At the outset of Thursday evening, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stepped to the microphone and announced, "With the first pick in the NFL draft, the Carolina Panthers select Bryce Young, quarterback, Alabama."

And with that, the race was on.

The 2023 draft, as expected, featured a flurry of picks at the game's most critical position right out of the gate. One year after just one quarterback was chosen in the first round in 2022 -- Kenny Pickett to the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 20 overall -- three quarterbacks were selected in the first four selections.

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Young, as expected, went first. The Panthers, after trading a haul of picks to the Chicago Bears to move to the No. 1 pick, got their man by selecting the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner. He became the first Alabama player to be selected first overall in the modern era, giving the Panthers a possible solution to their many years of quarterback instability.

The Houston Texans, after keeping the football world in suspense, swooped in and selected C.J. Stroud with the second overall choice. After much debate about Stroud's ultimate fate, he ended up being one half of Houston's historic Thursday night haul (the Texans also traded into the No. 3 spot to select Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson Jr.).


The Indianapolis Colts jumped at the chance to select Florida's Anthony Richardson at fourth overall, making him the Colts' highest-drafted quarterback since the team chose Andrew Luck first overall in 2012.

While those three went off the board quickly, two others were noticeable by not being called, especially Kentucky's Will Levis. Tennessee's Hendon Hooker also had a chance at the first round.

The top of the first round resembled 2021, when quarterbacks were chosen with the first, second and third overall selections (Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance).

Coverage of day-2 of the 2023 NFL Draft begins at 6:00 PM on ESPN102.3/AM 1000 KSOO.

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