The 2023 NFL Draft was a wild one!
One of the ways in which it was wild was with the astoundingly high number of trades that were made.
From the time the Commissioner opened the draft, until the moment Mr. Irrelevant 2023 was announced, the league’s 32 teams got together to make a record number of draft-day trades.
Note: Some sites are saying the number is either 41 or 43, but they’re wrong. According to NFL.com, which hosts the official list of trades (and the spreadsheet I made from that list), there were 42.
Let’s dive into the numbers a little bit . . .
Six trades were made on Day One; two of them involved our division rivals, the Arizona Cardinals. First, they moved back from No. 3 to No. 12, then they moved up to No. 6.
On Day Two, there were 16 trades, with every NFC West team involved in at least one of them (the Rams and the Cardinals were each involved in two).
Day Three saw NFL teams make TWENTY trades, including trades that involved the first three picks in Round 4.
When all was said and done, EVERY team in the NFC made at least one trade, and the only teams that didn’t make any trades were the Los Angeles Chargers and the Miami Dolphins.
The Texans made the the most trades - EIGHT (!!) - which makes sense given how much draft capital they had to start with.
The Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles each made six trades, including one that saw the Lions send running back D’Andre Swift to the Eagles.
The Rams were involved in five trades.
The Four Trades Club included the Bills, Cardinals, Chiefs, Jaguars, and Raiders.
Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New England, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay each made three trades.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and both teams from New Jersey (Giants and Jets) were involved in two trades each.
Interestingly, intradivision trades, which are usually fairly uncommon, comprised three of the 42 trades this year:
- The Lions and Packers made some draft-day magic on Day Two
- The Patriots and Jets set aside their animosity, at least momentarily, on Day Three
- The old Browns (aka the Baltimore Ravens) and the new Browns (aka the Cleveland Browns) also got together on Day Three
Eleven of the 42 trades involved NFC West teams.
Alas, ‘Trader John’ and the Seattle Seahawks were only involved in ONE trade.
Seattle definitely got the better end of the deal in that one though . . .
Thank you to @josephjefe for doing the math (and sharing it with the world via Twitter).
My favorite trade was the first one.
I don’t like that it gave a division rival a second R1 and another R3 in next year’s draft (BOO! to that; a hundred thousand boos to that!), but I absolutely LOVED seeing the Houston Texans, of all teams, make such an aggressive “baller” move.
That trade set the tone for what would eventually become a record-setting draft.