2023 NFL Combine Takeaway: Who’s No. 1 QB? Plus most risers, fallers and answering other burning questions

The 2023 NFL Scouting Combine is in the books! Hundreds of prospects went to Indianapolis hoping to improve their draft stock, and plenty did.

CBS Sports NFL draft analysts Chris Trapasso and Josh Edwards recap all the action below, including the QB performances, biggest risers and fallers, sleepers and more.

What is the biggest storyline coming out of the row?

Bryce Young measurable results

Josh Edwards: Young meet the required height and weight thresholds. It’s great to see that he can reach that number, but the fact that this will happen in March means little if he has no intention of maintaining that weight throughout his playing career.

Dominion Anthony Richardson

Chris Trapasso: Richardson met (more?) the huge expectations at 6-foot-4 and 244 pounds. I was in a large majority who believed that the former Florida quarterback would rock in Indy. Admittedly, I don’t think I would have predicted how ridiculous Richardson ended up being. As wise as Young’s decision to sit was, it was clearly a smart choice for Richardson to show his other athletic gifts to the world.

Who helped their draft stock the most?

Adetomiwa Adebawore, EDGE/DL, Northwestern

Josh Edwards: Adebawore would have been the standout performer if not for Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson. It tested off the charts in basically every category. He ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at 282 pounds after a vertical jump of 37.5 inches and a broad jump of 10-feet-5-inches. The Florida native also bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times. Teams his size have to have a plan, but he checked a lot of boxes athletically.

Jakorian Bennett, CB, Maryland

Chris Trapasso: A little fuzzy with this pick, because it was so hard to find one. Bennett’s teammate Deonte Banks joined the combine as the marquee corner from Maryland. Bennett leaves as someone with almost identical explosiveness, and ran 4.30 to Banks’ 4.35. At 5-foot-11 and 188 pounds with arms just under 32 inches, Bennett won’t meet every team’s size threshold, but he played more inside and outside than Banks, and now we know he’s an elite athlete.

Who hurt their draft stock the most?

Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU

Josh Edwards: Many were willing to give Boutte the benefit of the doubt due to inconsistency during his time in Baton Rouge. The team went through changes at the top, and quarterback play was an issue after Joe Burrow. However, with the way things ended, with his athleticism testing falling short, it is much more difficult to sustain his stock.

Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Chris Trapasso: Addison weighed in as a featherweight at 5-foot-11 and 173 pounds with arms under 31 inches and hands just below the 9-inch threshold many teams want to see out of their receivers. Then, despite his minimal weight, Addison ran 4.49 in the 40, the 21st-fastest among wideouts. Surprisingly slow. His 34-inch vert was seventh-low, and his 10-foot-2 broad was eighth-low at the site. See, Addison is a reliable slippery stud on film. Here at the combine, Addison’s stock fell down. He should have tested more explosively at 173 pounds.

Who had the most impressive performance?

Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Josh Edwards: Richardson had a historic display for his size. He set the tone early in the day with a 40.5-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot-9-inch broad jump. When he stood in front of the nation for the first time, he ran a 4.43 second 40-yard Dash and followed that up with an impressive performance on the field. Athletics will only get a quarterback so far in the NFL, but if Richardson can figure out the rest, it will be special.

Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion

Chris Trapasso: We have mentioned the absurd efforts of Richardson and Adebawore. Let’s bring some Kuntz shine. The former Penn State tight end measured in at 6-foot-7 and 255 pounds with 34-inch arms and ran a 4.55 in the 40, leading all the drills at his position. The highest vertical (40 inches) and broad jump (10-foot-8) and, impressively, the fastest three-cone on the list of a receiver at 6.87 seconds. You know how hard it is for a 6-7 tight end to make a three-cone drill that clears?

What was your biggest takeaway from the QBs?

Top QBs Shine

Josh Edwards: All three of the top quarterback prospects (Anthony Richardson, Will Levis and CJ Stroud) threw the ball very well. Talent evaluators should feel much better about the group at the top, and that’s good news for the Chicago Bears, who sent the No. 1 overall pick. 1 on the trading block.

Stroud lives up to the hype

Chris Trapasso: Stroud lived up to the “ball placement specialist” label he gave himself during the throwing sessions, which is historically very challenging for quarterbacks to do, throwing a random batch of random wideouts. His passes also had plenty of zip, and he had no trouble pushing it 60 yards down the field. The ball never floated, never hung in the air. Overall, Stroud was a surgical passer on Saturday night.

Who is your No. 1 QB and why?

Bryce Young, Alabama

Josh Edwards: What happened on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium was impressive, but the tape is the most evaluated. Young is the most natural playmaker at the position. He is a great leader with the ability to make plays outside of the play structure.

CJ Stroud, Ohio State

Chris Trapasso: For many of the reasons I have listed above. I’ve seen more “big-time” throws from him on film than any of the other quarterbacks, and he’s shades of that Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert athleticism in that it’s not very freaky, run game type design, but he’s just explosive and naturally gifted at avoiding routers to extend plays and find open receivers in scramble drills.

Who sleeps with an eye on getting into Pro Days/the rest of the draft process?

Carrington Valentine, CB, Kentucky

Josh Edwards: Valentine had an impressive vertical jump of 39-inches and a broad jump of 10-feet-8-inches. However, he should also run fast and move well at his Pro Day. The ball production has not been there and there are some concerns going into it, but teams will be excited for the athletic test.

Durell Nchami, EDGE, Maryland

Chris Trapasso: After what we’ve seen from Banks, Bennett, offensive tackle Jaelyn Duncan and wideouts Dontay Demus and Rakim Jarrett, picking a Terrapin feels like a relatively safe bet. I loved Nchami on film, and while he hasn’t rekindled the magic as a pass rusher from early in his college career, he has burst, bend and pass-rushing moves. Plus, he has that lean body type that lends itself well to an electric Pro Day trick.

Which position is stronger?

Tight end

Josh Edwards: Tight ends are the strongest. They have multiple real difference makers at the top, but the value is in the depth. Teams will be able to get really good players at the position late Day 2, early Day 3.

Edge simulator

Chris Trapasso: For as smart a choice as it would be for me to copy Josh’s answer — because Josh is a great appraiser, and I agree on the latter strength — let’s go in another direction for the sake of variety. I will go with the edge rushers. Five or six guys could go in the first round, and then like five or six more in Round 2: Will Anderson Jr., Tyree Wilson, Lukas Van Ness, Nolan Smith – monster! — BJ Ojulari, Will McDonald IV, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Myles Murphy, the list goes on. Even Ohio State’s Zach Harrison, Army’s Andre Carter II, App State’s Nick Hampton, Georgia Tech’s Keion White, Notre Dame’s Isaiah Foskey, and Tennessee’s Byron Young took him around the corner. The marquee talent is there. So is the depth of quality.

What are you most looking forward to during the rest of the draft process?

Which QBs go where

Josh Edwards: It’s cliché, but it has to be when the quarterbacks are taken and who. The group has considerable potential, and last year’s class left us wanting more. The story that runs parallel to the talent available is the trade possibilities. Who will trade and how quickly will the fourth quarter be taken, whoever it will be?

Impact Pro Days

Chris Trapasso: As the Pro Days will provide an opportunity to increase many of the big prospects that did not work out in Indianapolis. Always fun to see those mid-April surges. Young, Anudike-Uzomah, Tulane running back Tyjae Spears, TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston running the 40, Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson getting a workout at the Texas Tech Pro Day. It will be very interesting to monitor and track.

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