Eleven quarterbacks were drafted in the first 150 selections. That is a Common Draft era record, per ESPN. Additionally, 12 quarterbacks were taken in the first five rounds. That is also a record for the Common Draft era. Day 3 was where things got very wild, as a total of nine quarterbacks were selected on Saturday.
We learned plenty about how each NFL team views their quarterback situation last weekend. Some teams were expected to draft quarterbacks and didn't. Others drafted quarterbacks that add intrigue to their situations. Below, we will break down our NFL Draft QB takeaways -- separated into tiers. Let's begin with the clubs that found their new prospective franchise quarterbacks.
Needed one, got one
Carolina Panthers, Bryce Young, No. 1 overall
When the Panthers traded up to the No. 1 overall pick, it was understood they were going to take a quarterback. Bryce Young is considered to be the top signal-caller in this class, but will that end up being true? The frame concerns are legitimate ones. He's going to be sat on by players that weigh nearly twice what he does. Still, it goes without saying that Young is incredibly talented. The Panthers needed a new quarterback, and they were aggressive in acquiring the one they wanted.
Houston Texans, C.J. Stroud, No. 2 overall
We aren't talking enough about the C.J. Stroud smokescreen. Remember when the alleged S2 scores were leaked and people said Stroud scored incredibly low? People ate that up like it was a legitimate, known fact. We are talking about a test we don't have all the details about, and scores we don't have details on. The S2 creator even came out and said some of the reported scores were wrong! If you were shocked to see Stroud go No. 2 overall, you were lost in the smoke.
Maybe Stroud didn't dominate the S2, but the bottom line is that it didn't matter. Out of all the quarterbacks in this class, Stroud may be the safest option -- or have the highest floor, if you will. Let's see if he can evolve into a franchise quarterback.
Indianapolis Colts, Anthony Richardson, No. 4 overall
Jim Irsay and Shane Steichen have their new quarterback in NFL Combine legend Anthony Richardson. With Steichen in charge, it's worth being optimistic about Richardson's future, and his chances of hitting that Cam Newton ceiling. Of course, it's no guarantee.
I have two questions about this decision to draft Richardson: 1. How patient will the Colts and their fans be as Richardson goes through growing pains. 2. Could Will Levis have been the better pick? He was probably more "Day 1" ready. We'll have the next few years to ask ourselves these questions.
Side-eye toward the future
Tennessee Titans, Will Levis, No. 33 overall
The Titans traded up to the second pick of the second round to select Will Levis out of Kentucky. He surprised many by falling out of the first round, so Tennessee worked to land one of the draft's best quarterbacks. Levis isn't going to come in and compete immediately. He possesses a legitimate NFL arm, but left some to be desired when it comes to his decision-making/footwork/being accurate consistently.
I like this landing spot. Ryan Tannehill has just one year remaining on his contract, so Levis could sit this year and potentially take over in 2024.
Detroit Lions, Hendon Hooker, No. 68 overall
With all the talk of Hendon Hooker being a first-round pick, it was pretty surprising to see him fall to No. 68 overall. This wasn't because of his age, it wasn't because of his ACL, it was . Jared Goff has been playing well for Detroit, but is he the quarterback who can take the Lions where they want to go? It's a question many will be asking this season. Hooker is smart, dedicated to his craft and knows how to buy into a team/system. He may evolve into a really good backup if Detroit wants to keep Goff for years to come.
Believe in their starter
With all of the noise surrounding Bill Belichick's alleged feelings toward Mac Jones, many viewed the Patriots as very likely to draft a quarterback. They didn't. Instead, BB was more focused on adding kickers and punters with this selections. The legendary head coach also said he "absolutely" that he did before 2022 training camp began.
"Yeah, I mean, look, Mac's been our quarterback for two years," Belichick said (via ESPN). "As I tell the team every year, each player, each coach, we all have to reestablish and prove ourselves every year. That's what this league is. That's for all of us -- '23 is '23. We'll see how '23 goes."
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith Desmond Ridder in 2023, and his draft proved the Falcons are committed to giving the second-year signal-caller every opportunity to shine this upcoming season. Atlanta gifted Ridder a potential star running back in Bijan Robinson, and a new offensive lineman in Matthew Bergeron with its first two picks. We'll see how it goes, but this is Ridder's team in 2023.he's rolling with
After signing an extension this offseason, it was understood that Geno Smith would be Seattle's starting quarterback in 2023. But how long will he hold this post? Smith ain't exactly a spring chicken, so many thought the Seahawks could draft a quarterback with one of their first few picks. Nope. In fact, they didn't draft a quarterback with any of their 10 selections. I guess it's worth mentioning the Seahawks re-signed backup quarterback Drew Lock as well. It's the same quarterback room in Seattle for 2023.
The Raiders are the one team in this section that did draft a quarterback last week, although that pick came in the fourth round, not in the first or second. Aidan O'Connell is the new man behind Jimmy Garoppolo. Like Hooker, he's an older prospect. But he didn't have the magical 2022 campaign Hooker did. It's not likely O'Connell will be challenging Jimmy G for the starting job in 2023.
That's 2024's problem
Jason Licht didn't draft a quarterback, which was rather surprising. I mean, the Philadelphia Eagles drafted a quarterback Day 3, but the Bucs didn't? This year belongs to former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask. We will see what happens.
I didn't expect the Commanders to take a quarterback at No. 16 overall, but I also didn't expect them to ignore the position altogether. It's Sam Howell, Jacoby Brissett and Jake Fromm in 2023. I gotta say, Howell actually intrigues me. I don't think Washington is crazy for wanting to roll with him next season. He had an electric preseason performance against the Panthers, and then a wild regular-season debut, where he upset Dak Prescott and the rival Dallas Cowboys in Week 18. He threw 11 of 19 passes for 169 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and also ran in a touchdown in the 20-point victory.
Jury's still out
The Vikings did take a quarterback in Jaren Hall out of BYU, who was selected with Minnesota's second-to-last pick. CBS Sports NFL Draft expert Chris Trapasso calls Hall a "sensible backup option," but it will be interesting to see what he can do with the offensive-minded Kevin O'Connell. Much like Tannehill of the Titans, Kirk Cousins has just one year remaining on his deal, and this could be his last season as Vikings quarterback. Minnesota didn't attempt to address the position early in the draft, so maybe that's coming next year.
Whoa. Who had the Rams taking Stetson Bennett in the FOURTH round?! Sure he's not your premier NFL prospect, but all Bennett has done is win. Plus, Sean McVay landing him is a legitimate story to watch. It will be fun to see what he's capable of with a good NFL coach.
It's fair to wonder how much tread is left on Matthew Stafford's tires. A 35-year-old dealing with a spinal cord contusion doesn't sound great. Could 2023 be his final NFL season? Does Bennett actually have what it takes to be a legitimate NFL starter? The jury is very much out.
Not only is the jury out with the Cardinals, but the jury duty notices haven't even been sent out yet. Kyler Murray signed a less than a year ago. He's expected to miss some of this upcoming season due to the torn ACL he suffered in December, and the Cardinals are expected to be ... not great. What if they score the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and Caleb Williams reaches "Joe Burrow" prospect status? Do you pass on him and sell that pick at a high price? Or do you draft him?
We are getting ahead of ourselves, but it's an interesting hypothetical. The Cardinals also drafted Clayton Tune out of Houston in the fifth round.