2023 NFL Draft Pick Predictions


Deposit Photos

Official NFL football sitting on a field

Jonathan Chekol

In the NFL offseason, much attention is on quarterbacks, including rumors of Aaron Rodgers being traded to the New York Jets, according to NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero. However, the NFL Draft, officially known as the Player Selection Meeting, is also a significant event.

The draft takes place annually, where teams have the opportunity to select the best players from college. Each team receives a draft pick based on their record from the previous season. The team with the worst record receives the first overall pick, and the Super Bowl champion receives the 32nd overall pick. During the draft, teams can choose to make trades to acquire assets and select the best available players or those that fit their needs. The round concludes once all possible picks are made.

The first draft was held in 1936 in Philadelphia, and the selections from 1937-2015 were held in New York. Since 2016, the NFL has changed locations, and the draft has been held annually in different cities throughout the country. This year’s draft will be in Kansas City from Thursday, Apr. 27, to Saturday, Apr. 29.

This article evaluates the top three teams in the draft and the premier offensive and defensive players, analyzing their best and worst performances alongside their accomplishments.

The teams with the top three picks are the Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals.

The Carolina Panthers, who finished the season 7-10, traded away running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers. They traded a package, including star wide receiver D.J. Moore, for the No. 1 pick from the Chicago Bears to draft their next franchise quarterback.

The Houston Texans, who finished 3-13-1, missed out on the chance to clinch the No. 1 overall pick by defeating the Indianapolis Colts in the final week of the regular season. Regardless of who they select, the Texans are poised to have their pick of potentially elite quarterbacks.

The Arizona Cardinals had a 4-13 record in the 2022 season, and their current starting quarterback, Kyler Murray, is rehabilitating a torn ACL, just a year after signing a long-term contract extension. The team also appears ready to move on from star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, with multiple reports suggesting he will be traded on draft night. Despite having the No. 3 selection, it could be argued that the draft will truly begin with their pick.

The team that stands to gain the most from this draft is the Panthers. By moving up to the No. 1 overall pick, they should have the opportunity to draft the best quarterback available, even if it means giving up proven talent and future draft capital.

The Panthers have struggled with a quarterback carousel and have been searching for long-term stability at the position. If they can secure an elite quarterback from college, they could rebuild a team that has struggled to find success in recent years.

The top offensive players projected to go pro are:

Bryce Young, Quarterback, Alabama

Quarterbacks are often considered the most crucial players in football, and this year’s draft class is no exception. While there are several talented quarterbacks in the 2023 class, including CJ Stroud of Ohio State, Anthony Richardson of Florida, Will Levis of Kentucky and Hendon Hooker of Tennessee, Young appears to have the edge.

During his time at Alabama, Young amassed 3,328 yards, 32 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, earning an 86.2 QB rating.

The University of Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (Deposit Photos)

Young’s most outstanding performance occurred during the 2021/2022 season in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championship against Georgia, where he set a new SEC record with 421 passing yards and scored a rushing touchdown.

Conversely, Young’s worst performance was in the National Championship Game against Georgia. He completed only 35% of his passes on 57 attempts for 369 yards and had a completion rating of 61.4%.

As a current junior for the Crimson Tide, Young also won 2021 Heisman Trophy, awarded annually to the best player in college football.

Young’s potential makes him an attractive prospect for any NFL team in need of a quarterback.

Quentin Johnson, Wide Receiver, Texas Christian University

Johnson’s best game came against Michigan in the College Football Playoff semifinal, during which he had six receptions for 163 yards. His worst game came against Georgia in the National Championship game, where he had only one reception for three yards.

Johnson appears prepared to enter the professional level. He had his most impressive college season with TCU, contributing to a 13-2 record and leading the team to the national championship game.

The top defensive players projected to go pro are:

Will Anderson Jr., Linebacker, Alabama

Like the quarterback class of 2023, the defensive positions also boast a deep roster, with Anderson standing out in his position. His best game came against Texas, where he recorded 5 tackles, 2 of which were solo tackles, and 1 crucial sack towards the end of the game, helping secure a Crimson Tide victory.

Anderson’s worst game came against Tennessee in October 2022, where he only recorded 3 tackles, no sacks, and no forced fumbles. He was part of the Crimson Tide team that competed in the 2021 Rose Bowl, the 2022 Cotton Bowl, and the 2023 Sugar Bowl.

Anderson’s accomplishments include winning the National Championship in 2021 and the SEC Championship in 2022. He was also awarded the 2023 Bednarik Award, given to the best defensive player in college football in the United States as judged by the Maxwell Football Club.

Jalen Carter, Defensive Tackle, Georgia

Carter’s best game was in November 2022 against Kentucky, where he had five total tackles, including one solo tackle and four assisted tackles. His worst game was against Ohio State, where he only managed one tackle, one solo tackle, and zero assisted tackles.

Carter had another great season with the Georgia Bulldogs, finishing with a perfect 15-0 record and winning both the SEC Championship and the National Championship in 2022.