NFL Draft Round One Over Reactions
NFL DRAFT ROUND ONE OVER REACTIONS – The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft was full of trades, surprises, and quite a few reaches. The first few picks went as expected with Bryce Young and CJ Stroud hearing their names called at 1-2, respectively. Will Anderson Jr. went third, also to the Houston Texans, and the top-10 was pretty cut and dry as many had thought it would go.
However, some teams made some shocking picks, and some made some picks that left their fans scratching their heads. Let’s dive in and examine some overreactions from some of the surprising picks in Round 1.
#12 overall, Detroit Lions select Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs
This was such a Dan Campbell pick, and we really shouldn’t be surprised. Now, nobody – NOBODY – had Gibbs mocked to the Lions THIS early. Detroit inked David Montgomery to a three-year deal in the offseason after losing Jamaal Williams to the New Orleans Saints, so grabbing a running back in the first round was quite the puzzling decision.
Even more uprising was that the Lions would’ve felt good picking Gibbs at No. 6 overall, as Tom Pelissero reported on Friday. If that would’ve happened, Dan Campbell and the Lions front office might’ve had some picketers outside the facilities.
How highly did the #Lions value RB Jahmyr Gibbs? My understanding is they would’ve been comfortable taking him at No. 6. Instead, Brad Holmes traded back with AZ, added draft capital (including No. 34) and got Gibbs at 12. A potential difference-maker in Ben Johnson’s offense.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 28, 2023
Instead, they traded down and took Gibbs a few picks later. Nonetheless, there is no denying that Gibbs has talent and he was unquestionably the second-best RB in the class behind Texas star Bijan Robinson, who went to the Atlanta Falcons a few picks earlier.
But, as always with the draft, if the team felt that great about him, so be it. As the saying goes: Get your guy!
#21 overall, Los Angeles Chargers select TCU WR Quentin Johnston
The wide receiver group was the biggest question mark entering the draft with all of Jordan Addison, Quentin Johnson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jordan Addison, and Zay Flowers all projected as first-round choices.
The Chargers had been mocked anywhere from an EDGE rusher to a tight end to a wide receiver, although Chargers fans were pounding the table hoping for a speedster on the outside. JSN went one pick before to the Seattle Seahawks, crusbhing fans dreams of Justin Herbert throwing to JSN. Then, the Chargers nabbed Johnston with guys such as Myles Murphy and Nolan Smith still available, as well as Zay Flowers, who was a popular choice among the fans.
Johnston’s 4.5 40-time was a disappointment at the NFL Combine, but his tape alone should have people buzzing, especially with Herbert throwing to him in a new-look offense led by OC Kellen Moore.
Tom Telesco admitted Johnston was one of their favorites, and the big-bodied TCU should be fun to watch in the Chargers offense, whether fans like it or not. Was he the burner they were hoping for? No, but he has yard-after-catch ability and is a dynamic player and a tough matchup for undersized cornerbacks and safeties.
Oh, and Johnston catching passes from Justin Herbert ina Kellen Moore offense with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Josh Palmer should do wonders for him.
Will Levis Going Undrafted In Round 1
Kentucky Wildcats QB Will Levis became a massive talking point leading up to the draft, and some even had rumors that he could go second overall to the Houston Texans. After the first three quarterbacks went, Will Levis sat in Kansas City waiting and waiting for his name to be called.
It wasn’t, and it’s quite surprising on the surface. On the other hand, Levis has a lot of things he needs to improve after a down year in his final collegiate season in Kentucky blue. The Panthers and Texans selected Young and Stroud, and Anthony Richardson went at No. 4 to the Indianapolis Colts.
Teams such as the Las Vegas Raiders, Tennessee Titans, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers passed on Levis, and after those teams, it seemed like he would slide to Round 2, at least.
We have seen high-rated signal-callers slide before, and who knows when Will Levis will be taken, although it sure is shocking to see him available when Round 2 kicks off.