The 2023 NFL Draft has wrapped up, and like every year there were some head-scratching moves and some clear value picks made. After collecting their thoughts and assessing the fits, The 33rd Team scouting department — comprised of former NFL personnel members — put together a breakdown of the 10 biggest steals and reaches from the 2023 draft.
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Biggest Steals in 2023 Draft
The first pick of the second day is always interesting after teams have a night to sleep on their decision and meet as a staff to discuss strategy. The Pittsburgh Steelers went offensive tackle with their first pick, and in the second round, they stay within the family and pick the son of former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter.
Joey Porter Jr. (scouting report) has the length, speed and overall movement skills to be a No. 1 corner in the NFL. He has boom-or-bust potential and was a good value at pick 32 considering that many mocked him to be taken by Pittsburgh at No. 17.
The Tennessee Titans needed a quarterback, and they landed what they hope is their signal-caller of the future. Will Levis (scouting report) had to wait through the entire first round, but he didn’t have to wait long in Round 2.
Levis has the size, arm strength, toughness and mobility to fit in this offense. He played in a pro system in college and should have a short learning curve in year one.
This pick received an A+ grade because of the excellent value the Titans got here, adding a potential starting quarterback and The 33rd Team’s top QB in the 2023 class. Levis might not need to start right away with Ryan Tannehill still in town in Tennessee, and will likely complete with last year’s third-rounder Malik Willis for the No. 2 QB job in camp.
Mayer is an all-around tight end who will get movement in the run game and has some mismatch qualities as a pass catcher. He is a tough player for linebackers to defend at the sticks. This pick received a clear and obvious A grade from our scouting department for good reason. Mayer will instantly step into the starting tight end spot in Vegas after Darren Waller was traded to the Giants.
Detroit is a good spot for Hendon Hooker (scouting report) and a value pick for the Detroit Lions. They now have insurance behind Jared Goff, and Hooker has time to fully recover from his injury before being pressed into action.
His age, ACL tear and simplified college offense held Hooker back from being drafted higher, but he was the No. 22 overall player on our big board because of his maturity, toughness and arm strength. This pick received an obvious A grade.
Jalin Hyatt (scouting report) is perhaps the most explosive wide receiver in the draft.
He hits top speed quickly and will give the New York Giants a downfield threat to stretch the defense. He is not just an athlete, he is polished and understands how to run routes and set up defenders.
Hyatt was the No. 13 overall player on our big board and many excepted him to be drafted some time in the first round. His instincts, route running and deep speed will be an excellent addition to a receiving corps that struggled last year.
Tillman is a big, long outside receiver who runs good routes for his size and can go up and snatch the ball out of the air. Tillman does not have big-time explosiveness, but he should be a solid player in the NFL.
The Green Bay Packers received great value when they grabbed their second tight end on Day 2. Tucker Kraft (scouting report) is good with the ball in his hands and has some interesting athletic traits.
Kraft needs to refine the finer points of his game, but he has top-level movement skills and a high ceiling. Grabbing the 45th overall player on our big board with pick 78 will greatly benefit new starting quarterback Jordan Love.
Trenton Simpson (scouting report) is an athletic off-ball stack linebacker who has lateral movement skills and top-level speed. He is an explosive hitter on contact and can also play in coverage. He has first-round ability, but there are questions about his instincts, and he is a bit slow to react in both the run and pass game.
Simpson was the top linebacker prospect on our big board and No. 43 overall player, so grabbing him at 86 is an excellent value. This adds to the abundance of athletic linebackers in Baltimore’s system.
The Indianapolis Colts snagged excellent value on Day 3 with the selection of Adetomiwa Adebawore (scouting report). The Northwestern product is undersized for the interior and didn’t have elite production in college, but he had one of the best pre-draft processes of any player in the 2023 class with a great Senior Bowl showing and combine performance. Adebawore profiles as an eventual starter and was the No. 70 overall player on our big board.