The NFL Draft was off-the-walls bonkers this year, right? 

Will Levis dropped out of the first round altogether; TWO running backs are taken within the first 12 picks, and not a single wide receiver until No. 20? Nothing seemed to go as planned, but that just makes it all the more fun. Without further exposition, let’s dive right in and take a look at the QB landing spots from a fantasy football perspective. 

Bryce Young, Landing Spot: Carolina Panthers

The 2023 NFL Draft started off in a logical fashion, with the consensus “best all-around” quarterback going No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers. Bryce Young lands in Carolina with Frank Reich as the new head coach in town – a supposed “quarterback guru” at that – and an organization that was preparing for Young’s arrival well in advance of draft night. 

It was a busy offseason for Carolina’s front office – one that brought them Reich, RB1 Miles Sanders, WRs Adam Thielen and DJ Chark, and TE1 Hayden Hurst – and a keen eye could spot the direction they were headed in from the get-go. They brought in a win-now coach in unison with a bunch of win-now veteran players. The table was fully set for Young’s anticipated arrival. 

From a fantasy perspective, Young is the top dog of the rookie QBs when it comes to Redraft. I would imagine – unless he totally bombs out in camp and the preseason – that Young will start from the very beginning, and with that as the case, I’d probably have to put him somewhere around my QB15 from an upside perspective. Being even more aggressive, the only QBs who should definitely go ahead of Young are Pat Mahomes, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Joe Burrow, Justin Fields, Lamar Jackson, Trevor Lawrence and Justin Herbert. On spec and upside alone, I could see a Redraft argument for Young as high as QB9 overall. I won’t be drafting him that high, but I could at least understand the argument. 

In Dynasty, I’m probably going to favor Anthony Richardson because of his explosive, off-the-charts rushing potential. 

C.J. Stroud, Landing Spot: Houston Texans 

This landing spot was a double-edged sword from my perspective: I was happy for Stroud that he didn’t fall because of his horrific Cognition scores, but I felt bad about the Houston Texans’ fantasy football graveyard. I can’t be too confident in Stroud out the gate, with rookie head coach DeMeco Ryans taking the reins – a defensive-minded coach, mind you – and an offseason that saw the Texans deal their WR1 Brandin Cooks. 

I also can’t go WOW and jump out of my seat at the acquisition of aging veteran Robert Woods. If Stroud is going to walk into any offensive balance here, he’ll have to get it from RB1 Dameon Pierce, developing WR Noah Brown and TE1 Dalton Schultz. Brown and Schultz didn’t want to move far, so they just moved across Texas from Dallas to Houston. 

This almost feels like an “all alone” situation for Stroud out of the gate. In Redraft, I’ll probably be taking both Young and Richardson over him. In Dynasty, the same; with the possibility of taking Will Levis over him as well. I like Stroud the player, but not the overall position he is in. 

Anthony Richardson, Landing Spot: Indianapolis Colts

Here’s the big question right from the get-go: Does rookie head coach Shane Steichen want to start out with losses early in his career? This whole situation hinges on Steichen’s depth of patience. 

With stars Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman already in position, Steichen can obviously just play it safe and start veteran Gardner Minshew at the beginning of the season. The AFC South is wide open this year – with the exception of maybe the Jacksonville Jaguars, the leaders – so I could potentially see a situation where Minshew keeps the Colts right in the thick of things. I’m sure, with faith in his own coaching, Steichen could probably visualize the exact same scenario. 

But do you wanna go all-in on the fourth overall selection in the draft, or what? It’ll probably be difficult to do with Richardson because he’s raw when it comes to natural passing ability, and pro-level reads. Ultimately, my guess is Richardson sits at least four games to begin this NFL season. That makes him a late stash in Redraft, but still a high-end Dynasty play. Sitting four-to-eight games in year one means nothing in the grand scheme of hanging onto Richardson as a long-term fantasy play. 

Will Levis, Landing Spot: Tennessee Titans 

I have to admit: I was shocked when Levis fell in the first round, and the Titans didn’t select him at No. 11 overall. This offseason has been all about turmoil when it comes to Ryan Tannehill’s situation with the team, and sophomore Malik Willis looked completely overmatched as a rookie. 

The door to playing time is open for Levis if he can simply outperform both Tannehill and Willis over time. Head coach Mike Vrabel recently announced that Tannehill will go into OTAs as the team’s starter, but Willis and Levis will both be in competition. This sounds like a merit-based scenario, one where – like Minshew in Indy – Tannehill will (at the very least) start at the beginning of the season. 

The whole situation is tricky for the Titans’ organization, isn’t it? Last year the question was: Who is the best QB in this draft, Willis or Kenny Pickett? Now we’re in a situation where the Titans are already sort of showing their hand – would they take Levis as the first pick in the second round this year if they had any faith in Willis at all? 

I think the answer is pretty self-explanatory. The Titans will be in a Giants-like situation here: Last season, the Giants would have tanked if Daniel Jones didn’t work out for Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen in the early portion of the season. The same will apply to Tannehill here – if he gets off to a hot start, Vrabel will want to continue competing for a potential run to the postseason. If the Titans start slow and bottom out, however, I believe we will see Levis sooner rather than later. 

I have Levis as the fourth-best Redraft QB here and possibly the third-best Dynasty play. 

Hendon Hooker, Landing Spot: Detroit Lions

People are very excited about Hooker – and there’s no question he’s a very talented young man – but I’m putting all my chips in on Jared Goff. Hooker is coming off a major injury and will need time to settle back into a groove at the quarterback position; in the meantime, Goff continues to be one of the most improved QBs in the NFL on a yearly basis. OC Ben Johnson has a good connection with Goff, sort of the way Sean McVay helped him after beginning his career in Jeff Fisher’s murky abyss. 

I think Goff is gonna lock this thing down. I don’t think we’ll see Hooker out there unless Goff suffers a serious injury of some sort. 

I’ll see ya right back here next week for the rookie running backs! 

John Frascella is a published sports author who has been covering the NFL for nearly 20 years. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things NFL, MLB and NBA throughout the year.