NFL Draft 2023 Rumors: Execs View Bryce Young as No. 1 QB Despite Durability Concerns

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 4, 2023

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
AP Photo/Vasha Hunt

The majority of NFL executives reportedly view Alabama's Bryce Young as the top quarterback in the 2023 NFL draft.

According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the consensus among NFL execs is that Young, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud and Kentucky's Will Levis make up the top tier of quarterbacks in the class, while Florida's Anthony Richardson is considered a first-round candidate as well.

Howe noted that while there is some concern over Young's 5'11", 192-pound frame and whether it will impact his durability at the next level, he was most commonly mentioned as the top quarterback and is expected to be the first one off the board in April's draft.

During his two seasons as a starter at Alabama, Young put up some eye-popping numbers.

In 2021, Young completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 4,872 yards, 47 touchdowns and seven interceptions en route to winning the Heisman Trophy. He also led the Crimson Tide to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, where they fell to Georgia.

Things didn't go quite as smoothly for Young and Alabama in 2022. He completed 64.5 percent of his passing attempts for 3,328 yards, 32 touchdowns and five picks, and the Tide missed the CFP with two losses.

Young also suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder, causing him to miss all of one game and part of another.

The injury won't preclude him from being a high pick in the NFL draft, even if there are concerns.

Young is in line to be the second-shortest quarterback in the NFL behind only Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals, who went No. 1 overall in 2019 at just 5'10".

Murray was named to the Pro Bowl in 2020 and 2021, but he has missed games in each of the past two seasons due to injuries, including a torn ACL this season.

Stroud and Levis are both bigger and more prototypical quarterbacks than Young, but Young had a better collegiate career than both of them.

Stroud was close to Young statistically, but he never won a Heisman nor reached a National Championship Game, while Levis' numbers left plenty to be desired.

Statistical production in college doesn't always translate to the NFL, but it could help Young be the first quarterback off the board in the 2023 NFL draft.