2023 NFL draft: Winners, losers of the 1st round

The first round of the 2023 NFL draft was a trade-crazy wild ride, with teams making bold moves all over the board in hopes of improving their franchise for next season and beyond.

Who were the biggest winners and losers from Thursday night’s action?

Here are our picks:

Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

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Two words. Howie. Roseman. The Eagles landed their guy in Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter by jumping up just one spot and sacrificing a 2024 fourth-round pick. Carter slid a little because of character concerns after an arrest and plea deal to two misdemeanors stemming from a January car crash. Had it not been for that, he would’ve not made it out of the top-5. But Roseman being a theft did not stop there. Philadelphia stayed put with their No. 30 overall selection, only to have edge defender Nolan Smith, another standout from that Georgia defense, fall to them. Carter and Smith reunite with their former college teammates, DT Jordan Davis and linebacker Nakobe Dean.

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Loser: Detroit Lions

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The Lions had two picks, and they not only reached on them but did it for players at non-premium positions. Detroit could’ve taken running back Bijan Robinson with the No. 6 overall selection, but instead, they moved back only to draft Jahmyr Gibbs. Don’t get me wrong, Gibbs is a great player, but Robinson was right there for the taking. The Lions followed that up by taking linebacker Jack Campbell. I get it, hard-nosed and blue-collar player for head coach Dan Campbell, but it was just too soon.

Winner: Seattle Seahawks

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Carter to the Seahawks had been a popular pairing throughout the pre-draft process. But Seattle made a pick that was unexpected, yet I absolutely loved it. Devon Witherspoon has the physicality, ball skills and excels in press-man coverage, making him a perfect fit in their secondary. He and Tariq Woolen are going to be a solid cornerback tandem. However, the Seahawks’ work did not stop there, as they took the consensus top wide receiver, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, at 20th overall, which is incredible value. Adding JSN’s route savvy and smoothness will be a welcome addition to a room that already has D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Loser: QB Will Levis

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Levis’ Friday night will consist of sitting in the green room for the second night in a row after many thought he would be selected in the first round, even as early as top five. But it’s clear that the NFL has a different opinion of him. The physical tools are there, but the mental aspect and accuracy are big question marks surrounding his game. Now we wait and see if a team will trade up in the second round for him or if he continues to slide.

Winner: Houston Texans

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Edge defender Will Anderson had been the heavy favorite to be the Texans’ No. 2 overall selection over the month leading up to the draft. However, Houston elected to get their franchise quarterback with the pick of C.J. Stroud. But, then, the Texans still managed to get the best player in the draft for new head coach DeMeco Ryans’ defense by using their second first-round pick and the 2024 first-rounder they acquired from the Browns to jump up to No. 3, where they got Anderson.

Story originally appeared on Draft Wire