The first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft boasts some intriguing quarterback talent. After much anticipation, we were finally gifted with the draft capital and landing spots of these prized prospects. Although both of these factors are significant, we have witnessed countless amounts of promising collegiate prospects fail to translate at the professional level. In this article we will examine and explore the best NFL QBs from the 2023 NFL Draft and which of these quarterbacks are best suited for your dynasty rosters.
Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers
After months of speculation leading up to the draft, the Carolina Panthers selected their future franchise quarterback in Bryce Young. Young is a tantalizing prospect who possesses veteran-esque processing skills and an elite football IQ. Both of these traits are extremely rare for rookies at the position.
He is undoubtedly undersized, but all signs point to him being the next true outlier at the position to succeed at the professional level. Although it would be beneficial if the team still had Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore, Carolina did a respectable job in revamping their roster this offseason.
Young will have the luxury of playing with an experienced veteran wide receiver in Adam Thielen. Although Thielen is falling well out of his prime, his leadership should do wonders in aiding the development of his young quarterback. Thielen is joined in the receiving attack by the speedy D.J. Chark, Terrace Marshall Jr., and veteran tight end Hayden Hurst. The team also drafted Jonathan Mingo in the early second-round of the NFL Draft. With little competition on the current roster, Mingo could carve out a significant role in his first professional season. This is not the greatest supporting cast in the league, but it is more than serviceable.
Bryce Young reportedly has a football IQ that is “on par” with Peyton Manning, and Andrew Luck according to Panthers head coach Frank Reich.
Bryce Young Will reportedly start out as the “QB2” in Carolina, but has a good shot to be QB1 by week one.
Panthers LG said in a recent… pic.twitter.com/HblaqusoZL
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) May 8, 2023
The team also brought in Miles Sanders this offseason. Sanders is a talented running back who is in the middle of his prime. He also just had a career year with the Philadelphia Eagles. Young had tremendous success when targeting his running backs at the collegiate level. In fact, Jahmyr Gibbs was his top receiving option in his final season with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Lining up behind one of the better offensive lines in the league, Sanders and Chuba Hubbard should form an advantageous tandem out of the backfield. The team also flaunts an intimidating defense with an abundance of returning pieces.
Experienced Coaching Staff
Carolina has the best coaching situation of any of the teams who drafted a quarterback in the first round. Head Coach Frank Reich has more than thirty years of NFL experience both as a player and a coach. He was an integral part in developing Carson Wentz when he entered the league. Reich is joined by first-year offensive coordinator Thomas Brown, who spent several years as part of Sean McVay’s staff in Los Angeles. Lastly, Young will benefit from having a quarterbacks coach like Josh McCown. McCown was a highly-respected NFL quarterback who played in 102 career games over 16 seasons with nine teams. His combination of youth and professional experience should help him connect with his new quarterback.
Short Quarterback With Tall Expectations
Although there are concerns about his size, Young is by far the most pro-ready quarterback in this year’s class. He possesses more intriguing intangibles than C.J. Stroud and has far fewer question marks than Anthony Richardson. His long term dynasty outlook looks extremely promising. He is poised to be the most ready to contribute in his first professional season and throughout his career.
C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans
Although he was not the first pick in the draft, C.J. Stroud did not have to wait long to hear his name get called on draft night. The Houston Texans made a major splash in this year’s draft by selecting their future franchise quarterback and then trading up to take Will Anderson Jr. with the following pick.
This was a defining moment for this franchise as they look to redefine their current identity. Stroud is an extremely accurate quarterback and has above-average arm strength. He also has a calm demeanor that is complimented by an evident chip on his shoulder. His attitude and approach to the game should help him in changing the culture of a team lacking direction.
No Longer a Buckeye
Stroud has had the luxury of playing with some of the best wide receivers in the nation while at Ohio State. On the contrary, Houston has one of the worst supporting casts in the league. They brought in veteran wide receiver Robert Woods to help right the ship this offseason. Though he can bring a level of leadership similar to Thielen in Carolina, Woods has little left in the tank after years plagued with injuries.
