Only three quarterbacks were taken in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft: Alabama's Bryce Young at No. 1 to the Carolina Panthers, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud at No. 2 to the Houston Texans and Florida's Anthony Richardson at No. 4 to the Indianapolis Colts. Kentucky's Will Levis and Tennessee's Hendon Hooker both were drafted on Day 2, demonstrating how quickly even the most gifted players can fall from first-round consideration.
In CBS Sports draft expert Ryan Wilson's early 2024 NFL Mock Draft, five quarterbacks are projected to go in the first round. Headlining the group are USC's Caleb Williams and North Carolina's Drake Maye, the most well-known at their position heading into the fall. Texas' Quinn Ewers, Oregon's Bo Nix and Washington's Michael Penix Jr. highlight the other projected first-round picks according to Wilson.
There are many players at the position who could see their stock rise this fall with strong performances, but these seven quarterbacks have a chance to boost their stock the most and jump into the conversation with the other five quarterbacks as potential first-round picks.
Jayden Daniels, LSU
Daniels started his college career at Arizona State and began receiving some draft buzz after a standout freshman season in which he passed for 2,942 yards with 17 touchdowns to only two interceptions. He started four games in a sophomore season derailed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the following season he showed his versatility as a dual threat and rushed for 710 yards on top of his 2,381 yards passing. After transferring to LSU, his 885 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns last season were the most by a Tigers QB in program history. Daniels showed promise in his first season under Brian Kelly and elected to come back to school for a final season when he hopes to raise his draft stock while helping LSU take the next step by pushing the ball down the field more.
Joe Milton lll, Tennessee
Could Milton have the same rise at Tennessee that Hendon Hooker did last season? Milton has a cannon of an arm, and that's why he will be considered a riser among NFL brass heading into the fall. Milton will have a chance to thrive under Tennessee coach Josh Heupel and new offensive coordinator Joey Halzle, who most recently worked as the quarterback coach with the Vols before his promotion. Milton and Hooker battled it out heading into the 2022 season before Hooker ultimately won the starting job and led Tennessee to its best record in 21 years. Milton will have to win another QB competition against star freshman Nico Iamaleava, but it appears he is the leader in the clubhouse.