2023 NFL Draft rumors: Latest news on Round 1 prospects, 32 teams

The 2023 NFL Draft rumors are flying long before Roger Goodell announces who will be the No. 1 pick. While the pre-draft process will lead to plenty of speculation and debate, the latest NFL Draft rumors provide an early look at what could happen.

Each NFL offseason provides fans with an opportunity to get excited about the future. It’s especially true for a 2023 NFL Draft class that features plenty of high-end talent at star positions and marquee names who have dominated college football for years.

Naturally, NFL Draft rumors are a mixed bag of useful information and smokescreens. Teams will happily leak out misleading information with the hope it influences when specific players are selected. In the weeks ahead, we’ll analyze every rumor and determine whether fans should take it seriously or view it as the latest smokescreen from the NFL.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft order

Let’s dive into the latest 2023 NFL Draft rumors.

NFL insiders believe Bryce Young is Carolina Panthers’ pick

Multiple top NFL insiders agree on signs pointing to Bryce Young being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 Draft. Yet, no one can say they know the Panthers have settled on Young just yet. Read more about what each reporter is hearing, with April 27 less than three weeks away.

Arizona Cardinals receiving tons of interest for No. 3 pick

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Arizona Cardinals have heard from “at least” six organizations who have inquired about trading up to the third overall pick. Any team looking to swing such a trade would certainly be doing so for a QB, but which teams are candidates? We took a look here.

Bryce Young has a ‘lot of fans’ in Carolina Panthers organization

NBC’s Peter King has heard from “several influential voices” inside the Carolina Panthers organization who are big fans of Bryce Young’s pro prospects. Previous reports have pointed to coach Frank Reich’s concern about size, but Young, at 5-foot-10, very much so remains in the running to be the top choice on April 27.

NFL insider suggests Houston Texans may not use their first pick on a QB

Another nugget from Peter King in his latest FMIA column revealed the Houston Texans may not “force a QB” with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft. Instead, King heard from one league personnel member who said they wouldn’t be surprised if Houston chose a pass-rusher first and tried to trade back up from No. 12 to secure their QB.

Tennessee Titans weighing big trade up

Holding the 11th pick, the Tennessee Titans are reportedly considering launching up the draft board in an effort to identify their QB of the future. Ryan Tannehill will turn 35 in July, and he’s in the final year of his contract. With first-year GM Ran Carthon taking over, he may want to secure Tennessee’s QB of the future.

Arizona Cardinals fielding offers for No. 3 pick

With the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans projected to take quarterbacks with the first two picks, there is a lot of interest in the No. 3 overall selection. The Arizona Cardinals are very open to trading down, with the Las Vegas Raiders and Indianapolis Colts among the teams interested in moving up for a quarterback.

Bengals, Jets among teams interested in sleeper prospect

According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, the New York Jets and Las Vegas Raiders sent their wide receiver coaches to watch wide receiver Andrei Iosivas at Princeton’s Pro Day. The 6-foot-3 offensive weapon made a strong impression, showing off his athleticism and making several acrobatic catches. Notably, per Pauline, Las Vegas Raiders’ director of pro personnel Dwayne Joseph was also in attendance at the Pro Day.

Will Levis’ personality an issue for some teams

Addressing Kentucky quarterback Will Levis, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated wrote that his personality “is a little different; some will like it and others won’t.” The note comes after the NFL Combine, when a multitude of teams met with the Wildcats’ quarterback. There is also additional belief around the league that Levis played through injuries last season.

Pittsburgh Steelers eyeing first-round offensive linemen

According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, the Pittsburgh Steelers held private dinners with Ohio State offensive tackles Dawand Jones and Paris Johnson Jr., both of whom are viewed as likely first-round picks in 2023. The Steelers also met with edge rusher Zach Harrison and center Luke Wypler.

Related: Pittsburgh Steelers mock draft 2023

Georgia Bulldogs’ Broderick Jones could be first offensive tackle drafted

NFL: Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Many assumed for months that Peter Skoronski (Northwestern) or Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State) would be the first offensive tackle taken in the 2023 NFL Draft. Now, weeks before Round 1, ESPN’s Jordan Reid reports that Georgia Bulldogs tackle Broderick Jones might hear his name called first.

Jones, 6-foot-5, has made a great impression on NFL teams during the pre-draft process thanks to his athleticism and size. While he weighed 311 pounds at the NFL Combine, he carries it well and looks far leaner than some of the other top linemen in the 2023 NFL Draft. Considering he draws NFL comparisons to Andrew Thomas, one of the best left tackles in football, no one should be surprised if Jones’ athleticism and size makes him a top-10 pick.

2023 NFL Draft positional rankings

2023 NFL Draft rumors: Raiders among teams interested in Day 2 QB

The Las Vegas Raiders likely won’t be landing one of the upper-echelon quarterback prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft after the Carolina Panthers landed the first pick. However, they might have their eyes on another option. According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, the Raiders, Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams all met with quarterback Aidan O’Connell at Purdue’s Pro Day. Just as notable, O’Connell put on an impressive showing for NFL teams and he is a strong bet to be a Day 2 pick.

