NFL Draft Grades: Draft 2023 winners and losers

The NFL draft is put under a lot of scrutiny each year and this time there will be no exceptions. Or experts sat down and looked into how well the teams handled the first day of their draft boards. We present you with our 2023 NFL draft grades below.

Who are the winners and losers according to the 2023 NFL draft results?


Can you ever be wrong when you pick a player in the first round? Sure, you can. Let’s see who we think made the right decisions and which GMs will be kicking themselves for the selections they put in.

Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young, QB

The Panthers gave up a lot to get the number one selection in this year’s draft. Nobody criticized them for that decision. Most experts think that this is a one-quarterback draft. Well, Carolina just got him. It cost a lot, but it doesn’t matter.

Besides selecting Young first overall, the Panthers were not all that great when it came to their Day 2 and Day 3 picks. They also didn’t have all that many – only four left. Chandler Zavala (OG) and Jammie Robinson (DB) are really nothing to brag about.

Grade: Excellent

Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud, QB

The Texans decided to somewhat play it safe here. It was rumored that they won’t be picking a QB in that spot. However, Stroud impressed them enough and why wouldn’t he? His PFF grade is 92.2. Still, the Texans could have passed on picking a QB and we wouldn’t have been mad at them.

It was about time this abundant draft capital paid off for the Texans. After two trade-ups in round 2 and round 3, the Texans picked up a competent center (Juice Scruggs) and a very good slot receiver (Tank Dell). We loved their draft.

Grade: Excellent

NFL draft results
Heisman Trophy finalists defensive end Aidan Hutchinson from Michigan, quarterback Kenny Pickett from Pittsburgh, quarterback C.J. Stroud from Ohio State and quarterback Bryce Young from Alabama stand with the Heisman Trophy at the Marriott Marquis in New York City on Saturday, December 11, 2021. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI/ABACAPRESS.COM – Photo by Icon sport

Houston Texans: Will Anderson Jr, Edge

This was an interesting decision that might just pay off. Houston got back-to-back picks thanks to a draft day trade with the Cardinals. Many people think that Anderson is their insurance policy in case the Stroud pick is deemed a failure.

Grade: Decent

Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson, QB

Richardson is the best athletic quarterback in that class but his technique needs a lot of work. So do his decision-making skills on the field. The ceiling is high and the Colts didn’t have to give up assets to get the 4th pick.

What we loved the most in the 2023 NFL draft for the Colts were the athletic players their selected along with very good cornerbacks in rounds five and seven.

Grade: Very good

Seattle Seahawks: Devon Witherspoon, CB

Witherspoon might turn out to be the best defensive player in the draft. Even though there are a few D-linemen said to be better than him, such a talent at cornerback is tough to pass on.

Grade: Excellent

Arizona Cardinals: Paris Johnson, Jr, OT

We often don’t like how the Cardinals deal with players but this time they knocked it out of the park. Being out of the QB race, they traded down from No. 3 and picked the best offensive lineman in the draft. Kudos!

Clayton Tune in the 4th round was a good backup QB selection. Additionally, the trades on Day 2 mya prove to be good moves.

Grade: Excellent

Las Vegas Raiders: Tyree Wilson, Edge

At No.7 it seems like the Raiders were fine with simply picking the best player currently on the board. It appears that’s exactly what happened although Wilson lacks consistency. And frankly, other players might turn out to be better thank him.

The trade-up early in the second round to get Michael Mayer may turn out to be the smartest move in the draft across all teams. The Raiders really filled a hole by getting him but we also have to mention WR Tre Tucker at No. 100 and DB Jakorian Bennett at  No. 104.

Grade: Good

Atlanta Falcons: Bijan Robinson, RB

Can you name one defensive player on the Atlanta roster? Yes, we thought so too. Picking a running back in the top 10 is reserved for teams with just one or two parts missing. The Falcons have holes to fill elsewhere even though Robinson is by far the best running back in this year’s draft.

With only five remaining picks in the draft, Atlanta didn’t impress us a lot at all. However, picking up Matthew Bergeron at OG after trading up was actually a good move. Let’s hope it works out well.

Grade: Low

Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Carter, DL

Getting to the 9-spot cost the Eagles only a 4th-round pick. Carter is perhaps the second-best player in the draft but his off-the-field issues obviously allowed him to slide down the board. Still, we like the pick as the Eagles are building strength upon strength.

