The 2023 NFL Draft class was hyped up as a potentially franchise-altering event for several organizations around the league. Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Anthony Richardson garnered most of the interest, as all three signal-callers came off the board within the first four selections. But, as the Week 9 slate indicates, the class stretches further than the Day 1 players.
The 2023 NFL Draft Is Making Its Mark In Week 9
Of the 32 teams in the NFL, six of them will start a first-year quarterback on Sunday. And shockingly, Anthony Richardson isn’t even one of the six. The Colts star was dealt blow after blow in Year 1, eventually succumbing to a season-ending shoulder injury. Although this presents a setback for the ascending talent, Richardson showcased his immense upside before being put on the shelf.
As for his first-round peers, Bryce Young has slowly settled in after a shaky start. Since struggling early on, the Alabama alum is playing risk-averse football and seeing the field considerably better. As for C.J. Stroud, he has been the best of the bunch by a wide margin. The Texan standout has already surpassed expectations, but this is merely just the beginning of his rise.
Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud Are Just The Tip Of The Iceberg
Following a house cleaning in Las Vegas, the Raiders will turn to fourth-round rookie Aidan O’Connell for the remainder of the 2023 campaign. The former Purdue Boilermaker started in relief of veteran Jimmy Garoppolo earlier in the year, and is now tasked with the full-time gig after Jimmy G’s benching.
Tyson Bagent, an undrafted rookie, will start again for the Bears this week, as Justin Fields needs a little more time to recover from his own injury. Bagent led the team to victory against the lowly Raiders; he’ll get a chance to notch another win against the New Orleans Saints.
Elsewhere, the Vikings and Cardinals will see the first ever starts for Jaren Hall and Clayton Tune, respectively. Hall is expected to relinquish the QB1 mantle in Minnesota sooner than later after the team acquired journeyman Joshua Dobbs before the Oct. 31 deadline.
As for Tune, this likely serves as a one-off scenario, with Kyler Murray set to return from a torn up knee in Week 10. The Houston alum faces arguably the best defense in the league, as Arizona travels to Cleveland to square off against Myles Garrett’s Browns.
2023 NFL Draft: A Youth Movement Has Started At QB
All in all, the slate of rookie starters for Sunday include:
•Bryce Young (Panthers)
•C.J. Stroud (Texans)
•Aidan O’Connell (Raiders)
•Jaren Hall (Vikings)
•Clayton Tune (Cardinals)
•Tyson Bagent (Bears)
This doesn’t even include Will Levis, the Titans second-rounder, who started the Thursday Night Football matchup against the Steelers. He makes for an astonishing seven rookie signal-callers taking snaps in Week 9. If not for the injury to Richardson, a whopping 25 percent of the starters this week would be Year 1 players; an unprecedented youth movement is underway.