Favorite 2023 NFL Draft picks for every team: Deuce Vaughn, Christian Gonzalez and more

New Orleans, LA, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back Deuce Vaughn (22) celebrates his touchdown scored against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half in the 2022 Sugar Bowl at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

• JSN, Seahawks were always an elite fit: The Seahawks will field a scary receiver trio in 2023 with D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

• More than a feel-good story for Deuce Vaughn, Cowboys: His viral draft-day video aside, Vaughn adds extensive value even as just a rotational back and special teams player.

• Christian Gonzalez adds size to the Patriots' secondary: None of the Patriots' potential starters at outside cornerback before the draft measured in above 5-foot-10. Gonzalez stands at 6-foot-1.

Estimated Reading Time: 12 mins

After a week of analyzing draft hauls as a whole, let's go one step further and identify favorite individual selections from the 2023 NFL Draft.

These are my favorite picks — not necessarily the “best” or “most impactful” but rather ones that I like based on draft slot and projected roles — from all 32 NFL teams.


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

Arizona Cardinals: CB Garrett Williams, Round 3, Pick 72

Had it not been for his ACL injury this past season, Williams likely would’ve been picked much higher than the third round. He brings strong instincts for the position, specifically in off coverage, and could be a starter for the Cardinals, if healthy.

Click here for the Cardinals' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Atlanta Falcons: OL Matthew Bergeron, Round 2, Pick 38

Bergeron will fit well as a starter at guard and a utility offensive lineman for the Falcons. He started on both the left and right sides of the line of scrimmage at Syracuse and has a great understanding of how to win at the position with leverage, footwork and hand placement.

Click here for the Falcons' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Baltimore Ravens: OG Andrew Vorhees, Round 7, Pick 229

Vorhees tore his ACL while working out at the NFL Scouting Combine, so his rookie season will likely be a wash as he recovers. But, when healthy, this five-year starter from USC fits the power-rushing mold the Ravens have built their run game around over the past few seasons.

Click here for the Ravens' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Buffalo Bills: TE Dalton Kincaid, Round 1, Pick 25

Putting a big receiver like Kincaid in the Bills' offense is alluring in itself. But beyond that, I like the way Buffalo got aggressive in jumping the Cowboys to ensure he would still be on the board. The Bills employed 12 personnel less than any other NFL team last season, so I like them adding the talent to get more tight end packages involved.

Click here for the Bills' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Carolina Panthers: OG Chandler Zavala, Round 4, Pick 114

The obvious pick here is the Panthers selecting Bryce Young over the other quarterbacks in this class at the top of the draft, but I wanted to shout out the Zavala selection, as he reunites with former teammate Ikem Ekwonu. If Zavala’s back can hold up in the NFL, he’s going to be a starting guard for the Panthers.

Click here for the Panthers' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Chicago Bears: CB Tyrique Stevenson, Round 2, Pick 56

It felt like there wasn’t much talk of the Bears targeting a cornerback early on in the draft, and that should not have been the case. That’s why I like that they were able to grab Stevenson in the late second round. He has the explosiveness and overall movement skills to win as a man coverage cornerback.

Click here for the Bears' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Cincinnati Bengals: RB Chase Brown, Round 5, Pick 163

The Bengals put together one of my favorite draft hauls overall, so I had plenty of choices for my pick here. I went with Brown because I believe he has the talent to be a difference-making back in the NFL. I felt Tyler Allgeier (who rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a rookie) was also a steal in the fifth round in 2022 and just needed a chance to prove himself. I feel the same about Brown.

Click here for the Bengals' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Cleveland Browns: WR Cedric Tillman, Round 3, Pick 74

Tillman was the perfect receiver for the Browns to get their hands on. They have an overall No. 1 in Amari Cooper and some nice speed elements around him. But they needed that big, strong, possession-type receiver who can play the “X” role on the line of scrimmage.

