Top 10 Quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft Include C.J. Stroud and Hendon Hooker

The 2023 NFL Draft class presents a varietal who's who among the top 10 quarterbacks. Who lands at No. 1? Does your favorite crack the top 10?

Midway through the 2022 season, who are the Top 10 quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft? There have been risers and fallers in the media, but the class is still very far from being settled. From where we stand now, with upper and underclassmen both in the mix, let’s see who comes out on top.

Top 10 Quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft

10) Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA

Quietly, Dorian Thompson-Robinson has had his most efficient year yet in a five-year span in 2022. He’s completing over 70% of his passes and has 17 touchdowns to just three interceptions through eight games. He’s also produced on the ground — a common thread across his career.

Stagnation with development has often been a critique for Thompson-Robinson, and he’s still an unfinished product even now. But his experience has yielded some growth in 2022, and his mobility is an exciting foundational trait to build off of.

There are a few backup quarterbacks in the NFL who come to mind right away — Tyler Huntley, Taylor Heinicke, Tyrod Taylor — who actively use their mobility as a boon when faced with adversity.

Thompson-Robinson has that kind of high-level athleticism — the explosiveness and agility to create where others can’t, avoid negative plays, and create positive ones. And ultimately, he’s a decisive passer with enough arm talent to get by.

9) Jordan Travis, Florida State

There are several redemptive arcs in the 2023 NFL Draft QB class, and Florida State’s Jordan Travis is one of them. Travis started his collegiate career at Louisville, then transferred to Florida State, where he at first struggled to maintain a place in the lineup.

He broke new ground with a respectable 2021 campaign, however, and he’s built on that momentum in 2022. Eight games in, Travis has 2,057 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and just three picks, and his play is starting to give him weight as a prospect.

The athleticism is the first thing that pops with Travis. He’s incredibly quick and slippery in tight spaces and has high-end explosiveness in space when he can open his strides. He also has above-average arm strength, and bright operational flashes dot his film over the past nine weeks.

Travis does have more to clean up. His field vision is inconsistent at times, as are his lower-body mechanics. But his talent and creation capacity, especially against pressure, make him an easy player to be intrigued by in the modern NFL.

8) Bo Nix, Oregon

Forget everything you thought you knew about Bo Nix. At times reduced to a college football caricature at Auburn, Nix has truly transformed his game at Oregon — to the point where he may need to be viewed as a legitimate 2023 NFL Draft prospect.

Nix is having a career-redefining season, having completed 180 of 249 passes (72.3%) for 2,221 yards, 20 touchdowns, and just five picks. He also has 441 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground to his name.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

While he hasn’t always commanded the respect as a prospect, Nix has always had the requisite talent. Hidden inside some of his chaotic plays at Auburn were truly spectacular glimpses of athleticism, creation capacity, arm talent, and natural off-platform ability.

Those high-level traits haven’t gone away at Oregon. But now, Nix is channeling them with much more control, composure, and efficiency. It’s not brash to say, with his tools, he could have an early-round ceiling.

7) Cameron Ward, Washington State

Cameron Ward first drew glimpses as the passer at Incarnate Word in 2021, where he amassed 4,648 yards, 47 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions in a ground-breaking campaign.

At Washington State, he’s been reasonably productive in his first year. More importantly, he’s shown off the talent that grants him future starter upside. At 6’2″, 220 pounds, he’s a twitchy athlete, and he’s one of the few QBs who can truly throw and generate velocity from any arm angle.

Ward is the youngest QB in the 2023 NFL Draft group. And naturally, a need for maturation comes with that in multiple phases. There’s also a sense that Ward is ad-libbing at times on the field, and he can stand to harness more control in his game, both with his mechanics and with his overall process.

But when you think about the best young QBs in the NFL, Ward has some of what they have — a mix of high-end creation components and quantifiably elite arm elasticity.

6) Jaren Hall, BYU

It hasn’t been a banner year for BYU football itself, but Jaren Hall has been a consistent bright spot on the offensive side of the ball. After embarking on an efficient 2021 campaign, Hall has carried that high-level play over into 2022.

He has 2,245 yards, 21 touchdowns, and just three interceptions on 65.6% completion so far — a line that’s indicative of Hall’s ability to produce while also minimizing risk.

MORE: Jaren Hall Defines What a Leader Is

The question that remains for Hall is whether or not he has the level of talent to elevate his team — a question that will be answered as Hall and the 4-5 Cougars seek to become bowl eligible with three weeks left.

Hall’s ball placement has, at times, been otherworldly this year. Especially on boundary and corner throws, he’s truly elevated his game as a back-shoulder and bucket passer. At the very least, he profiles as a steady backup with spot-starter capacity in the NFL.

5) Anthony Richardson, Florida

Anthony Richardson was easily the most anticipated 2023 NFL Draft QB prospect ahead of the 2022 campaign. A breakout was all but expected from the Gators passer, but instead, Richardson has struggled to string together moments of growth.

