Grading all 31 first-round picks after Week 5 of the 2023 NFL season

2T0R13P Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Broderick Jones (77) blocks during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, in Pittsburgh, PA. (AP Photo/Matt Durisko)

• Rookie offensive tackles show promise: Both the Bears' Darnell Wright and the Steelers' Broderick Jones earned 74.0-plus overall grades this week.

• C.J. Stroud keeps up his stoic start to the season: Stroud is the fourth-highest-graded quarterback in the NFL over the past three weeks and still has yet to throw an interception.

• 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

Roughly a quarter of the way through the NFL season, several 2023 first-rounders are standing out. We’ll continue to identify their principal opponents and break down their performances weekly.

Pick No. 1: Carolina Panthers: QB Bryce Young

Overall Rookie Grade: 48.4 (Rank: 3/3)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 5 Snaps: 70
Week 5 Grade: 56.6

Aidan Hutchinson will likely be in Young's nightmares for a while. Hutchinson pressured Young eight times and made a freakish one-handed interception on a screen pass. Young was pressured 16 times overall, and on those dropbacks, he went 2-of-14 for 14 yards and a 33.0 passing grade. Young’s play improved in the second half with Carolina in a huge hole, but he’ll have to learn how to better handle pressure moving forward, especially early in games.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 75.3 (Rank: 1/3)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 5 Snaps: 59
Week 5 Grade: 74.2

The Texans continue to give Stroud clean pockets, and he continues to excel in them. His solid 75.8 clean-pocket passing grade in Week 5 was punctuated by a terrific throw up the seam that gave Houston a late lead. Unfortunately, Houston's defense couldn’t hold up its end of the bargain. Regardless, Stroud is the fourth-highest-graded quarterback in the NFL over the past three weeks and has yet to throw an interception. He’s firmly in the Rookie of the Year race.

Highest-Graded QBs | Weeks 3-5, 2023
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Pick No. 3: Houston Texans: Edge Will Anderson Jr.

Overall Rookie Grade: 74.8 (Rank: 1/14)
Principal Opponent: Kaleb McGary
Week 5 Snaps: 51
Week 5 Grade: 63.3

Anderson had an inconsistent Week 5. Despite collecting another three pressures, he posted a season-low 55.3 pass-rushing grade and has gone four straight games without a sack. Equally important against Atlanta, though, were his five run stops and coinciding 73.5 run-defense grade. Anderson showcased an increased physicality this week while using his trademark quickness to make several plays from the backside. Seeing him add a more physical dimension to his game is an encouraging sign that he is becoming an all-around game-wrecker.

Pick No. 4: Indianapolis Colts: QB Anthony Richardson

Overall Rookie Grade: 52.2 (Rank: 2/3)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 5 Snaps: 22
Week 5 Grade: 50.0

For the third time in five weeks, Richardson exited a game due to injury. His current AC joint sprain could cost him several weeks. Richardson was decent while in the game, completing nine of his 13 passes for 98 yards and one big-time throw to fellow rookie Josh Downs. His one egregious error was fumbling as he was attempting a throwaway while being hit. Richardson shows flashes of his immense talent but won’t be able to sustain production if he can’t protect himself.

Pick No. 5: Seattle Seahawks: CB Devon Witherspoon

Overall Rookie Grade: 79.7 (Rank: 3/17)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 5 Snaps: 0
Week 5 Grade: N/A

The Seahawks were on a bye this week.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 55.9 (Rank: 3/6)
Principal Opponent: Sam Hubbard
Week 5 Snaps: 57
Week 5 Grade: 61.8

Johnson had a solid day in pass protection, allowing two hits on his 36 such snaps en route to a 73.9 pass-blocking grade. He has consistently struggled in the run game, though. His footwork and quickness are passable, but his strength at the point of attack needs to improve. Johnson currently owns the fourth-lowest run-blocking grade among qualified right tackles. His pass protection offers a solid base, so he’ll have plenty of opportunities to expand his skill set.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 38.0 (14/14)
Principal Opponent: Rasheed Walker
Week 5 Snaps: 24
Week 5 Grade: 51.1

Wilson tallied one quarterback hurry on 16 pass-rushing snaps and made one tackle in the run game. It was another quiet performance for the No. 7 overall pick, who remains the lowest-graded rookie edge defender this through Week 5.

Pick No. 8: Atlanta Falcons: RB Bijan Robinson

Overall Rookie Grade: 76.2 (Rank: 3/9)
Principal Opponent: Henry To’oTo’o
Week 5 Snaps: 47
Week 5 Grade: 68.1

Robinson posted a season-low 58 total yards against Houston but still forced nine missed tackles and hauled in a screen pass for a touchdown. He did, however, lose a fumble, which surely lost him some work, as Tyler Allgeier finished the day with more total touches. Houston played with a loaded box on nearly two-thirds of Atlanta’s run plays. Robinson struggled to break through, and he’ll likely continue to see such looks moving forward.

