National Sports

NFL Draft Full of Chaos

Brendan Moore
Sports Editor
The 2023 National Football League (NFL) Draft experienced a chaotic three days of trades and surprising picks, concluding with the 259th selection. The excitement began months before the draft, when the Chicago Bears traded the number one overall pick to the Carolina Panthers. In exchange for the pick, the Bears received wide receiver DJ Moore and the ninth overall pick in the first round. In the days leading up to Day One on Apr. 27, draft experts compiled their thoughts on who would be selected with the first pick by the Panthers. However, there was no true consensus player.
The Panthers revealed their decision when they selected quarterback Bryce Young from Alabama University as the first pick in the draft. What happened next was even more unexpected; The Houston Texans drafted quarterback CJ Stroud from Ohio State University and then traded with the Arizona Cardinals for the third overall pick. With the third pick, the Texans selected linebacker Will Anderson Jr. from Alabama. The Texans went all in in order to get the opportunity to pick their top two prospects by trading away their first round pick of next year, along with the 12th overall pick in this year’s draft. To round out the top five picks, the Indianapolis Colts picked Anthony Richardson from Florida University and the Seattle Seahawks selected defensive back Devon Witherspoon from Illinois University. Richardson, a quarterback, surprised many with his selection after only one year of college.
Defensive lineman Jalen Carter from the University of Georgia entered the draft as a highly regarded prospect. However, in the months leading up to the draft, Carter was involved in a fatal car accident which resulted in the death of his Georgia teammate Devin Willock and Georgia football recruiter Chandler LeCroy. The uncertainty of Carter’s off-field antics raised serious questions regarding his character for NFL teams with picks inside the top ten. With this being said, Carter was selected by the reigning NFC Champions Philadelphia Eagles with the ninth overall pick. Additionally, projected top ten pick Will Levis not only did not get selected in the top ten, but the entire first round as well. The University of Kentucky quarterback slid into the early second round when the Tennessee Titans traded forward to pick the talented quarterback.
This year’s draft featured only 31 first round picks instead of the usual 32, corresponding to the respective teams in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins lost their first round pick this year along with their fourth round pick in 2024 due to tampering with “the integrity of the game.” The Dolphins engaged in contract negotiations with quarterback Tom Brady without permission from the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he was under contract with those teams. Furthermore, the Dolphins committed the same violation with former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.

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