2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (2023)

It looks like the former Georgia quarterback will have to continue to prove himself in the NFL.

Kipp Adams

Now that the scouting combine and pro days are in the books, analysts and scouts are able to update their boards for the 2023 NFL Draft. ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler spoke toNFL executives, scouts, and coachesand then placed the quarterbacks in this year's draft into tiers based on the experts' consensus of their abilities. Former Georgia quarterbackStetson Bennettcame in as the first quarterback in the fourth and final tier, 11th overall in the group.Case Keenum was listed as his most frequent comparison given by scouts/executives, with a draft range between early day 3 and undrafted.

Based solely upon on-field play, Bennett might be as high as the sixth-best quarterback in the draft. Evaluators consider him a good processor who has above-average physical tools and is a playmaker without whom Georgia doesn't win back-to-back titles. "Plays big in big games, quick-twitch, aggressive -- sometimes that hurts him but he has confidence, which is what you want," an NFL coordinator said. Bennett 's size (5-11, 192 pounds) is bound to be a concern for some teams. And many interviewed have non-football concerns about Bennett, who was arrested for public intoxication on Jan. 29 and did not receive universally high marks on combine interviews. Said an NFC exec: "To me, he's clearly better than those other guys [in this tier]. He does some good stuff. But he might go undrafted. His pre-draft has not been good and there are questions about whether he'll be the pro that you need out of a backup QB."

Bennett just wrapped up the best season and two-season stretch by any signal caller in program history, leading the Dawgs to back-to-back National Championships while becoming the first player to surpass 4,000 passing yards in a single season. In Georgia's 65-7 dismantling of TCU in the College Football Playoff title game, Bennett would complete 18-of-25 passes for 304 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions in the game, rushing three times for 39 yards and two touchdowns. He would earn offensive game MVP in the game, giving him the honor in all four CFP games he played in. Bennett surpassed 177 passing yards in the first half against the Horned Frogs, which made the super senior the first Georgia quarterback to ever surpass 4,000 yards in a season. Back in the first quarter, Bennett passed Aaron Murray’s program record for passing yards in a season (3,893 set in 2012). Bennett decided to use his last year of NCAA eligibility and once again play for the Bulldogs in 2022. That decision proved worthwhile for the former walk-on, who completed 68.1% of his pass attempts for 3,823 yards with 23 touchdowns and 7 interceptions while also rushing for 8 additional scores in Georgia’s first 14 games. Bennett had just over 10 more attempts per game in 2022 than he did in 2021, and his completion percentage stands as the best of his collegiate career.

With 8,428 career passing yards, Bennett ends his collegiate career fourth in program history. He is fifth in program history in career touchdown passes (66), finishing one behind Eric Zeier. He is fourth in program history with 8,958 yards accounted for. He is also third all-time in touchdowns responsible for, with 80.

Bennett's career completion percentage of 64.9 is second-best among Georgia quarterbacks with 300 attempts or more, behind only Hutson Mason (65%). His career of 9.13 yards per attempt is the best in program history. His 2.27 percent interception percentage is third best in program history, behind David Greene (2.22 percent in 1,440 attempts), and Jake Fromm (1.83%). His career passer rating is No. 1 in program history.

A running list of the players who have been invited to the Elite 11 Finals in Los Angeles June 14-16

Chance Linton

The 2023 Elite 11 Finals is closing in. Some of the nation’s top signal-callers have already been invited to Los Angeles for the premier annual quarterback event, which takes place June 14-16. Headlined by the top-ranked quarterback in the country in Phoenix Pinnacle five-star recruit and recent Georgia commit Dylan Raiola,247Sports is keeping tabs on every selected player.

More signal callers will get their invitations in the coming weeks to round out the roster for the Elite 11 Finals. In recent years, the list of Elite 11 finalists nears 20 or so.

Notable Elite 11 alumni include a host of former No. 1 draft picks, including Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, Jameis Winston, Jared Goff, Kyler Murray, Trevor Lawrence and Bryce Young, among others.

Get offseason and recruiting intel on your favorite college team for $1 for first month.

Below are the quarterbacks who have been invited to the 2023 Elite 11 Finals so far.

Dylan Raiola, Phoenix Pinnacle | Georgia commit

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (3)

247Sports rank: 5-star | 98 rating | No. 1 overall | No. 1 QB

Measurables: 6-foot-3, 220 pounds

Recruiting background: Raiola committed to Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs over a group of finalists that included Nebraska, Oregon and USC. He was previously pledged to Ohio State for more than seven months before reopening his recruitment in December. He locked up an invitation to the Elite 11 Finals in April after he was named 247Sports’ Alpha Dog from the Elite 11 Regional in Eugene, Oregon. In 12 games as a junior, Raiola completed 178 of 278 passes (64.0%) for 2,435 yards with 22 touchdowns against five interceptions while rushing for two additional scores.

