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Will 2023 QB class go down as best in Rivals history?

As most people that follow the NFL Draft know, quarterbacks often get drafted earlier than projections because demand for not just an elite quarterback but also for a serviceable one is so high. This year's crop of elite signal callers appears to be one of the best, and not just in recent years but perhaps in Rivals' history.

In the recruiting world, the 2018, 2021 and 2007 classes of quarterbacks are the standards that all others are compared against. Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields went 1-2 at the top of the 2018 Rivals250, while Quinn Ewers and Caleb Williams led the way in the 2021 Rivals250 at Nos. 1 and 6, respectively. The 2007 class was headlined by Jimmy Clausen, Ryan Mallett, Tyrod Taylor and Cam Newton.

The 2023 class of quarterbacks should already be considered one of the best and deepest of all time.

QB RANKINGS: Pro-Style QB | Dual-Threat QB

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RIVALS RANKINGS WEEK

Sunday: Who should be No. 1?

Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Should Branch be the No. 1 WR? | Who will be the next five-star?

Tuesday: New Rivals250 | Biggest Movers | Gorney goes position-by-position

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released | Teams that should be pleased | QB rankings spotlight | RB rankings spotlight | WR/TE rankings spotlight | OL rankings spotlight

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released | D-Line rankings spotlight | Linebacker rankings spotlight | DB rankings spotlight | ATH rankings spotlight

Friday: State rankings released | Who is on cusp of four-star ranking?

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1. The 2023 class features the most top 70 QBs in Rivals era. 

Dante Moore
Dante Moore (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

With Arch Manning, Dante Moore, Nico Iamaleava, Malachi Nelson, Jackson Arnold, Christopher Vizzina, Jaden Rashada, Austin Novosad and JJ Kohl in the top 70 of the Rivals250, the 2023 class has more highly ranked quarterbacks than any class in history.

"This is all projection and it's difficult to say that this is possibly the best class ever at Rivals because they're just starting their senior seasons," said Rivals National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney. "Especially with guys like Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, who certainly have backed up the rankings and are now NFL starters. Then there's the 2021 class with Quinn Ewers, who looks like he's about to break out at Texas, and USC's Caleb Williams, who could potentially be one of the first quarterbacks taken in the draft after this year."

That said, Gorney won't deny that the depth of the 2023 class is impressive.

"When you look at the totality of this class, there is high-end talent without question, with Arch Manning, Dante Moore, Nico Iamaleava and Malachi Nelson all providing different things and specialties," Gorney said. "Then there's also a tremendous amount of depth. I think Jackson Arnold is a guy who is a potential five-star quarterback. JJ Kohl was very surprising at the Elite 11, not only with his size but his ability to move and throw the ball.

"Austin Novosad is not a guy who's filled out physically yet, but down the line at Baylor could be very, very special. Even though they don't have the name recognition, or the college or NFL success of these other guys in previous years, I don't think there's any question that this is a very, very high-level quarterback class. Will they all project? No. Have we missed on guys before? Absolutely. But when you're looking down the line at the top guys – plus that depth at the position – I think it's a really special year."

Classes with the most top 70 Rivals250 QBs
Class QBs Total

2023

1-Arch Manning
2-Dante Moore
4-Nico Iamaleava
6-Malachi Nelson
21-Jackson Arnold
30-Christopher Vizzina
58-Jaden Rashada
60-Austin Novosad
62-JJ Kohl

9

2021

1-Quinn Ewers
6-Caleb Williams
8-Brock Vandagriff
10-Ty Thompson
17-Sam Huard
35-Kyle Mccord
45-J.J. Mccarthy
47-Jake Garcia

8

2022

3-Cade Klubnik
20-Walker Howard
35-Ty Simpson
36-Conner Weigman
37-Devin Brown
70-Drew Allar

6

2018

1-Trevor Lawrence
2-Justin Fields
4-JT Daniels
48-D. Thompson-Robinson
62-Joey Gatewood
63-Matt Corral

6

2017

10-Davis Mills
18-Hunter Johnson
20-Jake Fromm
21-Kellen Mond
39-Tate Martell
53-Tua Tagovailoa

6

2016

3-Shea Patterson
7-Jacob Eason
34-Malik Henry
37-Jarrett Guarantano
54-K.J. Costello
57-Feleipe Franks

