Finding a franchise quarterback is likely to be the priority for several teams in the 2023 offseason. There is, perhaps, no better place to look for an organizational cornerstone than at the top of the NFL draft.
Rarely will marquee quarterbacks make it to free agency, and so every season, teams spend serious draft capital on the position.
In the 2023 NFL Draft, I see four quarterbacks with a chance to end up as top-10 picks. Here’s the order I see them coming off the board and possible teams they could fall to:
Bryce Young, Alabama
Houston Texans (No. 2)
Young is the most complete quarterback of the bunch and the savviest. However, his biggest knock leading up to the draft surely will be his size. If he were the size of the other quarterbacks in this group, there would be no question about who was going No. 1 overall.
Look out for the Texans as a potential landing spot. They have the capital to move up to No. 1 if they need to, and they desperately need a steady, consistent quarterback who can help steer the franchise back in the right direction.
C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
Indianapolis Colts (No. 4)
Stroud really improved his evaluation with his performance in the College Football Playoff game against Georgia. Ohio State might have lost, but Stroud walked away having answered many questions scouts had.
His arm strength, poise in the pocket and patience are all strengths for him and attributes that teams value. He’ll need to work on his ability to make off-schedule plays and use his mobility better at the next level, but he showed the capability to do so in the Georgia game.
If the Indianapolis Colts can find the right coach to mold him, Stroud would make a great franchise QB for the blue and white.
Will Levis, Kentucky
Carolina Panthers (No. 9)
The ideal team fit in this situation likely would be the Carolina Panthers. Not necessarily because Levis’ skillset matches what the Panthers like to do, but rather because the Panthers are in such desperate need for an answer at the quarterback position.
If Levis doesn’t make it Carolina at No. 9 (if, say, the Las Vegas Raiders selected him No. 7) the Panthers could be in real trouble. They’ve had a revolving door at quarterback – just as the Colts have had – and need to find an answer soon.
Anthony Richardson, Florida
Panthers (No. 9), Seattle Seahawks (Nos. 5, 20)
Richardson also could be in play for the Panthers at No. 9 overall, though, at this juncture, it appears more likely Levis will go off the board first.
Another team to keep an eye on for Richardson would be the Seattle Seahawks. They have a top-5 pick in the draft, but also No. 20 overall. If Richardson begins to slide into the late teens, the Seahawks could move up and land Richardson or stay put and hope he falls into their lap.
Rick Spielman is a former general manager of the Dolphins and Vikings, and winner of the NFL Executive of the Year award by Pro Football Weekly in 2017. Follow him on Twitter @spielman_rick