2023 NFL Draft: Football’s Most Dramatic Night Full of Style, Surprise


Every year, NFL hopefuls find out their fate through a night of surprise and celebration that is the NFL Draft. (“NFL Draft 2011” by mjpeacecorps is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.)

Brady Lynn, Sports Editor

All 32 teams in the National Football League (NFL) get a chance come Thursday night. All 32 teams have goals to do and be better than they were the previous season. Whether they missed the playoffs and hope to make it this year or others who made it and plan to strive for more and bring home the Super Bowl.

The NFL draft provides one thing every team and fan ever wants. It brings no less than an ounce of hope for the future. It rings excitement and points many eyes toward organizations and intriguing outcomes. 

This ceremony will take place in Kansas City, Missouri on April 27- 29. NFL Teams will one by one draft college prospects to boost their team and take one step closer to their Super Bowl dreams. Over three days a total of 7 rounds of 32 draft picks will take place, coming out to 256 college players selected to teams. 

Many try to predict outcomes of these selections and possible trades that could take place throughout the night. But you could look through every last one of these predictions and very easily not find a single correct guess. There is a beauty to the NFL draft and you could compare it to a movie. You could cheer for anyone, there are unforeseen outcomes, pace changes, and blockbuster plot twists. Especially this year, you can expect anything you can think of to occur in the 2023 NFL Draft. 

To start the first night​, the Carolina Panthers have the responsibility of selecting the No. 1 overall pick. They first acquired this pick from the Chicago Bears in a trade. To emphasize the importance and value of this No. 1 overall pick one must know what they gave to retrieve it. They gave their 1st round pick this year (No. 9 overall), 1st round pick in 2024 (pick number to be determined), 2nd round pick this year (No. 61 overall), 2nd round pick in 2025 (pick number to be determined) and star wide receiver D.J. Moore. All for one pick and one player, Carolina sent five total players to Chicago. The value placed behind these selections make it all the more appealing to watch. 

As complicated and abundant as that trade was, many, many more can occur throughout the draft process. There are countless factors that can influence a team’s draft pick. A pace change can completely flip an organization’s draft plan. 

A “pace change” refers to an unpredictable pick made by a team that may enhance another team’s intent on drafting a specific position. If a team aims to pick a needed player at a specific position with one of their later draft picks, but then realize their list of best players in that position dwindles earlier than they expected, they may want to fill that need with one of their earlier picks. Like in 2022, no one expected the Atlanta Falcons to draft a wide receiver with the No. 8 overall pick. But with this selection it put teams on notice that the wide receivers available are decreasing earlier than they had predicted. So with this, 3 out of the next 4 picks (No. 9 – No. 12 overall) were all wide receiver selections. For the NFL draft, three players of the same position being drafted in such a short span is highly unlikely. This makes the draft process that much more entertaining for all viewers behind the wall of all the team’s true intentions in the draft. 

If or when you turn on the TV to watch NFL Draft Thursday night, expect one of the most stimulating sports events in America’s history. This day and its outcomes will be talked about in the sports world for months and years to come. So don’t fall into the dark on April 27. This NFL draft will be unlike any other and should be on everyone’s calendar.