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2023 NFL Draft Reactions & Betting Implications: Top Reaches, Values and Rookie of the Year Candidates

With the NFL Draft First Round in the rearview, OddsShopper is examining at the picks to bring a comprehensive 2023 NFL Draft review. Join us as we take a look at the top picks and Round 1 NFL Draft reactions.

Check out how the actual draft compares with our mock draft from earlier this week and see further analysis on these players!

2023 NFL Draft Reactions and Predictions

1. Carolina PanthersBryce Young – Alabama – QB

After coming in as a -1000 favorite to go first, Bryce Young predictably came off the board to the Carolina Panthers. Young slides into an offense with Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark and Terrace Marshall as the projected starters. This group certainly needs work, but Young is a step in the right direction and a no-brainer pick for Carolina. As far as Rookie of the Year goes, Young’s +400 odds should be a little longer on a team this bad.

2. Houston TexansC.J. Stroud – Ohio State – QB

As expected, the unexpected happened here at number two with C.J. Stroud coming off the board for Houston. Stroud tanked the S2 cognitive tests, but he threw for 4,435 and 3,688 yards in his two years as the starter. While Ohio State didn’t ask him to run much, he also showed strong mobility on occasion. Stroud’s receiver room still needs work, but John Metchie‘s return to the team can only be viewed as positive. This ended up being a solid pick for a Houston team with needs across the roster. Stroud comes in with +700 odds to win Rookie of the Year, which look decent for a guy projected to start immediately.

3. Houston Texans – Will Anderson – Alabama – Edge

After picking second overall, Houston traded up with Arizona to select Alabama edge Will Anderson. Houston sent No. 12, No. 33, a 2024 first and a 2024 third for this honor, plus pick 105. Anderson checks every box, including production, size and athleticism. However, for a team with so many roster needs and unlikely to compete soon, those picks probably could have been put to better use.

4. Indianapolis ColtsAnthony Richardson – Florida – QB

After reportedly falling in love with Will Levis, the Indianapolis Colts pulled a fast one and drafted Anthony Richardson. He enters a better situation with Michael Pittman, Jonathan Taylor and a decent offensive line surrounding him. At +700 odds, Richardson just needs to beat out Gardner Minshew and Nick Foles to earn the Colts starting job and have a decent shot at winning Rookie of the Year.

5. Seattle SeahawksDevon Witherspoon – Illinois – CB

Devon Witherspoon plays a high-value position and slots in next to 2022 Rookie of the Year finalist Tariq Woolen.

6. Arizona Cardinals – Paris Johnson – Ohio State – OT

After trading back with the Texans, Arizona traded pick No. 12, No. 34 and No. 168 for the sixth overall pick and pick No. 81. Arizona also experienced the luxury of taking their pick of the offensive tackle market. Paris Johnson comes out of Ohio State at 6-foot-6, 313 pounds and allowed just 12 pressures last season. The Arizona roster is a mess, but finding more protection for Kyler Murray should be viewed as a win.

7. Las Vegas RaidersTyree Wilson – Texas Tech – Edge

With the seventh overall pick, the Raiders stood on their pick and selected edge rusher Tyree Wilson out of Texas Tech. Las Vegas needs more help inside, making this an interesting pick with Jalen Carter on the board. With that said, most experts viewed Wilson as a borderline top-5 pick. He joins an edge rushing group consisting of Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones.

8. Atlanta FalconsBijan Robinson – Texas – RB

A luxury pick for a team that hasn’t won many games, the Atlanta Falcons selected running back Bijan Robinson out of Texas. While Robinson looks like a generational talent at the position, there have been enough examples of generational running backs failing to move the needle. For real-life football, the Falcons just selected their latest piece on a 6-11 roster. For betting purposes, Robinson now becomes the favorite at +350 to win Rookie of the Year. This number still provides value, as it continues to get bet down.

