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Grading all 31 first-round picks after Week 13 of the 2023 NFL season

2TB0GC8 December 3, 2023: Houston Texans defensive end Will Anderson Jr. (51) celebrates a sack during a game between the Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans in Houston, TX. Trask Smith/CSM

• Will Anderson Jr. is developing into an elite force: He harassed Russell Wilson all day, leading to a league-best eight pressures in Week 13.

• Jack Campbell displays improved patience in the run game: He racked up four stops and is doing a much better job of shooting gaps and attacking downhill in the run game. Campbell’s 71.6 run-defense grade now leads all Lions linebackers.

• 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: 11 minutes

Week 13 was generally a tough one for the 2023 first-round picks. The spotlight was once again on the Houston Texans but this time for their emerging defensive superstar.

We’ll continue to track all of the first-round rookies and the principal opponents as we barrel toward the postseason.

Pick No. 1: Carolina Panthers: QB Bryce Young

Overall Rookie Grade: 49.7 (Rank: 1/7)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 13 Snaps: 72
Week 13 Grade: 58.3

Playing in a near monsoon in Tampa, Bryce Young managed to perform well when he was protected. He made two big-time throws on his way to a 90.4 clean pocket grade, which trailed only Jordan Love through Sunday. The problem, of course, is that Young isn’t protected enough. He was pressured 57.1% of the time against the Buccaneers, leading to three turnover-worthy plays. The last of that trio was a game-sealing interception thrown with Calijah Kancey bearing down on him. Young’s situation is currently untenable for success, but putting the ball in danger is a dangerous habit.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 84.6 (Rank: 1/7)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 13 Snaps: 66
Week 13 Grade: 58.7

Stroud had a fine day throwing the ball, especially to Nico Collins, but his grades were primarily dragged down by two fumbles in the pocket. Luckily, Houston recovered both of them. Staying true to form, though, Stroud played well from a clean pocket and now trails only Tua Tagovailoa and Josh Allen in clean pocket grade for the year. As long as he’s protected, Stroud should continue to lead the Texans toward the postseason.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 80.7 (Rank: 1/14)
Principal Opponent: Mike McGlinchey
Week 13 Snaps: 42
Week 13 Grade: 86.3

Anderson was the best defensive rookie in the NFL this week. He harassed Russell Wilson all day, leading to a league-best eight pressures in Week 13. He also batted a pass that became a Derek Stingley Jr. interception. Anderson’s 80.7 grade and 47 pressures both rank 18th among qualified edge players. If he and Stingley get hot down the stretch, the Texans’ defense suddenly becomes a force to be reckoned with.

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Pick No. 4: Indianapolis Colts: QB Anthony Richardson

Overall Rookie Grade: 52.2 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 13 Snaps: 0
Week 13 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


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