Day one of the 2023 NFL Draft is in the books. The four-hour showcase from Kansas City was filled with twists and turns, thanks in large part to a bevy of trades that sent everyone's multitudes of mock drafts into the garbage cans quicker than those who picked Alabama or Purdue to win the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
Don't forget about the fashion hits and misses throughout the evening, or perhaps the biggest through line of the night - the long fall of Will Levis (accompanied by the endless speculation as to why or how it happened). For all of the bombast and spectacle though, there was one moment in particular that stood out to me.
Micah Parsons on Jalen Carter Pick: "I'm Just So Sick to My Stomach Right Now"
.@MicahhParsons11 ALMOST WALKED OFF THE SET after the Eagles moved up to draft Jalen Carter ?
?I?m just so sick to my stomach right now.? pic.twitter.com/qRHckXnCR6
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 28, 2023
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It's one thing to sit and listen to the abundance of player analysis from guys like Mel Kiper and Chris Mortensen, Louis Riddick, and Booger McFarland. But when a guy who's in his prime, suiting up every week as one of the most feared players in the NFL, reacts like THAT - you have to sit up and take notice.
Micah Parsons has been a stud in the league since he was announced as the 12th overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2021 NFL Draft. He was voted the Defensive Rookie of the Year while setting a franchise rookie record that saw him pile up 13 sacks for "America's Team." That Parsons had such a visceral reaction should be a bad sign for the Eagles' opponents for years to come. Lest we forget this is a team that, coming into this draft, was already built to be Super Bowl contenders. They went toe-t0-toe with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs just last year!
Carter's Complicated Journey
Jalen Carter was, by pretty much all accounts, one of the top-rated players entering this year's draft.
Many, including ESPN's Mel Kiper, ranked him the No. 1 prospect overall. He was part of a Georgia Bulldog defense that will go down as one of the best in college football history. Even after losing several teammates to the NFL the previous year, he continued to dominate on the gridiron. As draft day approached, however, things got a lot more challenging.
In March, Carter was linked to a fatal car crash involving one of his teammates and a recruiting staffer. He actually left the NFL Combine to turn himself in on misdemeanor charges stemming from the incident before returning to Indianapolis.
There was no telling how this would impact his draft stock, if at all. Add to that the fact that there were a good number of quarterback-needy teams at the top of the draft, and all bets were off in terms of where Carter's name would actually be called. In the end, the Philadelphia Eagles moved up from 10th to ninth to secure Carter's services along their defensive line. He'll be reunited with fellow Bulldogs Nakobe Dean (LB) and Jordan Davis (DL). On top of that, the Eagles grabbed pass rusher Nolan Smith at No. 30 overall as well.
All things considered, you can see why Parsons had the reaction he did when Roger Goodell announced that Carter would be heading to Philadelphia to join an already stacked team. With six more rounds to go, what other surprises, twists, and turns do we have to look forward to before the curtain drops on the 2023 NFL Draft?
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