2023 NFL Draft: Quick Recap

Greatness on the clock.” The NFL Draft is a highly anticipated event for both spectators and players, and every year over 200 college football players are selected to continue playing at the highest level. With just about every pick, teams are either criticized or applauded by fan bases for their choices.

This year was no different. With the exception of the Miami Dolphins, 31 of the top prospects in college football were selected to new NFL teams. The Dolphins’ exclusion for tampering did not take much away from the overall entertainment of the event – fans still watched with anticipation. The excitement began in the first round as the Carolina Panthers made the first pick of the draft on Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.

“Carolina moved up to No. 1 overall and secured their potential franchise quarterback,” said Pro Football Focus, a highly respected source for football insight. “Despite concerns about his size, Young was the top QB on the PFF big board, and his 92.9 passing grade led all players at the position over the past two seasons.”

Teams that drafted the best prospects, made good trades, or were able to pick a player later than projected were considered by fans and analysts to have “won” the draft. One of these “winners” was the Philadelphia Eagles, who selected two highly touted members of the National Champion Georgia Bulldogs roster during the first round, along with five other highly rated selections throughout the draft. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, and Arizona Cardinals are also considered by many fans to be draft winners.

The Eagles got Jalen Carter at No. 9, arguably the best player in the class, and drafted Nolan Smith way later than he should have gone.

— Drew Speier

“I would probably say the Eagles won the draft,” junior Drew Speier said. “The Steelers were probably No. 2. The Eagles got Jalen Carter at No. 9, arguably the best player in the class, and drafted Nolan Smith way later than he should have gone.

There were also teams who received lower grades and were considered to have “lost” the draft. These teams over speculated on players, made bad trades, missed out on the best available prospects, or simply did not have many draft picks. For example, many analysts and fans have said that the Detroit Lions were guilty of over-speculation in the first round and criticized the Washington Commanders for taking a weaker cornerback prospect than was available.

“I think the Lions lost the draft,” junior Khushal Satish said. “They reached on to many prospects.”

However, all of this analysis is based solely on athleticism and college production. No one can predict exactly how these players will fare in the NFL until the season starts in September. For now, these young athletes will compete for starting spots at training camp in hopes of taking their game to the next level.