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NFLSU: 2023 TIGERS SELECTED



by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN


The NFL's 2023 Draft is over!

Where did LSU's 2023 NFL Draft class pop, fizzle out or show out???

We geaux through the list and take note:

Sadly for the first time since the 2019 NFL Draft, the Tigers didn't have another 1st Round pick from their squad. The streak began in 2019 with Devin White, continued with Joe Burrow's 1st overall selection, followed by four more 1st rounders in the same Draft class: Justin Jefferson, Patrick Queen, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and K'Lavon Chaisson, before both Ja'Marr Chase and Derek Stingley Jr were picked in the top 5 of 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Although we consider some of these franchises to be ludicrous and often stupid when it comes to judging the value of LSU Tigers, there were still plenty of Tigers taken in the 2023 NFL Draft.


2ND ROUND

41. BJ OJULARI (Arizona Cardinals)


We all knew Ojulari would be the first Tiger taken in the 2023 NFL Draft, and we were sure it'd be at the start of the 2nd round......what I was stunned by??? How New Orleans passed on Ojulari twice (when they need someone to replace Marcus Davenport's lost contributions off the edge), plus the fact that Kansas City picked another DE over BJ with the final pick of the 1st round, Felix Anudike-Uzomah.....both moves surprised me.

Anudike-Uzomah once had 4 sacks in a game (really 6, but technicalities took them off the board), but this was in the Big 12.....put BJ Ojulari in the Big 12 and he's setting records for sacks and pressures.

Regardless of how bizarre it was to see him fall down the board, Ojulari found a home in Arizona. The Cardinals last drafted an LSU D-lineman in the 2020 NFL Draft: Rashard Lawrence (Lawrence, picked 131st overall in the 4th Round, was placed on injured reserve during each of his 3 NFL seasons & has missed 25 total games, including a first round playoff appearance).

I'm increasingly excited to see what BJ will be able to accomplish at Arizona; With his special overall abilities, elite athleticism, scary agility, and nuclear speed off the edge, I'm betting on BJ Ojulari to become a future Pro Bowl-level player and difference-maker....this is a pick that could turn around Arizona's defensive fortunes.


4TH ROUND

108. ANTHONY BRADFORD (Seattle Seahawks)


Joining fellow 2019 Tiger O-lineman Damien Lewis, a member of the Pro Football Writers' Association All-Rookie team in 2020, Anthony Bradford was drafted by the right team for his development & future success.

Bradford has all the athletic utility 99.9% of offensive linemen lack, but what did he need to be a 1st round pick???

The Michigan-born hulk needed to stay healthy and GMs needed to see his durability proven over an entire season.

While he got as close as possible, appearing in 13 of LSU's 14 contests, Bradford's injury history scared some GMs away (missing 22 games total in his Tiger career).

Alongside Lewis, the versatile Bradford should not only find a fixed home along the offensive line (either at left guard or right tackle most likely), he's likely to start studying Damien Lewis' every move for pointers and tips on anything and everything...from staying injury-free to nutrition.

And Lewis is the perfect example for Bradford....Damien has appeared in 36 NFL games, starting in every single one of those 36 appearances.


134. JAY WARD (Minnesota Vikings)


While many franchises disregarded the most versatile defensive back in the 2023 NFL Draft, Minnesota were smart and selected Jay Ward:

Starting at all four defensive back positions during his celebrated, successful and epic 4 years at LSU, Ward enjoyed an incredible DBU career.

Scoring defensive touchdowns from 2 different positions on the field (cornerback and nickel), while being DBU's leading intercepter since 2019 (6), hauling in an interception during each starting season (2020, 2021 and 2022), while forcing a fumble vs Alabama in 2020, breaking up 2 Jalen Hurts passes as a freshman vs Oklahoma (2019 CFP Peach Bowl), batting down another 3 passes as he started on a torn meniscus vs Miss State (2020), intercepting Ole Miss QB Matt Corral twice in the same game (returning one for a touchdown, 2020), recovering BJ Ojulari's forced fumble for a game-changing scoop and score vs Auburn (2022), when you look at Jay Ward's LSU career in comparison to other Tiger DBs of the past 4 years, Derek Stingley Jr, Cordale Flott, Grant Delpit, Jacoby Stevens, he's only second to Stingley's 2019 campaign.....Jay was just that good, that dependable and that much of a Tiger.


5TH ROUND

141. JAQUELIN ROY (Minnesota Vikings)


Talk about a steal....

It's crazy to me that Roy fell this far in the Draft. I didn't expect LSU's former #99 to fall further than the 3rd Round.

Instead, he fell clear til the beginning of the 5th round, a pretty stunning outcome for the All-SEC level DT.

However, despite the fact Roy's fall cost him zeroes on his paycheck, I believe he's headed to the perfect destination.

Minnesota now has 5 different LSU Tigers on their team, including fellow D-lineman Danielle Hunter, a Pro Bowl sack machine who could benefit greatly from Jaquelin Roy's monstrous presence through the teeth of their interior.

Roy will be a future Pro Bowler if he can remain healthy and on the field, though 2022 showcased the former U-High standout as an Iron Man....ready & willing to grind through the pain to keep playing.


6TH ROUND

187. KAYSHON BOUTTE (New England Patriots)


After waiting an agonizing couple days for his name to be called, Kayshon Boutte, LSU's former #7, top receiver & SEC single-game record-holder, received the best possible news:

The best organization in football was taking him, with G.O.A.T NFL Head Coach Bill Belichick often working his magic on players who are either troubled or thrown away by prior teams.

I expect Boutte to really hit the ground running in New England:

He's got the right setup, an organization that will hold him to the highest standards of conduct (not that Kayshon was ever a big troublemaker, he wasn't.....but that sex scandal cost him his final season at LSU); he'll be in a receiver room where he can climb to the highest rung, and an established, franchise-favored / Pro Bowl-level quarterback with 2 years of starting experience & a playoff appearance (Mac Jones).

Now, it's just up to Kayshon to deliver.....having 20 different receivers taken ahead of you, within the same Draft he was projected to be a top 10 pick, has to create that chip on the shoulder element.

204. JARRICK BERNARD-CONVERSE (New York Jets)


Another DBU Tiger who had no business falling all the way to the 6th round, the former All-Big 12 defender proved he could handle the SEC without a doubt.

Starting at both cornerback or safety, making plays at both positions, carrying the highest coverage rating at LSU, batted down 3 passes while picking off Heisman-winning QB Bryce Young on the opening drive vs Alabama (a play which set the tone for LSU's upset win), before grabbing another interception vs Purdue, Jarrick Bernard-Converse played in over 64 collegiate games, starting 56 times (including 47 consecutive starts at Oklahoma State).

JBC had just 2 interceptions in 4 seasons at Oklahoma State.....in 2022, JBC had a pair of picks in just 9 starts.


UNDRAFTED 2023 TIGERS

JARAY JENKINS

ALI GAYE

TREMOND SHORTS

MICAH BASKERVILLE

MEKHI GARNER

MIKE JONES JR

SEVYN BANKS

TODD HARRIS

JOE FOUCHA


by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

@LonnPhillips

Copyright 2023 Uninterrupted Writings Inc



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2 Comments


BayouTigerGal
BayouTigerGal
Apr 30, 2023

Lonn coming in with all the news once again. Great job Lonn!

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LSU players were certainly undervalued. The NFL is such a lazy league. They don’t do as much grunt work as they used to. Everything today is about combine numbers and measurables. As you pointed out you have to know their heart, the conditions they performed under in college, and what they do with the uniform on. The scouts get many players wrong every year.

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