NFL Draft News & Analysis

2023 NFL Draft: One prediction for every NFL team

September 18, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

  • Where will Bijan Robinson go?: The Texas RB's draft slot is one of the biggest questions in the draft, and a key factor for several teams in the first round.
  • Trade-up candidates: The Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers are among the teams that could be serious contenders for trading up in the first round.
  • Players who could be traded: Trey Lance is among several veteran players that could be the center of trade talks across draft weekend.
Estimated reading time: 16 minutes

The 2023 NFL Draft is almost here! After long months of analysis, player evaluation and smokescreens, we finally get to see which players are selected by each team and what the league will start to look like next season.

Free agency has given us some clarity on several spots, but there are still major questions remaining all over the league. Here are the biggest questions for each team.


JUMP TO A TEAM:

ARZ | ATL | BLT | BUF | CAR | CIN | CHI | CLE | DEN | DAL | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH


NFC East

Dallas Cowboys Does Dallas try to replace Ezekiel Elliott?

The Cowboys finally got out from underneath the ill-advised contract they handed to Ezekiel Elliott, but now they have Tony Pollard coming off a broken leg without ever giving him the opportunity to show he can carry the load as the team’s bell cow. Are they a natural landing spot for Bijan Robinson in the first round or one of the next tier of backs with their next pick? Pollard has never carried the ball more than 200 times in a season and last year’s 568 snaps was a career high by almost 200 snaps.


New York Giants Can you draft a center in Round 1 in this draft?

The Giants have several needs, but center is maybe their most acute. Drafting a center in the first round in any year is typically a stretch — as even elite prospects sliding late into that first round — but this is a strange season. Can the Giants pull the trigger on Minnesota's John Michael Schmitz or Ohio State’s Luke Wypler at No. 25 overall? Both players have elite PFF grading profiles and would start from Day 1.


Philadelphia Eagles Stay the course or get aggressive?

Philadelphia came very close to winning the Super Bowl, and that’s always dangerous territory for a franchise because the temptation to get too aggressive to get over the hump is hard to resist. Philadelphia has done incredibly well to accumulate extra draft capital and has two picks in the first round. Classic Howie Roseman drafting would see them reinforce the trenches with those picks, but does their run last year tempt them into being more aggressive with one of those picks. Could Philadelphia pick Bijan Robinson at No. 10 overall?


Washington Commanders  Do they add any competition for Sam Howell?

Washington has been fairly consistent with their insistence that Sam Howell is going to be given the chance to start for this team. Jacoby Brissett was added in free agency, but Brissett is nobody’s Plan-A at the position. Does Washington add any competition in the draft, or is this Howell’s job to lose? Washington has three selections in the top 100, any of whom would immediately be seen as a rival for the job if it was used on a quarterback.


NFC South

Atlanta Falcons  Is Bijan Robinson in play?

Atlanta seems like the highest spot that Bijan Robinson could be selected at No. 8 overall. Atlanta just got 1,000 yards out of Tyler Allgeier— a fifth-round pick a season ago — so in some ways, the Falcons seem like the poster child for not drafting a running back high, but they may see Robinson’s value as even higher within the most run-heavy offense in the league. And if Allgeier can average 4.9 yards per carry in their offense, maybe Robinson could average 6.0 yards per carry. He is now the betting favorite to be selected with this pick.


Carolina Panthers Which QB?

The Panthers have the most obvious question to answer in the entire draft — who is their new franchise quarterback? As we get closer to the draft, it seems more and more obvious that the answer is Alabama’s Bryce Young, but when they traded with Chicago to take control of the pick, that name was C.J. Stroud instead. Either way, this is the move that defines the franchise going forward, not to mention the domino that starts the rest falling in this draft.


New Orleans Saints — Does New Orleans trade up for a specific target in a draft low on blue-chip prospects?

The Saints have long been one of the most aggressive teams in the league at targeting specific players and trading when they have to in order to secure them. This draft is more chaotic than many years, but the Saints arguably have more needs than normal. Do they get aggressive with a trade to go and get their guy, or just play the board with their first-round selection?


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Is QB in play if one slides?

Life in a post-Tom Brady landscape is an awkward hedge for the Buccaneers. They have been left with a pretty good roster, but no clear answer at quarterback to guide it anywhere successful. The Bucs pick at No. 19, which should be too far back to have a chance at any of the top four passers in this draft, but would the Bucs be spurred into trade action if one of the four starts to slide?


NFC North

Chicago Bears — Stand pat or keep trading back?

Chicago already committed to Justin Fields by trading the No. 1 overall pick and amassing draft capital instead (as well as receiver D.J. Moore). Are they done after that one trade, or will they continue to move back in a draft low on star power to buy more tickets to the lottery? Chicago’s roster needs a lot of help, and it may have to take a lot of swings with the bat to make a solid enough connection.


Detroit Lions — Is QB on the table?

