NFL Draft News & Analysis

2023 NFL Draft: 5 biggest reaches of Day 2

Oregon linebacker DJ Johnson (2) reacts to a turnover on downs during the second quarter against Oregon State at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore. on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. Ncaa Football Oregon Vs Oregon State 2027

• Jaguars join in on tight end run: A slew of tight ends were selected on Day 2, and Jacksonville may have reached by selecting Brenton Strange, PFF's 120th-ranked player, at Pick 61.

• Panthers make the biggest reach of the day: Oregon edge defender DJ Johnson was the No. 227 player on PFF's big board, yet Carolina selected him 80th overall.

• Lions reach again in Round 3: After what many deemed to be a questionable first round for Detroit, the team takes Brodric Martin — PFF's 163rd-ranked player — at No. 96.

Estimated reading time: 3 mins

Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft was full of surprises — both good and bad. Nonetheless, we are going to focus on the good by detailing some of the biggest steals from the second and third rounds of Friday's NFL festivities.

More PFF draft content:

LIVE Draft Tracker | Mock Draft Simulator | 2023 NFL Draft Guide
Top 200 Big Board |
PFF Mock Drafts | Measureables & Workout Data
NCAA Premium Stats | Draft Rankings By Position | Prospect Superlatives

With a PFF+ Annual subscription, you can gain access to premium football insights to get ahead of the game this football season. Use promo code DRAFT40 to sign up for as little as $47.99. Sign up today!


PFF Big Board Rank: 94

Martin came off the board 47th overall to Washington after slotting in at 94th on the PFF big board. He can fill a versatile role in the secondary for the Commanders, who clearly placed an emphasis on improving that group in this draft. He played everywhere from outside corner to slot corner to safety in his five-year career at Illinois.


PFF Big Board Rank: 120

Strange could very well be a long-term replacement for Evan Engram because he projects far better as a receiver than he does as a run blocker. He caught 62.5% of the contested targets he saw in 2022 and had a drop rate of just 3.0%. His 60.5 run-blocking grade confirms that you probably don’t want him taking on defensive ends as an in-line blocker.


PFF Big Board Rank: 110

After taking Florida interior defender Gervon Dexter Sr. late in the second round, the Bears add more beef to the interior of their defense with a player with more pass-rush juice. Pickens put up an 11.5% pass-rush win rate last season, with his 91st-percentile broad jump showing up on tape. The Bears’ defensive interior ranked 32nd in the league in PFF grade last season, so the team is investing a lot to change that.


PFF Big Board Rank: 237

This is one of the bigger reaches so far based on the PFF big board, with Johnson coming in at 237th overall. The Panthers are taking a swing on Johnson’s athleticism on the edge (4.49-second 40-yard dash at 261 pounds). He’s a 24-year-old prospect who recorded fewer than 50 career pressures on 786 defensive snaps in college.


PFF Big Board Rank: 163

The 163rd overall player on the PFF big board, this is a reach for the Lions, but Martin is a big player who can fill a role in the middle of their defensive line at 6-foot-5 and 330 pounds. Despite his size, he graded out better as a pass-rusher than a run defender in college and won 9.4% of his pass-rushing snaps in 2022.

Safety worth way more than 2 points. Help protext your family with fast, affordable life insurance. You could be covered in 10 minutes! Get a Free Quote.

NFL Draft Featured Tools

  • Live picks, grades and reaction to the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • 250+ three-page scouting profiles - advanced stats, 3-year grades, player comps, combine data and Senior Bowl grades - for the 2023 draft class.

    Available with

  • PFF's Big Board for the 2024 NFL Draft offers three-year player grades, combine measurables, position rankings, and in-depth player analysis for all of the top draft prospects.

    Available with

  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NCAA player performance data.

    Available with


Unlock all tools and content including Player Grades, Fantasy, NFL Draft, Premium Stats, Greenline and DFS.

$9.99 / mo
$79.99 / yr