All 2023 NFL Draft 1st Round Picks
Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books and it was a wild night! We had trades, reaches, players falling, and everything in between last night at Union Station in Kansas City. Here’s every pick from last night and all of our reactions.
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1. Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young — QB (Alabama)
The Panthers land their quarterback of the future, taking Alabama QB Bryce Young.
Bryce Young is the most instinctive and natural quarterback in this class. For what he lacks in size, he makes up for it with his processing speed and throwing accuracy.
2. Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud — QB (Ohio State)
The Texans bucked the recent mock drafts, mine included, by taking Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud with the second overall selection tonight.
It’ll be interesting to hear from DeMeco Ryans and the Texans front office. Houston wasted almost no time turning in the Stroud pick once they were on the clock. Whether it pans out or not, there was conviction in that selection.
3. Houston Texans (via AZ): Will Anderson Jr. — EDGE (Alabama)
So, the Texans have landed quarterback C.J. Stroud and pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. with two of the first three picks in the draft. What a wild turn of events here in Kansas City.
4. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson — QB (Florida)
The Indianapolis Colts have their new quarterback of the future. There was a ton of talk about how much Chris Ballard and the Colts loved Kentucky QB Will Levis, but in the end, it’s Anthony Richardson and his endless upside heading to the Colts.
5. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN): Devon Witherspoon — CB (Illinois)
Devon Witherspoon is heading to Seattle at No. 5. This draft is going bonkers, and it’s all thanks to the Texans. I love it.
Devon Witherspoon was my No. 1 cornerback in this draft class, and the Seahawks are getting a very good player here. I’m slightly surprised that they didn’t take Jalen Carter, especially with chatter about teams looking to move into the top 10 tonight to take Carter.
6. Arizona Cardinals (via DET): Paris Johnson Jr. — OT (Ohio State)
The chain reaction from the Texans trade-up continues! The Cardinals are sending picks No. 12 and No. 34 picks to the Detroit Lions to move up and select Paris Johnson Jr.
With Devon Witherspoon off the board, Detroit traded back and allowed the Cardinals to move back into the top ten and nab an offensive lineman for Kyler Murray.
7. Las Vegas Raiders: Tyree Wilson — EDGE (Texas Tech)
The Raiders are so weird, man. They desperately needed a cornerback, and Christian Gonzalez was there for the taking, and they passed.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Bijan Robinson — RB (Texas)
Bijan Robinson is heading to the Atlanta Falcons. So, now the Falcons have a running back (and a damn good one) but still have a massive question mark at quarterback. It doesn’t make much sense, but it’s the Falcons.
9. Philadelphia Eagles (via CHI): Jalen Carter — DT (Georgia)
This move proves two things: the Eagles loved Carter, and Ryan Poles and the Bears did not. So they basically did Philadelphia a favor by allowing them to move up and take Carter for only a 2024 fourth-rounder in return.
10. Chicago Bears (via PHI): Darnell Wright — OT (Tennessee)
If the Bears were going to take a tackle inside the top ten, this was the one that I preferred. So, at least something I liked amid the absolute chaos that has unfolded thus far.
11. Tennessee Titans: Peter Skoronski — OT (Northwestern)
The Titans were rumored to be a team looking to move up to No. 3 to draft a QB. That never happened, and neither did Tennessee taking a QB.
12. Detroit Lions (via AZ, HOU): Jahmyr Gibbs — RB (Alabama)
The Lions didn’t get the CB they wanted at No. 6, so they flipped the switch to the offensive side of the ball with Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs. Another curveball tonight!
13. Green Bay Packers (via NYJ): Lukas Van Ness — EDGE (Iowa)
There will be no revenge wide receiver pick for the Packers. Instead, Green Bay lands an edge rusher and a good one in Iowa’s Lukas Van Ness.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (via NE): Broderick Jones — T (Georgia)
The Steelers move up three spots to take a swing at a high-upside offensive tackle in Georgia’s Broderick Jones. Pittsburgh wanted Jones and saw a potential run on offensive linemen coming up, prompting the trade up here. Smart move.
15. New York Jets (via GB): Will McDonald IV — EDGE (Iowa State)
After sliding back two spots in the Aaron Rodgers trade, the Jets take a pass rusher in Iowa State’s Will McDonald. McDonald’s 34 career sacks rank No. 1 in Iowa State history and are tied for the all-time lead in the Big 12.
16. Washington Commanders: Emmanuel Forbes – CB (Mississippi State)
A really talented CB with some incredible ball skills. He can press, play zone, play man, and attack the football. He’ll be aggressive, which can be good and bad at times as a corner. A little surprising he went ahead of Christian Gonzalez. But this guy can take the football away. Ron Rivera will love him.
17. New England Patriots (via PIT): Christian Gonzalez – CB (Oregon)
Surprising that he wasn’t the 2nd CB off the board. New England got themselves a good one and a steal later than expected. Gonzalez has length and speed and can do just about everything at the corner position. He fits perfectly into Bill Belichick’s scheme. The Pats ran to the podium for this pick.
18. Detroit Lions: Jack Campbell – LB (Iowa)
Campbell’s got some length, and he can disrupt some things in the middle more than a lot of interior LBs. That said, this one feels like a reach, much like their first pick. For as great of shape as the Lions appeared to be entering the night, it feels like picks 12 and 18 were big-time reaches. They could work out, but they’re really rolling the dice.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Calijah Kancey – DT (Pittsburgh)
He’s going to draw a lot of unfair comparisons to Aaron Donald, and it’s unrealistic to expect a pick to reach those heights, but Kancey has a chance to be really good. He’s incredibly strong despite being smaller than the average interior DL, and he’s really quick off the ball.
20. Seattle Seahawks: Jaxon Smith-Njigba – WR (Ohio State)
The surest bet of the wide receivers in the draft, Seattle picked up an amazing route runner and a receiver with great hands. Where he lacks in straight-line speed, he makes up for in route-running abilities. Seattle got themselves a WR with a high ceiling but also a very high floor.
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Quentin Johnston – WR (TCU)
This is a perfect fit for the Chargers. They have a lot of steady pass catchers, but now they have themselves a big-time deep threat on Quentin Johnston. Drops are his issue from time to time, but Johnston is a perfect option for Justin Herbert to extend the field and take the top off the defense.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Zay Flowers – WR (Boston College)
On the day they re-signed their big-play quarterback, Baltimore drafted a big-play, explosive receiver in Zay Flowers. The Ravens picked up Odell Beckham Jr, but Flowers really solidifies their commitment to getting Lamar Jackson some help. Baltimore picks up an explosive option at WR they’ve needed for a long time to help out Lamar.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Jordan Addison — WR (USC)
The run on receivers continues here, with the Vikings adding USC’s Jordan Addison to the mix in Minnesota. Addison, at No. 23, is a solid value for the Vikings and fills the hole created by Adam Thielen’s departure in free agency.
24. New York Giants (via JAX): Deonte Banks — CB (Maryland)
Deonte Banks is a speedy bump-and-run corner who could fit perfectly into Wink Martindale’s defense. New York probably would have liked one of the four wide receivers taken in front of them, but alas, here we are.