identifying the teams that are most likely to act aggressively on the first game
There are several issues to consider before to April 27th, which is less than two weeks before the 2023 NFL Draft. The draft order is rotated because it will undoubtedly change.
The Carolina Panthers have already made a bold move up the draft board, going from No. 9 overall to No. 1. What other teams might move up or down to choose players in the first round? It’s common practice to select quarterbacks with first-round picks, therefore this year, it’s probable that at least one quarterback-related deal will take place. Come draft night, prepare for a showdown between a couple of polarizing signal-callers from this class.
Five NFL teams are most likely to trade up in the first round, and five are most likely to trade down, as shown in the table below.
Teams most likely to trade up
Indianapolis Colts (No. 4 overall)
The Colts are anticipated to select their starting quarterback in the fourth round. Sadly, they won’t get to pick from the best of the bunch. Following the selection of quarterbacks by the Panthers and Houston Texans, the Arizona Cardinals at pick No. 3 are a strong option to trade down (more on that later). Whoever that fourth quarterback is, are the Colts really just going to grab him because they need one? That doesn’t seem like a good strategy.
It may be preferable for the Colts to move up to the third overall pick in a recent mock draft in order to select between Anthony Richardson and Will Levis rather than being obliged to select the quarterback the first three teams pass on. Although expensive, Indy is a team to watch if you want to advance.
Las Vegas Raiders (No. 7 overall)
The Raiders go up to No. 3 overall in my first-round mock draft, according to my projections. Jimmy Garoppolo is not exactly a spring chicken, and he didn’t receive large money to travel to Las Vegas with Josh McDaniels. Coach McDaniels probably doesn’t have a long leash, so it’s possible that he might act quickly to sign the prospective star who might play in Sin City for many years to come. It’s doubtful that every fan is head over heels with this option, but it exists nonetheless.
Considering possible transactions the Raiders might make,
Tennessee Titans (No. 11 overall)
According to reports, the Titans have already looked into trading up to third overall. In addition to being a sensible decision given that Ryan Tannehill only has one more season left on his deal, the new general manager of the Cardinals, Monti Ossenfort, served as the Titans’ director of player personnel for the previous three seasons. These two organizations are somewhat accustomed to one another. Ran Carthon, the new general manager of the Titans, played football for the University of Florida. He might be drawn to Richardson.
Minnesota Vikings (No. 23 overall)
Another team that might make the bold move up to No. 3 overall is the Vikings, though they might also opt to simply trade up in the first round. Period. The Vikings may be looking to add one of the top quarterbacks available in the draft as Kirk Cousins presumably enters his final season in Minnesota. Being an offensive-minded head coach, Kevin O’Connell won’t risk squandering Justin Jefferson’s prime time by being impatient in search of his next franchise quarterback. The Vikings may be proactive if someone in this class appeals to Minnesota’s front office.
The Vikings, who are ranked No. 23 overall, are also a contender to move up the draft board in a minor trade. The Vikings might make a trade up if someone like Levis starts to slide into the teens or if they want to get Hendon Hooker.
Buffalo Bills (No. 27 overall)
Buffalo had a dismal finale to the 2022 campaign. The Bills were the preseason Super Bowl favorite, but they were unable to get to the AFC Championship. The Bills are still among the league’s top teams, but they require an additional offensive tool. ESPN said last week that Buffalo is interested in advancing. According to Matt Miller, it might be for an offensive skill player or interior offensive lineman. It would be nice to see Bijan Robinson in this offense, on a related subject.
Teams most likely to trade down
Arizona Cardinals (No. 3 overall)
The Cardinals are anticipated to trade their first-round pick for a sizable sum because they are ranked third overall and do not need a quarterback. But it’s not a guarantee. When it comes to the draft, nothing is.
Houston Texans (No. 2 & No. 12 overall)
Some mock drafts even have the Texans moving out of the first choice due to rumors that they may not be sold on a quarterback at the No. 2 overall spot. Although I think it’s improbable, the Texans also have the No. 12 overall pick. I believe that teams with numerous first-round picks are more inclined to trade. This is particularly true for Texas, which is ranked No. 12, as another team might move up for a quarterback who has dropped out of the top 10.
If the Texans were to make any moves,
Seattle Seahawks (No. 5 overall & No. 20 overall)
Another squad with several first-round picks is this one. John Schneider will have a few choices at No. 20, but I’m also keeping an eye on him at No. 5 overall. The top four quarterbacks may have have been selected, but what if they haven’t? One QB-needy team might make a direct approach to Seattle. The Seahawks have a total of 10 picks, therefore I believe they could be targets for a trade up or down later this month.
If the Seahawks were to make any moves,
Philadelphia Eagles (No. 10 & No. 30 overall)
One of the top GMs in the NFL, Howie Roseman, averages a staggering four deals per year, either during the draft or the days leading up to it. The Eagles have two first-round picks but only six overall, so I think they have plenty of room to move down.
The Eagles might move players in the future, therefore
Detroit Lions (No. 6 & No. 18 overall)
In 2023, the Lions are considered the favorites to win the NFC North, but their defense needs to be improved. Although general manager Brad Holmes has done a good job of adding players through free agency, he is not quite finished. At No. 6 overall, I predict Detroit will select a defensive lineman or pass rusher, but as we drop into the teens, things may get interesting.
If the Lions decide to make a trade,