Bryce Young is arguably the top quarterback prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft -- and he can state his case as the best overall player in this year's class. Young has the makings of a franchise quarterback, throwing for 8,200 yards and 79 touchdowns over the last two seasons (the second most by any player in the FBS during that span) at Alabama.
Winner of the 2021 Heisman Trophy, Young could become the first Alabama player to be selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era. Yet there is some doubt cast on the talented quarterback. Young was listed at 6-foot-0 and 194 pounds at Alabama, though officially measured at 5-10 1/8 and 204 pounds at the NFL Combine.
With those measurements, Young is flirting with becoming the first quarterback listed at 6-0 or shorter and under 200 pounds selected in the first round in the common draft era, or being the first quarterback selected in the first round weighing under 200 pounds since Jim McMahon in 1982.
While the height and weight are questioned, Young's game is not. Young's 26 passing touchdowns under pressure over the last two seasons (first in FBS) prove he can play, and NFL teams know he can ball, but where will he end up amongst the top picks in the draft?
Plenty of teams need a franchise quarterback this year, but which ones are the best fit for Young to succeed? Below are the four franchises that could be the best fit for Bryce Young -- and have the best opportunity to select him.
1. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers decided it would be worth the risk to trade up from No. 9 to No. 1 and get that franchise quarterback in the draft, giving up a premium to have the right to select Young -- or whichever quarterback they choose.
Head coach Frank Reich has a reputation of developing young quarterbacks, even if he didn't have one throughout the duration of his time in Indianapolis. What Reich did in his two seasons with Carson Wentz should be enough to convince the Panthers he can do the same with Young.
Give Reich time and Young can be the next star in the NFL.
2. Houston Texans
The Texans could be in prime position to land Young at No. 2 overall, the franchise quarterback this organization has been badly seeking since the Deshaun Watson fiasco.
New offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik was the passing game coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers and has worked with developing Brock Purdy into one of the most efficient rookie quarterbacks the league has seen in years. Why can't he do the same for Young, especially since Slowik will rely on the run game and a strong offensive line to help his quarterback out?
Winning games will take time, but Young is the franchise quarterback the Texans need. They just need to hope Carolina passes on him.
3. Indianapolis Colts
Shane Steichen's play-calling would be excellent to put a quarterback with Young's talent in the position to win, playing to his strengths as a passer. Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts have raved about Steichen, as they've become two of the best signal-callers in the game.
The Colts have the No. 4 overall pick -- and with the Carolina Panthers trading up to No. 1 -- the odds are very slim they could get Young unless they trade up. The price would be worth the reward -- especially with Steichen developing him.
4. Seattle Seahawks
Just seeing what offensive coordinator Shane Waldron did with Geno Smith in 2022 should give the Seahawks enough confidence he can do even better with Young. Here's the catch if Seattle drafts Young -- he's a quarterback who should probably start in Week 1 and not sit behind Smith for a season. The Seahawks would have a franchise quarterback, but then likely part ways with Smith.
The Seahawks would have to trade up from No. 5 to grab Young. They have the draft capital to do that, but need to fix significant holes on their defense to remain a playoff team in the NFC. Perhaps Seattle goes that route, but it will have to address quarterback sooner or later.
The only way Seattle could get Young would be to trade up to No. 2. Highly unlikely Houston does that, especially since they need a franchise quarterback.