The team also added the services of Dalton Schultz on a one-year deal. Schultz has had tremendous success with the Dallas Cowboys. With that said, it is respectable to question if he was more a product of the system rather than an elite talent. Regardless, he should prove to be a worthy and necessary safety blanket for his rookie quarterback. Joining Woods and Schultz in the receiving room is Nico Collins and John Metchie III. Both of these younger wide receivers have respectable athletic profiles but are otherwise unproven. The team also drafted Tank Dell and Xavier Hutchinson to revamp their offensive attack.
Better in Real Life than in Fantasy Football?
Although Stroud has the talent to be a franchise quarterback in the league, he is lacking the unique intangibles that Bryce Young possesses. He cannot currently manipulate the pocket or create production out of a broken play like Young. Due to this, it is respectable to question what his ceiling might be for fantasy football. The traits that Young has flashed at the collegiate level are unique to possess so early on in a quarterback’s career. Although they are rare, they can prove to be essential with an inexperienced supporting cast. Stroud feels like a much safer player in dynasty than Anthony Richardson but he also lacks his virtually limitless ceiling.
Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
Anthony Richardson is undoubtedly the most intriguing prospect in the entire 2023 NFL Draft class. We have never seen an athletic profile quite like his at the position. He is the ultimate boom-or-bust prospect who can serve to be a major wildcard in dynasty leagues. After a decent amount of speculation, the Indianapolis Colts selected him with the No. 4 overall-pick in the draft. This high draft capital and ideal landing spot makes Richardson an even more appealing prospect. With that said, it has yet to be seen if the team can transform this athletic phenomenon with a cannon of an arm into a franchise quarterback.
Racing like the Indianapolis 500
Richardson will be joined in the backfield by superstar running back Jonathan Taylor. Even if Richardson cannot throw the ball with accuracy to begin his career, I bid defenses good luck in trying to stop the two of them in the running game. The two will form a running tandem that could compete at the Indianapolis 500.
The Colts also have the best receiving threat out of any team who selected a first-round quarterback this year in Michael Pittman. Pittman is joined by Alec Pierce, Isaiah McKenzie, and Ashton Dulin in the receiving corps. They also have an intriguing tight end duo of Jelani Woods and Kylen Granson. The team also added the services of Josh Downs in the draft. Downs is undersized for the position but had elite production at the collegiate level.
The Next Jalen Hurts?
Head coach Shane Steichen will have his hands full in his first year with the team. With that said, he has had tremendous success in molding young quarterbacks and maximizing their potential. He was quintessential in the early development of Justin Herbert with the Los Angeles Chargers, and more recently, Jalen Hurts with the Philadelphia Eagles. His previous success stories are certainly exciting for what he can potentially do with a player like Anthony Richardson.
Huge Boom or Huge Bust?
There are going to inevitably be some bumps in the road and a major learning curve for Richardson in his first year with the team. Even if he struggles mightily, his rushing upside should create a weekly fantasy floor. Due to his otherworldly ceiling, he is worth taking a risk on for your dynasty teams.
He is certainly more of a risky pick than the other two quarterbacks previously mentioned, but he received the draft capital and landing spot that we dreamt of. It will be up to him and his coaching staff to transform his potential into the skillset that is worthy of a franchise quarterback. Due to his physical playstyle, it is respectable to wonder if he is doomed for a faster decline than the other two prospects as well. With that said, if he ends up booming rather than busting, his peak seasons could be legendary for fantasy football.
Will Levis, Tennessee Titans
It would be a major understatement to claim that Will Levis had a disappointing first night of the NFL draft. After being rumored to be a lock in the top five, Levis slipped out of the first round. Although he might have wished to have gone to the Tennessee Titans with the No. 11 pick in the first round, the team might still consider him to be their quarterback of the future. Levis will head into his rookie season with a ton of motivation to prove that the teams who passed on him made a gigantic mistake.
