Grading all 31 first-round picks after Week 10 of the 2023 NFL season

2RJM9H1 Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Mazi Smith during a preseason NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

• Mazi Smith breaks out against the Giants in a blowout win: The interior defender played a career-high 25 snaps, collecting three tackles and two stops in the run game.

• Devon Witherspoon bounces back: He earned a 72.7 PFF grade in Week 10 after posting a 52.5 mark last week.

• It's never too early to gear up for the 2024 NFL Draft: PFF has you covered throughout the college football season. Click here for our 2024 big board.

Estimated Reading Time: 13 minutes

The 2023 first-round class produced some excellent showings in Week 10 of the NFL season, especially on offense.

We’ll continue to track their progress and principal opponents as the campaign progresses.

Pick No. 1: Carolina Panthers: QB Bryce Young

Overall Rookie Grade: 50.0 (Rank: 5/6)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 10 Snaps: 60
Week 10 Grade: 54.8

Although he didn’t make a turnover-worthy play until Carolina’s final drive, Bryce Young struggled in Chicago on Thursday night. He made a terrific big-time throw on a corner route to Michael Strachan but was held to just 145 yards on his 37 other pass attempts. Young’s struggles under pressure are too much to overcome right now. He went just 3-of-11 for 10 passing yards and took three sacks in such situations this week.

Pick No. 2: Houston Texans: QB C.J. Stroud

Overall Rookie Grade: 81.7 (Rank: 1/6)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 10 Snaps: 75
Week 10 Grade: 82.0

Outside of a late interception that allowed the Bengals to mount a comeback, Stroud was spectacular, outdueling Joe Burrow for a franchise-altering win. If defenses don’t attack Stroud, he will make them pay. He posted a 91.1 passing grade when not blitzed this week to rank second in the NFL, behind Brock Purdy. His 90.5 passing grade and eight big-time throws also rank second over the past two weeks. Stroud is blazing hot and showing no signs of cooling off.

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Pick No. 3: Houston Texans: Edge Will Anderson Jr.

Overall Rookie Grade: 78.1 (Rank: 1/13)
Principal Opponent: Jonah Williams
Week 10 Snaps: 45
Week 10 Grade: 62.9

Anderson didn’t have his best day, but he came through when it mattered most. All three of his pressures, plus an additional pass-rush win, were in the fourth quarter against Cincinnati. He moved Joe Burrow off his spot multiple times and used good hustle to force a throwaway when Burrow escaped the pocket. Anderson isn’t racking up the traditional stats, but he has proven to be a top-30 edge defender who consistently performs well.

Pick No. 4: Indianapolis Colts: QB Anthony Richardson

Overall Rookie Grade: 52.2 (Rank: 4/6)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 10 Snaps: 0
Week 10 Grade: N/A

Richardson suffered a shoulder injury in Week 5 and is out for the season.

Pick No. 5: Seattle Seahawks: CB Devon Witherspoon

Overall Rookie Grade: 81.5 (Rank: 1/19)
Principal Opponent: Terry McLaurin
Week 10 Snaps: 61
Week 10 Grade: 72.7

Witherspoon bounced back nicely after a rough performance in Baltimore. His 84.2 run-defense grade ranked third among all cornerbacks this week through Sunday. The driving force in that superb grade was a forced fumble on Sam Howell. He was mostly solid in coverage until Howell found Dyami Brown just behind his zone for the game-tying touchdown. Seattle has trusted Witherspoon with a slot/linebacker role in their defense, and he is playing well. Only 13 of his 61 snaps came at outside cornerback this week.

Pick No. 6: Arizona Cardinals: OT Paris Johnson Jr.

Overall Rookie Grade: 52.5 (Rank: 6/6)
Principal Opponent: Zaven Collins
Week 10 Snaps: 65
Week 10 Grade: 69.9

Johnson put together his best day as a pro in Arizona’s second win of the season. He allowed zero pressures en route to a team-best 81.7 pass-blocking grade. That mark stands as the second best this week by any right tackle through Sunday. He also posted a season-high 66.9 run-blocking grade. This was the first week that Johnson showed his true potential. He has a fun matchup with fellow top pick Will Anderson Jr. in Week 11.

