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Dynasty Rookie Draft Primer: Quarterbacks (2023 Fantasy Football)

Dynasty Rookie Draft Primer: Quarterbacks (2023 Fantasy Football)

The NFL offseason is here (silently chuckles on the inside). Every dynasty GM knows there is no offseason. There’s the regular season, and then there is rookie fever season. If you’re like me and you’ve had a raging fever since February…the only prescription is my rookie primers.

Dynasty Rookie Draft Kit

Dynasty Rookie Draft Primer

I’ll run through each skill position (QB, RB, WR, TE), laying out draft strategy, tiers, statistical analysis, and scouting reports. Let’s dive into this exciting rookie class.

How to Approach Quarterbacks in Dynasty Rookie Drafts

SuperFlex

In SuperFlex, quarterbacks rule the day. My approach with quarterbacks in this format is to draft them always. If I can help it, I never want to be in a position where I have to trade for quarterbacks. 

The dirty secret about SuperFlex is that while quarterbacks are valued higher, they are also much harder to trade for or away. It can be done, but when constructing trades in many SuperFlex leagues, the trade partner usually wants a quarterback coming back in return (even if the QB is their QB3). The difficulty of constructing these trades is the assumption that you will like the quarterback that’s attainable on their roster, and you also have a quarterback on your roster that the other team is interested in acquiring. That’s even before we discuss the expensive nature of acquiring quarterbacks via trade in this format. This is a long way to say: Avoid the headache and draft quarterbacks. 

NFL Draft capital is also a big part of how I value quarterbacks. Quarterbacks, in general, can be a mixed bag of hits and flameouts, even when we are just looking at players drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. Once we get past the first round, those hit rates fall exponentially. This is something to remember if you’re drafting QBs in a dynasty that are third and fourth-round picks in the NFL Draft. You’re making the bet that the player will be an outlier, so I usually stick to quarterbacks drafted in the top two rounds of the NFL Draft. If I take fliers to fill out the bottom of my roster, it will be via waivers, so if you’re wondering why I only have three tiers of quarterbacks listed here, that’s because these are the only players I’m currently projecting to possibly go in the top two rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft. 

Each tier 1 & 2 quarterback below should be drafted in the first round of your SuperFlex rookie draft. Levis is a second round Superflex rookie draft pick.

1-QB

My strategy in this format is similar to SuperFlex in that I prefer to draft quarterbacks, but they are easier to trade for in this format with the value lowered some. The key for quarterbacks I target in this format is staying consistent with my previous NFL Draft capital points and looking for difference-makers at the position. That difference-making potential is not always but usually tied to rushing ability. Mobile quarterbacks can separate themselves in scoring from both a ceiling and floor perspective. Those are my main targets in 1QB formats. That’s not to say I don’t draft pure pocket passers, but I will likely draft them in the second round of a 1QB rookie draft, whereas mobile quarterbacks, I’ll usually take them in the late first round.

Dynasty Rookie Draft Positional Rankings & Tiers

Tier 1

Analysis: These two quarterbacks both are a combination of high floor and ceiling bets. Stroud has untapped rushing potential that could be further unlocked in the NFL. If he does start the entire season, Richardson’s rushing floor could easily propel him to a top 12-15 fantasy points per game finish in Year 1. 

Tier 2

Analysis: Young is a high-floor selection with some untapped upside if he runs more in the NFL. He’s a crafty rushing threat with a proven passing pedigree. He stands alone in his own tier.

Tier 3

Analysis: Levis is the ultimate wild card. He could hit the upper range of his possible outcomes, become a perennial top-8 fantasy quarterback, or flame out spectacularly. 

Dynasty Rookie Draft Player Profiles

C.J. Stroud (Ohio State)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 8th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 57th
    • Yards per attempt: 2nd
    • Big-time throw rate: 10th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 9th
    • Deep throw rate: 100th
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 117th
    • Pressured rate: 11th lowest

Scouting report:

  • In 2021, Stroud was 10th in pressured adjusted completion rate and 12th in pressured PFF passing grade while facing the 16th-lowest pressure rate (23.8%, minimum 50 pressured dropbacks). Stroud has quiet feet against pressure and can make plays outside of structure.
  • Stroud has effortless velocity on his throws. He has plenty of arm strength to fit any throw into a tight window. His accuracy is also sound on the move.
  • He can layer throws against zone coverage with the best of them. His film is littered with special throws to the boundary that take moxie to dial up. He has no issues testing man coverage and tossing it up for his receiver to win.
  • Stroud will sometimes hang on his first read, but there’s plenty of film of him performing full-field reads. He moves through his progressions quickly to find the open receiver.
  • As the collegiate stats will show, Stroud isn’t a rushing threat, but that doesn’t mean he’s a statue in the pocket. He has plenty of maneuverability in the pocket, which he uses exceptionally well. He steps up in the pocket when necessary to avoid rushers and can get outside of structure when necessary and deliver an accurate throw on the run. Stroud won’t be a “rushing quarterback” at the next level, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have the wheels to grab an easy 5-7 yards when the defense is offering it up.

Player Comp: Justin Herbert

Dynasty Outlook: After the smoke screen of the NFL Draft cleared, C.J. Stroud was drafted second overall to the Texans to become the pillar of their rebuild process. Houston added Juice Scruggs and Shaq Mason to an offensive line that allowed the 12th-lowest adjusted sack rate last year. This line should give Stroud time in the pocket in his rookie season. While the offensive line won’t be among the best in the league, it should be at least average. The same can be said for Stroud’s receiving weapons. A starting pass-catcher unit of Nico Collins, Robert Woods, Dalton Schultz, and John Metchie or Tank Dell isn’t sexy, but it also isn’t a total dumpster fire. Woods’ box score numbers last year weren’t great, but if we dig deeper, he doesn’t look washed. Last year he was 15th in open rate (per ESPN), immediately behind Christian Watson. Stroud remains a top-three pick in Superflex rookie dynasty drafts.

Bryce Young (Alabama)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 1st
    • Adjusted completion rate: 11th
    • Yards per attempt: 12th
    • Big-time throw rate: 33rd
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 19th
    • Deep throw rate: 114th
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 8th
    • Pressured rate: 8th

Scouting report:

  • Bryce Young has the arm strength to make all the NFL-level throws, but he’ll never be confused as a quarterback with a rifle for an arm. When he fails to set his feet in the pocket and attempts to put zip on the ball, he can get erratic with low throws or sailing the ball. His accuracy on the run is surprisingly good and fluid though, as he throws with touch with enough juice. Young can lace some balls into tight windows and deep to the boundaries when he’s in rhythm and feeling it (Georgia, SEC Championship, 2021). He can also be erratic, especially past 25-30 yards downfield.
  • Young’s pocket presence is solid, as he displays escapability and playmaking ability outside of structure. He can utilize multiple arm angles in the pocket and on the move to facilitate accurate passes. His rushing upside is real at the NFL level. He rarely takes big hits, protecting himself well by sliding. His open-field agility and burst are nice.
  • Young has all the tools to succeed in the NFL, but some areas of his game still need to be polished. He is sometimes slow on the trigger, looking a second behind on some progressions and throws. Young will lock onto his first read and attempt some head-scratching passes into tight coverage when open receivers are running crossers over the middle of the field. This is more evident in his 2022 film, with a downgraded cast of characters surrounding him. It still popped up in 2021, but he played with more confidence in this season with Jameson Williams and John Metchie at his side. Young reminds me of watching Trevor Lawrence‘s final-season film in that regard. He does have plenty of instances on film going from his first read all the way down the ladder to his third option.
  • Young plays with tempered aggression, but he’s still learning. He has no issues fitting the ball into a tight window in the short and intermediate regions or taking the check down when nothing is open. In 2022, he opted for check downs or to take off running more which can be a reflection of his surrounding cast, but it’s also a reflection of him. There are moments during that season where he bailed clean pockets or missed open wide receivers when he failed to come off of his first read. Young is still trying to find the perfect balance between aggression and taking what the defense gives him.

