Kyle Dvorchak breaks down the best and worst picks from every team in the NFC following the 2023 NFL Draft. You can check out Eric Froton’s AFC Draft Grades right here.
- Round 1 (No. 6): OT Paris Johnson
- Round 2 (No. 41): EDGE BJ Ojulari
- Round 3 (No. 72): CB Garrett Williams
- Round 3 (No. 94): WR Michael Wilson
- Round 4 (No. 122): OG Jon Gaines
- Round 5 (No. 139): QB Clayton Tune
- Round 5 (No. 168): LB Owen Pappoe
- Round 6 (No. 180): CB Kei’Trel Clark
- Round 6 (No. 213): DL Dante Stills
The Cardinals’ night began with the seemingly inevitable trade down the board they had been eying for months. They ultimately moved back up to sixth overall to get a blue-chip tackle, costing them some of the capital they had earned in the first trade, but Arizona still came away from Round One with the Texans’ first-round pick next year plus their third-round pick. As the Seahawks and Eagles just showed us, getting future firsts can be an extremely profitable business, especially when they are from shaky teams. Adding Clayton Tune—my QB6 in the class—as a potential backup for Kyler Murray was also a savvy move.
Draft Grade: B+
- Round 1 (No. 8): RB Bijan Robinson
- Round 2 (No. 38): OT Matthew Bergeron
- Round 3 (No. 75): EDGE Zach Harrison
- Round 4 (No. 113): CB Clark Phillips III
- Round 7 (No. 224): S DeMarcco Hellams
- Round 7 (No. 225): G Jovaughn Gwyn
Bijan Robinson is an elite prospect. He was unanimously considered the RB1 and I saw him as the best running back prospect since Saquon Barkley. However, running the ball isn’t how elite teams score points. Even more importantly, the Falcons were a strong team on the ground last year with Cordarrelle Patterson and rookie breakout Tyler Allgeier. Their picks improved after Robinson including a solid value selection in Phillips, but it’s hard to look past a questionable decision to open the proceedings.
Draft Grade: C-
- Round 1 (No. 1): QB Bryce Young
- Round 2 (No. 39): WR Jonathan Mingo
- Round 3 (No. 80): EDGE DJ Johnson
- Round 4 (No. 114): G Chandler Zavala
- Round 5 (No. 145): S Jammie Robinson
Moving up cost the Panthers an arm and a leg, but they gained a prospect with the highest floor at the most important position in football. In a draft season that saw some absurd rumors making the rounds, taking the layup with Bryce Young deserves some credit. They also addressed a serious need at receiver with a player who is a close comparison to A.J. Brown physically. Scooping Chandler Zavala in the fourth round was also a solid value.
Draft Grade: A-
- Round 1 (No. 10): OT Darnell Wright
- Round 2 (No. 53): DL Gervon Dexter Sr.
- Round 2 (No. 56): CB Tyrique Stevenson
- Round 3 (No. 64): DT Zacch Pickens
- Round 4 (No. 115): RB Roschon Johnson
- Round 4 (No. 133): WR Tyler Scott
- Round 5 (No. 148): LB Noah Sewell
- Round 5 (No. 165): CB Terell Smith
- Round 7 (No. 218): DL Travis Bell
- Round 7 (No. 258): S Kendall Williamson
The Bears made no flashy picks and didn’t get any of the extreme fallers at notable discounts. They did, on the other hand, accrue an obscene amount of value by moving off of the top pick months in advance. They tacked on more value by swapping back another spot in the first round. Chicago also made a handful of picks in the middle rounds that won me over. Roschon Johnson has the skill set of a back who can do anything a coaching staff asks of him. Tyler Scott was stunningly productive in 2022 despite only recently converting to wide receiver. And Noah Sewell (6'2/246) is an elite blitzer with a build that’s hard to find.
Draft Grade: A-
- Round 1 (No. 26): DL Mazi Smith
- Round 2 (No. 58): TE Luke Schoonmaker
- Round 3 (No. 90): LB DeMarvion Overshown
- Round 4 (No. 129): EDGE Viliami Fehoko
- Round 5 (No. 169): OT Asim Richards
- Round 6 (No. 178): DB Eric Scott Jr.
