KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Texans got two of the best players in the NFL draft in the first three picks. The Eagles added three more defensive standouts from Georgia.
While it takes two or three years to judge whether players panned out, it’s easy to identify the potential winners of the 2023 NFL draft.
Houston selected quarterback C.J. Stroud at No. 2 and traded up to get Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. with the third pick. In a 10-minute span, the Texans added two players who could dramatically change the future of the franchise.
Defending NFC champion Philadelphia needed to replenish the defense so it looked toward the two-time national champion Bulldogs. The Eagles moved up one spot to No. 9 for defensive tackle Jalen Carter, a player widely considered the most talented in the draft who slipped because of off-field issues.
At No. 30, Philly added edge Nolan Smith. General manager Howie Roseman still wasn’t finished. He got Georgia cornerback Kelee Ringo in the fourth round and added another former Bulldog, acquiring running back De’Andre Swift in a trade with Detroit. The Eagles have drafted five Georgia players in the past two years.
Here are AP’s early grades on each team’s overall draft:
ARIZONA CARDINALS: B
OT Paris Johnson Jr. (6) will protect QB Kyler Murray. Addressed defensive needs with DE BJ Ojulari and CB Garrett Williams. OL Jon Gaines II and LB Owen Pappoe were value picks in Day 3.
ATLANTA FALCONS: C-
RB Bijan Robinson should be a superstar but No. 8 was too high. Teams win Super Bowls with late-round picks and undrafted free agents carrying the ball. OT Matthew Bergeron and DE Zach Harrison bolster both lines.
BALTIMORE RAVENS: C+
With Odell Beckham Jr. in the flock, should’ve addressed the secondary in the first round instead of taking WR Zay Flowers at No. 22. Went defense with next three picks.
BUFFALO BILLS: B
Traded up for TE Dalton Kincaid at No. 25 despite other needs. Got better value in second round with OL O’Cyrus Torrence and third round with LB Dorian Williams.
CAROLINA PANTHERS: B-
No. 1 pick Bryce Young has superior talent but needs to overcome size concerns. WR Jonathan Mingo is a playmaker. OL Chandler Zavala highlighted Day 3 picks.
CHICAGO BEARS: A
Moved down one spot and got OT Darnell Wright (10) to anchor the O-line. DL Gervon Dexter Sr., RB Roschon Johnson, WR Tyler Scott, LB Noah Sewell and CB Terrell Smith are among an impressive haul.
CINCINNATI BENGALS: B
DE Myles Murphy (28) was projected among the top 15. Upgraded secondary with CB DJ Turner and S Jordan Battle.
CLEVELAND BROWNS: B
Didn’t pick until WR Cedric Tillman at No. 74. OT Dawand Jones and DL Isaiah McGuire bolster the trenches. CB Cameron Mitchell was solid value in fifth round.
DALLAS COWBOYS: B+
DT Mazi Smith (26) and LB DeMarvion Overshown should make immediate impact. TE Luke Schoonmaker gives Dak Prescott another playmaker.
DENVER BRONCOS: B+
Gave Russell Wilson another option with WR Marvin Mims at No. 63. LB Drew Sanders, CB Riley Moss and S JL Skinner strengthen the defense.
DETROIT LIONS: C
LB Jack Campbell (18), TE Sam LaPorta, S Brian Branch and QB Hendon Hooker help make up for reaching way too high for RB Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12.
GREEN BAY PACKERS: B-
Added talented DE Lukas Van Ness (13), and helped Jordan Love with additions of TE Luke Musgrave, WR Jayden Reed, TE Tucker Kraft and WR Dontayvion Wicks.
HOUSTON TEXANS: A+
Stroud and Anderson are the headliners. OL Juice Scruggs, WR Nathaniel Dell and DE Dylan Horton improve a poor roster.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: A-
QB Anthony Richardson (4) is raw but has the most upside of all the QBs. Had the best Day 3, getting OT Blake Freeland, DL Adetomiwa Adebawore, CB Darius Rush, S Daniel Scott, TE Will Mallory and RB Evan Hull.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: B+
Improved offense with first three picks: OT Anton Harrison (27), TE Brenton Strange and RB Tank Bigsby. WR Parker Washington could be a steal in the sixth round.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: C+
Reached for DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah at No. 31. WR Rashee Rice and OT Wanya Morris in Day 2 fill holes.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: B+
Tyree Wilson (7) is a game-changer. TE Michael Mayer and WR Tre Tucker bolster receiving group. DL Byron Young at No. 70 is questionable.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: C+
Quentin Johnston (21) was the second WR off the board with better options available. Addressed defense on Day 2 with DL Tuli Tuipulotu and LB Daiyan Henley.
LOS ANGELES RAMS: B
Selected 14 players, including 11 on Day 3 starting with QB Stetson Bennett. Didn’t have a first for seventh straight year but added plenty of depth.
MIAMI DOLPHINS: B+
Had only four picks and no first but came away with talented CB Cam Smith, RB Devon Achane and WR Elijah Higgins.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS: A
WR Jordan Addison (23) replaces Adam Thielen. CBs Mekhi Blackmon and Jay Ward upgrade secondary.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: B+
Traded down and still got talented CB Christian Gonzalez at No. 17. Focused on defense in Day 2 with DE Keion White and S Marte Mapu. Trading up for K Chad Ryland in fourth round was baffling.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: B
DL Bryan Bresee made sense at No. 29 but DE Isaiah Foskey seemed too early at No. 40. Got value in Day 3 with OL Nick Saldiveri, S Jordan Howden and WR A.T. Perry.
NEW YORK GIANTS: A-
CB Deonte Banks (24) and OL John Michael Schmitz fill needs. Stole WR Jalin Hyatt in the third round.
NEW YORK JETS: B
DE Will McDonald IV (15) needs to perform quickly to justify going that high. OT Carter Warren, RB Israel Abanikanda and CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse highlighted an outstanding Day 3 haul.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: A+
Carter, Smith, Ringo plus OT Tyler Steen and S Sydney Brown in the third round and a trade for Swift already make Roseman a favorite for executive of the year.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS: A
Moved up for OT Broderick Jones (14). Got first-round talent in CB Joey Porter Jr. and TE Darnell Washington in Day 2.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: C-
CB Ji’Ayir Brown with their first pick at No. 87 and CB Darrell Luter Jr. in fifth round were the best picks in a draft that included K Jake Moody in the third round.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: A
Got the best players at their position with CB Devon Witherspoon (5) and WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (20) in the first round. DE Derick Hall and OL Anthony Bradford highlight a strong overall group.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: B-
Taking DT Calijah Kancey at No. 19 over Will Levis shows commitment to Kyle Trask/Baker Mayfield QB competition. OL Cody Mauch, TE Payne Durham and WR Trey Palmer graded well at their spots.
TENNESSEE TITANS: B+
Took OL Peter Skoronski over Levis at No. 11 and ended up with the QB anyway in the second round. Added RB Tyjae Spears, TE Josh Whyle, OT Jaelyn Duncan and WR Colton Dowell in an all-offense draft.
WASHINGTON COMMANDERS: C+
Took Emmanuel Forbes (16) early in an excellent CB draft class. Further bolstered secondary with S Jartavius Martin in second round. Day 3 RB Chris Rodriguez Jr. has upside.
Author: Rob Maaddi, The Associated Press
Photo Credit: © Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
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