The 2023 NFL Draft has had plenty of fireworks, with multiple trades in the top 10. This recap will focus on fantasy football players only. We saw three quarterbacks go in the first ten picks. Then we had two running backs go in the top twelve picks. The pass-catcher run started at pick 20, where four wide receivers were taken in a row, followed by Dalton Kincaid, one pick after that.
We had a few surprises with Will Levis and Michael Mayer sliding out of the first round. Both players were expected to go in the top 15, and neither heard their names called on Thursday. First-round hopefuls Hendon Hooker and Luke Musgrave also did not make the cut on Day 1.
Check out the remaining draft order here.
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2023 NFL Draft Round 1 Recap: Best Available Players Day 2
1. QB, Bryce Young – Carolina Panthers
Bryce Young goes to the Carolina Panthers with the first overall pick. The team has Andy Dalton, but Bryce could start early. The Panthers, unfortunately, had to trade D.J. Moore to go up and draft young. But they did add some players to the offseason via free agency.
They added D.J. Chark and Adam Thielen at WR. They also have Terrace Marshall and Laviska Shenault. They also added running back Miles Sanders and tight end Hayden Hurst, pairing Young up with new Head Coach Frank Reich and Offensive Coordinator Thomas Brown. These are short-term options. Hopefully, Carolina will add a young WR to pair with Bryce.
2. QB, C.J. Stroud – Houston Texans
C.J. Stroud‘s pre-draft drama proved to be all smoke. He did not have to wait long before his name was called. Stroud gets to jump into a Shanahan-type offense that fits well with his quick delivery. C.J. is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the class. Unfortunately, his Wide Receiver room at Ohio State was much better than his one in Houston.
Houston did not draft Jaxon Smith-Njigba as some hoped. However, they still have a lot of picks and could end up drafting another weapon for Stroud. Currently, his pass-catching options are Nico Collins, John Metchie III, Robert Woods, and Dalton Schultz.
4. QB, Anthony Richardson – Indianapolis Colts
This really was one of the top spots for Anthony Richardson. Richardson lands in Indianapolis with new Head Coach Shane Steichen. Steichen has an extremely strong resume as a quarterback coach and offensive coordinator with quarterbacks. Last year he was the offensive coordinator for the Eagles and did tremendous work with Jalen Hurts.
Before that, he worked with Justin Herbert, who absolutely shined as a rookie. Although, before that, Steichen worked with Philip Rivers and has a versatile skillset, his inner knowledge of the way the Eagles developed and deployed Jalen Hurts is really intriguing. The Colts have Gardner Minshew, who can play until Richardson is ready. Richardson landing in Indy gives him a strong argument to go #1 in your superflex drafts or at least the QB1.
8. RB, Bijan Robinson – Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons ranked #1 in rush attempts in 2022 with 559 attempts. However, they were 3rd in rushing yards with 2,718 yards as a team. Arthur Smith’s offensive ran through Derrick Henry in Tennessee and now will run through Bijan in Atlanta.
Tyler Allgeier‘s stock took a big hit, and Bijan got rare draft capital. This is a great landing spot for Bijan, and the Falcons have a fun young nucleus. They have now used three consecutive top-10 picks on offensive-skill players. They selected Kyle Pitts at #4 overall in 2021 and Drake London at #9 in 2022.
12. RB, Jahmyr Gibbs – Detroit Lions
This was a bit of a shock, the team being the twelfth overall pick. Jahmyr Gibbs went from a 2nd round pick to a late 1st and ended up going #12. This could be a sign that D’Andre Swift is headed out of Detroit. He is a free agent next year, and we could see him traded this weekend.
The Lions had one of the best offenses in the NFL last season, and they will be more dynamic this season. Adding Jameson Williams and Jahmyr Gibbs really gives that offense some serious firepower. Unfortunately, Williams will miss six games due to suspension, but this offense will be fun.
20. WR, Jaxon Smith-Njigba – Seattle Seahawks
The consensus top wide receiver off the board was the first one off of the board. JSN is a Keenan-Allen type of player that works out of the slot. He is your prototypical slot with great hands and crisp route running. JSN will benefit from being the third option on the team and learning from great wide receivers. I love this pick for him, and his role will increase soon with Tyler Lockett getting older.
