2023 draft QB power rankings — week two

September 15th, 2022 | Written by Rob Staton

I will update these power rankings as we go along. It’s a bit of fun — but also a review of how the players with first round potential are progressing through the season. It’s also not a ranking. This isn’t necessarily the order I expect them to be drafted (and it’d be too early to make any predictions anyway).

I will add names to the list if needed as we go along. It will only ever be the players I expect to garner first round interest, though.

#1 C.J. Stroud (Ohio State)
This week I had Stroud and Richardson swap places. That’s how contrasting their fortunes were. Admittedly Stroud had the luxury of playing an overmatched Arkansas State team but what he showed was exciting, complex throws that get you out of your seat. His throwing base was textbook in this game (a stark difference to former Buckeye Justin Fields) and from that base he was able to deliver some of the prettiest passes you’ll see all season. An inch-perfect 34-yard throw — so on target it was virtually handed to the receiver. A 50-yard bomb — flashing plus arm strength and sensational downfield ball-placement. A near 40-yard toss to the front left corner of the end-zone, placed perfectly despite tight coverage and safety help for a touchdown. This was Stroud flexing and showing what he’s capable of. Now we need to see it consistently along with improved intermediate accuracy and processing in close games.

#2 Will Levis (Kentucky)
We don’t need to see quarterback perfection in every game. Sometimes it’s about avoiding mistakes, doing what you need to do and leading your team to a big road win in a hostile environment against an opponent with momentum. Levis didn’t do enough against Florida to go from #1 to #2 but he certainly didn’t do anything to harm his stock either. He flashed the traits we all know he has — showing easy arm strength on a +60-yard downfield throw for a touchdown. He’s mastered the play-action offense Kentucky has been using since he transferred to the team. When he was getting absolutely hammered in the first half and had zero support from the running game, he still put points on the board. He kept Kentucky in it until they finally established the run — and then all he had to do was avoid errors. The “interception” he had was really a sack-fumble. Put him on an offense with a good O-line and give him some weapons and he can have a lot of success in the NFL. Quick stat for you — he is now 12-3 as a starter at Kentucky. In their previous 10 seasons, Kentucky averaged 5.6 wins a season.

#3 Bryce Young (Alabama)
After three quarters against Texas, Young was having the kind of day Anthony Richardson was having. He should’ve been picked off after a horrendous decision to throw across the middle after sensing moderate interior pressure. He should’ve conceded a safety after sitting in his own end-zone for five seconds, getting hammered and being bailed out by some weirdness from the refs. He toiled and struggled and appeared set to lose the game and Alabama’s #1 ranking. Yet in the hour of the need, he got his act together and dragged his team to victory. In the fourth quarter all of the customary poise returned. He was creative as a runner and accurate as a thrower. He scored one of the touchdowns of the season on a scramble in the red zone. Sometimes you have to give credit to a QB for getting the job done on an off-day. That is what Young did on Saturday.

#4 Tyler Van Dyke (Miami)
Watching Miami’s game against Southern Miss was like a trip to the dentist. Within 10 minutes of the ordeal starting, you just wanted it to be over. The Hurricanes decided to try and bore Southern Miss into submission and congratulations to them, they pulled it off. TVD captured the imagination a year ago when he took over the starting job. He galvanised Miami and turned them into a formidable force — defeating Kenny Pickett and eventual ACC Champions Pittsburgh in their own backyard along the way. They showed off their quarterback as he sprayed the ball around the field. Now he has to resort to dump-offs, extended hand-offs, running the ball +40 times and a few slants. He’s double-clutching in the pocket and throwing late (see: horrible interception). I want to see them unleash TVD against a very beatable Texas A&M this weekend. Will they? Probably not. I fear the Mario Cristobal offense is going to do to Van Dyke what it did to Justin Herbert at Oregon.

#5 Anthony Richardson (Florida)
There’s not much more to say that wasn’t said already in Saturday’s piece. Richardson had a total clunker. All of the poise, processing and excitement of the Utah game disappeared. He wasn’t a running threat at all. His passes were mainly a series of 100mph fast-balls thrown with reckless abandon. He had one unlucky interception and a pick-six he’ll have nightmares about all week. Richardson looked like a player with three college starts and he deserves an opportunity to develop and learn without the pressure of the NFL draft lurking in the background. This might be the last time I include him in the power rankings because he looks like a young player who needs time. Truth be told, more time than is probably permitted in the remainder of the 2022 college season.