Grade: Very Good

Chicago Bears: Darnell Wright, OT

With Paris Johnson off the board, the Bears had no other option but to select Wright out of Tennessee. They badly need help on the o-line so we like that pick. Pretty logical.

We expected Chicago to select more offensive linemen with some of their nine remaining picks in the 2023 NFL draft but they didn’t. Instead, they got some help on the defensive side of the ball by picking a total of seven defensive players in the draft.

Grade: Very Good

Tennesee Titans: Peter Skoronski, OL

Skoronski had an excellent 2022 season and this allowed his draft stock to soar. He can play both guard and tackle so it will be interesting to see where the Titans use him. The guy doesn’t allow any pressure – at least in college.

Grade: Excellent

Detroit Lions: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB

It looks like the Lions reached here. According to many, Gibbs is a Round 2 talent but they selected him at 12. That’s fine, even though a cornerback would have been nice.

Detroit actually reached once again the first round by selecting LB Jack Campbell at No. 18. It can be argued that the remaining picks during day 2 and day 3 were actually worse.

Grade: Low

Green Bay Packers: Lukas Van Ness, Edge

The Packers again not picking an offensive weapon in the first round. Van Ness is a very good player with excellent power-rushing moves. However, it does feel like a reach.

With the remaining 12 picks that Green Bay had, they picked a plethora of players for every single unit on the field except the offensive line. We’ll see how this pays off.

Grade: Average

Pittsburgh Steelers: Broderick Jones, OT

The Patriots traded down from the 14 as it looks like they wanted Van Ness. The Steelers wanted Jones as they loved how well he performed. His PFF grade stands at 84.1. Good deal for all three sides it seems. What we don’t like is that this jump cost Pittsburgh a first-rounder.

Grade: Good

New York Jets: Will McDonald IV, Edge

McDonald is a nice prospect, but he managed to get just 127 pressures on all of his 862 snaps in college. Not sure how many snaps he gets in the NFL in year one. Many smart people had him as a borderline second-rounder.

Grade: Low

Washington Commanders: Emmanuel Forbes, CB

A decent cornerback in the draft. It’s very hard to find excellent cornerbacks and the 2023 NFL draft results display that fully. We had Forbes ranked outside of the top 20 but the Commanders do address a need.

Grade: Average

New England Patriots: Christian Gonzalez, CB

Why the Commanders didn’t pick Gonzalez is beyond us. The Patriots traded down, got a 4th and still selected the second-best corner. They look like clear NFL 2023 Draft winners to us. The athletic ability is there – we only have to see how he develops.

Grade: Excellent

Detroit Lions: Jack Campbell, LB

This is a pretty poor draft if you are looking for a linebacker. Campbell is ranked near the bottom of the first but the Lions picked him at 18. So far, Detroit shapes up as an NFL 2023 draft loser but we will see how the season goes.

Grade: Low

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Calijah Kancey, DL

Kancey is an undersized pass rusher but he does all that on the interior. The Bucs will surely need help on the D-line with all the players either aging or being gone.

Grade: Very Good

Seattle Seahawks: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR

When there’s a highly commercialized receiver in the draft, you can expect the Seahawks to gobble him up. This is what happened and Smith-Njigba somehow dropped all the way to number 20. Great value for the best wide receiver in the 2023 NFL draft.

Grade: Excellent

Los Angeles Chargers: Quentin Johnson, WR

It appears that the Chargers are going all offense which sounds great for Justin Herbert. Johnson is a very good receiver with excellent ability in open space. He does drop 1 out of 10 passes though.

Over the course of the draft, the Chargers selected a total of 3 TCU players. The last one being QB Max Duggan at No. 239. No player really jumps out of the screen though.

Grade: Average

Baltimore Ravens: Zay Flowers, WR

If Flowers performs better than Hollywood Brown in Baltimore, then this pick will be a successful one. Lamar gets a weapon, OBJ is signed, and everyone is happy now. We just don’t trust that Ravens’ offense enough.

Tavius Robinson was an excellent pick at No. 124 as he will give the team the much-needed depth on the D-line. Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu is one of the biggest tackles in this year’s draft and even though he was picked at 199, he might prove to be a diamond in the rough.

Grade: Very Good

Minnesota Vikings: Jordan Addison, WR

Here’s a very good addition to an already good wide-receiver corps in Minny. Addison knows how to score touchdowns and he proved that both at Pittsburgh and at USC.

Grade: Very Good

New York Giants: Deonte Banks, CB

Banks is a speedy defensive back, and he is excellent in man coverage. His 40-yard time is 4.35 and this surely contributed to the Giants wanting him at 24. Given the fact they traded down to get him is also a good move.

