2023 QB Draft Notes: Levis, Young, Richardson

Entering the second half of the NFL regular season, a number of teams are starting to look towards the upcoming draft. This year’s class is expected to feature a more promising group of quarterbacks compared to 2022, with Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud long considered the headliners.

Another name has seen a steady rise throughout the college season, however. Kentucky’s Will Levis continues to generate buzz during his second year with the Wildacats. After making 14 appearances in his first two years with Penn State, Levis has upped his production considerably since 2021. The 6-3, 222-pounder has also been erratic, on the other hand, leading to serious questions about his NFL readiness come the spring and summer.

In spite of that, PFF’s Doug Kyed recently cited two sources who deemed it “likely” that Levis will find himself being drafted in top-10 of the 2023 draft. That falls in line with previous buzz this season, with some whispers even indicating Levis could overtake Young and Stroud as the top QB off the board. Per ESPN’s Todd McShay, Levis has drawn comparisons to Josh Allen and Carson Wentz from NFL general managers based on his blend of size and athleticism – with the caveat that a significant amount of refinement in his passing ability will be needed for him to reach his potential.

Here are some other QB notes regarding the 2023 class:

  • The aforementioned Young entered the season with massive expectations, given his Heisman-winning performance in 2021. The junior has not been able to replicate his success from last year, though, with a dip in completion percentage (63%) and yards per attempt average (8.9). Overall, the 8-2 Crimson Tide are lacking at the skill positions and up front compared to most seasons, greatly contributing to Young’s step back. As noted by McShay’s colleague Matt Miller, though, NFL evaluators are not holding that fact against him, which likely means Young will still be among the first players to hear his name called in the spring.
  • Another name who has been the subject of plenty of pre-draft buzz is Anthony Richardson. The Florida prospect generated excitement heading into the season with his athletic profile, but also had a distinct lack of experience. Another raw talent like Levis, the 6-4 passer has been inconsistent through the air (55% completion percentage, seven interceptions in 10 games) but highly productive on the ground (584 rushing yards, nine touchdowns). As a result, Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network reports that Richardson is expected to declare for this spring’s draft. Pauline himself, along with his sources, agree that doing so would be premature though, and that remaining with the Gators for his senior year would be better for his development. Given Richardson’s high ceiling, Pauline predicts an NFL team could reach for him as early as the first round.
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