2023 NFL Draft: Round 1 Risers & Fallers

Author: Kate MagdziukPublished: 04/28/23
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The first round of the NFL Draft is officially a wrap, my friends! What. A. Night. I’m still catching my breath. There was no shortage of trades. There were some reaches. There were some fallers. And yes, there

Let’s get into all of the goodies.

First round risers

The Philadelphia Eagles

This dang team, fresh off a trip to the Super Bowl, has the audacity to come into the NFL Draft and somehow snag two of the top defenders this class has to offer? Very rude.

Also, very incredible. Hats off to Howie Roseman for drafting DT Jalen Carter and EDGE Nolan Smith (who fell in the draft for... no reason?). This defensive line is going to be harassing opposing quarterbacks for years to come. Hand them the Lombardi trophy now — there is no point in playing the season.

Philly now has the second-lowest odds in the NFL to win Super Bowl LVIII at +850.

Falcons QB Desmond Ridder

Remember this girl dad? He’s still girl-dadding. Now he’s starting-quarterbacking… with an absolutely STACKED offense to help him shine. RB Bijan Robinson and TE Kyle Pitts are both generational talents at their respective positions. Then you add in WR Drake London, who is perhaps one of the more underrated receivers from the 2022 draft class, despite his high draft capital — built like a tight end, but moves like a receiver!

There's still a chance the Falcons take a quarterback in this draft (and they probably should), but if this is the surrounding cast Ridder plays with during the 2023 season, Atlanta is certainly giving him his best chance at making it as a pro. Things are looking up, Atlanta fans!

Odds for the Falcons to win the NFC South: +300 (Bet $10 to win $30 profit if they win their division)

Texans QB C.J. Stroud

There was a lot of speculation that Stroud might not even be among the top quarterbacks selected in this year's draft, and suddenly, it seems like Houston is all-in on him for at least the next two seasons.

Essentially, the thought from most was that Houston could take a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft without a ton of risk. If it works out, great! You've found your future franchise quarterback. If it doesn't? Well, you've probably ended up with a top pick in next year's draft, where you can draft Caleb Williams (USC) or Drake Maye (UNC) as a consolation prize.

Houston didn't keep that 2024 first round pick though, electing to trade it in a package to move up and draft EDGE Will Anderson Jr. So... there goes the safety net.

I'll take that as a signal that this team is ready to build around him and be patient if things don't suddenly fall into place in his rookie season — both great things for Stroud and his opportunity to prove his place at the pro level.

First round fallers

The Detroit Lions (and poor D'Andre Swift)

The Lions selected Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs with their first first-round pick, which felt like a huge luxury at a point where they could have addressed a true positional depth need in a major way at cornerback. How do you pass on CB Christian Gonzalez?

Then, they followed that pick up with Iowa State linebacker Jack Campbell at No. 18. Though Campbell is certainly regarded as the top linebacker prospect in this class, it felt like a reach for a player that wasn't commonly regarded as a first-round talent. For what it's worth, he entered the draft as the No. 49 ranked player on Daniel Jeremiah's big board.

Lions fans are probably disappointed with the picks, but there might not be anyone more disappointed than Detroit's (presumably) former lead running back. Just take a look here at the clip of the celebration when they selected Gibbs.

It truly screams, "Pack your bags, Mr. Swift!"

Kentucky QB prospect Will Levis

This one hurts my heart a little bit. Levis has had a roller coaster of a couple of days, starting Tuesday with Reddit Rumors projecting him as the No. 1 overall pick on through Thursday night, where he sat in the green room, falling out of the first round. It was hard to watch.

Levis is physically gifted and has a cannon of an arm, but it appears his inconsistencies on tape were too much to keep him afloat on team draft boards. Still, he's got all of the tools, and there are several teams that should be all-in on drafting him, especially as a second-round value.

Heading into Day 2, the Titans are the odds-favorite to draft Levis (+200), followed by the Rams (+350) and Raiders (+750). However, here are some teams I think could be surprise landing spots (with more profits to be made).

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