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NFL Draft Round 1 Pick Rankings 2024

Last Updated: Apr 28, 2023

The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books.

As always, there were some standout selections and some absolute clunkers. But which teams pulled off the best moves of Day 1? And which have plenty of work to do the rest of the way?

To help answer those questions, I have ranked all of the 2023 NFL Draft Round 1 picks from 1 to 31.

Let’s dig into what was a wild first night in Kansas City.

NFL Draft Round 1 Pick Rankings 2024

RkTeamPlayerPosSchoolPick #Grade
1RavensZay FlowersWRBoston College22A
2TexansWill AndersonEDGEAlabama3A
3EaglesNolan SmithEDGEGeorgia30A
4PatriotsChristian GonzalezCBOregon17A-
5EaglesJalen CarterIDLGeorgia9A-
6TitansPeter SkoronskiOLNorthwestern11B+
7RaidersTyree WilsonEDGETexas Tech7B+
8SeahawksJaxon Smith-NjigbaWROhio State20B+
9SteelersBroderick JonesOTGeorgia14B+
10BengalsMyles MurphyEDGEClemson28B+
11BillsDalton KincaidTEUtah25B+
12SaintsBryan BreseeDTClemson29B+
13CardinalsParis Johnson Jr.OTOhio State6B
14PanthersBryce YoungQBAlabama1B
15VikingsJordan AddisonWRUSC23B
16GiantsDeonte BanksCBMaryland24B
17JaguarsAnton HarrisonOTOklahoma27B
18PackersLukas Van NessEDGEIowa13B
19ChiefsFelix Anudike-UzomahEDGEKansas State31B
20ChargersQuentin JohnstonWRTCU21B
21BuccaneersCalijah KanceyDTPittsburgh19B
22ColtsAnthony RichardsonQBFlorida4B-
23SeahawksDevon WitherspoonCBIllinois5B-
24TexansC.J. StroudQBOhio State2B-
25CowboysMazi SmithDTMichigan26B-
26BearsDarnell WrightOTTennessee10B-
27FalconsBijan RobinsonRBTexas8C+
28CommandersEmmanuel ForbesCBMississippi State16C+
29LionsJahmyr GibbsRBAlabama12C
30JetsWill McDonald IVDEIowa State15C
31LionsJack CampbellLBIowa18D

Best NFL Draft Round 1 Picks

1. Baltimore Ravens: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Pick 22 Overall • A

2. Houston Texans: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

Pick 3 Overall • A

3. Philadelphia Eagles: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

Pick 30 Overall • A

Worst NFL Draft Round 1 Picks

29. Detroit Lions: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama

Pick 12 Overall • C

30. New York Jets: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State

Pick 15 Overall • C

31. Detroit Lions: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

Pick 18 Overall • D

NFL Draft Round 1 Pick Grades

1. Baltimore Ravens: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Pick 22 Overall • A

Ravens fans had a ridiculously good Thursday.

First, Lamar Jackson finally agreed to a contract extension that will see him stay in Baltimore for the next five years. Then, the Ravens rewarded Jackson with Flowers, who could be the most dynamic receiver in this draft.

Opposing defenses are going to have trouble slowing down this offense, which somehow just got even faster and tougher to tackle.

If you think Zay Flowers will be an instant hit, bet on him to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (+1800) at DraftKings Sportsbook.

2. Houston Texans: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

Pick 3 Overall • A

Wow.

After taking their future franchise quarterback in C.J. Stroud at No. 2, the Texans traded back up to No. 3 and snagged the top edge rusher in this year’s class. Although it cost a pretty penny, Anderson is exactly the type of game-wrecker that thrives in first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans‘ defensive scheme.

He’ll anchor this Houston defense for years to come, much like Mario Williams did back in the day.

3. Philadelphia Eagles: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

Pick 30 Overall • A

I’m not sure how other teams haven’t picked up on Philadelphia’s strategy of drafting defenders from Georgia, but here we are.

