The 2023 NFL combine is in the books and naturally, there will be a lot of judgements passed on the upcoming draft class. The most scrutinized position will be quarterback, and there were several moments at the combine which will impact how each passer is viewed heading into the 2023 NFL Draft.
It’s important to recognize that the combine drills aren’t everything. Tom Brady ranked last in the history of all combine performances in his physical tests. And the on-field drills are only part of the equation. The interviews teams conduct and the “intelligence” which gets passed around outside combine hours play a big part in how players are evaluated. Here’s a look at how each of the top quarterbacks look coming out of the weekend in Indianapolis.
The Florida quarterback’s physical tools are undeniable. He was always going to test well at the combine. The big question was how he would interview and break down plays for teams interested in taking him. According to every report out there, he knocked those interviews out of the park. In an era where dual-threat quarterbacks are taking over, Richardson has a lot of appeal to teams with a need.
Of course, what the combine and Richardson’s Pro Day won’t show is how he will actually be able to throw a football. Ultimately, that’s going to determine how Richardson fares in the NFL.
The two-time national champion from Georgia might have made some questionable decisions after his most recent win but he did not look phased at the combine in the passing drills. His 40-yard dash time is going to grade out just fine for the position, and his experience could interest teams.
The big concern with Bennett will be age but he should have a market as an immediate backup with some upside as a spot starter.
Frankly, Stroud couldn’t have done much in Indianapolis to help his stock significantly. He didn’t really have any major red or yellow flags, which keeps him in the running for the No. 1 overall selection.
DTR was another dual-threat quarterback who showed off his speed at the combine. His size is a bit of a concern but teams who want to take a quarterback later in the draft to develop could be interested. Thompson-Robinson’s passing stats are significantly better than Richardson’s, so that’ll help him out even though his throwing performance at the combine itself was mediocre.
The UCLA quarterback’s meeting with the Eagles is encouraging as well. He has a similar build as Jalen Hurts, and can immediately be a developmental backup for the NFC winners. That he is receiving interest from a team already set at quarterback is encouraging for his NFL prospects.
This is where the combine testing results are not really of much value. Young didn’t really participate in meaningful drills, saying he would throw at Alabama’s Pro Day. The Crimson Tide quarterback checked in at 5-10 and 204 pounds, sending the alarm bells ringing about size concerns and whether Young can hold up against the NFL’s defensive lines.
The Alabama quarterback is still going to be in the running for the No. 1 overall pick but he’ll have to really impress at his Pro Day.
The Kentucky quarterback threw the ball well but it was his deep hatred for milk that caught the most attention at the combine. Then, a video re-surfaced where he was putting mayonnaise in his coffee. At that point, whatever Levis did at the combine physically was irrelevant.
I’m not saying Levis’ taste preferences should have a defining impact on his NFL prospects. All that matters is how he can throw the ball. However, it’s certainly not something you want fans, scouts and NFL personnel thinking about. The question “what other stuff should we know about this guy?” is not something a top quarterback prospect needs front office staffers asking.