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2023 SB Nation mock draft: Nick Caserio and DeMeco Ryans already built an offense for Bryce Young

The Texans select their franchise quarterback in SB Nation’s community mock draft with No. 2 overall pick

NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Kansas State at Alabama Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

With the No. 2 overall selection in the 2023 SB Nation NFL Community Mock Draft, the Houston Texans select arguably the greatest quarterback in Alabama Crimson Tide history, Bryce Young. Expectations are high for Young, and if the Texans do land the rookie gunslinger, Texans general manager Nick Caserio and head coach DeMeco Ryans have already surrounded him with playmakers.

Quarterback is a position the Texans have swung and missed on more times than most fans care to recall. From David Carr to Matt Schaub to Deshaun Watson, hopes have gone from stoked to broke throughout Houston’s short history. Thankfully for Caserio and crew, the Carolina Panthers took Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud with the first overall pick, allowing Young to fall into H-Town’s collective lap.

Bryce Young’s NCAA career stats

Over the course of his collegiate career, Young completed 624 passes on 949 attempts for a 65.8 completion percentage. His throws gained 8,356 yards with 8.8 yards per attempt, and he scored 80 touchdowns. Only 12 balls landed in the hands of opposing defenders. His final NCAA QB rating came in at a whopping 165.0.

To make that more impressive, Young only played in three seasons, starting a total of 34 games.

Bryce Young’s pros and cons

Every incoming quarterback has a “knock” (Watson’s pitch speed anyone?). Young’s has been his size: Is he big enough to endure a pro-level pounding? At the recent NFL Combine Young’s measurables didn’t do a lot to offset that concern. The rook stood 5-foot-10 1/8” tall, weighing in at 204 pounds. This number has many confused as Young stood 6’0” at his Pro Day.

The Alabama quarterback, whose size has been a matter of conjecture in the run-up to the combine, officially measured in at 5-foot-10 1/8 and 204 pounds, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday morning.

Widely expected to be one of the top quarterbacks selected, Young would be the lightest first-round passer since at least 2003, per NFL Research. Among Round 1 QBs in recent years, the closest size comps are Kyler Murray (5-10, 207 pounds), who was the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and Johnny Manziel (6-0, 207 pounds), who was drafted 22nd overall in 2014.

Young’s arms measured 30 1/2” and hand measurements were 9 3/4”. Big Ben he is not. However, that doesn’t mean the critics are correct.

When rifling back through the history of the NFL, most, if not all franchise quarterbacks have possessed one thing not found in combine events: immeasurable will.

It’s the ability to put a team on your back and force a victory against all odds. From Bart Starr to Terry Bradshaw, Jim Plunkett to Joe Montana, Steve Young to Warren Moon, Tom Brady to Patrick Mahomes. All of these men have one thing in common with Bryce Young: immeasurable will.

Why we selected Bryce Young with the No. 2 overall pick

The NFL is a Go Big or Go Home league. There are certainly safer picks in this draft, but the Texans sorely need a home run under center more than they need a dominating defensive lineman. Quarterbacks win championships. Quarterbacks like the ones named above overcome adversity, injury to teammates, bad calls, dumb luck and seemingly insurmountable odds to win games.

Bryce Young does those things as well. And he could flourish placed behind the highest paid left tackle in the NFL, Laremy Tunsil, and protected by the rest of the rebuilt Houston offensive line. Handing the ball off to the 1-2 punch of Dameon Pierce and Devin Singletary. Throwing the ball to Nico Collins, John Metchie and whomever the Texans draft after Young. Hitting his safety valve Dalton Shultz in stride for major first downs. It’s time to finally imagine a potent Houston Texans offense, and drafting Bryce Young makes that vision possible.

DraftKings draft props: Bryce Young

The fine folks over at DraftKings Sportsbook have CJ Stroud at -300 to land with the Panthers, and Bryce Young at +250 to hear Carolina call his name with the first overall pick. Conversely, they give -225 for Young to go second overall to the Houston Texans, with Stroud getting +225. If you want to believe that Young will fall to the third overall pick, you’re looking at +2500.

Houston Texans draft capital

With more projected draft capital than any other team, including the No. 12 overall pick, expect Caserio, Ryans and the gang to load up on young players — many of whom will contribute to the long-term success of H-Town football.

Landing Bryce Young at No. 2 would be a big step in the right direction for the Texans.