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10 bold predictions for the 2023 NFL Draft, featuring the Chiefs & Ravens

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It’s not going to be easy making NFL Draft predictions in 2023, but we’re up for the challenge.

We’re not saying that this will be the draft class of the 21st century but the 2023 Draft promises to be one of the most intriguing in recent memory. There have already been widespread rumors and little consensus when it comes to a quarterback mock draft and ranking the top four or five players at the most important position. That’s why making NFL Draft predictions in 2023 will be no easy task.

Bold NFL Draft predictions 2023

Despite the challenge, we wanted to make some rather bold predictions about the 2023 NFL Draft. We thought out some first-round NFL Draft predictions but also some of the potential sleepers in the 2023 Draft class when putting together our NFL Draft predictions for 2023.

But we also wanted to take some chances and weren’t afraid to make mistakes. With that said, here are our 10 boldest NFL Draft predictions in 2023.

Zay Flowers is first Wide Receiver selected

There is still competition as to who will be the first wide receiver selected. But if we’re trying to make a bold guess, we’ll go with Zay Flowers coming off the board first.


At Boston College, Flowers didn’t play in a lot of high-level games, but he always looked like the best player on the field, even with opposing teams devoting a lot of attention to him.

Granted, teams can’t go wrong with Quentin Johnston, Jordan Addison, or Jaxon Smith-Njigba. But the closer teams look at Flowers in the lead-up to the draft, the more they’ll like him, making him worthy of being the first wide receiver selected. 

Bengals draft Wide Receiver in first round

The Bengals aren’t going to get their hands on Flowers, but they will make a surprise move by drafting a wide receiver in the first round.

On the surface, Cincinnati doesn’t need help at wide receiver. But Tee Higgins has been the subject of countless trade rumors. If that happens, the Bengals will want another quality receiver to take his place. With a pick late in the first round, they should have an opportunity to pick one of the top four or five receivers available with that player in a great position to play alongside Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd.

Chiefs draft new backup Quarterback

No, the Chiefs aren’t looking for a replacement for Patrick Mahomes. We’re not saying that the Chiefs will be one of those teams shopping for a quarterback in the first round or even the first few rounds of the draft.


However, with Chad Henne retiring, they need a new backup. Rather than using up valuable salary cap space on an expensive veteran, the Chiefs will use a pick in the middle rounds on a quarterback. Hendon Hooker might be the best option if he’s available on Day 3 while Tanner McKee, Aidan O’Connell, Jaren Hall, and Max Duggan could all be on Kansas City’s radar.

Seven Cornerbacks selected in first round (three in top 10)

This draft class is absolutely loaded at the cornerback position, which is good news for teams looking for secondary help.

Given the state of the game and the emphasis on defending the pass, NFL teams will be eager to find elite cornerbacks, even if there are a lot available.

That will lead to seven cornerbacks being selected in the first round. In fact, teams will be in such a rush to draft cornerbacks that three will go in the top 10. Christian Gonzalez of Oregon is the most likely top-10 pick. However, Cam Smith of South Carolina and Devon Witherspoon of Illinois are also excellent candidates to be among the top 10 players chosen.

No Safeties or Interior Linebackers in first round

Given the emphasis on cornerbacks in this year’s class, safeties and linebackers will be largely ignored, at least in the first round.

It’ll be a little shocking to see but it’s not that far-fetched for no interior linebackers or safeties to be picked in the first round.

Linebacker Trenton Simpson and safety Brian Branch are the only players who play those positions with any chance of being picked in the first round. However, most teams with needs at those positions will resign themselves to addressing them later in the draft, causing Simpson and Branch to drop behind the first 31 selections. 

Jalen Carter falls outside top 10

There was once a time when Jalen Carter was a strong possibility for the top overall pick. But that doesn’t look to be the case anymore.

It’s looking like there could be four quarterbacks picked inside the top 10, not to mention a demand for edge-rushers and cornerbacks. Between that and Carter’s involvement in a car crash in January in which he was allegedly street racing, teams will stay away from Carter, causing him to drop. That being said, if Carter is selected outside the top 10, he’ll have great value for whatever team drafts him.

Bijan Robinson selected in top 10

While Carter will fall out of the top 10, Texas running back Bijan Robinson will move into the top 10. Admittedly, it’s rare these days for a running back to be taken that high.

But Robinson is by far the best running back available. Specifically, the Eagles at no. 10 have a clear need for a running back, making them a perfect fit to select Robinson. Even if taking a running back no. 10 seems like a stretch, there’s no chance of Robinson turning into one of the worst draft picks of all time.

C.J. Stroud is selected first overall

Even though the Panthers have traded for the top overall pick, it’s still not written in stone who will be drafted first overall.

Most people expect Alabama’s Bryce Young to ultimately be the top choice. However, Carolina will surprise the league by taking Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud instead.

Reportedly, new Caroline coach Frank Reich prefers Stroud while the team’s ownership is more interested in Young. If the Panthers are smart, they’ll allow Reich to get his way and draft Stroud first overall, which would be a little bit of a surprise.

First three picks are Quarterbacks

Assuming the Panthers end up selecting Stroud, the Texans will be free to take Young with the no. 2 overall pick. With two quarterbacks off the board with the first two picks, the other teams searching for a quarterback will become desperate.

Keep in mind that beyond Stroud, Young, Will Levis, and Anthony Richardson, there is a huge drop-off to the next group of quarterbacks in this class. Once the first two quarterbacks are off the board, trading up is the best way to secure a new quarterback. That will lead a team working out a trade with the Cardinals for the no. 3 overall pick and use that pick on a quarterback, most likely Richardson.

Ravens trade up for Quarterback

What team will trade up for the third-overall pick? It’s going to be the Ravens.

One way or another, Lamar Jackson is not long for Baltimore. Sooner or later, they’ll be looking to start over, which is why they will make the bold move to acquire the no. 3 pick and find the best quarterback available. Baltimore is likely to draft Richardson, who is the closest to Jackson in terms of skill set, leading to a smooth transition into the future.

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