1. Carolina Panthers (acquired from CHI Bears)- QB Bryce Young, University of Alabama
How quickly can things change. At first it appeared that the Carolina Panthers were dead-set on selecting quarterback C.J. Stroud with their first overall pick. But according to multiple NFL insiders and sports booking sites, Carolina is reportedly the favorite to draft former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. Outside of size concerns, Young is arguably a top two quarterback in this draft class. Panthers fans can sleep soundly knowing that they have finally a franchise quarterback on their team.
2. Houston Texans- EDGE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech University
I honestly don’t know what the Houston Texans are going to do at two. According to NFL.com reporter and draft analyst Lance Zierlein, the chances of Houston either trading back or drafting a defensive player is possible.
Draft defense or trade back
— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) April 17, 2023
Houston is reportedly not sold on quarterback C.J. Stroud, and they aren’t necessarily high on quarterback Anthony Richardson due to his accuracy issues. That leaves them the opportunity to choose between edge rushers Will Anderson or Tyree Wilson.
Houston chooses Wilson because his stock has been rising as of late, and some may believe he will be a better pro than Will Anderson. Wilson was a late bloomer but he’s versatile. Head coach Demeco Ryans finds his defensive cornerstone player in Tyree Wilson.
3. Arizona Cardinals- EDGE Will Anderson Jr, University of Alabama
It appears that the Arizona Cardinals have teams that are interested in acquiring the third overall pick. Considering how the team is devoid of talent on the defensive side of the ball, Arizona can’t afford to pass on Will Anderson if he’s available. Anderson is a true defensive end with insane bend and burst but he needs to expand his pass-rushing skill set. Arizona’s defense gets a facelift with Will Anderson on their team.
4. Indianapolis Colts- QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State University
I don’t see the Indianapolis Colts passing on a quarterback so they bite the bullet and draft C.J. Stroud. Stroud met with the Indianapolis Colts this past week, so the interest is there. Stroud was considered a lock to be taken first overall but things have changed due to his poor performance on the S2 cognitive test that each quarterback prospect takes. Reportedly, both Houston and Carolina aren’t as high on Stroud after his test results. Still, Stroud is arguably one of the best quarterbacks in this class and a test should not stop a team from drafting him.
5. Seattle Seahawks- QB Anthony Richardson, University of Florida
The smoke out there is that Seattle is interested in Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter despite the off the field concerns. However, I cannot see Seattle passing up on a quarterback. Anthony Richardson to Seattle isn’t a guarantee but I can’t envision Seattle passing up on Richardson if he’s there. Quarterback Geno Smith is good, but he’s not a franchise quarterback and his contract is structured in a way that Seattle can move off Smith in a year or two.
Richardson is a project quarterback with a ton of upside and general manager John Schneider is fascinated with project quarterbacks, he had interest in Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen when they were in college. Anthony Richardson would thrive in Seattle in that system and that offense.
6. Detroit Lions (pick acquired from LA Rams) CB Christian Gonzalez, University of Oregon
Detroit decided to trade away their 2020 first round cornerback in Jeff Okudah, making cornerback an obvious need. Detroit was able to revamp their secondary during free agency but it lacks a true primary cornerback. Christian Gonzalez makes sense for Detroit. With good ball skills and versatility, Gonzalez can fit in Detroit’s scheme with ease.
The ongoing debate has been who is the better cornerback in this class, Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon or Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez. Both are talented and either one is fine for Detroit to choose, but they choose Gonzalez over Witherspoon.
7. Houston Texans (pick acquired from LV Raiders)- QB Will Levis, University of Kentucky
The Texans and Raiders go with trade in the top 10 to set up another quarterback going off the board. Houston decides to take a chance and draft quarterback Will Levis. The Texans have a rare opportunity to not only acquire a defensive cornerstone but a quarterback in the same draft. Levis privately met with the Texans and maybe the Texans favor Levis over Stroud, which would be strange.
Levis has all the tools you want in a quarterback, but his footwork and mechanics need to be fixed and he’s not particularly accurate. In his last season with Kentucky, his numbers weren’t necessarily great but his supporting cast was less than ideal. Houston taking Will Levis wouldn’t be a surprise to me.
8. Atlanta Falcons- OT Peter Skoronski, University of Northwestern
Atlanta’s offensive line is concerning, specifically their left guard spot. Matt Hennessy would be the starter if the season started today but he’s inexperienced as he only has three starts at that position. Even though he is labeled as a tackle, Skoronski is versatile enough to play inside.
If the Falcons believe quarterback Desmond Ridder is their franchise quarterback, they will invest in the trenches. Atlanta’s offensive line was one of the most improved units in the league last season, all they need is a true left guard and Skoronski fits that.
9. Chicago Bears- DT Jalen Carter, University of Georgia
If Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter is available at nine, Chicago won’t hesitate to take him. ESPN NFL Insider Matt Miller said Chicago “values Jalen Carter highly and he won’t fall past their pick at 9.” From a scheme standpoint, Carter fits what head coach Matt Eberflus runs defensively. It’s the off the field concerns that are the concern.
Carter is a talented individual, arguably the best player in this entire draft. However, the off the field issues and a disappointing showing at his pro day brought his stock down a bit. Regardless, he’s talented and Chicago will likely take a swing on him that will benefit both parties.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (pick acquired from NO Saints) – EDGE Myles Murphy, University of Clemson
It’s best to think ahead and Philadelphia’s pass rush will look completely different in the next few years. Brandon Graham re-signed to a one year deal and he will likely be gone following this season so Philadelphia should look to add another edge rusher opposite of Josh Sweat. Myles Murphy makes sense. Murphy has already visited the Eagles so the interest is there. He has all the tools you want in an edge rusher and he could benefit from sitting behind Brandon Graham for a year.