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68 Responses to “2023 draft QB power rankings — week two”

  1. Starhawk29 says:

    TVD is the biggest question mark in this draft right now, in my mind at least. If I remember correctly, Rob, you were not very high on Justin Herbert (neither was I) when he came out of school. With TVD being in the same offense now, and seemingly sharing some characteristics to Herbert (big arm, athletic, introverted, etc.), I’m curious if you have any lessons learned from the Herbert evaluation? I can’t stand watching that offense, and I’m unsure how to give the player a fair shake when he’s given so few opportunities to actually play QB.

    • Rob Staton says:

      With Herbert I said what I saw — fantastic tools, erratic play, crap offense that held him back. I didn’t need to study the QB class that much that year but I kept voicing my disdain for the Cristobal system

      • TomLPDX says:

        I think Cristobal will definitely hold TVD back this year. I really hope so this weekend because my Aggies need to get their act together quickly if they don’t want to go down as the worst football team in 2022. I WILL be rooting against TVD this weekend and the A&M defense is no slouch, but I’ll also be looking for solid QB play from him as well because he could have that “it” factor that Herbert has (but never showed). For the Aggies, I hope they get their act together on the offense…let’s wait and see who the QB will for them. This is my “must watch” game on Saturday.

      • Starhawk29 says:

        Fair enough, just was curious if you’ve learned anything from that. No surprise you didn’t study him a ton, we were pretty set at the position back then. I just wonder how we can fairly evaluate TVD knowing that the last draftable QB from that offense looked like a totally different player in college than in the NFL.

  2. KennyBadger says:

    Out with the Peacock!

    In with Teez Nuts!

    • TomLPDX says:

      The teacup is done.

      • Big Boi says:

        Feels like the Seahawks want to put Jamal on the ROH sooner than Russ with all this love and appreciation for what, 25 games? According to SporTrac, we’ve paid him $38 million over the last 2 seasons and 1 game, for the very sound investment of $1.5 million per game, or $4 million per sack, or $19 million per interception. Compare that to the $180 million we paid Russ for 174 games or $1.034 million per game, though apparently Hawk fans think Jamal is more valuable lol.

    • Palatypus says:

      If Jamal Adams were a character in Top Gun, he would be that guy in the tower that keeps spilling coffee on himself when Maverick does a fly-by.

      You know, Mr. Strickland from Back to the Future -James Tolkan,

  3. samprassultanofswat says:

    Tyler Van Dyke only has 45 pass attempts in two games. That comes to 22.5 attempts per game. Last season Van Dyke averaged 32.4 attempts per game. That is ten fewer attempts per game from his previous season. . . Not enough no doubt that Crystal Ball is holding Van Dyke back.

    Hopefully Van Dyke will get not frustrated by his lack of attempts.

    • KennyBadger says:

      In a way, shouldn’t we all want qb stock to fall? On the other hand, I don’t want any of these guys to be in Spencer Rattler territory lest Pete get any ideas…

      • Palatypus says:

        We have two young solid tackles and two really good receivers. I would prefer someone close to NFL-ready.

        • KennyBadger says:

          Oh I totally agree I’m just speaking in terms of guys falling down the board. Obviously if they do that then there’s more questions about their talent. To use the Herbert example, he’s obviously a very good qb but he was valued less because of how he looked in the Mario system.

  4. Sea Mode says:

    RE: Adams injury
    Has there been anything from the coaches about how this should be devastating for our defense given that supposedly it was all built around his “unique abilities”?

    Seems more like just a halfhearted shrug of the shoulders so far and some generic lip service.

    • Ashish says:

      https://www.nfl.com/players/teez-tabor/

      Anyone heard about Teez Tabor? Not sure why we signed CB when SS is injured.

    • Trevor says:

      I agree Seamode. The reaction to the injury has been really muted. Almost like the coaching staff feels the same way about the Peacock as the rest of us.

