2023 NFL Draft: Stallions and Scallions

Who got the Oscars — and who took home the Razzies — at the 2023 NFL draft?

Find out here!


Tennessee Titans — Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski is as safe a pick as they come, and a logical one, too, as they allowed 49 sacks in 2022, tied for fifth most in the league. Then Will Levis, from neighboring Kentucky, fell into their laps in the second round (33rd overall). Awesome job indeed!

Indianapolis Colts — Quarterbacks accounted for three of the first four overall picks, but the Colts, selecting fourth, might have gotten the best of them, in Florida's Anthony Richardson. And it didn't stop there: they had 11 picks in the rest of the draft, headed by the tall (6'3"), long-armed (34") Julius Brents, of Kansas State, in the second round (44th overall), after he had started his college career at Iowa.

Seattle Seahawks — After selecting Kenny Walker III — an "elusive back" as they say on Madden — in the second round last year and watching him gain 1,050 yards and score nine touchdowns in his rookie season, they grabbed the best "power back" available in UCLA's Zach Charbonnet, also in the second round, this year, seemingly signaling a return to their "Ground Chuck" days of the '80s (named after Chuck Knox, their head coach in those days), after expending their two first-round picks on the highly-regarded Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon and Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. And with division rival San Francisco weighed down by both the schedule blues and the quick-fix blues, the NFC West title could be theirs for the asking.

Arizona Cardinals — Like the Titans, their offensive line needed an upgrade (46 sacks allowed in 2022), and like a coil stretched out, advancing up and forward after having circled down and back, they traded first down from third overall to 12th, then back up to sixth, and came away at the end with not only Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. but also Houston's first-round pick in the 2024 draft as well. Even added another promising offensive lineman in UCLA offensive guard Jon Gaines II in the fourth round.

Houston Texans — Considering that the AFC South went a combined 12-32 in out-of-division games a year ago, it should come as no surprise that this division had great drafts, especially if a team therefrom had the second and third overall picks, as the Texans did. C.J. Stroud has a solid chance to break the formidable Ohio State Quarterback Jinx, and Alabama's Will Anderson Jr. will make an immediate impact at the newly recognized edge rusher position. Incoming head coach DeMeco Ryans can't say that he isn't being given building blocks.


San Francisco 49ers — Made their first pick in the third round (true, they had three picks in that round, including two compensatory picks, one of them a kicker), and no team lacking a first- or second-round pick has won the Super Bowl since Tampa Bay did it in 2002. Not only that, but the 49ers are taking the biggest jump in the entire NFL in strength of schedule from what every team played in 2022, using the 2022 final records for comparative purposes. Looks like this team will slip a bit in 2023 — maybe enough to relinquish the NFC West crown to the Seahawks.

Cleveland Browns — No pick until the third round, just like the 49ers. While the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers added valuable young talent via the draft, they were caught standing still — and they don't have a first-round pick in 2024 either. Did someone say 2-15 in 2024?

Miami Dolphins — Their draft lacked both quality (their first selection was South Carolina CB Cam Smith with the 51st overall pick) and quantity (only four picks in the entire draft). The reason they didn't have a first-round pick is because they tried to tank games in 2019 to get a higher drafting position — a problem that could be solved once and for all if the NFL were to implement a draft lottery.

Los Angeles Rams — At least there is a light at the end of the tunnel for them, in that they will finally have a first-round pick again in 2024. But they will have a lot of ground to make up after not having had such a pick for seven consecutive years. Their first selection this year (in the second round, 36th overall) was offensive guard Steve Avila of TCU.

Denver Broncos — For a time, the NFL banned trading draft choices for head coaches. Maybe they should have kept that rule in place. Similar to Miami, in that not only did they lack a first-round pick, but had only five picks all told, the first of which was wide receiver Marvin "Holly" Mims (admit it — don't you miss Chris Berman, too?) of Oklahoma at #63 overall. And not for nothing, but why is Denver seen as such an attractive destination — for players and coaches alike?

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