Player Comp: Russell Wilson (with less arm strength)

Dynasty Outlook: The Carolina Panthers held to their word and selected Bryce Young first overall in the NFL Draft. Young is in good hands under Frank Reich and Josh McCown, who should create a stable environment for the talented rookie to grow. Young will have a solid offensive line to sit behind and toss darts. Last year Carolina was the tenth-highest-graded offensive line per PFF, allowing the fourth-lowest pressure rate. Young has a decent set of pass catchers to throw to, with D.J. Chark, Adam Thielen, Jonathan Mingo, Terrace Marshall, and Hayden Hurst leading the way. Young should be helped by Reich’s love for incorporating screens in his passing game. In two of his last three seasons directing an NFL offense, his starting quarterback finished top-ten (fifth, ninth) in screen attempts (per PFF). Young’s fantasy ceiling remains in question, but his floor should be high as a strong QB2 in fantasy as soon as 2023. Young is a top-four pick in Superflex dynasty rookie drafts.

Anthony Richardson (Florida)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 70th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 133rd
    • Yards per attempt: 55th
    • Big-time throw rate: 37th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 74th
    • Deep throw rate: 29th
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 93rd
    • Pressured rate: 21st (highest)

Scouting report:

  • Richardson looks like a quarterback with only one full season of starting experience under his belt. Many passing plays have a predetermined target immediately. Richardson rarely gets to his second option; when he does, it feels a tick behind. Sometimes, he hesitates with open wide receivers, pumping the ball instead of firing, as if he doesn’t trust his eyes.
  • Richardson was utilized on a ton of bootlegs to the right. This was also a favorite escape path when pressured, as he would roll out right in many cases instead of stepping up in the pocket. Richardson looks comfortable throwing on the run, moving to his right. His ball placement is strong in these play designs.
  • Richardson has a cannon for an arm, but he’s still refining it. His ball placement can be erratic. He’ll toss a ball behind a receiver running a slant, and then hit a receiver in stride for a 50-yard bomb into double coverage. The flashes of upside are brilliant. You get a glimpse of the type of game-changing quarterback Richardson can be if it all coalesces. His strong arm still needs taming. He needs to gain touch on short and intermediate throws. He has only one gear on many of these plays: a full-bore fastball. Richardson isn’t an anticipatory thrower. He’s still in the see-it, throw-it phase of his evolution.
  • Richardson is a sick athlete capable of a highlight-reel-worthy play every snap. He’s an explosive rusher with some nice lateral agility for his size. When he’s in a rhythm, he is a special player.

Player Comp: Colin Kaepernick

Dynasty Outlook: If you’re an Anthony Richardson truther or just a fan of elite upside, you should be streaking in the streets after shotgunning a few cocktails with Richardson landing with Shane Steichen. Steichen’s track record with quarterbacks is proven and polished. Yes, he helped Jalen Hurts, but even before that, he assisted Justin Herbert in his rookie season and Philip Rivers before him. Richardson’s rushing upside is ridiculous. That alone gives him a top-12 floor in fantasy in his rookie season, assuming he starts in Week 1. Indy has Michael Pittman, Jonathan Taylor, Alec Pierce, and Josh Downs to help make Richardson’s life easier when he drops back to pass. Look for Steichen to dial up the deep heaves as well. Over the last two seasons, Jalen Hurts finished 14th and fourth in deep ball passing rate (minimum 20 deep attempts per PFF). Last year among 148 quarterbacks with at least 20 deep attempts (per PFF), Richardson ranked 20th in PFF deep passing grade and 30th in deep passer rating. The Colts will be an explosive play factory this year. In Superflex dynasty rookie drafts, you can make an argument for Richardson over Bijan Robinson, with Richardson’s floor being 1.03. In 1QB dynasty formats, he is the QB1 of this class because of his rushing production.

Will Levis (Kentucky)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 92nd
    • Adjusted completion rate: 29th
    • Yards per attempt: 26th
    • Big-time throw rate: 129th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 26th
    • Deep throw rate: 102nd
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate:
    • Pressured rate:
  • 2021 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 24th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 37th
    • Yards per attempt: 46th
    • Big-time throw rate: 96th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 62nd
    • Deep throw rate: 72nd
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 71st
    • Pressured rate: 100th

Scouting report:

