We're less than 10 hours away from the 2022 NFL Draft, but some analysts have decided that it's time to look forward to the 2023 NFL Draft already.
On Wednesday, NFL Draft analyst Dane Brugler of The Athletic addressed the two likeliest candidates to go first overall in 2023: Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. Brugler argued in favor of Stroud, but acknowledged that Young has a strong case for the top spot too.
"C.J. Stroud, to me, is going to be the top prospect going into next year's draft; the top quarterback prospect," Brugler said. "What he did last year, he has that type of pedigree. The anticipation that he plays with (is impressive). Does the offense that he plays in help him? Sure. Throwing to those types of receivers and having the type of offense that Ryan Day has and just all the support system around him. The running game. All of that helps C.J. Stroud, no doubt. And it obviously helps Bryce Young with what he's got going at Alabama.
"But I think C.J. Stroud, the throws that he can make and the comfort level that he feels in the pocket, the way that he doesn't seem to really get rattled all that much -- especially considering the fact he was a redshirt freshman last year. I mean, going into next year, he is the top quarterback prospect in the nation.
"So, it's going to be really fun to see his maturation after having a full year under his belt, seeing what he looks like, I just can't wait to watch that Ohio State offense in the fall."
C.J. Stroud put up historically good numbers for the Buckeyes in 2021. In his first year as a starter he threw for 4,435 yards and 44 touchdowns with just six picks - only the late-great Dwayne Haskins had more in a season. Stroud also set the Ohio State single game passing record with 573 yards in a Rose Bowl win over Utah.
But it was Bryce Young who made history, becoming the first Alabama quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy after breaking the Crimson Tide's single-season passing records.
Both quarterbacks have at least one more year before they can go to the NFL Draft. But either one could choose to spend an extra year in college (not that they're expected to).
Who do you think will be the top player chosen in the 2023 NFL Draft? Will it be either C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young, or someone else entirely?