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Some of the first picks of the 2023 NFL Draft were as expected: Bryce Young to the Panthers at No. 1 overall, for example, was no surprise to anyone who saw the Alabama quarterback as the consensus top signal-caller in the class. But that doesn't mean Thursday night unfolded without any surprise. No, a good chunk of the first round involved unanticipated activity, from a certain fellow QB slipping all the way to Day 2 to not one but two different running backs coming off the board in the first 12 picks.

Here's a look at some of the biggest Round 1 surprises:

Will Levis slips to Day 2, faces medical concerns

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Days ago, the dynamic but erratic Kentucky QB was suddenly -- and, now, inexplicably -- skyrocketing as a betting favorite to go in the first two picks. Not a single NFL team wanted any part of Levis on the first night of the draft, however. After three signal-callers went in the first four picks, every other club with even a mild long-term QB need -- the Seahawks, Raiders, Titans, Lions, Commanders, Buccaneers, Vikings -- said no thanks. The bad news might not be over for Levis, with ESPN reporting some teams have concerns about a toe injury that limited the QB in 2022 -- one that may later require surgery but doesn't concern Levis himself.

Lions draft like it's the old days


Detroit started the night by accumulating assets, moving down from No. 6 to No. 12 in a deal with the Cardinals. Then things got wacky: Despite spending $18 million on former Bears starter David Montgomery in free agency, the Lions used their first pick (No. 12) on Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs, an electric but smaller (5-foot-9, 199 pounds) prospect at an increasingly replaceable position. Back on the clock at No. 18, they once again refused to address more pressing needs along the D-line or secondary, instead taking Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell, who -- like Gibbs -- had widely been forecast as more of a Day 2 target.

Texans make back-to-back top-three picks

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With two picks in the top 12, some thought the Texans might pass on a quarterback at No. 2 overall in favor of an elite defensive prospect. But instead they ended up with both, taking Ohio State's C.J. Stroud at No. 2 and then moving back up to No. 3 for Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. The cost to do so was steep: Not only did the Texans send No. 12 to the Cardinals, but No. 33, plus first- and third-rounders in 2024. And yet arguably no team left the night with a bigger facelift; Stroud and Anderson project as immediate starters and upgrades for DeMeco Ryans' rebuilding club.

Cardinals make three different trades

Syndication: Arizona Republic
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First came the unusual one: Arizona swapped third-rounders with the Eagles as an unofficial penalty for tampering with new coach Jonathan Gannon while he was still employed by Philadelphia. Then the Cardinals took a step in the right direction by netting three picks in a move down from No. 3, only to reverse course a few picks later, moving back up to No. 6 in a deal with the Lions that cost them a second-rounder. In the end, all the moving around got them Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr., who's a nice addition but a big bet just outside the top five, going five spots before Northwestern's Peter Skoronski.

Eagles end up with Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith


Trade-happy general manager Howie Roseman moved up one spot from No. 10 to select Carter, the Georgia defensive tackle who might've been a top-three pick if not for some character concerns. That alone was a victory for a Philly front that's constantly replenished (and just got a 2022 first-round investment in Jordan Davis). But then Roseman stood pat at No. 30 overall and stopped the slide of Carter's Georgia teammate, edge rusher Nolan Smith, to add juice to an already-stocked pass rush.

Seahawks take Devon Witherspoon at No. 5


If Seattle wasn't going to spend a top pick on a QB, most assumed the team would address the defense. Both Georgia DT Jalen Carter and Texas Tech pass rusher Tyree Wilson seemed like logical priorities for the Seahawks' front. Instead, John Schneider and Co. passed on both, opting instead for Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon, who's looking to prove he'll play much bigger than his size (5-11, 181), just a year after landing a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate in Tariq Woolen. Just as surprising: Witherspoon's fellow corner, Christian Gonzalez, went from a popular top-10 projection to the No. 17 overall pick by the Patriots.

Joey Porter Jr. falls out of the first

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Speaking of top corner prospects, Witherspoon went earlier than expected, whereas Porter didn't go at all despite at certain points garnering attention as a projected top-15 target. It's doubly notable that the Penn State cover man went untouched on Day 1 with such strong bloodlines; his father, Joey Porter, was a staple of the Steelers defense that won Super Bowl XL. Instead, three other corners -- Christian Gonzalez, Emmanuel Forbes and Deonte Banks -- went after Witherspoon in Round 1.

Falcons actually draft a RB in the top 10

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On one hand, it's not that shocking; Arthur Smith is running an old-school offense in Atlanta, barely asking Marcus Mariota to pass the ball before turning to Desmond Ridder in 2022. And their pick at No. 8 overall, Texas' Bijan Robinson, may well be a multipurpose weapon for them. Still, 2022 fifth-rounder Tyler Allgeier just got done topping 1,000 yards as their rookie RB1, and Cordarrelle Patterson is still onboard. The fact they actually, in the year 2023, decided Robinson was worth such a premium pick and contract only reinforces how committed to the ground they are.

Will McDonald IV goes No. 15 to the Jets


It's not that New York wasn't going to be in the market for pass rushing help, but there were other needs -- OL, DL, DB -- that might've logically drawn more attention here, especially with talents like DT Calijah Kancey and CB Christian Gonzalez on the board at the time. It's also notable that McDonald, who projects as more of a stand-up rusher but will enter more of a traditional 4-3 front, went before fellow edge prospects like Clemson's Myles Murphy (who later went No. 28 to the Bengals) and Georgia's Nolan Smith, who had gotten buzz as a possible top-10 selection with a comparable skill set.