Smith became the fourth former Bulldog selected by the Eagles over the last two years, joining fellow 2023 first-rounder Jalen Carter, DT Jordan Davis, and linebacker Nakobe Dean.

The Savannah, Ga. native lacks elite size (6-foot-2, 238 lbs) and recorded just 11.5 sacks in four collegiate seasons, but he’s more than capable of rushing the passer and is an elite run stopper for someone of his build. Smith will add another dimension to a talented Eagles defense.

4. Patriots: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Pick 17 Overall • A-

The Patriots always seem to hit on corner backs, and nabbing Gonzalez at No. 17 feels like tremendous value. New England needed some physicality on the outside, and this 6-foot-1, 197-pound athletic specimen should bring that to Bill Belichick‘s defense.

5. Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Carter, IDL, Georgia

Pick 9 Overall • A-

Howie Roseman has done it again.

The Eagles traded up one spot to nab Carter, who about two months ago was amongst the betting favorites to be the No. 1 overall pick. Yes, there are some character concerns to note in relation to a March reckless driving arrest, which saw his draft stock drop.

However, Carter’s on-field talent is undeniable, so if he can stay on the field and out of trouble, Philadelphia will be rewarded for its faith in the former Bulldog.

6. Tennessee Titans: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern

Pick 11 Overall • B+

Long-time left tackle Taylor Lewan was cut this offseason, opening up a hole on the Tennessee offensive line. Skoronski primarily featured in that spot at Northwestern, but he is a versatile athlete who could also potentially be moved inside at the next level.

Getting Ryan Tannehill, or whoever is under center next season for the Titans, some protection won’t hurt.

7. Las Vegas Raiders: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas A&M

Pick 7 Overall • B+

Wilson gets an A+ for his draft day fit, and the Raiders also receive high marks for snatching up a pass-rusher that most people thought would’ve been off the board by No. 7.

The position wasn’t exactly a need for Las Vegas, but Chandler Jones is getting up there in age (33). Still, pairing Wilson with Maxx Crosby is a big win for a Raiders defense that needs playmakers, and faces plenty of talented passers annually in the AFC West.

8. Seattle Seahawks: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

Pick 20 Overall • B+

The Seahawks started a run of wide receivers at pick No. 20, taking the former Ohio State star with their second pick of the first round. Adding a talented play-maker to mix it up with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett may make Geno Smith a happy man, but I’m a bit surprised Seattle didn’t double-dip on the defensive side of the ball, where they still need some work.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

Pick 14 Overall • B+

Left tackle was a major position of need for Pittsburgh, who came into the draft with 2021 fourth-rounder Dan Moore penciled into the starting spot. Jones could now easily be the Week 1 starter, protecting the blind side for Kenny Pickett.

Moving up three picks to snatch the last elite tackle prospect, and passing the tackle-needy Jets to do so, seems like smart business.

10. Cincinnati Bengals: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Pick 28 Overall • B+

Stocking up on pass-rushers in the star-studded AFC is never a bad idea, especially since Cincinnati’s ability to get after quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes will likely be the difference between a Super Bowl appearance or another earlier exit.

This move also helps the Bengals plan ahead for next year, when Trey Hendrickson and a handful of other key players become free agents.

11. Buffalo Bills: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

Pick 25 Overall • B+

The rich get richer.

Buffalo moved up two spots to make Kincaid the first tight end off the board. The Utah product is an elite pass-catching prospect for the position, which will be music to the ears of Josh Allen.

Still, this pick was a bit of a surprise since Dawson Knox received a four-year contract extension last September.

12. New Orleans Saints: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

Pick 29 Overall • B+

Bresee was the top recruit in the nation coming out of high school in 2020 and addresses a significant need in New Orleans. At nearly 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds, the Clemson product has the size to eat up blocks on the interior, but also has the agility and skillset to get after the quarterback.