      • Jabroni-DC says:

        Standard responses of a politician (Pete) to an obvious mistake could include silence, doubling down, lying…

        “We lost Jamal for the season but it would have been a lot worse if we hadn’t signed him through 2025… Gosh darn he played his tail off… and his shoulder… and his hamstring.”

    • cha says:

      I don’t know that anyone on this coaching staff would step to the podium and say that out loud even if it were true.

      I’m reading their words and body language more as pure frustration that Adams has a season ending injury for the third year in a row.

      Also that Pete’s enthusiasm for Josh Jones is real. Finding a reclamation project off the street is one of his great joys of coaching.

  5. JimQ says:

    Depending on how the draft picks for the Seahawks evolve, it might be possible to draft Levis with their 1-st pick and Van Dyke with one of their 2-nd round picks (if he drops some). Much like they did at the very important position of OT, you have to draft high to get the good ones. I would submit that the QB position is even MORE important and as such, well worth doubling up as it increases the chances of hitting “paydirt” for a team that is in bad need of a great “new” QB. Also having a realistic QB competition for starter and backup between two nearly equal QB’s is sound a strategy that likely brings out the capabilities of both. I think PC will want to get his new QB “fast”, so it’s logical he’ll double dip with high picks if possible.

    • DJ 1/2 way says:

      Like the other washington did with Cousins and whats-his-name.

    • UkAlex6674 says:

      Except the difference with your OT comparison is….you actually need 2 of them on the field at the same time.

      Can’t see PC doing this. More chance of RW coming back on a team friendly deal saying he only left Seattle so they could get a load of draft picks – and that’s been the plan all along.

  6. Jabroni-DC says:

    There’s a possibility that not all of the above QBs will declare for the 2023 draft. We shall see.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Stroud and Young definitely will

      Levis definitely will

      TVD and Richardson might not but I would expect TVD to strongly consider it if he hasn’t made his mind up

  7. Jabroni-DC says:

    We’ve got two 1st round picks in 2023. With that ammunition, I’m sure we can find another SS to replace Jamal & salvage this season.

    • KD says:

      I’m really liking Deshawn Pace from CIN. He’s listed as a LB, but has played SS in the past. Good open field tackler who wraps the ball carrier’s legs up with good technique. Dangerous blitzer too. Fast and aggressive. I could see him as a Jamal replacement in a SS/LB hybrid role. I don’t know where his draft stock will end up by the end of the season, but I’m really liking his style.

      His brother, Ivan Pace Jr. , also a CIN Bearcat, is more of a traditional LB but he’s pretty damn good too. Worth a look if you want to add some competition for that 2nd ILB spot.

      • Jabroni-DC says:

        Appreciate the scouting. Should be adding lots of talent come draft time.

        I was being a smartass about trading another 2 1st round picks for another SS in present time.

      • JimQ says:

        I think the Seahawks will likely want to add an MLB in the draft however, higher picks may be used on QB, DL and EDGE picks, dropping the LB priority to the middle rounds, so here’s a guy that may be a consideration due to his size, most LB’s this year seem substantially smaller compared to last year’s crop.

        LB-Jacoby Windmon, Michigan St. 6-2/250 – Currently ranked as a mid-round (3-5) prospect.
        Has 12-tkls, 6.5-TFL’s, 5.5-sacks, 1-PBU & 1-FR, & 4-FF in 2 games so far, alibi against W. Michigan & Akron. A darn good start to the season, if he can keep it going, he’s a prospect perhaps worth keeping an eye on.

    • Big Mike says:

      “With that ammunition, I’m sure we can find another SS to replace Jamal & salvage this season.”

      That was sarcasm, right?

  8. Trevor says:

    Wow these two QBs are good. Along with Allen they are the top 3 by a pretty wide margin now IMO.

    • Blitzy the Clown says:

      Just had this conversation with a friend.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Chargers have some awesome defensive players, can’t believe they got Mack and Bosa and James. Crazy!

    • Hawkcrazy says:

      You nailed that Trevor. Fantastic QB’s all of them … and they are all young. Rogers is still awesome as well but is nearing the end… I think although Brady taught me these guys are like the ever ready battery.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Yes, I’m not ready to take Brady off that list yet. He has a way of winning! The other three quarterbacks are really good and fun to watch.

