2023 NFL Draft: Three Young Black QBs Make History

Photo:  David Eulitt // Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire // David Eulitt (Getty Images)
Photo: David Eulitt // Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire // David Eulitt (Getty Images)

Black quarterbacks are taking over the NFL. During the 2022 season, a record number of Black gunslingers started in Week 1, and during the 2023 Super Bowl, both teams featured Black signal callers. Not to mention, the two highest-paid players in the NFL are Black QBs. And now, before they even take a single snap in the league, the Black QBs that were drafted in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft are already making history.

On Thursday night, Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson were the only signal callers drafted in the first round (sorry Will Levis). Bryce went No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers, Stroud was selected No. 2 by the Houston Texans and Richardson was taken No. 4 by the Indianapolis Colts.

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This marked the first time that three Black Qbs have been selected in the first 10 picks and only the second time since 1999 that three have been drafted in the entire first round.

My favorite part about each of these young brothers being selected is that they are all different. There used to be a consensus (stereotype) on how Black quarterbacks played: that they were athletic, fast-running QBs who didn’t have the ability (or intelligence) to throw from the pocket. But now, that stereotype doesn’t exist (as much) and you can create any kind of offense around a Black signal caller because they each present different skill sets.

Bryce Young

This 2021 Heisman trophy winner is the smallest QB to ever be drafted at only 5’10” and 204 pounds. But despite his size, he was the clear favorite throughout the draft process to go number one overall.

He’s a wizard on the field who carried Alabama throughout the 2022 season, consistently making big-time throws and highlight plays with precision and accuracy. Experts have already pegged him as “Steph Curry on a football field.”

C.J. Stroud

Stroud is a leaner and taller QB who does not move around much in the pocket. He’s a pure passer who always hits his target on time.

During the College Football Playoff, he showed out in his matchup against the University of Georgia and showed the world something they didn’t see throughout his entire career at Ohio State. He’s an impressive young man who’s ready to start for the Houston Texans now.

Anthony Richardson

This young Florida kid is the most physically gifted out of the three. Not only is he huge (6’4” and 231 pounds), but he’s also extremely athletic. He showed out at the 2023 NFL Combine and famously had a higher vert than Davante Adams, a better broad jump than Odell Beckham Jr., and a faster 40-yard dash than CeeDee Lamb.

But in his only year as a starter at the University of Florida, he was inconsistent, playing extraordinarily well one week and poorly the next. He has room to grow.

See what I’m talking about? All of these young Black QBs are different and they each offer something unique for their teams. I’ll be rooting for every one of them and I’m excited for this young crop of Black gunslingers to take over the NFL.

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