- Round 6 (No. 212): RB Deuce Vaughn
- Round 7 (No. 244): WR Jalen Brooks
Dallas entered the draft with a very specific set of needs, and they got players with the potential to address all of them. However, I’m not sure they gauged the market as well as they could have. Arif Hasan’s Big Board is simply an aggregate of boards from around the industry. It has historically done a great job of predicting how the league views players. The board had Mazi Smith at 49 and Luke Schoonmaker at 100. Both players filled needs, but the best drafters can plug their leaks while gaining value. Credit for taking the plunge on Deuce Vaughn. At 5'5/179, Vaughn’s role in the NFL is uncertain. What is certain is that he can ball.
Draft Grade: C-
- Round 1 (No. 12): RB Jahmyr Gibbs
- Round 1 (No. 18): LB Jack Campbell
- Round 2 (No. 34): TE Sam LaPorta
- Round 2 (No. 45): S Brian Branch
- Round 3 (No. 68): QB Hendon Hooker
- Round 3 (No. 96): DT Brodric Martin
- Round 5 (No. 152): OL Colby Sorsdal
- Round 7 (No. 219): WR Antoine Green
Starting with the good, the Lions nearly gained an extra first-round pick by moving back to pick 12. Their trade with Arizona earned them the 34th overall pick. They also have an eye for talent. Gibbs was unanimously considered the second-best back in the class while Jack Campbell is the reigning Butkus Award Winner. I personally think Sam LaPorta and Hendon Hooker were underrated throughout this process. However, they egregiously missed on the concept of positional value by opting for a running back and an inside linebacker with their premium picks. They also likely misgauged the market as Gibbs went 13 picks ahead of his big board ranking and Campbell went 26 picks early. Getting considerable values on Brian Branch and Hooker helped redeem their weekend, but only slightly.
Draft Grade: D
Green Bay Packers
- Round 1 (No. 13): EDGE Lukas Van Ness
- Round 2 (No. 42): TE Luke Musgrave
- Round 2 (No. 50): WR Jayden Reed
- Round 3 (No. 78): TE Tucker Kraft
- Round 4 (No. 116): DL Colby Wooden
- Round 5 (No. 149): QB Sean Clifford
- Round 5 (No. 159): WR Dontayvion Wicks
- Round 6 (No. 179): DL Karl Brooks
- Round 6 (No. 207): K Anders Carlson
- Round 7 (No. 232): CB Carrington Valentine
- Round 7 (No. 235): RB Lew Nichols III
- Round 7 (No. 242): S Anthony Johnson Jr.
- Round 7 (No. 256): WR Grant DuBose
The Packers needed much better depth options at receiver and warm bodies with starting potential at tight end heading into the draft. They came away with a pair of solid tight ends and three receivers. Van Ness is also a terrifying athlete who will provide an immediate impact for the defensive line. There were, however, some head-scratchers. Sean Clifford enters the league with a lackluster production profile and was thought by many to be a seventh-round pick. Taking a kicker in the sixth round is also a bit odd, though the Packers are far from the worst offender in terms of taking a specialist in the draft.
Draft Grade: B
Los Angeles Rams
- Round 2 (No. 36): OG Steve Avila
- Round 3 (No. 77): LB Byron Young
- Round 3 (No. 89): DL Kobie Turner
- Round 4 (No. 128): QB Stetson Bennett
- Round 5 (No. 161): EDGE Nick Hampton
- Round 5 (No. 174): OT Warren McClendon
- Round 5 (No. 175): TE Davis Allen
- Round 5 (No. 177): WR Puke Nacua
- Round 6 (No. 182): CB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson
- Round 6 (No. 189: EDGE Ochaun Mathis
- Round 6 (No. 215): RB Zach Evans
- Round 7 (No. 223): P Ethan Evans
- Round 7 (No. 234): S Jason Taylor II
- Round 7 (No. 259): DL Desjuan Johnson
Wow, that is a lot of picks. No. 36 is the earliest the Rams have picked since 2016. Lacking on draft capital via the Matthew Stafford trade, LA moved back four times, including twice in the third round. They only moved up once and that was in the sixth round. On the other hand, their first four picks were all taken ahead of their respective spots on Arif’s Big Board. I will give them some leniency on Bennett as he led all FBS quarterbacks in EPA per play last year while playing in the SEC. The real head-scratcher was drafting a DII punter. The Rams also opted for older prospects throughout the draft.
