Cowboys News App [Android]

Plenty of fireworks and some heartbreak in draft’s 1st round

Well, that was quite the of the last night now, wasn't it? It started off with a bang with the and wheeling and dealing.

It ended with the pretty much winning the first round.

Nolan Smith

Like it or not Cowboys faithful, the Eagles committed grand theft on Thursday night.

Somehow, fell to them at the ninth pick, although they did have to move up one slot to secure him. Then they stood pat at 30th and had Nolan Smith fall right into their laps.

Hate them all you want, but the Eagles walked away with a solid A+ grade after all but solving their woes on in just one round.

The East is going to have their hands full with the Eagles in 2023.

Wheeling And Dealing, Texans Style

The Texans also earned an A+ by selecting their future – although he comes with a few questions hanging over his head – in C.J. Stroud.

Then turning around and trading for the very next pick to select their top defensive target in Alabama's Will Anderson Jr.

Cowboys leaning towards CJ Stroud for draft pick 1

Arizona managed to still land the player they wanted in Paris Johnson Jr. to bolster their , and added some picks for other needs.

The Colts chose Anthony Richardson as their next quarterback over Will Levis.

More on him a little later.

The top running backs went early, to the Falcons (this one hurts), and Jahmyr Gibbs to the Lions, who just six picks later grabbed Jack Campbell.

Detroit earned itself an A grade for the first round here as well.

A Stampede Of Wide Receivers

There was an Draft (post-1970 merger) first on Thursday night.

Never before had four been taken in four consecutive picks in the first round. Until this year that is.

Seattle started the run with the 20th pick, taking Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

The Chargers took next, followed by the Ravens taking .

The Vikings closed out the run with the 23rd pick by taking Addison.

Buffalo SnipeS Cowboys' Target

The Cowboys appeared to be destined to take a , with being their target at 26. But the jumped ahead of them via a with Jacksonville and robbed Dallas blind.

The Bills selected Kincaid and the Cowboys were on to Plan B.

2023 NFL draft first round: Grading the NFC East 1

But Dallas may not look at the theft as a bad thing in the years to come. They selected Michigan's Mazi Smith, a , to shore up an abysmal .

Mazi is not the second coming of and Dallas is going to be glad they got him.

It was a bit of a surprise that Dallas passed on Nolan Smith (leaving him ripe to be plucked off the draft tree by an rival) or even , another defensive , from Clemson.

But Smith was a solid pick.

Johnson Robbed, Levis's Fall From Grace

The two biggest losers of the night turned out to be Quentin Johnson and Will Levis.

The NFL had told Johnson to stay home as they felt he was going to fall out of the first round. They invited Levis to come. They got that wrong.

Johnson was robbed of a chance to walk out onto the big stage and that is a shame. But at least the TCU standout got drafted in the first round.

Levis was not so fortunate.

Photo by Yahoo Sports

After Colts passed him up for Richardson – and after recent buzz that said Stroud would likely slide down while Levis would go in one of the first two picks – the Kentucky quarterback spent the night sitting backstage.

He sat, waiting for a phone call that never came.

He should get that call on Friday night, possibly with the first pick of the if someone makes an offer to Pittsburgh who goes on the clock first.

But Levis had to have exited Union Station in Kansas City feeling pretty low.

He should also be very motivated to prove the other 31 teams in general, and the three that passed him over, just how wrong they were.

Like I said, what an amazing first round.

And thank goodness the Cowboys didn't draft a tight end in the first round. I don't think there's enough liquor stores in the town I live in that could have handled my order if they had.

Richard Paolinelli
Richard Paolinelli
Richard has covered sports at all levels - from local, prep, college, and professional - since 1984. He has been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys since 1969. Since retiring as a full-time sports writer in 2013, he has written and published several novels, two dozen short stories and two sports non-fiction books.

COntinue Reading


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

> Join our team...

-- COWBOYS ANDROID APP --Free Dallas Cowboys News App for Android