Pick No. 7: Las Vegas Raiders: Edge Tyree Wilson

Overall Rookie Grade: 40.3 (Rank: 13/13)
Principal Opponent: Mekhi Becton
Week 10 Snaps: 22
Week 10 Grade: 48.8

Wilson’s lone pressure this week was a decent bull rush against Mekhi Becton, but Zach Wilson escaped the pocket and ran for a first down. His only significant action in the run game involved a missed tackle on Dalvin Cook. Malcolm Koonce had a spectacular game against New York, which could further limit opportunities for Wilson to improve.

Pick No. 8: Atlanta Falcons: RB Bijan Robinson

Overall Rookie Grade: 65.2 (Rank: 8/8)
Principal Opponent: Budda Baker
Week 10 Snaps: 53
Week 10 Grade: 54.4

Robinson finally got the majority of Atlanta's carries this week, rushing 22 times for 95 yards. He forced four missed tackles along the way and scored his second rushing touchdown in three weeks. The Falcons struggled to throw the football, resulting in Robinson catching just one pass for 11 yards. Things aren’t coming easy for Atlanta, but it’s clear that the offense operates best when Robinson is the engine.

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Pick No. 9: Philadelphia Eagles: DI Jalen Carter

Overall Rookie Grade: 90.6 (Rank: 1/12)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 10 Snaps: 0
Week 10 Grade: N/A

The Eagles were on a bye this week.

Pick No. 10: Chicago Bears: OT Darnell Wright

Overall Rookie Grade: 63.1 (Rank: 1/6)
Principal Opponent: DJ Johnson
Week 10 Snaps: 72
Week 10 Grade: 55.7

Wright allowed a team-high four pressures on Thursday night, though he wasn’t beaten particularly quickly on any of them. He showed some nice power in the run game but struggled when moving laterally in the Bears' zone scheme. He graded negatively five times when Chicago ran zone. This should be an aberration for Wright, as he was previously grading well in such schemes.

Pick No. 11: Tennessee Titans: G Peter Skoronski

Overall Rookie Grade: 62.4 (Rank: 2/11)
Principal Opponent: Calijah Kancey
Week 10 Snaps: 63
Week 10 Grade: 70.5

Skoronski had his best day since Week 1, grading above 66.0 in both run blocking and pass blocking. He allowed one hurry each to Tampa Bay’s two best players, Antoine Winfield Jr. and Vita Vea, but was otherwise spotless when protecting Will Levis. Skoronski also made four positive blocks in the run game, one of which was a standout second-level block on Devin White that paved the way for Derrick Henry’s longest run of the day. Tennessee’s offense is a work in progress, but Skoronski is a bright spot.

Pick No. 12: Detroit Lions: RB Jahmyr Gibbs

Overall Rookie Grade: 73.0 (Rank: 4/8)
Principal Opponent: Kenneth Murray Jr.
Week 10 Snaps: 38
Week 10 Grade: 62.5

David Montgomery’s return didn’t diminish Jahmyr Gibbs’ impact on Detroit’s offense. Gibbs picked up 102 total yards and two touchdowns on his 17 touches. His most egregious error was a drop near the goal line, but he scored on the next play anyway. Gibbs' 26 forced missed tackles on the year ranks third among rookies, behind Bijan Robinson and Tyjae Spears. His pairing with Montgomery forms the ideal thunder-and-lightning combo that Detroit had been hoping for.

Pick No. 13: Green Bay Packers: EDGE Lukas Van Ness

Overall Rookie Grade: 62.8 (Rank: 6/13)
Principal Opponent: Dan Moore Jr.
Week 10 Snaps: 19
Week 10 Grade: 48.0

Van Ness’ 48.0 grade against Pittsburgh was his lowest since Week 4. He made a run stop but also missed two tackles. He was also shut out on eight pass-rush snaps. Van Ness tallied five pressures in Week 1 yet has just two since. Green Bay is trying to free him up with higher stunt usage, but he will have to start making plays on his own to see the field more often.

Pick No. 14: Pittsburgh Steelers: OT Broderick Jones

Overall Rookie Grade: 61.6 (Rank: 2/6)
Principal Opponent: Rashan Gary
Week 10 Snaps: 65
Week 10 Grade: 55.3

Jones made his second start at right tackle and endured a tough matchup with Rashan Gary. To Jones’ credit, he allowed only one pressure, but he lost five other reps in pass protection. Five of those six total occurrences came against Gary as Jones struggled with the outside speed rush. Jones faltered in the run game, as well, although there were times when his athleticism flashed. Adjusting to a new position is tough. It’s even tougher when facing a player of Rashan Gary‘s caliber.

