2023 NFL Draft: Predicting the draft’s biggest surprises, including QB moves for Patriots and Rams

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By Webdesk



The 2023 NFL Draft is upon us. Finally, after months of speculation and predictions, all 32 teams will have the chance to supplement their rosters with some of college football’s top talent. Just don’t count on the first round – or any round for that matter – going as you expect. Like the regular season, the draft’s one constant is its unpredictability. As Eagles general manager Howie Roseman recently put it at the end of the day: “it’s all a gamble.”

So let’s do some guessing! Since design day is only 24 hours away, here are some of the biggest surprises that could be available for the weekend:

Four QBs go into the top five

Will Levis

SATISFACTION

The Panthers are a virtual slot to become QB at number 1, with Bryce Young the rightful favorite atop the board. The Texans could easily follow by taking CJ Stroud at number 2 or pass the polished pocket passer for the boom-or-bust dynamic of Anthony Richardson or Will Levis. But let’s say they pass a signal caller all the way through. In that case, the Cardinals (No. 3) will surely get more calls from teams ready to grab the prospects the Texans forfeit. Behind them, the Colts (No. 4) and Seahawks (No. 5) are prime candidates for betting on which of the consensus top QBs are still available.

Multiple Pro Bowlers are traded on Day 2

Andre Hopkins

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Aaron Rodgers’ trade from the Packers to the Jets has finally been completed. But the former MVP wasn’t the only big name coming in this week. Once round two is over, the pressure should build on additional teams selling high-priced veterans like Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, DeAndre Hopkins, Devin White, and Danielle Hunter. Any of those starters can be moved as part of pick swaps, a la Allen Robinson to the Steelers. We would ship Hopkins to a new home as the most likely on Friday.

The Patriots field a QB for the third straight year

Jake Haener

SATISFACTION

In 2021 it was Mac Jones at number 15 in the overall standings. In 2022 it was Bailey Zappe in the fourth round. This year, with Bill O’Brien back on board as Bill Belichick’s offensive fixer, Jones in an awkward position with the main man and New England with four picks between rounds 3-4, the Pats are poised to take another hit at a position that moderately produced. results since the departure of Tom Brady. Keep an eye out for Fresno State’s Jake Haener, a smaller but smart pre-snap pro.

The Rams draft a QB with one of their top three picks

Hedon Hooker

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Los Angeles has publicly committed to Matthew Stafford as a building block for the team transition out of buy-it-all modebut only afterwards reportedly trying desperately to buy the expensive contract from the QB. However you look at it, Stafford doesn’t look like a long-term solution after serious injuries at age 35. And while GM Les Snead has many gaps to fill, he has no other QB under contract for 2023. swing on a potential Stafford successor would be in line with their stark reverse course in roster build; and we wouldn’t a bold return to day 1 past them, if it hits someone like Hendon Hooker.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson leaves earlier than expected

Dorian Thompson Robinson

SATISFACTION

That would be the UCLA QB, currently the 193rd ranked prospect in the draft, according to CBS Sports. Some have labeled him a likely day 3 pick, and possibly a late day 3 pick. He’s shorter, a little older, and had a tendency to loft into traffic in college. But he’s also a gifted athlete who improved as a field general in his five years as a starter, and there’s a relative dearth of QB options after round 1, assuming Hendon Hooker sneaks in first. Someone will see all the tools here and strike.

Multiple ‘first round’ WRs slide into Day 2

Quentin Johnson

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This may not be earth-shattering, as there is already some disagreement about which of this year’s best wideouts are really worth investing in. But only Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba feels like a real lock to go on Thursday night. USC’s Jordan Addison, Boston College’s Zay Flowers, and TCU’s Quentin Johnston were all popular first-round projections, while Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt and North Carolina’s Josh Downs also made appearances. But with solid prospect pools in other spots like OL, edge rusher, and cornerback, it’s entirely possible that several notable names are still waiting for calls on Friday.





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