, but overall, Cunningham has good command of his arm, delivering clean balls with a natural motion. His shorter stature does affect his vision over the middle of the field, but the fact that he is more developed as a passer than Jackson was at this stage adds a different level of intrigue. That alone makes him an immediate offensive weapon, which is why I consider Cunningham a potential value pick at the quarterback position.

13. Dorian Thompson-Robinson | UCLA | 6’1”, 205 lbs

2022 Stats: 266 COMP, 382 ATT, 3154 YDS, 27 TD, 10 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: 6th

Ryland B.: Dorian Thompson-Robinson has slowly improved throughout his career at UCLA, but he still remains a very up-and-down quarterback. On one hand, there’s the good: DTR is a plus athlete with great mobility and twitchiness. He has a solid arm that can put some great zip on short to intermediate throws. He’s good at getting the ball to his receivers in space and can make some impressive throws at different arm angles and when under pressure. However, DTR’s decision-making can be questionable and he can struggle with accuracy and making the right reads. He’s a dynamic runner but his vision could use some improvement, and he isn’t the best deep-ball passer. Some of his success can be attributed to Chip Kelly’s QB-friendly scheme as well. Thompson-Robinson’s arrogant demeanor on the field may be a negative to some, but his fiery competitiveness is certainly a plus. However, his decision to headbutt a Pitt DB in the Sun Bowl definitely isn’t. Overall, Thompson-Robinson has some interesting athletic upside, but he profiles pretty solidly as a Day 3 prospect.

14. Stetson Bennett | Georgia | 5’11”, 190 lbs

2022 Stats: 292 COMP, 430 ATT, 3823 YDS, 23 TD, 7 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: 7th/UDFA

Jeremy Betz: Bennett is a winner. That’s all there is to it. Despite being an undersized prospect with below average arm talent, he has earned his helmet stickers as a leader and a timing QB with great anticipation and ball placement. He also displays sneaky athleticism in the pocket and real speed in the open field. Bennett is a great decision maker as well, reading the coverage and working through his progressions. Scouts will have concerns about his size and durability at the NFL level, but what should never be in question is his desire to win and his leadership qualities. Likely a 7th round flyer or priority UDFA candidate, any NFL team will love to have this guy in their locker room.

15. Will Rogers | Mississippi State | 6’2”, 205 lbs

2022 Stats: 386 COMP, 566 ATT, 3713 YDS, 34 TD, 6 INT
Wilbar’s Grade: 7th/UDFA

Necksnation: Will Rogers put up solid numbers in his three years at Mississippi State, and the team improved in every season with him under center. In 2022, he led the Bulldogs to a top 20 finish and a bowl victory while posting the best TD/INT ratio of his career. Rogers has solid accuracy on short to intermediate passes, and leads his receivers well to set up opportunities for yards after the catch. He is undersized, and in general, his physical traits aren’t the best. His mobility isn’t terrible, and he can occasionally extend plays to make something happen downfield, but he isn’t much of a scrambler and he doesn’t have elite speed or agility. And while his arm strength is generally fine, he doesn’t throw with much zip. He reads defenses well, though, and he seems to have good decision making overall, making him a somewhat pro ready option. However, he doesn’t have much of a ceiling either. He wouldn’t be a bad late round pick/UDFA for a team in search of a backup QB.

Which quarterbacks have your interest in this draft? Which one do you think could make sense in the later rounds for the Steelers? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below, and stay tuned to BTSC as we get you ready for the 2023 NFL offseason!