Who will be picked first in the 2023 NFL Draft?
The job of an NFL head coach may seem cosy. You’re only playing games between September and – if you’re very lucky – February, and you only play once a week, with a week off planned into the season. The workload seems simple until you recognize that, with the final step of the final play, you simply enter the offseason period, and it’s time to start planning for the season that will excite the world of Cyprus sports betting next Fall. If you’re still in a job after the season you’ve had, your attention turns to keeping hold of players whose contracts are up – oh, and entering the draft to get the best of the graduating college players.
Usually, it is easy enough to predict the order of the players taken in the NFL Draft, at least for the first few rounds, but this time around there were some surprises in the final weeks of the season that muddy the picture. Chicago was not expected to be picking first, and given that the team picking #1 is normally one in need of a total restructure, we can usually say with some certainty that a QB will be on their shopping list. With Justin Fields having been a rare ray of light in an otherwise dark season for the Bears, they’re unlikely to be buyers in the QB market – so there are definite debates to be had over who will actually go first.
Will Anderson Jr, EDGE – Alabama
If the Bears stand pat at #1, they’ll have a decision over whether to improve the protection around Fields or to invest in a defense that was catastrophic last season, leaving him to struggle in the effort to score as many points as they conceded. With the players available, their best choice may be Anderson. He’s got the size and the mobility to be a difference maker on Day One, and has been showered with awards for his defensive play. He’s also coming out of Alabama, which means he’s practically an NFL player already – if any school is a slam dunk for creating future sports stars, it’s the Crimson Tide.
Will Levis, QB – Kentucky
A lot needs to happen to make Will Levis the first name called when the Draft begins this year. First of all, Chicago will need to trade out of the top spot, which might well happen. Indianapolis need a quarterback, and they are likely to be prepared to pay what it takes to get Levis, who is a physically gifted QB in the mold of Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning. Indy is currently slated to pick at #5, and persuading Chicago to move down will mean giving up additional picks further down the draft, this year and probably next. If they can work something out, then Levis, although he is not considered the top QB prospect, could go first.
Bryce Young, QB – Alabama
Young is considered to be the best of this draft’s QB haul, and although the Colts might pass on him, the Houston Texans would be unlikely to do so – and although they could just wait for the Bears to take someone else and then take Young at #2, the Texans might want to make sure they don’t leave the way open for Chicago to do something creative like trade Fields and take a QB. There’s no doubt Houston needs a quarterback, and Young would be one that they could base a whole team around. And with the trade meaning Chicago could add more pieces and still get their needed defender early in Round 1, it makes sense for the Bears too.