The 2023 NFL Draft will help usher in a new era for QBs of color in the NFL. For a position deemed as the leader of a team, QBs of color have made a mark but not as profound as non-black QBs. However, all that’s about to change.
With this crop of draft picks, there will be at least 14 QBs of color starting for NFL teams for the 2023-24 season.
Jalen Hurts will lead the Philadelphia Eagles. Patrick Mahomes is looking to defend his title with the Kansas City Chiefs, while Lamar Jackson is gearing up to put his critics to rest. Out in Texas, Dak Prescott is ready to lead the Dallas Cowboys to another winning season while Kyler Murray will be rehabbing his injuries with the Arizona Cardinals.
Geno Smith will be looking to continue his climb up the MVP ladder with the Seattle Seahawks. In Chicago, Justin Fields will be looking to take a step forward in his growth. All eyes will be on the No. 1 pick, Bryce Young as he navigates the Carolina Panthers. In Houston, CJ Stroud will be looking to bring the Texans back to respectability. Out in Indianapolis, Anthony Richardson will look to take the reins with the Colts. And how can we forget Desmond Ritter in Atlanta?
Down in Miami, Tua Tagovailoa must remain healthy if the Dolphins want to make a serious run at a Super Bowl. In Cleveland, this will be the second season of the Deshaun Watson era, while Russell Wilson will look to rebound from an embarrassing first season with the Denver Broncos.
For the last 2 decades at least, it’s been about Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Eli Manning. What do these players have in common? Each has at least one Super Bowl title on their resume and the color of their skin. But there is a new Era in the NFL.
It’s still an argument to be made as far as the growth of the position, but heading into the new season, almost half the teams in the league will have a person of color under center as their starter. With the Colts, the jury is still out on Richardson as the starter but he is their QB of the future.
Last season was the first time two black QBs met in the Super Bowl with Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes going head-to-head. But the way it’s shaping up now, they won’t be the last. There is some diversity on the field. Now, it’s just up to these players to lead their respective teams. Mahomes and Jackson have MVPs under their belts. Hurts is right there as far as talent and star power go. Murray was once the highest-paid QB of color, and Russell Wilson has a title under his belt as well.
For the newbies, they must deliver. While their teams will go through growing pains as they learn the speed of the NFL game, there is no denying the potential these young signal callers have to take the reigns that Randall Cunningham, Steve McNair, Warren Moon, Michael Vick, Donavan McNabb, Doug Williams, and others left for them. The time is now. No more sitting and pouting that we’re not getting a chance. We’re at the table now. Time to make it count.