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Will Levis

A Hater’s Guide to the 2023 Quarterback Class

John Di Bari explains why he hates every single draft pick at each position in this special four part series.

Will Levis

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but it sounds like many people believe that every NFL team had an amazing draft. The lowest grade given to any team by NFL.com was a C+ (Lions). FoxSports gave the Denver Broncos their lowest grade with a C-, while Bleacher Report agreed with them, giving Denver the only D grade I’ve seen any team get in a draft grade article. Even The Pat McAfee Show asked, “Did Every Team Win in The 2023 NFL Draft?” The harshest draft grades I’ve found anywhere were from CBS’ Pete Prisco, who handed out several C- grades, but none lower than that. Even fellow DLFer John Hogue thought everyone hit it out of the park this year.

So, did everyone really nail the draft? As a miserable pessimist to my core, I sat through the draft, scrolling through my phone, looking at each selection, and I found a reason for each pick to make me sick. In this four-part series, I’ll look at each position group individually and tell you why I think every pick stinks. So, while everyone else on the planet is ranting and raving about the incredible results of the 2023 NFL draft, let me take you for a walk on the dark side.

In this first edition, we’re going to look at quarterbacks.

1.01, Bryce Young, QB CAR

Yeah, a 5’10” quarterback who somehow managed to weigh in at 204 pounds at the combine, and is still the lightest-weight quarterback drafted in the first round in 20 years, should hold up just fine to a 17-game NFL schedule. Kyler Murray was a legit 207-pounder, and he’s already suffered shoulder, ankle, hamstring, and ACL injuries that have led to missed time. Based on his size alone, it is insane to think Young will ever be a long-term option in the NFL.

1.02, C.J. Stroud, QB HOU

I initially liked this pick until Houston traded up to take Will Anderson with the following selection. Giving up picks 12 and 33 this year and next year’s first and third-rounders, the Texans just destroyed their chances of drafting any immediate impact weapons for their new signal caller, who now has one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL. Good luck throwing to Noah Brown and Nico Collins.

1.04, Anthony Richardson, QB IND

Richardson played in 24 college games. Excluding the four players with less than 24 games played who were drafted first overall (Cam Newton, Mike Vick, Kyler Murray, and Alex Smith), Richardson is tied for the tenth-fewest college starts of any drafted quarterback in modern history. He is now lumped in with players like Matt Cassel, Mitch Trubisky, Brock Osweiler, and Kyle Allen. If history tells us anything, judging from those comps, he should make lots of money and be a terrific backup one day.

2.02, Will Levis, QB TEN

In case you haven’t heard, he eats bananas with the peel on and drinks coffee with mayo. I’ve heard this story more times than I’ve heard anything about him as a football player; that should be a big tell for anyone paying attention.

3.05, Hendon Hooker, QB DET

Ah, yes, a 25-year-old coming off of an ACL tear. Maybe he’ll get on the field as a 26-year-old, or after learning from Jared Goff for an entire, healthy season, he’ll be ready to take the reins when he’s 27 in 2025. That’s always been the path to success in the NFL.

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4.25, Jake Haener, QB NO

6’0″ and 207 pounds from the Mountain West to play behind Derek Carr, who just inked a four-year deal for $150 million. He should see exactly zero snaps. Who doesn’t love the idea of turning the job over to a late fourth-round pick three or four years into his career, right?

4.26, Stetson Bennett, QB LAR

Soon to be 26, Bennett is only 5’11” and 192 pounds. It looks like age, height, and weight are all going against him- the trifecta of success. Imagine an older, shorter, lighter, not-as-good version of Bryce Young without the draft capital.

4.33, Aidan O’Connell, QB LV

Is O’Connell here to push Brian Hoyer? He had a 29.6% completion rate on deep throws at Purdue last year. Fortunately for him, nobody in the NFL throws deep anymore, so his game should be exactly what the Raiders are looking for.

5.04, Clayton Tune, QB AZ

Imagine being the backup to Colt McCoy for eight weeks.

5.05, Darian Thompson-Robinson, QB CLE

I wonder what it’s like to back up the player with the biggest guaranteed deal in NFL history. I’m sure the owners will want to see you get plenty of reps at the big-money guy’s expense. On the plus side, he’s one arrest away from getting the job, so there’s always a chance.

5.14, Sean Clifford, QB GB

C’mon, who is this person? I’ve been writing about mocks for the last three months and never saw this name once. I Googled him. He’s real. He went to Penn State.

5.29, Jaren Hall, QB MIN

We’ve got another 6′, 207-pounder- but now, with even worse draft capital! Kellen Mond 2.0, SKOL!

6.11, Tanner McKee, QB PHI

In an offense built around Jalen Hurts, Philly made sure to bring in a quarterback who does absolutely nothing like Hurts does. This should be fine. Perfect. Wonderful.

7.22, Max Duggan, QB LAC

We saw 14 quarterbacks drafted this year. That is a record for the modern era of the NFL draft, meaning it took a historic number of quarterbacks to be selected for Duggan to hear his name called. He owes Brock Purdy a beer. He’s another 207-pounder too, which is strange.

There you have it, irrefutable evidence of a room full of potential busts at the quarterback position. I hope you enjoyed this; stay tuned for the running back, wide receiver, and tight end positions. Hopefully, this doesn’t kill off any trades you have in the works, and you can use it to undersell someone you’re looking to acquire.

A Hater’s Guide to the 2023 Quarterback Class
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Scott Zalkind
4 months ago

Hilarious. Curious why you’d exclude Cam
Newton, Alex Smith, & Mike Vick? That’s a whole lot of cherry picking right there. Seems like ARich is a lot more Cam than Mitch.

I know, I know…ya drinkin that haterade fo sho.

Scott Zalkind
Reply to  John DiBari
4 months ago

Oh I get it. It still comes off a bit like MLB scoreboard “bats .564 against left-handed albino pitchers under 6’2” at night” though.

Looking forward to the other articles in the series.

I’m still taking ARich 1.02 after I nab Bijan 1.01 – can’t wait to see your write-up on BR!

Patrick Kusek
4 months ago

Fantastic! Thank you for a great read. Cannot wait for the next three!

Chad Gorick
4 months ago

Great stuff, excellent read and some great lol moments! So looking forward to your next submission. Your Hater’s Guides can be therapeutic and comforting for some FFB’ers who MIGHT have traded away all there draft picks!

Gregory Massa
4 months ago

Outstanding! As everyone else in the FFB world is falling in love and fawning over every rookie’s upside, this is the levity we all need right now. Thank you!

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