The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft was full of excitement, surprises, and strategic moves as teams selected their top prospects. Here’s our review of the notable picks and how each team fared.
The Carolina Panthers kicked off the first round by selecting quarterback Bryce Young from Alabama. Young’s skillset promises a new era for the Panthers, though there were other high-potential options available. Grade: B+
The Houston Texans made two significant picks, choosing C.J. Stroud, QB from Ohio State, and Will Anderson Jr., EDGE from Alabama. Stroud’s promising performance in college makes him a smart pick, while Anderson is a talented defensive player who cost the Texans a 2024 first-round pick. Grades: B+ and A-, respectively.
In a bold move, the Indianapolis Colts chose Anthony Richardson, QB from Florida. His potential to start as a rookie and push Gardner Minshew II, combined with a dynamic Colts offense, makes this an excellent pick. Grade: A
The Seattle Seahawks strengthened their cornerback room by picking Devon Witherspoon from Illinois, forming a formidable young pairing with Tariq Woolen. Witherspoon’s physicality and ball skills will make it difficult for opponents to pass against the Seahawks. Grade: A+
The Arizona Cardinals secured Paris Johnson Jr., OT from Ohio State, with a reasonable draft pick compensation. Johnson’s elite talent will see him become the Cardinals’ immediate starter at right tackle. Grade: A-
The Las Vegas Raiders selected Tyree Wilson, EDGE from Texas Tech, to bolster their pass rush. Wilson’s massive upside was essential to help relieve pressure on Maxx Crosby. Grade: A-
Despite their more pressing needs, the Atlanta Falcons chose Bijan Robinson, RB from Texas. Robinson’s talent is undeniable, but the Falcons’ decision to draft a running back at this stage is debatable. Grade: C
The Philadelphia Eagles made an outstanding pick in Jalen Carter, DT from Georgia, who has the potential to be a game-changer for their championship-caliber defense. Grade: A+
The Chicago Bears selected Darnell Wright, OT from Tennessee, who ranks third on our big board. Wright will significantly improve the Bears’ offensive line. Grade: A+
The Tennessee Titans picked Peter Skoronski, OL from Northwestern, who can play all five positions at a high level. Skoronski’s versatility will help address the Titans’ massive need for an improved offensive line. Grade: A+
In a surprising move, the Detroit Lions chose Jahmyr Gibbs, RB from Alabama, much earlier than expected. Gibbs, ranked 42nd on the Yahoo Sports big board, will not even be the team’s bell cow, making this a major reach. Grade: F
Other notable picks include Lukas Van Ness (EDGE, Iowa) to the Green Bay Packers, Broderick Jones (OT, Georgia) to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Will McDonald IV (EDGE, Iowa State) to the New York Jets, Emmanuel Forbes (CB, Mississippi State) to the Washington Commanders, and Christian Gonzalez (CB, Oregon) to the New England Patriots.