The NFL draft is always an exciting and crucial time for all the teams. But this time also gives them a big opportunity to improve their rosters. Teams sign new players to ensure they succeed in the upcoming season, the same happened in NFL 2023 season.
However, some teams still preferred to retain their old players. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the 2023 NFL draft results, analyze the top picks of this season’s draft, find out who was Mr. irrelevant, and which teams preferred to retain most players from last season.
Who they got? Summary of NFL Draft 2023
The first step in understanding which teams are retaining the most players is to review the top picks of the 2023 NFL draft. Let’s take a brief look at the top 10 picks and the players selected by each team:
- Carolina Panthers – QB Bryce Young
The Panthers chose Bryce Young, a top quarterback prospect and the first Alabama quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy. Young is expected to become the Panthers’ franchise quarterback.
- Houston Texans – QB CJ Stroud
Texans selected Stroud, a talented quarterback from Ohio State, as part of their rebuilding process. Stroud finished third in Heisman Trophy voting and continues the tradition of Ohio State quarterbacks being drafted in the first round.
- Houston Texans (from Arizona Cardinals) OLB/DE Will Anderson Jr.
Texans traded up to select Will Anderson Jr., a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year. The move shows their commitment to strengthening both ends of the field.
- Indianapolis Colts – QB Anthony Richardson
Colts took a chance on Richardson, a physically impressive quarterback from Florida with limited starts. The Colts coaching staff has a history of developing young quarterbacks.
- Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos) – CB Devon Witherspoon
Witherspoon, a cornerback from Illinois, joins the competitive defense of the Seattle Seahawks. He had an impressive 2022 season, not allowing a touchdown pass.
- Arizona Cardinals (from Los Angeles Rams via Detroit Lions) – OT Paris Johnson Jr.
Johnson, an offensive tackle from Ohio State, will protect QB Kyler Murray. He is a second-generation Cardinal, with his father being drafted by the team in 1999.
- Las Vegas Raiders – DE/OLB Tyree Wilson
Despite a foot injury in 2022, Wilson made an impact as a defensive end/outside linebacker during his time at Texas Tech. His size and speed will be valuable to the Raiders’ defense.
- Atlanta Falcons – RB Bijan Robinson
The Falcons surprised some by drafting Robinson, a running back from Texas, in the top 10. Head coach Arthur Smith sees Robinson as more than just a running back, explaining the high draft position.
- Philadelphia Eagles (from Panthers via Bears) – DT Jalen Carter
Carter, a powerful defensive tackle from Georgia, reunites with former Bulldogs teammates. His draft comes with controversy due to his involvement in a fatal automobile crash.
- Chicago Bears (from New Orleans Saints via Eagles) – OT Darnell Wright
Bears selected Wright, an All-SEC offensive tackle from Tennessee, to protect quarterback Justin Fields. Wright’s versatility at both tackle positions is an upgrade for the Bears offensive line.
Mr. Irrelevant of the NFL draft
The last pick of the NFL draft is often referred to as Mr. Irrelevant. This year, the Los Angeles Rams used the No. 259 overall pick to select defensive lineman Desjuan Johnson.
While the title of Mr. Irrelevant may suggest insignificance, many players who were chosen as the final pick have gone on to have successful careers in the NFL. Desjuan Johnson, a defensive lineman from Toledo, showed promise during his collegiate career and will look to make an impact in the league.
The teams with the most players coming back for next season
While the draft is an important avenue for teams to bring in fresh talent, the ability to retain key players from the previous season can provide continuity and stability. The New England Patriots are one of the teams that have retained a significant number of players. They have the second least roster change from 2022 to 2023, indicating their commitment to continuity.
The Patriots re-signed notable players such as OL James Ferentz, OL Conor McDermott, SpT Matthew Slater, LB Raekwon McMillan, CB Jonathan Jones, DT Carl Davis, S Jabrill Peppers, LB Mack Wilson Sr., and many others.
The team with the least roaster change is Jacksonville Jaguars.
It is worth noting that changes can still occur in the team’s roasters because of free signing and other factors. In conclusion, while the NFL draft allows getting new players some teams have still retained their old players.