AthleticsBasketballBoxingCricketCyclingFootballFormula 1GolfMoto GPNflRugbySportsTennisUfc

Top QBs dominate early 1st-round projections

The 2023 NFL draft is still a long way off, but that’s never going to stop us from looking into the future and trying to project how the first round of next year’s draft could shake out.

After a draft that saw just one quarterback selected in the first round in 2022, the 2023 class appears to have no shortage of promising passers who could end up warranting a top-32 selection.

How will the game’s most important position stack up to the other groups in next year’s draft class? Will the top overall prospect take a back seat at the No. 1 overall pick to the best quarterback on the board?

Here are our updated first-round projections for the 2023 NFL draft:

1. Houston Texans | Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud

(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

If the Texans are picking this high, it’s likely the Davis Mills experiment didn’t go well. Stroud has all the tools to be a franchise passer at the next level, and has already put up huge numbers against top competition.

2. Atlanta Falcons | Alabama EDGE Will Anderson

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Falcons may have landed their quarterback of the future in Desmond Ridder, which should free them up to take the best overall prospect in this draft. Anderson is a dominant pass rusher who could challenge for the Heisman Trophy this year.

3. Seattle Seahawks | Alabama QB Bryce Young

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

The Seahawks don’t have a starting-caliber quarterback on their roster after trading away Russell Wilson, and finding one will be their top priority next offseason. Young might be undersized, but he’s still got all the mental and physical traits to be a franchise passer.

4. New York Jets | Georgia DL Jalen Carter

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Even with all the Georgia defenders who went in the first round of the 2022 draft, Carter might be the best prospect of them all. He’s the kind of dominant interior presence who could be worthy of a top-five pick.

5. Detroit Lions | Washington State QB Cam Ward

(August Frank/Lewiston Tribune via AP)

The Lions punted on the 2022 quarterback class, likely hoping to land a better prospect at the top of next year’s draft. Ward looked like he was playing NCAA Football 14 on rookie mode at Incarnate Word, and if he can do anything similar in the Pac-12, he could easily end up warranting a top-five pick.

6. Carolina Panthers | Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers might have stolen a quality starting quarterback in Matt Corral, but he could use another dynamic pass-catcher to pair with D.J. Moore. Smith-Njigba is the next elite receiver prospect to come out of Columbus, and might be the best we’ve seen in a while.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars | Clemson DL Bryan Bresee

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

This pick is a bit of a projection, as Bresee missed most of last season due to injury. But the Jaguars could use a dominant, disruptive force for the interior of their defensive line, and Bresee has all the traits to be that kind of presence at full strength.

8. Chicago Bears | Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

This pick has to be used to help Justin Fields, whether it’s a franchise left tackle or a true No. 1 receiver. With Smith-Njigba already off the board, the Bears opt for the former in Johnson, who has been tested against some of the best edge defenders in the nation.

9. New York Giants | Florida QB Anthony Richardson

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants declined the fifth-year option on Daniel Jones’ contract, so barring massive improvement from the former top-10 pick this season, the Giants will be looking for his replacement here. Richardson has been banged up, but has top-shelf physical traits and limitless potential when healthy.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers | Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive tackle is another big need, but it wouldn’t be surprising for the Steelers to prefer to pass rusher in the first round. Murphy is an explosive edge defender who would pair nicely with T.J. Watt.

11. Washington Commanders | Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Depending on how the 2022 season plays out, the Commanders could end up needing an long-term upgrade at left tackle. Skoronski has the power, athleticism and toughness to be an immediate upgrade at a premium position for Washington.

12. Minnesota Vikings | LSU WR Kayshon Boutte

(AP Photo/Michael Clubb)

Adam Thielen turns 32 in August, so the Vikings could be looking for a long-term running mate for Justin Jefferson. Boutte is a well-rounded pass-catcher with the athleticism and physicality to be the perfect successor to Minnesota’s aging veteran.

13. New England Patriots | Oregon LB Noah Sewell

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick’s defense is at its best when it has a smart, tough, athletic linebacker running the show from the middle. Sewell checks all of those boxes, and would allow the Pats to continue their youth movement and overhaul on defense.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (from NO) | Alabama CB Eli Ricks

(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton, File)

James Bradberry was a huge addition this offseason, but Darius Slay will turn 32 in January, which means the Eagles could still be targeting a young understudy who could become a No. 1 corner. A transfer from LSU, Ricks could be the latest Alabama defensive back to come off the board in the first round.

15. Las Vegas Raiders | USC WR Jordan Addison

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

There may be bigger needs elsewhere, but if an explosive playmaker like Addison is still on the board here, it wouldn’t be surprising to see head coach Josh McDaniels pound the table for him. Adding Addison to Davante Adams, Darren Waller and Davante Adams would be huge for Derek Carr.