Abbreviated scouting report: "Raiola checks the box with verified numbers of 6-foot-3, 228 pounds. With 9.5-inch hands he surely should not have any issues with ball security and control. The ability to drive the ball with velocity regardless of the weather conditions are things that impress because of his mechanics and ability to transfer his weight in the lower body and not just rely on his arm to make throws. He has a fluid throwing motion that does not possess any flaws or hitches. Flashed the ability to utilize touch on the ball and not just throw his fastball. The ability to change ball speeds led him to make throws into different windows with trajectory to get to the receiver at a high level."— 247Sports national recruiting analyst Chris Singletary

Read all of Raiola's scouting reports here.

NFL Draft projection: First round

Jadyn Davis, Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day School | Michigan commit

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (4)

247Sports rank:5-star | 98 rating | No. 29 overall | No. 2 QB

Measurables:6-foot 1/2, 202 pounds

Recruiting background:Davis committed March 31 to Michiganover Clemson, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State and Tennessee, among others. He headlines a Wolverines recruiting class that ranks second in the nation.

Abbreviated scouting report:"A gamer that has no issues operating on the move. Loves to improvise and take some risks, but at the same time can set up shop in the pocket and stay on script. ...Cleaner mechanics allow him to throw a tight spiral. Can rip it every now and then, but doesn’t exactly have a cannon." — 247Sports director of scouting Andrew Ivins

Read all of Davis' scouting reports here.

Player comparison:Dorian Thompson-Robinson| QB |Cleveland Browns

Elijah Brown, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei | uncommitted

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (5)

247Sports rank: 4-star | 96 rating | No. 33 overall | No. 3 QB

247Sports Crystal Ball: No predictions

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 180 pounds

Recruiting background: "The top-ranked uncommitted quarterback in the class, Brown took an official visit to UCLA May 5 and is scheduled to take two morethis summer to Stanford (June 2) and USC (June 23) before announcing his decision. In 13 games as a junior, Brown completed 184 of 270 passes (68.1%) for 2,785 yards with 31 touchdowns against four interceptions and rushed for four more scores, leading powerhouse Mater Dei to a 12-1 record with the lone loss coming in the CIF Southern Section Division I championship game.

Abbreviated scouting report: "Brown plays with a poise and maturity rarely seen at the HS level. He has started every game since his freshman season and has never looked overwhelmed while playing against top-level competition. He's a very accurate thrower and will stand in the pocket as long as possible to get a throw off. He's one of the better deep-ball throwers as well and has a really natural feel for throwing on time and throwing players open. He doesn't run much but is a good athlete and does a nice job making that initial pass rusher miss and extending a play." — 247Sports national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins

NFL Draft projection: First round

Julian Sayin, Carlsbad (Calif.) | Alabama commit

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (6)

247Sports rank: 4-star | 96 rating | No. 34 overall | No. 4 QB

Measurables: 6-foot-1, 195 pounds

Recruiting background: Sayin committed to the Crimson Tide in November over his other two finalists in Georgia and LSU. His performance at the Elite 11’s Los Angeles Regional in March earned him top performer honors from 247Sports and an invite to the Elite 11 Finals. In 12 games as a junior, Sayin completed 163 of 245 passes (66.5%) for 2,708 yards with 27 touchdowns against four interceptions while rushing for another 154 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries.

Abbreviated scouting report: "Sayin has been one of the state's top quarterbacks since his sophomore year. He's a pure thrower and might be the most ready to step in and play early of all the signal callers in the '24 class. His football IQ is very high and he has an advanced feel for the position and understands how to throw with timing and anticipation. He has excellent pocket mobility and short area quickness. He can elude pressure and either buy time outside the pocket or take off and run when he needs to." — Biggins

NFL Draft projection: First round

CJ Carr, Saline (Mich.) | Notre Dame commit

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (7)

247Sports rank: 4-star | 96 rating | No. 37 overall | No. 5 QB

Measurables: 6-foot-2 1/2, 195 pounds

Recruiting background: Carr has been pledged to the Fighting Irish since June 2022 as Marcus Freeman’s program beat out a group of finalists that also included Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin to land his commitment. He recently earned Alpha Dog honors from 247Sports for his performance at the Elite 11’s Ohio Regional in April, which secured him an invitation to the Elite 11 Finals. Carr finished his junior season 226-of-329 passing (68.7%) for 2,697 yards with 26 touchdowns to five interceptions over 11 games.

