2023 NFL Draft: NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah Dishes on QB Class, Anthony Richardson, and Hendon Hooker

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah gives his thoughts on the 2023 NFL Draft quarterback class and where Anthony Richardson and Hendon Hooker fit in.

NFL draft season is here, and, as usual, the quarterback class is commanding most of the attention. How does this year’s crop of signal-callers compare with the 2020 and 2021 draft classes, when a total of nine quarterbacks came off the board in Round 1? NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah discussed the 2023 quarterback group and more in a conference call on Friday.

Daniel Jeremiah Discusses 2023 NFL Draft

In 2020, Joe Burrow, Tua Tagavailoa, and Justin Herbert were all selected inside the top-six picks, while the Green Bay Packers drafted Jordan Love at No. 26 overall. The following year, Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, and Mac Jones were all gone by the midway point of the first round.

The difference between those draft classes and the 2023 group? The lack of a true generational talent at the top of the quarterback group, says Jeremiah.

“It’s not one of those years where you have Trevor Lawrence. It’s not Joe Burrow. It’s obviously not Andrew Luck. It’s not that year,” Jeremiah said Friday. “… We don’t have that. They all have warts. They all have flaws, but I think there’s five potential starters.”

Jeremiah ranks Alabama’s Bryce Young as the best quarterback in the 2023 class, followed by Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis, Florida’s Anthony Richardson, and Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker.

MORE: NFL Mock Draft Simulator

“When you look at how those guys stack up, for me, it’s Bryce, then a gap, and then those other three guys. I think it’s however they fit what plan you have in place and how you want to use them.”

While the 2023 quarterback class may not contain a once-in-a-lifetime prospect, Jeremiah believes this year’s crop will include multiple eventual NFL starters.

“I think that you look at the depth of a quarterback class by how many starters you can produce. And we have to wait three years at least right before we know, but I don’t think that there’s anybody like Lawrence or Burrow. But I do think, I think there’s five guys we could see starting that you can win with, that you’re not looking to get rid of or replace or draft over.

“… There’s no perfect prospect. But I think if you draft those guys, you’re expecting those guys … to be starting quarterbacks. And if you get a draft that ends up with five starting quarterbacks, that’s pretty good. Pretty good group and pretty good depth.”

How High Could Anthony Richardson Go?

In his most recent mock draft, Jeremiah sent Richardson to the Detroit Lions at pick No. 18. However, he doesn’t think the Florida product will actually be available by the time Detroit makes it second first-round selection.

“Anthony Richardson is the second quarterback for several teams that I’ve talked to,” Jeremiah said. “… He’s a rare athlete. You don’t see quarterbacks running away from LSU with 80-yard touchdown runs. He’s got a big-time ceiling, big-time ability.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Quarterback Class — C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young Lead the Way

“And you know, you can find the games. If you want to fall in love with Anthony Richardson, you pop on Utah, you think he’s the first pick in the draft. Even Missouri, he makes some big-time plays in that game. So I know it’s a little bit of a roller coaster. I know he hasn’t played a ton. But teams are starting to look at some of these quarterbacks as lottery tickets. And this one has the biggest payout.”

Richardson boasts tremendous upside, and given the sheer number of teams that need quarterback help, it stands to reason that he might not make it out of the top 10 picks.

As Jeremiah noted, Richardson could be an ideal project for the Lions because his ceiling is far higher than incumbent starter Jared Goff. However, Detroit may have to bite the bullet and select Richardson sixth overall if they truly want to land him.

Where Does Hendon Hooker Fit In?

Hooker won the 2022 SEC Offensive Player of the Year award after passing for 3,135 yards, 27 touchdowns, and two interceptions, but he already turned 25 years old in January and tore his ACL in November. Still, Jeremiah is a fan of the Tennessee quarterback.

“I think you start with accuracy and decision-making,” Jeremiah said of Hooker. “He can move around. So you’re going to be able to use all that stretch boot, he’s going to be very comfortable doing that. He can think the game really well.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

“We’ll see how high he ends up going coming off of the injury. I think he would have been a first-round pick if he didn’t get hurt, even with the age. I know people talk about how old he is, but he’s a really, really solid player.”

Jeremiah believes Hooker could eventually become a franchise quarterback and referred to him as a potential “value pick” depending on where he lands. From an accuracy perspective, the Volunteers’ signal-caller reminds Jeremiah of Sam Bradford, although Hooker is “a lot more athletic” than the former NFL starter.

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