9. Philadelphia EaglesJalen Carter – Georgia – DT

This is the exact opposite — a value pick for a team that just reached the Super Bowl. The Eagles traded pick No. 10 and a 2024 fourth-rounder in order to jump one pick. The top overall prospect on many boards, Jalen Carter fell after serious legal troubles in the offseason. He joins a top-3 defense in football with excellent value for the Eagles.

10. Chicago BearsDarnell Wright – Tennessee – OT

On the other end of the Eagles trade, Chicago dropped to pick 10 but still selected Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright. He bolsters one of the weakest offensive lines in football and gives the Bears solid value here.

11. Tennessee TitansPeter Skoronski – Northwestern – OT

At pick 11, the Titans selected Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski. The Titans have attempted to address their offensive line multiple years in a row now. They used their 2020 first-rounder on bust Isaiah Wilson and haven’t been able to recover. Skoronski may fit better on the interior, but it doesn’t matter what he plays for Tennessee. He is going to start regardless.

12. Detroit LionsJahmyr Gibbs – Alabama – RB

Another team making a value pick without winning any games, the Detroit Lions selected Jahmyr Gibbs out of Alabama. The Lions recouped plenty of value by trading down, but drafting Gibbs makes little sense for this roster. The Lions already have David Montgomery and D’Andre Swift, with other needs across their roster. With these other investments, it looks unlikely that Gibbs will even play 50% of the snaps. Despite the investment here, Gibbs’ +2000 Rookie of the Year odds still probably aren’t long enough to bet.

13. Green Bay PackersLukas Van Ness – Iowa – Edge

Moving up to pick 13 after the Aaron Rodgers trade, the Green Bay Packers abided by positional value and selected Iowa edge Lukas Van Ness. Given the Packers’ situation up front, this was a major spot of need for them, and Van Ness was productive, highly athletic and plays a high-value position.

14. Pittsburgh SteelersBroderick Jones – Georgia – OT

Pittsburgh swapped first-rounders with New England, giving up No. 17 and No. 120 to get here. They also addressed a major need with Georgia tackle Broderick Jones. Most expected Jones to come off the board in this range, giving Pittsburgh a good balance of value and positional need.

15. New York JetsWill McDonald IV – Iowa State – Edge

New York spent its first-rounder on Iowa State edge Will McDonald. Per GrindingtheMocks, McDonald had an expected draft position of 34, making this a fairly egregious reach. McDonald didn’t test at the NFL Combine. The concerns extend to an advanced age of 23 and production that declined in 2022. Still, he plays a high-value position.

16. Washington CommandersEmmanuel Forbes – Mississippi State – CB

At 16 overall, the Washington Commanders selected Mississippi State corner Emmanuel Forbes. The Commanders quietly had one of the best safety groups in the NFL, and Forbes adds to their strong secondary at a high-value position. This is decent value for Forbes, who had an expected draft position of 24.

17. New England PatriotsChristian Gonzalez – Oregon – CB

On the other end of the Pittsburgh trade, New England drafted a major value in Oregon corner Christian Gonzalez. Many expected Gonzalez to come off the board in the top 10, so snagging him here looks like incredible value for New England.

18. Detroit LionsJack Campbell – Iowa – LB

This is the second luxury pick for a Lions team that has yet to win anything significant, with Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell. Not only do they draft a position of low importance, but they draft a position they’re relatively strong at after hitting on Day 3 stud Malcolm Rodriguez. Making matters worse, Campbell had an expected draft position of 43, making this another egregious reach for Detroit. As far as positives go, Campbell did run a 4.65 40-yard dash at 249 pounds. Unfortunately for Detroit, the year isn’t 2002.

19. Tampa Bay BuccaneersCalijah Kancey – Pittsburgh – DT

At pick 19, Tampa Bay bolstered a strong defensive line with a solid value pick in Pittsburgh’s Calijah Kancey. He joins Vita Vea inside on one of the best run defenses year over year in football. Overall, this is an average pick for a team with needs at more important positions.