He should make an immediate impact for Dennis Allen‘s defense.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

Pick 6 Overall • B

Offensive line was an obvious need for the Cardinals, but instead of staying put and taking the top tackle in the class at No. 3, Arizona did well to trade down and add some draft capital while still getting their guy.

Johnson has elite size and athleticism for the position, and if his technique improves slightly, he could protect Kyler Murray‘s blind side for the foreseeable future.

14. Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Pick 1 Overall • B

The issue here isn’t so much with the Panthers taking Young at No. 1, but the haul of assets it took to get there. Carolina offloaded two first-rounders, two second-rounders, and top wideout DJ Moore to swap spots with the Chicago Bears.

Young is a talented prospect and could change Carolina’s fortunes, but his size concerns are legitimate and he’s not the sure-fire stud that Trevor Lawrence appeared to be.

15. Minnesota Vikings: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Pick 23 Overall • B

Who needs defense anyways?

Despite numerous problems on that side of the ball, the Vikings elected to get another pass-catcher for Kirk Cousins. Addison is a speedster with the ability to make plays after the catch and could feature as Minnesota’s new slot receiver with Adam Thielen now in Carolina.

16. New York Giants: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

Pick 24 Overall • B

The corner spot opposite Adorre’ Jackson hasn’t quite been filled since the departure of James Bradberry, but this move should go a long way in doing so. Banks has the physical tools to be a standout corner in man-to-man coverage, a staple of Wink Martindale‘s blitz-heavy defense.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

Pick 27 Overall • B

The Jaguars lost tackle Jawaan Taylor to the Chiefs in free agency, so this move makes a lot of sense. Harrison made 23 starts at left tackle over the last two seasons for the Sooners, and could be forced to slot in there right away for Jacksonville, especially with Cam Robinson facing a PED suspension.

18. Green Bay Packers: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa

Pick 13 Overall • B

Another draft, another first-round pick spent on defense by the Packers. Some things never change.

Van Ness will join 2022 first-rounders Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt on a rapidly improving unit, but it’s hard not to wonder whether Green Bay would have been better off getting Jordan Love one of the draft’s elite tight-end prospects.

19. Chiefs: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State

Pick 31 Overall • B

With the final pick in the first round, the Super Bowl champion Chiefs added another young pass-rusher to pair up with 2022 first-rounder George Karlaftis. Anudike-Uzomah recorded 19.5 sacks over his last two collegiate seasons with the Wildcats, which bodes well for his ability to make an impact on this youthful defense.

20. Los Angeles Chargers: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Pick 21 Overall • B

Acquiring another target for star quarterback Justin Herbert was certainly an offseason goal in Los Angeles, but I think most people envisioned the Chargers adding a speedster that could take the top off opposing defenses.

Johnston certainly isn’t slow, but the 6-foot-3, 208-pound Texan seems to have a similar skillset as new teammate Mike Williams, one of the best jump-ball receivers in the NFL. Still, Johnston should be a solid third option behind Williams and Keenan Allen.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Calijah Kancey, IDL, Pittsburgh

Pick 19 Overall • B

Throughout the pre-draft process, Kancey was compared former Pitt interior defensive lineman and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron Donald. If his pro career is anywhere near as successful, this will be a big win for Tampa Bay.

However, the Buccaneers had bigger needs, and Vita Vea (28 years old) is still under contract for a few more years.

22. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Pick 4 Overall • B+

Throughout the pre-draft process, I’ve been in the camp that Anthony Richardson has more to offer than Will Levis, so I think the Colts made the right choice here. I’d rather take my chances on a high-upside athletic specimen that needs a bit of refining than take a prototypical QB mold that didn’t meet expectations at the collegiate level.

If all goes well, Richardson is the next Lamar Jackson. If not, he’s a lesser version of 2022 Justin Fields and GM Chris Ballard could be out of a job.