  • It’s not hard to see how an NFL team could be enamored with Levis. When he’s on, he’s a playmaking dual-threat quarterback tossing lasers all over the field with touch into tight windows. Levis has arguably the strongest arm of this quarterback draft class. He can flick the ball 40 yards down the field with ease. His deep ball can produce some wow moments.
  • The issue for Levis is those moments can be fleeting. His play-to-play consistency has to improve to be an average to above-average starter in the NFL. The eye-popping moments for Levis also need some context. Levis was a one-read pony in college. If his first read wasn’t open, in many cases, he was struggling or attempting to fit an ill-advised throw to the receiver anyway. Asking him to go through progressions is a projection. Corners in college had no problems reading his eyes and jumping routes, as Levis continually stared down his first read. Levis is also late to feel pressure in many instances. He will also flee a clean pocket.
  • His footwork gets sloppy at times, which hurts his accuracy at every level. This is most easily seen with his Jekyll and Hyde short-area accuracy. His ball placement can also be scattershot, with him sailing passes, underthrowing receivers, and putting balls behind them.
  • Levis has some rushing ability, with at least 216 rushing yards in three of his last four collegiate seasons. I’m curious how much of that transfers to the NFL level. Levis is a straight-line runner with little wiggle to his game. He will deploy the occasional spin move, but he’s mostly a charge straight ahead-type that occasionally lowers his shoulder. His invitation for contact with defenders could be problematic long term for his health despite his sturdy 6’3″ frame.
  • Levis is the ultimate “traits-based” draft pick. If he hits, he could be a franchise-changing signal-caller that carves a spot out among the league’s best. He also carries massive bust potential.

Player Comp: Carson Wentz

Dynasty Outlook: After the NFL attempted to pull the wool over dynasty GMs’ eyes, Will Levis fell like a stone through the first round of the NFL draft before settling in as a second-round pick. The fall from draft capital grace hurts his potential hit rate as a fantasy asset. I was already divided on his murky outlook as an NFL-caliber quarterback, but this slippage will cause me to fade him more than some. Levis still has possibly a year behind Ryan Tannehill before he sees the NFL field, so there’s a waiting period for fantasy points here. The waiting game might not be worth it in the end. Levis is a late first-round or high second-round pick in Superflex dynasty rookie drafts that could blow up in your face.

Hendon Hooker (Tennessee)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 16th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 25th
    • Yards per attempt: 1st
    • Big-time throw rate: 57th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 31st
    • Deep throw rate: 23rd (20.2%)
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 77th
    • Pressured rate: 13th lowest (23.6% of dropbacks)

Scouting report:

  • Hooker has the prerequisite arm strength to make all the NFL throws, but he doesn’t have a cannon by any means. His short-area accuracy can be sporadic, with him airmailing touch passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.
  • He is a “see it and throw it” quarterback. Hooker is not an anticipatory thrower. He does tend to stare down his first read, which results in corners jumping routes in the NFL. Hooker wasn’t asked to go through full-field reads, with many plays having a predetermined option and, at the most, Hooker having to get to his second option. The Vols also gave him a ton of stacked formations where his 1-to-2 progression was easy.
  • Hooker displayed rushing upside in college. He is adept at letting his blocks set up in front of him with adequate vision. He is not an explosive or dynamic rusher in the open field, so I wonder how much rushing production will translate to the NFL.

Player Comp: Dak Prescott

Dynasty Outlook: Hendon Hooker’s fall to the third round, while adding the knee and age concerns on top, tanks his dynasty value. He needed at least second-round capital for me to look past some of these frightening concerns about his profile. With the hit rate being shaky at best for quarterbacks taken in the third round of the NFL Draft, Hooker is a fourth-round Superflex dynasty rookie draft pick and likely a fade in most drafts. Jared Goff has two years left on his deal with Detroit. If the team improves this year, then Goff almost assuredly keeps his job for the final year of his deal in 2024, which means the geriatric Hooker remains buried on the bench for half of his rookie deal.

Tanner McKee (Stanford)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 44th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 67th
    • Yards per attempt: 94th
    • Big-time throw rate: 100th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 82nd
    • Deep throw rate: 140th
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 80th
    • Pressured rate: 87th

Scouting report:

  • McKee has average arm strength. His arm strength limitations show up on some deep balls and throws made on the run when he can’t set his base. He has excellent touch and ball placement that is evident even on the move. What he lacks in arm strength, he makes up for in ball placement, which is why he can fit throws into tight windows. 
  • He is adept at layering second-level throws and tossing from multiple arm angles to work around defenders or access passing lanes. He consistently hits receivers in stride or “throws them open.” He throws with anticipation hitting his wide receivers before they are out of their break. His windup can get long on some throws, but overall he has a quick release. 
  • McKee has good pocket mobility and escapability for his size, but he won’t be a rushing threat. He is late to feel interior pressure on some plays. Ideally, his NFL destination will have a strong interior offensive line to help him smooth this out and keep him upright. 
  • He’s a quick processor that usually comes off his first read quickly to find his second and third options.

