2023 NFL draft: Pros and cons for every first-round pick

The 2023 NFL draft began Thursday (8 p.m. ET on ESPN, ABC, ESPN App), with the Carolina Panthers selecting Alabama quarterback Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick.

We will be tracking all 259 picks for Rounds 1-7, and you also can check out all the best available draft prospects.

The draft continues with Rounds 2-3 on Friday (7 p.m. ET) and concludes with Rounds 4-7 on Saturday (noon ET).

Here is the first-round draft order and needs for all 32 teams from analysts Matt Miller and Jordan Reid.

1. Carolina Panthers (from Chicago)

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama | Highlights

Why they picked him: He’s a difference-maker, something the Panthers haven’t had at quarterback since midway through the 2018 season when Cam Newton began having injury issues. Young’s ability to process, as Alabama coach Nick Saban said, is “off the charts.” That should enable Young to be ready to start Day 1. His mobility and ability to make plays when protection breaks down is second to none. Young ranked first the past two seasons in passing yards (2,132), touchdowns (24) and completions of 20-plus yards (34) when under pressure. He had the highest Total QBR rating outside the pocket (95.7) in 2022 among the 98 FBS quarterbacks who attempted at least 250 passes. Young displays leadership on and off the field, something the Panthers want in the face of the franchise and coach Frank Reich ranks high on traits he seeks in a quarterback.

Biggest question: His size, at 5-foot-10 and 204 pounds. There really isn’t a history of successful NFL quarterbacks under 6-foot outside of Russell Wilson (5-11) and Kyler Murray (5-10). But it’s not so much the height that is a concern. It’s the durability. The Panthers already have a plan in place to put weight on Young and bulk him up. “Nutritionally, we can do some things to educate him, get him in the weight room,” said Panthers GM Scott Fitterer, who was in Seattle when Wilson was drafted in 2012. But what lessens the concern here is Young’s unique ability to avoid the big hits in the way running back Barry Sanders (5-8, 200) did during his Hall of Fame career. These are reasons size didn’t outweigh the positives Young brings. — David Newton

  • Analysis of every Panthers pick

  • Panthers depth chart

2. Houston Texans

C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State | Highlights

Why they picked him: The hope is Stroud can be the driving force to get the Texans back to respectability and stabilize the quarterback position. Last season the Texans QB room had a QBR of 26, last in the NFL and had the second most interceptions with 19. In two seasons as starter at Ohio State, he threw for 8,123 yards and 85 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2021 and ’22.

Biggest question: How good can Stroud be without top tier weapons to start his career? During his Ohio State career he was loaded with receiving weapons led by New York Jets Garrett Wilson and Saints Chris Olave. Wilson and Olave both were 1,000-yard receivers as rookies. DJ Bien-Aime

  • Analysis of every Texans pick

  • Texans depth chart

3. Houston Texans (from Arizona)

Will Anderson Jr., LB, Alabama | Highlights

Why they picked him: The Texans defense ranked 27th in points allowed (24.7) and 30th in total defense (379.5 yards per game) in 2022. And were historically one of the worst run defenses ever, as they also allowed the sixth-most rushing yards for a single season (2,894 yards). They needed defensive help and Anderson is viewed as one of the better players in this draft. During his three-year career at Alabama, he finished with 58.5 tackles for loss, 34.5 sacks and 204 tackles.

Biggest question: Will Anderson played outside linebacker in college in a 3-4 defense. Texans coach DeMeco Ryans runs a 4-3, so instead of mainly standing up at the line of scrimmage as he did in college, Anderson will have to play with his hand in the dirt most of the time. But that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

  • Analysis of every Texans pick

  • Texans depth chart

4. Indianapolis Colts

Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida | Highlights

  • Analysis of every Colts pick

  • Colts depth chart

5. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois | Highlights

  • Analysis of every Seahawks pick

  • Seahawks depth chart

6. Arizona Cardinals (from Detroit via L.A. Rams)

Paris Johnson Jr., T, Ohio State | Highlights

  • Analysis of every Cardinals pick

  • Cardinals depth chart

7. Las Vegas Raiders

Top needs: DT, CB, IOL

The Raiders might still be in the quarterback chase at No. 7 overall, but the signing of Jimmy Garoppolo eases the need to find one right away.

  • Analysis of every Raiders pick

  • Raiders depth chart

8. Atlanta Falcons

Top needs: DE, WR, QB

Second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder is the team’s answer for now, but a quarterback selection wouldn’t shock anyone if Will Levis (Kentucky) or Anthony Richardson (Florida) fall to No. 8 overall. The Falcons finished 31st in the NFL in sacks last season, and they have done nothing throughout free agency to truly address the edge of the defense. With eight total selections, the pass rush should see an upgrade.

