The stage is set for the 2023 National Football League (NFL) Draft, as the top talents from college football will have their dreams come true in Kansas City the weekend of April 27-29.
The quarterback needy Carolina Panthers hold the first overall selection this year and will have a big decision to make with four quarterbacks headlining this year’s draft. The Panthers acquired the first overall selection in a trade with the Chicago Bears earlier this year.
Quarterback Bryce Young is the favorite to be chosen with the number one pick. The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner started two years at the University of Alabama leading the team to the 2021 Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship and to the college football playoffs.
“I think the best quarterback coming into this year’s draft class is Bryce Young,” said sophomore Frankie Dezell.
Young holds the Alabama school record for most passing yards in a single game with 559 in 2021.
Another quarterback projected to be off the board early in this year’s draft is Anthony Richardson. Listed as 6 foot 5 inches and 235 pounds, the juggernaut QB from the University of Florida is already drawing comparisons to pro bowler Cam Newton, who was drafted by the Panthers with the first overall selection in 2010. Many scouts believe Richardson is arguably the best overall pick in this draft and also has a chance to be picked first.
“Richardson has a rocket arm while also running a 4.44 in the 40 yard dash at the Scouting Combine, which is an incredible combination,” said sophomore Zach Hrubiec of the Sacred Heart University football team. “With a good coach and system, he will flourish at the next level.”
The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Kentucky Wildcats also offer a top quarterback that is draft eligible with CJ Stroud and Will Levis, respectively.
Stroud, who stands at 6’3” 218 pounds, was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2021 and 2022.
He made a name for himself in this year’s College Football Playoff by going toe to toe with the one seed Georgia, losing the game 42-41, but throwing for 348 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, and adding 34 rushing yards.
Levis, a Connecticut native, is known for his rocket of an arm like Richardson. Many scouts believe Levis could be the number one pick simply for his arm talent. He finished this past season with 2,406 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.
Aside from the quarterback positions, there are other great players who should also be top picks in this year’s draft such as Jalen Carter, a defensive tackle from Georgia; Will Anderson, an edge rusher from Alabama; and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, a talented wide receiver from Ohio State.
With the amount of talent in this draft, the local teams look to take advantage by upgrading their teams before the upcoming season.
The New York Jets have the 13th pick in the first round of this year’s draft and are looking to trade up to add Jalen Carter on the defensive line. If the Jets can pull that off, adding Carter to pro bowler Quinnen Williams on the defensive line could allow the Jets to dominate the line of scrimmage.
The Patriots are up in the air on who they want to take. The Patriots hold the 14th overall pick in the first round and they have been looking to add big guys up front. The Patriots are looking to add offensive tackle Broderick Jones from Georgia. The Patriots have also been talking to quarterback Will Levis for their selection.
The New York Giants are in desperate need of a playmaker on the outside. If the Giants can’t land a wide receiver they want, they could go with John Michael Schmitz, a center from Minnesota.
Jason Palmieri, freshman wide receiver at Sacred Heart, has been a Giants fan for life and had a few comments on who he wants the Giants to select.
“If Jordan Addison or Jaxon Smith-Njigba is available, then I think the Giants should pick one of those two. If they aren’t available then I think Schmitz would be a good pick,” said Palmieri.
As many teams and fans gear up for this year’s draft which figures to be dominated by quarterbacks, especially early in the first round, many teams must remember this statistic.
The quarterback that has had the highest quarterback rating, and the lowest turnover rating has been the best quarterback to come out of that class. CJ Stroud had the highest quarterback rating out of all the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft, while Bryce Young had the fewest interceptions at five.
The NFL Draft is live from Kansas City April 27-29.