Just hours before the NFL Draft began, the Baltimore Ravens grabbed the headlines by finally coming to an agreement with star quarterback Lamar Jackson. The five-year deal is worth a reported $260 million, of which $185 million is guaranteed. The math barely eclipses Jalen Hurts' five-year deal with the Eagles which checked in at $255 million with $179.3 million guaranteed.
The Ravens later gave Lamar Jackson a new target by picking Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers with the No. 22 pick.
The quarterback position would continue to be the story for the early selections of the draft with Alabama's Bryce Young leading off the evening as the No. 1 over-all pick, followed by Ohio State's C.J. Stroud at No. 2 and Florida's Anthony Richardson at No. 4.
Then - poof! - no other quarterbacks were taken for the rest of the first round.
Young was Carolina's first No. 1 over-all pick since 2011 when the Panthers selected Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. Young finished 6th in the Heisman voting in 2022, a year after capturing the prestigious award in 2021. His season-ending accolades in 2021 included the AP Player Of the Year, the Maxwell POY Award, and the Davey O'Brien Award as the nations top quarterback.
Houston landed Stroud, and then traded up to get linebacker/edge rusher Will Anderson, Jr. from Alabama with the No. 3 pick. Stroud was 3rd in the Heisman voting last year after finishing 4th in 2021. Anderson has been one of college football's most highly-decorated defenders from Alabama who collected the 5th-most votes for the Heisman in 2021, and took home consecutive Chuck Bednarik and Bronko Nagurski awards as the best defensive player in 2021 and 2022.
Richardson became the third quarterback selected in the first four picks when the Gator went to the Indianapolis Colts.
No more quarterbacks were taken off the board in the first round, leaving Kentucky's Will Levis and Tennessee's Hendon Hooker available for round two on Friday. The LA Rams and Tennessee Titans were odds-on favorites to nab Levis of early Friday morning, with Hooker most likely going to the Vikings
Other notables waiting to hear their named called are Notre Dame tight end Mike Mayer, and offensive lineman O'Cyrus Torrence from Florida.
The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner, USC QB Caleb Williams, is returning to the Trojans this season and considered to be the front-runner for the 2024 NFL Draft.
In all, 31 players were taken in the first round with the Miami Dolphins having to forfeit the No. 21 pick. Last October, the NFL handed down its punishment after finding that franchise owner Stephen Ross violated the the anti-tampering policy on multiple occasions beginning in August of 2019, involving attempts to land quarterback Tom Brady and former New Orleans head coach Sean Payton. .
The No. 12 over-all pick of Alabama's Jahmyr Gibbs by Detroit surprised most people who had the running back as a second-round, or late first round, pick. Nonetheless, he was still perceived to be the second-best running back available behind Bijan Robinson of Texas who went to Atlanta with the No. 8 pick. The Lions traded down from their No. 6 pick to get Gibbs. The only running back that the franchise has taken with a higher selection was Barry Sanders as the No. 3 over-all choice in 1989.
The 29th pick we finally executed by the New Orleans Saints who selected Clemson defensive tackler Bryan Breese. The pick had changed hands four times. It originally belonged to San Francisco who traded it to Miami in the Trey Lance deal, who traded it to Denver in the Bradley Chubb deal, who traded it to the Saints so that the Broncos could get Payton as their head coach.
|1.||Carolina (from CHI)||Bryce Young||QB||Alabama|
|2.||Houston||C.J. Stroud||QB||Ohio State|
|3.||Houston (from AZ)||Will Anderson Jr.||LB||Alabama|
|5.||Seattle (from DEN)||Devon Witherspoon||CB||Illinois|
|6.||Arizona (from LAR via DET)||Paris Johnson Jr.||OT||Ohio State|
|7.||Las Vegas||Tyree Wilson||DE||Texas Tech|
|9.||Philadelphia (from CAR through CHI)||Jalen Carter||DT||Georgia|
|10.||Chicago(from NO through PHI)||Darnell Wright||OT||Tennessee|
|12.||Detroit (from CLE through HOU and AZ)||Jahmyr Gibbs||RB||Alabama|
|13.||Green Bay (from NYJ)||Lukas Van Ness||DE||Iowa|
|14.||Pittsburgh (from NE)||Broderick Jones||OT||Georgia|
|15.||New York (from GB)||Will McDonald IV||LB||Iowa State|
|16.||Washington||Emmanuel Forbes||CB||Mississippi State|
|17.||New England (from PIT)||Christian Gonzalez||CB||Oregon|
|19.||Tampa Bay||Calijah Kancey||DT||Pittsburgh|
|20.||Seattle||Jaxon Smith-Njigba||WR||Ohio State|
|21.||Los Angeles||Quentin Johnston||WR||TCU|
|22.||Baltimore||Zay Flowers||WR||Boston College|
|24.||New York (from JAX)||Deonte Banks||CB||Maryland|
|25.||Buffalo (from JAX through NYG)||Dalton Kincaid||TE||Utah|
|27.||Jacksonville (from BUF)||Anton Harrison||OT||Oklahoma|
|29.||New Orleans (from SF through MIA and DEN)||Bryan Bresee||DT||Clemson|
|31.||Kansas City||Felix Anudike-Uzomah||DE||Kansas State|