Seven college football QBs with stellar seasons could emerge as potential first-round draft picks in 2023

Only three quarterbacks were drafted in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft: Bryce Young of Alabama ranked 1st to the Carolina Panthers, CJ Stroud of Ohio State ranked 2nd to the Houston Texans, and Anthony Richardson of Florida ranked 4th to the Indianapolis Foal. Kentucky’s Will Levis and Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker were both drafted on Day 2, demonstrating how quickly even the most talented first-round players can fall.

At CBS Sports, draft expert Ryan Wilson is early 2024 NFL Mock Draft, five quarterbacks are expected to go into the first round. Leading the group are USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye, the most prominent in their position heading into the fall. Quinn Ewers of Texas, Bo Nix of Oregon and Michael Penix Jr. of Washington highlight the other planned first-round picks, according to Wilson.

There are many players at the position who could see their stock rise this fall with strong performances, but these seven quarterbacks have the chance to grow their stocks the most and get into the conversation with the other five quarterbacks as potential first-round picks .

Daniels began his collegiate career at Arizona State and received some draft rushes after an outstanding freshman season in which he rushed for 2,942 yards for 17 touchdowns with only two interceptions. He started four games in a sophomore season that derailed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the following season he showed his versatility as a double threat, rushing for 710 yards in addition to his 2,381 yards. After joining LSU, his 885 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns last season were the most by a Tigers QB in program history. Showing promise in his freshman season under Brian Kelly, Daniels decided to return to school for one final season when he hopes to increase his draft stash and help LSU take the next step by throwing the ball more up presses the field.

Joe Milton III, Tennessee

Could Milton have the same promotion in Tennessee as Hendon Hooker did last season? Milton has a one-armed gun, and as such, he’s seen as a rising star among NFL knives heading into the fall. Milton will have a chance to thrive under Tennessee coach Josh Heupel and new offensive coordinator Joey Halzle, who last served as quarterback coach with the Vols prior to his promotion. Milton and Hooker battled heading into the 2022 season before Hooker eventually won the starting job and led Tennessee to its best record in 21 years. Milton has another QB contest to win against star newcomer Nico Iamaleava but it seems he’s the leader in the clubhouse.

McCarthy competed in a quarterback fight with former teammate Cade McNamara last season before eventually winning the starting job and leading Michigan to a Big Ten championship and a place in the college football playoffs. McCarthy goes into this season as an undisputed starter after McNamara transferred to Iowa during the offseason. In Michigan’s CFP loss to TCU, McCarthy made a handful of questionable decisions, including throwing two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. Those turnovers ultimately changed the game in TCU’s favor in Michigan’s 51-45 loss. The Wolverines are classified as one of the top teams in preseason as the team returns 84% ​​of last season’s total production to offense. On paper, Michigan could be even better this season, especially if McCarthy improves his decision-making in his second full season as a starter. Roman Wilson and Cornelius Johnson are both returning and should give McCarthy two solid targets for this season. Great size for the position at 6ft-3, McCarthy showed flashes of why he can be a top draft pick. McCarthy threw for a career-high 343 yards in his final game of the season. How he builds on that will determine when he hears his name next spring.

Rattler was once considered a first-round suspension. Then Caleb Williams entered the Oklahoma campus, won the starting job mid-season in 2021, and Rattler transferred to South Carolina. After a 3,000-yard season with the Gamecocks, Rattler decided to return to Columbia, South Carolina for a final season to revive his stock. The biggest question coming fall is whether Rattler will show the traits this season that scouts fell in love with him early in his career in Oklahoma, such as: B. His ball placement. Rattler will work with a new offensive coordinator, Dowell Loggains, who was most recently a TE coach at Arkansas. Loggains also has experience in the NFL ranks as an OC and/or QB coach with the Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Can Loggains and South Carolina coach Shane Beamer unlock the Rattler in 2020? If so, he is again considered a first-round pick.

Travis is making waves as a Heisman Trophy nominee after streaking for more than 3,600 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2022. 3 run. Expectations for Florida State and Travis will be even higher in 2023. Travis has shown his ability to deviate from script and push the ball down at times, but that’s something he needs to keep improving.

Uiagalelei joined Oregon State for a fresh start this offseason, and this will be Oregon State’s top-rated quarterback that Jonathan Smith has worked with in his coaching career. Smith was Washington’s OC/QB coach from 2014-2017, working with another former top QB, Jake Browning. During the 2016 season that saw Washington reach the CFP, Browning had the best season of his collegiate career under Smith’s supervision, playing like a Heisman Trophy contender. Although Oregon State won 10 games last season, QB play was one of its greatest weaknesses. He won’t throw at four- and five-star receivers like he did with Clemson, but he still has weapons available like RB Damien Martinez, WR Anthony Gould, WR Silas Bolden and transfer TE Jermaine Terry II. Oregon State will suit him better because he won’t be scrutinized to succeed like he was with Clemson when he was handed the starting position. This is the year Uiagalelei turns it around and shows why he was a high-profile prospect who dropped out of high school. If he succeeds, Oregon State will be in contention for a Pac-12 title and his draft stock could skyrocket.

Much like other quarterbacks on this list, Van Dyke came into the 2022 season as someone who was expected to make a big leap after an impressive 2021 season. Van Dyke, a potential Day 1 pick due to his strong arm, missed some time with a right shoulder injury and Miami struggled mightily in Mario Cristobal’s 5-7 debut season. During the offseason, the Hurricanes replaced former OC Josh Gattis with Houston QB coach Shannon Dawson. Van Dyke recently mentioned that he throws the ball “even better” than before his injury. Returning to school allows him to bring his draft stock back to the level it once was. If Van Dyke means what he says about his arm, he will be in contention for a Day 1 pick.


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