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The 2023 NFL Draft only had three quarterbacks off the board in the first four picks, and the second one selected, C.J. Stroud, outplayed everybody in his draft class. With only the Super Bowl remaining before the 2023 season officially comes to a close, it's time to create awards to hand to deserving first-year pros. 

Before I begin, I'll provide my picks for the official rookie awards. 

Offensive Rookie of the Year: C.J. Stroud, Texans
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jalen Carter, Eagles

Now, let's get to the full list, people. 

Best Quarterback 

C.J. Stroud
HOU • QB • #7
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Stroud had one of the finest rookie quarterback seasons in NFL history. Seriously. Nearly a 64% completion rate. Five 300-plus-yard performances. A 100.8 rating. And he led the league in passing yards per game at 273.9. Plus, he won a playoff game in which he managed a nearly perfect passer rating. 

Now, sure, his offensive scheme -- orchestrated by latest glowing branch on the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree Bobby Slowik -- was creative and integral in getting Stroud's weapons open. But the former Ohio State quarterback was brilliant inside and outside the pocket all season. 

Best Offensive Lineman 

Avila played over 1,000 snaps in Sean McVay's intricate zone-blocking-based scheme, and the former TCU blocker thrived. Now, he wasn't Quenton Nelson in 2018, but the vast array of run plays McVay deploys on a weekly basis can make the head spin of even a veteran offensive lineman. 

And Avila was rarely out of position and held his own against power and athleticism all season. Allowing 34 pressures on over 700 pass-blocking snaps proves Avila was an anchoring champ when Matthew Stafford dropped back to rip the football, too. 

Best Pass Rusher

Anderson is part of Houston's grand-slam draft that started with Stroud and also had a hit in wide receiver Tank Dell. No rookie defender generated more total pressures than the former No. 1 edge-rushing recruit and Alabama superstar (68) in the regular season and playoffs. He was a rugged edge-setter against the run, too. There wasn't a slow start, or a dip after hitting the rookie wall. Anderson ran right through that wall.  

Most Reliable Linebacker

How about this -- the best rookie linebacker in 2023 wasn't even 6-foot and not even drafted. Ivan Pace was born to play in Brian Flores' blitz-happy defense, really. He played over 700 snaps, made over 100 tackles, knocked down two passes, had 2.5 sacks and led the Vikings in stops (tackles that amount to 40% of the needed yardage to move the chains on first down, 50% on second and third down and 100% on fourth down). 

Biggest Day 3 Gem

Puka Nacua
LAR • WR • #17
REC YDs1486
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Well, obviously. Nacua went over 1,400 yards receiving as a rookie, and after starting the season as the No. 1 option in McVay's offense -- quite a luxurious role for a fifth-round rookie -- because of Cooper Kupp's injury, even after the former triple crown winner returned, the former BYU star didn't slow down. 

And in the playoff loss to the Lions, it felt like Nacua was going to be the receiver to be targeted in key situations. He finished that game with nine snags for 181 yards and a score. The Rams drafted another Day 3 gem.  

Most Valuable Undrafted Free Agent

Could've gone with Pace here, but let's share the wealth. Izien was an obscure rookie cornerback out of Rutgers, but he was the perfect pesky, blitzing slot cornerback for Todd Bowles, one of the more aggressive defensive play-callers in football. On nearly 800 snaps in his debut professional season, Izien made 65 tackles, snatched two interceptions, broke up two other throws and had nine pressures on 76 pass-rushing snaps. He fit into Bowles defense wonderfully as a rookie.  

Best Out-Of-Nowhere Season

Demario Douglas
NE • WR • #3
REC YDs561
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Douglas was a sixth-round pick out of Liberty. While Draft Twitter was onto him during the pre-draft process, there was minimal hype surrounding the 5-foot-8 rookie wideout entering his first season in the NFL. And with horrible to downright abysmal quarterback play all season, he went over 500 yards with at least three catches in all but two games. Impressive. What's more -- Douglas got more than what was schemed for him -- he forced 12 missed tackles, which only trailed Nacua, Rashee Rice and Zay Flowers among rookie receivers.   

Day 3 Pick Who Lived Up To The Hype

Draft Twitter adored Brooks -- yes, I had a draft crush on him -- a nearly 300-pound edge rusher from Bowling Green whose 69 pressures in 2022 were the second most among all FBS edge rushers. The Packers picked him in the sixth round, so it seemed as if he wasn't destined for much in the NFL. But aligning everywhere along Green Bay's defensive front, Brooks consistently flashed, and vitally for a rookie, was rarely a liability. And late in the season, the lights really came on -- from Week 18 through the divisional-round loss to the 49ers, Brooks had eight pressures on 62 pass-rushing snaps, and he blocked a field goal against San Francisco.