Pick No. 15: New York Jets: Edge Will McDonald IV

Overall Rookie Grade: 71.8 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 10 Snaps: 0
Week 10 Grade: N/A

McDonald was out this week due to an ankle injury.

Pick No. 16: Washington Commanders: CB Emmanuel Forbes

Overall Rookie Grade: 47.9 (Rank: 15/19)
Principal Opponent: Tyler Lockett
Week 10 Snaps: 5
Week 10 Grade: 43.0

Forbes' day was cut short after he was ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Tyler Lockett. That play stunted Forbes’ momentum after a stellar Week 9 performance. He now faces a possible fine and/or suspension heading into next week’s rematch with the Giants.

Pick No. 17: New England Patriots: CB Christian Gonzalez

Overall Rookie Grade: 80.8 (Rank: 2/19)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 10 Snaps: 0
Week 10 Grade: N/A

Gonzalez suffered a torn labrum in Week 4 and is likely out for the season.

Pick No. 18: Detroit Lions: LB Jack Campbell

Overall Rookie Grade: 48.1 (Rank: 3/4)
Principal Opponent: Austin Ekeler
Week 10 Snaps: 39
Week 10 Grade: 62.8

As has been the case all year, Campbell performed better in the run game this week than in coverage. His 72.0 run-defense grade was his second best of the year. His top play was a fourth-down goal-line stop on Austin Ekeler just before halftime. Campbell did allow three catches for 40 yards in coverage and currently has the fourth-lowest coverage grade among qualified linebackers.

Pick No. 19: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DI Calijah Kancey

Overall Rookie Grade: 53.8 (Rank: 8/12)
Principal Opponent: Peter Skoronski
Week 10 Snaps: 46
Week 10 Grade: 60.6

Kancey engineered his best day of the year in run defense. He led the Buccaneers with three run stops and posted a season-high 65.5 run-defense grade. His quickness caused major problems inside for Tennessee on all three stops. On a day when Kancey created just two pressures in the passing game, it was encouraging to see him make an impact in other facets.

Pick No. 20: Seattle Seahawks: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Overall Rookie Grade: 60.3 (Rank: 11/15)
Principal Opponent: Danny Johnson
Week 10 Snaps: 50
Week 10 Grade: 60.2

Other than a dropped screen pass, Smith-Njigba had a decent day against Washington’s porous secondary. He hauled in four receptions for 53 yards, picking up two first downs. An average depth of target of -1.0 yards meant Smith-Njigba had to do all of his work after the catch. His downfield opportunities have been limited when D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are both on the field. Until the Seahawks can consistently unlock Smith-Njigba vertically, they will continue to use him as the short-pass aficionado.

Pick No. 21: Los Angeles Chargers: WR Quentin Johnston

Overall Rookie Grade: 60.2 (Rank: 13/15)
Principal Opponent: Jerry Jacobs
Week 10 Snaps: 61
Week 10 Grade: 59.7

Johnston got in on the action in a Week 9 shootout, catching his first career touchdown when Brian Branch lost track of him in the endzone. Johnston finished the day with four catches and 34 yards. It could have been much better had he not dropped a dig route. In fairness, Johnston was interfered with on the play, but his speed could have produced an 86-yard touchdown if he hauled it in. Johnston is showing desperately needed signs of life for a Chargers team short on wide receivers.

Pick No. 22: Baltimore Ravens: WR Zay Flowers

Overall Rookie Grade: 71.6 (Rank: 6/15)
Principal Opponent: Martin Emerson Jr.
Week 10 Snaps: 47
Week 10 Grade: 79.1

Flowers was easily the Ravens' most productive pass-catcher in their loss to the Browns. His five receptions, 73 yards, and 77.9 receiving grade all led the team. He picked up a first down on all five of those catches, and his 15.7-yard average depth of target was his highest since Week 5. The lone incompletion in Flowers' direction came via a Lamar Jackson overthrow after the rookie burned Juan Thornhill on a go route. Baltimore would be wise to continue taking shots downfield with Flowers.