Eight games through the season, Richardson has completed 114 of 207 passes (55.1%) for 1,638 yards, seven touchdowns, and seven picks. 414 yards and six additional scores on the ground help boost Richardson’s production profile. But as a passer, there’s still clearly work to do.

Nevertheless, needing more work hasn’t often scared NFL teams away from talents like Richardson in the past. And there may not be a QB more talented than Richardson. He’s a truly elite athlete at 6’4″ and 231 pounds, with rare foot speed, explosiveness, twitch, and agility for his size.

And with all that athleticism, he carries a rocket launcher on his right shoulder. Richardson’s mix of tools is dream material for coaches who crave the chance to work with a moldable ball of clay. And it’s why, if he declares, he’ll command early-round capital — even if he’s not quite there yet as a prospect.

4) Will Levis, Kentucky

There has to be a middle ground on Will Levis. We’ll start there. Objectively, the Kentucky QB hasn’t shown the growth desired from him in 2022. He’s still frustratingly inconsistent as a processor.

He still struggles to manage the pocket at times, and he’ll attempt to force dangerous throws with his talent. But therein also lies the silver lining with Levis. He’s an athletic 6’4″, 230-pound bulldozer on the ground, with a rifle arm that generates elite levels of velocity, and can also manipulate angles.

Levis has high-end talent. And no one knows how he’s truly going to pan out as a prospect. So from that probabilistic standpoint, it makes sense that teams are bullish on the idea of investing in his traits early in Round 1.

But it’s also telling that Levis — with all his talent, at 24 years old — can’t consistently take charge of the Kentucky offense when he needs to and at times struggles to operate in structure. There are questions with Levis, questions that will likely remain in April. But the ultimate question — “What can he be?” — is one NFL teams may fixate on.

3) Hendon Hooker, Tennessee

Now the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, Hendon Hooker has become inevitable as an early-round 2023 NFL Draft prospect. Thus far, he’s completed 156 of 219 passes (71.2%) for 2,338 yards, 21 touchdowns, and just one interception in 2022, while also adding 338 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

The age has long been a concern with Hooker, who’ll be a 25-year-old rookie. But juxtaposing him with Levis, who’s just one year younger, the traits and effectiveness take center stage. At this point, in that context, Hooker is the more appealing prospect.

Hooker has starter-level arm strength and elasticity, to go along with great overall athleticism for his 6’4″, 218-pound frame. What’s most exciting isn’t his straight-line speed, but instead his quick-twitch in the pocket, to sidestep rushers and keep plays alive.

Beyond the raw traits, however, Hooker is also incredibly composed and efficient — not risk-averse, but operating on a healthy, delicate boundary that maximizes the risk-reward curve. His mechanics and accuracy have visibly improved as well, and his prolific success at Tennessee is proof that NFL teams can build the same kind of aerial attack with him at the helm.

2) Bryce Young, Alabama

He’s listed as QB2 here, but Bryce Young might as well be QB1b. It’s that close between C.J. Stroud and Young — always has been. And the 2022 season hasn’t done anything to change that.

If anything, the 2022 campaign has made arguments for Young even more compelling. The defending Heisman winner has maintained his rare efficiency from 2021, and in a year where Alabama isn’t quite as unbeatable, he’s the biggest reason they’re still competitive.

Young’s size will continue to be a sticking point — and it’s a notable risk on his report. Young’s height isn’t the issue, but rather his weight. He’s well under 200 pounds, and it’s reasonable to question how his durability projects in the NFL. But not mincing words — Young is a near-generational creator in off-script situations.

He’s absolutely a rushing threat with his quick-twitch athleticism, but his instincts as a passer are extraordinary — manipulating space in the pocket, processing windows, and staying unnaturally cool and collected amidst adversity. Size simply isn’t a reason to turn this kind of talent down.

1) C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

If anyone tells you, “this guy is QB1 and it’s not close”, they’re wrong. In either case — for C.J. Stroud or for Young — hyperbolic language does a disservice to the other player. There’s a case to be made for both prospects. But as it stands here at PFN, the case remains slightly stronger for Stroud as the best QB prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Young’s elite creation capacity is perhaps his biggest asset in the debate against Stroud. But Stroud is a good athlete in his own right, who more struggles with comfort off-script than mobility. And when you look at the operational components — the nuts and bolts of playing QB in the pocket and maximizing opportunities — Stroud passes the test with flying colors.

Stroud has the arm strength and talent to generate velocity and layer throws. Let’s start there. But he’s also unnaturally advanced for his age with his eye discipline, active manipulation, and processing of tight windows.

When he’s at his best, he’s absolutely surgical with his combination of pocket poise and navigation, field vision, and pinpoint accuracy. Every NFL offense is a mix of parts, and Stroud is the kind of QB who can put those parts together and engineer an elite scoring unit.

Honorable Mentions

  • Clayton Tune, Houston
  • Michael Penix Jr., Washingon
  • Cameron Rising, Utah
  • Tyler Van Dyke, Miami (FL)
  • DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson
  • Aidan O’Connell, Purdue
  • Sam Hartman, Wake Forest
  • Devin Leary, NC State
  • Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State
  • Darren Grainger, Georgia State
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