The premise is simple:
- Match quarterbacks to teams across all seven rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft, and include some UDFAs for good measure.
- No non-QBs needed.
- Teams can’t (or at least don’t) double-dip.
- Each QB has to be “reasonably expected” to be available at the specified draft slot.
- Trades are fair game (and in some cases required).
If the only thing you’re interested in is which QB the Seattle Seahawks end up with, and what the ESPN draft analysts had to say about the pick, skip down to Round 5, Pick 154.
Note: Embedded comments are from NFL draft analysts Jordan Reid and Matt Miller. Also, they had A LOT more to say than what I copy-and-pasted here.
Round 1, Pick 1: The Carolina Panthers select Alabama QB Bryce Young.
Miller: This was an easy one — at least at the moment. As we get closer to the draft, all intel points at the Panthers leaning toward Young at No. 1 overall.
Reid: During a recent pre-draft news conference, Panthers GM Scott Fitterer said he hasn’t revealed which prospect the team plans to take. But the momentum seems to be swinging in Young’s favor
FTR’s Thought: The only question anyone had when Carolina traded up to #1 was “game or frame”? - aka: Would Carolina take the quarterback with the better game (Young) or the quarterback with the better frame (Stroud).
Round 1, Pick 3 (via trade): The Tennessee Titans select Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud.
Reid: Not an oversight ... we really skipped the Texans at No. 2. ... The worst-kept secret of this draft is Arizona’s willingness to move back to fill more needs and rebuild a roster starved for talent.
Miller: It’s so hard to logically say the Texans will pass on a quarterback, but I’m also hearing that around the league. As for the Titans, this is a dream scenario.
Reid: Not only is Tennessee getting its QB, but it’s also jumping ahead of division-mate Indianapolis, which also needs a passer.
For those wondering about the trade compensation . . .
Miller: My best guess would be the No. 11 pick plus a second-rounder (No. 41) and a 2024 second-rounder.
FTR’s Thought: My upcoming ‘Fifth (and final) 2023 mock draft’ (which I started writing a week ago) has the Titans moving up and taking Stroud so no surprises here . . . other than the trade compensation being a little lower than I’d expect.
Round 1, Pick 4: The Indianapolis Colts select Florida QB Anthony Richardson.
Miller: The Texans passing on a quarterback sets up beautifully for the Colts. Sure, Richardson is a risky pick this early, but he has an unlimited ceiling and has already started to make necessary improvements in his game. ... His potential is top tier, but he has work to do.
Reid: This is one of my favorite player-team fits for any quarterback in the class. ... The tricky part about Richardson’s evaluation is he isn’t yet ready to be an NFL starter; he needs time to get there.
FTR’s Thought: This is the one that I do not want to see happen - not necessarily because I want us to take Richardson at #5 (although most of me does most of the time), but because I want to know what John and Pete think of Richardson and he has to be on the board at #5 for that to happen.
Round 1, Pick 10 (via trade): The Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Kentucky QB Will Levis.
Reid: Are the Bucs really going into the 2023 season with Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask battling it out for the starting quarterback spot? I refuse to believe that . . .
Miller: Tampa Bay has to be ready for a scenario like this, where someone like Levis starts to fall down the board. ... Unless the Buccaneers are punting on the quarterbacks this year in preparation for next year’s class (Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and potentially others), moving up would be a very smart move in a division that’s wide open right now.
Miller: Tampa Bay gets the No. 10 pick, while Philadelphia gets the No. 19 selection and a 2024 first-rounder.
FTR’s Thought: Tampa Bay is about as far from Seattle as Levis can land - which means that I fully support this pairing. (unapologetically not a Levis fan)
Round 1, Pick 27 (via trade): The Houston Texans select Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker.
Miller: Here, we have Houston trading a second-rounder (No. 33), third-rounder (No. 104) and a 2024 second-rounder to the Bills to jump back into Round 1. ... If the Texans truly believe offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik’s system can operate with a fast-processing, mobile quarterback, then Hooker could be a late-Day 1 steal. It is a huge risk, but I love the bravado here.
Reid: The big question is why Houston would not just draft a quarterback at No. 2 overall, rather than trade away draft capital to select QB5 in the class here? (explanation left behind paywall since it seems fairly self-evident)
Miller: I want to reiterate this is not what we would do as a GM, especially since Davis Mills clearly isn’t the answer. But if the Texans are really going to pass on a top-four QB (which is what we’re hearing), this is the way to go.
FTR’s Thought: I think this makes a lot of sense for Houston, but if the main reason to move into Round 1 instead of waiting to take Hooker at #33 is for the 5th-year option, I would try to swap picks with the Eagles (#30) or Chiefs (#31) instead and save some of the draft capital.
Round 2 . . . No QBs selected.
Round 3, Pick 100: The Las Vegas Raiders select Stanford QB Tanner McKee.
Reid: My personal QB6 is UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson, and I actually have McKee as my eighth-best quarterback in the class. But NFL scouts and evaluators have a lot of love for McKee, and he has a good chance to be the next QB off the board in this next tier.
Miller: McKee is actually my No. 11 quarterback, but his arm strength is fantastic, and he can really rip passes when things are clean around him. That does seem to fit with what the Raiders want at quarterback. Plus, I have no faith in Jimmy Garoppolo staying healthy for a full season since he has done it only one time in his career.
FTR’s Thought: This seems like a good fit since Tanner McKee is about as ‘mobile’ as Jimmy G. And, yes, that’s really just an excuse to include this clip of George Kittle talking smack about Jimmy G. :)
Kittle has an odd reason for loving when Jimmy G runs pic.twitter.com/4FkUvhnvJ5— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) September 19, 2021
“He gets to feel what it feels like to be an actual football player.”
(gets me every time!)