Player Comp: Matt Schaub

Dynasty Outlook: McKee is a limited pocket passer who just fell to the sixth-round of the NFL Draft while landing behind an elite quarterback in Jalen Hurts who just signed an extension. McKee is a fade in all formats. He’s only worth considering picking up off the waiver wire in dynasty leagues

Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 80th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 11th
    • Yards per attempt: 34th
    • Big-time throw rate: 113th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 110th
    • Deep throw rate: 138th
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 29th
    • Pressured rate: 63rd

Scouting report:

  • Dorian Thompson-Robinson has average arm strength. When he’s in rhythm, he’s accurate in the short and intermediate areas. The problem is he is extremely inconsistent. He routinely drifts in the pocket without setting his base, which leads to accuracy issues and poor velocity on throws. Thompson-Robinson consistently exhibits more accuracy when on the move versus when he is asked to make throws from the pocket. 
  • Thompson-Robinson operated in an offensive system conducive to his movement skills that also hid his deep ball issues. His deep ball is a work in progress, lacking accuracy and touch. This isn’t glaring in his college film because he was rarely asked to chuck it deep. He ranked outside the top 100 collegiate quarterbacks last year in deep adjusted completion rate and deep ball rate. Thompson-Robinson relied on screens and outs for a large portion of his passes. 
  • Thompson-Robinson will telegraph where he’s going with the ball far too often, which leads to plenty of jumped routes and picks. He showed growth in his field reads during his time at UCLA, but even in 2022, many throws were made with predetermined reads and out of his hand quickly. He has to continue to improve with getting through progressions at the next level as he still looks a tick slow and hesitates or holds onto the ball when asked to fit passes into tight windows. 

Player Comp: Trace McSorley

Dynasty Outlook: Thompson-Robinson is a fade in all formats because he fell to the fifth round of the NFL draft. He’ll compete with Joshua Dobbs and Kellen Mond for primary backup duties behind Deshaun Watson. Thompson-Robinson’s rushing upside is slightly intriguing, but his limitations as a passer make it difficult to envision him as the long-term answer for an NFL franchise.

Jaren Hall (BYU)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 20th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 25th
    • Yards per attempt: 26th
    • Big-time throw rate:
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 3rd
    • Deep throw rate: 68th
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 104th
    • Pressured rate: 14th lowest (24.2%)

Scouting report:

  • Bouncy feet in some clean pockets. His footwork can lapse on short timing throws or when pressured. This leads to accuracy woes.
  • Inconsistent touch on passes. He will lace a perfect ball to the boundary on one play and then follow it up with a sideline throw that could have used a tad more mustard or a short pass that’s fast-balled to his receiver.
  • When he’s in rhythm, Hall can put some special throws on tape. Easy velocity. A strong arm that can also lead him to attempt some tight-window throws he shouldn’t.
  • Rushing upside should be there for Hall in the NFL. Good burst and lateral agility in the open field. A playmaker with the ball in his hands.

Player Comp: Shea Patterson

Dynasty Outlook: Hall is in the same prune filled bucket as Hendon Hooker as he enters the NFL as a 25 year old rookie. Hall has a rocket arm but questionable decision making and feel in the pocket. His fifth round draft capital and advanced age compared to most prospects won’t buy him a ton of equity in the NFL. Hall is worth a waiver wire pickup in Superflex leagues for competing teams with Kirk Cousins rostered. Hall will battle Nick Mullens for backup duties. The chances are slim that he ever sees the NFL as a starter.

Jake Haener (Fresno State)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 15th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 7th
    • Yards per attempt: 34th
    • Big-time throw rate: 62nd
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 26th
    • Deep throw rate: 17th lowest (11.0%)
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 35th
    • Pressured rate: 80th (30.8%)

Scouting report:

  • Max effort thrower. Haener has average arm strength. His offense catered to his quick release and accuracy on short and intermediate timing throws.
  • The best-case scenario would be an offense that asks Haener to operate as a quick processing point guard. He profiles as a solid backup that could keep the offense afloat in a pinch. Please don’t ask him to go out and play Superman or be a floor-raising QB.
  • His outside-the-numbers accuracy can be spotty. His arm-strength limitations show up here, but he does display the ability to layer throws versus zone coverage.