23. Seattle Seahawks: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Pick 5 Overall • B-

Witherspoon is a top talent, but after hitting on Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant in last year’s draft, I’m not sure Seattle necessarily needed to take another corner at No. 5, especially some of the top defensive line prospects still on the board.

24. Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Pick 2 Overall • B-

Let’s face it, another season of Davis Mills would have been a waste of time. Stroud gives first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans a quarterback he and the franchise can grow with over the next few years.

My concern is that Ohio State quarterbacks don’t have the best track record in the NFL, and Stroud certainly benefitted from playing with an elite set of wideouts in college, which he won’t have in Houston.

25. Dallas Cowboys: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan

Pick 26 Overall • B+

I was expecting the Cowboys to take former Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer, but Dallas decided to address another need with Michigan DT Mazi Smith. For someone that is 6-foot-3, 323 pounds, Smith is a stellar athlete, which allows him to fill gaps left open by opposing offensive lines.

Getting someone to occupy blockers to help Micah Parsons avoid double- and triple-teams seems like a smart idea.

26. Chicago Bears: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

Pick 10 Overall • B-

Justin Fields was the most sacked quarterback in the NFL last season, and while some of that was of his own doing by holding onto the ball too long, adding some protection should help as well.

Wright is likely to figure for the right tackle spot, but it’s a bit surprising that he was the second o-lineman off the board.

27. Atlanta Falcons: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Pick 8 Overall • C+

Yikes.

As team that primarily runs the ball, you could argue that reaching on a running back makes sense. However, this isn’t Madden. The Falcons need help on defense and pass-catchers for second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder.

This isn’t a knock on Robinson, who is an elite prospect that could be the next Saquon Barkley. But I can’t sign off on taking a running back this early in the modern NFL, especially when you have so many holes elsewhere.

28. Commanders: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Miss State

Pick 16 Overall • C+

Corner was certainly a need for the Commanders, but taking Forbes ahead of Christian Gonzalez is a bit of a head-scratcher. In his NFL Draft prospect rankings, Michael Rochman tabbed Gonzalez as the No. 3 prospect in this year’s class and Forbes was No. 74.

Maybe Washington will be proven right, but I would’ve taken the value on the sliding Oregon Duck.

29. Detroit Lions: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama

Pick 12 Overall • C

Well, this was a shocker.

Four picks after the Falcons selected Bijan Robinson, the Lions decided to reach for another running back. I really don’t understand this, especially with David Montgomery and D’Andre Swift (for now) still on the roster.

Gibbs is a talented prospect, who features like fellow former Alabama transfer Alvin Kamara, but Detroit needed help on defense in a big way. Passing on a corner, like Christian Gonzalez, feels highly suspect.

30. Jets: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State

Pick 15 Overall • C

I’m not sure Aaron Rodgers will be impressed with this one.

With all the top offensive tackle prospects off the board, the Jets decided to stay put at No. 15 and subsequently reached on pass-rusher Will McDonald IV. McDonald is lanky and explosive off the edge, but this feels like a bit of a reach and a waste since Robert Saleh likes rotating a cast of pass-rushers.

31. Lions: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

Pick 18 Overall • D

The Lions are having a draft to remember, and not in a particularly good way.

After reaching for running back Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12, Detroit double-dipped on low-value positions by selecting linebacker Jack Campbell, who earned a second-round grade in most cases.

With standout Alex Anzalone already at the position, this feels like a depth move that could’ve been addressed on Day 2 or 3.

Author

John Arlia

Before joining The Game Day, John served as the National Writer for the United Soccer League, where he primarily covered the USL Championship out of the league’s headquarters in Tampa, FL. A devout soccer fan, John attended the men’s World Cups in Brazil and Russia and can’t wait for the 2026 edition to come to North America. Having also written for Sporting News Canada since getting his master’s from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU, John has acquired a diverse sporting background, but considers football, golf, and soccer his three strong suits.

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