The 2023 NFL Draft got underway on Thursday night at Union Station in Kansas City. Starting proceedings at 8pm EDT, 31 players would be announced in the opening round. Fans in Kansas City could then stick around for a Fall Out Boy concert.
Things were already crazy before the draft began. The Chicago Bears had traded the first overall pick to the Carolina Panthers. That only left the question of which quarterback prospect the Panthers would take. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens announced on draft day that they had signed quarterback Lamar Jackson to a 5-year extension. That ruled out a potential trade involving him. But nothing could have prepared us for just how wild the first round would end up being.
Multiple Trades And Shock Picks Dominate NFL Draft
With the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers selected...Bryce Young. The mock draft consensus proved right as the Panthers took the Alabama star to be their anchor at QB. Minutes later, the Houston Texans surprised no one when they took Ohio State quarterback second overall. And that was pretty much the end of normalcy in the draft. The Texans immediately traded up to #3 so they could edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. The Colts then took Florida QB Anthony Richardson, in what had been called a "consensus decision" pre-draft. The Seahawks went cornerback at five before we got another trade at six. The Cardinals, who had traded down to #12 from #3, traded back up to #6 in a deal with the Lions. They used the pick to take Ohio State O-Lineman Paris Johnson Jr.
We're still not done as the first round saw not one, but two running backs drafted in the top half of the first round. It's the first time since 2017 that two running backs have gone in the first sixteen picks. Those players were Bijan Robinson (#8 to the Falcons) and, more shockingly, Jahmyr Gibbs (#12 to the Lions). Gibbs was projected as a late first/early second-round pick. The playoff picks (#20 and beyond) opened with four straight wide receivers. However, the biggest shock of the draft was that after 31 picks, only three QBs had been taken. That leaves Kentucky's Will Levis as the top player on the board going into day two. Be sure to check back with HotNewHipHop for all the biggest draft stories and reactions.