My favorite pick by each NFL team in the 2023 NFL draft

We made it, ladies and gentlemen. The 2023 NFL draft concluded after three days and 259 total picks, a total that included a record amount of draft weekend trades.

After every draft, I always enjoy sifting through each team’s draft class and identifying my favorite selection for all 32 teams. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best player or the highest pick a team made. Instead, it’s about positional fit, draft value, or sometimes just a player I happen to really like through the draft process.

Here are my favorite draft selections by each team in the 2023 NFL draft.

Arizona Cardinals: CB Garrett Williams

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Williams had some great coverage on game film before his ACL tear last October. I expect Williams would have gone well before the third round if he was healthy.

Atlanta Falcons: Clark Phillips

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Judging strictly by game film, there weren’t three better CBs in college football last year. Phillips is short, not small, and I really like his chances to outshine his fourth-round draft slot

Baltimore Ravens: WR Zay Flowers

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Baltimore needed a big-play wideout and they got one (potentially) in their first-round pick out of Boston College.

Buffalo Bills: OG O'Cyrus Torrence

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Torrence was my No. 9 overall prospect in the class. Landing the Gators behemoth near the end of the second round is a fantastic pick for a guy who blanked Jalen Carter last fall.

Carolina Panthers: QB Bryce Young

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Hard to argue with the No. 1 pick. Young could be the new face of the franchise very soon.

Chicago Bears: OT Darnell Wright

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Chicago landed my top offensive tackle and someone who fits his new football home very well.

Cincinnati Bengals: RB Chase Brown

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Cincinnati’s fifth-round pick should outplay that draft status if he improves his ball security issues. Good fit in the Bengals offense.

Cleveland Browns: EDGE Isaiah McGuire

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Cleveland didn’t pick until the third round and struck paydirt in the fourth with McGuire, who could rise up the Browns depth chart quickly.

Dallas Cowboys: DT Mazi Smith

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The Cowboys’ first-rounder from Michigan offers a lot of athleticism for such a large man. Has the potential to produce a lot more in the NFL than he did in college.

Denver Broncos: LB Drew Sanders

(AP Photo/Michael Woods)

Not a lot to choose from, as the Broncos made just five picks. Sanders looked like an emerging star at Arkansas, and he’s a good fit in the second round.

Detroit Lions: DB Brian Branch

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One of Detroit’s second-round picks, Branch offers supreme versatility and high-end skills to a revamped Lions secondary. The idea of him learning the ropes from a similar player like C.J. Gardner-Johnson is very appealing.


Green Bay Packers: DL Karl Brooks

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If I gave out draft grades (which I don’t), the Packers might’ve earned the lowest of any team. But Brooks is a shining beacon of light in the sixth round. He’s a versatile rolling sack of hammers on the defensive front.

Houston Texans: QB C.J. Stroud

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Nobody knew the Texans were selecting Stroud with the No. 2 pick. He’s a great choice to breathe life into the new-look Texans.

Indianapolis Colts: CB Julius Brents

Ou Vs Kstate

The second-rounder from Kansas State was always at his best when the Wildcats needed it most. The Colts haven’t had a guy like that in the secondary in too long of a time.

Jacksonville Jaguars: S Antonio Johnson

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I really like Jackonville’s Day 3 haul as a whole, and the fifth-round safety from Texas A&M is a big part of the reason. Used properly (read: in the box), Johnson can be a good starter very soon.

Kansas City Chiefs: EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah

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I had targeted “FAU” to the Chiefs in a couple of early mock drafts. He’s a good fit ass the final pick of the first round.

Las Vegas Raiders: QB Aidan O'Connell

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The fourth-rounder from Purdue is a good bet to maximize his physical talents at the next level. I can see him clicking with coach Josh McDaniels and surprising folks.

Los Angeles Chargers: LB Daiyan Henley

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Henley was, for my money, the best coverage LB in the draft. Getting the smart, twitchy former safety in the third round is one of my favorite value picks of the weekend.

Los Angeles Rams: OL Steve Avila

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No team was busier on Saturday than the Rams, but it’s their first pick in Avila that stands out. The Horned Frog will start somewhere along the Rams’ line for years, a great fit in the second round.

Miami Dolphins: RB Devon Achane

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Miami made just four selections. The third-round RB from Texas A&M, Achane brings all kinds of sizzle to what is almost certainly the NFL’s fastest offense.

Minnesota Vikings: WR Jordan Addison

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I love the idea of pairing Addison, the Vikings’ first-round pick, with star Justin Jefferson. Addison should make a stellar “1B” option who can step up to be the lead wideout on the rare day when Jefferson is slowed down.

New England Patriots: DL Keion White

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White wasn’t popular amongst draft analysts, but I really like the fit in New England and how the Patriots can develop his freaky athleticism into a more well-rounded pass rusher.

New Orleans Saints: WR A.T. Perry

[Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

If Perry ever learns to more reliably catch the ball better than he did at Wake Forest, he’ll dramatically outplay his sixth-round draft status. The tools are there and the draft value is great.

New York Giants: C John Michael Schmitz

Schmitz Jr John Michael

Another one of “my guys” in the draft class, Schmitz was a fantastic value for the Giants in the second round. Instant impact starter, and that’s not easy to do at center.

New York Jets: LB Zaire Barnes

A fifth-rounder from Western Michigan, Barnes showed one of the fastest 1-2 step closing bursts of any off-ball LB in the draft. I like the idea of Robert Saleh finding ways to use Barnes beyond special teams, where he could thrive right away.

Philadelphia Eagles: EDGE Nolan Smith

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Drafting Smith at No. 10, where he was frequently projected, was too rich for me. Landing the Georgia pass rusher at No. 30 is far more palatable. Keeping him surrounded by fellow Bulldogs should allow Smith to maximize his unusual (for his size) power-to-speed style.

Pittsburgh Steelers: DT Keeanu Benton

I really like what the Steelers did all weekend, perhaps my favorite overall draft class of any team. Benton was a personal favorite who should thrive in Pittsburgh’s defense with his aggression.

San Francisco 49ers: S Ji'Ayir Brown

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The Niners didn’t make a pick until near the end of the third round. Finding a player with high-end starting upside like Brown at No. 87 overall is a smart way to kick off their draft.

Seattle Seahawks: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Seattle would grade very highly overall, and landing the smooth Smith-Njigba at No. 20 overall is a big part of that. The Ohio State standout should be an optimal pairing with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Trey Palmer

Late-round picks need to have a specified role or special attribute to make it. Palmer, a sixth-rounder from Nebraska, has world-class speed that he finally started to apply on the field after transferring from LSU. Ascending talent with developmental upside to be a big problem for whoever is facing the Buccaneers if he continues to grow his game.

Tennessee Titans: OL Peter Skoronski

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What better to get a team with an offensive line in major flux than a premium offensive lineman who can play multiple spots? Skoronski is a high-floor talent for a Titans team that absolutely cannot afford a first-round bust.

Washington Commanders: EDGE K.J. Henry

When evaluating Henry at Clemson, it struck me that he should be a very effective complementary type of pass rusher for a team that has higher-end talents around him. That’s not always an easy fit, but Henry should do just that as a fifth-rounder.

Story originally appeared on Draft Wire