College Football, NFL Draft

In the Market: Looking at the top QB prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft class after Week 4

The fourth week of the college football season is in the books. Let’s take a look at how the top quarterback prospects performed in the latest edition of “In the Market: 2023 QB stock watch.”

Another week of football is in the books. In college football, the usual suspects ranked atop the nation have won their respective games, while there were also some upsets. In the NFL, the games were not as electric as in the week prior, with the San Francisco 49ers-Denver Broncos and New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys games standing out.

Considering that Week 4 of the college football season is finished, some fans may not have seen how the top quarterback prospects have performed in their respective games. We have you covered, as we take a look to see whether some of the best signal callers have increased their stock, or if their chances of being taken high in the 2023 NFL Draft have plummeted.

Previous editions of “In the Market” can be found linked below:

Taking Stock: How top 2023 NFL Draft QBs fared in Week 4

Bryce Young, Alabama

For the first time this season, Alabama faced off against an SEC rival. That rival was the Vanderbilt Commodores, a team that had not put up any points against them in their previous two meetings. Again, another easy game for Bryce Young, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

Young showed off why he could very well be the first quarterback taken in the draft next April with some incredible throws. Look no further than his first three touchdown passes to Ja’Corey Brooks (two) and Traeshon Holden.

Another throw that deserves an honorable mention is his second-quarter pass to Jermaine Burton. The throw was on the money, and Burton took it for a total of a 48-yard gain.

Young completed 25-of-36 pass attempts for 385 yards and four touchdowns. He was taken out of the game late in the second half, given that they built a hefty lead over Vanderbilt.

Next week, Alabama takes on a Top 25 team in the Arkansas Razorback.

Next Game: Oct. 1 vs. Arkansas

CJ Stroud, Ohio State

The Ohio State Buckeyes offense is a fully operational machine of destruction. The player leading said machine is quarterback CJ Stroud.

On paper, this was supposed to be a difficult matchup for Stroud, as he took on the Wisconsin Badgers defense, led by coordinator Jim Leonhard. Instead, Stroud torched them and pulled themselves to a 52-21 win.

Yes, the Buckeyes have some unreal receivers in Emeka Egbuka, Marvin Harrison Jr., and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but Stroud has the accuracy and arm strength to get them the ball. If you wanted to see an example of that, take a look at this touchdown pass from Stroud to Ebuka and he did so while squeezing it through the tightest of windows.

In this game, Stroud completed 17-of-27 pass attempts for 281 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception.

Stroud looks like the Heisman favorite through the first four weeks of the season. He has the chance to further improve his odds by taking on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. While Rutgers has statistically one of the best defenses in college (249.5 yards allowed per game, ninth-best in the nation, per NCAA), they have not played a team like the Buckeyes this season.

Next Game: Oct. 1 vs. Rutgers

Will Levis, Kentucky

Will Levis had a good performance last week against Youngstown State. Now, with Kentucky holding the No. 8 ranking in the nation, he took on Northern Illinois and put up another good showing.

Levis made some solid throws against the Huskies, most notably his throw to Tayvion Robinson for a 69-yard touchdown. That pass came after a bad snap at the line of scrimmage.

In this game, Levis faced a ton of pressure from the Northern Illinois defense, as he was sacked five times and hurried twice. In the game, Levis completed 18-of-26 pass attempts for 303 yards and four touchdowns. Barion Brown and Robinson each had two touchdown receptions. Most importantly,  Levis did not throw a single interception in this game.

Now, Levis is set for another big game, as they look to continue to climb up the AP Top 25 rankings. He gets to take on the No. 14 ranked and undefeated Ole Miss Rebels. It will be interesting to see how he will able to match Lane Kiffin’s high-powered offense.

Next Game: Oct. 1 vs. Ole Miss

Anthony Richardson, Florida

Last week, Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson had far from the greatest game, highlighted by zero touchdown passes and two interceptions against the South Florida Bulls. In Week 4, he took on the No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers at Rocky Top, and he had his best game as a starter.

In his 14th quarter played this season, Richardson threw his first touchdown pass of the season, a 44-yard pass to Keon Zipperer. While Zipperer did spin off the defenders, credit needs to be given to Richardson, who avoided pressure in the pocket and found Zipperer wide open down the right sideline.

While the game did appear to be over, Florida did cut their deficit to 38-33 on a Richardson touchdown pass to Ricky Pearshall with just 17 seconds remaining in regulation. Then, Florida successfully recovered an onside kick to give them one last shot at getting the win. However, Richardson was hit on his Hail Mary attempt, and it was intercepted to secure the win for Tennessee.

