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When this market first opened back in May 2022, Young was around +250 and he stayed in the +150 to +300 range over the next seven months. Only after his 321-yard, five-touchdown performance against the Wildcats in the Sugar Bowl did he become the odds-on favorite.
Quarterbacks dominate the no. 1 pick history
Of the 89 first-overall picks in the history of the NFL draft, only 34 have been quarterbacks. Running back is the next position on the list at 23, but the last running back to go first overall was Ki-Jana Carter to the Cincinnati Bengals back in 1995.
Recent history is much more skewed towards QBs, with the NFL becoming increasingly pass-heavy over the past two decades.
Since the year 2000, sixteen of the 21 first-overall picks have been quarterbacks, including four of the past five. Georgia defensive end Travon Walker put a stop to a run of four straight QB’s just last season, going first-overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who had taken QB Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick a year prior.
Which NFL team has the #1 pick in 2023?
The potential for a non-QB to go first overall for the second straight season is lended credence by the current draft order. As things stand, the 2023 first-overall pick belongs to the Chicago Bears, who are building around 23-year-old quarterback Justin Fields, the 11th pick in the 2021 draft.
Fields has a ways to go as a passer, but has shown to have unparalleled dual-threat potential. The Ohio State product broke the single-game rushing record for QB’s last season (178) and put up the second-most rushing yards in a season by a pivot. It would be a surprise if the Bears kept the No. 1 pick and took a quarterback. The credible 2023 mock drafts that have Chicago staying at No. 1 show the Bears selecting either Jalen Carter (Daniel Jeremiah, Mel Kiper) or Will Anderson (Ryan Wilson, Walter Football).
The next teams in the draft order are not as set at the QB position.
2023 NFL Draft Order – Top Ten
|Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos)
|Detroit Lions (from L.A. Rams)
|Las Vegas Raiders
|Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans Saints)
The Texans (Davis Mills), Colts (Matt Ryan), and Seahawks (Geno Smith) all have middling or subpar veterans at the helm and will be in the market for a quarterback. The Bears could trade down as far as No. 6 and be fairly confident that multiple of the top-five picks will be spent on QBs.
Mock drafts split between Young, Stroud, Richardson
The mock drafts that list the Bears trading out of the No. 1 spot do not universally have Young going first overall. CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli has the Texans trading up for Stroud. NFL.com’s Chris Trapasso shows the Colts using the top pick on Richardson. While The Athletic and ESPN’s Jordan Reid have the Colts and Texans, respectively, trading up for Young.
The 2023 NFL draft takes place in Kansas City, Missouri. The first round will air at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 27, on the NFL Network.
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