Pick No. 23: Minnesota Vikings: WR Jordan Addison

Overall Rookie Grade: 70.8 (Rank: 7/15)
Principal Opponent: Paulson Adebo
Week 10 Snaps: 71
Week 10 Grade: 67.9

Addison is as consistent as they get. T.J. Hockenson stole the spotlight, but Addison finished Week 10 with four more catches for 69 yards. He has gained at least 50 yards in eight out of 10 games, while his seven touchdowns are bested only by Tyreek Hill. His only blemish this week was his first drop of the year — which is impressive, considering it came on his 64th target. Addison is ultra-reliable, and he’ll find himself in better matchups once Justin Jefferson returns.

Pick No. 24: New York Giants: CB Deonte Banks

Overall Rookie Grade: 43.9 (Rank: 18/19)
Principal Opponent: CeeDee Lamb
Week 10 Snaps: 42
Week 10 Grade: 38.1

Death, taxes and Deonte Banks being matched up with top-flight receivers. This week, it was CeeDee Lamb’s turn. He caught three balls for 72 yards against Banks, including an unreal one-handed grab with Banks tying up his off arm. Banks has given up 393 yards over the past four weeks, the most in the NFL, but it’s fair to wonder if the Giants are putting him in a fair position to succeed.

Pick No. 25: Buffalo Bills: TE Dalton Kincaid

Overall Rookie Grade: 67.0 (Rank: 2/4)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 10 Snaps: 41
Week 10 Grade: 53.8

Kincaid has blossomed into a significant cog in the Bills' offense, albeit a unit that is struggling right now. He saw at least six targets for the fourth straight game and made a wide-open touchdown grab against the Broncos. However, a drop tanked his game grade.

Pick No. 26: Dallas Cowboys: DI Mazi Smith

Overall Rookie Grade: 51.0 (Rank: 11/12)
Principal Opponent: Justin Pugh
Week 10 Snaps: 25
Week 10 Grade: 83.9

With Dallas blowing out the Giants early, Smith played a career-high 25 snaps. In return, he gave Dallas his best performance of the season. He picked up a hit on Tommy DeVito and collected two other pass-rush wins. His best work came in the run game, where he primarily used his strength to collect three tackles and two run stops. While it came against an overmatched Giants front, any progress is good for Smith, considering his early-career struggles.

Pick No. 27: Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Anton Harrison

Overall Rookie Grade: 54.8 (Rank: 6/6)
Principal Opponent: Nick Bosa
Week 10 Snaps: 57
Week 10 Grade: 46.9

Jacksonville’s offensive line was the lowest-graded unit in the NFL this week. Anton Harrison drew the toughest assignment in Nick Bosa. Though he allowed just two pressures, one to Bosa and one to Chase Young, Harrison was beaten five other times in pass protection, four by Bosa. He struggled with Bosa’s wide array of pass-rush moves. Harrison has seen a gauntlet of great pass-rushers lately. He’ll look to rebound next week against a Tennessee edge group that ranks just 26th in pass-rush grade.

Pick No. 28: Cincinnati Bengals: Edge Myles Murphy

Overall Rookie Grade: 55.0 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: George Fant
Week 10 Snaps: 27
Week 10 Grade: 56.1

Murphy played a career-high 27 snaps this week, with Sam Hubbard’s absence catapulting him into a larger role. The results were middling, as Murphy created just one unblocked pressure across 17 opportunities. He also didn’t do much in the run game, posting a 51.3 grade in that facet. Murphy will be in the spotlight against Baltimore this week if Trey Hendrickson is forced to miss the game due to his knee injury.

Pick No. 29: New Orleans Saints: DI Bryan Bresee

Overall Rookie Grade: 51.3 (Rank: 10/12)
Principal Opponent: Dalton Risner
Week 10 Snaps: 32
Week 10 Grade: 52.6

Used primarily as a situational rusher, Bresee failed to create any pressure on Josh Dobbs across 26 pass-rush snaps. He made a nice run stop on a draw play late in the game and beat Christian Darrisaw inside for another that was negated by a penalty. Bresee can generally be relied upon for a few nice plays per game, but he lacks consistency.

Pick No. 30: Philadelphia Eagles: Edge Nolan Smith

Overall Rookie Grade: 47.5 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 10 Snaps: 0
Week 10 Grade: N/A

The Eagles were on a bye this week.

Pick No. 31: Kansas City Chiefs: Edge Felix Anudike-Uzomah

Overall Rookie Grade: 57.1 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 10 Snaps: 0
Week 10 Grade: N/A

The Chiefs were on a bye this week.


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