The 2023 NFL Draft feels even more crucial than in past years. There are three franchises near the top of the board who are likely to select quarterbacks. The high stakes should bring plenty of excitement. Fans should not be expecting any big surprises, however, as Bryce Young and CJ Stroud remain the expected top two picks.

“NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the consensus from his sources is that Young and Stroud are likely to be the first two quarterbacks drafted next month, with {Will} Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson vying for the next two spots,”’s Eric Edholm reiterated.

The news likely comes as little surprise to many fans who have been closely monitoring the latest rumblings from around the league. The Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans, No. 1 and 2, respectively, are desperate to capitalize on their fortuitous draft positioning and find the player they hope can lead them for the next decade. Those two quarterbacks appear to offer the lowest risk, at least on paper.

Carolina traded multiple first round draft picks as well as talented wide receiver DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 overall choice. That type of move is not usually done for raw talents like Anthony Richardson or Will Levis, one of whom should be headed to the Indianapolis Colts at No. 3.

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Young soared to the prospect stratosphere during his sophomore season in Alabama, winning the Heisman Trophy and leading the Crimson Tide to the National Championship Game. He threw 47 touchdowns and had a sterling 167.5 Passing Efficiency Rating. Although his production dipped last year, he still has impressed scouts with his poise and skill level.

Stroud, a two-time Heisman finalist with Ohio State, checks a lot of boxes in his own right. While war rooms nitpick Young’s size, Stroud will be questioned for his ability to maneuver around pressure in the pocket. He certainly looked comfortable in the Buckeyes’ near upset of Georgia in the Peach Bowl, throwing for 348 yards and four touchdowns against an elite college football defense.

There is still about a month until the NFL Draft, leaving time for executives to have an epiphany or change of heart. Though, it will take a lot for the Panthers and Texans to pass up on these two talents.