NFL Draft Recap, Round One

The 2023 NFL Draft kicked off Thursday night with an interesting Round 1. We saw 31 picks overall, several of which will have major fantasy impacts. In total, three quarterbacks, two running backs, four receivers and a tight end were selected. Let’s take a look at how it impacted their fantasy value.


  • Bryce Young, taken No. 1 by the Carolina Panthers. Heading into the draft, Young was largely regarded as the QB1 for fantasy and its little surprise he goes at the No. 1 overall spot. The Panthers moved up for a quarterback and Young will be their franchise guy. The team needs to add more weapons around him but Young has the skills to succeed and lands with a solid coach.
  •  C.J. Stroud, taken No. 2 by the Houston Texans. The conventional wisdom has been that Houston should take a quarterback. It seemed the Texans were most interested in Young, when he went off the board it was fair to wonder if they’d still follow suit. They did, snagging Stroud. Most had Young and Stroud as the best prospects. Pre-draft I had them one and two in my rankings. It’s not a bad landing spot for Stroud, who gets solid draft capital. Still, I have him as QB3 for this class after seeing where our next quarterback landed.
  • Anthony Richardson, taken No. 4 by the Indianapolis Colts. Richardson is a polarizing prospect. He’s got incredible raw talent but only started one year at Florida and struggled with accuracy. He lands in a solid place with the Colts, a team with solid pieces and a new head coach in Shane Steichen who worked with Jalen Hurts the past two years. There’s risk, but Richardson has a high ceiling. Some moved him to the 1.01 in Superflex drafts following the pick. I’m not as high, but I have him as No. 2 in my QB rankings post-draft and a Top 3 pick in rookie drafts.

Running Backs:

  • Bijan Robinson, taken No. 8 by the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons took their third premium offensive player in a row, grabbing the best running back prospect in Robinson. Robinson is a great talent, but Atlanta had other options—with 1,000-yard rusher Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson already on the roster. Robinson came into the draft as most people’s 1.01 in rookie drafts. He’s still there for me. I think Allgeier and Patterson take fantasy hits while Robinson likely becomes the featured back in Arthur Smith’s offense.
  • Jahmyr Gibbs, taken No. 12 by the Detroit Lions. This was the most surprising pick of Round One, with the Lions using a pick on a running back. This isn’t a knock on Gibbs, who came in as the No. 2 back in the class and a Top 5 pick in rookie drafts. It’s more a question of the landing spot, as the Lions signed David Montgomery and already have D’Andre Swift. Will the Lions move Swift? Will Swift move to the bench? Will all three backs share the backfield? Long-term, Gibbs feels like a solid weapon for the Lions but in the near term, there are questions. For me, he’s still RB2 at this point but I’m more hesitant about where I’m taking him.

Wide Receivers:

  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba, taken No. 20 by the Seattle Seahawks. Another example of a good player who gets taken at an interesting spot. JSN was the top receiver in the class and ends up as the top receiver taken but it’s not an ideal landing spot. The Seahawks have D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett already in place. JSN should, eventually, be no lower than No. 2 for the Seahawks, but will that be in 2023? It’s unclear. The Seahawks are also a run-first team with a good back in Ken Walker. I like JSN’s talent, but I dropped him back a bit based on the landing spot.
  • Quentin Johnson, taken No. 21 by the Los Angeles Chargers. The second receiver off the board and the second of four consecutive receiver picks in the draft. Johnson is a big, talented receiver who lands in a solid spot with the Chargers. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are there, but it’s a high-energy offense with Justin Herbert. Johnson has a decent ceiling and could be a big early producer. He should still be among the top receivers taken in rookie drafts.
  • Zay Flowers, taken No. 22 by the Baltimore Ravens. Flowers was the third receiver off the board, with the Boston College product landing with the Ravens. It was a big day for the Ravens, who agreed to a five-year extension with quarterback Lamar Jackson. Now they added another weapon, giving them an interesting receiving corps with Odell Beckham, Jr., and Rashod Bateman. Flowers was my WR4 coming into the draft and still is at this point for rookie drafts.
  • Jordan Addison, taken No. 23 by the Minnesota Vikings. Addison was my WR2 coming into the draft and lands in a good spot with the Vikings, the final of the four straight receivers taken in the First Round. I like the player and the landing spot enough that he would be the top receiver I’d take in rookie drafts based on last night.

Tight Ends:

  • Dalton Kincaid, taken No. 25 by the Buffalo Bills. The Bills moved up in front of the Cowboys and took Kincaid. It’s an interesting pick but a curious one. Kincaid was regarded as one of the top tight end prospects coming into the draft but I’m not sure how he’ll fit with the Bills’ offense, which already has Dawson Knox at tight end. For now, it doesn’t move the needle for me in terms of rookie drafts.

Check back for a recap on Rounds two and three, which take place tonight!

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.


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