The 2023 NFL Draft is upon is within the next month and it’s time we start taking a deeper dive into this year’s class. A lot of teams will be depending on their first-rounders to be major cornerstones for their franchises. For example, the Panthers traded away multiple firsts and star receiver DJ Moore to get their franchise QB they’ve been missing since Cam Newton.
Let’s get into some potential picks that teams could go for…
1. Carolina Panthers (via CHI): Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
There’s a lot of smoke on who the Panthers could take at #1, but I think they already know and that’s going to be Bryce Young. Young plays smart, with confidence, and a calm demeanor. He’s really accurate and makes all the right plays to put his team in positions to win games. He’s a bit undersized at the QB position, but everything else is nearly flawless.
2. Houston Texans: CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
The Texans get their franchise quarterback after the Deshaun Watson fiasco in CJ Stroud. He’s extremely accurate with the ball and has shown the ability to be a weapon with his arm. He would come in and be a difference maker immediately for a Texans team looking for someone to turn the franchise around.
3. Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr., DE, Alabama
The Cardinals don’t need a quarterback so they go ahead and grab Will Anderson Jr., the best non-QB prospect in the draft. Will Anderson Jr. would become an instant threat to opposing offenses and provide a great replacement for JJ Watt. His speed and ability to rush consistently makes him dangerous every play.
4. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
The Colts have been looking for a franchise QB ever since Andrew Luck had retired… in 2019. Enter Anthony Richardson, who is the perfect fit for the Colts’ offense. The Colts’ hire of Shane Steichen makes this decision much easier after what he did with Jalen Hurts. Anthony Richardson is an explosive player with his arm and also his legs, a weapon ready to be utilized by the Colts.
5. Seattle Seahawks: Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
The Seahawks and Geno Smith surprised everyone last year with how they played and they can afford to invest into non-QB positions doing so. Although I like their pickup of Dre’Mont Jones, I still believe they still need some more talent around the edge and Wilson would provide that. He’s capable of cutting through gaps and using his long arms to beat tackles easily with his size. If he can grow into his size, he might just be one of the scariest defensive ends in the league.
6. Detroit Lions: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Jalen Carter’s potential is #1 pick worthy, but after some character concerns and lack of maturity, he’s dropped on a lot of boards. The Lions are set at other positions like QB (in my opinion) and wide receiver so why not pair Aidan Hutchinson with Jalen Carter to provide one of the scariest young d-line duos in the league?
7. Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
I thought about quarterback here, but after their investment in Jimmy Garoppolo, I really do doubt it. So why not get a corner to defend against some of the best passers in the league in Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. Gonzalez has all the athletic makeup to be a shutdown corner for years and that could be needed in a pass-heavy division.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
The Falcons have had a few experiments and now it’s time to invest in a franchise QB, enter Will Levis. Levis has the prototypical size and build for a young quarterback to build around. He’s shown flashes to be a quarterback to fear that can make throws on the run and out of the pocket.
9. Chicago Bears: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
I mean… this is perfect right? The Bears still could use some wide receivers to help their rookie quarterback and getting Smith-Njigba at #9 would do just that. He can come in and immediately be a threat out of the slot and be a safety valve at receiver for young QB Fields. He’s elusive and smooth catching the ball and another weapon that Justin Fields can utilize.
10. Philadelphia Eagles: Brian Branch, SS, Alabama
Going with Brian Branch here is suggesting that the Eagles move on from C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Branch is a solid tackler that plays with great intelligence across the field. He’s fast and fluid for a safety and is able to react at an elite level putting him in positions to make plays.
11. Tennesee Titans: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
12. Houston Texans: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
13. New York Jets: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
14. New England Patriots: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
15. Green Bay Packers: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
16. Washington Commanders: Devon Witherspoon, CB,Illinois
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
18. Detroit Lions: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
20. Seattle Seahawks: O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
22. Baltimore Ravens: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
23. Minnesota Vikings: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
25. New York Giants: Daiyan Henley, LB, Washington State
26. Dallas Cowboys: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
27. Buffalo Bills: Anton Harrison OT, Oklahoma
28. Cincinnati Bengals: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
29. New Orleans Saints: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
30. Philadelphia Eagles: Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
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