The NFL draft is an event that brings excitement and anticipation to NFL fans across the world. It's a time when teams have the opportunity to select the next generation of star players who will carry their franchise forward. However, predicting the first picks in the draft is no easy feat. Despite all the analysis and scouting, there are always surprises and unexpected picks that can completely shift the trajectory of a team's future. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of the NFL draft and delve into the unpredictability of predicting the first picks in the 2023 draft. From analyzing top prospects to considering team needs and draft strategies, it's not an easy feat. Let's take a look at who we think will go in the top 5 of this year's NFL draft.
Providing there aren't any last minute trades, this is who is picking the first 5 prospects:
Carolina Panthers - Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
The Panthers seem set on Young, they've traded significant draft capital to move up for their quarterback after having poor luck in the pocket the last few seasons with the likes of Sam Darnold & Baker Mayfield, they are desperately in need of a franchise face. There's a conversation to be made about CJ Stroud but Bryce Young appears the most NFL-ready quarterback in this draft class due to his height, decision-making ability, leadership, and consistency on film. The Carolina Panthers seem sold with this particular prospect and will be a surprise if not taken in this spot.
Indianapolis Colts (via Texans) - CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
We don't think CJ Stroud will be left on the board for too long, which is why we believe Colts will make the move to ensure they have a prospect for the future in the QB position. The Colts have underperformed over the last 2 seasons and have been backed into an undesirable position and in need of a QB, Arizona, on the other hand, does not which is why we can see this pick happening. Stroud's strength and arm ability leaves him a great move for this franchise.
Arizona Cardinals - Will Anderson, DE, Alabama
We would have expected Houston Texans to take this pick if they'd have kept their second pick, due to the swap with the Colts we can see Cardinals stealing this talent. Arizona are in desperate need of bolstering up at positions all over the field so we wouldn't be surprised if this pick is also traded, we just can't see any other team willing to do so in this scenario. It isn't the worst pick for the Cardinals but they'll definitely wishing they could've done better.
Houston Texans (via Colts) - Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
We were half expecting the second spot to be traded for some extra capital, Texans have two 1st round picks to play with and a rebuild in progress so this could end up being some extra ammo for the Texans if another team feels like their desired pick will be threatened. Due to their lack of depth at the QB position we're expecting the Texans to take C.J. Stroud or trade the pick away to someone like Tennessee or Indianapolis, but with two fair options already on the team the Texans have a lot of positions to fill so for that matter we think they'll take Tyree Wilson
Seattle Seahawks (via Denver Broncos) - Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
This pick was hard for us to predict, after a not-so-successful season for the Seahawks we found it hard to predict whether they will stick with Geno Smith or draft defensively. We predict Seattle to take the first defensive tackle off the board and build from there. Seattle has always bred insane defensive talent and many evaluators see Carter as having a very high ceiling of potential, a perfect mix of strength and speed.