NFL draft takeaways: QBs selected on Day 3

Mike Florio and Chris Simms explore the nine QBs selected on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft, from Stetson Bennett with the Rams to Dorian Thompson-Robinson with Browns, and discuss “the Brock Purdy effect.”

Video Transcript

MIKE FLORIO: Day three quarterbacks. There was a run. Which ones stood out to you the most?

CHRIS SIMMS: Well, I think Stetson Bennett going in round four, I didn't think he would go that early. I know there was teams that liked him. You know, Stetson Bennett won.

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He's played a lot of football. He's played a lot of big time games. He, in a lot of ways, could be that guy where you go, wait, he could be our backup for a long time. And we could feel comfortable about it.

He's smart. He ran a pro offense in Georgia with Todd Monken. So he's got that baseline. He's played a lot of ball. He's played in some big time moments.

So if he had to be the backup quarterback for a four or five game run, we felt good about that. I think that was one that certainly jumped out to me. And then Dorian Thompson-Robinson, him being still on the board there at round five and the Browns getting him, man, the Browns-- you know, they got a guy there that not only could be a big time backup for a long time, but I think be like one of those Tyler Huntley, oh, wait, is he a starting quarterback? Even better than that. So those were the two that really jumped out to me more than others, Mike.

MIKE FLORIO: Well, yeah, I know you had Dorian Thompson-Robinson in your draft quarterback rankings. He at least got on the board. I think he was-- was he fifth?


CHRIS SIMMS: He was fifth. I had him tied with Will Levis. Yes. Right. Right. So yeah, there-- go ahead, Mike.

MIKE FLORIO: We don't know what's going to happen with Deshaun Watson. I don't think the Browns know what's going to happen with Deshaun Watson. This is a little insurance policy, a guy to develop in the event that Deshaun Watson doesn't become the guy that they're paying him to be, not that they have any choice. They're stuck for four more years with the fully guaranteed contract.

But at least, they have somebody in the event that he gets injured or in the event that he just doesn't pan out because hey, just because you're paying him doesn't mean you have to play him. If it doesn't get back to how it used to be for Deshaun Watson, they need somebody else who can play. And maybe-- and it comes out. This is the whole best available player versus need.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, I think it's a little of all of that.



MIKE FLORIO: He thinks best available player-- best available player is out the window. Best available player is always crafted in the terms of what your needs are. You craft your board based upon your needs. You can't separate the two.


MIKE FLORIO: These are humans that are making these boards. So yeah, best available player at that spot and maybe in need. And you still need a good backup. Josh Dobbs is their number two. They need somebody else there.

And it's a cheap spot. You get to round five, you develop the guy, and maybe, you flip him. Hell, teams have done that. Andy Reid's the master of that. Develop a backup. He plays a game or two. Everybody loves him. You flip him for a second round pick.


CHRIS SIMMS: No, exactly, you know? I think they're in the fifth round, a guy that's got starting potential. I know there was people in football that looked at him like, man, the guy can play.

I don't know where the disconnect was there, but he does. He has a similar skill set to Deshaun Watson. He fits that offense in a lot of ways. I think it probably was one of those things where they went, wait, we don't-- Joshua Dobbs-- and really, again, there's a reason he was on the street in week 14 last year.

In a perfect world, he's really your third stringer. You don't want him to be your backup, you know? So that's where Dorian Thompson-Robinson I think will have great value for the Cleveland Browns. And the Browns got a good football team.

And if like you said, too, if something was to happen to Deshaun Watson, they got a guy that they can depend on to go in there and play at a pretty high level who's played a lot of football himself. So that was a good one. And I was happy to see too, Mike, Max Duggan, the TCU quarterback go to the Chargers in the sixth round. I think that's a good spot for him.


He's got a big arm, he's a good athlete, and he needed some polish. He's a little bit of a raw, crazy quarterback that way, misses few throws that he shouldn't miss. But there's some high end talent there. And Calvin Moore in that offense pushing the ball down the field, I do think he fits there.

MIKE FLORIO: Let's go back to Stetson Bennett because I think some wondered whether he was even going to get drafted. The Rams, the way they explained it on Saturday night, Les Snead. And it's funny, I did no editorializing when I wrote the story.

But the people who comment on it do the editorializing because Les Snead basically said, I was watching film of Georgia offensive linemen to see how they're holding off these SEC blockers. And that's when Stetson Bennett caught my eye. And of course, the reaction was the guy has been the quarterback of consecutive national championship teams. Why did it take that for him to catch your eye?

But the reality is nobody was thinking Stetson Bennett had significant NFL prospects. But they like what he can do offschedule. They rattled off all the coaching quarterbacks [INAUDIBLE] that Stetson Bennett can do this, he can do that, and the connection of Matthew Stafford at Georgia. They're looking for someone they can develop.