21. WR, Quentin Johnston – Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers like big, physical wide receivers, and Johnston fits the type. He offers big play ability and speed that compliments their current WR room. Johnston gets paired up with Justin Herbert and will absolutely fly up rookie rankings boards with this landing spot. The team almost moved on from Keenan Allen this offseason. Johnston could find himself as the #2 or #1 option as early as next year.
22. WR, Zay Flowers – Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens have been doing everything they can to show Lamar Jackson he is their guy. They added Odell Beckham Jr., and then they were able to get a deal done. They also brought over Todd Monken, who will have a more traditional offense for Lamar to work out of. The team just added Zay Flowers, a dynamic wide receiver out of Boston College. Zay Flowers is a smaller WR who played both outside and inside in college. A lot of Steve Smith and Antonio Brown comparisons.
23. WR, Jordan Addison – Minnesota Vikings
Justin Jefferson gets a tag team partner, and Addison fills the void left by Adam Thielen. This is a great spot for Jordan Addison and could net him some early opportunities. Addison profiles more as a WR2, and he will benefit from all of Jefferson’s attention. This is also good news for Kirk Cousins, as they didn’t draft a quarterback and added a dynamic weapon for him.
25. TE, Dalton Kincaid – Buffalo Bills
Dalton Kincaid is a dynamic tight end that will be a versatile weapon for Josh Allen. They have struggled to fill the slot the last two seasons. Kincaid’s athletic ability will allow Buffalo to move him all over the formation. They needed a weapon in the slot, and this is it. Gabriel Davis has been inconsistent, and they need someone outside of Stefon Diggs. Kincaid pairs with Josh Allen, which is really great for his dynasty stock.
Daniel Jeremiah’s Best Available:
12. QB, Will Levis – Kentucky 20. TE, Michael Mayer – Notre Dame
23. CB, Joey Porter Jr. – Penn State
28. EDGE, Keion White – Georgia Tech
31: CB/S, Brian Branch – Alabama
33. TE, Darnell Washington – Georgia
34. C, Joe Tippman – Wisconsin
35. Edge, B.J. Ojulari – LSU
36. DT, Bryan Breese – Clemson
37. G, Steve Avila – TCU
38. TE, Luke Musgrave – Oregon State
39. OG, Cody Mauch – North Dakota State
40. DT, Keanu Benton – Wisconsin
41. OG, O’Cyrus Torrence – Florida
42. WR, Jalin Hyatt – Tennessee
44. TE, Sam LaPorta – Iowa
45. LB, Trenton Simpson – Clemson
46. QB, Hendon Hooker – Tennesee
47. CB, Kelee Ringo – Georgia
48. C, John-Michael Schmitz – Minnesota
50. RB, Zach Charbonnet – UCLA
Other Fantasy Football Remaining Players:
52. WR, Jonathan Mingo – Ole Miss
56. TE, Tucker Kraft – South Dakota State
58. WR, Cedric Tillman – Tennesee
59. WR, Marvin Mims – Oklahoma
60. WR, Josh Downs – North Carolina
78. RB, Kendre Miller – TCU
84. RB, Israel Ibanikanda – Pittsburgh
85. RB, Roschon Johnson – Texas
87. RB, Devon Achane – Texas A&M
89. WR, Charlie Jones – Purdue
90. WR Tank Dell – Houston
91. TE, Brenton Strange – Penn State
95. QB, Jaren Hall – BYU
99. QB, Jake Haender – Fresno State
105. RB, Tyjae Spears – Tulane
106. TE, Josh Whyle – Cincinnati
114. WR, Tyler Scott – Cincinatti
121. RB, Tank Bigsby – Auburn
122. RB DeWayne McBride – UAB
123. WR, Rashee Rice – SMU
126. WR, A.T. Perry – Purdue
134. RB, Chase Brown – Illinois
135. TE, Payne Durham – Purdue
136. TE, Will Mallory – Miami
140. RB, Eric Gray – Oklahoma
144. RB, Zach Evans – Ole Miss
145. WR, Dontayvion Wicks – Virginia
148. QB, Dorian Thompson-Robinson – UCLA
149. WR, Trey Palmer – Nebraska