Pick No. 9: Philadelphia Eagles: DI Jalen Carter

Overall Rookie Grade: 91.8 (Rank: 1/13)
Principal Opponent: Kevin Dotson
Week 5 Snaps: 39
Week 5 Grade: 75.8

Sunday was another excellent day for Carter as he racked up two sacks and a team-leading 78.4 pass-rushing grade. It’s the third time in five games he’s led his team in pass-rushing grade. Through five weeks, his 91.8 overall grade leads all defensive tackles and his 23 pressures tie for the lead with Aaron Donald. Carter is the clear favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Pick No. 10: Chicago Bears: OT Darnell Wright

Overall Rookie Grade: 69.9 (Rank: 1/6)
Principal Opponent: Montez Sweat
Week 5 Snaps: 64
Week 5 Grade: 75.4

Wright was Chicago’s best run blocker this week, earning a team-high 81.2 run-blocking grade. He is beginning to impose his strength on opponents, with his highlight play of Thursday Night Football being a huge pull block where he plowed over Commanders cornerback Emmanuel Forbes. He did allow four pressures, including a sack, but his work in the run game helped Chicago attain and hold a big lead. Wright continues to be a bright spot for a Chicago offensive line that is slowly getting healthy.

Rookie OT Grades | Week 5, 2023
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Pick No. 11: Tennessee Titans: OG Peter Skoronski

Overall Rookie Grade: 67.6 (Rank: 2/11)
Principal Opponent: DeForest Buckner
Week 5 Snaps: 61
Week 5 Grade: 50.5

After a three-game absence, Skoronski made his second career start, and it didn’t go quite as well as his first. Facing a tough matchup against the Colts, he allowed four pressures and was negatively graded on five run blocks. His 50.5 overall grade was a team-low mark. For now, we can likely attribute this performance to rust. Skoronski will have a chance to rebound against Jacksonville next week.

Pick No. 12: Detroit Lions: RB Jahmyr Gibbs

Overall Rookie Grade: 62.1 (Rank: 8/9)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 5 Snaps: 0
Week 5 Grade: N/A

Gibbs did not play in Week 5 due to injury.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 62.4 (4/14)
Principal Opponent: Kolton Miller
Week 5 Snaps: 26
Week 5 Grade: 68.5

Van Ness has recorded a stop — a tackle that constitutes a failure for the offense — in each of his first five NFL games. However, he hasn't pressured the quarterback since racking up five pressures in Week 1.

Pick No. 14: Pittsburgh Steelers: OT Broderick Jones

Overall Rookie Grade: 65.5 (Rank: 2/6)
Principal Opponent: Kyle Van Noy
Week 5 Snaps: 66
Week 5 Grade: 74.8

Jones’ first NFL start was a success. His 74.8 overall grade and 77.2 run-blocking grade led all Steelers offensive linemen by a wide margin. He also allowed just one hurry and lost one other pass-blocking rep. He flashed nice footwork in the zone running game and moved linebackers off their spot on multiple occasions. His performance is a positive sign, considering he barely played in the first three games.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 61.4 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: Mike McGlinchey
Week 5 Snaps: 17
Week 5 Grade: 56.5

McDonald played a season-high 17 snaps yet made little impact defensively. He is battling to find a groove in a part-time role. It was known that he would struggle to contribute in the run game early on, but he has just one pressure so far on 33 pass-rushing snaps. There won’t be an expanded role for him moving forward if he can’t excel where he was expected to.

Pick No. 16: Washington Commanders: CB Emmanuel Forbes

Overall Rookie Grade: 37.0 (Rank: 17/17)
Principal Opponent: D.J. Moore
Week 5 Snaps: 24
Week 5 Grade: 32.0

The struggles continued for Forbes this week. He was the biggest victim of D.J. Moore’s historic night, allowing three catches for 76 yards. He took poor angles on two curl routes, which allowed Moore to streak down the sideline for big gains. His 37.0 season grade is the third-lowest mark among all qualified cornerbacks.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 80.8 (Rank: 2/17)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 5 Snaps: 0
Week 5 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: 46.3 (Rank: 3/4)
Principal Opponent: Ian Thomas
Week 5 Snaps: 31
Week 5 Grade: 33.4

Campbell returned to a traditional linebacker role but was one of the few Lions who struggled in a huge win. He made two run stops, but those were his only two tackles on the day. He allowed two catches for 29 yards and a touchdown while also committing an illegal contact penalty. He looks a bit hesitant right now, so Detroit may be wise to leave him in one role and let him get comfortable.

Lions LB Grades | 2023
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Pick No. 19: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DI Calijah Kancey

Overall Rookie Grade: 59.2 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 5 Snaps: 0
Week 5 Grade: N/A

The Buccaneers were on a bye this week.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 50.3 (Rank: 13/13)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 5 Snaps: 0
Week 5 Grade: N/A

The Seahawks were on a bye this week.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 60.3 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: N/A
Week 5 Snaps: 0
Week 5 Grade: N/A

The Chargers were on a bye this week.