  9. Blitzy the Clown says:

    Derwin James with the punishment!

  10. Palatypus says:

    How many interceptions have the Chargers dropped tonight? Three?

  11. Palatypus says:

    Pretty sure Herbert has a broken rib under his throwing arm. Kept going to his security blanket Ekeler there. He tough, but It’s going to be a long flight home.

  12. Ashish says:

    Where there is Everett there is an interception.

    • Mick says:

      He was banged on previous play and wanted out, but they hurried. He seemed to me better than he was in Seattle, probably used right.

    • Big Mike says:

      Horrible effort. Hurt or not, you have to give a better effort than he did on that play. Herbert is a really quiet guy, but his body language with Everett on the sideline after that pick said it all imo.

  13. GoHawksDani says:

    Just started watching LAC-KC. Zion Johnson vs Chris Jones. Johnson won.
    I love Lucas and like Cross, but man would it be great to also have Johnson instead of Haynes or Gabe Jackson 😀

    • Trevor says:

      Really hope they use a 2nd round pick to get a young potentially dominant LG in next years draft. Then release Jackson and move Lewis back to RG. Then if Blythe works out resign him or sign the best veteran FA Center next off season. That would make for a potentially outstanding OL for a young QB to develop behind.

    • Blitzy the Clown says:

      Keep watching. Jones gets his against Johnson.

  14. David says:

    For me would be interesting to benchmark these first rounders with starters you think are similar in terms of their expected rookie season performance and longer term expectations. Example: is Levis another Fields or Luck or Allen

    • Rob Staton says:

      In fairness it took Allen two years to work it out

      I suspect Levis, of the group, is the best prepared to start quickly. But we’ll see, it’s early days this season

  15. Trevor says:

    Just watched SF and the Bears. I know it is only week one so should not make judgements but that SF team and Lance do not look like a good team.

    If the Hawks can sure up their tackling and run defense there is no reason they should not win this weekend. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad if they are 2-0. Still likely a 4-5 win team but 2-0 would be a surprising start.

  16. Joshua Smith says:

    From a selfish Seahawks fan standpoint does this bode well for the Seahawks? Herbert has become one of the best in the NFL and he lasted to the middle of the top 10 if I remember correctly.
    Could TVD slip a few spots as a result of an offensive scheme that doesn’t showcase his abilities?

  17. Trevor says:

    Rob was wondering your thoughts on Trevor Lawerence? With a new regime in Jacksonville if he does not have a great year and the Jags end up with another top 5 pick is he someone that could be available? If so what are your thoughts? A lot of what ifs I know.

    Coming out of college I thought he was almost as much a sure thing as Andrew Luck but we have not seen it so far for a number of reasons.

  18. Rob Staton says:

    Quick note…

    Anyone noticed how Will Levis is now clearly established as part of the Stoud/Young group now?

    https://twitter.com/ESPNNFL/status/1570467505440985088

    Wonder which site saw that coming?

    Another plug for this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Wfnh_mK_nU&t=46s

    • Ashish says:

      I had no doubt about it. He will take over top spot from Young /Stoud by draft time. Richardson is also gaining momentum. I just wish Hawks get next Allen or Herbert.

    • Ashish says:

      Forgot to mention Rob others eventually catch up with you.

  19. Jordan says:

    “Put him on an offense with a good O-line and give him some weapons and he can have a lot of success in the NFL”

    Very key point here.

    When evaluating and projecting QB prospects it is important to keep in mind that the majority their current teammates are amateurs and unlikely to be professionals; and there is vast difference when your teammates are professionals, even when you’re going against other professionals. In the pros 90% of catchable passes are caught, a decent % of difficult catches are caught, 95% of assignments are carried out correctly, and even marginal offensive lines can still allow you to function. College QBs are very challenged by the vast relative difference between any given player and the calibre of the guy across from him. College coaches, justifiably as they should, prioritize winning over preparing their QBs for the pros.