Round 4, Pick 119: The Minnesota Vikings select UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
Miller: Waiting on a quarterback is a risk for Minnesota, but with just five total draft picks, it isn’t in a position to trade up from No. 23 for one of the top passers in Round 1.
Reid: The Vikings have been adamant about keeping their options open with Cousins on an expiring deal. They have shown interest in Thompson-Robinson, an intriguing Day 3 option who would be a fit in Kevin O’Connell’s offense.
Miller: If it weren’t for its limited number of picks, I could see Minnesota trying to get a quarterback earlier, but that makes it a tough sell coming off an NFC North title.
FTR’s Thought: Unless I’m mistaken, the Vikings still have Kellen Mond (2021, R3.66) on their roster and I just don’t see why Minnesota would waste a limited resource (i.e., one of only five draft picks) on a QB that doesn’t really offer any more upside than Mond does. (my apologies to the DRT fans)
Miller: Hall is my favorite of the “other” quarterbacks in this class, looking outside the top five. He is a gamer with a really good arm. And if you turn on his BYU tape, there are a lot of times he looks better than Zach Wilson did in the same scheme.
FTR’s Thought: I’m not sure “looks better than Zach Wilson” it a great endorsement given what we’ve seen (not seen) from Zach since he came into the league.
Round 5, Pick 149: The Green Bay Packers select Fresno State QB Jake Haener.
Miller: The Packers . . . selected two quarterbacks — Brian Brohm (No. 56) and Matt Flynn (No. 209) — in 2008, the year Rodgers was set to take over for Brett Favre. ... Green Bay general manager Brian Gutekunst would be smart to add another passer here, just in case Jordan Love isn’t what many hope he can become.
Reid: Love has plenty to prove as a starter, so why not add insurance? Haener makes a lot of sense for the Packers. He reminds me of Taylor Heinicke . . .
Miller: Haener gets such great reviews from coaches and area scouts who’ve visited Fresno State that my early comparison for him was Brock Purdy ... then Purdy took the 49ers to the NFC title game. We’re not expecting similar early-career exploits, but Haener is a similar kind of dude at quarterback.
FTR’s Thought: A quarterback controversy in Green Bay? Yes, please! I’ll take the former Husky in this one :)
Round 5, Pick 154: The Seattle Seahawks take Houston QB Clayton Tune.
Reid: The Seahawks recently re-signed Geno Smith to a three-year deal and brought back Drew Lock as the No. 2, but there still could be interest in finding a developmental option. I’ve heard mixed opinions about who the next best passer is after the first five QBs, but Tune’s name comes up a lot after his breakout 2022 season. He is a polished passer who can attack all levels of the field, though scouts want to see better ball placement.
Miller: Seattle has a window of opportunity to win the NFC West, with the Rams and 49ers facing injury questions at quarterback and the Cardinals’ roster in transition. So instead of using one of two first-round picks on the position, I like the move to get a solid backup in place behind Smith and Lock later in the draft. Tune definitely has the production and experience you like in a backup quarterback, and he has the mobility and arm strength to seamlessly fit this scheme.
Reid: Teams learned a lesson from the 49ers’ run to the NFC Championship Game this past January: You can never have too many QBs. Adding additional passers later in the draft is a strategy that we’ll likely see more teams follow, and having a developmental option like Tune helps plan for the future.
FTR’s Thought: Singing a different Tune . . . get it? I don’t really have much of an opinion on Clayton Tune, but I will sing his praises if we draft him :) Joking aside, I don’t really see any value in wasting a draft pick on someone that the ESPN analysts view as a career backup (at best).
Note: Unlike the other entries, I copy-and-pasted the ENTIRE write-up about the Seahawks selecting Clayton Tune. You’re welcome.
Round 6, Pick 183: The Detroit Lions select Purdue QB Aidan O’Connell.
Miller: The Lions love Jared Goff, so instead of drafting a quarterback early, they could use those premium picks to build a roster that can win the NFC North.
Reid: Our own Jeremy Fowler reported that the Lions already have a strong offer on the table for Teddy Bridgewater, so they want more options. Drafting someone like O’Connell to provide competition for Nate Sudfeld works too, if the team is unable to add another veteran.
Miller: I do love this philosophy here. The Lions can spend the first five rounds improving the roster so they can make a run at the NFC North then grab a safe QB2 with developmental upside late in the draft.
FTR’s Thought: Go Lions! (except when they play us, of course) . . . I actually like O’Connell more than Tune . . . can we change our pick?
Round 7, Pick 250 (via trade): The Dallas Cowboys select Georgia QB Stetson Bennett.
Reid: How about one more trade? You’ll see teams jump around in Round 7 to take a chance on a QB, and we have the Cowboys sending a 2024 sixth-rounder to the Chiefs for the opportunity to take Bennett here. He is one of the more intriguing late-round options, and there isn’t a more accomplished passer in this year’s draft class.
Miller: In talking to scouts this week, it sounds like there is a 50-50 chance Bennett gets drafted given his off-field history, which includes an arrest for public intoxication. But I could see the Cowboys taking a chance on him.
FTR’s Thought: Of all the QBs that will be selected on Day Three, Stetson Bennett is probably the one that I would be most interested in rolling the dice on.
Undrafted Free Agents (aka UDFAs)
TCU’s Max Duggan and Louisville’s Malik Cunningham got short write-ups, while Shepherd’s Tyson Bagent and Fordham’s Tim DeMorat were mentioned.
What do the 12s think about these team / slot fits for the QBs in this year’s class?
Will Richardson be gone before we go on the clock at #5?
Would you welcome Clayton Tune with open arms if we used one of our 5th-round picks on him (instead of trying to get another lightning strike at cornerback instead)?
See you in the Comments! Scroll below to join the discussion!