Unfortunately in Week 5 of the college football season, some of the top quarterback prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft suffered injuries.
Five weeks of the college football season are officially in the books. There were some eventful moments in the week, including Georgia narrowly avoiding an upset loss to Missouri, Texas A&M losing yet again, and Georgia Tech beating Pittsburgh in the post-Geoff Collins era. College football, never short of excitement or storylines.
When it comes to the top quarterback prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft, Week 5 was different. There were injuries that took place in some of the games of the top signal callers in the 2023 class, one of which looked potentially serious.
Here is the Week 5 edition of “In the Market.”
Previous editions of “In the Market” can be found linked below:
Taking Stock: How top 2023 NFL Draft QBs fared in Week 5
Bryce Young, Alabama
Let’s start things off with the biggest story of the weekend, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. After dismantling Vanderbilt Commodores the week prior, Alabama was on the road to take on the No. 20 Arkansas Razorbacks.
For the first quarter and a half, it was the same old, same old for Young. He was connecting with his receivers, including a 47-yard touchdown strike to Kobe Prentice to take an early 7-0 lead. but there was one bad throw highlighted early in the game, where he was targeting wide receiver Traeshon Holden, but he threw it just past him. That allowed Arkansas defensive back Dwight McGlothern to tip the ball up into the air, and haul it in for the interception at the one yard line.
Young’s day ended earlier than anyone expected. As he scrambled outside of the pocket and was being brought to the turf by linebacker Drew Sanders, Young threw the ball away. As Young did that, he landed hard on his right shoulder. After attempting a pass later, Young signaled to the sideline, walked to the medical tent, threw his helmet, and yelled.
Young was spotted on the sidelines wearing his helmet at the start of the second half, but he did not return to the game.
Afterward, head coach Nick Saban told the media that Young suffered a sprained AC joint, and it is not considered serious.
As for the game, Young completed 7-of-13 pass attempts for 173 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, while running for four yards and one touchdown on two carries.
Young has seemingly avoided serious injury. But as is the case with any shoulder injury for a quarterback, it will be worth monitoring for the next game.
Next Game: vs. Texas A&M on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET
CJ Stroud, Ohio State
The Ohio State Buckeyes took on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, a game in which everyone essentially knew the end result. Except for the select few Rutgers fans hoping that maybe, just maybe, they would be able to get their first “W” in head-to-head matchups. Guilty as charged.
Rutgers did have one of the best defenses in the entire nation entering Week 5. Yet, they did not face an offense that was the juggernaut like Ohio State.
Stroud did not make the impact like he normally does. That is because the running game completely took over. Miyan Williams ran for 189 yards and FIVE TOUCHDOWNS on 21 carries.
When they did pass (22 times to be exact), Stroud was able to connect with wide receivers Julian Fleming and Marvin Harrison Jr. Notably, Stroud this his second interception of the season, as he targeted Emeka Egbuka, who had a step advantage on his defender. However, Rutgers defensive back Avery Young read the throw, and he was able to leap over Egbuka to get the interception.
Stroud recorded 13 receptions for 154 yards.
Maybe next week there will be a larger sample size for Stroud. That is not his fault, the Buckeyes were able to run the ball at will through the Scarlet Knights defense.
Next Game: at Michigan State on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 4:00 p.m. ET
Will Levis, Kentucky
Now, we reach another quarterback who picked up an injury — Kentucky’s Will Levis.
Levis and the No. 7 Wildcats took on the No. 14 Ole Miss Rebels. Early on in the contest, it looked as though Levis might be out of the game, as he dislocated his middle finger. The training staff popped it back in, and wrapped it up, allowing him to return to the game. Even with the injury, Levis still threw the football.
The end of the game, however, saw Levis have not one, but two costly fumbles on Kentucky’s final two drives while down 22-19.
The first occurred with over three minutes remaining in regulation, as he ran for a two-yard gain, then lowered his helmet prior to making contact with safety AJ Finley. Levis lost possession of the football after taking a hit from linebacker Austin Keys, allowing Finley to recover.
