Draft Time!

Some NFL teams could not be happier with their results from last weekend’s selections.


Faith Miller

Steeler fans gather together at Stage AE to celebrate the team’s draft results.

Faith Miller, Staff Writer

The NFL draft comes around once a year, and this year it was chaotic, to say the least. Though the scouts and general managers had formulated their wish lists, the media knew the three-day event had the potential to swing some teams into vastly different plans.

One of the biggest storylines of the draft was the S2 test, which allows teams to see how fast a player can process fast-paced situations. For instance, if they are running a two-minute drill, the test evaluates how fast a player can see the coverage and make an accurate decision. In addition to cognitive speed, the test measures perception, visual search efficiency, trajectory prediction, impulse control, and improvisation — all of which are important for any NFL player, but especially quarterbacks. 

The quarterbacks’ scores were released, and the results for two players were shocking, but in very different ways. Alabama quarterback Bryce Young scored a 98 on the test, an outstanding score to match his outstanding talent. Young’s score was higher than those of Josh Allen and Joe Burrow (who also scored in the 90s on this test), two of the most dominant quarterbacks in the NFL. This was great for Young’s draft capital and basically sealed his fate to go number one overall. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud did not shine in this test. Stroud scored an 18.  Now, this score doesn’t mean that Stroud will fail in the NFL, but if the test is as accurate as people say it is, Stroud might be in a bit of trouble. The NFL is filled with split decisions, and a quarterback needs to be able to process them in an instant and make good decisions.

I’m not a test taker,” Stroud said about his test score in a recent interview. “I play football, At the end of the day, I don’t have nothing to prove to nobody. I’m not (going to) sit here and explain how I process football. The people who are making the picks know what I can do, so that’s all the matters to me.”

But when draft day came on April 27, the pre-draft noise didn’t matter very much anymore. 

This year’s draft was held in the city of the Super Bowl winning team, Kansas City, Missouri. Over 300,000 people attended the event.

As the boos for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell rained down, the draft was ready to begin. 

The top quarterbacks went in the first five picks, except one. Will Levis, who was projected to go in the top five, ended up sliding all the way down to the second round. He finally was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the 33rd pick. The Titans selected quarterback Malik Willis in last years but don’t seem to have much faith in him. Picking up Levis hopefully provides Tennessee with the future quarterback they desperately need. 

The Houston Texans had themselves quite a draft. They had the second overall pick and traded up to get the third overall pick as well. With their first pick, they selected Stroud. Though there were questions surrounding the QB, his on field performance was enough to get him selected early. Houston’s next pick was defensive end Will Anderson Jr., who had an amazing season last year and was many analysts’ top defensive player in the draft.

The reigning NFC champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, also added some critical players to their team, including defensive tackle Jalen Carter and edge Nolan Smith. Both players were incredible at the University of Georgia and helped lead the college to two national championships. They also rounded out their roster in the later rounds, and significantly improved their team after the loss of some vital players in the off season.

The NFC is pretty much wide open, and the Eagles have a very good chance at repeating as NFC champs, but can they beat the powerhouse that is the AFC?

Kenny Pickett, Broderick Jones, and Cam Heyward talk during Heyward’s Not Just Football podcast. (Faith Miller)

A team that drafts very well each and every year is the Pittsburgh Steelers. But this year their draft room looked a little different, as Kevin Colbert, the GM for the Steelers for over 20 years, retired last year. After his departure, the Steelers promoted Omar Khan as the new general manager. Analysts were wondering how Khan would do in his first year as the GM for one of, if not the most storied franchise in the NFL, and let’s just say he did not disappoint. 

The Steelers had arguably the best draft out of all 32 teams this year, and one of the best drafts in NFL history. Everything that could have gone well for the Steelers did go well. They traded up to the fourteenth pick for standout offensive tackle Broderick Jones, who gave up zero sacks last year and will be a vital addition to the “Pickett Fence”. With Jones at OT,  QB Kenny Pickett will have more time in the pocket and hopefully won’t be pummeled by 300-pound defensive lineman. The Steel City also welcomed a fan favorite in this draft — cornerback Joey Porter, Jr., son of former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter and NA alum. Besides his namesake, the Steelers saw a pro-ready, lengthy, and smart cornerback to fill ther position, which was much needed. Many assumed Porter, Jr. would go in the first round, but with other CBs going early in the draft, Porter slipped right into the Steelers arms. Now we know the Pittsburgh native is staying home. 

It will be exciting to see the NFL next year. This draft class has some real potential to make a big impact for teams. NFC teams just got more competitive, which will be great to watch. The AFC is as stacked as ever, and football is going to be super entertaining next year. When the schedules are revealed on May 11th, we’ll get a better idea as to which teams will thrive and which will likely decline.

Regardless, teams will have to dig deep to get some wins in the 2023-24 season.