6

2015

2-Josh Rosen
39-Deondre Francois
41-Blake Barnett
49-Travis Waller
60-Brandon Wimbush
65-Brady White

6

2009

5-Matt Barkley
7-Russell Shepard
18-Garrett Gilbert
46-Aaron Murray
51-Tajh Boyd
60-Tyrik Rollison

6

2008

1-Terrelle Pryor
14-Blaine Gabbert
25-Dayne Crist
43-E.J. Manuel
59-Mike Glennon
68-Andrew Luck

6

2007

1-Jimmy Clausen
4-Ryan Mallett
27-Tyrod Taylor
28-Cam Newton
44-Aaron Corp
47-John Brantley

6

2006

6-Matthew Stafford
10-Mitch Mustain
22-Tim Tebow
54-Demetrius Jones
61-Jevan Snead
68-Jake Locker

6

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2. QBs dominate overall top 10 in 2023. 

Nico Iamaleava
Nico Iamaleava (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

The 2023 class became the second member of two very exclusive clubs with this rankings update. It is only the second class (along with 2021) to have four quarterbacks inside the top 10 of the Rivals250. Also, it is the second class (along with 2018) to have three quarterbacks in the top five of the Rivals250.

How does the group of Arch Manning, Dante Moore, Nico Iamaleava and Malachi Nelson stack up against the likes of Quinn Ewers, Caleb Williams, Brock Vandagriff and Ty Thompson? Or the top three in 2023 compared to Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and JT Daniels?

"We obviously knew Trevor Lawrence was a very talented guy, and Justin Fields was right there pushing for that No. 1 spot as well, but they weren't necessarily Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields of Clemson and Ohio State success while they were in high school," Gorney said. "I do remember that Lawrence didn't have all that great of a week at the Army Bowl and still we were convinced he was the best player with the best projection into college and the NFL Draft. I don't think we are nearly that convinced with Arch Manning at No. 1.

"There is absolutely an opportunity for others to move into that spot through the senior season and all-star games. One of the good things about having so much quality and so much quantity in this class is that we're not really locked into anyone at No. 1, but if I had to guess it wouldn't be a quarterback in that position."

Classes with the most top-10 Rivals250 QBs
Class QBs Total

2023

1-Arch Manning
2-Dante Moore
4-Nico Iamaleava
6-Malachi Nelson

4

2021

1-Quinn Ewers
6-Caleb Williams
8-Brock Vandagriff
10-Ty Thompson

4

Classes with the most top-5 Rivals250 QBs
Class QBs Total

2023

1-Arch Manning
2-Dante Moore
4-Nico Iamaleava

3

2018

1-Trevor Lawrence
2-Justin Fields
4-JT Daniels

3

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3. The 2023 QB class stacks up as the deepest in the Rivals era. 

Jackson Arnold
Jackson Arnold (Rivals.com)

The sheer volume of high-end quarterbacks in this class is evident when looking at the prospects that are still in pursuit of their fifth star. Jackson Arnold and Christopher Vizzina have traits that could easily push them even higher in the Rivals250. Jaden Rashada, Austin Novosad and JJ Kohl bring a lot of talent and different skill sets to the field, but each of them projects as high-caliber starters at the next level.

"Looking back at that 2021 class, there is a lot to still be determined," Gorney said. "Caleb Williams has panned out. Quinn Ewers is a projected starter at Texas, but hasn't done much yet and has already transferred. Ty Thompson is kind of waiting his turn. Brock Vandagriff is also waiting his turn on a team that just won the national championship with a returning quarterback.

"Five-star quarterbacks are not guys that have to immediately step in and have an impact in college, but they are guys that should be in that mix and then be projected as first-round draft picks. Personally, I think the four that we have in 2023 are far more advanced at the same stage than the 2021 class. At the same stage, 2023 is shaping up to be better than 2021, but that also might be a reflection of those guys not panning out or not doing much in college yet."

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NEW POSITION RANKINGS: Athlete | Safety | Cornerback | Outside LB | Inside LB | Strongside DE | Weakside DE | Defensive tackle | Offensive Tackle | Offensive Guard | Center | Wide Receiver | Tight End | Running Back | All-Purpose Back | Pro-Style QB | Dual-Threat QB