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Why the NFL Draft is so unpredictable: 2023 first-round pick sums things up with this one story


If there’s one thing that every mock draft is going to have in common this year, it’s that they’re all going to be wrong. Sure, we might see someone predict the correct landing spot for five to 10 different players, but no one ever gets every pick right, and that’s because it’s basically impossible due to the unpredictable nature of the draft. 

To give you an idea of just how unpredictable things can get during the draft, just consider this from Calijah Kancey: He had no idea who was going to take him, and he had no idea if he was even going to be taken in the first round. 

“I didn’t have a feeling at all,” the defensive tackle said about where he might be selected last year, via the Tampa Bay Times. 

As the draft got closer, Kancey started to have doubts about whether he would even be taken in the first round. 

“I asked my agent, ‘Hey man, why doesn’t nobody want to have me in for a [top-]30 visit? Like, what’s going on?’ I was really stressed out. It was hard,” Kancey said. “I was like, ‘Am I even going in the first round?'”

In the end, Kancey got selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 19th overall pick, and he was actually somewhat surprised that the Bucs took him since they hadn’t spoken with him since the combine. 

“I mean, I met with the Bucs at the combine, but other than that I hadn’t talked to them,” Kancey said. “I honestly didn’t know.”

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The top-30 visits are big, but sometimes, teams will use those as a smokescreen like the Bucs did with Kancey. They met with him once at the combine and then ghosted him after that until they turned in their card on the first night of the 2023 draft. 

If a player can’t get a good gauge on where they might get picked, you can imagine how difficult it’s going to be for everyone else. This year, it feels like the only lock in the draft is the Chicago Bears taking Caleb Williams with the first overall pick. After that, you should probably just expect chaos. 

If you want our best guess of what might happen on draft night, you can check out our roundup of CBSSports.com mock drafts here. 





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