2023 NFL Draft Day One Winners & Losers

Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

2023 NFL Draft Day One Winners & Losers


2023 NFL Draft Day One Winners & Losers


Day one of the 2023 NFL Draft has come and gone. Thursday night, we saw young men who have been playing football since they were young had their dreams come true in Kansas City. Some teams made some great choices, others made decisions that left us scratching our heads. Here are the winners and losers for the NFL Draft.

Winners: Emotion that was showcased by the players selected

It is always refreshing to see the players who are drafted express themselves when they hear their name called. From crying tears of joy to pure happiness, that is what it is all about. 

All of the dedication and hard work that the players have put in have led to this moment, and it is great to see. We should all be happy for these players and their families because their lives have been changed for the better.

Winner: Houston Texans General Manager Nick Caserio

Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

Nick Caserio heard all of the negativity surrounding what he was going to do in this year’s draft. People believed he was going to pass on a quarterback. Instead, Houston chose Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud. Caserio wasn’t done as he traded back up with the Arizona Cardinals to select Alabama defensive end Will Anderson with the third overall pick. 

Not only did Caserio find his franchise quarterback in Stroud, but he somehow found a way to acquire a defensive cornerstone in Will Anderson. No one knew what the Houston Texans were going to do, some believed that they were going to do something that would’ve caused frustration. Nonetheless, the Texans knocked it out of the park by picking Stroud and Anderson in back to back selections. 

Winners: Philadelphia Eagles

Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter is arguably the best player in this year’s draft class. Philadelphia traded up to pick him ninth overall. Georgia defensive end Nolan Smith is one of the best edge rushers in his class. He falls to pick 30 and Philadelphia picks him up. Philadelphia currently has four players who played for the Georgia Bulldogs defense in Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean from last year’s draft, and now Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith. To opposing offenses in the NFL, good luck.

Winners: Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens were having a disappointing offseason. The ongoing contract situation regarding quarterback Lamar Jackson dragged on for months, until draft day. Baltimore not only were able to secure their franchise quarterback, they also got him more wide receivers at his disposable. Drafting wide receiver Zay Flowers out of Boston College seemed like a no brainer but it does show that Baltimore is committed to giving their quarterback the offensive help he desperately needed. Baltimore redeemed themselves after a hectic offseason by paying their franchise quarterback a new contract and getting him another wide receiver.

Winner: Indianapolis Colts (specifically general manager Chris Ballard)

If there was one general manager that had a ton of pressure on him during this draft, make no mistake, Chris Ballard was one. With CJ Stroud gone, Ballard went with Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson and it was a perfect fit. Richardson is a project but head coach Shane Steichen knows a thing or two working with quarterbacks who are far from complete as  Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts comes to mind. Richardson has all the physical tools you want in a quarterback, but he needs to work on his accuracy and footwork. Shane Steichen will be pleased with his new quarterback, and Chris Ballard can rest a little bit easily tonight.

Winner: Seattle Seahawks

If you currently live in the Pacific Northwest, you have to be feeling pretty good about the Seattle Seahawks draft selections. With Stroud and Richardson being the two quarterbacks off the board, many believed that Seattle would go after Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter. However, they chose to go in a completely different direction and acquire Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon. Seattle rarely chooses cornerbacks this high but they made an exception.

It didn’t stop there as Seattle then decided to go with Jaxon Smith-Njigba with their second first round pick. JSN is arguably one the best wide receiver in this year’s draft class and he fell right in Seattle’s lap. Seattle’s secondary looks solid on paper, and Seattle has arguably one of the top 10 wide receiver trios in the NFL in DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and JSN.

Loser: Detroit Lions

To be blunt, I honestly didn’t love the Detroit Lions draft for numerous reasons. Let’s start with the first pick that they made. Selecting Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs was for sure a choice. Detroit had other pressing needs specifically on the defensive side of the ball. Many believed that Detroit would’ve gone in the direction of drafting a cornerback in Christian Gonzalez after Devon Witherspoon was taken by Seattle at pick five. 

They also could’ve chosen a defensive tackle but I believed the red flags of Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter turned the team away from drafting him. Detroit then chose Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell with their second first round pick. The pick itself wasn’t a bad selection but some might believe the pick was too high for positional value. I don’t believe the picks were bad but in regards to positional value it didn’t make much sense. The large majority of NFL Draft Twitter seems to agree. 

Loser: Quarterback Will Levis

If there is one person that’s draft stock suffered is Kentucky quarterback Will Levis. Multiple rumors and reports had Will Levis linked to multiple teams, but those teams chose to go in different directions and Levis fell out of the first round completely. Levis is far from a finished product from a quarterback standpoint as his accuracy is spotty and his footwork is not ideal. 

Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, who is a project quarterback, went earlier than Levis to the Indianapolis Colts fourth overall. Levis going from being a  potential first round pick to a second round or third round shows that teams aren’t necessarily high on him as people may have thought.

Losers: New York Jets

So much for new Jets Quarterback Aaron Rodgers getting wide receiver help. The Jets taking Iowa State defensive end Will McDonald IV was an odd choice. McDonald isn’t a bad player but taking him as high as pick 15 was head-scratching. McDonald was projected to go in the late first round by most draft analysts but taking him at 15 might be considered a reach by most. McDonald could turn out to be a solid edge rusher but taking him at 15 wasn’t the right thing to do if you are the Jets.

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