Biggest reaches of the 2023 NFL Draft by round

Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Alabama won 49-26. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the 2023 NFL Draft has come to a close, it’s time for some review. While we can’t know who will succeed at the next level yet, we can look to the PFF big board to see who, in our eyes, reached the most.

Here are seven of the biggest draft reaches, one for each round.

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Round 1: RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions

Gibbs, the second-ranked running back on the final PFF big board, ran well in the offseason and graded well in three seasons at Alabama and Georgia Tech. He also forced 38 missed tackles on 151 carries in 2022. It’s just that the positional value, especially when Gibbs was not viewed as a generational player at the position like Bijan Robinson, is hard to justify at this spot.

Round 2: C Juice Scruggs, Houston Texans

We had Scruggs as a mid-round prospect, with him coming off a 71.5 PFF grade in his lone full season at center in college. Using the 62nd overall pick on him very possibly means he will start in 2023, so we may learn quickly just how much of a reach this really was.

Round 3: K Jake Moody, San Francisco 49ers

Moody was the fourth-highest-graded kicker in the nation in 2022, earning a 91.7 PFF field goal grade. He went 4 for 8 on field goals of 50-plus yards over the past two seasons. Given the 49ers' needs in the defensive backfield, though, this felt very early to take Moody.

Round 4: K Chad Ryland, New England Patriots

Ryland produced an 89.2 PFF field goal grade in 2021 at Eastern Michigan, before bettering it with a 90.1 mark in 2022 at Maryland. He missed just one field goal under 50 yards last season and connected on 3 of 6 attempts beyond 50. He’s a fine kicker prospect, but the value is still questionable even in Round 4.

Round 5: QB Sean Clifford, Green Bay Packers

Clifford is coming off his best season in college in 2022, but even then it’s not exactly much to get excited about. He managed just 15 big-time throws over the course of the season and had just two games with a PFF passing grade above 80.0. If there is one positive to point to here, he did take care of the ball, with just nine turnover-worthy plays in 2022.

Round 6: CB Josh Hayes, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

If you go back to his days at North Dakota State, there may be something to work with for Hayes. At that level, he finished the 2020 season with PFF grades of 92.3 and 73.0 in run defense and coverage, respectively. However, from 473 snaps in coverage at Kansas State this past season, he allowed a catch on 62.5% of the targets he faced, including allowing five touchdowns.

Round 7: DI Travis Bell, Chicago Bears

Bell didn’t feature on the final PFF big board, but he did still have enough flashes in college that the Bears shouldn’t be too worried about this being viewed as a reach. He produced PFF run-defense grades of 80.0 or better in each of the past three seasons, and his 30 reps on the bench press suggest he has enough strength to develop.

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