2023 NFL Draft Highlights


(via MARCA)

The 2023 NFL Draft was held on April 27 and it saw some of the league’s future superstars live their dreams of getting drafted. College studs such as Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, and Bijan Robinson had their names called in the top ten. This draft saw surprising trades as well as picks that shook up the draft board. The following are some of the highlights of the draft that has NFL franchises hoping they have found their future.

Carolina Panthers
Pick: 1
Player: Bryce Young, Alabama QB
The most predictable pick of the draft may have been this one as Bryce Young was by far the best option for a quarterback needy Panthers. Young was the first Alabama QB to win the Heisman under Nick Saban when he won it in 2021. His ability to improvise and outsmart the defenses is unmatched compared to all other QBs and his only knock is his height. He stands at 5’10” on a good day and this was the only uncertainty going into the draft for NFL general managers. NFL experts feel as though he won’t be able to look over an NFL offensive line that has 6’6” and 6’8” men blocking Young’s view of the passing lanes. The same was said about players like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, but they proved the doubters wrong. Young will be looking to do the same and prove his worth at the number one spot in the draft.

Houston Texans
Picks: 2 and 3
Players: C.J. Stroud, Ohio State QB // Will Anderson Jr, Alabama Edge
The second pick was not as certain as some were skeptical that Will Levis may go around this range, but in the end Stroud was the choice and deserved it. Stroud was a close second behind Young as the best quarterbacks in this draft class, some just don’t know if he’s pro ready. Nevertheless he has the best accuracy in the draft as he was able to make some insane throws while being the quarterback at Ohio State. He had help as the wide receivers he got to throw with are almost all elite talents, but the numbers he put up can’t be argued with. He threw for over 3,600 yards and eclipsed 40 touchdowns for the second year in a row with 41 touchdowns. Hopefully Stroud can become the NFL franchise QB that Houston has needed after the departure of Deshaun Watson. Their next pick was a trade via the Arizona Cardinals that allowed them to select Will Anderson Jr. Although his numbers weren’t as eye popping as his junior season, he still continued to be a dominant force for the Crimson Tide. He ended his career at Alabama with some outstanding numbers. He was 2nd in team history in sacks, career tackles for loss, and single-season tackles for loss. Houston hopes that Anderson can be the edge presence the team has been lacking since J.J. Watt left. These two picks are what the Texans and their fans have been waiting for. These picks could be the foundation for the future success in Houston.

Indianapolis Colts
Pick: 4
Player: Anthony Richardson, Florida QB
This pick was a highlight of the draft because Anthony Richardson may be the biggest boom or bust player seen in a while. He has unmatched athleticism at the quarterback position as well as a great arm. He can improvise and create plays on his own that will get his teammates in more open scenarios. What got him to jump up so high in every NFL Mock Draft was his unbelievable combine numbers. The NFL Combine can hurt a player, but in Richardson’s case it helped him so much he jumped into the top 5 in the draft. The Colts have really been put in a bad place ever since Andrew Luck retired in his prime back in 2018. They have had a void at the quarterback position and that is by far the most important one in order for an NFL team to make any playoff run. The Colts have some excellent players on both sides of the ball if Richardson can reach his ceiling the Colts will become perennial favorites.

Philadelphia Eagles
Picks: 9 and 30
Players: Jalen Carter, Georgia DT // Nolan Smith, Georgia Edge
The Eagles have once again had a great draft as they show that all a team needs is to get some Georgia defenders and they’ll have one of the best defenses in the league. The fact that the Eagles just made the Super Bowl and now drafted one of the best players in the draft on defense as well as a steal in Nolan Smith. Jalen Carter had some trouble off the field which caused him to drop right before the draft, however, this has just worked out for the Eagles. If he keeps his off the field problems in check he could be the best defensive player in the past couple of drafts. He was the backbone of the ‘Dawgs defense last year and was a huge reason why they had one of the best defenses in college history. Nolan Smith was one of the best linebackers to be in the draft as well as he was in the second level stopping the run and pass. The Eagles offense proved to be potent with the addition of A.J Brown and their draft pick Devontae Smith. Jalen Hurts came into his own as well and became an MVP caliber player. If Carter and Smith can produce on the defensive side of the ball a second Super Bowl appearance is definite.

Biggest Surprise: Will Levis Drops to 2nd Round
The Kentucky QB was the talk of the draft as many had him being similar to Josh Allen, the Bills franchise superstar. Levis’ strong arm and swagger had many Mock Drafts having him go as high as number two or three, but in the end he was drafted 33rd overall to the Tennessee Titans. Just like Rodgers in 2004, cameras were all on Levis as he kept dropping down the board and the more awkward it got for the viewers as well as him and his family. He became the drama of the draft because of the fact that he sat in the green room (a place where projected first round picks are invited to go) for the whole night and eventually had to leave without his name being called. This story can be used as motivation for Levis as he has something to prove for all of the other 32 picks that passed on him.