Unpopular draft predictions for the 2023 NFL: Chiefs should move up for a running back, Will Levis is a top-10 lock, and more

There are many talents in the 2023 NFL Draft that appear like they can’t be missed, including Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, who is the overwhelming favorite to go first overall, Texas running back Bijan Robinson, who might go in the top 10, and pass rusher Will Anderson Jr., one of the best defenders in the class. Additionally, there are a few almost certainties regarding the assignment of positions: For instance, the Panthers will almost certainly draft a quarterback with the first choice.

However, if history has taught us anything, it’s that the NFL draft, like every season, is more often than not unpredictable. The entire board may become agitated if one team valued a potential differently than another.

holding controversial views regarding the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Admire them? resent them? Nevertheless, we hope you find them thought-provoking:

the NFL Draft editor Kyle Stackpole, the NFL editors Brett Anderson and Joel Magaraci, senior writer Pete Prisco, writers Chris Trapasso and Josh Edwards, Cody Benjamin, Tyler Sullivan, Jared Dubin, Jeff Kerr, and Garrett Podell, as well as college football writer Tom Fornelli, were on the panel.

Although Anthony Richardson has a high floor, Bryce Young isn’t exactly safe.


While being young has many benefits, there are also obvious risks. Despite not being a tremendously explosive, elite athlete like Kyler Murray, he is a well-undersized quarterback with an average to slightly above-average arm who relies on his off-structure innovation. Richardson will be a significant running threat in the NFL, at the very least. Of course, this does not mean he is impervious to busts. But his athleticism significantly raises his floor. Christopher Trapasso

(Will Anderson Jr. deserves less affection, but Will Levis deserves more.)


Will Anderson Jr. is regarded too highly. He’s a fine player, but he’s not Derrick Thomas or Von Miller. He lacks the same quickness as those players. Darnell Wright of Tennessee dominated him, which is concerning. Meanwhile, Will Levis will be a better professional than people currently think. He reminds me of how people were ripping Josh Allen before the draft. Last year, Levis played in a dreadful system with bad players while injured and on injections. Peter Prisco

At No. 2, the Texans won’t select a quarterback.

NFL: Combine

We can all agree that Davis Mills is not the long-term quarterback solution, but the Texans are not in a win-now mindset, and new head coach DeMeco Ryans will find it difficult to pass up a potential game-changer in Will Anderson Jr. The Texans may always utilize their other first-round pick (No. 12) in a trade to climb the draft board and choose either Anthony Richardson or Will Levis. — Magaraci, Joel

The frontrunner to be selected as the first defensive player is still Jalen Carter.


Carter has had to deal with legal problems (which have since been resolved) and some character difficulties (such as turning up overweight to his Pro Day and having trouble with his exercise), but he is still one of, if not the best defender in this class. There’s a possibility that QBs are selected with the first four picks since the Cardinals are attempting to trade out of the No. 3 spot. If so, the Seahawks, who are visiting Carter on his top-30 visit, might decide they can maximize Carter’s potential and choose to choose the Georgia star with the fifth overall pick. “Kyle Stackpole”

On Day 1, no team should select a tight end.


Tight ends selected in the first round typically have a terrible track record. Players in this position just do not perform at a high enough level over a brief enough period of time to justify the first-round investment, with the exception of freaks like Kyle Pitts. Since most players at the position don’t start producing at a high level until they are on their second contract anyhow, it is best to take chances on Day 2 or Day 3 and develop a tight end over a somewhat longer period of time. “Jared Dubin”

Will Levis is almost certain to finish in the top 10.


Why did Will Levis suddenly slide far down the first round in everyone’s most recent edition after being mostly mocked in the top five for three months? Like Anthony Richardson, he’s a risk that could or could not pay off, but because he plays quarterback, it makes sense to take that risk early. I don’t think he’ll go higher than No. 7. The rise of Richardson alone shouldn’t lead Levis to fall. Scott Anderson

The Lions are actively seeking a quarterback.


When arguing for Jared Goff’s continued employment as a quarterback, Detroit supporters are quick to praise the opinions of Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that non-elite veterans, even seasoned ones who have outperformed expectations, won’t stop an NFL team from looking into an upgrade if it is possible. C.J. Stroud and Hendon Hooker aren’t visiting the Lions on top-30 trips for no reason. Regardless of how much lip service they have given their current starter, they are in a better position than most to add a long-term signal-caller because they have four picks in the first two rounds. — Benjamin Cody

The Chiefs ought to make a move up to choose Bijan Robinson.


Nowadays, it’s rare for clubs to move up in the first round to select a running back, but the Chiefs should make an exception if Robinson slips into the 20s. It almost seems unfair to put this generational talent in the backfield of an offense run by Patrick Mahomes that forbids defenses from stacking the box. “Tyler Sullivan”

Cedric Tillman and Cam Smith are incredibly underestimated.

Tennessee v Pittsburgh

Smith of South Carolina, who will be selected in the first round, is no worse than the third-best cornerback in this draft class. And even though Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt has consistently ranked considerably higher in mock drafts and on major boards online, his teammate Tillman is a better athlete and will be much more effective at the NFL level. Toby Fornelli

The majority of first-round wide receivers are overrated.


A wide receiver who is selected later on in the draft will have a more successful NFL career than those chosen in the first round. A team may also move up into the top 10 to acquire a non-QB. Joshua Edwards

Bijan Robinson won’t be selected by the Eagles with pick No. 10


Although the visit by Bijan Robinson to Philadelphia is intriguing, it just cannot happen. The offensive line, defensive line, and cornerback have received the vast majority of the Eagles’ top-30 visits. While imagining how the Eagles’ offense would function with Robinson is entertaining, it’s just not how they operate this early in the first round. Since 1986, the Eagles have not selected a running back in the first round. Jeffrey Kerr

It is acceptable for teams to draft running backs.


The general consensus in the NFL is that having just two or three running backs in a rotation is acceptable. But if a genuine all-purpose player like Bijan Robinson is available, take him. While selecting a true top-tier playmaker in the first round allows a team to have control over an exceptional offensive weapon for five or six years at a relatively low wage, it does not mean that teams must offer second contracts to running backs. — Garrett P.