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The Tiger's Eye

The Tiger's Eye

Bust or must?

via The Athletic

Free agency has surpassed and several trades have taken place. But now the draft is steadily approaching. The teams with top five picks have a chance to permanently change the future of their franchise. With the first overall pick being recently traded to the Carolina Panthers, fans assume this one means one thing: a quarterback will go off the board first. 

The Carolina Panthers finished this season with a 7-10 record, after starting out the season 1-5. The Panthers are going into the 2023 season with a new head coach, Frank Reich, who formerly coached the Indianapolis Colts. With the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Carolina Panthers selected CJ Stroud, a quarterback from Ohio State. Stroud is the best fit for the Panthers run first offense because he is a great pocket passer and a good scrambler or improviser. With newly acquired receivers Adam Thielen and DJ Chark and running back Miles Sanders, Stroud will be put in a QB situation that others dream of. 

The Houston Texans finished this season with a 3-13-1 record, throwing away the first overall pick after beating the Colts in a two point conversion. The Texans fired head coach Lovie Smith, and hired the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator, DeMeco Ryans. Ryans formerly played for the Texans, and his tenure is highlighted by a 2006 defensive rookie of the year award. With the second overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Houston Texans selected Bryce Young, a quarterback from Alabama. The former Heisman was considered the consensus first overall pick until Carolina made a trade for the first overall pick. Houston struggled with QB play as well from their starter, Davis Mills. Young would be placed in a young offensive core with running backs Dameon Pierce and Devin Singletary and receivers John Metchie and Nico Collins. With a defensive-minded coach and a gutted receiving core, Young may not have the rookie of the year season his talent can provide, but Young himself is the most NFL ready quarterback in this year’s draft.

The Las Vegas Raiders do not currently hold the third overall pick in this year’s draft, but I am predicting that the Raiders will trade up from pick 7 to pick 3 from the Arizona Cardinals. The Raiders went 6-11 this previous season and recently divorced their long time quarterback, Derek Carr. The Raiders are currently led by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who will be the starter in week 1. After Stroud and Young are off the board, that leaves two raw prospects that need mentoring. With the third pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Las Vegas Raiders selected Anthony Richardson, a quarterback from Florida. Richardson was projected to be a mid-first round pick until his historical combine performance. Richardson broke the QB record for broad jump at 10 feet 9 inches, and broke the QB record for vertical jump at 40.5 inches. Richardson would enter a Raiders offense with all-pro receiver Davante Adams, as well as all pro-running back Josh Jacobs. Richardson is considered a boom or bust prospect; if he pans out for the Raiders, they may have the best quarterback from this class.

The Indianapolis Colts finished this season with 4-12-1, after a year that had high expectations after acquiring former MVP quarterback, Matt Ryan. After releasing Ryan, the Colts have a major hole at the quarterback position. Newly hired coach Shane Steichen was the Eagles offensive coordinator. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts had a MVP caliber season, as well as the offense as a whole having the most rushing touchdowns in a season ever. With the fourth overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Indianapolis Colts selected Will Levis, a quarterback from Kentucky. Levis would be the answer for the Colts’ quarterback carousel, as the Colts have had a different week 1 starter at quarterback every season since 2017. Levis has proven his arm strength with 65 yard passes at Kentucky’s pro day. He would land in a system with blossoming receivers Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce, as well as the former league leading rusher Jonathan Taylor.

The Seattle Seahawks did not acquire the fifth overall pick from themselves, rather by a trade from last offseason for star quarterback, Russell Wilson. After the Broncos acquired Wilson, they were projected to be heavyweight contenders in the AFC. Due to incompetence from their head coach and injuries, this was not the case. Many think Seattle may trade down from the pick but with the top four quarterbacks off the board, there is no team willing to. With the fifth pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks selected Tyree Wilson, a outside linebacker from Texas Tech. The Seahawks defense has many holes in it going into 2023. With Bobby Wagner entering his age 33 season and Jordyn Brooks coming off a ACL tear, this linebacking core needs the help. Wilson would become the new hotshot in Seattle.

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