Who Were the Big Winners of the 2023 NFL Draft?

The 2023 NFL Draft was the chance for all 32 franchises in the league to add to their rosters the leading eligible college players. Here is a look back at that three-day event, which has an unprecedented audience who were the big winners.

Carolina Has a Quarterback They Can Build Around

After agreeing a trade with the Chicago Bears, the Carolina Panthers jumped to the top of the draft order in the first round to get the pick of the quarterbacks available. After careful consideration, they opted for Alabama’s Bryce Young.

Since Cam Newton left the franchise in 2019, Carolina has had Kyle Allen, Will Grier, Teddy Bridgewater, P.J. Walker, Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield in the position, but none of those players has done enough to convince the organisation that they can lead the team to success.

Young will give Panthers fans a lot of optimism about the future. He broke many records at Alabama, and he has the potential to be one of the leading QBs in the NFL. If he makes a smooth transition into the league, it may not be long before Carolina is one of the leading teams in the NFC again.

As of the 2nd of May, the Panthers are 3/1 in the outright sports betting markets to win the NFC South this year. They have not won the divisional title since 2015 but this could be the season the wait comes to an end.

Texans Select Nine Players from Draft

The Houston Texans selected nine players from the 2023 NFL Draft, including two of the top three overall selections. Quarterback C.J. Stroud, a player many thought would be the first overall pick, heads their way, while leading defensive linebacker Will Anderson Jr was also snapped up.

Houston was involved in a lot of trades, which meant they moved up and down the board at various points across the three days. They had a lot of capital in their favour, which allowed them to manoeuvre and still get the players they wanted.

Last season was a miserable year for the Texans. They finished their campaign with a 3-13-1 record. It was quite clear from early into the season that things were going to be tough for them in the post-Deshaun Watson era. Stroud recorded 85 passing touchdowns over the last two years. He will work alongside Case Keenum and Davis Mills in Houston, but it is expected that the rookie will begin week one as the Texans’ starter.

Wide receiver Nathaniel Dell was one of the highest-selected players from his position when the Texans took him in the third round of the draft. He had an excellent year in 2022 for Houston Cougars, scoring 17 touchdowns. Further down the draft board, WR Xavier Hutchinson also joined the franchise from Iowa State.

Bears Add Quality Despite Moving Down Board

As the worst team in 2022, the Chicago Bears were meant to have the first selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, with a quarterback they are happy with, the NFC North team wisely traded to move down the board. They did a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, which allowed the Super Bowl runners-up to secure Georgia’s defensive tackle, Jalen Carter. The Bears were still able to add one of the most talented offensive tackles Darnell Wright with the 10th overall selection.

In the second round of the draft, Chicago selected defensive tackle Gervon Dexter and cornerback Tyrique Stevenson. The franchise will be hoping those players can help improve what was a fragile defence last season.

Chicago is set to also benefit from the deals they did this year at the 2024 NFL Draft. Those extra picks give them a good chance of getting their rebuilding process right.

Titans Able to Snap Up Levis in Second Round

One of the biggest surprises of the 2023 NFL Draft was that quarterback Will Levis was snapped up until the second round. He was expected to be an early first-round selection. The Tennessee Titans were very happy to take a chance on the talented QB with their second-round pick.

Levis scored 46 passing touchdowns and 17 rushing touchdowns for the Kentucky Wildcats over the last two years. He helped his team win the 2022 Citrus Bowl with a victory over Iowa. The new Titans QB may not start immediately, but he will learn a lot from backing up Ryan Tannehill in 2023. This season’s Super Bowl is set to take place on the 11th of February in Nevada. Each of the 32 teams in the NFL will be hoping their rookie players can help them book a place in that event in early 2024.

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