On April 27, 2023 NFL Draft boosted the careers of college football standouts with a celebration held in Kansas City. It was one of the biggest nights of pomp, circumstance and celebrations for the league.
The Carolina Panthers chose University of Alabama quarterback Bryce Young as the first selection. He was one of four quarterbacks who were invited to attend in person. Tens of thousands of fans filled the area surrounding the stage in front of Union Station, and the north lawn of National WWI Museum and Memorial.
On the south lawn, the NFL Draft Experience was set up.
The Houston Texans selected C.J. Stroud was also in attendance at the draft. The Texans said that the Ohio State University quarterback was a Heisman Trophy Finalist twice and a Big Ten Offensive player of the year twice.
The Texans also selected Will Anderson Jr. on April 27. He is an outside linebacker who played at the University of Alabama. The Texans stated that during his Crimson Tide tenure, he ranked behind Hall of Fame Linebacker Derrick Thomas in the school's career sacks list (34.5).
View photos of the first round and red carpet selection by clicking through the gallery.
A number of local celebrities kicked off the celebrations. Heidi Gardner, a cast member of "Saturday Night Live", and actor Eric Stonestreet opened the event. Both are Kansas City-natives.
The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and tight end Travis Kelce also attended to display the Vince Lombardi trophy and get the crowd pumped up for the evening.
Thirteen out of 17 players were invited to participate in the first round. Brian Branch, an Alabama defensive back, Will Levis - a University of Kentucky quarterback - Joey Porter Jr. - a cornerback at Pennsylvania State University – and Keion white - a Georgia Institute of Technology defensive end – all failed to make it past the first round.
The second and third draft rounds begin at 6 pm on Friday, and the final four rounds start at 11 am on Saturday.