Jared Goff is clearly a serviceable starter, and if you view his statistics in an optimistic enough light, far better than that. He’s also a player with a pretty clear ceiling while the ascending Lions have an unusual opportunity at the top of the draft because of the trade that sent them Goff in the first place. Does Detroit like any of the top quarterbacks enough to roll the dice that it can be the long-term answer, or will the Lions commit to Goff long-term and use that extra pick on another position? Even if this isn’t a great draft, the Lions expect not to have a pick as high as No. 6 overall for some time if things continue to go as planned, so this is an unexpected opportunity for them.


Green Bay Packers — FINALLY skill position time?

Aaron Rodgers has been traded to the New York Jets, putting Jordan Love under center as the team’s first new quarterback since the 2008 season. Do the Packers rub salt in Rodgers' wounds and finally add a first-round talent at the skill positions that they seemed to pointedly ignore in recent years? Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid has been a popular pick for them in the first round, and they will be right in the middle of the available wide receivers should they choose to go that route.


Minnesota Vikings  How aggressive are they for Kirk Cousins’ heir?

The Vikings have finally put a stop date on the Cousins era, meaning they need to think about the future at the position in a major way for the first time in a while. Does that mean they will snag Tennessee's Hendon Hooker late in the first round? Will they punt on this year altogether at the position, or go the other direction and make an aggressive move up the draft for one of the top quarterbacks?


NFC West

Arizona Cardinals — Can they trade out of No. 3?

As the only team at the sharp end of the draft without a glaring need at quarterback, the Cardinals would desperately like to trade back from No. 3 overall, but the question is whether they will have the offers needed to do so. Indianapolis has remained fairly steadfast that it can stay at No. 4 and be OK, and an aggressive move from further down the draft has yet to materialize without knowledge of what the Texans are going to do with the second-overall pick. There is a world where the Cardinals just don’t get the phone call they’re desperate for.


Los Angeles Rams — How many starters can they find with their mid-round picks?

All of a sudden, the Rams' approach to roster construction crumbled, and they now enter a draft without a pick in the first round but with several holes needing to be filled. Los Angeles has three picks in the top 77 and then a run of selections in the fifth and sixth rounds, and the Rams need an unreasonable volume of contributors from them. This is a huge draft for the talent evaluators in Los Angeles.


San Francisco 49ers  Is Trey Lance on the trading block?

Brock Purdy came from nowhere to earn the starting job in San Francisco last season, but he also ended the season with an elbow injury that threw his entire future into doubt. Is Lance on the trade block, or does the team need to keep him around as insurance in case Purdy’s elbow doesn’t heal the way they would like? Sam Darnold was signed as a veteran addition and while Darnold’s NFL career has been an unfortunate series of false dawns, every quarterback looks his best self playing for Kyle Shanahan.


Seattle Seahawks  Just how weird can they get?

The Seahawks are one of the most difficult teams to predict when it comes to drafting. They have been sent all kinds of different players at No. 5 overall in mock drafts, but just how outside of the box will they be thinking? The consensus has been one of the top defensive line prospects or Anthony Richardson, but at this spot, Seattle could potentially take the top player in the draft at most positions.


AFC East

Buffalo Bills — Do they chase WR in a weak receiver class?

The Bills seem to have been chasing a real second threat at receiver opposite Stefon Diggs for some time but is there one they like in a relatively weak receiver draft class? Jordan Addison has been successful in multiple offenses while playing in two very different roles, but he weighed in at just 173 pounds at the combine and ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash. Addison could make a big impact for an already outstanding offense, but the risk is clear.


Miami Dolphins — What is best-case for pick No. 51?

Miami forfeited its first-round selection due to tampering with Tom Brady and doesn’t have a pick before No. 51 in the draft. For a team needing to close the gap between themselves and the true contenders in the AFC, what is the best-case scenario for the Dolphins? They have improved their offensive line, but that group still needs work. An ideal scenario is likely a starting lineman available at that spot, perhaps TCU’s Steve Avila, who allowed just 11 total pressures last season.


New England Patriots  Is it cornerback or bust?

The Patriots radically changed their defensive scheme over the last couple of seasons, moving away from the man-to-man system that they ran more than any other team in the league. Was that a product of personnel departing, or a move they wanted to make anyway? Whether the Patriots target an elite man-cover corner with their first-round pick will go a long way toward giving an answer to that question.


New York Jets  What’s best for Aaron Rodgers?

The Jets have already shown they are willing to accommodate what Rodgers wants, signing Allen Lazard in free agency long before the trade for Rodgers was ever cemented. The Packers seemed to pointedly ignore adding weapons for Rodgers early in the draft over the last few seasons, so will the Jets immediately go in the other direction? Or can they convince Rodgers that other areas are more important for the current roster?


AFC South

Jacksonville Jaguars  Are they comfortable with Walker Little starting at RT?