  • Analysis of every Falcons pick

  • Falcons depth chart

9. Chicago Bears (from Carolina)

Top needs: OT, DT, EDGE

The Bears have added many key players this offseason to a roster that lacked high-end talent. Adding to the trenches continues to be critical, and general manager Ryan Poles could be aggressive there, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Last season, safety Jaquan Brisker was the team’s leader in sacks (4.0). With the No. 9 overall pick, there will be plenty of options. Lukas Van Ness (Iowa) and Myles Murphy (Clemson) are plug-and-play options on the edge.

  • Analysis of every Bears pick

  • Bears depth chart

10. Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans)

Top needs: S, DT, RB

For the No. 10 overall selection, a true best player available approach should let Philadelphia add a premium player.

  • Analysis of every Eagles pick

  • Eagles depth chart

11. Tennessee Titans

  • Analysis of every Titans pick

  • Titans depth chart

Top needs: IOL, WR, TE,

The Titans’ biggest needs are along the offensive line and behind wide receiver Treylon Burks. Holding the No. 11 overall pick, Tennessee is in range to kick off the run on offensive tackles. Peter Skoronski (Northwestern) and Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State) are two players the team could target. The Titans released Taylor Lewan this offseason and are looking for the next star at tackle.

12. Detroit Lions (from Arizona via Houston through Cleveland)

  • Analysis of every Lions pick

  • Lions depth chart

13. Green Bay Packers

Top needs: TE, S, WR

With the Jordan Love era on the horizon now that Rodgers is traded, the Packers should continue to add playmakers to expedite his development. Christian Watson looked great in his rookie year, but Allen Lazard signed with the Jets, further weakening the receiver room.

  • Analysis of every Packers pick

  • Packers depth chart

14. New England Patriots

Top needs: RT, CB, WR

Despite what the Patriots have done over the past 25 years, this is a franchise in transition. That means virtually every position is a possibility in Round 1. A true “best player available” approach is in play here, but restocking both sides of the line will be a big priority.

  • Analysis of every Patriots pick

  • Patriots depth chart

15. New York Jets

Top needs: QB, OT, DT

The Jets filled their need at quarterback with the trade for Aaron Rodgers, their biggest holes remain along the offensive and defensive lines. They were decimated by injuries at offensive tackle a season ago, so finding a young option with the No. 13 pick is a high priority. Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. is an intriguing prospect who could solve many of their issues there.

  • Analysis of every Jets pick

  • Jets depth chart

16. Washington Commanders

Top needs: CB, IOL, OT

The Commanders’ first selection comes right in the heart of the first round at No. 16 overall. Washington is expected to be in the running on cornerbacks and offensive tackles, and it could choose many different routes to address some of its biggest needs.

  • Analysis of every Commanders pick

  • Commanders depth chart

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

Top needs: RT, WR, ILB

The Steelers’ first pick could go in many directions. Right tackle is a clear need, and Tennessee’s Darnell Wright has good value at that spot. He’s a fantastic run-blocker.

  • Analysis of every Steelers pick

  • Steelers depth chart

18. Detroit Lions

Top needs: DT, LB, DE

The 2023 draft is pivotal for Detroit with eight selections and a chance to take the NFC North. The Lions have made improvements defensively in free agency, signing Cameron Sutton, Emmanuel Moseley and Alex Anzalone, but there is still a lot of work ahead.

  • Analysis of every Lions pick

  • Lions depth chart

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Top needs: OT, EDGE, QB

The Buccaneers have a major need at offensive tackle after the release of Donovan Smith, and the team could explore finding an answer in Round 1. Darnell Wright (Tennessee) and Anton Harrison (Oklahoma) are two good fits for Tampa Bay. And on the other side of the ball, Isaiah Foskey (Notre Dame) and Derick Hall (Auburn) fit the type of defensive lineman Tampa Bay has drafted in the past.

  • Analysis of every Buccaneers pick

  • Buccaneers depth chart

20. Seattle Seahawks

Top needs: DE, WR, CB

The Seahawks made splashy additions on defense with defensive end Dre’Mont Jones, safety Julian Love and linebacker Bobby Wagner this offseason. However, there’s room for a marquee pass-rusher if the Seahawks like the value at No. 5 overall. That could be Will Anderson Jr. (Alabama) or Jalen Carter (Georgia) in Seattle’s versatile defensive front.

  • Analysis of every Seahawks pick

  • Seahawks depth chart

21. Los Angeles Chargers

Top needs: WR, DE, DT

The Chargers’ roster is in good shape and has no pressing needs. Whoever is drafted in Round 1 won’t be an impact player right away, but depth is needed across the board. Considering Keenan Allen will be 31 years old next season, it isn’t out of the question that the team selects a wide receiver at No. 21 overall. The same goes for a third pass-rusher to develop behind 32-year-old outside linebacker Khalil Mack.

