The upcoming Texans-Panthers game on Sunday is set to make NFL history. For the first time ever, the top three picks from the NFL draft will all be playing in the same game.
Bryce Young, the Panthers’ quarterback, was chosen as the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. And on Sunday, he will face off against the Texans’ quarterback, C.J. Stroud, who was selected as the second overall pick, as well as the Texans’ defensive end, Will Anderson, who was chosen as the third overall pick. This unique event marks the first instance in the common draft era where all three top picks from a draft will be competing against each other in a single game.
It’s a rare occurrence because typically the top three picks end up on different teams. In fact, the Texans are only the third team in NFL history to have two of the top three picks. The previous instances were the Indianapolis Colts in 1992 and the Washington Football Team in 2000. However, neither of these teams faced off against the other team with a top three pick in those respective years.
The showdown between Young and Stroud also adds to the excitement as it will be only the fifth time in NFL history that a game features rookie quarterbacks who were picked first and second overall in the draft. The previous occurrences were in 2021 with Trevor Lawrence of the Jaguars against Zach Wilson of the Jets, in 2015 with Jameis Winston of the Buccaneers against Marcus Mariota of the Titans, in 1998 with Peyton Manning of the Colts against Ryan Leaf of the Chargers, and in 1993 with Drew Bledsoe of the Patriots against Rick Mirer of the Seahawks. Interestingly, in three out of these four previous meetings, the team with the second overall pick emerged victorious, with Manning’s Colts being the only exception by defeating Leaf’s Chargers.
In terms of odds, Stroud and Anderson’s Texans are currently favored by three points as they take on Young’s Panthers on their home turf.
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