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Every year, a select number of quarterbacks come off the board early in the NFL Draft. But not all of them end up in what you'd call suitable situations. Many teams who use early-round picks at the position, after all, do so not because they're solely thinking ahead -- like, say, the Atlanta Falcons with Michael Penix Jr. -- but because they're desperate for immediate help under center.

So which of the top quarterback investments of recent memory have it best? And which ones could face uphill battles to NFL success? Here's how we'd rank all the Round 1-3 quarterback draft picks of the last three years by situation, keeping in mind that some -- like C.J. Stroud with the Houston Texans in 2023 -- will prove talented enough to far exceed expectations in their respective setups:

Note: Teams listed for quarterbacks are current, not necessarily the player's original club.

15. Matt Corral

Draft: 2022 | Pick: 3rd round, 94th overall | Team: Panthers

Two years after his selection, Corral has yet to take an official NFL snap, and he may not take one anytime soon. After briefly dabbling with the New England Patriots in 2023, he's now in the revived UFL.

14. Malik Willis

Draft: 2022 | Pick: 3rd round, 86th overall | Team: Titans

Once hyped as a potential Day 1 pick, the mobile but erratic Willis now sits No. 3 on Tennessee's depth chart behind the promising Will Levis and new veteran backup Mason Rudolph.

13. Desmond Ridder

Draft: 2022 | Pick: 3rd round, 74th overall | Team: Cardinals

The ex-Atlanta Falcons prospect could have a path to spot starts considering Kyler Murray's injury history, but he was mercurial with a superior lineup prior to his trade; Arizona is squarely in rebuild mode.

12. Hendon Hooker

Draft: 2023 | Pick: 3rd round, 68th overall | Team: Lions

The Tennessee product spent basically his entire rookie year rehabbing from a college knee injury, and Nate Sudfeld is probably a safer bet to be Jared Goff's top backup in 2024. But Hooker at least has the benefit of playing for one of the most balanced and talented contenders in the league, should he be called upon. With Goff also unsigned beyond this year, who's to say he can't later compete for time?

11. Kenny Pickett

Draft: 2022 | Pick: 1st round, 22nd overall | Team: Eagles

Pickett is obviously out of a starting job after his exile from the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he's arguably in a much better place as Jalen Hurts' No. 2 in Philadelphia, where he'll enjoy one of the most gifted supporting casts he could ask for in the event he's required for relief. His long-term outlook may well be as a backup.

10. Drake Maye

Draft: 2024 | Pick: 1st round, 3rd overall | Team: Patriots

On one hand, his physical tools -- size, mobility, arm talent -- suggest he could have an instant C.J. Stroud-like impact on those around him. The chance to sit and learn behind Jacoby Brissett is promising, too. But the Patriots still lack proven offensive infrastructure under a first-time defensive head coach. If he lives up to his draft slot sooner rather than later, it'll likely require MVP-level production.

9. Bryce Young

Draft: 2023 | Pick: 1st round, 1st overall | Team: Panthers

New coach Dave Canales has a promising track record mentoring quarterbacks, and certainly Young's interior protection and outside weapons are better with guys like Diontae Johnson and Xavier Legette onboard. But are the improvements substantial enough to properly speed up his own processing? Carolina still feels like quite a work in progress, meaning more patience may be required.

8. Bo Nix

Draft: 2024 | Pick: 1st round, 12th overall | Team: Broncos

Denver spending a top-15 pick on an older, more conservative rookie quarterback has already drawn criticism, but in reality, Nix's setup isn't as scary as you might think. Yes, he'll be under immediate pressure to justify the Sean Payton-led overhaul, but with a decent front, decent pass catchers, an offense tailored to his strengths and a still-tough defense, he may fare OK out of the gate.

7. Anthony Richardson

Draft: 2023 | Pick: 1st round, 4th overall | Team: Colts

Richardson remains something of an enigma going into Year 2: wildly gifted with superhuman size and athleticism, albeit with a light passing resume and concerning injury history. Even so, he's got a coach in Shane Steichen who knows how to use his talents, plus enticing weapons in Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman Jr. and new wideout Adonai Mitchell.

6. Will Levis

Draft: 2023 | Pick: 2nd round, 33rd overall | Team: Titans

The rugged gunslinger was bruised and battered just like Ryan Tannehill before him in 2023, but Tennessee addressed its front with key additions like JC Latham, and now the weaponry is much improved, too, with Calvin Ridley joining DeAndre Hopkins out wide. You still worry about how he'll hold up over the long haul, but Levis is at least poised for a splashy sophomore campaign.

5. Michael Penix Jr.

Draft: 2024 | Pick: 1st round, 8th overall | Team: Falcons

It's tough to assign Penix a good spot. Like, say, Kenny Pickett, he's clearly entrenched as a No. 2. But the team around him is promising, from new offensive coordinator Zac Robinson to young weapons Bijan Robinson and Kyle Pitts. And unlike Pickett, he's clearly viewed by team brass as the future, with an aging, rehabbing Kirk Cousins suddenly under even more pressure to live up to the big deal he just signed. The entire dynamic is awkward, but we've seen other surprise quarterback pairings -- like Jordan Love with the Green Bay Packers, and Jalen Hurts with the Philadelphia Eagles -- pay off down the road.

4. Jayden Daniels

Draft: 2024 | Pick: 1st round, 2nd overall | Team: Commanders

Coordinator Kliff Kingsbury didn't necessarily mesh well with his last dual-threat investment, Kyler Murray. But he's familiar with mobile types, and Daniels will also have the benefit of learning under new assistant Brian Johnson, who helped Jalen Hurts' growth in Philly. Most importantly, he'll have proven safety valves like Terry McLaurin and Austin Ekeler as part of his Day 1 lineup.

3. Caleb Williams

Draft: 2024 | Pick: 1st round, 1st overall | Team: Bears

As the top pick of his class and a celebrated "generational" talent, Williams clearly has the upside to transcend any setup. But unlike his predecessor, Justin Fields, he'll also come into the NFL with a solid supporting cast. Keenan Allen and Rome Odunze joining D.J. Moore gives Chicago a legit 1-2-3 punch out wide, and D'Andre Swift is an underrated outlet in the backfield as well. If new coordinator Shane Waldron pans out, Williams could have Windy City in the playoff mix right away.

2. J.J. McCarthy

Draft: 2024 | Pick: 1st round, 10th overall | Team: Vikings

There's a reason McCarthy admitted before the draft it'd be a "dream come true" to land in Minnesota. Not only does his play-action poise fit seamlessly with coach Kevin O'Connell's attack, but the Vikings have some of the best skill talent in the NFL: Aaron Jones at running back, Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison out wide and T.J. Hockenson at tight end. That's not mentioning Brian Flores' stingy defense, which could help the young signal-caller make an immediate postseason bid replacing the departed Kirk Cousins.

1. C.J. Stroud

Draft: 2023 | Pick: 1st round, 2nd overall | Team: Texans

Easy call here. Stroud actually entered his NFL career in what seemed to be a less-than-desirable situation, with questions about Houston's front and pass catchers. But he single-handedly elevated everyone on his side of the ball as a rookie, and the Texans responded by upgrading his setup this offseason, adding Stefon Diggs and playmaking defensive starters to the roster. If Houston doesn't make a deep playoff run under Stroud's direction in 2024, it'll be a mild disappointment.