NFL Draft grades 2023: Live results & analysis for every pick in Round 1

nfl draft grades 2023: live results & analysis for every

Did your team ace or botch its pick or picks in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft? The Sporting News has you covered tracking all the selections and handing out grades in real time beginning Thursday night through the second and third rounds on Friday.

This year, the quarterbacks are back on center stage for early selections and the unpredictability started early, a perfect setup for some standout and surprising results for all 32 teams.

From the No. 1 pick through No. 102 overall, this is your hub for in-depth live reaction for Round 1 and continuing into Rounds 2 and 3, grading every team and player fit:

Live picks tracker | Final three-round mock | Top 200 big board

NFL Draft grades 2023: Live picks, analysis for Rounds 1-3

Round 1

1. Carolina Panthers (from Bears): Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

The Panthers gave up a steep price (wide receiver D.J. Moore and high draft picks) to move up to get their young  franchise QB of choice for new offensive-minded coach Frank Reich, But Young is an excellent choice, worthy of such an aggressive move up because arm, athleticism, leadership, intangibles, playmaking and all-out mature “it factor.” His size becomes a non-issues because the skills and talent in all other areas are off the charts.

2. Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

The Texans stuck with their quarterback-first plan after all, going with the sturdy, accurate pocket passer in Stroud with plenty of smarts and savvy. He doesn’t wow with his arm or athleticism, but can make all the throws and move when needed. He’s a good fit for the 49ers-like QB-friendly offense under DeMeco Ryans and Bobby Slowik.

3. Houston Texans (from Cardinals): Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

After grabbing Stroud with the previous pick, the Texans got aggressive with a trade up from No. 12 overall to land the most coveted prospect from the other side of the ball. Anderson is an elite playmaker beyond his pass rush and will be a cornerstone of the defense for years to come for Ryans, a former standout linebacker himself at Alabama.

4. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

The Colts keep up the momentum with teams opting for high-ceiling talent early in the first round. Indianapolis put some up QB smokescreens, including Wil Levis, but Richardson made the most sense because of his dazzling arm and athletic upside, a perfect fit to be groomed well with offensive-minded rookie coach Shane Steichen. Steichen hit it out of the park while developing Jalen Hurts into a highly-paid elite dual threat QB in Philadelphia.

5. Seattle Seahawks (from Broncos): Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

The Seahawks pass on bigger defensive needs up front with great value left in Jalen Carter and Tyree Wilson. Witherspoon is their kind of big, physical corner to keep building on their new “Legion of Boom” opposite Tariq Woolen, but the opportunity cost was missing on a potential transcendent disruptor up front vs. pass and run.

6. Arizona Cardinals (from Lions through Rams): Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

Johnson is a sound tackle who can play either side because of great athleticism and footwork based on size and power. But it’s curious the Cardinals, after trading down, opted for someone to try to upgrade over D.J. Humphries and Kelvin Bachum when they had huge defensive needs that fit the best talent available for new coach Jonathan Gannon.

Tyree Wilson

7. Las Vegas Raiders: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

The Raiders get docked a little for passing on Jalen Carter, filling their biggest need given how weak they are at defensive tackle. But in terms of getting a freakish pass rusher to put with Maxx Crosby and groom behind Chandler Jones, this was a coup, given Wilson is versatile enough to line up in multiple spots and also play the run well.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

The Falcons are a rebuilding team with major defensive needs. They also aren’t totally set yet at quarterback and need more receiving help. Yet they made a luxury pick in the form of a feature running back as offensive-minded head coach Arthur Smith tries to re-create the Derrick Henry-heavy success he had in Tennessee. Robinson has great potential as an explosive feature workhorse and was first-round worthy. He will be productive early, but the bottom line is Atlanta isn’t a team that could afford to use such high capital on an already good rushing attack.

9. Philadelphia Eagles (from Bears through Panthers): Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

The Eagles made another shrewd move with Howie Roseman to draft an elite defender from Georgia’s back-to-back national champions. Carter joins Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean on the front seven and will be groomed behind Fletcher Cox to be a quick penetrator who will blow up a lot of plays in the backfield vs. run and pass to complement Davis’ run-stuffing for a long time.

10. Chicago Bears (from Eagles through Saints): Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

The Bears fill their massive need for a pass-protecting left tackle for Justin Fields, but it’s not Johnson, Peter Skoronski or even Broderick Jones. Wright compares favorably as a blocker to new Bengal and former Chief Orlando Brown Jr. He rose up boards late by showing teams more athleticism in his powerful frame, but should have gone later in the round vs. the other available tackles.

11. Tennessee Titans: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

The Titans passed on a quarterback early to address another big need after moving on from long-time Taylor Lewan. They get an explosive athlete who’s a natural for pass protection but also sound with his feet in run blocking to help their offense well all-around.

