The 2023 NFL Draft: Everything You Need to Know

Image source: The excitement is building as the 2023 NFL Draft approaches. After Super Bowl LVII, the order for the top 31 picks in the first round has been set. The Carolina Panthers now...

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The excitement is building as the 2023 NFL Draft approaches. After Super Bowl LVII, the order for the top 31 picks in the first round has been set. The Carolina Panthers now hold the coveted No. 1 pick following a significant trade with the Chicago Bears. But that's just the beginning of the story.

Seven Trades Shake Up the Draft

Multiple teams have made big moves, taking advantage of seven trades involving first-round picks. The Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and Philadelphia Eagles are among the teams with two first-round selections. This year's Round 1 will consist of 31 picks, as the Miami Dolphins were stripped of their selection due to tampering violations. The Los Angeles Rams, Cleveland Browns, and San Francisco 49ers will also not have a first-round selection. However, the Denver Broncos will have a first-round pick acquired from a trade with the Dolphins, which included the 49ers' 2023 first-round pick.

Key Dates and Venue

The highly anticipated 2023 NFL draft will be held at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, the home of the Kansas City Chiefs. The first round is scheduled for April 27, followed by Rounds 2 and 3 on April 28, and Rounds 4 through 7 on April 29. Fans can catch all the action on ABC, ESPN, and the ESPN App.

Top Picks to Watch

Let's take a closer look at some of the top picks and what they mean for the teams selecting them.

1. Carolina Panthers (via 3-14 CHI)

The Carolina Panthers made a bold move to acquire the No. 1 pick from the Chicago Bears. In exchange, they gave up wide receiver DJ Moore, the No. 9 overall pick, the 61st pick, another first-rounder in 2024, and a second-rounder in 2025. This marks the first time the No. 1 pick has been dealt since 2016 when the Los Angeles Rams traded up to select quarterback Jared Goff. The Panthers are eager to find their franchise quarterback and put an end to the turmoil they've experienced since Cam Newton's injury in 2018.

2. Houston Texans (3-13-1)

The Houston Texans find themselves in a rebuilding phase, searching for their quarterback of the future and a new coach after firing Lovie Smith. While there was some optimism about Davis Mills, he was benched after 10 starts. The Texans must find a franchise signal-caller to give their rebuild legitimacy.

3. Arizona Cardinals (4-13)

The Arizona Cardinals have a host of needs heading into the draft. Their priority is to make quarterback Kyler Murray happy and provide him with more options to work with. This could mean selecting an offensive lineman or an offensive target. With a new coach and general manager in charge, the Cardinals are hoping to address their needs and support Murray's recovery from a knee injury suffered in Week 14.

4. Indianapolis Colts (4-12-1)

The Indianapolis Colts have a dire need at the quarterback position. With uncertainty around Matt Ryan's performance and Sam Ehlinger's unproven status, the Colts must focus on finding a solution at the position. Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck were both first-round picks for the Colts, and now they will emphasize the importance of finding their next franchise quarterback.

5. Seattle Seahawks (via 5-12 DEN)

The Seattle Seahawks find themselves in a favorable position after the Russell Wilson trade. With the 5-12 record of the Denver Broncos, the Seahawks landed the fifth overall pick. This gives them a rare opportunity to add a much-needed impact defensive lineman. However, they will also need to address the quarterback position if they let Geno Smith walk in free agency. The Seahawks will have three top-40 picks, thanks to their second-round pick from the Broncos.

6. Detroit Lions (via 5-12 LAR)

General manager Brad Holmes has shown a keen eye for talent since joining the Detroit Lions. The team will face tough decisions in this draft, likely needing to address the quarterback and cornerback positions. While Jared Goff had a good season, the Lions are looking to secure young talent at quarterback, and their secondary is in need of reinforcement.

7. Las Vegas Raiders (6-11)

The Las Vegas Raiders find themselves in a position where they need a little bit of everything. Despite having stars like Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs, and Maxx Crosby on the roster, the wild card for the Raiders is the quarterback position. While Derek Carr signed a lucrative extension, the team has the option to move on with a relatively small salary-cap hit. This makes the quarterback position a potential target for the Raiders.

8. Atlanta Falcons (7-10)

The Atlanta Falcons struggled in the sack department last season, ranking near the bottom of the league. Their biggest need is to focus on defensive linemen and edge rushers. The team needs to find players who can complement star tackle Grady Jarrett and improve their overall defense.

9. Chicago Bears (via 7-10 CAR)

The Chicago Bears made a significant move to acquire the No. 1 pick from the Panthers. In return, they gave up DJ Moore, their first-round pick at No. 9, the 61st pick, a first-rounder in 2024, and a second-rounder in 2025. Multiple teams expressed interest in making a deal with Chicago for the No. 1 pick, but the Panthers emerged as the trading partner. The Bears hope this trade will put them in a better position to address their needs.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (via 7-10 NO)

Despite making a deep playoff run, the Philadelphia Eagles have two first-round picks. With Jalen Hurts solidifying his position as the starting quarterback, the Eagles can focus on strengthening their offensive line, defensive line, and secondary.

These are just a few of the top picks to watch in the upcoming draft. The future of many NFL teams will be shaped as talented young players enter the league.

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