Pick No. 22: Baltimore Ravens: WR Zay Flowers

Overall Rookie Grade: 71.7 (Rank: 5/13)
Principal Opponent: Levi Wallace
Week 5 Snaps: 69
Week 5 Grade: 56.9

Flowers continues to be the most consistent force in the Ravens’ receiving corps. He led the team with 73 yards and created three explosive plays. His day was dampened by the first two drops of his career, one of which was a pass deep over the middle where he may have scored. Baltimore’s passing game has been stagnant at times, but it’s certainly not because of Flowers.

Pick No. 23: Minnesota Vikings: WR Jordan Addison

Overall Rookie Grade: 65.1 (Rank: 10/13)
Principal Opponent: Trent McDuffie
Week 5 Snaps: 54
Week 5 Grade: 71.2

Addison’s role continues to expand. He led the Vikings with six catches and 64 yards this week. He’ll be of greater importance if Justin Jefferson’s hamstring injury causes him to miss time. Addison continues to expand the toolbox, catching his six passes on six different routes in Week 5. He also hauled in his third touchdown in five weeks. After an unlucky Week 4, he’s firmly back on track as Minnesota’s WR2.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 61.8 (Rank: 9/17)
Principal Opponent: Jaylen Waddle
Week 5 Snaps: 47
Week 5 Grade: 73.2

Banks held up surprisingly well in coverage against Miami, allowing three catches for just 15 yards and one first down on a screen pass. He also had excellent coverage on Jaylen Waddle in the end zone for his lone pass breakup. Banks is getting a bit better with each passing week and has yet to give up a 20-plus-yard pass play. He is quietly improving.

Highest-Graded Rookie CBs | Week 5, 2023
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Pick No. 25: Buffalo Bills: TE Dalton Kincaid

Overall Rookie Grade: 56.6 (Rank: 3/3)
Principal Opponent: Chad Muma
Week 5 Snaps: 32
Week 5 Grade: 55.7

Kincaid left London with just two catches for 19 yards. In theory, he had plenty of opportunities with 29 routes run, but most of those routes were short or into the flat. Buffalo is having a hard time unlocking his vertical ability. On the rare occasion Kincaid does get downfield, Josh Allen doesn’t seem to look his way. Kincaid would be the ideal solution for a Bills team searching for a third receiving option behind Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis.

Pick No. 26: Dallas Cowboys: DI Mazi Smith

Overall Rookie Grade: 43.8 (Rank: 11/13)
Principal Opponent: Aaron Banks
Week 5 Snaps: 22
Week 5 Grade: 32.8

Smith’s Week 5 performance epitomized the Cowboys’ showing against San Francisco. He won a couple of pass-rushing reps but was manhandled multiple times in the run game, grading out negatively on six of his 14 run-defense snaps. His season-long run defense grade of 30.0 is currently the sixth lowest among qualified defensive tackles.

Pick No. 27: Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Anton Harrison

Overall Rookie Grade: 53.0 (Rank: 5/6)
Principal Opponent: Leonard Floyd
Week 5 Snaps: 88
Week 5 Grade: 44.1

Week 5 was a rough one for Harrison against a tough Buffalo front. He allowed four pressures, including a sack, while losing four other pass-rushing reps. He also had eight negatively graded run blocks and committed two holding penalties. It’s been an up-and-down start for Harrison, and Jacksonville will have to stick with him while he develops.

Pick No. 28: Cincinnati Bengals: Edge Myles Murphy

Overall Rookie Grade: 54.9 (Rank: 10/14)
Principal Opponent: Paris Johnson Jr.
Week 5 Snaps: 7
Week 5 Grade: 62.7

Murphy played seven snaps late in the game against Arizona and made a run stop. He seems to have fallen down the depth chart as the Bengals try to dig themselves out of an early-season hole.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 47.7 (Rank: 10/13)
Principal Opponent: Riley Reiff
Week 5 Snaps: 30
Week 5 Grade: 30.0

Bresee was one of the few Saints defenders who struggled in Week 5, carrying a team-low 30.0 overall grade. He did record two hurries but struggled to a 30.3 run-defense grade while also committing a penalty. He’ll look to rebound next week against an underrated Houston offensive line.

Pick No. 30: Philadelphia Eagles: Edge Nolan Smith

Overall Rookie Grade: 45.9 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: Rob Havenstein
Week 5 Snaps: 8
Week 5 Grade: 67.3

Smith played just eight snaps and recorded a run stop. His contributions continue to be light as he sits behind a loaded edge group in Philadelphia.

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

Overall Rookie Grade: 60.7 (Rank: 7/14)
Principal Opponent: Christian Darrisaw
Week 5 Snaps: 25
Week 5 Grade: 59.2

Anudike-Uzomah had a relatively quiet day against Minnesota. He had an unblocked hurry and an assist on a tackle for loss. Otherwise, he couldn’t get by the Vikings’ tackles in his role as a pass-rushing specialist. Chris Jones and George Karlaftis are the only Chiefs defensive linemen with 60.0-plus pass-rushing grades. Kansas City needs Anudike-Uzomah to fulfill his potential or the defense may have problems rushing the passer later in the season.


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