12. Detroit Lions (from Cardinals through Texans, Browns): Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama

The Lions didn’t want to risk hoping that Gibbs would still be on the board when they pick in the second round after Robinson went so early. Gibbs might be the better fit than Robinson for their needs as a compact runner with elite receiving skills. He can displace oft-injured D’Andre Swift, a free agent in 2024, in that latter capacity with the workhorse potential to push newcomer David Montgomery into a swing backup role.

Lukas Van Ness

13. Green Bay Packers (from Jets): Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa

There’s no doubt Van Ness has first-round upside with his raw pass-rush skills, standing out with his explosiveness and relentless in getting after the quarterback. But he’s also a bit of a project with limited experience for a team that had more pressing offensive needs at wide receiver, tight end and tackle to boost new young starting quarterback Jordan Love.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers (from Patriots): Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

The Steelers nailed this first draft pick for GM Omar Khan. They realized that with Johnson, Wright and Skoronski off the board, they had to jump the Jets to get the other surefire first-round tackle. Jones has a pleasing combination of strength and quickness to both help second-year QB Kenny Pickett big-time as a major upgrade over Dan Moore Jr. at left tackle and get downfield in run blocking for third-year running back Najee Harris.

15. New York Jets (from Packers): Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State

The Jets make a curious reach for more of a late-rising second-round prospect. Although McDonald has promising length and athleticism for Robert Saleh’s defense, he has to develop more against the run to play on regular downs. The Jets missed out on the offensive tackle run and also didn’t get an offensive skill player to boost Aaron Rodgers. This also is a head-scratcher for GM Joe Douglas after taking Jermaine Johnson as a third first-rounder in 2022.

Christian Gonzalez, Will McDonald IV

16. Washington Commanders: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

The Commanders went for cornerback as expected with the first pick, but they reached a bit for the undersized Forbes, a versatile and smart cover man who does not have the size and big-play flair of other corners available, including Christian Gonzalez, Deonte Banks, Joey Porter Jr., Cam Smith and Kelee Ringo. It is a curious pick for a non-shutdown type.

17. New England Patriots (from Steelers): Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

The Patriots should be thrilled to land the best corner in the draft to fill their biggest defensive need after a trade down. Gonzalez is an exceptional athlete for his size. He is smooth and sound in coverage and will be active ballhawk to remind them of Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson.

18. Detroit Lions: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes fill another immediate sneaky need here for a dominant second-level playmaker to upgrade from Alex Anzalone. He’s a very athletic well-rounded playmaker, but it’s a tad questionable for them to take him over Trenton Simpson and Drew Sanders given their higher overall upside.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pitt

The Buccaneers needed to get a compact tackle with some inside pass-rush pop to help massive run stuffer Vita Vea on Todd Bowles’ three-man front. Kancey is a great fit and Tampa Bay is hoping it has mined an Aaron Donald clone from the same program. They could have gone quarterback here, but you can’t fault them for knowing Kancey was a good value and a possible target of division rivals, including the Saints.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

20. Seattle Seahawks: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

The Seahawks had a need for a third wideout to help support DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett with the latter turning 31 during the season. With both of those targets settling outside in Shane Waldron’s offense for Geno Smith, Smith-Njigba can use his hands, quickness and route-running skills to be an ace slot option at first before taking over for Lockett in the near future.

21. Los Angeles Chargers: Quentin Johnson, WR, TCU

The Chargers needed to follow the Seahawks and add key receiving depth behind Keenan Allen, who turned 31 on draft night and Mike Williams, given both also have durability issues. Johnston was set to go in this range, but they need some more versatility vs. just going after a pure speedy vertical outside threat for big-armed Justin Herbert.

22. Baltimore Ravens: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

The Ravens getting Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor wisely didn’t stop them from getting the ideal versatile big-play threat to help newly highly paid Lamar Jackson, playing well off 2021 first-rounder Rashod Bateman and tight end Mark Andrews. The Chargers’ miss is their gain, as Flowers can be their inside-outside version of Lockett.

Jordan Addison

23. Minnesota Vikings: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

The Vikings took full advantage of Addison’s stock slipping to this part of the first round as a slot-forward replacement for Adam Thielen. Addison is an absolute route-running technician with ideal quickness and toughness for the slot. He will benefit nicely from the coverage attention Justin Jefferson gets all over the field.

24. New York Giants (from Jaguars): Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

The Giants addressed a key defensive need for improved outside coverage by landing Banks, who got more attention for his size and fluid ballhawking skills later in the draft process to be a worthy first-rounder. Banks made great sense in a small trade up after the viable wide receiver options for them were gone.