Player Comp: Kellen Moore

Dynasty Outlook: If you’re looking for a prospect to place on the Brock Purdy mantle, it’s Jake Haener. Haener is a quick processor that delivers an accurate ball. He displays the ability to also make plays outside of structure. He’s worth a fourth or fifth-round dart throw in Superflex leagues but nothing more. Derek Carr’s contract likely puts him in the driver’s seat for the Saints for the next 2-3 years, so don’t expect Haener to start anytime soon unless Carr craps his pants.

Clayton Tune (Houston)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 1st
    • Adjusted completion rate: 4th
    • Yards per attempt: 34th
    • Big-time throw rate: 31st
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 30th
    • Deep throw rate: 77th (15.1%)
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 22nd
    • Pressured rate: 27th lowest (26.9%)

Scouting report:

  • Adequate zip on short and intermediate throws. Rainbows deep throws. His average arm strength shows up past 15-20 yards.
  • Good pocket presence overall. Tune is not a massive rushing threat, but he does display good pocket mobility. He can buy time for his receivers to uncover. He will drift some against pressure, though.
  • Tune was not asked to make full-field reads at Houston. He tends to force throws to his predetermined first read.

Player Comp: Jake Fromm

Dynasty Outlook: Tune walks into camp, likely fighting for QB3 duties behind Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy. With his fifth-round draft capital and game manager ceiling, Tune is best avoided in all dynasty formats.

Max Duggan (TCU)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 40th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 43rd
    • Yards per attempt: 12th
    • Big-time throw rate: 53rd
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 15th
    • Deep throw rate: 39th (18.3%)
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 91st
    • Pressured rate: 54th (33.7%)

Scouting report:

  • Efficient thrower when working in a rhythm. Ran TCU’s RPO offense sufficiently, working the short and intermediate areas of the field while getting the ball out of his hands quickly.
  • Duggan is an adventure against the pass rush. When he faces interior pressure or his first read isn’t open, he can get happy feet and pats the football like he’s trying to burp a newborn baby. Even though TCU didn’t task him with full-field reads, Duggan seemed to be a second or two behind on getting the ball out. His processing is thrown off sometimes, as he refuses to come off his first read. If this happens and he faces pressure, he usually drops his eyes and looks to scramble.
  • Duggan can be late to feel the rush. He’s a developmental QB prospect that will need some time to catch up to NFL systems and the speed of the game.

Player Comp: Will Grier

Dynasty Outlook: Duggan looked like he was starting at UDFA status before the Chargers snatched him up in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. Duggan will sit on the Los Angeles as the QB3 behind his skill-set doppelganger in Easton Stick. Duggan isn’t worth a dynasty roster spot at this point.

Malik Cunningham (Louisville)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 106th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 92nd
    • Yards per attempt: 75th
    • Big-time throw rate: 109th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 133rd
    • Deep throw rate: 77th (15.2%)
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 62nd
    • Pressured rate: 79th

Scouting report:

  • Dynamic rusher. Cunningham can make defenders miss in tight quarters while also being able to shed arm tackles.
  • Cunningham’s biggest strides need to come as a passer. His arm strength is average. He is at his best when delivering quick hitters to his receivers in stride. His deep-ball accuracy is erratic, and receivers are left waiting on passes many times.
  • His penchant for superhero plays will get him into trouble in the NFL. Cunningham will force throws and attempt passes while he’s getting wrapped up by a defender. The results were disastrous at times. The more he comes to terms with the fact that it’s ok to dirt a ball or throw it out of bounds, the better off he’ll be.

Player Comp: Dennis Dixon

Dynasty Outlook: Cunningham went undrafted and has yet to find an NFL roster to call home. Once he does sign, check back for his outlook. It’ll likely be bleak, but his rushing ability does offer a slim glimmer of hope.

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*All data utilized in this article is courtesy of PFF, Football Outsiders, and Playerprofiler.com unless otherwise specified.*

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Thor Nystrom’s 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings: Defensive Back

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