Abbreviated scouting report:"Very cerebral player who studies the game and thinks the game. That was evident in his sophomore season even though that was his first as the full-time varsity starter. His processing speed should only get faster in his junior and senior seasons. Has good, classic passing mechanics and accuracy." — 247Sports national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu

NFL Draft projection: Second round

Player comparison: Mac Jones | QB | New England Patriots

DJ Lagway, Willis (Texas) | Florida commit

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (8)

247Sports rank: 4-star | 95 rating | No. 43 overall | No. 6 QB

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 225 pounds

Recruiting background: Lagway has been committed to Florida since December when Billy Napier and company won out over fellow finalists Baylor, Clemson, Texas A&M and USC to land the Lone Star State product. He is the Gators’ highest-ranked quarterback commit since 2011, according to the 247Sports Composite. In eight games as a junior, Lagway threw for 2,081 yards on 134-of-200 passing (67.0%) with 24 touchdowns to five interceptions, and he rushed for an additional 517 yards and seven touchdowns on 50 carries.

Abbreviated scouting report: "Broad-torsoed, stoutly built quarterback with ready-to-play physical tools. Rips the ball in those portions of the field and drives it to the perimeter. Ball gets out fairly quickly. Explosive over-the-middle intermediate juice. Big-handed with ability to manipulate throw path late in delivery. Shows the requisite vertical arm strength and still should see downfield power capacity increase with continued development." — 247Sports national scouting analyst Gabe Brooks

Player comparison: Hendon Hooker | QB | Detroit Lions

Air Noland, Fairburn (Ga.) Langston Hughes | Ohio State commit

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (9)

247Sports rank: 4-star | 95 rating | No. 47 overall | No. 7 QB

Measurables: 6-foot-3, 195 pounds

Recruiting background: Noland committed to Ohio State in early April over a group of finalists that also included Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Miami, Oregon, and Texas A&M. He was invited to the Elite 11 Finals after a strong showing at the Elite 11’s Atlanta Regional. In 15 games as a junior, Noland completed 236 of 323 passes (73.1%) for 4,095 yards with 55 touchdowns against four interceptions and rushing for another 156 yards and five touchdowns on 42 carries, leading Langston Hughes to a perfect 15-0 record and a Georgia 6A state championship.

Abbreviated scouting report: "A lefty that can attack all three levels of the field. Owns a quick, compact release that is believed to be one of the fastest — if not the fastest — in the 2024 cycle. More than comfortable on the move and has plenty of experience running RPOs out of a single-back spread attack. Will beat defenders to the sticks with his legs, and is more than creative when the pocket starts to break down, but shouldn’t be considered a run-first quarterback as he keeps his eyes downfield while working through his progressions and always seems to be looking for the home run." — Ivins

Player comparison: Michael Penix Jr. | QB | Washington Huskies

Luke Kromenhoek, Savannah (Ga.) Benedictine Military | Florida State commit

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (10)

247Sports rank: 4-star | 94 rating | No. 63 overall | No. 8 QB

Measurables: 6-foot-4, 185 pounds

Recruiting background: Kromenhoek committed to Mike Norvell and company back in March 2022, roughly nine months after the FSU staff extended him his first scholarship offer. He was 247Sports’ Alpha Dog performer from April’s Elite 11 Regional in Oxford, landing an invitation to the Elite 11 Finals. Kromenhoek led Benedictine to a 13-2 record and a Georgia AAAA state championship as a first-year starter last fall. He finished the season 171-of-263 passing (65%) for 2,576 yards with 24 touchdowns and three interceptions over 15 games, and he added 453 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 139 carries.

Abbreviated scouting report: "A high-upside quarterback prospect that doesn’t have a ton of live game reps under his belt, but has plenty of tools to work with including a live arm. Fluid mover that looks like a natural in the pocket despite having just started a handful of games on Friday nights. Quicker release allows him to generate plenty of velocity and drive the ball down the field. Accurate — and creative — on the run, which is encouraging as he can escape pressure and keep plays alive." — Ivins

Projection: Power Five starter

Player comparison: Ryan Tannehill | QB | Tennessee Titans

Demond Williams, Chandler (Ariz.) Basha | Ole Miss commits

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (11)

247Sports rank: 4-star | 90 rating | No. 13 QB

Measurables: 5-foot-11, 180 pounds

Recruiting background: Williams committed to Lane Kiffin and the Rebels in late December over his two other finalists in California and UCLA. He led Basha to the Arizona Open Division state championship as a junior, completing 160 of 235 passes (68.1%) for 2,339 yards with 23 touchdowns against just one interception. He also rushed for another 764 yards and five touchdowns on 138 carries over 13 games.

