NFL Rookies Weigh-In: Jersey Swaps, Rule Changes, No Cold Weather Games, More

The newest members of the NFL got to wear their new jerseys last weekend in Los Angeles. On Saturday morning, 45 players from the NFL’s 2023 rookie class participated in the Rookie Premiere event at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue attended and put together an entertaining column.

Rodrigue’s ‘Rookie Survey’ column asked rookies various questions like, who would have gotten their vote for MVP last year, who they’re most excited to swap jerseys with this season, and which NFL player is the most exciting to watch.

Here are some of the best answers from the rookies!

Who would you have voted for if you’d had an MVP vote last season?

The consensus pick here was Jalen Hurts. Bryce Young said he “would have gone with Jalen Hurts or Pat [Mahomes].” Hurts said that Mahomes was deserving, but Hurts would have gotten the slight nod. Houston Texans QB C.J. Stroud said his vote would have been split between Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts.

Colts QB Anthony Richardson went with Hurts, saying, “[Hurts] was going crazy the whole season, leading his team, and being a great dude.”

Bryce Young’s new teammate Jonathan Mingo also went with Jalen Hurts. However, not all rookies went with the easy answer(s). Houston Texans edge rusher Will Anderson went with Micah Parsons, giving his defensive brethren some love.

Bills tight end Dalton Kincaid did a little brown-nosing, giving his vote to his new quarterback in Buffalo, Josh Allen.

Jersey swaps?

Of the seven players that Rodrigue posed this question to, Bryce Young and Zay Flowers had my favorite answers. Young said he wants to swap with C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson when the Panthers play the Texans.

Probably C.J. (Stroud) and Will (Anderson Jr.). Those are guys — I’ve known C.J. for a long time; that’s my brother. Will, that’s my brother too. We go to war every Saturday. We came in at the exact same time. Same schedule. We’ve really leaned on each other these past couple of years, on and off the field.

The Panthers host the Texans on October 29 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. So, we’ll get to see that one come true.

Ravens’ rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers said he wants to swap jerseys with “all of the rookies.” Flowers says that the rookies have their own group chat, talk, and hang out together.

Panthers wide receiver Jonathan Mingo had a really cool answer as well:

Probably (Saints linebacker) Demario Davis. We grew up across the street from each other, and he went to high school with my brother. So I remember when I was a kid, I used to knock on his door to throw the ball with him all the time.

C.J. Stroud is not a fan of the cold weather!

Rodrigue asked some players what rule they could change or create in the NFL. Texans QB C.J. Stroud said he would like to make it mandatory to have a domed stadium if you play in a cold area.

I feel that C.J., I really do.

Will Anderson said he would abolish the full-length sock rule, and Anthony Richardson said he would abolish hitting the quarterback, period. Which we might not be too far from, anyway.

Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson agreed with Will Anderson:

“Well, I need to make sure I look good on the field. So, covering these knees, ain’t it. I’m making sure pads/pants are above the knees. You had better jump over somebody if they’re trying to take you out because we’ve got to look good out here.”

So did Zay Flowers, making the sock rule the most popular choice of players polled.

You can check out Jourdan’s full story here, packed with plenty more entertaining quotes from the rookies! https://theathletic.com/4539298/2023/05/23/nfl-rookies-survey-favorite-players/

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Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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