NFL Draft: QBs Young, Stroud, Richardson go in top 4 picks

by mcardinal

Rob Issa, FISM News


The quarterbacks were the talk of the NFL draft Thursday night.

Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Anthony Richardson were among the top four picks and Will Levis fell out of the first round. 

Young, who won the Heisman Trophy at Alabama in 2021, went to the Carolina Panthers at No. 1 overall. Stroud, a finalist for the Heisman two straight seasons, was selected next by the Houston Texans. Richardson, who only threw 393 passes in his career at Florida, went fourth to the Indianapolis Colts.

Levis was expected to be top-15 pick with some projections ranking the former Kentucky star as high as No. 2, but he is still on the board for Round 2 on Friday night. According to ESPN statistics there was less than a 1% chance that Levis would still be available beyond Thursday. Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker also remains available but he’s coming off a knee injury.

“It feels great. This is a dream come true and it is a blessing. I want to thank God for allowing me to be here,” Young said. 

Young is a talented playmaker with a strong arm, poise, leadership ability, and excellent character. The only concern is his size. He’s 5-10 and 204 pounds.

“I’ve been this size relative to the people around me my entire life,” he said. “I focus on what I control, and I can’t grow. That doesn’t fall into that category. I can’t get any taller. I focus on myself. I’m confident in myself with what I’ve been able to do and I’m excited for the work it’s going to take.”

Stroud was considered the potential top pick for a while leading into the draft but he scored poorly in the S2 Cognition test and he entered the day wondering if he’d be selected in the top 20. 

The Texans didn’t hesitate to grab him. They’ve needed a QB since moving on from Deshaun Watson. Houston also picked third after making a trade with Arizona. The Texans took Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. in that spot.

“First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the opportunity to be a Houston Texan and I’m excited to be up here with Will,” Stroud said. “When I saw they picked him I was just super stoked. Not too long ago we talked about being teammates and now we are.”

Stroud said he put his “trust in God” when nobody believed in him. 

“I am battle tested and God has put a lot of trials and tribulations for me and that’s not for no reason,” Stroud said. “I’m wearing the armor of God and I’m scarred up and that’s what you want. You want someone who has been through adversity and persevered through a lot. People going to talk good and bad, but I’ll continue to be a great man of God and continue to lead and do it the Texan way.”

Richardson is a dual-threat player with unique talent but lacks experience because of his limited playing time in college. He’s a dynamic runner and has a strong arm. The Colts brought in veteran QB Gardner Minshew so Richardson may have time to develop under new coach Shane Steichen.

“God blessed me with physical abilities not every quarterback has. I can do things other quarterbacks can’t and I take pride in that,” Richardson said.

Young and Stroud became the first pair of black QBs to go 1-2. 

“For me, it’s an honor,” Stroud said. “It’s not by mistake and I’ve known him since seventh grade. I’m super excited for him and I think he’s going to have a lot of success and I’m happy to be a Texan. I hope that inspired a lot of black children.”

Once the Tennessee Titans passed on Levis at No. 11 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t select him at No. 19, it appeared he would sit around the rest of the night. 

The Titans own the 10th pick in the second round so it’s likely they’ll get another chance at him.