  • Analysis of every Chargers pick

  • Chargers depth chart

22. Baltimore Ravens

Top needs: WR, CB, EDGE

The Ravens once again find themselves in a familiar position: needing a wide receiver. After ranking last in the NFL in receiving yards by wide receivers (1,517), they are in a prime spot with the No. 22 overall pick to take one of the top wideouts on the board. Quentin Johnston (TCU) makes sense, as he projects well with new offensive coordinator Todd Monken’s scheme. Pairing him with Rashod Bateman and Mark Andrews could really advance the offense.

  • Analysis of every Ravens pick

  • Ravens depth chart

23. Minnesota Vikings

Top needs: CB, WR, DT

The reigning NFC North champions have a legitimate shot at repeating but must address their defense. Finding a starting cornerback remains a post-free-agency priority and should be a Round 1 target if Deonte Banks (Maryland) or Emmanuel Forbes (Mississippi State) are available at No. 23 overall. Minnesota added Byron Murphy Jr. but lost Patrick Peterson at corner.

  • Analysis of every Vikings pick

  • Vikings depth chart

24. Jacksonville Jaguars

Top needs: DE, DT, CB

The Jaguars were one of the best NFL stories of 2022, but their playoff run exposed some weaknesses up front on defense. Developing last year’s first overall pick, Travon Walker, is key, but so is adding more talent alongside him. Jacksonville could take the best defensive lineman available at No. 24 overall, perhaps one of the Clemson duo of defensive end Myles Murphy or defensive tackle Bryan Bresee.

  • Analysis of every Jaguars pick

  • Jaguars depth chart

25. New York Giants

Top needs: CB, IOL, WR

The Giants have a large quantity of receivers since bringing back Darius Slayton and adding Parris Campbell, but they still lack a high-end option who could eventually turn into a WR1. Wide receiver remains arguably the Giants’ top need, and they could have many options with the No. 25 overall pick. Keep an eye on Zay Flowers (Boston College) and Quentin Johnston (TCU), who are completely different types of targets.

  • Analysis of every Giants pick

  • Giants depth chart

26. Dallas Cowboys

Top needs: TE, RB, WR

Dallas filled many of its needs by trading for wide receiver Brandin Cooks and cornerback Stephon Gilmore and retaining linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and offensive tackle Tyron Smith. But it lost running back Ezekiel Elliott and tight end Dalton Schultz, so watch those positions. Even after adding Cooks, a young receiver can’t be overlooked, too, if a player Dallas likes alongside CeeDee Lamb slips to No. 26 overall. The first order of business should be loading up the targets around quarterback Dak Prescott.

  • Analysis of every Cowboys pick

  • Cowboys depth chart

27. Buffalo Bills

Top needs: ILB, WR, CB

The Bills lost key defender Tremaine Edmunds in free agency and haven’t replaced him in free agency, which could open the door for a first-round linebacker pick. Trenton Simpson (Clemson) could be in play.

  • Analysis of every Bills pick

  • Bills depth chart

28. Cincinnati Bengals

Top needs: CB, S, TE

We saw in last season’s playoffs how opponents can pick apart this secondary when the front four can’t get to the quarterback. The pass defense allowed 7.2 yards per attempt over the Bengals’ three postseason contests, ranking 10th among playoff teams. Mike Hilton is solid at cornerback, but the outside coverage spots could use upgrades. The same could be said at free safety, where Nick Scott is replacing Jessie Bates III. With an offense built for shootouts, the secondary has to be a continual focus of team building.

  • Analysis of every Bengals pick

  • Bengals depth chart

29. New Orleans Saints (from San Francisco through Miami and Denver)

Top needs: DE, DT, WR

The defensive line is an area to improve on, too, with Marcus Davenport leaving in free agency without a replacement on the roster. After adding defensive tackles through free agency, that’s more of a depth need but still something to address. And tight end and cornerback might be Day 3 fits.

  • Analysis of every Saints pick

  • Saints depth chart

30. Philadelphia Eagles

Top needs: S, DT, RB

The losses of C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Marcus Epps need to be addressed, so expect safety to be an early focus. This draft isn’t loaded at the position, but there are NFL starters available. The Eagles draft ahead very well but could also look to fill in the gap at defensive tackle left by Javon Hargrave departing in free agency, even with Jordan Davis waiting in the wings. Early-round depth picks who can develop into starters at defensive end, running back and right tackle are important in this draft class.

  • Analysis of every Eagles pick

  • Eagles depth chart

31. Kansas City Chiefs

Top needs: WR, DT, DE

The Chiefs won a Super Bowl without a 1,000-yard wide receiver, but that’s not a strategy worth trying again. General manager Brett Veach has to add a pass-catcher at some point early in the draft, especially because JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman signed elsewhere. And considering 34-year-old Travis Kelce’s importance in this offense, it would be smart to invest an early selection in finding his eventual replacement at tight end — even if that means in the first round.

  • Analysis of every Chiefs pick

  • Chiefs depth chart

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