NFL Draft 2023: Bold first-round predictions including five QB picks, early trades and more

The 2023 NFL draft is finally here, and that means it’s time for some last-minute predictions. Predicting draft weekend can be a largely foolish endeavor. After all, a general manager already has admitted that “it’s all a guess” in terms of how each team rates each prospect. But what’s draft season without draft predictions?

Ahead of Round 1 kick-off Thursday at 8:00pm ET, here are five bold predictions for day one of the event:

For the fifth time in NFL history, five QBs will be selected

Hendon hooker


Few would be shocked if this happened, but then again, there’s a reason it has only happened four more times since 1936: We tend to exaggerate at least one of the best QB prospects by hyping its shares when in reality teams are content to wait for them. Still, we would consider four signal callers as virtual bans for Day 1: Bryce Young (Alabama), CJ Stroud (Ohio State), Anthony Richardson (Florida) and Will Levis (Kentucky). All four could even make the top five. That leaves Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, who feels like a good bet going anywhere between pick No. 15 and 31, perhaps to a team with an already established starter.

At least three trades occur in the top 10

Texans coach DeMeco Ryans and GM Nick Caserio


We say this every year, but there’s been quite a fuss over teams’ differing preferences for premium spots like QB, edge rusher, and cornerback. That could mean a lot of movement at the top as clubs are more aggressive – or willing to sell – for “their boys”. In the top 10 alone, one could argue that all but one of the teams has good reasons to move up or down:

  • texan (No. 2): They also own No. 12 and could sell their top pick if not sold on a top QB
  • cardinals (No.3): They’ve announced selection and probably want a QB-needy team to call
  • Foal (#4): They may not be able to stand pat and get the QB they really desire
  • Seahawks (#5): They also own #20, their long-running regime has a history of relegation
  • lions (No. 6): With the number 18 also available to them, they can afford to listen
  • robber (#7): They could move up for a top QB or try to accumulate assets as they rebuild
  • hawks (#8): Word is they’re already desperate to go down and pick picks
  • bears (#9): You’ve already descended from #1 and might fall again
  • Eagle (No. 10): Howie Roseman is more enthusiastic about trading than just about any general manager

The odds makers are right about Will Levis

Will Levis


Within days, the Kentucky QB went from consensus passer in fourth place behind Young, Stroud and Richardson a betting favorite for 2nd place overall, as well as #1 in case the Panthers pass Young on. What gives? CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco says NFL evaluator admire Levis a lot more than they admit, and we tend to think so. He’s drawn NFL comparisons both positively (Josh Allen) and not (Carson Wentz), but remember that while Wentz didn’t persist as a star among the pros, his entry-level traits are no less desirable. In other words, you can’t teach a huge arm, huge size, and huge athleticism, all of which Levis offer. Someone will convince themselves that they can be nurtured, which means it’s hard to imagine them escaping the top 5.

Two OTs make the top 10

Paris Johnson Jr.

Getty Images

It might sound like a lukewarm prediction, but imagine if four QBs went into the top five alone. Edge rushers have also garnered a lot of attention as top 10 picks; They reckon at least Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. and Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson will reach that high. Two corners, Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon and Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez are also popular top 10 picks. That’s eight potential customers. Still, both Peter Skoronski (Northwestern) and Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State) are considered instant starters in the NFL, and teams are rarely more starved than for help on the storm. There are rumors that Arizona could be targeting Johnson as early as 3rd overall, and the 10th-ranked Eagles are always a team to watch when it comes to the trenches.

At least as many TEs as WRs are selected

Darell Washington


The tight end class is considered very deep, meaning teams can wait to address position. But there is perhaps no more divisive group than wide receivers, where only Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba feels like a stone-cold Day 1 suspension. Jordan Addison (USC), Quentin Johnston (TCU) and Zay Flowers (Boston). College) are all good choices, but consider how many launch-caliber TEs will also be available — none of them have the size concerns of this year’s top WRs: Michael Mayer (Notre Dame), Dalton Kincaid (Utah), Darnell Washington ( Georgia) and Sam LaPorta (Iowa) could all be considered safer bets.

Chris Estrada

Chris Estrada is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chris Estrada joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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