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Top Picks of the NFL Draft

That time of the year has finally come and gone: the annual NFL Draft. This year’s event was held outside of Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri from April 27-29.

The Carolina Panthers earned the first round, number one pick after trading spots with the Chicago Bears. The Panthers chose fan favorite, and predicted first pick, Bryce Young from Alabama Crimson Tide. With 3,328 yards, 32 touchdowns, five interceptions, a quarterback rating of 83.7, and accumulation of three awards for the 2021 season, this quarterback has made a name for himself throughout his time at the southern university. Matt Miller, a NFL Draft Analyst, mentioned that it is feasible for Young to be considered the 2024 Rookie of the Year. Miller also went on to talk about Young’s projected first year impact, “The Panthers made the big move to trade up to select Young, so they won't wait to get him onto the field. His composure under center, field vision, ability to extend the play and full-field accuracy will allow him to start -- and produce -- immediately as a pro.”

The Houston Texans were cast as the second team to pick for the first round, where the staff decided on Ohio State’s quarterback C.J. Stroud. In an ESPN article by DJ Bien-Aime, he mentions that “Stroud joins a franchise that has failed to find a reliable quarterback in the two seasons since [Deshaun] Watson requested to be traded. Davis Mills has started most of the last two seasons, going 5-22-1 in 28 games with 26 starts as the Texans were among the NFL's worst teams.” Throughout Stroud’s two seasons at Ohio State, he made 575 complete passes, 830 attempted passes, 8,123 yards, 85 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. During the 2022-23 season, he made 41 of those touchdowns which earned him second highest earned touchdowns that season.

After the Texans selected Stroud, they made a deal with the Arizona Cardinals, who had the third overall pick. In the deal, the Texans traded their 12th and 33rd overall pick and 2024 first round and third round picks for the Cardinals’ original top three spot. In receiving this deal, the Houston team chose Will Anderson Jr., an offensive linebacker for Alabama. Anderson has racked up 204 total tackles, 114 solo tackles, and 34.5 sacks during his three years with the Crimson Tide. In response to his draft results, Anderson said, “I'm just super blessed, super excited to be a part of something so special and a part of a lot of great defensive minds that just share the same mindset and mentality… To go from one coach like Coach Saban to another coach that was at Bama and knows the process and knows the standard and has the expectation, that's exactly what I needed.”

Now that the draft is over, the trade deals can begin and put us in the right direction for what the 2023-24 NFL season might look like. The next thing fans can gear up towards is next season’s schedule release. It’s rumored that the NFL will be releasing the schedule on May 11, which will also confirm if the first regular season game will be on September 7 featuring defending Super Bowl Champs, the Kansas City Chiefs.

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