1: Chicago Bears- DL Jalen Carter, Georgia
- The Bears top preference is probably to trade back with a team that wants a QB. If they have to stay at 1, they will probably decide between Jalen Carter and Will Anderson. Either would be a home run star to anchor their defense.
2: Houston Texans- QB Bryce Young, Alabama
- The Texans need to find their next franchise QB, and this decision should come down to Young or C.J. Stroud. If another team jumps ahead of them, the Texans risk not being in control of that choice.
3: Arizona Cardinals- EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama
- The Cardinals can land a top defensive talent here, but also look for them to explore trading back and stockpiling assets. With Kyler Murray likely out to start the season, 2023 could be a rebuilding year for the team.
4: Indianapolis Colts- QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
- This is the best case scenario for the Colts that they don’t have to trade up and can still land one of the top 2 QBs. Stroud can be the answer to the revolving door of QBs the Colts have had since Andrew Luck retired.
5: Seattle Seahawks (via Broncos)- EDGE Myles Murphy, Clemson
- If the Seahawks re-sign Geno Smith they won’t have to force a QB with their first selection, and they can instead look to add a star to their defense. Murphy or fellow Clemson teammate Bryan Bresee both make sense here. Also Tyree Wilson is another top EDGE rusher.
6: Detroit Lions (via Rams)-DL Bryan Bresee, Clemson
- The Lions seem likely to pass on a QB in the first round this season. They can continue to build around Jared Goff and can look to add other assets to this defense. Hutchinson was incredible as a rookie, but he needs a lot of help.
7: Las Vegas Raiders- EDGE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech
- The Raiders seem likely to get their QB via free agency this offseason, so I expect them to either focus on their offensive line or defense early in the draft. A top edge rusher like Wilson should absolutely be on the table. They do have a lot of resources invested in Jones and Crosby, but Wilson is the type of young EDGE rusher you can build your defense around.
8: Atlanta Falcons- OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State
- It’s unclear what the Falcons will do at the QB spot this offseason, but regardless of their plan they need more help along the offensive line. Johnson gives them a top tier tackle that can play either spot and start as a Day 1 rookie.
9: Carolina Panthers- QB Will Levis, Kentucky
- The Panthers land the 3rd QB in this draft, but there feels like a large gap between the top 2 QBs and the rest of the field. Levis has impressive physical tools, but he was not consistent as a starter at Kentucky. The Panthers though might not have much of an option as they have to add a high upside signal caller this offseason.
10: Philadelphia Eagles (via Saints)- RB Bijan Robinson, Texas
- With the Eagles having a top 10 pick to go along with their regular selection, they have the luxury to take an upside player here. Typically I don’t think it’s a great idea to draft a RB in the 1st round, much less the top 10, but the Eagles don’t have many holes on their roster. With Miles Sanders an impending Free agent, Running back could end up being a big need. Normally they would be fine waiting till the 2nd or 3rd round, but Robinson might be too much of a talent for them to pass up.
11: Tennessee Titans – CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia
- The Titans do need to add offensive playmakers, but just as important are the concerns in their secondary. They were getting shredded week-in-week-out through the air this season. They should look to continue to add some top defensive back talent to fix the issue. WR or TE are other options, and adding offensive line help could make sense as well.
12: Houston Texans (via Browns)- WR Quentin Johnston, TCU
- The Texans landed their franchise QB with their 1st pick, now they can add a top weapon to grow with him with this selection. Nico Collins and John Metchie could be a solid 2 and 3 WR, the Texans need to find a true number 1 (particularly with Brandin Cooks requesting a trade). Johnston could give them that option, and he would be a nice solid value at this spot.
13: New York Jets- OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
- Outside of QB there isn’t a clear “need” on the Jets. They could consider another EDGE player or Defensive back, but I think they look to bolster their offensive line with this selection. Becton has missed basically the last 2 seasons due to injury. While they might be hoping that he can return, I can’t see the Jets ignoring the risk if he doesn’t.
14: New England Patriots- WR Jordan Addison, USC
- The Patriots have to get aggressive with adding weapons on offense this season. Jakobi Meyers is a solid slot receiver, but he has basically been the only reliable pass catcher the past two seasons. Addison simply put is a playmaker. He teamed up with Kenny Pickett 2 years ago at Pitt to help him have a brilliant season, and he followed that up by being Caleb Williams top option this past year. Addison is exactly the type of weapon that Mac Jones needs to develop.
15: Green Bay Packers- TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
- Though still young and raw, the Packers might have a strong top 3 WRs in Watson, Lazard, and Doubs next season. Perhaps they add a cheaper veteran, but that is a good group. Where they are lacking is at TE, where Green Bay got some of the worst production in the league. That could change quickly if they land Mayer in this class. Mayer is one of the top TEs to come out in recent years, and should quickly make the transition to the NFL.
