Five biggest 2023 NFL Draft winners

five biggest 2023 nfl draft winners

Arizona received Houston’s first- and third-round picks in 2024 by giving up No. 3 this year. Depending on how the Texans fare in 2023, those could be extremely valuable picks in 2024. Next year’s draft features a couple of offensive skill-position players who are potential top-five overall prospects  — wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and tight end Brock Bowers — and the Cardinals may be able to land both thanks to their decision to play the long game.

Minnesota Vikings

Jordan Addison, WR (24th overall); Mekhi Blackmon, CB (102nd overall); Jay Ward, S (134th overall); Jaquelin Roy, DT (141st overall); Jaren Hall, QB (164th overall); DeWayne McBride, RB (222nd overall).

Minnesota had more holes than most division winners heading into the draft but made some savvy moves with its limited picks. Addison emerged as one of the best route-runners in this class and should pair nicely with star wideout Justin Jefferson. The team then addressed its leaky defense by getting corner Blackmon, who ESPN’s Matt Miller wrote is a “potential starter.”

LSU teammates Ward and Roy give the Vikings more promising additions on defense, while Hall is an intriguing QB option in 2024 should Kirk Cousins not be re-signed. The Vikings also braced for a potential Dalvin Cook departure by landing McBride in Round 7. The UAB product led the FBS in rushing with 155.7 yards per game in 2022.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Broderick Jones, T (14th overall); Joey Porter Jr., CB (32nd overall); Keeanu Benton, DT (49th overall); Darnell Washington, TE (93rd overall); Nick Herbig, LB (132nd overall); Cory Trice, CB, (241st overall); Spencer Anderson, G (251st overall).

At first blush, the Steelers may have the best draft class pound-for-pound. They traded up for arguably the best tackle in the draft to protect QB Kenny Pickett. Per ESPN’s Player Projections, Jones has a 55.5 percent chance of being a starter and a 27.7 percent chance of being a Pro Bowler. Porter Jr.’s chances of being a Pro Bowler are at 35.2 percent, while Benton has a 34.2 percent chance of being a starter. 

Tight end Washington projects to have an even more promising NFL career. ESPN’s projections give Washington a 44.9 percent chance of reaching the Pro Bowl and a 45.5 percent chance of being a starter. Herbig’s likeliest outcome is to be a starter as well at 31.3 percent.

Philadelphia Eagles

Jalen Carter, DT (ninth overall); Nolan Smith, LB (30th overall); Tyler Steen, T (65th overall); Sydney Brown, S (66th overall); Kelee Ringo, CB (105th overall); Tanner McKee, QB (188th overall); Moro Ojomo, DE (249th overall).

If film producers decided to make an “Ocean’s 14,” Philadelphia’s general manager Howie Roseman would have to be added as a cast member. Roseman pulled off some heists during the draft that should extend the Eagles’ championship window deep into the future.

Philadelphia’s biggest weakness last year was its run defense, and that shouldn’t be a problem with Carter wreaking havoc in the middle. He’ll also keep the team’s pass rush operating at an elite level. After the Eagles led the league in sacks with 70 last year, Carter and Georgia teammate Smith give Philly more talented options to constantly rush quarterbacks. The team also addressed losing running back Miles Sanders in free agency by working with the Lions on a deal for D’Andre Swift. 

Seattle Seahawks

Devon Witherspoon, CB (fifth overall); Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR (20th overall); Derick Hall, LB (37th overall); Zach Charbonnet, RB (52nd overall); Anthony Bradford, G (108th overall); Cameron Young, DT (123rd overall); Mike Morris, DE (151st overall); Olusegun Oluwatimi, C (154th overall); Jerrick Reed II, S (198th overall); Kenny McIntosh, RB (237th overall).

Seattle didn’t fill needs with its first-round picks biggest but got perhaps the best corner and wide receiver in the draft. Witherspoon and Smith-Njigba should play meaningful snaps this season, and the team then addressed needs along the defensive and offensive lines on Days 2 and 3.

Defensive linemen Young and Morris give Seattle some promising run-stoppers. In Steve Muench’s predraft analysis, he wrote that Young “does a good job of getting into offensive linemen’s pads,” and that he “controls blockers with strong hands.” On Morris, Muench wrote that “As a run defender, Morris has the size and length to set the edge, and he chases with good effort.”

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Publish Date:2023-04-30 07:53:10

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