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NFL Draft Storylines: Smoke or Cloak

NFL / NFL Draft renderings show fans gathering around the fountain at Union Station.

The NFL Draft is the time of year where teams like to gaslight more than your toxic ex. Teams use smoke screens to drive demand for players they have no interest in and play coy with the ones they have already hearted in their nightly journals. Let’s look at this year’s storylines to see who is puffing smoke and who’s hiding behind their cloak!

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

1. Bryce Young will be the first pick. CLOAK

The Panthers are trying their best now to add smoke by saying they have not made up their mind on who they are taking. They traded all those picks, DJ Moore, (reports say the front office cried when they traded him) and moved up to the top pick and don’t know who they’re going to take? This has to be one of the worst cloaks of all time, the Panthers have shown their cards. Young was initially the odds-on favorite to be drafted first, to a +300 underdog, and back to -1400. Bryce Young will be the first pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2. The Texans will pass on CJ Stroud at 2. CLOAK

I believe the Texans are purposefully showing their plans as a beacon for teams looking to trade up for the QB of the future. If they can get the Colts to bite, they can still land a top defensive player in Anderson, Wilson, or Carter. This is the same team that passed on Sauce for Stingley Jr last year. While Stingley Jr wasn’t bad, he sure wasn’t Sauce either. The Texans aren’t worried about QB, and after rumors of Stroud being difficult to coach, they get their defensive head coach some much needed reinforcements.

(James Gilbert/Getty Images)

3. Anthony Richardson will be drafted in the first five picks. SMOKE

Anthony Richardson showed he is an athletic freak at the combine, and ever since his stock has skyrocketed. Who does this benefit the most outside of Richardson himself? That would be the Arizona Cardinals. They are hoping the potential of the Panthers, Texans, and Colts drafting QBs makes teams overpay for their third overall pick. The Cardinals are imploding with players requesting trades, coming back from injuries, and the team potentially shipping out Hopkins. The Cardinals need all the picks they can get to revitalize this roster and are hoping to stockpile picks while moving out of the top 3. Malik Willis, last year’s athletic freak, was expected to go in the first last year and fell all the way to the third round. Can I also mention that the cost for Lamar Jackson would then just be next year's first since you would have to use your first this year to get Richardson anyway if he were to actually go that high? You could have an NFL MVP or a guy as raw as a Poke bowl.

(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

4. Peter Skoronski is the top OL in this draft. SMOKE

Is Skoronski going to be solid? Absolutely. Should you draft him to start at OT for your team? Absolutely not. Skoronski would be an excellent guard for most teams. In a league that continues to gain quality pass rushers, he has some fatal flaws. Short arms aside, Skoronski is late to get hands on the defender and is too easily beat on the outside. His predictable hand attacks will be countered like a hot knife through butter by top tier ends. Tackles are king in the NFL. When you have Johnson Jr (who allowed one QB hit in 925 pass blocking snaps) and Wright (who dominated top defensive player, Anderson head-2-head) to anchor your line, teams will try to boost up Skoronski and his versatility in hopes the others fall.

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

5. The Eagles draft anyone other than Bijan Robinson at 10. SMOKE

NOW IT’S GETTING HOT! The Jalen Hurts extension only makes me believe this more. The Eagles are Super Bowl contenders and what do we know about Super Bowl winners? They don’t pay running backs! In fact, no team has paid over 2 million for a RB and won a Super Bowl since 2009. This gives the Eagles a four-year window to win another ring without paying the position while keeping their QB. We saw that offensive line dominate the Chiefs on 4th and 1 during the Super Bowl and the Eagles double down on the run game adding the drafts top running back.

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