Draft Grade: C-
- Round 1 (No. 23): WR Jordan Addison
- Round 3 (No. 102 from 49ers): CB Mekhi Blackmon
- Round 4 (No. 134 from Chiefs): S Jay Ward
- Round 5 (No. 141 from Raiders through Colts): DL Jaquelin Roy
- Round 5 (No. 164 from 49ers): QB Jaren Hall
- Round 7 (No. 222 from Broncos): RB DeWayne McBride
Jordan Addison is a certified stud. He went for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2021 on his way to joining the elite group of receivers to win the Fred Biletnikoff Award as a freshman or sophomore. He should also slot in as an elite WR2 alongside Justin Jefferson. Truly no notes on this pick. Their picks in the secondary, Mekhi Blackmon and Jay Ward, would be considered reaches by both the big board and Dane Brugler’s rankings via The Beast. I do, however, love the upside bullet they fired on DeWayne McBride. The UAB back averaged an otherworldly 7.3 yards per carry on 484 career attempts.
Draft Grade: B
New Orleans Saints
- Round 1 (No. 29): DL Bryan Bresee
- Round 2 (No. 40): EDGE Isaiah Foskey
- Round 3 (No. 71): RB Kendre Miller
- Round 4 (No. 103): G Nick Saldiveri
- Round 4 (No. 127): QB Jake Haener
- Round 5 (No. 146): S Jordan Howden
- Round 6 (No. 195): WR A.T. Perry
Per usual, Saints GM Mickey Loomis couldn’t resist the temptation to move up in the draft. However, his ascents this year were a pair of benign trades in the fourth round, so I won’t punish New Orleans much for them. The Saints’ defensive line experienced a mass exodus of talent in free agency, so it was smart of them to double down on bigs with their first two picks. Kendre Miller will also insure them against a possible suspension of Alvin Kamara. Lastly, I ranked AT Perry as my pre-draft WR7. Getting him at 195th was a steal, though I will bake in his draft day tumble whenever I release my post-draft rankings.
Draft Grade: B
New York Giants
- Round 1 (No. 24 from Jaguars): CB Deonte Banks
- Round 2 (No. 57): C John Michael Schmitz
- Round 3 (No. 73): WR Jalin Hyatt
- Round 5 (No. 172): RB Eric Gray
- Round 6 (No. 209 from Chiefs): CB Trey Hawkins III
- Round 7 (No. 243): DL Jordan Riley
- Round 7 (No. 254): S Gervarrius Owens
The holes I outlined for the Giants in my draft needs series were wide receiver, cornerback, and guard. The interior of their line needed revamped on the whole, so I’m comfortable rounding up and saying they went three-for-three on addressing their biggest issues. Drafting for need isn’t a magic bullet. If a team is passing on great players to fill holes, they will probably struggle in the long run. The Giants, however, got the 2022 Biletnikoff Award winner who went for over 1,200 yards as a junior in the third round. Lining up needs with values is the true gold mine.
Draft Grade: A-
- Round 1 (No. 9): DL Jalen Carter
- Round 1 (No. 30): EDGE Nolan Smith
- Round 3 (No. 65): OG Tyler Steen
- Round 3 (No. 66): S Sydney Brown
- Round 4 (No. 105): CB Kelee Ringo
- Round 6 (No. 188): QB Tanner McKee
- Round 7 (No. 249): DL Moro Ojomo
Another year, another Howie Roseman masterclass. Roseman has perfected the art of trading. Teams generally overpay when moving up the board, but the Eagles may be the exception to the rule. Philly went up the board twice and they grabbed a player falling well below their big board ranking both times. The first was a one-pick move to land Jalen Carter, one of the best defensive tackle prospects in recent memory. The second was to grab fellow Georgia defender Kelee Ringo, who was taken 67 spots below his big board ranking. Nolan Smith—no, the Eagles were not shy about their efforts to recreate the best defense in college football—was also nabbed well below where most pundits thought he would go. Roseman also scooped up D’Andre Swift—Georgia alum—from the Lions for a bargain bin price.
