After a wild opening wave of free agency — with signings, releases and trades reshaping rosters across the league — it’s time to assess the impact on the 2023 NFL Draft. Here’s my updated forecast for the first round.
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The Panthers will do their homework on this year’s top quarterback prospects over the next month, but I believe Young is the best of the bunch and will emerge as their target.
The Texans have some quality pieces in place on offense (including a franchise left tackle who just agreed to a contract extension) and Stroud should be able to hit the ground running as the Week 1 starter.
I won’t be surprised if the Cardinals trade this pick to Indianapolis, Seattle or Las Vegas. If they stay here, Anderson makes the most sense for a team that desperately needs a difference-maker on the defensive line.
Will Levis could easily be the pick here, but Richardson’s unbelievable athleticism would be a fun fit in Shane Steichen’s offense.
The off-field concerns with Carter have been documented. On the field, he is the most talented player in this draft class and would provide Pete Carroll’s defense with a dynamic interior disruptor.
Witherspoon doesn’t have ideal size (5-foot-11 1/2, 181 pounds), but his game is very similar to that of Denzel Ward, who, like Witherspoon, played his college football in the Big Ten. Detroit has some difference-makers on the defensive front and has made some nice additions to the secondary this offseason, but Witherspoon’s instincts and ball skills would fit beautifully in the back end.
I could still see the Raiders taking a quarterback here, even after signing Jimmy Garoppolo. However, Wilson would be a welcome addition opposite of Maxx Crosby. Chandler Jones failed to provide the desired impact after joining the Raiders last season.
The Falcons ranked 31st in third-down defense last season. Gonzalez would team up with A.J. Terrell to give Atlanta one of the biggest and most athletic cornerback duos in the league.
I love this pick for the Bears. Skoronski would be an immediate upgrade at right tackle for Justin Fields.
The Eagles always focus on the line of scrimmage, and Van Ness has the versatility to play inside or outside. Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox both were re-signed this offseason, but they’re playing on one-year deals.
The Titans need to add some playmakers on offense. Smith-Njigba is a pure route runner who’s ready to make an immediate impact.
The Texans landed their franchise quarterback with their first selection, and now they can add a dynamic piece to their defensive front. Murphy has tremendous upside.
The Jets will likely lose Bryce Huff after next season and Carl Lawson is a potential salary cap casualty. Smith is the most explosive edge rusher in the draft.
The Patriots don’t think like every other franchise. I believe they could see Robinson as a valuable addition instead of a player at a non-premium position. He would team up with Rhamondre Stevenson to give New England one of the best backfields in the NFL.
The Packers are set to begin the Jordan Love era this fall, and Johnson will start immediately at right tackle while providing insurance at left tackle.
I wouldn’t rule out a quarterback with this selection, but I love the idea of adding a dynamic tight end to their impressive wide receiving corps. I’m excited to see what Sam Howell can do as the starter for the Commanders.
This would be a dream scenario for the Steelers as they continue to overhaul their offensive line this offseason.
Lions GM Brad Holmes spent a lot of time around Aaron Donald during his previous stop as the Rams’ director of college scouting. Kancey isn’t on Donald’s level (nobody is) but his explosive quickness would beautifully complement Detroit’s young edge rushers to give the Lions a fearsome pass rush group.
If Levis started to fall, I believe a team like Tampa Bay would trade up to get him. In this scenario, he falls right into their lap. Levis would compete with Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask for the starting job.
Addison would be the perfect complement to the Seahawks’ talented receiver duo of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. He’s a smooth route runner with outstanding ball skills and speed after the catch.
The Chargers prefer bigger wideouts, but Flowers would add an explosive element currently lacking in the passing attack.
How fun would this be to watch? Joey Porter to the Ravens. That just sounds amazing. He would be a tremendous value at a position of need for Baltimore.
The Vikings have been doing their homework on this quarterback class. Hooker is well-liked around the league and he could sit for a year behind Kirk Cousins before taking over and ushering in a new era for Kevin O’Connell.
Banks crushed his NFL Scouting Combine workout and his tape is really solid, too. Jacksonville needs to get better on the back end and Banks is ready to play right away.
The Giants did a nice job adding some much-needed speed to the skill positions in free agency. Tippman would team up with two young, talented offensive tackles to protect Daniel Jones for the foreseeable future.
Smith has generated a lot of buzz in personnel circles for his combination of athleticism and power. His best football is ahead of him and he’d fill a need in Dallas.
Opinions vary quite a bit from team to team when it comes to the wide receivers in this year’s class. Johnston could be the first one taken or slide down to the bottom of the first round. He would give Josh Allen a big, explosive weapon to complement Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis.
Wright would plug and play at right tackle. Recent left tackle signee Orlando Brown is only 26 years old. Brown and Wright could hold down the bookend spots to protect Joe Burrow for quite a long time. Also, this pick would allow the Bengals to deal Jonah Williams for draft capital now that he has requested a trade.
Mayer would be an excellent value pick at this point in Round 1. He is a complete tight end and Derek Carr would have a reliable security blanket on third down.
The Eagles double down on defensive linemen. Anudike-Uzomah is a gifted edge rusher and posted excellent numbers over the last two seasons. GM Howie Roseman doesn’t believe you can have too many pass rushers.
McDonald is an elite bender coming off the edge. The Chiefs moved on from Frank Clark this offseason and need to add more firepower to their pass rush.
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