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Draft weekend has come and gone with the future of the league now heading to their respective teams. There were a lot of great moments in this year’s draft and Kansas City was an amazing host. Here are some of the highlights of the weekend.
Reach For The Sky!
There were a lot of reaches in the first two days of the draft. Teams like the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons made some picks that made some scratch their heads.
The Lions picked up Iowa standout, linebacker Jack Campbell and Alabama halfback Jahmyr Gibbs and Atlanta drafted former Texas running back Bijan Robinson. Running backs have had a resurgence over the past four or five years but the value still hasn’t reached high first-round status. Detroit also left some talent on the board that many thought was a bigger need than linebacker for them. Only time will tell if these two teams truly reached or the gamble pays off.
Masterclass On Team Building
The Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles were the clear winners of the NFL Draft. Both teams navigated the boards as if they had the inside scoop of where their players would be.
Houston got their future quarterback in C.J. Stroud and defensive end Will Anderson with back-to-back picks in the first round. The Eagles picked two of the top defensive players in the draft that fell further than their stock let on, in defensive tackle Jalen Carter and edge rusher Nolan Smith. It didn’t stop there. Their late round picks were all valued higher than their draft position as well. These two front offices put on a clinic in team building on draft weekend.
2023 Made History
After a Super Bowl that featured two African American quarterbacks for the first time, the NFL Draft had two African American quarterbacks taken with the top two picks. That is the first time in NFL history for such an occurrence. Not only that but the three young signal callers taken in the top four picks were all African American, which is also history. Bryce Young, Stroud and Anthony Richardson all will now have their names forever synonymous with the history made this weekend.
South On The Rise
This weekend saw one particular division have three new faces enter its ranks. The AFC South, a division that once held names like Peyton Manning, Steve McNair and Mark Brunell will now house a new crop of young signal callers. Trevor Lawrence will now have the likes of Stroud, Richardson and Will Levis to compete against for supremacy in the division. If their careers pan out as projected, we could be seeing a division that houses four top ten quarterbacks in the near future.
Upon The Depths
As I’ve stated before, this draft is one of the deepest ever. This weekend saw players who would be second or mid-round picks not drafted until the late rounds. Names like Jaelyn Duncan, Xavier Hutchinson, Andrew Vorhees and Chase Brown were all 6th-7th round picks who had early round grades. Teams walked away with steals and players that can contribute as early as this season in the late rounds.
The future is here. Players and teams alike will now embark on a journey that will see trial and success. Regardless of all of the things negative or positive though, this weekend is one for the history books.