Yet, Levis had one more shot to at least tie the game and send it to overtime. The Wildcats were inside Ole Miss’ 20-yard line and Levis was waiting for a receiver to get open along the left side of the field. Levis did not see defensive end Jared Ivey, who strip-sacked him, allowing Tavius Robinson to recover it and secure the victory for Ole Miss.
Levis finished the game completing 18-of-24 pass attempts for 220 yards and two touchdowns.
Next Game: vs. South Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Anthony Richardson, Florida
Last week, Anthony Richardson had the best game of his collegiate career against Tennessee, but ended up on the losing end. Richardson’s opponent in Week 5? None other than the 1-2 Eastern Washington Eagles.
The game was an easy one for the Gators, as the offense put up 35 points in the first half. Richardson had some great throws, including an absolutely beautiful 75 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Justin Shorter, and an accurate pass to Xzavier Henderson in the end zone.
Yet, there was some bad. One play that was extremely glaring was Richardson throwing into quadruple coverage to try and connect with Henderson on the very first play of the second half. When looking at it, Henderson did appear to have all the defenders beat, but Richardson under threw it.
Richardson did leave the game briefly with an apparent injury, but later returned. With the game essentially, Richardson was given the rest of the game off in the second half.
In the game, Richardson completed 8-of-10 passes for 240 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
Next Game: vs. Missouri on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 12:00 p.m. ET
One 2023 NFL Draft QB sleeper who turned heads in Week 5
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
The sleeper quarterback of the week is UCLA senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. The Bruins were 4-0 entering Week 5 and took on a Washington Huskies team led by rising star Michael Penix Jr. It was Thompson-Robinson who stole the show on Saturday.
Thompson-Robinson showed off his connection with 6-foot-5, 215-pound wide receiver Jake Bobo, who caught six passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns. He also showed that he can make plays with his legs. There was the hurdle on a scramble in the second quarter, and his touchdown run where he put on the brake to cause two Washington defenders to collide with each other, allowing an easy walk into the end zone.
The UCLA Bruins are a team to watch, as they are now ranked 18th in the nation entering Week 6. Thompson-Robinson has a huge game this upcoming weekend against the No. 11 Utah Utes.
One 2023 NFL Draft QB who needs to show teams more after Week 5
Will Levis, Kentucky
Levis has shown he has the tools to be a successful quarterback. But the two turnovers late in the Ole Miss game, while the Wildcats were in scoring range, are concerning. Yes, we will cut him some slack, considering he dislocated his middle finger — though that could potentially cost him a game or two being on the field for Kentucky.
He still has seven games remaining on the schedule, and there are some tough tests for him. The Georgia Bulldogs, Tennessee Volunteers, and Mississippi State Bulldogs. These games will be must-watch to evaluate him.
Who are buyers in the NFL?
Here is what the top of the NFL Draft order would look like if the season were to end today, courtesy of Tankathon.
- Houston Texans (0-3-1)
- Carolina Panthers (1-3)
- Las Vegas Raiders (1-3)
- Philadelphia Eagles, via New Orleans Saints (1-3)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3)
- New England Patriots (1-3)
- Washington Commanders (1-3)
- Detroit Lions (1-3)
- Indianapolis Colts (1-2-1)
- Atlanta Falcons (2-2)
The Houston Texans are the only winless team remaining in the NFL. This is a team lacking in talent. They could go quarterback with their first-round pick. They could go defense. They could go wide receiver. They could go offensive line. The Texans need help all over the roster.
Carolina, you need a quarterback. The Sam Darnold experiment did not work out, and neither is the Baker Mayfield experiment. Whoever your head coach is, whether it’s Matt Rhule or not, will need to address the position.
The Washington Commanders and Indianapolis Colts are the exact same team in different conference. They kept kicking the can down the road in regards to using a high draft pick on a quarterback. The “sign/trade for a veteran quarterback” route is not working, hence why both only have one win so far this season. Washington and Indianapolis need to find a way to get one of Young, Stroud, or Levis. They need them…badly.
Jared Goff has played well for the Lions through the first four games of the season. They should be prepared to use their first-round pick on a quarterback. However, their defense is horrendous, and they could stand to add a top prospect to that side of the line of scrimmage.