    Levis would benefit the most from landing in an offense with Cross, Lucas, Lewis, Penny, Walker, DK, Tyler and the TEs. Young and Stroud, and I like elements of both of them, would have to adjust to not having a huge team talent disparity on their side anymore.

  20. Mark T says:

    Thanks to Rob we’ve been talking about this for a while now but looks like others are catching on. Will Levis mocked to the Hawks with the 5th pick.

    https://www.profootballnetwork.com/2023-nfl-mock-draft-pfn-mds-week-2-2022/

  21. Jordan says:

    I agree about Richardson – super tantalizing prospect.

    But definitely needs more seasoning – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Burrow came out after 5 years in college; Levis will be the same. Cam Newton bounced from Florida to Blinn College to Auburn prior to his breakout.

    Richardson will make a hell of an addition to the ’24 class with Caleb Williams and Quinn Ewers should the ’23 QB class not offer up anyone available to the Hawks that they love and want to invest a 1st round pick in.

  22. Chuck says:

    I know last season you said you didn’t think much of him, but I hope you get a chance to catch Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall. Like most people, I’d barely heard his name until Kenneth Arthur started banging the drum and I can’t get enough of him now. Hard to find streams of Sun Belt games, but they’re out there and I’ve made CCU games my main Saturday viewing. He’s really an incredible quarterback. Hard for me to tell much when he’s playing against such competition, but he absolutely does everything you could ask for and then some. I’m convinced he’ll be a solid pro and put him #3 behind Young and Levis, even though I’d wager he doesn’t go before the 3rd or 4th round.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think ‘incredible’ is overstretching things a bit.

      I wrote about him here — and I didn’t say I didn’t think much of him. I think I gave a fair review of what he is, which is mostly positive yet carries some realistic perspective:

      http://seahawksdraftblog.com/the-truth-about-the-2023-quarterback-class

      • Chuck says:

        Didn’t mean to put words in your mouth there, just recalled you didn’t see him as a viable target for our next QB1. If you’ll email me, I’ll post a stream link to their next game (or any game you want to take the time. I don’t think posting streams here would be appreciated, for obvious reasons). Having watched several of his full game performances, he just keeps impressing and usually pulls a move of wizardry or two per game that are truly spectacular. I realize the competition he plays against (and with) and it’s not like he’s in the SEC putting up these numbers, but he’s so much better than anyone else on the field every week.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I have access to their games through ESPN Player and I watched the Gardner-Webb game, fast-forwarding to his pass plays.

          I don’t see anything to really get that excited about. The offense is what it is, the opponents are what they are. I don’t think physically he’s as good as I thought he was a few months ago. As noted in the summer — the way he plays, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a later round pickup who sticks around in the way Gardner Minshew has without ever establishing as a full time starter. But I can’t put him in the discussion with some of these other guys. I’m not a big KJ Jefferson guy but to me, McCall is a step down from Jefferson.

    • JimQ says:

      I would like to point out the statistical numbers that have been put up by: QB-Grayson McCall, Costal Carolina in 2021. These are very good performance measurements vs: ALL of the other NCAA QB’s. I know statistics aren’t of value or important to some but, when a QB puts up numbers like these, it often means he’s pretty darn good.

      #2 in NCAA in pass completion with 73%.
      #1 in NCAA in Adjusted passing yards per attempt with 13.6 (must be some LONG “intermediate” passes here).
      #1 in NCAA in passing yards per attempt with 11.9
      #1 in NCAA in Total yards –per play– with 9.5
      #3 in NCAA (since *1956*) in Career Passing Yards per attempt with 12.5
      #1 in NCAA in Passing efficiency rating with 207.6
      #3 in NCAA (since *1956*) in Career Passing Efficiency with 196.1

      If nothing else, McCall would appear to be a very talented QB based on #’s he has produced. Coastal Carolina is an “improving” program on the rise ever since McCall got there. If McCall repeats these #’s this year, he should move up in the rankings & should receive some consideration by the Seahawks especially if they miss out on all of the current SDB “favorites” (which may be possible, dependent on how high their 1-st round picks are).

  23. Jake says:

    Caleb Williams and Grayson McCall???

    Just offering some non SEC only listening to the Pundit ideas