There was some buzz. Maybe, they'd get Will Levis. They clearly need a developmental quarterback because Matthew Stafford is 35 going on 55.

He's had a ton of injuries that we know about and that we don't know about. And it just feels like he's like that car that is falling apart as it gets to the finish line. Can it hold together to get to the finish line? And how close is that finish line? I think it's closer than anyone realizes. They need somebody to be ready to go.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah. No. No doubt-- no doubt about it. And I'm with you. And the fact that they had that top of the second round pick, I was sitting there going, wait, would they want to get Will Levis or Hendon Hooker here just for the future and start going that way? They decided not to.

Yeah, they go with Stetson Bennett. You know, in a lot of ways, too, the backup they had there the last two years and John Wolford was very similar to that too. It's that kind of guy, smart, knows how to manage the offense, do all of that. Stetson Bennett, he is a pretty good athlete. His arm does got a little pop in it, right?


He's small. He played with the greatest advantage you're going to see any quarterback play in the last two years. I mean, Georgia could do whatever they want to anybody, right? And you know, so that, I think-- that was what I questioned, that, and then there's-- yeah, you see throws, and you go, oh, wow, look, he's got a little pop and some pizzazz to him.

But then I also could go, oh, the next five throws should have been, like, 150 more yards, and we missed them completely, and they're incomplete. That's where I couldn't quite get behind it. But I think the pedigree, and the playing, and the reps, that's what teams liked about Stetson Bennett. And yeah, four was a little high for me. But either way, the Rams believed in him.

MIKE FLORIO: Yes. , Absolutely they did. And elsewhere, Clayton Tune round five.

- Ah, I like Clayton Tune.



CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah. Yeah, I like him.

MIKE FLORIO: Look, we don't know-- we don't know when Kyler Murray is going to be held. And this is a new regime, new GM, new coach. They're saying all the right things. They're doing all the right things. They're stuck with this contract.

Torn ACL for a guy whose game is premised on speed and explosion. You just don't-- you don't know, so you got to be ready. And you get to round five, if there's something about-- I'm sorry. I said Tulane. Did I say Tulane? Is it Houston or Tulane?

CHRIS SIMMS: He's Houston.

- Why do I have Tulane in my brain?


CHRIS SIMMS: That's all right. I don't know. It's Houston.

MIKE FLORIO: OK, it's Houston. Tulane. Tulane. Tune is Tulane minus the L and the A. So that's why I--

CHRIS SIMMS: Yes, that's why you did it. Great recovery.

MIKE FLORIO: So it's Houston. There's still a T, and a U, and an N, but no E in Houston. So I could use that excuse too. Anyway, they have to be ready.

Look, you need quarterbacks on your roster. Their backup, Colt McCoy, who knows how much time he has left, anyway? You've got to have quarterbacks.

That's one thing that we saw last year from the 49ers. You better be ready. You better have two, if not three, if not four available to you because there's a chance you're going to need him. Even though the league tries to keep these guys in bubble wrap and it's robbing the passer, roughing the passer, nothing the passer, whatever to try to keep them healthy, guys get injured. You better have somebody who can come in and play.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, that's right. And Clayton Tune, again, a little bit like we just talked about with Stetson Bennett, Clayton Tune, Mike, he was really the next guy up for me. You know, you mentioned my top five or six quarterbacks there with DTR. He was my next honorable mention.

First off, 6' 2", 220-ish, ran a-- I want to say a 4.6 or 4.59. He's a good athlete. He's a very consistent, accurate thrower, another guy, Mike, like Stetson Bennett who's played a ton of college football, got a ton of reps.

I'm trying to think off the top of my head. I think he was a four-year starter. If not, he was a three-year starter. I think, yeah, he's the backup of the future for the Arizona Cardinals.

He's the next Colt McCoy for them. You know, he's young version Colt McCoy or Colt McCoy. Colt will hold it down this year. And I know they got some other guys on their roster there.

But Clayton Tune, I think, can be that guy. And you know, again, I think he's another one of these backups where I look at him, you know, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, we talked about, where I go, I'm not so sure they can't be starters when it's all said and done. There's some things there that I like about their game.

MIKE FLORIO: Well, the reality is-- and we say this all the time-- there aren't enough good quarterbacks to go around. You could argue there aren't enough bad quarterbacks to go around. You need young guys. Bring them in, and develop them.

And again, I think great observation by Pete, the Brock Purdy effect causing that run on quarterbacks in day three and more opportunities for guys to develop and stick around [INAUDIBLE] teams regardless-- regardless of whether or not they're going to change the road or let you address a third quarterback. You can keep guys on the practice squad. You can keep guys on the active roster, even if they don't dress. Maybe, we'll see a push toward teams having three quarterbacks on the 53 man roster because we've seen a trend in recent years toward two, and then you have one or two on the practice squad.