16: Washington Commanders- CB Cam Smith, South Carolina
- While on paper QB is the Commanders biggest need, they are in a bit of tough situation given the potential sale of the Franchise. With potentially a new Ownership, President, GM, and perhaps coaching staff in the next year, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to invest in drafting a rookie project. If Washington was in a position for Young or Stroud that could be a different story, but Levis or Richardson don’t make as much sense. So if QB is off the board, I could see CB, S, OT, and TE on the table. With Mayer off the board here, I see Washington pivoting and taking one of the top flight corners in this class.
17: Pittsburgh Steelers- OT Broderick Jones, Georgia
- The Steelers need to start adding some OL to help protect Pickett and their young offense. Jones should be a plug-and-play OT for Pittsburgh is a good value at this spot.
18: Detroit Lions- CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State
- I think the Lions continue to build up the defense here, as their offense was one of the better units in the league. They finished 5th in points and 3rd in yards, despite missing their 1st rd rookie WR Jameson Williams for most of the season. The only real hole they have on offense is at TE, and I don’t see one worth taking here with Mayer gone. Instead, the smart move is to continue to build up the young defense. Porter Jr. gives the Lions potentially another young star corner.
19: Tampa Bay Buccaneers- G O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida
- The Buccaneers are one of the toughest teams to predict right now as they could be in total rebuilding mode. If they try the retool approach I think the priority has to be the offensive line.
20: Seattle Seahawks- QB Anthony Richardson, Florida
- Richardson might have the highest upside of any QB in this class, but he also has one of the lowest floors and is extremely raw. From a size, arm strength, and athleticism aspect he has the tools you want, but they just didn’t translate on the field over the past two seasons at Florida. Seattle though has a bit of a luxury here, particularly if they re-sign Geno Smith. Smith will probably get a 3-4 year deal (with a chance to get out of it after 2 years), which could give Richardson the time he needs to develop at the NFL level.
21: LA Chargers- CB Clark Phillips III, Utah
- The Chargers could go WR here, but I could see them focusing more on their defense. They signed J.C. Jackson this past offseason, but the results were a disaster. Even if he can bounce back and live up to his contract, Phillips could give him some much needed help in the secondary.
22: Baltimore Ravens- WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
- The Ravens have to add wide receivers this offseason, even if they feel like Bateman will make a full recovery. Mark Andrews is great, but this team clearly needs pass catching help.
23: Minnesota Vikings- CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
-The Vikings need to focus most of their offseason resources to building up this defense. Gonzalez is a steal at this point in the first round, and he could quickly become their top corner.
24: Jacksonville Jaguars- S Brian Branch, Alabama
- The Jaguars are pretty set on offense assuming they re-sign Engram and Calvin Ridley can come back from suspension. Defensively though they could use some more help in their secondary.
25: New York Giants- WR Josh Downs, North Carolina
-With the trading away of Toney and the injuries to Robinson and Shepard, the Giants WR corps was completely depleted for their playoff run. Though guys like Hodgins, Slayton, and Rogers were solid, they have to add some higher end talent this offseason.
26: Dallas Cowboys- WR Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
- Even if the hope is that Gallup will be fully back this season, the Cowboys could use some help at wide receiver. They never were able to replace Amari Cooper, and that lack of an additional threat was clear throughout the season. Hyatt had a great year in the SEC and should be able to quickly make the jump to the NFL. He offers big play speed that should stretch defenses and open up more room for Lamb and Schultz.
27: Buffalo Bills- OT Anton Harrison, Oklahoma
- Defensive backs could be an option as well, but I think the Bills need to add more help up front. Their line play was inconsistent throughout the season, and it did cause problems in some key moments.
28: Denver Broncos (via 49ers from Dolphins)- EDGE Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame
- Offensive line is possible here, but I like the idea of the Broncos grabbing one of the talented EDGE players left on the board. They have to replace Bradley Chubb, and Foskey could be exactly what they need.
29: Cincinnati Bengals- EDGE B.J. Ojulari, LSU
- The Bengals don’t have a lot of clear needs, but depth at the EDGE position could be a good use of this pick. Even if Hendrickson and Hubbard are their starters going forward, its good to have a strong third option.
30: Kansas City Chiefs- CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
- Wide Receiver could be an option here, but I really think the Chiefs need to do more for their secondary. They got exposed a lot throughout the season, and it’s their biggest weakness by far. It also helps that this class is filled with star corners
31: Philadelphia Eagles- EDGE Nolan Smith, Georgia
- Another luxury pick here for the Eagles, but they can add a very talented player to their defense which is one of the best in the league. Smith is coming off an injury, but if his recovery checks out he’s well worth a late 1st rounder.