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NFL Draft Prospect Preview - Devin Leary

by J.T. Toth

Photo courtesy of Lexington Herald Leader.

At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.

Today’s Spotlight - Kentucky, Quarterback, Devin Leary

Name- Devin Leary

Pos- Quarterback

Team- Kentucky

HT/WT- 6’1” 215 lbs.

Born- 9/10/1999

Home – Sicklerville, NJ

Leary was a four-year letterman and three-year starter at Timber Creek Regional High School. He finished his prep career as the state of New Jersey’s all-time leader in passing yards (9,672) and touchdown passes (117). He was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in both his junior and senior seasons. He chose N.C. State over a bunch of other Division one FBS offers.

After taking a redshirt in 2018, Leary played in 8 games, starting 5 in his redshirt freshman season and passing for 1,219 yards and 8 touchdown passes. In 2020, he saw action in 4 games with 3 starts, throwing for 890 yards and 8 touchdowns.

In 2021, he won the starting quarterback job and threw for 3,433 yards and 35 touchdowns, breaking the school record of 34 by Phillip Rivers. He was named the preseason Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year heading into the 2022 season. In six games, he led the Wolfpack to a 5-1 start and threw for 11 touchdowns before his season ended with a shoulder injury.

In his first 3 games of 2023, Leary has thrown for 855 yards and 8 touchdowns in leading Kentucky to a 3-0 start.

Devin Leary has a quick release and puts the ball where it needs to be. He throws a catchable ball and knows when to put touch or heat on his passes. He excels on bootlegs and can throw accurately on the run. He is a bona fide leader who understands what is needed to take control of a collegiate offense. He works quickly through his reads and sees the whole field well. Leary is athletic enough to take off and run if the play breaks down.

Unfortunately, Leary has very limited upside and with his size, will struggle to start in the NFL. His arm is below average in terms of NFL passers, and he struggles with accuracy on deep passes. He does not have the zip on his deep passes that he needs and puts too much air under his throws. He has had shoulder problems and he lacks the body type to absorb many hits.

Draft 412 sees some similarities to Sam Howell who was a 5th round pick out of North Carolina in 2022. They both are super accurate with short to intermediate passes, but both have issues driving through the ball on deeper throws.


  • Quick release

  • Leadership qualities

  • Experience

  • Catchable balls


  • Size

  • Deep pass

  • Limited ceiling

  • Arm strength

Final Analysis

Devin Leary is a very competent college quarterback, but that may be his ceiling. He has the ability to learn an offense and has leadership qualities, which may make him a quality backup quarterback in the NFL.

Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 6th or 7th round

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