2023 NFL Draft Cheat Sheet: Quarterbacks

QB6: Jake Haener, Fresno State

How much you like Jake Haener is going to depend on how okay you are with having a physically limited quarterback. Haener is listed at 6’0, 200, and I struggle to believe he’s that big. His arm, like McKee’s, isn’t all that great. But what I do love to see out of him is that he hits his spots (usually). Not only that, but he’s quite accurate when he’s on the move. Not awesome, but he gets the job done.

Haener is, however, easily flustered by pocket pressure and it causes him to mess up on some absolutely layup throws at times. He’s small, so I can understand that he doesn’t want to get destroyed in there, but still. You’ve got to be able to hit on the easy stuff even when there’s a guy in your face. He’s extremely limited physically, and I don’t see him as a starter at the next level.

Archetype: Good player whose physical shortcomings failed him

QB7: Tanner McKee, Stanford

Now we’re getting into guys that I just don’t like. Tanner McKee is bad. This dude is lanky and that’s as much of a good thing as it is a bad thing. His arm talent isn’t bad! I mean, it isn’t great, at all. I don’t have a lot of positives here but I need to fill space. He’s smart, I guess?

Again, McKee is really lanky to the point that it looks exceptionally awkward to watch him attempt to play something that looks like the game of football. His mechanics are all off because of how long he is. He struggles with the easy stuff despite being a smart player who should know what he’s doing out there. McKee needs serious polish if he ever wants to get anywhere other than “career backup.”

Archetype: Baby giraffe, obviously

QB8: Dorain Thompson-Robinson, UCLA

Oh my god, I want to like this dude so bad. I want to think he’s good. DTR is such a fun player to watch in college because he can let his creativity and athleticism take him through a lot of plays. He was supremely clean on his throws in his final two college years, and he has great mobility to help out his football intelligence.

I’m worried about NFL scheme fits failing him, though. I don’t think coaches will know what to do with him. Now, let’s talk about his actual shortcomings. Thompson-Robinson makes some really wonky decisions at times and it makes me nervous that he won’t translate at all. He can be chaotic in the pocket which, sure, can be a good thing for playmaking sometimes, but he can become too erratic. He has a nice arm and knows how to use it, but he doesn’t have the world-class arm you’re getting with some of these other guys.

God, I hope he works out, though. The NFL needs another guy like this.

Archetype: Ahead of his time


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