NFL teams in the best position to land Bryce Young in 2023
Bryce Young of the Alabama Crimson Tide is the crown jewel of the 2023 NFL Draft, seen as an excellent prospect poised to be the face of a team. While the Heisman Trophy winner must still participate in the upcoming 2022 college football season, NFL teams are keeping an eye on him.
Young’s height, even at 6-foot, should not be a major worry for scouts and general managers. Top evaluators have compared Young to a young Drew Brees, and his mix of accuracy and decision-making definitely sets him apart.
Everything came together in his first season as Alabama’s starting quarterback when he won the Heisman Trophy and looked better than his predecessor, Mac Jones. Young is the reason the Crimson Tide sit near the top of the NCAA football standings this season and are projected favourites in the College Football Playoff.
Bryce Young stats (2021): 4,872 passing yards, 47 passing touchdowns, 167.5 QB rating
With that in mind, it is needed to look at which five NFL teams are in the greatest position to sign Bryce Young.
Right now, the Houston Texans have every reason to have faith in quarterback Davis Mills. He impressed as a rookie and has already earned the faith and respect of his teammates this summer. At the very least, the 2021 third-round pick appears to be a legitimate NFL quarterback prospect.
It would depend on the circumstances that would force the Texans to select a quarterback. If the defense couldn’t hold Mills’ late leads, it doesn’t necessarily mean Houston needed to replace their field general. However, if Houston finishes with their proprietary pick at No. 3 overall, there will most likely be significant quarterback issues throughout the 2022 season.
Bryce Young is a superior talent, and the type of guy Houston requires to replace Deshaun Watson. The Texans still have one of the league’s poorest rosters, and with Mills not the type of player capable of carrying an offense, this team will finish near the bottom of the NFL standings when the season finishes.
That’s already a major advantage for Houston in the race for Young. Even if they don’t get the No. 1 overall pick, Houston can bundle its 2023 first-round pick with the Cleveland Browns’ first-round pick and other Day 2 compensation or future picks to land Young.
The Houston Texans have two first-round draught picks through 2024, so it’s always draught season in the Bayou City.
Moreover, Randy Gurzi of NFL Spin Zone predicts Bryce Young will sign with the Houston Texans at No. 2 overall. The AFC South team is actively rebuilding, and bringing in a Heisman Trophy winner could provide a much-needed spark.
There’s a reason the Seattle Seahawks never pursued Baker Mayfield fully, and it’s also why 70-year-old coach Pete Carroll is content to finish the season with Drew Lock and Geno Smith. Seattle wants to be in the best possible position to land their franchise quarterback, especially if that quarterback shares some attributes with Russell Wilson.
Keep in mind that the foundation for the next star in this attack is already in place. Seattle selected left tackle Charles Cross with its first-round choice, while Abraham Lucas (72nd overall) projects as an above-average starting right tackle at his peak. Aside from two potential offensive line mainstays, Seattle has a talent group that includes DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Kenneth Walker III, all of whom are under team control for the foreseeable future.
All of this positions this squad to make a run at any quarterback they desire. If the Seahawks finish in the top five, it can be combined with the 2023 Denver Broncos’ first-round pick to move up and land the quarterback John Schneider desires. If it’s Young, he’ll find himself in a great scenario.
Also, according to Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling, Young could be selected by the Seattle Seahawks at No. 3 overall. This would not be a surprising move given that the team recently lost star quarterback Russel Wilson to the Denver Broncos. There is talent on the roster, so Young could potentially join a team that already has some weapons in place.
The Detroit Lions are arguably assembling a stronger supporting group than the Seattle Seahawks. Put Bryce Young behind a strong offensive line if you want him to prosper. Detroit already has it, and its key starters are all under contract until the 2023 season.
One factor working against the Lions is that they are more likely to win games than the Seahawks and Texans. Jared Goff delivers stability, even if he doesn’t have a high ceiling, which is beneficial for an offense that may be flying under the radar. In reality, trading up may be Detroit’s lone chance to snag one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Having said that, this is a regime worth betting on being aggressive. Detroit still has two first-round picks in 2023 and may bundle its 2023 first-round pick. The Lions understand the importance of having a marketable face for the franchise, and Young would give that, potentially opening the door for Detroit to control the NFC North by 2024.
According to the Draft Network, If the Lions get the first overall pick, it’s time to start looking for a quarterback. There will be much debate over which quarterback is the best option, but the good news for teams picking first in the 2023 NFL Draft is that there will be options. Furthermore, despite his lack of size, Bryce Young’s playmaking instincts and intangibles, combined with the chance to reunite with Jameson Williams, give him a real shot to be the Lions’ guy in this NFL mock draught scenario.
The Lions’ defense needs to improve significantly, and more consistency in coverage would be a good place to start. Cam Smith is strong in coverage but also has excellent ball skills and enjoys getting physical when defending the run and tackling.
The Philadelphia Eagles have a good chance of winning the NFC East this season and making the NFL playoffs. Howie Roseman assembled all of the right elements around Jalen Hurts, positioning his rookie quarterback for a breakout season.
It’s vital to remember that this is only a one-year audition. Philadelphia isn’t committed to Hurts in the long run, and there are still questions about whether Hurts possesses the physical tools to be a top-10 quarterback. If he falls short this year, Roseman will not be afraid to look for alternatives.
To move up in the upcoming draft, Philadelphia could put together a trade package cantered around two 2023 first-round picks (Eagles, New Orleans Saints) and Hurts. It may be a tempting offer for a team like the Carolina Panthers or possibly one of the teams on this list. One thing is certain: if Roseman believes it will boost the Eagles’ chances of winning the Super Bowl, he will be aggressive.
The Atlanta Falcons passed up the chance to choose Justin Fields and did not pursue a quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft. Terry Fontenot will not waste another year if the possibility to find the next leader of this squad arises in 2023.
Atlanta would be at a little disadvantage in comparison to the other prospective Bryce Young opponents because it only has individual picks in the first three rounds next year. Fontenot could include future picks in a trade-up scenario, but it would take a massive deal to win.
Realistically, the Falcons’ greatest chance of acquiring Young is a disastrous 2022 season in which they suffer painful losses every week and quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder struggle as starters. If that happens, Bryce Young will be overjoyed to collaborate alongside Drake London and Kyle Pitts.
New York Giants
According to Charlie Campbell of Walter Football, the New York Giants will select Bryce Young third overall, which means Daniel Jones will be released. The Giants are on the verge of becoming an NFC East contender, and adding Young would certainly help.
For whatever reason, there has already been an influx of 2023 mock draughts this year. And when it comes to the New York Giants, every projection has been identical. Young’s selection comes with C.J. Stroud off the board. All the other quarterbacks were available, adding another wrinkle to PFN’s latest mock. That had not previously been the case.
The Indianapolis Colts have been looking for a quarterback since the unexpected retirement of Andrew Luck. They have taken chances with proven veteran quarterbacks over the last three seasons. The problem with the team’s consistent additions of quarterbacks is that it puts itself in a position to draught a franchise cornerstone. They are good enough to compete, but not good enough to win the Super Bowl. Bryce Young has the potential to fit in seamlessly with this offense. Jonathan Taylor, the Colts’ running back, is arguably the best in the NFL.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Zack Patraw, Bryce Young will have an unproductive 2022 season. Young is selected by the Indianapolis Colts at No. 25 overall in Patraw’s mock draught. This appears to be an unlikely scenario given the number of things that would have to go wrong for Young for this to happen.