2023 was a much better year for the Auburn Tigers in the NFL Draft than 2022 was. Last year the only Auburn player hearing their name called was cornerback Roger McCreary. The shutdown defensive back went in the second round to the Tennessee Titans. This time around five Tigers were drafted during the three-day event held in Kansas City. It was, however, another year without a pick in the first round. The 2020 edition saw defensive tackle Derrick Brown go to the Panthers, and Noah Igbinoghene went to the Dolphins as the last Tigers to go in the first round. Here is our 2023 Auburn NFL Draft recap:
2023 Auburn NFL Draft Recap
Derick Hall to Seattle
Derick Hall was the first Tiger to come off the board in the second round with the 37th pick to the Seattle Seahawks. Without a doubt, the top NFL prospect on the Tigers in 2022 was edge rusher Hall. In the last two seasons, he totaled 16 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss. His name sometimes got lost in the shuffle due to playing in the same state as Will Anderson at Alabama. Auburn, not being contenders did not help either. His big breakout performance was in the 2021 Iron Bowl when he sacked Bryce Young three times. He had two games in 2022 with multiple sacks. He will help add to a Seahawks front that struggled to stop the run last season giving up 150.2 yards per game.
Tank goes in the third
The second Tiger drafted was the extremely talented running back Tank Bigsby. The three-year starter was selected in the third round by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 88th overall pick. The Jaguars already had a strong room at the position, but at the NFL Scouting Combine head coach Doug Pederson talked about adding another running back. Bigsby will join Travis Etienne and JaMycal Hasty, and look to showcase his talent that did not always shine at Auburn. He entered the 2022 season as one of the best backs in the SEC. A lot of his 2,903 yards came after contact due to a poor offensive line not opening holes for him to run through.
Headed Out West
In the fifth round, the Arizona Cardinals took linebacker Owen Pappoe with the 168th pick. Pappoe was very impressive at the NFL Scouting Combine after what could have been labeled as a disappointing 2022 season. With that said, he did lead the Tigers with 92 tackles on the season. He also had two-and-a-half sacks, plus one interception.
Two To Titletown
Two Tigers are now part of one of the marquee franchises in the National Football League. Both defensive tackle Colby Wooden and kicker Anders Carlson were selected by the Green Bay Packers. Wooden had his name called in the fourth round with the 116th overall pick. He was second on the Tigers with six sacks and had 11.5 tackles for loss. Wooden has capability in passing situations as well and had three pass breakups. He will be a good addition to the Packers who traditionally like to build their team through the draft. Run defense was an issue for the team at times last season.
Kickers are not commonplace in the draft, but in the sixth round, the Packers saw value in Anders Carlson with the 207th pick. Carlson possesses one of the stronger legs in college football over the last few seasons, but at times struggled with accuracy. That was an issue in 2021 and 2018 with his field goal percentage in the 60s. In 2020, he was 20 of 22 at a percentage of 90.9%. The Packers have had veteran kicker Mason Crosby on their roster since 2007, but the leg strength has shown signs of weakening. Crosby is currently not on a Green Bay roster and Carlson could have an opportunity of being their primary placekicker.
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