While all of us NFL fanatics plan for the exact date and time of the 2023 NFL Draft, one thing remains uncertain: well, just about everything! Some of the most unexpected trades go down-especially round one-when teams attempt to strike gold. You can also bet on the odds of the draft!
I am going to highlight a few final notes before we excitedly dive into round one on April 27th.
News & Notes Before the 2023 NFL Draft
Carolina Selecting Stroud or Young?
Since Carolina officially traded up to Chicago’s number one draft slot, we all knew their need for a quarterback; however, now it is a matter of who and not if. A lot of conflicting rumors between Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud and I am here for the dramatics!
While Young’s height remains the chief concern, he did ace his Cognition Test, illustrating his ability to process information in real-time. Carolina is one of only a handful of teams to administer this test and his score of 98 could have nudged him into that number-one overall spot.
The sportsbooks certainly are leaning toward Bryce Young. He is a whopping favorite at -2000.
Aaron Rodgers-to-Jets? Draft Picks for the Pack?
The NFL world knows, via Rodgers himself, that he intends to play for the New York Jets in 2023. However, there has been a standoff between each front office as far as trade compensation is concerned.
I did not have the highest hopes that this deal would be done by the start of the draft and I’m not so sure it will be at this rate. Going into a (presumably) rebuild season with Jordan Love officially taking over, Green Bay seems content to wait for some solid 2024 capital as both remain at an impasse. In their eyes, the four-time NFL MVP is worth a nice haul despite his 40th birthday coming up this year. It is a battle of the two GMs (Brian Gutekunst and Joe Douglas) that the NFL world is closely watching.
If the deal does go down before the start of the draft, look for the Packers to try and supply another weapon for Love.
Seahawks Snagging Richardson?
Seattle has a lot of draft capital to play with-2nd most in the league, including two firsts and two seconds- and they are coming off a wildly successful 2022 draft. In a division that is up for grabs (with both the Rams and Cardinals regressing), this could mean a number of things. Maybe they select Richardson (Florida) at fifth overall or he falls in their lap by pick 20. He could really flourish in the right situation. OR maybe they build around what they already have in Geno Smith who just signed a hefty three-year deal.
Will we see a team like New England or Detroit draft him? Mac Jones had a horrendous 2022 season and Goff isn’t likely to be the long-term guy in Detroit.
Will Seattle hit another homerun in this draft? We are getting the popcorn ready for it all.
Impending Sale of Commanders
With the news that shook the nation’s Capitol just days ago, and nearly under new ownership, this could be an interesting team to watch closely in the draft. On top of new ownership, Washington also landed the talented Eric Bieniemy from Kansas City to run their offense.
The Commanders have said they are confident in Sam Howell as their QB, but will any of these new faces disagree and make a splash move under their new regime?
The Will Levis Mystique
I can’t remember a more polarizing draft prospect in years and I think Will Levis takes the title. Being linked most to the Indianapolis Colts, the Kentucky product comes with the physical talent required of an NFL quarterback: his size, athleticism, and big arm are traits that QBs would kill for, yet there is also a lot of skepticism.
Taking sacks, turnovers, poor decision-making, and relying too much on his arm could be a problem. Nonetheless, his explosive upside seems like a good fit under a guy like Steichen who has worked with Justin Herbert and Jalen Hurts. The Indy connection makes the most sense at this point.
There have also been rumors connecting Levis to the Raiders, Lions, and even Vikings. This may be the most intriguing storyline entering round one of the draft this year. When will we hear Levis’ name announced at the podium and where will he be for training camp this Summer?
What are your biggest headlines and predictions going into draft week? Drop them on Twitter @DraftCountdown!