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2023 NFL Draft - First Round Analysis


2023 DRAFT - FIRST ROUND


1. Carolina

Bryce Young / QB

Alabama


Carolina goes with the best QB prospect in this draft. Young lacks size but has the “it” factor needed in elite QBs.


2. Houston

CJ Stroud / QB

Ohio State


Texans were rumored to not being interested in any QB not named Young. But Stroud was the best QB available and Houston decides to go with the Buckeye signal caller.


3. Houston (from Arizona)

Will Anderson / Edge

Alabama


Houston trades up from #12 for the right to select Will Anderson, the best pass rusher in college football over the last five years. Houston makes a big splash with this trade. The games have started!


4. Indianapolis

Anthony Richardson / QB

Florida


Another surprise with Richardson being picked over Levis. Richardson has great size, athleticism, and arm strength. Feast or famine as a prospect.


5. Seattle (from Denver)

Devon Witherspoon / CB

llinois


Seattle surprisingly goes with CB Witherspoon, adding another quality CB to a dangerous secondary.


6. Arizona (from Detroit thru LA Rams)

Paris Johnson / OT

Ohio State


Cards trade up for the right to draft the first OL off the board in Johnson. Johnson gives the Cards a bookend OT for the next decade.


7. Las Vegas

Tyree Wilson / Edge

Texas Tech


The rumors were that the Raiders were going to draft a CB at #7 but decide to go with the talented Red Raider pass rusher. Wilson has great length and power and will line up opposite All-Pro Maxx Crosby on the DL.


8. Atlanta

Bijan Robinson / RB

Texas


Robinson is an ideal fit to Arthur Smith’s run focused offense. Very, very early prediction – Robinson will be Offensive R.O.Y.


9. Philadelphia (from Chicago thru Carolina)

Jalen Carter / DT

Georgia


Fantastic pick. Carter needs a strong organization with veteran leadership. And he goes to the perfect place to be developed with a great support system.


10. Chicago (from Philadelphia thru New Orleans)

Darnell Wright / OT

Tennessee


Wright is the best ORT in this draft. The Bears feel comfortable with Braxton Jones at OLT and decide to draft the fluid and big Vol to protect Justin Fields next year in Chicago.


11. Tennessee

Peter Skoronski / OT

Northwestern


The Titans need to reconfigure the OL that took a step backwards last year. Skoronski is the best lineman in this draft. He’s a solid technician who is smart and assignment sound. Great pick.


12. Detroit from Arizona (thru Houston & Cleveland)

Jahmyr Gibbs / RB

Alabama


A surprising pick. Gibbs has special explosiveness and speed. He’s the highest RB selected by the Lions since Barry Sanders in 1989.


13. Green Bay (from NY Jets)

Lukas Van Ness / Edge

Iowa


SNS Contributor Zak Everett made this prediction several weeks ago. Van Ness has great length and quick-twitch burst to exploit OLs in the NFC North.


14. Pittsburgh (from New England)

Broderick Jones / OT

Georgia


The Steelers trade up to #14 and jump the Jets to select the young and extremely talented Bulldog OLT. Jones has the most upside of any OL in this draft.


15. NY Jets (from Green Bay)

Will McDonald / Edge

Iowa State


Jets make a surprising selection in drafting to dynamic McDonald, the Big 12’s career sack leader (34).


16. Washington

Emmanuel Forbes / CB

Mississippi State


Forbes is an explosive playmaker – he recorded 6 career pick sixes, including 3 last year. Forbes has 14 career INTs and is solid in run support.


17. New England (from Pittsburgh)

Christian Gonzalez / CB

Oregon


SNS’ #1 ranked CB finally goes off the board. Gonzalez offers size, length, smoothness, and ball skills.


18. Detroit

Jack Campbell / LB

Iowa


This is surprising but Campbell is an instinctive, run-stuffing MLB with great range and tackling ability. Big, strong, and physical and addresses a need. But at #18? Wow.


19. Tampa Bay

Calijah Kancey / DT

Pittsburgh


Didn’t see this one coming. Tampa ran a 3-4 defense the last few years but Kancey is a 3T who utilizes speed to penetrate gaps in the line – he's pretty much an exclusive 4-3 DT. I guess things are changing in Tampa.


20. Seattle

Jaxon Smith-Njigba / WR

Ohio State


JSN is the first WR off the board. JSN is quick, fast, and explosive and the best WR available in this draft. In Seattle, he’ll get to operate out of the slot and create mismatches over the middle of the field.


21. LA Chargers

Quintin Johnston / WR

TCU


The Chargers have a type…at WR. Johnston has size, length, and explosive long speed. Injuries at WR hurt LA last year. By drafting Johnston, Consider that problem addressed.


22. Baltimore

Zay Flowers / WR

Boston College


Baltimore re-signed Lamar Jackson today and they get him a weapon in Flowers, who is similar to former Raven Hollywood Brown. Flowers is a threat to take the ball all the way on any touch.


23. Minnesota

Jordan Addison / WR

USC


Four straight WRs go with the selection of Addison, the former Biletnikoff Award winner. Addison is smooth and is a plug and play starter from day one in Minnesota.


24. NY Giants (from Jacksonville)

Deonte Banks / CB

Maryland


Banks is fast, explosive, and smooth. He can line up out wide or in the slot. Versatility and speed are the high-level skills he possesses.


25. Buffalo (from Jacksonville thru NY Giants)

Dalton Kincaid / TE

Utah


The first TE off the board is the big and fast Ute. Kincaid offers little as a blocker but is a mismatch nightmare in space.


26. Dallas

Mazi Smith / DT

Michigan


Dallas adds the big, strong, and surprisingly quick Smith. Smith excels as a run-stuffer and adds a powerful bull rush to the inside pass rush.


27. Jacksonville (from Buffalo)

Anton Harrison / OT

Oklahoma


Harrison is a very good athlete with good agility and mirroring skills. Harrison has some balance issues but has an upside worth developing.


28. Cincinnati

Myles Murphy / Edge

Clemson


A great value pick at #28 for Cincinnati. Murphy has Top 10 Edge Rusher skills with size, burst, and bend to threaten the QB. Murphy gives the Bengals a high upside prospect to develop.


29. New Orleans (from SF thru Miami / Denver)

Bryan Bresee / DT

Clemson


Bresee is a high character prospect with size, power, and tremendous upside to be developed in New Orleans.


30. Philadelphia

Nolan Smith / Edge-LB

Georgia


University of Georgia at Philadelphia? Or Penn U at Athens? Either way, the Eagles continue to load up on Georgia Bulldog defensive players. SNS’ #13 ranked prospect is a steal at this point of the draft.


31. Kansas City

Felix Anudike-Uzomah / Edge

Kansas State


FAU recorded double digit sacks the last two seasons at K State. He has excellent length, bend, and closing burst. This seems a bit high for FAU but he is a quality pass rusher with plenty of upside to be developed by the Super Bowl Champions.



*Only 31 picks in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft due to Miami forfeiting their first-round pick because of a violation of league rules.



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