Two months after the Super Bowl, the moment has come for the youngsters to shine: the 2023 NFL Draft is on the horizon! Between April 27th and April 29th, the teams will select the top college prospects, and hence the future football starters. Let’s go over everything you need to know in preparation for the big day!
2023 NFL Draft: the format
The NFL Draft structure is straightforward: each round, the league’s 32 teams must pick one player who will play for the team that selected him… hypothetically. But, for the time being, let us keep to this principle. This process is composed of nine rounds, in which every team will pick a player… once again, in principle.
Why do we say “in principle”? Well, because in practice it doesn’t work like that. Teams can trade players for draft picks, allowing them to have several picks in each round. In exchange for Rodgers, the Packers acquired a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick from the Jets. In other circumstances, a team may select a player in the draft just to trade him the next day to another team: Mahomes was selected by the Buffalo Bills in 2017 only to be transferred directly to the Kansas City Chiefs. And we already understand how it worked.
How is the pick order selected?
If we exclude the exchange of picks during the trade period, it’s fairly easy to understand how the NFL calculates the draft order. The NFL ‘flips’ the previous season’s results, and that is the pick order. As a result, the team with the lowest record from the previous season will receive the first pick, and the Super Bowl champion will receive the last pick in each round.
And what’s the order in the 2023 Draft first round?
The Miami Dolphins were punished for tampering despite having the 21st pick in the first round. As a result, they will be unable to use their pick rights in this round. The Houston Texans face the same penalty for a salary cap reporting violation with their fifth-round pick.
The ones to watch: the best prospects from the 2023 NFL Draft
According to Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Media analyst, these are the five prospects that should be selected in the first five positions.
Young, Alabama’s effective passer and 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, has quick feet, superb balance, exceptional anticipation, and the ability to extend plays with his arm or legs. Concerns about his durability exist due to his narrow frame, but if he remains healthy, he has the potential to quickly become a quality starting quarterback in the NFL.
Will Anderson Jr.
Anderson, another Alabama recruit, is a long, athletic edge rusher with outstanding strength and production. He specializes at wide edge rushes and can win with quickness or with power to beat offensive tackles.
Robinson is a three-down back with excellent size, vision, and burst. He aggressively presses the hole and blasts through contact on inside runs. He is quick enough to make defenders miss in tight quarters and has the speed to capture the corner on outside runs. He is a smooth route runner out of the backfield with good hands in the passing game. Despite needing to improve his recognition and technique in pass protection, Robinson has all the tools to quickly become a top-tier RB in the NFL.
Wilson, a tall and long edge rusher, displays excellent explosiveness. He’s quick off the ball, using his length to engage opposing tackles in pass rush. His skills include creating strength and swooping arm-overs to reach the quarterback. Wilson is also very aware of hand placement and can swat it away swiftly to liberate himself. He can close quickly once he’s cleared the blocker. He can establish a strong edge against the run by extending his arms. However, he must be careful not to play too high, as angle blocks can wash him down the line. Wilson’s effort is excellent and has the potential to develop into a Pro Bowl edge rusher.
In terms of his physical attributes and skills, Witherspoon is a slim and lanky cornerback who possesses exceptional speed, instincts, and ball-handling abilities. He excels in off coverage situations where he can swiftly assess and react to the ball. Witherspoon tackles the game with a bold and enthusiastic mentality, exhibiting aggressiveness in his tackling (as seen by his massive hit against Indiana), although he may miss his target on occasion. Given his body type and ball skills, I feel Witherspoon has the potential to replicate Samari Rolle’s success.