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2023 draft eligible quarterbacks
The top-20 QBs and a look at the most surprising name on it: Seaside Joe 1440
Why is it that if a quarterback prospect is popular and he plays at a small school, his level of competition is used against him, but if a quarterback isn’t getting any attention and he plays at a small school, it basically just makes him seem cooler? Perhaps no quarterback ranking in 2023 will tell us more about the process than Shepherd’s Tyson Bagent.
Yes, Shepherd’s Tyson Bagent.
Shepherd University is a 151-year-old Division-II college in West Virginia that has an enrollment of just 3,159 students. That means that when the NFL has 90-man rosters, the total number of pro football players (2,880) is nearly the number of kids who go to Shepherd. Probably more when it’s college party season, know what I mean?
And don’t get Division-II twisted with FCS or Group 5. Whereas my favorite college quarterback goes to Coastal Carolina, a football program that is barely 20 years old and less than 10 of those being in Division-I FBS, Grayson McCall still plays on the same level as Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud. He just plays in the Sun Belt Conference, which doesn’t house any of the “major” major college football teams. That’s “Group of 5” and the top 2023 quarterbacks coming out of those schools would include Fresno State’s Jake Haener, BYU’s Jaren Hall (technically an Independent), Houston’s Clayton Tune, and Appalachian State’s Chase Brice.
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Below that group would include the top players out of the FCS, which is still a Division-I level of athletics. There you will find Incarnate Word’s Lindsey Scott (who replaced QB Cam Ward, now the starter at Washington State) and Fordham’s Tim DeMorat. To not make a team as a quarterback in the FBS, you have to “rank below” 129 college football teams. To rank below the Division-I FCS level, you have to slip past another 125 college football teams.
Not only did Tyson Bagent get past 254 Division-I football teams, he’s not one of the many backups and transfer players who rotate around the country lately. It’s not crazy to say that a couple of years ago, Bagent wasn’t considered one of the top-500 quarterbacks in college football.
After dominating Division-II football for the last couple of years, getting invited to the Senior Bowl, and being one of the top quarterbacks in Mobile, Bagent is looking like a top-10 quarterback for the 2023 class and potentially a day three pick for an NFL team. From a group of 3,159 students to a slightly more exclusive group of 2,880 pro football players.
Does that say more about Bagent or more about the four and five-star recruits now ranked behind him?
I have little more to say about Bagent today, I just want to get you primed for the next two months of who people will be talking about leading into the NFL Draft as the Seahawks will be constantly attached to quarterback prospects. After flirting with the QB Survivor game last year, and still trying to figure out the best way to approach a re-try moving forward, I wanted to pare down that longer list to the number of quarterbacks who actually declared for the draft.
A list that will not include Grayson McCall or Michael Penix or Devin Leary or Ward.
The following 20 names is a list I literally copy/pasted from SI.com and the links below are scouting reports from them. But it’s a good starting point to start familiarizing ourselves with the names. There have been 56 quarterbacks drafted in the last five years, so we’re looking at an average of only 11 per year. We’ve also often seen that often the best (or one of the better ones, at least) was not the first or second or third picked.
Brock Purdy was the ninth QB selected in 2022; Davis Mills was the eighth QB selected in 2021; Jalen Hurts was the fifth QB selected in 2020; Gardner Minshew was the 11th QB selected in 2019; Lamar Jackson was the fifth QB selected in 2018 and Mike White was the eighth.
What we won’t often see is an undrafted QB rise to prominence. Not impossible, just exceedingly rare. SI has ranked Bagent ninth, in between Haener and Hall, and ahead of CFP star Max Duggan, UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson, and two-time national champion Stetson Bennett.
Could a Division-II quarterback be drafted instead of one of the most successful Division-I quarterbacks in history? Maybe or maybe not, but I guarantee more than a few people are rooting for that to happen.
Here are the SI top-20 rankings. Please consider helping support Seaside Joe with a paid subscription and by sharing us with Seahawks fans. Thank you!
2023 NFL DRAFT BIBLE QB BIG BOARD RANKINGS (01/16/23)
Notable names not in the top-20: Penn State’s Sean Clifford (beat out Will Levis for the job several years ago), East Carolina’s Holton Ahlers, James Madison’s Todd Centeio, Utah State’s Logan Bonner, Georgia Southern’s Kyle Vantrease