Click here for the Browns' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Dallas Cowboys: RB Deuce Vaughn, Round 6, Pick 212

The Cowboys' first three picks were all slight reaches compared to my board, so it was hard for me to call any of them my favorite. I’m not saying Vaughn will be the most impactful player from Dallas' class, but for where he was drafted, he was my favorite. Even as just a rotational back and special teams player, he can improve the team's depth. Plus, because of this pick, we all got to see the video of his dad, who works on the Cowboys scouting staff, calling his son to draft him to the NFL.

Click here for the Cowboys' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Denver Broncos: LB Drew Sanders, Round 3, Pick 76

I wasn’t sold on Sanders as a first-round pick, but I am a fan of where he was ultimately drafted and the fit in Denver. He brings potential versatility as an off-ball linebacker and a situational edge rusher.

Click here for the Broncos' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Detroit Lions: S Brian Branch, Round 2, Pick 45

I would have been happy about the Lions drafting Branch at No. 18, so getting him at No. 45 was an absolute steal — and a perfect fit. He is a potential year-one starter.

Click here for the Lions' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Green Bay Packers: TE Tucker Kraft, Round 3, Pick 78

I like Kraft’s skill set as a big receiver at the pro level, and I like that the Packers double-dipped to hit a position of need, choosing to add Oregon State tight end Luke Musgrave one round earlier.

Click here for the Packers' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Houston Texans: WR Tank Dell, Round 3, Pick 69

The Texans’ top two receivers in 2023 in terms of targets were Brandin Cooks (93) and Chris Moore (74). Neither is still on the roster. That means Houston has a lot of targets up for grabs. Dell, as one of the most intriguing receivers in the draft due to his rare ability to play big at such a small size and start/stop with precision, could make his way into an impactful role early on.

Click here for the Texans' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Indianapolis Colts: WR Josh Downs, Round 3, Pick 79

I like a lot of what the Colts did during the draft, but getting Downs, who I thought was a top-50 player, in the third round was great for them. The experienced slot receiver from North Carolina could start very early in his rookie year at a similar position with Parris Campbell no longer on the team.

Click here for the Colts' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Anton Harrison, Round 1, Pick 27

The most important part of the Jaguars' team-building strategy over the next few years is establishing an offensive line capable of consistently keeping Trevor Lawrence upright and giving him the time to make throws and grow as a player. That’s why the Harrison pick was my favorite.

Click here for the Jaguars' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Kansas City Chiefs: EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Round 1, Pick 31

Anudike-Uzomah gives the Chiefs another heavy-handed edge player who has the ability, body type and talent profile to play on all three downs. That versatility and usage make him my favorite of the group.

Click here for the Chiefs' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Las Vegas Raiders: TE Michael Mayer, Round 2, Pick 35

After trading away Darren Waller, the Raiders' tight end usage was a question mark ahead of the 2023 season. Though it may be more split and by committee, Mayer as one of the tight ends in that rotation will pay off for them.

Click here for the Raiders' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Los Angeles Chargers: WR Quentin Johnston, Round 1, Pick 21

The Chargers had to get faster on offense and needed a player who could stretch the field for them vertically in the passing game. Johnston can do that. He’s not as refined as some want him to be, but I don’t think that comes from a lack of ability to become a more consistent vertical threat and receiver at the catch point.

Click here for the Chargers' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Los Angeles Rams: EDGE Byron Young, Round 3, Pick 77

Young might have the best first-step explosiveness of any edge rusher in the class. He is still working on what he needs to do after that burst out of his stance, but for a team desperate to get more athletic at pass rusher, he was an ideal selection.

Click here for the Rams' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Miami Dolphins: CB Cam Smith, Round 2, Pick 51

With the selection of Smith, the Dolphins now have potential starters at all five defensive back spots without Jalen Ramsey. To me, that signals them being able to use Ramsey in the most advantageous way each week, sometimes as an outside cornerback, sometimes at nickel and sometimes at safety.

Click here for the Dolphins' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Minnesota Vikings: RB DeWayne McBride, Round 7, Pick 222

As the most productive running back in all of college football the past two seasons, McBride shouldn’t have lasted until the seventh round (outside of bad medical reports). He won’t have the long speed of some other backs, but he boasts good vision, footwork and contact balance to be a contributor at the pro level.