16. Miami Dolphins | LSU EDGE BJ Ojulari

Syndication: The Daily Advertiser

Jaelan Phillips has a promising future, but the Dolphins need another young, explosive edge rusher to pair him with. Ojulari racked up seven sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss as a sophomore in 2021, and is primed for even more this year.

17. Tennessee Titans | Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

This offense desperately needs a complete tight end who can help clear the road for Derrick Henry in the run game, but also challenge defenses as a receiving thread. Mayer checks all of those boxes, and is a red-zone machine.

18. Arizona Cardinals | Georgia CB Kelee Ringo

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Since losing Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals have lacked a true shutdown corner who can matchup with top receivers on the outside. Ringo proved his big-play ability and ball skills last year, capping off a strong 2021 campaign with a pick-six that sealed the national title.

19. Philadelphia Eagles | Alabama S Malachi Moore

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After adding an athletic playmaker at corner earlier in the first round, the Eagles double-dip in the secondary here. Moore is a versatile ballhawk who would bring much-needed big-play ability to the back end of Philly’s defensive backfield.

20. Indianapolis Colts | Kentucky QB Will Levis

Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts spent the 2022 draft building around Matt Ryan, but next year, they should think about drafting his eventual successor. Levis still needs to show improved development this season, but the flashes he’s displayed up to this point carry potential first-round promise.

21. Cincinnati Bengals | Clemson LB Trenton Simpson

Syndication: The Greenville News

The Bengals did a solid job of reloading their biggest areas of need this offseason (offensive line, secondary), so next year’s top pick could be used on an athletic, versatile defender for the front seven. Simpson would be the perfect fit, thanks to his ability to make big plays in every phase of the game.

22. Baltimore Ravens | TCU WR Quentin Johnston

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson already needed more weapons for the passing game, and that was before the Ravens traded away Marquise Brown. Johnston is a big-play machine who brings the size and athleticism this offense needs.

23. Houston Texans (from CLE) | Notre Dame EDGE Isaiah Foskey

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Houston reloaded their secondary with top talent in the 2022 draft, but Lovie Smith’s defense doesn’t work if the front four can’t get consistent pressure. Foskey has a well-rounded skill set that would allow him to flourish in this scheme, and he would make an immediate impact.

24. Dallas Cowboys | Miami (FL) OT Zion Nelson

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The rebuild continues for the Dallas offensive line, as they land Nelson, who could have been a fairly early pick in this year’s draft. He could start at right tackle, allowing 2022 first-round pick Tyler Smith to remain as a dominant guard.

25. Seattle Seahawks (from DEN) | Georgia EDGE Nolan Smith

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Seahawks landed one stud pass rusher this year in second-round pick Boye Mafe, but they could use another one next year. Smith may have been overshadowed by other superstars on the Bulldogs’ dominant defense last year, but 2022 will give him a chance to shine.

26. Miami Dolphins (from SF) | Texas RB Bijan Robinson

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

When you have multiple first-rounders, you can afford a bit of a luxury pick, especially when the value is this good. Robinson looks like a top-10 overall prospect, but even the best running backs tend to slide on draft day. He would be an immediate superstar in Mike McDaniel’s offense.

27. Los Angeles Chargers | North Carolina WR Josh Downs

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Justin Herbert already has a talented pair of pass-catchers in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, but he could use another big-play threat who can challenge defenses with the deep ball. Downs is an explosive receiver who can turn every catch into a touchdown.

28. Detroit Lions (from LAR) | Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions have some serviceable starters at corner, but they’re still looking for a true shutdown artist who can lead the whole group. The son of another dominant NFL defender, Porter has all the ingredients to make a similar impact at the next level.

29. Green Bay Packers | Oklahoma WR Marvin Mims

Syndication: The Oklahoman

Yes, the Packers traded up in the second round of this year’s draft for Christian Watson, but that shouldn’t stop them from giving Aaron Rodgers another explosive receiver early in next year’s draft. Mims is undersized, but makes up for it with his big-play ability.

30. Kansas City Chiefs | Washington OT Jaxson Kirkland

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Another offensive line that has been improved, but still could use more help, the Chiefs land a talented tackle prospect that should benefit from an extra year at the college level.

31. Buffalo Bills | Notre Dame S Brandon Joseph

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Bills have one of the NFL’s best safety tandems right now, but thank could change next offseason, if they’re not able to keep Jordan Poyer from hitting free agency. A transfer from Northwestern, Joseph has the athleticism, instincts and versatility to be the ideal replacement.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Arkansas DB Jalen Catalon

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucs have two starting corners (Jamel Dean, Sean Murphy-Bunting) and one starting safety (Mike Edwards) on the final year of their rookie contracts. Catalon is a versatile defender who can line up all over the secondary, with the athleticism to make big plays in coverage, and the physicality to mix it up in the box.

1

1


Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button
Pinterest