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FutureStarr2023 @NFL Draft Order
The 2023 NFL draft will take place in Kansas City, Missouri from April 27 through 29.
The top four picks are expected to go to teams in need of quarterbacks. That could include Chicago, which has the opportunity to trade up and select an impact defensive player like Will Anderson or Jalen Carter.
On Thursday, the Carolina Panthers traded away superstar running back Christian McCaffrey in a major deal. Doing so, they recouped 4 NFL Draft picks - including a first-round selection in 2023 - in return.
The Panthers are still searching for a quarterback to lead their offense and could select one with the top overall pick. After four years of failure with Sam Darnold, they're eager to find their next franchise quarterback.
Carolina may use their first-round selection in the 2023 NFL draft to acquire a quarterback who can help them improve their passing game. Top options include Bryce Young (Alabama), C.J. Stroud (Ohio State) and Anthony Richardson (Florida).
In addition to the quarterback position, the Carolina Panthers need to upgrade their wide receivers and offensive line. Ranking 30th overall in total yards per game and 28th in passing, there is room for improvement at each position.
Though the Panthers possess plenty of talent, their lack of depth in all three areas is a major issue. To address this situation, they need to upgrade their offensive line, add a veteran receiver and find an able quarterback who can lead them in passing games.
The Bears possess two first-round picks and multiple second-round choices in 2023, which makes for an attractive haul. If they don't get their quarterback desired, the team may trade the top pick for a high quality defensive or offensive lineman in the 2024 draft. Furthermore, there are two more second round selections in 2025 and 2026; giving them some hope of building a stable team over time.
The Chicago Bears have the opportunity to select a top-tier player with their first-round selection in 2023, but they are currently situated in the middle of the pack.
The Bears boast a strong roster but still need help at several positions along the offensive and defensive lines. Furthermore, they need a quarterback, which could prove challenging in this year's draft. That is why they traded their first-round pick to the Carolina Panthers for a trade package that included their ninth overall selection, second rounder (61st overall), first-round pick (2024), and second round pick (2025) in an announcement made Friday afternoon.
General manager Ryan Poles had always desired to trade back into the first round, and on Friday his wish came true when he was able to move his team's first-rounder for a haul from Carolina. This deal will enable the Bears to select a potential franchise quarterback in this year's draft - something they have been lacking for some time.
This is an enormous victory for the Bears and their fans as they receive a substantial amount of draft capital to improve their team. While there are needs across the roster, the first-round pick should give them an immediate impact player.
The Bears' draft order was disrupted when Miami Dolphins forfeited their 2023 first-round pick for tampering violations, but they were able to exchange that pick with Kansas City in a separate deal and now own three first-round picks this year - one more than they had last year.
The Houston Texans are set to select second overall in the 2023 NFL draft. After a disappointing 3-13-1 season that culminated with a last-second victory over the Indianapolis Colts, the Texans hope to begin rebuilding with their initial selection in April's draft.
A major need for the Texans is an upgrade at quarterback, as Davis Mills is currently behind center. They need a signal-caller who can lead them to the playoffs, and there are several high-quality options available.
Alabama's Bryce Young is the favorite prospect in most mock drafts. His size makes him ideal for an NFL quarterback, but the Texans could also consider Ohio State's C.J. Stroud who has two Heisman finalist nods on his resume.
He is an impressive run blocker, earning an impressive 92.6 PFF grade this past season. This could provide the Texans with more options in their ground game by allowing Stroud to create more lanes for young receivers like Dameon Pierce to run through.
In this year's draft, the Texans have several pressing needs. One of the most pressing is improving their offensive line. While Houston has a solid group of pass-blockers, they need to upgrade at least one position on the interior.
John Michael Schmitz is an ideal guard option for the Texans, possessing both pass and run game versatility. This season he performed well as a pass blocker at Minnesota, drawing just one penalty in 302 snaps. With him, they can build chemistry with their young quarterback while providing some much-needed depth on defense.
After a disappointing season, the Indianapolis Colts now have an opportunity to transform their future in the 2023 NFL draft. They possess eight picks - four in each of the second and third rounds - so general manager Chris Ballard can select his quarterback at the top of the draft in search of a franchise quarterback.
The Colts have a dire need at quarterback, but there are plenty of viable options. Teams like Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals both have young quarterbacks they're developing, so it would be hard for Indianapolis to slip too far in the first round without trading up.
If the Colts could move up, they could potentially select Ohio State's C.J. Stroud, an All-Big Ten performer who hasn't declared for the NFL Draft yet. Alabama's Bryce Young could also be a viable option at No. 2, though his height may prevent him from falling at that stage.
It's possible the Colts will slip out of the top three if they lose their final regular season game against the Houston Texans on Sunday. This would put them in a similar predicament as last year when they fell to No. 5 in the draft after falling to Los Angeles Rams after an upset loss.
The Colts boast a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but their front seven is their weakest link. To strengthen their defense and develop an improved running game, the team needs to find ways to enhance their defensive line. A successful draft will be key in re-building this team for years to come.
In 2023, the Arizona Cardinals have a lot of work to do. They currently have five picks in the draft and could receive another compensatory selection through a trade. This presents general manager Robbie Ossenfort with an incredible opportunity to rebuild their roster.
The team has two key positions to fill, including an edge rusher and wide receiver. Drafting those players would provide the team with more depth at those positions.
This year's draft class boasts an abundance of talent at wide receiver and edge defender positions, but some names stand out above all others: Alabama outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. and Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter are two such names.
Both players fill critical needs on the Cardinals defense. They can instantly strengthen an already young unit by providing consistent impact and long-term value.
Anderson or Carter could help the team regain its mojo after years of mismanagement and disappointment. It's worth a shot, especially if they can land one of them in the third round.
If the Cardinals are able to hold onto their third-round selection, it's possible they could select a player who will immediately bolster their defense. Ideally, that would be edge rusher Will Anderson or defensive tackle Jalen Carter.
They could also consider Tennessee's Dalton Wright, a talented right tackle who possesses both the balance and size to fill a starting role. He can play either at tackle or guard position and has been an effective starter for the Vols in his first season at that position.
Arizona Cardinals have great potential, but they need to make some changes before it's too late. At present, they have five picks in the draft and with compensatory selections and potential trades, they can make significant roster improvements.