25. Buffalo Bills (from Jaguars through Giants): Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

The Bills, after missing on the wide receiver run plus Robinson and Gibbs, trade up for a strange offensive skill pick of a tight end. That’s despite having Josh Allen favorite Dawson Knox under contract through 2026 and being a primary 11 personnel (three wideout) team. They also could have targeted some linebacker, offensive line, pass rush help for much more immediate impact as AFC title contenders.

26. Dallas Cowboys: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan

The Cowboys reached a little, but they did fill a direct need for a run-stuffing nose tackle who can start right away from them with his nice combination of power and quickness.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Bills): Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

The Jaguars had a bigger need to develop at offensive tackle right before the draft with Cam Robinson facing a possible PED suspension. They did lose Jawaan Taylor in free agency and needed depth anyway behind Robinson and Walker Little. Now Little might need to slide to the left side given Harrison is a physically impressive run blocker for the right side at first before developing much better in pass protection.

28. Cincinnati Bengals: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

The Bengals got a potential top-10 talent to further boost their pass rush beyond Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard  vs. going after a tight end they really liked in Michael Mayer. Murphy is a solid pass rusher but also has the speed, quickness and versatility to be effective vs. the run, even at linebacker at first.

29. New Orleans Saints (from 49ers through Broncos): Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

The Saints got gutted at defensive tackle when starters David Onymata (Falcons) and Shy Tuttle (Panthers) left for division rivals in free agency. This is a great pick and an upgrade given Bresee is such a reliable run stuffer with great untapped potential as a pass rusher.

30. Philadelphia Eagles: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

The Eagles keep loading up on elite defensive players from Kirby Smart’s dominant Bulldogs. After getting Carter to play with Davis up front and ready to promote Dean to starting middle linebacker, they land Smith, a high-upside freakish pass-rusher to groom behind Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat. Smith will boost their pass rush situationally at first with his great speed and quickness  to help compensate for the loss of Javon Hargrave’s production inside.

31. Kansas City Chiefs

Round 2

32. Pittsburgh Steelers (from Bears)

33. Arizona Cardinals (from Texans)

34. Detroit Lions (from Cardinals)

35. Indianapolis Colts 

36. Los Angeles Rams

37. Seattle Seahawks (from Broncos)

38. Las Vegas Raiders

39. Carolina Panthers

40. New Orleans Saints

41. Tennessee Titans

42. Green Bay Packers (from Browns through Jets)

43. New York Jets

44. Atlanta Falcons

45. Green Bay Packers

46. New England Patriots

47. Washington Commanders

48. Detroit Lions

49. Pittsburgh Steelers

50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

51. Miami Dolphins

52. Seattle Seahawks

53. Chicago Bears (from Ravens)

54. Los Angeles Chargers

55. Detroit Lions (from Vikings)

56. Jacksonville Jaguars

57. New York Giants

58. Dallas Cowboys

59. Buffalo Bills

60. Cincinnati Bengals

61. Chicago Bears (from 49ers through Panthers)

62. Philadelphia Eagles

63. Kansas City Chiefs

Round 3

64. Chicago Bears

65. Houston Texans

66. Philadelphia Eagles (from Cardinals)

67. Denver Broncos (from Colts)

68. Denver Broncos

69. Los Angeles Rams

70. Las Vegas Raiders

71. New Orleans Saints

72. Tennessee Titans

73. Houston Texans (from Browns)

74. Cleveland Browns (from Jets)

75. Atlanta Falcons

76. New England Patriots (from Panthers)

77. Los Angeles Rams (from Patriots through Dolphins)

78. Green Bay Packers

79. Indianapolis Colts (from Commanders)

80. Pittsburgh Steelers

81. Arizona Cardinals (Lions)

82. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

83. Seattle Seahawks

84. Miami Dolphins

85. Los Angeles Chargers

86. Baltimore Ravens

87. Minnesota Vikings

88. Jacksonville Jaguars

89. New York Giants

90. Dallas Cowboys

91. Buffalo Bills

92. Cincinnati Bengals

93. Carolina Panthers (from 49ers)

94. Arizona Cardinals (from Eagles)

95. Kansas City Chiefs

96. Arizona Cardinals (compensatory)

97. Washington Commanders (compensatory)

98. Cleveland Browns (compensatory)

99. San Francisco 49ers (compensatory)

100. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chiefs through Giants, compensatory)

101. San Francisco 49ers (compensatory)

102. San Francisco 49ers (compensatory)

Dave Gallo

Dave Gallo is a pioneering sports analytics expert, renowned for his revolutionary work in AI-driven sports simulations, projections, and advanced statistical analysis. With a profound passion for sports and technology, he crafts cutting-edge computer models that accurately predict outcomes. Dave's game-changing insights have reshaped strategy, player evaluation, and decision-making across various sports. His dynamic presentations make complex analytics accessible and inspiring, ensuring his legacy as a visionary in sports analytics. Check out Dave's Pick Record.

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