Top 10 Biggest Losers of the 2023 NFL Draft's First RoundHere are the top 10 biggest losers of the 2023 NFL Draft's first round.
Levi's was seen as one of the most intriguing quarterbacks entering the first round; some mock drafts had him going in the top three, and a few had him at No. 1 or No. 2. The Texans were linked to him at one point during the chaotic offseason of smokescreen rumors at No. 2, and one day before the draft, he was favored to go No. 1 to Carolina. Young and Stroud went 1 and 2, respectively, which ended Levi's chances of going to the top. But when Anthony Richardson was drafted fourth overall, it became evident that Levi's would slide for a while. Once Tennessee, a team in need of a quarterback, passed on Levi's, the slide grew longer. Unfortunately for him, he wasn't selected in the first round, so he will have to wait until the second day to be drafted.
The reason why the NFL had 31 picks in the first round and not your traditional 32? The Miami Dolphins didn't pick, and it wasn't like they chose not to pick. They were stripped of their pick after owner Stephen Ross' failed tampering attempts to sign Tom Brady and Sean Payton to their squad. While the punishment was in August, it was felt last night as the Dolphins, who already had a chaotic season with Tua's health concerns, had to watch other teams get key contributors that Miami could have used. All because of stupidity on the owner's part.
The Detroit Lions originally had the sixth pick in the draft but traded back with Arizona. The Lions might have taken an impact player like Texas running back Bijan Robinson. As a result of the trade, the Lions drafted Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who is a good player but was seen as a reach for them. The Lions then added linebacker Jack Campbell of Iowa to their squad with their second pick at 18. The Lions got two players that fit the mold of the team, but perhaps they would have been better off keeping the pick and taking Robinson instead of watching him go to Atlanta.
Once the Packers traded away Aaron Rodgers to the Jets and made Jordan Love their future quarterback, the first thing they should have done was to add pieces for Love on offense, and a wide receiver was important. Green Bay could have taken USC WR Jordan Addison, Ohio State WR Jaxson Smith Njigba, or TCU WR Quinten Johnson. Instead, they went with linebacker Lukas Van Ness. While Van Ness helps the Packers' defense, none of this helps Love in any way, as it seems the Packers are continuing a trend of not making the quarterback happy.
With the added context of Days 2 and 3, they make the Van Ness selection a lot better. I think he's a very similar prospect to Rashan Gary in a lot of respects, and I do think he is Preston Smith's eventual replacement.
Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer was viewed by many as the best at his position, and everyone expected him to go in the first round of the draft. Two teams that needed a TE were Buffalo and Dallas. The Bills traded up with Jacksonville to select a tight end, but they chose Dalton Kincaid of Utah instead. Dallas then chose not to take Mayer or any tight end and selected another defensive presence. Mayer will now be one of the few holdover first-round projections that will have to wait until Day 2 to be drafted.
Washington made news early that morning that they would not be picking up Chase Young's fifth-year option, giving them an option to take a pass rusher. They could have added a cornerback or a quarterback like Will Levis. While Washington settled for Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes, his combine weight of 170 pounds is a concern for the team that plays in the same division as AJ Brown (Eagles) and Cee-Dee Lamb (Cowboys). Forbes was a good player in college, but it's safe to say that the Commanders once again watched as the Eagles won the draft in the NFC East.
The Giants were in need of a wide receiver badly, and they could have traded up from their spot to grab one of the big three of Smith Njigba, Johnson, or Addison. But when those three receivers went before them, New York changed its strategy and traded up a few picks to get cornerback Deonte Banks. The Giants might address the WR position on Day 2, but they are also expecting a trade for a WR like Deandre Hopkins. Yet, the chance to draft a receiver in round one and not take it could come back to haunt them.
The Atlanta Falcons were one of the best running teams in the NFL last season. They were also one of the worst pass-rushing teams in the NFL last season. So, who did they draft at pick #8? Texas running back Bijan Robinson. Robinson is a great back, but the Falcons had a glaring need on defense, and they potentially missed out on drafting Jalen Carter, a Georgia player with that pick. They also could have had help in the secondary with Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez. But they decided that to help their team, they need more outstanding rushing yards for a team that already had outstanding rushing yards.
Perhaps still on such a high from trading for Aaron Rodgers, the Jets were unable to capitalize on the momentum to give their fans even more excitement. They allowed the Steelers to trade with the Patriots to take Broderick Jones, the last O-Lineman with first-round consideration. They then took Will McDonald IV, who was ranked as the 33rd best pass rusher. Even though McDonald IV has the potential to be a solid player for New York, they could have either prevented Cincinnati from drafting Myles Murphy or prevented the Eagles from becoming the NFL version of the University of Georgia's defensive factory by taking Nolan Smith. Adding into consideration was the fact that the Jets already had edge players on their squad who had impactful seasons last year.
As if things couldn't get worse for Dallas, they probably did in the first round. Dallas was in need of tight end help and was looking to add a player in that position. But then, Buffalo leapfrogged them to grab tight end Dalton Kincaid. Dallas could have saved face by taking tight end Michael Mayer of Notre Dame to fix their problem. However, they selected Michigan DT Mazi Smith, who, while a good defender, was expected to fall to the second round. The Cowboys can only hope their tight end issue is solved in the second round.
With only 5 picks in the draft to begin with, the Vikings needed to hit on their 1st pick. Instead of moving out of the 23rd pick, which was widely speculated in both directions, the Vikes held firm. They drafted an area of need, I suppose, taking USC wideout Jordan Addison, who would seem to give the Vikes an impressive 3 receiver set, with Justin Jefferson, Addison, and K.J. Osborn. Add in T.J. Hockenson at TE, and QB Kirk Cousins apparently will not be lacking in high-end targets. Addison is considered this draft's best route runner at the position; however, his slight frame brings concerns. Will he hold up under the hits delivered by bigger DBs? It may work out fine, and he will prove to be a dynamic receiver who avoids big hits, but they are rare. Combine this with the fact that the NFL's worst pass defense was back-paged to later rounds to receive much-needed help, and I felt the pick could have been used for a defensive player, not for the immediate future, but for down the ...more