With the 2023 NFL combine in the rearview mirror, and pro days and the 2023 NFL draft ahead, the growing sentiment is there could be three Black quarterbacks taken in the top-ten.
If it does occur it will be the first time that’s happened in league history.
While it’s never happened in the top 10, in 1999 there were three Black signal-callers taken in the first round with the Philadelphia Eagles drafting Donovan McNabb second overall, the Cincinnati Bengals taking Akili Smith third, and the Minnesota Vikings selecting Daunte Culpeper eleventh, marking the first and only time three Black QBs went in the first round.
However, that could change in about 55 days, as Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J Stroud and Florida’s Anthony Richardson have a very high probability of all going in the first ten picks of the draft. It would be another sign that the Black quarterback is continuously changing the landscape of the position.
A New Day
ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid, who has those three as his top guys, also believes it could happen and shared his thoughts in a phone interview with Andscape.
“They’re my top three guys right now. I have it Young, Stroud and Richardson. And, yeah, if they all are drafted in the first round, it would be something that hasn’t happened in quite a long time.”
After Stroud and Richardson’s showing at this week’s NFL combine, the likelihood of it happening became even stronger.
Young Stands Alone At The Top
Despite concerns by many over Young’s size, when you put on his tape it shows a guy who protects himself and has long showed up and showed out against the elite competition. While Young opted not to throw at the combine, he did measure in at 5 feet 10 and 204 pounds, up 10 pounds from his playing weight at Alabama.
Even prior to the weight gain, Reid strongly considered the former Crimson Tide star the top guy in the draft.
“There are really a whole bunch of concerns with him as far as just playing the position. He was a fantastic leader and Alabama, which last season wasn’t what it normally is from a personnel standpoint.
“They didn’t have that first-round receiver Iike we’ve seen in years past, and the offensive line was inconsistent. He was really good at kind of uplifting all those guys.”
Stroud Is The Goods, Richardson Has Immense Potential
Coming into this process one could argue that Stroud is the purest passer of the three, and he showed that in his throwing session at the Combine.
Stroud was locked in on every throw and his ability to push the football all over the field is effortless. He has no wasted throwing motion and elite, elite footwork, the work of QB guru Ryan Day, Stroud’s head coach at Ohio State.
“You talk about somebody who’s just a natural at playing the position. The best way I can put it is when you watch him, it’s like going to a baseball game and watching the ace pitcher, the No. 1 pitcher, go to work.“
As for the physically imposing Richardson, his combine numbers were off the charts, but he’s raw and would benefit from sitting from a year or two. But his potential and upside is almost too good to pass up, and the belief is some team will take him and stash him for a couple seasons.
Not everyday you see 6 feet 4 and 244 pounds and 4.4 speed.
Those measurable are enough for a GM to take a chance on the former Gators signal-caller, and it could pay huge dividends in the not-so-distant future.
All three QBs displayed a maturity about themselves in meetings, as there was nothing but rave reviews about all three. Now they wait and see if they make their own history, and if I was a betting man, I’d roll the dice that all three will be taken in the top ten.