Quarterbacks rule everything in the NFL, including the draft.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt when there is major intrigue at the position going into the draft. That is certainly the case this year, as there are four major quarterback prospects projected to come off the board early on draft weekend.
So to celebrate, we’re going to conduct a quarterback mock draft through the seven-round process. Here we go:
It seems like the Panthers are leaning toward Stroud. He has prototypical size and his bust-o-meter seems pretty safe.
2. Houston Texans: Bryce Young, Alabama:
The Texans will be thrilled to “settle” for Young. He is a big-time playmaker who soon should be the face of the franchise.
4. Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, Kentucky:
All eyes will be on this pick. After Stroud and Young, Levis and Anthony Richardson are the top quarterback prospects, but they come with more questions. The Colts opt for the safer pick and take the Kentucky product.
5. Seattle Seahawks, Anthony Richardson, Florida:
All of those pro day QB selfies weren’t for nothing. Seattle wants a quarterback to develop, and they get one in the polarizing Richardson. Yes, teams are varied on their projections for Richardson. But, with all of the draft picks Seattle got from the Russell Wilson deal, Seattle can afford to gamble here with the high-ceiling Richardson. He can learn under Geno Smith for a year or two.
38. Las Vegas Raiders, Hendon Hooker, Tennessee:
The Raiders have been studying Hooker and he’d provide good value in the second round. They don’t need a starter for a couple of years because of the signing of Jimmy Garoppolo. If Hooker doesn’t develop past a backup, Las Vegas can try for a quarterback in a couple of years.
55. Detroit Lions, Tanner McKee, Stanford:
Some teams really like him. The Lions have a lot of draft capital and they don’t need McKee to play right away, so taking him here (maybe a little high) could be worthwhile.
77. Los Angeles Rams, Jake Haener, Fresno State:
The Rams find a potential eventual replacement for Matthew Stafford with their second pick in this round. Developing this talented prospect could energize coach Sean McVay.
Bill Belichick loves drafting quarterbacks and has a pretty solid track record with late-round pick Tom Brady. This small-ish player has some lottery-ticket potential.
169. Dallas Cowboys, Stetson Bennett, Georgia:
Jerry Jones shakes it up a bit by taking Georgia’s spunky, two-time National Champion quarterback to develop under Dak Prescott.
Sean Payton takes a late-round flier on a tough player who took the Horned Frogs on a wild ride last season. Payton can stash and develop Duggan behind Russell Wilson and new backup (or maybe starter in waiting?) Jarrett Stidham.
Seventh round (The Brock Purdy round)
224. Atlanta Falcons, Aidan O’Connell, Purdue
Desmond Ridder gets a potential backup … or a competitor.
232. Green Bay Packers, Clayton Tune, Houston:
There’s some intangibles here to like —experience, production, leadership. Tune would be a little Jordan Love insurance in the post-Aaron Rodgers world.
233. Washington Commanders, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA:
Washington is far from set at this position. Thompson-Robinson is worth the late lottery ticket and to keep him from the undrafted free-agent market.