Maybe, we're going to see more teams with three on the active roster, one on the practice squad and develop, develop, develop because, again, you never know when you're going to need that guy. The Vikings were in the mix for possibly, possibly a quarterback this year. I think once the first three went, that was it.

If they were going to trade up for anybody, it was going to be Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, or Anthony Richardson. They weren't interested in Levis or Hooker. They had a shot at them in round one.

They get Jaren Hall from BYU in round five. And Kirk Cousins and Brad Holmes said-- and I think we're talking about this later-- that the door is open on Cousins to sign an extension. But you just-- you never know. You never know where you're going to find gold. You never know where you're going to get lucky.

And I was watching a little Jaren Hall highlights over the weekend. And there may be something there. There's definitely a mobility there that Kirk Cousins doesn't have.

CHRIS SIMMS: No, that's right. That's what he's got. That's right. He's actually got a little bit of, like, a Nick Mullens in him almost, honestly, your backup quarterback there. But maybe, better athlete, maybe--

MIKE FLORIO: That's not a ringing endorsement.

CHRIS SIMMS: Well, maybe not quite as good a thrower. But Nick Mullens, he can hold down the fort. Nick Mullens is the perfect example where I want to tell everybody to pump the brakes again on, like, the whole-- because that's all I heard this weekend. Oh, is there a Brock Purdy out there? Is there a Brock Purdy?

I said, I don't know. Show me the quarterback that gets drafted by the all-star team and has the best offensive coach in football, and maybe, I'll show you a Brock Purdy. That's the other aspect that says everyone just thinks, oh, we can all find a Brock Purdy.

I don't know. Do they have the 49ers to play behind? Do they have Shanahan to call magic plays and make everybody open and run game and everything? I don't know there either, right? Brock Purdy is really good. I'm not sold he's, like, the answer forever for the 49ers.

I mean, Shanahan is a magic man. He made Nick Mullens break records. We was on graphics, I remember, on "Thursday Tonight Football." And Jon Gruden was on at the time.

Look at Nick Mullens. Just through five starts. It's like him, Kurt Warner, and Peyton Manning. It's like-- or it's Kurt Warner and somebody else, the greatest five starts ever.

Yeah. All right. Again, the Shanahan effect. Not everybody's going to find-- or be able to develop these guys to that extent. But to your point, yeah, you got a guy there that could be a good backup for a long time. I don't think he has starting potential Mike sorry about that rant.

MIKE FLORIO: And it didn't last. That's the thing. With Nick Mullens, it didn't last.

CHRIS SIMMS: No, it did.

MIKE FLORIO: Remember that Sunday night game against the Eagles when all of a sudden, he thought he was playing for the Eagles because he kept throwing the football to Eagles players instead of 49ners players? The one thing too, when you watch these highlights, especially with quarterbacks-- and this is something I think I've learned from hanging around you. The Vikings pushed out a highlight package of Jaren Hall.

I would omit from the highlight package any play where the receiver has to stop and wait for the ball. Like, that's really not a highlight throw. The guy's wide ass open, and he's got to stop and wait for the ball. Not exactly the thing that you should put in the highlight, unless there's just nothing else. But there was a nice little throw to the end zone that Jaren Hall had where he zipped it in to a--

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, he's got a nice motion NFL.

CHRIS SIMMS: So we'll see-- we'll see what happens with all these guys. But you're right. Look, it is on the guy to a certain point. It's on him to develop, to take it seriously, to mature, to study, to turn his life over to it.

Tom Brady's message always was if you're going to compete with me, you've got to surrender your life to the sport. Some guys are willing to do it. Some guys aren't.

Some guys are able to do it. Some guys aren't. But it's also the team around him. What kind of support system do you have? What kind of coaching staff do you have?

What kind of teammates do you have? What kind of ownership do you have? What kind of front office do you have? Are you playing for a team that charges you for your meals?

Are you playing for a team that has F minus weight room? Are you playing for a team that is going to nurture you, and take care of you, and make you feel like part of the family, make you feel like a human being, not a piece in a giant machine of interchangeable parts? That's all part of the development and getting this player to be the best he can be. And at a certain point, it's on the team. It's not on the kid.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, that's right. You know, well said. Right, the kid's going to work on everything he can work on and do whatever he can. Now it's your job to formulate and make him grow in the areas he's weak.

And if he does have to play, your ability as a playmaker to all plays and things that fit him physically. And then you go from there. And that is on there.

And yeah, it's a huge, important piece of all of this development. So we'll see where it goes. We'll see if we got any of these guys that end up being a diamond in the haystack here.