20. Seattle SeahawksJaxon Smith-Njigba – Ohio State – WR

The Seattle Seahawks stopped the Jaxon Smith-Njigba slide with the 20th overall pick, as Smith-Njigba was expected to go much earlier. He joins Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf in one of the best receiver rooms in the NFL.

21. Los Angeles ChargersQuentin Johnston – TCU – WR

Quentin Johnston gives Justin Herbert another weapon in what should be one of the more potent offenses in the NFL, plus he gives more security since Keenan Allen is getting older.

22. Baltimore RavensZay Flowers – Boston College – WR

On the same night Baltimore got Lamar Jackson‘s deal done, it added Boston College receiver Zay Flowers. This receiving group now contains Flowers, Rashod Bateman and Odell Beckham. It could be the best unit of Jackson’s career.

23. Minnesota VikingsJordan Addison – USC – WR

With Thielen moving to Carolina, Minnesota addressed its WR2 position opposite Justin Jefferson with former Biletnikoff winner Jordan Addison. This is another solid value pick for Minnesota in the first round. In the NFL Rookie of the Year market, Addison looks particularly interesting at +1600, with an immediate path to targets as the WR2 opposite Jefferson.

24. New York GiantsDeonte Banks – Maryland – CB

At No. 24, the New York Giants traded up with the Jaguars to selected Maryland corner Deonte Banks. They gave up No. 25, No. 160 and No. 240 to move up a spot and get their preferred option. This is solid value for both teams in terms of the trade market. This position was a dire need for New York as well, making this a solid pick.

25. Buffalo BillsDalton Kincaid – Utah – TE

For the second pick in a row, Jacksonville traded down. This time, the Bills gave up No. 27 and No. 130 for the right to jump two picks and select Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid. The Bills still have Dawson Knox on the roster, but Kincaid should now be the heir apparent. He is a little undersized, but Buffalo often uses its tight ends as pass catchers in the slot. Kincaid fits this role well.

26. Dallas CowboysMazi Smith – Michigan – DT

With a need on the interior defensive line, the Cowboys drafted Michigan defensive tackle Mazi Smith. While many didn’t include Smith as a first-rounder in their mocks, this isn’t an egregious reach. Smith has freak athleticism and strength. With that said, he plays a devalued position and comes in slightly over-drafted. At best, this is a neutral selection for Dallas.

27. Jacksonville JaguarsAnton Harrison – Oklahoma – OT

Jacksonville quietly had a solid first round. After trading back multiple times, they added Oklahoma tackle Anton Harrison. He has elite athleticism and only allowed nine pressures for the Sooners last year. With the Jaguars adding extra value and taking a position of high importance here, they had an excellent first round.

28. Cincinnati BengalsMyles Murphy – Clemson – Edge

Widely considered a top-20 pick pre-draft, Clemson edge Myles Murphy finally comes off the board to Cincinnati. Murphy is a solid blend of positional value and draft need, and the Bengals made a solid pick here.

29. New Orleans SaintsBryan Bresee – Clemson – DT

The Saints have done an excellent job on the edges with Cameron Jordan, Carl Granderson, Zack Baun and Payton Turner over the years. Now they have drafted the interior, which has lagged behind the edge group for some time now. They selected Clemson’s Bryan Bresee at about the spot where most expected him to come off the board.

30. Philadelphia EaglesNolan Smith – Georgia – Edge

In the second leg of an incredible first round for Philadelphia, the Eagles selected Georgia edge Nolan Smith. For reference, Smith entered the draft with an over/under of 11.5.

31. Kansas City ChiefsFelix Anudike-Uzomah – Kansas State – Edge

With the final pick in the first round, Kansas City addressed the edge with Kansas State’s Felix Anudike-Uzomah. Anudike-Uzomah wasn’t even in the first 50 picks in expected draft position, making this a reach. However, he plays a high-value position. He didn’t test, leaving athleticism questions, but the Chiefs needed an edge after letting Frank Clark go. Overall, the balance of position value with poor draft value makes this a neutral pick.

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