Grade: Very Good

Buffalo Bills: Dalton Kincaid, TE

So, Kincaid was ranked by PFF in the top 10. The Bills get him at 25. His current grade is 91.8. We say that’s a good pick.

We expected Buffalo to pick a wide receiver earlier in the 2023 NFL draft but they did so at Pick No. 150 in the face of Justin Shorter. He does provide a vertical threat against defenses and might an excellent weapon for Josh Allen.

Grade: Very Good

Dallas Cowboys: Mazi Smith, DL

Well, the Cowboys need help stopping the run at the line of scrimmage. Did they reach? Maybe. But they had to address this. Smith has a very good athletic ability so he will surely help them.

We liked the Asim Richards pick at No. 169 as the team needs help on the O-line badly. One would only ponder why they didn’t select an offensive lineman earlier.

Grade: Average

Jacksonville Jaguars: Anton Harrison, OT

We love that pick. The Jags gathered some additional draft selections and they got to pick an excellent offensive lineman. Give them kudos and expect good things from Harrison who allowed less than 10 pressures on 447 snaps in the 2022 season.

The Jags had plenty of picks to use especially after they traded down two times on Day 1. Miller and Abdullah were selected at the linebacker position 15 picks apart from each other. Not a bad draft for Jacksonville. Let’s see what sticks.

Grade: Very Good

Cincinnati Bengals: Myles Murphy, Edge

It appears that Murphy’s ceiling isn’t very high but the Bengals did not see any good Offensive linemen left on the board at 28. The pick makes sense although there were other options too.

The rest of the draft for Cincy was pretty much the same. Are they a 2023 NFL draft loser? Probably not, but none of the names picked between No. 60 and No. 246 blow us away.

Grade: Average

New Orleans Saints: Bryan Bresee, DL

Bresee is a versatile player as he can play everywhere on the D-line. Whether this Draft result of the 2023 NFL draft is good for the Saints is yet to be seen.

Grade: Very Good

Philadelphia Eagles: Nolan Smith, Edge

Smith was ranked way higher than 30 and the Eagles once again swoop in to steal a great player on the D-line. He is a little light standing at 238lb. However, this defensive line rebuild looks to be going smoothly for the Eagles.

Grade: Excellent

Kansas City Chiefs: Felix Anukide-Uzomah, Edge

The last pick of the first round is again a pass rusher. The Chiefs are happy with their offensive potential so bolstering that D-line turns out to be vital. Anudike-Uzomah got 21 sacks in the past two seasons so this looks like a nice pick.

It’s always scary when Andy Reid selects receivers in the first two rounds so we will see what happens with Rashee Rice. He’s not a deep threat but will be helpful when it comes to short and mid routes. We also like the Chamarri Conner (CB) pick at No. 119 as he can play both a nickel back and safety.

Grade: Very Good

Cleveland Browns: No selection in Round 1

The Browns gave up a lot to get Deshaun Watson and Elijah Moore so their first pick in the 2023 NFL draft was the 74th. Doesn’t look like they made a lot with the draft capital they had and none of the seven picks they put in are not flashy at all.

Cedric Tillman will provide some dimension as a wide receiver but that’s pretty much it.

Grade: Average

Cleveland Browns: No selection in Round 1

With only five picks, we can’t say that the Denver Broncos NFL 2023 Draft results were excellent. But that’s the price you pay when you want to have Russel Wilson as QB and Sean Payton as a head coach.

Marvin Mims Jr is a  decent selection at No. 63 and may prove to be useful.

Grade: Low

Los Angeles Rams: No selection in Round 1

Going into the draft, the Rams had no first-round pick (we’ve seen that before). They made a number of Day 2 trades and ended up with a total of 14 selections.

As expected, the first chance they got, the Rams picked up an offensive lineman. Steve Avila is a very good option at guard and he will surely help the team.

Stetson Bennett at No. 128 is an interesting pick. But who knows, he might see some action in the upcoming season.

Grade: Good

Miami Dolphins: No selection in Round 1

With just four picks in the draft, there really isn’t a lot we can mention about the Dolphins. They did the most by selecting three offensive players and one on the defensive side of the ball.

Grade: Low

Conclusion of our final 2023 NFL draft grades

This is our summary of the first-round results of the NFL 2023 draft. The draft winners and the NFL draft 2023 losers will become clearer after days 2 and 3 and we will be here to let you know.

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