Is He Being Undervalued?
Levis has a cannon for an arm and athletic intangibles that enable him to rush the ball like a hybrid of Josh Allen and Taysom Hill. Unfortunately, he currently lacks pocket awareness and makes questionable decisions when under pressure. Having the luxury of learning from a veteran like Ryan Tannehill can do wonders for his development. While the first three quarterbacks who were taken before him will be thrown out onto the battlefield, Levis will most likely be the backup quarterback for Tennessee this season. This could provide him with time to develop into a potential franchise quarterback.
The Titans have some very promising pass catchers in Treylon Burks and Chigoziem Okonkwo. Both of these playmakers showed tremendous potential in their rookie seasons. Tennessee’s offense has been running through superstar Derrick Henry for several years. He has been the heartbeat of the unit and is one of the most dominating forces in the game. With that said, he has been discussed heavily in trade rumors, and father time is bound to catch up to him eventually. Although he has shown a minimal loss in production, his storied career is inevitably coming to an end. The offensive attack could prove to be more “pass happy” after his departure.
Franchise Quarterback or Forgotten Prospect?
Levis was far from my favorite prospect at the position prior to the draft. Due to this, it came unsurprising to see that NFL scouts shared this opinion. With that said, it is foolish to ignore his powerful arm and athletic traits. If Tennessee could transform this potential into a player worthy of being an NFL starter, he can certainly be intriguing for fantasy football purposes.
His disappointing draft capital and lack of NFL readiness creates several obstacles for him to overcome. This sets his dynasty outlook to be rather cloudy and uncertain. If you can get him for the right price in superflex leagues, he at least has the athletic profile to be lucrative for fantasy if given the opportunity.
Hendon Hooker, Detroit Lions
Will Levis was not the only quarterback prospect to slip into the second round. Fortunately for Hendon Hooker, his Day 2 draft capital was much more expected. There were rumors of Hooker sneaking into Day 1 of the NFL Draft, which had many supporters hopeful. Although it is a bit disappointing, he still ended up landing in an intriguing destination and situation. The Detroit Lions are an inexperienced team who is on the rise. After several years of disappointment, the team finally looks ready to make a playoff push.
The Lion King
Hooker will have his hands full in trying to leap frog Jared Goff on the depth chart. Goff is a former No. 1 overall-pick and had one of the better seasons of his career last year. He always ranks towards the top of the league in completion percentage and threw for over 4,000 passing yards on the season for the third time in his career. There have additionally been rumors swirling about Goff receiving a major contract extension. The hope is that they make him earn it this season rather than providing it prior.
Absolutely LOVE Hendon Hooker in Detroit. He gets to do what I should have done after my rookie year. FULLY HEAL. pic.twitter.com/KcP7jMUl1N
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) May 2, 2023
If Hooker were to be the team’s quarterback of the future, he would be set up for immediate success. Detroit has one of the best young receivers in today’s game in Amon-Ra St. Brown. Jameson Williams also has the potential to be an elite talent even though his career has gotten off to a rocky start. The team spent significant draft capital on running back Jahmyr Gibbs and tight end Sam LaPorta.
Although many might question the move from a real football perspective, it is a dream scenario for fantasy football. Complimenting all of these young weapons is veteran running back David Montgomery and one of the best offensive lines in the league. Both of these assets should take off a ton of pressure from whoever is the starting quarterback for the team.
The Quarterback of their Future?
Although there is a lot to like about Hendon Hooker as a prospect, there are several obstacles for him to overcome. Due to this, you should not be relying on him to produce anytime soon. He is already 25-years-old and will have to beat out an established quarterback in Jared Goff to see the field. If he is somehow able to do so, he could be a valuable asset to your teams and that is worth taking a bit of a risk on. With that said, temper your expectations because the odds are undeniably against him.