Projections for 2023 NFL Draft


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The 2023 NFL Draft is set to kick off on April 27 at 8 p.m. EDT.

Arjun Maitra, Technical Editor

The 2023 NFL Draft is set to kick off on April 27 at 8 p.m. EDT. Here is Online Technical Editor Arjun Maitra’s projections for the first twelve picks of Round 1.

Carolina Panthers:

Pick: Bryce Young (Quarterback)

The Carolina Panthers traded up to the number one overall pick with one goal: draft a franchise quarterback. Bryce Young, the gunslinger from the University of Alabama, fits this mold. Young’s arm strength and accuracy make him a top prospect. His elite playmaking combined with his high football have led some to label him as a mini version of Super Bowl Champion Patrick Mahomes. Despite his smaller frame, many analysts believe he has the potential and the “it-factor” needed to lead the Panthers to their first ever Super Bowl victory. Only time will tell if this bold move will pay off for the team. 

Houston Texans:

Pick: CJ Stroud (Quarterback)

Our hometown Houston Texans complete their search for a franchise quarterback by drafting C.J. Stroud, the dual-threat quarterback from Ohio State University. With his agility, arm strength, and leadership abilities, Stroud and new head coach DeMeco Ryans are poised to lead the Texans to a new era of success. If the Texans draft him, Houston will be eager to see what Stroud can bring to the team and how he will help turn our beloved franchise around.

Tennessee Titans:

Pick: Anthony Richardson (Quarterback)

The Tennessee Titans add a burst of explosiveness to their roster by trading up eight spots and drafting Anthony Richardson, the dynamic quarterback from the University of Florida. With his impressive speed, rushing ability, size, and arm strength, Richardson has the potential to become a game-changer for the Titans offense and fits perfectly with star running back Derrick Henry. His natural athleticism and ability to extend plays is unparalleled and makes him a versatile threat on the field. Richardson’s pure quarterbacking skills lack behind Young and Stroud, but his upside makes him a worthy gamble in a league that rewards big swings.

Indianapolis Colts:

Pick: Will Levis (Quarterback)

Since Andrew Luck’s shocking retirement in 2019, the Indianapolis Colts have been searching for a franchise quarterback to no avail. They seek to change this narrative by drafting Will Levis, the athletic and strong-armed quarterback from Kentucky. With his big frame and ability to make big throws downfield, Levis could be the missing piece for the Colts offense. Similar to Richardson, his lack of college production holds him from being a top two pick. Nevertheless, Levis could be the antidote for the Colts’ cursed luck in finding a franchise leader. 

Seattle Seahawks:

Pick: Jalen Carter (Defensive Tackle)

The Seattle Seahawks have their sights set on bolstering their defensive line and Jalen Carter from the University of Georgia could be their guy. Carter is a dominant force on the interior, possessing the strength and explosiveness to disrupt plays in the backfield. His ability to collapse the pocket and create pressure make him a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. Head Coach Peter Caroll has struggled in recent years to consistently generate a pass rush, and selecting Carter could provide a significant boost to his defense. Once a projected number one pick, off-the-field concerns have lowered his value. But, a game-changing talent like Carter is simply too tempting to pass up.

Detroit Lions:

Pick: Will Anderson (Edge Rusher)

 The Detroit Lions were the NFL’s worst defense last year, so Will Anderson, the dominant edge rusher from the University of Alabama, is the clear and obvious choice. Anderson’s speed, strength, and relentless pursuit of the quarterback make him a valuable addition to the Lions’ defense; he fits particularly well with second-year edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson. He has the potential to be  transformative talent for the team, and his ability to disrupt opposing offenses will make him a force to be reckoned with in the league. The Lions hope that Anderson will be a cornerstone of their defense for years to come.

Las Vegas Raiders:
Pick: Devon Witherspoon (Cornerback)

The Raiders have had a below-average defense, especially in the backend, for years, so naturally they have their sights set on Devon Witherspoon, the explosive corner from North Carolina. Witherspoon’s combination of fluidity, technique, and toughness make him a top prospect in this year’s draft. While Witherspoon will likely take a couple years to reach his true potential, he is the high-level development prospect the Raiders need to bolster their secondary for the future.

Atlanta Falcons:

Pick: Tyree Wilson (Edge Rusher)

 The Falcons should sprint to the podium if Texas Tech edge Tyree Wilson is available.  If Wilson is still on the board, the Falcons would gain a huge beneficiary to bolster their low-ranked defense. With his size and skill set, Wilson would be a valuable addition to the team’s pass rush, able to shut down the run and sack the quarterback. If the Falcons can secure Wilson with the eighth pick, it would be an undeniable win for the rebuilding team.

Chicago Bears:

Pick: Peter Skoronski (Offensive Tackle)

Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski is the perfect pick for the Chicago Bears, who look to provide better protection for their thriving quarterback Justin Fields. Skoronski is a physical and athletic lineman who excels in pass protection and has the footwork to handle enemy edge rushers. He is also a powerful run blocker who can create space and open up running lanes for his team. With his skills and potential, Skoronski could make an immediate impact and become a key building block for the Bears’ future success.

Philadelphia Eagles:

Pick: Bijan Robinson (Running Back)

 The Super Bowl runner-up Philadelphia Eagles could use a star running back to bolster their offensive production, and with the 10th overall pick in the draft, they have the opportunity to snag one. Enter Bijan Robinson, the talented rusher from the University of Texas. Robinson has shown impressive speed, agility, and vision on the field, making him a top prospect in this year’s draft class. He pairs perfectly with the explosive physicality of quarterback Jalen Hurts and wide receiver A.J. Brown. With his ability to both run the ball and catch passes out of the backfield, Robinson would be a valuable addition to the already lethal Eagles’ offense. 

Arizona Cardinals:

Pick:Luke van Ness (Edge Rusher)

 With the retirement of legend J.J. Watt (we will miss you, JJ!), The Arizona Cardinals are in need of a dominant defensive lineman like Luke Van Ness. Van Ness is a beast on the field, with his size, strength, and quickness making him a nightmare for offensive linemen to handle. He has a knack for getting to the quarterback and disrupting plays in the backfield, and is also a high-character player, known for his leadership and work ethic. He will bring a new level of toughness and intensity to the Cardinals’ defense, which has been lacking culturally in recent years. With Van Ness in the fold, the Cardinals can start to build a dominant defensive unit that can compete with the best in the league.

Houston Texans:

Pick: Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Wide Receiver)

With the departure of Brandin Cooks to Dallas earlier this off-season, the Texans with their second first-round pick add Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (JSN). Having already drafted his college quarterback C.J. Stroud, there will be instant chemistry between the two Buckeyes entering the league. JSN is not the most explosive receiver but he does possess hyper-agility and methodical route running skills that help him masterfully separate from corners. He and Stroud should provide H-Town with the electrifying duo that every Super Bowl-contending team needs.