Warning From Former Scout: 5 First Round 2023 NFL Draft Busts

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The game film does not lie, and it says these five draft prospects should be avoided by teams in the first-round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

No. 1 Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

First Round Mock Grade: Fifth-Round

NFL Mock Draft Database Consensus: First-Round No. 4 overall

Proof of evaluation: (2021) LSU (2022) Utah, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and FSU

Bust Probability: High

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 29: Anthony Richardson #15 of the Florida Gators looks to pass during the second half of a game against the Georgia Bulldogs at TIAA Bank Field on October 29, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Trey Lance all over again.

Richardson is an athlete first and a quarterback second.

A number of Gators fans have commented they didn’t think he was ready to declare.

Richardson’s skill set does not translate well to the NFL for four other reasons:

-Tends to hold the ball too long (Avg. NFL QB release 2.5 seconds)

-Erratic downfield ball placement (53.8% completion percentage last season)

-Tends to throw dangerous passes

-Doesn’t do well under pressure (pass rush and game situations)

No. 2 Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

First Round Mock Grade: Seventh-Round

NFL Mock Draft Database Consensus: First Round No. 7 overall

Proof of evaluation: (2021) Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri (2022) Florida, Mississippi State, and Tennessee

Bust Probability: High

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY – NOVEMBER 12: Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Kroger Field on November 12, 2022 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Besides being deathly afraid of the site of milk, liking to put mayo in his coffee, and eating bananas without peeling them, Levis has bust spray painted all over his game film.

There are four kisses of death for NFL QBs, and Levis shows all four of these characteristics

-Downfield tunnel vision that doesn’t allow him to feel the rush or see opposing defensive backs

-Looks tentative throwing

-Hard stares intended receiver

-Erratic downfield ball placement (46-25 touchdown-to-interception ratio)

No. 3 Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

First Round Mock Grade: Second-Round

NFL Mock Draft Database Consensus: First-Round No. 3 overall

Proof of evaluation: (2021) Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Georgia (2022) Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, and LSU

Bust Probability: High

FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS – OCTOBER 1: Will Anderson Jr. #31 of the Alabama Crimson Tide at the line of scrimmage during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on October 1, 2022 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Crimson Tide defeated the Razorbacks 49-26. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

This isn’t Micah Parsons. Anderson (40-yard-dash 4.6) doesn’t have Parsons’ speed (4.39).

Where does he line up?

That’s the first question at 243 pounds.

The other four main issues with Anderson:

-Lacks want and takes plays off

-Lacks flexibility to make quick adjustments

-Depends on bull-rush and stalls out too easily

-Lack of desire defending the run

No. 4 Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

First Round Mock Grade: Third-Round

NFL Mock Draft Database Consensus: First-Round No. 12 overall

Proof of evaluation: (2021) Oklahoma, Kansas State, West Virginia (2022) Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas

Bust Probability: High

FORT WORTH, TX – SEPTEMBER 04: TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Quentin Johnston (1) fights for a pass during the game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Duquesne Dukes on September 4, 2021 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Johnston is no Randy Moss.

The big problem is he is not a natural pass catcher.

Johnston had one catch for 13 yards in the National Championship, and he was held to four or fewer catches in 10/13 games in 2022.

There are three additional issues:

-Noticeable rigidity that causes trouble adjusting to the ball

-Limited catch radius

-Below average high pointing deep passes

No. 5 Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

First Round Mock Grade: Third-Round

NFL Mock Draft Database Consensus: First Round No. 17 overall

Proof of evaluation: (2021) Georgia, Pitt, Iowa State (2022) NC State, Wake Forest, and Syracuse

Bust Probability: High

CLEMSON, SC – APRIL 09: Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy (98) during the annual Clemson Orange and White Spring football game on April 9, 2022 at Clemson Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C. (Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Murphy looked soft 70% of the time on this 2022 game film.

There are other six issues also surrounding this prospect:

-Struggled winning the edge

-Sputtering motor

-Lacks flexibility to make quick adjustments

-Limited usage of pass rush moves

-Disinterest defending the run

-Missed tackles

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.