Click here for the Vikings' 2023 NFL Draft recap

New England Patriots: CB Christian Gonzalez, Round 1, Pick 17

The Patriots needed size at outside cornerback, with none of their potential starters before the draft measuring in above 5-foot-10. The 6-foot-1 Gonzalez was just what the doctor ordered for their secondary.

Click here for the Patriots' 2023 NFL Draft recap

New Orleans Saints: QB Jake Haener, Round 4, Pick 127

In the short term, my answer here likely would have been offensive lineman Nick Saldiveri. However, I liked the Haener selection because, at the very worst, it gives the Saints a staple at backup quarterback. This way they don’t have to continue entertaining the Taysom Hill quarterback experiment if their starter gets hurt, and they also don’t have to keep a more traditional quarterback on the roster on a veteran contract because, well, Hill isn’t one.

Click here for the Saints' 2023 NFL Draft recap

New York Giants: CB Deonte Banks, Round 1, Pick 24

I loved the Banks pick. No team played more man coverage than the Giants under defensive coordinator Don Martindale last season, and Banks has a great skill set with size, speed and strength to thrive in man coverage assignments.

Click here for the Giants' 2023 NFL Draft recap

New York Jets: RB Israel Abanikanda, Round 5, Pick 143

I wasn’t the highest on Abanikanda when it came to my personal big board versus consensus, but I love the pick in the fifth round for him to be a speed back behind Breece Hall.

Click here for the Jets' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Philadelphia Eagles: S Sydney Brown, Round 3, Pick 66

After losing the versatile C.J. Gardner-Johnson this offseason, the Eagles needed a versatile defender who could play in the slot, at the linebacker level and as a strong safety. That’s Sydney Brown, and his high-flying play style will also fit perfectly in Philadelphia.

Click here for the Eagles' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Pittsburgh Steelers: TE Darnell Washington, Round 3, Pick 93

At 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds, Washington gives the Steelers so much versatility with what they can do at tight end, especially in the red zone and in short-yardage situations. That alone was worth the value they got by drafting him in the third round.

Click here for the Steelers' 2023 NFL Draft recap

San Francisco 49ers: LB Dee Winters, Round 6, Pick 216

I was not a big fan of what the Niners did on draft weekend, with their class lacking high return-on-investment selections. But I am intrigued by Winters, who could play a role in their Sam linebacker rotation.

Click here for the 49ers' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Seattle Seahawks: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Round 1, Pick 20

This was one of my favorite picks to make in mock drafts leading up to draft weekend, so for it to come to fruition is an easy choice for me. I like the receiver trio the Seahawks now have with D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and JSN, and when the time comes for Lockett to leave, JSN will be ready for that role.

Click here for the Seahawks' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OG Cody Mauch, Round 2, Pick 48

The Bucs opted for a defensive lineman, not an offensive tackle, in the first round. That’s fine given the fact they were able to land Mauch in the second round. He can slide into one of the open guard spots with Luke Goedeke moving to right tackle (and Tristan Wirfs moving to left). When looking at the past interior linemen the Bucs have drafted with Jason Licht as general manager, this pick makes perfect sense.

Click here for the Buccaneers' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Tennessee Titans: QB Will Levis, Round 2, Pick 33

Levis felt like a risky selection despite the constant top-10 projections. However, getting him at the top of the second round is ideal, especially for a team like the Titans. If they hold onto Ryan Tannehill for another season, Levis won’t have to start right away, either. I am a fan of this long-term bet.

Click here for the Titans' 2023 NFL Draft recap

Washington Commanders: DB Jartavius Martin, Round 2, Pick 47

Martin is one of the few defensive backs in the 2023 class who has the speed to play both nickel cornerback and free safety. He can be a key rotational player for the Commanders' secondary because of that.

Click here for the Commanders' 2023 NFL Draft recap

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