Richardson recorded 24 completions for 453 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, which came on a desperation game-winning Hail Mary attempt, on 44 attempts.

This was a game Richardson needed. He made some great accurate throws and helped them get close to pulling off an upset against one of the best teams in the country.

Next Game: Oct. 2 vs. Eastern Washington

Tyler Van Dyke, Miami

Tyler Van Dyke’s stock is dropping in quick fashion. He is under a new offense under coordinator Josh Gattis, so learning a new playbook is always going to be interesting. Last week, Van Dyke had an issue that was out of his hands — his wide receivers dropping passes.

But in Week 4, the worst thing possible happened for Van Dyke. On Miami’s very first offensive play of the game against Middle Tennessee. Van Dyke threw an interception. Two plays later, Van Dyke threw another interception, this time returned by Zaylin Wood for a touchdown to extend Middle Tennessee’s lead to 10-0.

He was benched — while trailing Middle Tennessee. Head coach Mario Cristobal saw enough of Van Dyke that he put in freshman Jake Garcia, who completed 10-of-19 pass attempts for 169 yards.

Van Dyke completed 16-of-32 pass attempts for 138 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.

It will be interesting to see what direction Cristobal goes in heading into Week 6 against the North Carolina Tar Heel’s horrendous defense. Will he give Van Dyke one more shot? Or will he pivot to Garcia as his starting quarterback?

Whatever happens, Van Dyke’s draft stock is looking really bad right now.

Next Game: Oct. 8 vs. North Carolina

One 2023 NFL Draft QB sleeper who turned heads in Week 4

Sam Hartman, Wake Forest

When talking about which game was the best in Week 4 of the college football season, it is without a doubt Clemson vs. Wake Forest. If you wanted to see touchdowns scored at will, this was the game for you.

While Clemson signal caller D.J. Uiagalelei had a career game, it is hard to look past just how well Demon Deacons quarterback Sam Hartman played.

Hartman completed all but nine passes in the shootout, for a total of 325 yards and six touchdowns (29 attempts). Those six touchdown passes are tied for the most ever in an ACC game. A lot of his passes were right on the money, including two passes to the back left corner of the end zone to Donavon Greene.

Hartman is NFL Draft eligible, and he could be a very good option for a quarterback-needy team entering the 2023 league year. Wherever he is drafted, he is a name to keep an eye on.

One 2023 NFL Draft QB who needs to show teams more after Week 4

Tyler Van Dyke, Miami

Everything was outlined in the previous section. Van Dyke put the team in an early hole on two interceptions thrown in the first two drives. It certainly does not help that his backup in Jake Garcia played much better when taking over in the second half.

Van Dyke needs to have a breakout game against a North Carolina defense that brought the Notre Dame offense back to life in Week 4.

Who are buyers in the NFL?

Here is a look at how the Top 10 of the 2023 NFL Draft would look like if the season ended today.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders (0-3)
  2. Houston Texans (0-2-1)
  3. Seattle Seahawks (1-2)
  4. Atlanta Falcons (1-2)
  5. Los Angeles Chargers (1-2)
  6. Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
  7. Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans Saints (1-2))
  8. Carolina Panthers (1-2)
  9. Miami Dolphins (via San Francisco 49ers (1-2))
  10. Tennessee Titans (1-2)

The Raiders would hold the first-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The team failed to defeat fellow winless team, the Tennessee Titans, and owner Mark Davis held a lengthy meeting with head coach Josh McDaniels after the game. Could mean a lot. Could mean nothing. But when it comes to Derek Carr, his three-year, $121.5 million contract extension kicks in next year. So, he’s probably not going anywhere.

The Texans suffered a tough loss to the Chicago Bears. Davis Mills struggled against Chicago, and his interception late in the fourth quarter helped set up the game-winning field goal.

Hello, Seahawks. Welcome to the Top 3. However the season is to end for them, you can expect them to make a move up to draft a quarterback. They have the picks to do so from the Russell Wilson trade with the Denver Broncos.

The Falcons did pick up their first win of the season, but Marcus Mariota looked shaky. It may only be a matter of time until they give Desmond Ridder a shot so they can determine if they need to do some extra scouting on the top quarterback prospects this year.

Carolina may have won their first game of the season, but they will need to get a quarterback in the draft.

Other than these teams, and possibly the Titans, the Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins are not going to be in the market for a quarterback.

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