With the 2023 NFL draft wrapped up, there were some players who had to feel upset about how things went for them. Whether it be sliding in the draft or landing on a team that is not a good fit for them, there were three players who were clear losers of the 2023 NFL draft.
The first and potentially biggest loser of this year’s NFL draft was Will Levis. Coming into the draft, many believed that Levis would go as high as the second overall pick in the draft. Along with this, a story came out saying that Levis was telling his friends and family that he would be the first player off the board. This would end up being far from the case as Levis would go on to be left undrafted in the Green Room after night one of the draft.
Three quarterbacks would go in front of Levis, Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Anthony Richardson. It was thought through a majority of the process that Levis ranked anywhere between the 2-4 range in terms of top quarterbacks. He would end up being the fourth quarterback off of the board, however, his name would not be called off of the board until the second round with the 33rd overall pick by the Tennessee Titans.
To break down just how much money this cost the Kentucky quarterback if he would have been selected by the Indianapolis Colts instead of Anthony Richardson, his contract would have been around $34 million with around a $22 million signing bonus. Instead, he will be on a four-year deal for around $9.5 million.
While this may not be a terrible landing spot for Levis as the Titans will likely be moving on from Ryan Tannehill in the near future, he will still have to beat out Malik Willis, who the Titans drafted last season, just to win the backup spot.
The second player that lost in this year’s draft was another quarterback. Hendon Hooker possibly could have been the third quarterback off of the board if he would not suffer a torn ACL that cut his final season at Tennessee short.
Despite his injury, many believed that Hooker could still have slid into the end of the first round and potentially could have heard his name called around the late 20s to early 30s. This would end up being far from the case.
The Detroit Lions would select him in the third round with the 68th overall pick. This is a tough spot for Hooker as Jared Goff is coming off of an incredible year last season. While it could end up working out in his favor as it will give him time to fully recover from his injury before he is needed on the field, if Goff continues to have great seasons through the air for Detroit, it will be very difficult for Hooker to end up winning the starting job.
With him already being 25 years old, it is important that he gets the chance at a starting job much sooner rather than later, and he may not get that opportunity in Detroit unless Goff begins coming back to Earth.
The final loser of the draft has a bit of a silver lining to his story. Jalen Carter came into the draft as arguably the most talented defensive player on the board. Despite this, he still slipped to the 9th overall pick in the draft.
This potentially could be due to some of the legal trouble that he found himself in during the offseason. While this event itself was out of his control, Carter being placed under custody at the combine could have caused a bit of a hit to his draft stock. He was arrested for partaking in an illegal street race that left two members of the Georgia football team dead.
Along with this, he did not turn heads for the right reason at his Pro Day. He appeared to be a step slow, potentially put on some weight, and looked to be out of shape during his workout at Georgia.
While this scared some teams away from selecting what could go on to be a Hall of Fame caliber defensive tackle, it did not discourage the Philadelphia Eagles. They proved how committed they were to adding Carter to the team by trading up from the 10th to 9th overall pick to select him.
While he lost a substantial amount of money from sliding from where he arguably should have been selected, he now finds himself on a Super Bowl-contending team and has the chance to have an instant impact on the team.
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