published on 4/18/2023

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Round 1

Picks 1-16
1. Panthers: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Most rumors put Young here. I feel like he is the best fit on a team without great blocking and limited receiving options. He is the kind of player who can move around and make plays with a good head on his shoulders. Reminds me of a young Russell Wilson.

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

While there have been rumors circling that the Texans may go with a different position here, Stroud makes a ton of sense. From what I have heard of his scouting, he struggles under pressure. The Texans have the rare advantage of a solid LT to protect the youngster as he learns the ropes. When given a clean pocket, he is a terrific passer.

3. Cardinals: Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech

This is a bit of a shocker but I keep hearing how Wilson's hype is growing as he is a freakishly athletic player. I see this as similar to Travon Walker last year. While the jury is still out on that pick, it sure seems like Hutchinson was the safer pick on draft day last year and Anderson would be here as well.

4. Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

While Anthony Richardson is tempting, Levis is an actual passer. Predicting both of these two is really difficult as Levis was not great in college but many give him a pass because of his poor protection and mediocre receiving corps. However, great players are able to overcome these things, especially at the college level. He won't have the luxury of excuses if he's taken in the top 5.

5. Seahawks: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

This is a tough call as Anderson is still on the board but Carter is a freakish athlete, and that is something the Seahawks truly covet. Carroll was embarassed by his front 7 last year as they couldn't stop the run or pressure the quarterback consistently. Carter's play is eye-popping and most who followed him at Georgia would agree he is a generational talent.

6. Lions: Will Anderson, DE, Alabama

While Robinson is tempting here, Anderson would elevate the Lions defensive front to dominant. He should step in and dominate early, especially with teams having to dedicate blocking to Hutchinson across from him. The Lions are a team on the rise as their receiving corps looks explosive.

7. Raiders: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

If the Raiders get Richardson here, they will come out looking very smart. There were rumors that they were debating moving up to 3 to draft him after he blew up the combine. As is often the case, the buzz quieted some in the following weeks and Richardson's stock seems to have cooled. This would be an ideal landing spot as he can sit and learn behind Jimmy G for a year or two and maybe get some occasional offensive packages designed for him to take advantage of his athleticism.

8. Falcons: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

While Robinson isn't a huge need pick, he is a rare RB that can alter the complexion of a game, much like Saquon or McCaffrey. If Atlanta can be creative in using hime, Desmond Ridder could find some success, ala Daniel Jones.

9. Bears: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State

While this list him as a guard, I was under the impression most teams saw Paris Johnson as a tackle. This is the most glaring need for the Bears as they want to try and protect their investment in Justin Fields.

10. Eagles: Peter Skoronski, OT/G, Northwestern

Smart front offices always seem to find these sorts of value picks. Skoronski is widely considered one of the surest things in this class. While he may play guard in the NFL, rather than tackle, he should be an instant starter and help the Eagles maintain their dominant offensive front. With the investment they just made in Hurts, this makes tons of sense.

11. Titans: Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee

While there are many other glaring needs on Tennessee's team, Quarterback play was obviously lacking last year. If you've ever been to Tennessee, you don't see a lot of Titans memorabilia in stores. What you do see is Vols gear everywhere. The Titans would be savvy if they brought in a fairly polished QB that would instantly ignite the local fan base. While maybe there are higher rated prospects, Hooker is solid and could end up being a great pick.

12. Texans: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

This seems like a typical pick for obvious reasons. If Stroud is the pick at #2, getting one of his favorite targets from the past would be a great move (much like Burrow and Chase with the Bengals). Of course they could just wait till next year and hope to get the superior Harrison, Jr.

13. Jets: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

Tough call here but this makes too much sense. Rodgers isn't the mobile QB he once was. Nolan Smith would be a great addition to an already very good defense. However, this team will be going nowhere again if Rodgers goes down.

14. Patriots: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Witherspoon just feels like a Belicheck-type player. He is physical and disciplined, able to cover a variety of receiver types. I could definitely see the Pats eyeing one of the top receivers here, too, and the Patriots are one of the least predictable teams each year so this one is near impossible to pick.

15. Packers: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

I feel like the Packers would love nothing more than to see Jordan Love succeed in his first season as starter, just to feel justified in letting Rodgers leave. Johnston is an explosive playmaker with a huge wingspan and freakish YAC ability for a man his size. Aside from the elite TEs in this class, he is the ultimate QB's best friend.

16. Commanders: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

The TEs seem tempting right about here but Gonzalez is just too talented at 16 to pass up. Let's face it, they could use some help at the position, as well.

Picks 1-16