NFL Draft Winners and Losers

From a story on headlined “NFL Draft Winners and Losers”:

The 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books. With 259 selections made, the league’s teams will soon begin figuring out how to fit all of these puzzle pieces together.

Obviously, it will take some time to learn exactly how well or how poorly each franchise did. But that won’t stop us from weighing in on how things look, at least on paper.

Here’s a rundown of this year’s biggest winners and losers of the draft.


Philadelphia Eagles

GM Howie Roseman appears to have delivered once again, raking in one quality pick after another. Roseman devoted much of his team’s draft resources to retooling a defense that lost a number of key contributors in free agency. Georgia teammates Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith should help fortify an already formidable defensive front while another Bulldog (Kelee Ringo) and Illinois product Sydney Brown should help shore up a revamped secondary. And to top it off, he swung a trade for D’Andre Swift at a low cost to help improve the depth of the rushing attack.

Seattle Seahawks
John Schneider and Pete Carroll continue to position their team for success (and cash in on trading Russell Wilson last offseason) with a deep draft class that featured 10 selections led by cornerback Devon Witherspoon and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. From there, the Seahawks added a collection of players that initially will bolster depth and eventually turn into key contributors on both sides of the ball.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Successful teams understand the importance of winning in the trenches. The Steelers first added a talented offensive tackle in Broderick Jones, and then drafted one of the best blocking tight ends available in Darnell Washington, both of whom will help make Kenny Pickett and Najee Harris more successful. They also acquired pieces to upgrade their defensive front, like interior lineman Keeanu Benton and edge rusher Nick Herbig.

Houston Texans

Not only did the Texans get their franchise quarterback in C.J. Stroud, regarded as the best pocket passer in the draft, but they also added a potential face of their defense in Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. Wide receiver Nathaniel Dell should blossom into a key red-zone threat.

Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals did plenty to help themselves this year, landing a Day 1 starter in offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. and eight other prospects to improve depth on both sides of the ball. But they also ensured they have plenty of draft assets to continue building next offseason (two firsts, a second, three third-rounders, two fourth-rounders, two fifths and a seventh). That’s huge after such ineffective drafts in recent years.

Cincinnati Bengals
The mission was clear: upgrade the defense to make life easier on Joe Burrow and life more difficult for Patrick Mahomes. Pass-rusher Myles Murphy, cornerback DJ Turner and safety Jordan Battle should help accomplish this.


Cleveland Browns

Mortgaging the future for Deshaun Watson meant the Browns had few resources to significantly upgrade their roster through the draft. Can their top pick, third-rounder Cedric Tillman, develop into a threat? Will the rest of the mid- to late-round picks (including UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson) be anything more than depth acquisitions?

Dallas Cowboys

They needed to find support for Dak Prescott and did so to a degree, adding a much-needed tight end in Michigan’s Luke Schoonmaker. But Dallas also needed offensive linemen and didn’t select one until the fifth round. The Cowboys needed impactful talent at wide receiver and didn’t take one until the seventh round.

Jacksonville Jaguars
After trading down twice in the first round, they made a need pick in Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison, although there were better players at other positions available. They went on to make some head-scratcher picks, like linebacker Ventrell Miller and running back Tank Bigsby.

Miami Dolphins

A first-round pick sure would have been nice to help Mike McDaniel’s squad take another step forward. But tampering with Tom Brady made the Dolphins, with only four picks and none before No. 51, big losers in this year’s draft.

Washington Commanders

They entered this draft with a rather shaky quarterback picture and declined to address it, even though Hendon Hooker and Will Levis were both available entering Day 2. First-round pick Emmanuel Forbes is a ball hawk, but there are durability concerns about the slender DB, and there were better and more well-rounded cornerbacks available at No. 16 as well.

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