Abbreviated scouting report:"Smaller in stature with good length and strong lower half. Electric quarterback who can beat defenses with his arm and legs. Accurate down-field passer with great feel for the deep ball. Consistent and on time with intermediate attempts. Flashes elusiveness and improvisation when the pocket collapses. Dangerous on the run, but is a definite pass-first prospect." — 247Sports mountain region recruiting analyst Blair Angulo

Hauss Hejny, Aledo (Texas) | TCU commit

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (12)

247Sports rank:3-star | 89 rating | No. 20 QB

Measurables: 5-foot-11 1/2, 185 pounds

Recruiting background: Hejny committed April 6 to TCU, becoming the Horned Frogs' first recruit in the 2024 class. Alabama and Clemson were among those showing heavy interest in Hejny, who initially committed Jan. 24 to Duke before he reopened his recruitment March 22.

Abbreviated scouting report:"Undersized in height and frame but strong, athletic build with the look of a skill player. Good combine testing athleticism that clearly manifests on the field. ...Speed shows on the gridiron as a scrambler and designed run threat. Capable of hitting the long ball if you let him get loose at the second level." — Brooks

Colin Hurley, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy | LSU commit

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (13)

247Sports rank: 3-star | 89 rating | No. 23 QB

Measurables: 6-foot-0, 213 pounds

Recruiting background: Originally a member of the 2025 class, Hurley committed to LSU in November and reclassified to the 2024 class. He earned his Elite 11 Finals invite in early May at the Elite 11 Regional in Oxford, Miss., where he was selected as 247Sports’ top performer at the camp. In nine games as a junior, Hurley was 88-of-165 passing (53.3%) for 1,513 yards with 17 touchdowns to five picks while rushing for one additional score, leading Trinity Christian to an 8-1 record as a starter.

Abbreviated scouting report:"A quarterback protege of sorts that has flashed some arm talent over the years on both Friday nights and on the camp circuit. Pretty mechanically sound for a youngster as he has cultivated a quick release and found ways to generate plenty of velocity through his torso." — Ivins

Projection: Power Five starter

Player comparison: Todd Centeio | QB | James Madison Dukes

Daniel Kaelin, Bellevue (Neb.) West | Nebraska commit

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (14)

247Sports rank:3-star | 89 rating | No. 25 QB

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 198 pounds

Recruiting background: Kaelin committed May 20 to Nebraska, a day after he reopened his recruitment and dropped from Missouri. Originally, Kaelin pledged March 13 to the Tigers over Colorado, North Carolina and Vanderbilt, among others.

Abbreviated scouting report:"Smart, accurate passer who had his first year as full-time starter as a junior and was very productive. ...Shows the ability to anticipate and throw into windows and throw his receivers open. Solid to good arm strength. Very effective as an intermediate passer." — Trieu

Projection: Power Five starter

Player comparison: Kirk Cousins | QB | Minnesota Vikings

Ethan Grunkemeyer, Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy | Penn State commit

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (15)

247Sports rank: 3-star | 88 rating | No. 26 QB

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 190 pounds

Recruiting background: Grunkemeyer committed to James Franklin and company May 20 while on campus for an unofficial visit. The following day, he scored an invitation to the Elite 11 Finals after a standout performance at the Elite 11 Regional in State College that earned him mention as one of 247Sports’ top performers at the camp. In 11 games as a junior, Grunkemeyer was 219-of-351 passing (62.4%) for 2,519 yards with 25 touchdowns to eight interceptions and rushed for another 201 yards and four touchdowns on 68 carries.

Abbreviated scouting report:"Very productive high school player who has posted good numbers, completed a good percentage of his passes, and taken care of the ball. Throws with some snap and ball comes out of his hand with good spin and velocity. Solid athlete who can escape pressure and shows a sense for making plays with initial reads aren't there. Can run with it if he needs to. Shows some anticipation and ability to throw guys open." — Trieu

Projection: Power Five starter

Player comparison: Taylor Heinicke | QB | Washington Commanders

Trever Jackson, Winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange | uncommitted

2023 NFL Draft: Stetson Bennett placed in lowest QB tier by ESPN (16)

247Sports rank: 3-star | 87 rating | No. 37 QB

Measurables: 6-foot-2 1/2, 185 pounds

Recruiting background: One of the top uncommitted signal-callers in the class, Jackson has one official visit scheduled with Pittsburgh for June and is working to line up several others according to 247Sports director of recruiting Steve Wiltfong. Jackson earned an invitation to the Elite 11 Finals in April after a strong showing at the Elite 11’s Orlando Regional, where he was named one of 247Sports’ top performers. Jackson led West Orange to a 7-2 record as a starter in his junior season, completing 96 of 162 passes (59.3%) for 1,559 yards with 16 touchdowns against seven interceptions and rushing for another 306 yards and six touchdowns on 52 carries.

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