First look at the 2023 NFL Draft: who will be the first overall pick?

We are already with our sights set on 2023.

It’s time to close the books on the 2022 NFL Draft, and start looking forward to next year’s group. And go! It’s a great group. We have top-tier defensive stars, including an elite quarterback chaser who plays for a Alabama. We have explosive players on offense. If the lack of top prospects at quarterback in 2022 kept you down, the 2023 group looks fantastic, starting with two potential QB1s at the top.

Of course the 2023 NFL Draft he is still 12 months away, and there is a lot to learn from that litter. And over the next few months, we will learn more and more about the main names available and their qualities. For now, let’s take a brief introductory look at what a special group of prospects might look like.

The analysts of NFL Draft for ESPN, Matt Miller Y jordan reid, are here to answer 11 big questions about the major players, who could go global first, and who’s flying under the radar at this stage in the process. Get your notebook ready: it’s time to start evaluating the Class of 2023.

Place your bets now, who will be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Reed: Quarterbacks will be a popular choice here, but I’m going to take another route: Alabama quarterback chaser Will Anderson Jr. He is the most productive rushing specialist from the edge Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has ever had. according to his numbers after leading the nation with 34.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks, and I expect him to have an equally brilliant season in 2022. At 6-foot-4 and 243 pounds, Anderson is a versatile player who is firm against the run and aggressive when it comes to pressuring the passers.

Miller: It’s very hard to pick against Anderson, and he would be my first pick here, too. But, there’s another name we shouldn’t take our eyes off: Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud. The second-year starter struggled at the start of the 2021 season, but he pulled himself together and threw 44 touchdown passes against just six interceptions. He is a quarterback with a powerful arm who can play out of the pocket. There’s a lot to learn from Stroud given that he’s started just 12 games, but for now, he’s my favorite quarterback for 2023.

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What are the biggest strengths of quarterbacks Bryce Young (Alabama) and Stroud?

Miller: Young (6-foot, 194 pounds) is a rhythm passer who is incredibly accurate at all levels of the field. He’s dynamic enough with his legs to create passing lanes, and he can get yards rushing. He is a point guard at the quarterback position. And Stroud (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) has a stronger arm and is capable of fending off potential tacklers. Stroud’s field vision, arm power, and second effort are his biggest strengths.

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Who are the other quarterbacks we need to know about in the Class of 2023?

Reed: Boston College’s Phil Jurkovec made some noise last spring training, but surgery for a broken wrist caused him to miss eight games, and he decided to return for his senior season. Two others to keep an eye on, and continually mentioned when discussing next year’s best quarterbacks, are Kentucky’s Will Levis and Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke.

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Would Anderson have been the first overall pick had he been eligible for the 2022 Draft?

Miller: Absolutely! Anderson is that talented, and as we saw, NFL teams were valuing pass rushers this year over offensive tackles and passers. Anderson owns the production that Travon Walker he had none (17.5 sacks in 2021). It is very similar to Kayvon Thibodeaux in terms of his quickness on the first step, but he plays with more power despite being listed 10 pounds lighter (245). Anderson has presence, he is polished as a player, and he has a special explosiveness; he plays with power and technique.

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Outside of Anderson, who are the other top defenders to watch?

Reed: The starting outlook for defensive line prospects in 2023 looks promising. Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter already has a lot of fans around the league. An area viewer told me, “[Carter] he was the best defensive player [de Georgia] last season, and he wasn’t even close.” After a brilliant sophomore season, much more attention will be focused on Carter now that he’s draft-eligible and one of the few stars to return to the Bulldogs’ defense.

Another player who, I think, can quickly cement himself in the discussion at the top of the positional rankings with a solid season is Alabama cornerback Eli Ricks. He played for LSU for his first two seasons, but made the intra-conference trade to the Crimson Tide. At 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, Ricks is a long rushing cornerback who shows plenty of fluidity in the hips, technique, and confidence.

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Is there a clear top wide receiver for this year’s draft?