Draft Grade: A+
San Francisco 49ers:
- Round 3 (No. 87): CB Ji’Ayir Brown
- Round 3 (No. 99): K Jake Moody
- Round 3 (No. 101): TE Cameron Latu
- Round 5 (No. 155): CB Darrell Luter
- Round 5 (No. 173): EDGE Robert Beal
- Round 6 (No. 216): LB Dee Winters
- Round 7 (No. 247): TE Brayden Willis
- Round 7 (No. 253): WR Ronnie Bell
- Round 7 (No. 255): LB Jalen Graham
After hitting on a quarterback in the seventh round last year, the 49ers took a heat check in this draft. Their first pick didn’t come until late in the third round, but John Lynch couldn’t wait and moved up to snag Ji’Ayir Brown. I wouldn’t recommend trading up when you are strapped for draft capital, but the move only cost them picks in the fifth and seventh rounds. The real issue lies in their next pick, a kicker in the third round. Jake Moody is the first kicker to earn Day Two capital since the fateful Robert Aguayo selection in 2016. Moody is the best kicker in the draft, but the 49ers opted for a low-impact position far too early. The NFL has placed an extremely low value on kickers in the draft and San Francisco doesn’t have a roster so pristine that they can afford to take a luxury pick. They also took Cameron Latu far ahead of his projected draft position shortly before reaching on Luter.
Draft Grade: F
- Round 1 (No. 5): CB Devon Witherspoon
- Round 1 (No. 20): WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba
- Round 2 (No. 37): EDGE Derick Hall
- Round 2 (No. 52): RB Zach Charbonnet
- Round 4 (No. 108): G Anthony Bradford
- Round 4 (No. 123): DL Cameron Young
- Round 5 (No. 151 from Steelers): EDGE Mike Morris
- Round 5 (No. 154): IOL Olusegun Oluwatimi
- Round 6 (No. 198): S Jerrick Reed II
- Round 7 (No. 237): RB Kenny McIntosh
I’ve praised many teams for drafting to their needs. The Seahawks didn’t do that at all. And that’s okay. Devon Witherspoon is an elite prospect at one of the most value non-QB positions in football. You can never have too many cornerbacks. That’s because the receiver talent pool is growing exponentially. It’s table stakes to have two good receivers. Getting a third is how the best teams get better. The Seahawks did just that by drafting the best receiver in this class, Jaxon Smith-Njigba. He will fit perfectly into their opening at slot receiver. Their shortcomings also came from doubling down at a position; running back. With Kenneth Walker looking like a stud as a rookie, spending a second-round pick on Zach Charbonnet doesn’t make much sense. Following that up with a sub-NFL level athlete at running back in Kenny McIntosh also strikes me as illogical.
Draft Grade: B+
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Round 1 (No. 19): DL Calijah Kancey
- Round 2 (No. 48): OT Cody Mauch
- Round 3 (No. 82): EDGE YaYa Diaby
- Round 5 (No. 153): LB SirVocea Dennis
- Round 5 (No. 171): TE Payne Durham
- Round 6 (No. 181): S Josh Hayes
- Round 6 (No. 191): WR Trey Palmer
- Round 6 (No. 196): EDGE Jose Ramirez
I try not to inject too much of my personal evaluations of players into draft grades. Picking individual players is hard, and, over time, teams tend to perform similarly in player evaluations. Instead, I’ve obviously focused on strategic decisions like targeting important positions, trading back to gain value, and getting players at discounts. On the other hand, the Bucs did nab a handful of my favorite players. Calijah Kancey is a wrecking ball on the interior who totaled 14.5 sacks over his final two seasons at Pitt. Mauch is a small-school dominator who graded as Pro Football Focus’s top tackle in 2022. The Bucs desperately need a right tackle, so it will be interesting to see if they keep Mauch at tackle or move him to guard, a transition many analysts see him making in the NFL.
Draft Grade: B+
- Round 1 (No. 16): CB Emmanuel Forbes
- Round 2 (No. 47): S Quan Martin
- Round 3 (No. 97): C Ricky Stromberg
- Round 4 (No. 118): OT Braeden Daniels
- Round 5 (No. 137): EDGE KJ Henry
- Round 6 (No. 193): RB Chris Rodriguez Jr.
- Round 7 (No. 233): EDGE Andre Jones
Emmanuel Forbes has freakish speed and put great play on film at Mississippi State, but taking him before Christian Gonzalez was more than surprising. Forbes is also 30 pounds lighter than Gonzalez, possibly pigeonholing him into a slot role at the next level. Forbes aside, I did like the addition of KJ Henry. A former five-star recruit, Henry turned things up a notch in his final season with a strong pass-rush grade from PFF on the back of 53 pressures. He’s a project, but not a bad bet in the fifth round.
Draft Grade: C