2023 NFL Draft Recap


Matthew Thomas, Staff Writer

On April 29th, 2023 the 87th annual NFL draft was concluded. The NFL draft is one of the longest football traditions in the world. The beginning format of the NFL draft was 10 picks a round. In the 1940’s there were only 10 teams, which meant that the pool of college players was about 90-100. As the league expanded the amount of picks, rounds, and players increased. Since 2002 the NFL draft has been set at 7 rounds, with 32 picks per round. This year was a bit different because there was a forfeited 1st round pick. The Miami Dolphins were stripped of their pick after being proven guilty of tampering with the coaching rules.

To begin the madness the Carolina Panthers acquired the 1st overall pick from the Chicago Bears after a blockbuster trade on March 15th, 2023. This trade included the former 2nd round pick D.J Moore who earned four consecutive 1,100+ receiving yards seasons. This huge trade was the only trade including a first-round pick this year before the draft. With the first-round pick, the Carolina Panthers selected Bryce Young, quarterback out of Alabama University. This wasn’t a surprise to many fans because the Panthers didn’t have to hide their hand. The front office was able to be straightforward to the media because they held the first pick and they could select anyone they wanted. The concern about Bryce Young before the draft was his size. Throughout the college season, Young played at about 180-190 lbs which is very small for a quarterback. The lack of muscle and size of a quarterback in the NFL can lead to all types of longevity problems. The second pick in the 2023 NFL draft was held by the Houston Texans. They decided to select a quarterback also. They chose to go with C.J. Stroud out of Ohio State University. This was a well received pick from the majority of the fans. C.J. Stroud has ideal size, accuracy, and pocket awareness. The people who didn’t like the pick were upset because they expected their new head coach, Demeco Ryans, to select a defensive piece. The next pick was the biggest trade that happened the night of the draft. The Arizona Cardinals traded their 3rd overall pick to the Houston Texans. This gave Houston back-to-back selections 2nd and 3rd overall. They decided to select Will Anderson, edge rusher out of Alabama University.

The day after the 1st round was concluded I asked my friend Jaden Ashton, former Quakertown High School football player, about what his favorite pick was. He said that his favorite first-round pick was Emmanual Forbes going to the Washington Commanders. “Not many people like this pick, but you have to understand the system Washington runs. Highly regarded cornerbacks like Christain Gonzalez and Deonte Banks aren’t highly skilled in the areas Emmanual Forbes is. Not taking anything away from those players but Emmanual Forbes is a long, quick, athletic playmaker. He excels in an off-man coverage system. The way that Jack Del Rio, defensive coordinator, runs the system molds players like Forbes into superstars.” I really like how Jaden broke down the different levels of football rather than just the skill of the player. My favorite pick in the draft was Jaylin Hyatt to the New York Giants 73rd overall in the 3rd round. Jaylin Hyatt, wide receiver, from Tennessee University was regarded as one of the top receivers in college football last year. His speed and acceleration were two abilities that allowed him to dominate defenses. Against Alabama’s 7th-ranked defense last year, Jaylin Hyatt got six catches, 207 yards, and 5 touchdowns. 

Dan Orlovsky, former NFL quarterback, and current ESPN analyst, talked about who he believed had a really good draft. Most of the fans around the NFL believed that the Detroit Lions had a bad draft but Dan Orlovsky said  “Teams have to draft specific to who they are and what they do. In the NFC the most important thing to address is the run game. Jahmyr Gibbs helps their run game tremendously. He was one of the best running backs in the SEC last year. Jack Campbell, linebacker out of Iowa, helps defend the run. Sam LaPorta, tight end out of Iowa, is one of the best all-around tight ends in the draft. He’s gonna help run-block and catch the ball.” After all this NFL draft had many surprises but also had many safe picks. We can safely say that the 2023 NFL Draft is concluded and it did not disappoint.