Miller: Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba will carry the torch for the Buckeyes next year, and he might be a better prospect, in fact, than Garrett Wilson either Chris Olave. Smith-Njigba broke out last year with 95 catches for more than 1,600 yards and nine touchdowns. And he did it by sharing targets with two first-round picks in 2022 at the position.

His chemistry with Stroud late in the season was electric, connecting 60 times for 958 yards and six touchdowns in the final five games. Smith-Njigba finished his 2021 season with a record Rose Bowl performance against Utah, in which he had 15 catches for 347 yards. He must resume in 2022 there in the same place where he stayed.

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There were no riders selected in the first round this year. Could we see one on the first day of 2023?

Reed: Based on early indications, running back is one of the strongest positions next year. The philosophy of “Never draft a rider in the first round” will be put to the test. Bijan Robinson (Texas) is already considered one of the top prospects at the position, having rushed for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2021. Two others to watch are Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs and Ole Miss’s Zach Evans.

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What is the strength of the Class of 2023?

Reed: The groups of quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and defensive line all look promising, and it seems that the offensive class will be stronger than in 2022, but much can change in a matter of months. Looks like another solid group of wide receivers awaits us. Smith-Njigba will probably be the WR1, but Kayshon Boutte (LSU) and Jordan Addison (Pittsburgh, currently on the transfer portal) could provide interesting competition at the top.

Miller: For me the pin group is strong but untested. while the litter of defensive linemen is really talented. Anderson is the top prospect for many reasons, but he will be joined by potential first-round picks like Carter and Nolan Smith at Georgia, Bryan Bresee and Myles Murphy at Clemson, and BJ Ojulari at LSU. While there is a lot of potential among the quarterbacks, there are already plenty of proven, explosive players on the defensive line.

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What’s another likely first-round pick we need to know about?

Reed: Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski is a name to remember. He took the place of Rashawn Slater (2021 first-round pick) without any kind of drop last season. At 6-foot-4 and 294 pounds, he’ll need to add weight, but he has very clean tape in pass protection and shows plenty of attitude on the ground. With a similar performance this year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Skoronski finish as a Top-15 pick.

Miller: Alabama wide receiver Jermaine Burton is potentially the Tide’s next big wide receiver. A transfer player from Georgia, Burton caught 26 passes for five touchdowns last season in an offense that is completely built for the running game. Now in Alabama, Burton has the potential to become Young’s primary target.

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Are there potential high recruits from Group of 5 programs?

Reed: Army’s defensive end continually shines on his tapes. At 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds, he primarily played wing at two points last year, and he does so with an engine that won’t shut down. Carter had 15.5 sacks in 2021, and has a shot at becoming the highest drafted player in academy history since Mike Wahle (1998, supplemental draft).

Miller: Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener is one to watch. He’s a little undersized (6-foot-1, 195 pounds), but he set the Mountain West on fire last season with 33 touchdowns against eight interceptions and more than 4,000 yards. He’s not an elite running threat, but his accuracy and field vision are impressive.

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Are there any under-the-radar prospects we should be aware of?

Reed: There always seems to be a quarterback in the draft who makes leaps and bounds in his development to significantly raise his draft bonuses. Keep an eye on Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker to be that guy in 2023. After transferring from Virginia Tech, Hooker had a huge year in coach Josh Heupel’s explosive offense, posting career highs in passing yards ( 2,945), touchdown passes (31) and completion percentage (68.2 percent). At 6-foot-4 and 218 pounds, he’s comfortable in and out of the pocket and can hit passes at all three levels of the field.

Miller: Quarterbacks will once again dominate the conversation in the Class of 2023, and I have to mention Kentucky’s Levis here. He’s a 6-foot-3, 232-pound June with the arm and physical tools to thrill NFL scouts. He must cut turnovers (13 interceptions last season), but as he gains experience, it’s very possible. Levis isn’t the red-hot name that Young or Stroud are right now, but he is a potential first-round talent.

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First look at the 2023 NFL Draft: who will be the first overall pick?