Now that the Super Bowl has come and gone, the biggest thing NFL fans are looking forward to is the draft for the 2023-24 season. Despite the draft being over two months away, speculations are already brewing on which players are the highest ranked and what teams have the top five picks.
Predicted first round pick is Alabama’s Quarterback, Bryce Young. Young has a current grade of 95. For the 2022 season, Young took 21st place in the yards category, earning 3,328. As for touchdowns, he tied for 10th place with his 32 TD’s. He also managed to tie for 16th with his five interceptions. His quarterback rating is 83.7, which is eighth in all conferences. Throughout his time with the Crimson Tide, Young has accumulated three awards, all during the 2021 season. Those awards were the Maxwell Award, Heisman Memorial Trophy, and Davey O’Brien Award.
The second predicted pick for the draft is Will Anderson Jr. who is also a part of the Crimson Tide. Anderson is a 6’4” Offensive Linebacker who hails from Hampton, Georgia. His three years with the team has given him the chance to rack up 204 total tackles, 114 solo tackles, and 34.5 sacks. In just the 2022-23 season, he added 24 of those solo tackles to his roster, ten sacks, and earned himself an interception. His ten sacks that he made this season let him tie for tenth in the category of all conferences.
Georgia Bulldogs’ Jalen Carter takes third with his grade of 95. The defensive tackle is a powerhouse on the field with his 6’3” build and 83 total tackles during his time with the Bulldogs. He has also managed to add 44 solo tackles, 39 assisted ones, four passes defended, and six sacks. In the 2020 season, he was able to earn one receiving touchdown, one yard, and one intercepted touchdown. This season he earned 16 of his 44 solo tackles, three of the six sacks, and two forced fumbles, where he tied for 50th place.
Coming in at fourth place with a grade of 93 is Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud. Stroud is a junior from California and also has some impressive stats. Stroud has 575 completed passes and 830 attempted passes with 8,123 yards in just the past two seasons. His completion percentage for the 2021-22 season was 71.9% while the 2022-23 season dipped down to 66.3%. In those two years he has also made 85 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. His longest pass in the 2021 season was 77 yards, and in the 2022 season it bumped up to 79 yards. His 3,688 yards this season put him in the 13th spot, and his 41 touchdowns had him claiming second place. Stroud’s QBR is one of the highest in the conference, coming in at second with 88.9 points.
Our fifth place candidate is linebacker Tyree Wilson of Texas Tech with a grade of 93. The Texas native started his career at Texas A&M before transferring to Tech and playing all three seasons there. The 6’6” defensive end has 108 total tackles, 68 solo tackles, 40 assisted tackles, and 15.5 sacks. His 2022 seasonal stats show that he earned 36 of those solo tackles (52.9%), 7 sacks (45.2%), and one forced fumble.
The NFL Draft will take place from April 27 through April 29 in Union Station, Kansas City. The team who has taken the title of first pick is the Chicago Bears. The Bears took fourth in the NFC North after having a standing of 3-14 for the 2022 season. The Houston Texas, who have the second pick, had a similar standing to the Bears, taking fourth place in the AFC South with a 3-13 standing. The Arizona Cardinals claimed the third pick for the draft after having an anticlimactic season. With their four wins and 13 losses, the Cardinals took 4th in the NFC West behind the LA Rams, Seattle Seahawks, and San Francisco 49ers.
Another team in the AFC South that was able to make it into the top five picks, the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts placed third in this division, coming in with one win more than the Texans at a 4-12 standing. The team who has claimed the fifth place pick is the Seattle Seahawks. As mentioned before, the Seahawks did better than the Cardinals this season, holding a 9-8 record and placing second in the NFC West.
With 10 weeks remaining until the draft, we can only hope to see some interesting predictions, talks about trading picks, and insider information on who each team is looking out for.