5 picks that stood out on day two of 2023 NFL draft

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Here are five selections that stood on day two of the 2023 NFL draft in the second and third rounds. 

When the NFL draft reaches the second day, things get a lot more selective and a lot more difficult to predict.

The second round started with a lot of talented players still on the board — players that were expected to go in round one. That group included Kentucky quarterback Will Levis, as well as a bunch of others.

There’s always great value to be found in the second and third rounds of the NFL draft. In terms of the 2023 NFL draft, here are five that stood out to me as being tremendous picks due to need, value, talent, and all of the above.

Will Levis to the Titans with the No. 33 NFL draft pick

Earlier this week, Levis was getting buzz as a top-five pick in the 2023 NFL draft. That always felt too high for me, but he also has plenty of ability.

Levis is 6-foot-3, 226 pounds and he really improved as a passer after transferring from Penn State to Kentucky. It is weird to think that he couldn’t beat out Sean Clifford for Penn State.

However, Levis went from below 60 percent as a passer to completing 65 and 66 in back-to-back seasons for Kentucky. He threw too many interceptions, but he can also run more than he gets credit for.

Levis averaged more than eight yards per attempt in each of his SEC seasons as a starter and I think it gives Tennessee a potential future starting quarterback.

Joey Porter Jr. to the Steelers with the No. 32 overall NFL draft pick

This was maybe my favorite pick of the second round of the 2023 NFL draft. I was surprised frankly that Joey Porter Jr. was on the board to start the second round. Pittsburgh made the pick and it will be great to see the son of Joey Porter, also playing in the Steel City.

In terms of cover corners, there weren’t many in the 2023 draft class better. He did have just one interception during his career, yet the 6-foot-2 corner broke up 20 passes including 11 last season.

Porter Jr. is tough and physical. He’s also a really talented cornerback and I could see him starting in Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future.

Hendon Hooker to Detroit Lions with No. 68 NFL draft pick

A lot of people, myself included, criticized the Lions for their picks on day one — not because of the player — because of the value, but Detroit did a really nice job on day two.

The Lions grabbed Sam LaPorta who was a productive pass catcher for Iowa and could be a fixture in the Detroit offense moving forward. Brian Branch was another really solid pick and a good value as potentially the best safety in the 2023 NFL draft.

However, I really loved the pick of Hendon Hooker. The 6-foot-4, 218-pound quarterback out of Tennessee likely would have been a first-round pick if he didn’t hurt his knee.

Hooker completed better than 68 percent of his passes the last two seasons with Tennessee and also threw 58 touchdown passes compared to only five picks the last two seasons. He’s also a threat to run and was the Heisman front-runner until his season ended prematurely.

Jayden Reed to Packers with No. 50 overall NFL draft pick

This feels like a classic second-round wide receiver for the Packers. Reed was tough to cover at Michigan State and posted a 1,000-yard season in 2021 when he played 13 games. The 5-foot-11 wideout averaged over 14 yards per reception during his collegiate career in addition to 202 receptions, 2, 866 yards, and 30 total touchdowns.

Reed is known as a great route runner. He also returned three kicks/punts for touchdowns with Michigan State and has great ball skills. Green Bay fans may have wanted a wideout earlier but Reed is going to be a really good player and that’s why it’s one of my favorite picks.

Zach Charbonnet to Seahawks with No. 52 overall NFL draft pick

One of the most under-appreciated prospects in the 2023 NFL draft, Charbonnet is a perfect fit for Seattle, as well as a tremendous value.

Charbonnet is 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, and a bell cow. He’s also explosive and averaged seven yards per attempt last season while boasting a career average of 5.9. Beyond that, he’s got a nose for the end zone and scored 39 rushing touchdowns.

Personally, I love the fact that Charonnet has never had more than 203 carries in a season and only more than 200 that one time. He also is a productive receiver and caught 75 passes for 589 yards in his career. Pass protection is another thing he does well.

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