Jacksonville’s roster is in good shape, but losing Jawaan Taylor to the Chiefs in free agency opens a potential hole at right tackle. Third-year player Walker Little is currently slated to kick to the right side and man that starting spot but is that a scenario the Jags are really comfortable with? Little has fewer than 600 snaps of NFL experience in his career and had a 62.7 PFF pass-blocking grade last season.


Houston Texans — Can they afford to pass on a QB?

One of the biggest questions of the draft is whether the Texans are really considering not drafting a quarterback at No. 2 overall. Whatever the motivation behind the decision, choosing to roll the dice with a current quarterback depth chart of Davis Mills, Case Keenum and E.J. Perry would be a wild gamble. There are cases to be made for targeting the 2024 draft, in an effort to secure Will Anderson Jr. as well as a quarterback, but this would be playing with fire.


Indianapolis Colts — Does staying at No. 4 pay off?

The Colts have consistently put out the message that you don’t always have to trade up to secure the player that you want, leading many to suspect that they can remain in place and still secure their quarterback. It seems as if Houston may pass on one, and the Cardinals might not get the trade partners they are hoping for, potentially leaving Indianapolis with the second quarterback off the board at No. 4 overall. Whether the pick works or not, that scenario playing out would be an impressive display of not flinching by the Colts.


Tennessee Titans  To rebuild or not to rebuild?

The Titans seem to have been vacillating between rebuilding or not all offseason. They have been talked about as a team looking to trade up for a quarterback, and Derrick Henry has been mentioned as a trade candidate. Whatever the Titans do during this draft is likely to give us an indication of just what their decision has been for the short term.


AFC North

Baltimore Ravens — Is Lamar Jackson available?

Baltimore has been ‘winning’ the negotiation with Jackson at every step of the process thus far, with the caveat being that they may be irreparably damaging their relationship with the former MVP. The big question for them is whether they are open to trading him away right now, starting the next chapter in the franchise as soon as the draft's first night.


Cincinnati Bengals — How desperate are they for a RT?

It emerged recently that La’el Collins tore three ligaments in his knee late in the season, and for a player with his injury history, that puts a huge doubt on his future with the team. His backup is Hakeem Adeniji, and we have seen repeatedly how that plays out at right tackle. The Bengals need a starter at the position, but how desperate will they be to secure one? Could Cincinnati trade up to avoid missing out if a tackle run starts?


Cleveland Browns — Is defensive line or offensive weaponry more valuable right now?

The Browns have some holes on the roster, and the biggest decision is likely which makes the bigger impact — more bodies on the defensive line or another receiver to try and ensure Deshaun Watson rediscovers his best play. Trading for Elijah Moore should help boost the receiving corps while the free agent additions of Dalvin Tomlinson and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo should both have an impact along the defensive line.


Pittsburgh Steelers What do they do with their de-facto bonus first-rounder?

With Miami forfeiting their first-round pick, the Steelers effectively have a bonus first-round selection with the 32nd overall pick acquired for trading away Chase Claypool during the season. Technically, it’s a second-round pick this year, but it’s a serious bargaining chip in any trade negotiations or an opportunity to add an impact player just 15 picks after their first selection. The Steelers have been talked about as a team that might make an aggressive move up the draft for one of the best prospects, and No. 32 overall is the kind of collateral needed to make that work.


AFC West

Denver Broncos  Do they move any of their receivers?

There have been rumors ever since Sean Payton was named head coach that most of the Broncos wide receivers are on the trade block. With the team focusing heavily on offensive linemen in free agency, it seems like the offense might be preparing to rein in the passing game and focus more heavily on ball-control offense. No trade has yet materialized, but could one of Denver’s receivers be on the move during the draft, and which one?


Kansas City Chiefs — To trade up or stand pat?

The second half of the first round this year is likely to be chaos. This is a weak draft at the top, and teams are likely to have far fewer first-round grades on prospects than there are first-round picks. Teams at the back end of the first round could get aggressive in trading up for the last first-round grade on their board rather than staying put and drafting somebody they believe to be a much lower-quality addition. Kansas City is in this boat, but this question applies to almost any of the elite contenders picking late in the first.


Las Vegas Raiders — Are the Raiders a trade candidate at No. 7 overall?

Jimmy Garoppolo is a capable stopgap at quarterback, but his injury history is so extensive it’s hard to convince yourself that he will be available all season long even if you expect his play to be good enough. The Raiders are likely interested in quarterbacks if the right one is available when their pick rolls around, but are they more interested than that? Could the Raiders be the trade partner for Houston or Arizona for the second quarterback off the board?


Los Angeles Chargers  How early do they add a running back?

Austin Ekeler isn’t happy with his contract and is looking to be traded. Whether or not that materializes, the Chargers need to think about that position going forward. They have been seen as a possible landing spot for Bijan Robinson in the first round, but if he is gone before they pick, how hard do they chase that upgrade? Would they be interested in Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs in the first or one of the next tier of backs in the second round?

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