After a wild opening wave of free agency -- with signings, releases and trades reshaping rosters across the league -- it's time to assess the impact on the 2023 NFL Draft. Here's my updated forecast for the first round.
- The NFL announced in August that the Miami Dolphins will forfeit their 2023 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick following an investigation into whether the team violated league policies pertaining to the integrity of the game.
- Check out NFL+ for live coverage of Florida's pro day beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 30.
The Panthers opt for the prototypical passer with five-star tools as the QB1 of the future. Stroud's 6-foot-3, 214-pound frame, arm talent and underrated dawg mentality make him the perfect quarterback for Frank Reich to build around.
The Texans' version of the Kyle Shanahan system could transform Young into a star early in his career. The Alabama standout is a football savant with the IQ, instincts and awareness to dominate opponents with pre-snap reads and post-snap execution.
The Cardinals still have a glaring need for a pass rusher, and Anderson fills the void as a high-motor player with outstanding speed and skill.
Adding a quarterback is a top priority, given that free-agent signing Gardner Minshew currently sits first on Indianapolis' depth chart -- but the grades on the available QB1 prospects do not match the Colts' draft position. Wilson would give the team a young, energetic pass rusher to pair with Kwity Paye on the edges.
Pete Carroll and John Schneider take the best player available to upgrade a defense that needs a makeover after last season's disappointing performance. Carter's off-field issues must be examined carefully, but there's no question about his on-field talent.
The spectacular cover corner is a man-to-man coverage specialist with the skills to flourish in defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn's system.
In my last mock draft, I had the Raiders select Kentucky QB Will Levis here, but that was before they signed Jimmy Garoppolo, whose presence as a veteran signal-caller enables Las Vegas to focus on taking the best player available to upgrade the defense. Gonzalez is a big, athletic cover corner who would fit well into defensive coordinator Patrick Graham's plans as a lockdown defender with ball skills.
The ultra-explosive defender possesses the traits, tools and versatility to be effective in the interior or off the edge as a pass rusher.
The polished technician would be a plug-and-play starter for the Bears at either tackle spot.
The freak athlete could serve as an apprentice to Brandon Graham for a season before cracking the lineup as a full-time starter and disruptive playmaker on the edges.
The extra-large edge blocker is a mauler/brawler with the size, strength and athleticism to move defenders around at the line of scrimmage.
The Texans need a WR1 with the route-running prowess and playmaking ability to dazzle in an offense designed to create explosive plays in the passing game under new coordinator Bobby Slowik.
Adding this physical blocker would complete the Patriots' offensive makeover with an upgrade on the edges.
The Packers need to add more bodies to the pass-rush rotation. Murphy is an athletic edge defender with the potential to develop into a double-digit sack producer.
The extra-long cover corner could give Ron Rivera a shutdown defender in the mold of Josh Norman, whom Rivera coached to an All-Pro level in Carolina.
The ultra-athletic defender from Maryland has the tools to develop into a high-end cover corner in time. With eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson in place to set an example, Banks could quickly mature into a solid starter for the Steelers by the end of his rookie season.
The Lions have assembled a collection of high-energy defenders on the frontline with non-stop motors and polished pass-rushing skills. Adding Kancey, a relentless interior rusher, to the mix would enable Aaron Glenn to overwhelm opponents with pressure.
The potential departure of cornerback Marcus Peters in free agency creates a hole in the defensive backfield. Smith is a hard-nosed cover corner with the instincts, ball skills and toughness to excel in the Ravens' zone-pressure scheme.
The Jaguars could view the nickel corner/safety spot as a top priority, with Darious Williams expected to stay outside at corner. Branch is a playmaking slot defender with the instincts, IQ and awareness to flourish as a hybrid defender in coordinator Mike Caldwell's scheme.
Beefing up the interior of the offensive line is critical to helping the recently extended Daniel Jones flourish as a franchise quarterback.
If Cowboys coordinator Dan Quinn loves athletic defensive tackles with heavy hands and ballerina-like feet, Bresee could be in play here. The Clemson product is a talented interior defender with amazing tools that could help him blossom into a star as a pro.
Pairing the USC standout with Stefon Diggs would give the Bills a dynamic route-running tandem that could pose problems for opponents on the perimeter.
The Saints need a true "Y" tight end to enhance the passing game for Derek Carr. Mayer is the total package: a soft-handed pass-catcher with the size, strength and power to control the edges as a run blocker.
The Eagles' defensive-line rotation is loaded with players possessing A-plus athletic traits and imposing physical dimensions. At 6-3, 323 pounds, Smith is a freak athlete with heavy hands and impressive body control.
Finding a replacement for Frank Clark is a pressing need for the Chiefs. The Northwestern product is an outstanding athlete with cat-like quickness and dynamic pass-rush skills.