NFL GM criticizes Bryce Young, says Alabama QB doesn’t have ‘premier traits’

Despite being viewed as the current favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick, not everyone is sold on Bryce Young. One NFL GM recently acknowledged that the Alabama QB may be the most pro-ready signal-caller in this draft class, but they also diminished his value by stating he has no “premier traits.”

Chances are, this anonymous report won’t influence anyone else, but it’s still a fascinating take for one of the top prospects in the 2023 Draft class. Young may not have ideal size, but as the GM said, he’s “very good at a lot of things.”

Latest on Jalen Carter’s draft stock

Georgia Bulldogs defensive tackle Jalen Carter went to the NFL Combine viewed as the consensus best player in the 2023 NFL Draft. Shortly after his arrival, an arrest warrant was issued with two misdemeanor charges stemming from his alleged involvement in a fatal January crash. Carter returned to Indianapolis after posting bail and said he will be exonerated. Barring the revelation of more information, NFL teams expect Carter to still be a top-five pick.

Anthony Richardson crushed interviews with teams

So much of the focus at the NFL Scouting Combine centers on how a prospect performs during drills and with his athletic testing. In those areas, Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson crushed the process. He is the most athletic quarterback ever to test at the NFL Combine and he boasts one of the strongest arms in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, it seems like the interview process helped his draft stock even more.

“I talked to a handful of scouts last night, who had been in interviews when they had the top-four quarterbacks back to back to back – every single one of them said Anthony Richardson is the best quarterback interview they’ve had this year. Some of them said he’s the best quarterback interview they would have had last year. He is crushing it in the interview portion.”

ESPN draft analyst Matt Miller on Florida Gators QB Anthony Richardosn

Nailing interviews with teams is one of the most important parts of the pre-draft process. Not only will coaches and executives know Richardson better, but he also showcased his outstanding football IQ, poise, leadership and maturity. He is checking off a lot of boxes and could be a top-five pick in April.

Arizona Cardinals open for business with No. 3 pick

What do you do when you have a top-five pick with your franchise quarterback already on the roster in a year with several top QB prospects available? Most would agree, the Arizona Cardinals are in a prime position to possibly trade down from the No. 3 overall pick.

According to new GM Monti Ossenfort, that’s exactly what the Cards are contemplating this offseason. While the Cardinals are open to trading the third pick, there are also several highly-touted players they would appear to be comfortable selecting as well. Basically, the phone lines are open, but Arizona is not guaranteed to move around.

AFC exec cautions Bryce Young’s size is a large concern

bryce young

Despite a wildly successful college career, which included winning a Heisman Trophy, Bryce Young still has a lot of question marks. Specifically, scouts are uncertain that his slight frame will hold up in the NFL. Young, who is listed at 6 feet, 194 pounds, may end up measuring a bit smaller. Some even believe the Alabama QB could measure in near 5-foot-10, the same height as Kyler Murray.

Except the big difference between the two is Murray has cat-like agility that allows him to quickly flee the scene when the pocket gets messy. While Young is mobile, he’s not on the same level as K1.

One AFC executive described Young’s stature as a “major deal” during the pre-draft evaluation process. ESPN’s Todd McShay noted he’s very high on Young, but he also would be “scared to death” to select him at the top of this year’s draft.

Related: Top NFL Draft expert on Bryce Young: ‘If I’m a GM, I’m scared to death of drafting him’

Washington Commanders expected to do due diligence on QBs

Right now, the Commanders’ QB job is Sam Howell‘s to lose, but that could change by the end of the offseason. Washington holds the 16th overall pick, which may not be a prime window to land any of the top four QBs projected to go in this year’s draft. But that won’t prevent the franchise from extensively doing their homework on the 2023 crop of signal-callers, according to Albert Breer.

Related: Washington Commanders expected to closely study first-round QB prospects

NFL teams split on Anthony Richardson

NCAA Football: Florida at Vanderbilt
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson is arguably the most polarizing prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. In terms of pure physical tools, he could arguably be the No. 1 overall pick and there are some within the NFL who believe he warrants that consideration. However, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, others see him as a fourth-round selection.

“I can’t remember a bigger variance league-wide on a feeling about a quarterback than Anthony Richardson.:

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on how NFL teams view Anthony Richardson

The stark contrast in evaluations likely comes down to his pro-readiness and confidence in how fixable he is. Some coaches will see the perfect quarterback building block, someone just as physically talented as Josh Allen with an equal ceiling. Others spot a wildly inaccurate quarterback with mechanical issues who can’t start in 2023 and might not ever be a reliable passer.

Related: Anthony Richardson receives startling NFL comparisons

Bijan Robinson is well-regarded by NFL teams

Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson is the best player at his position in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, many teams are not fond of spending a first-round pick on a running back. It’s different with Robinson, with evaluators extremely high on him. There is a chance he is a top-10 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and some teams believe his talent is even better than that.

Houston Texans reportedly informed coaching candidates of plan to draft QB

NFL: Houston Texans Head Coach DeMeco Ryans Introductory Press Conference
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Knowing they need to find a franchise quarterback, the Houston Texans reportedly relayed their intent to address the position with the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft. Coach DeMeco Ryans has already echoed this sentiment, noting the Texans “have to add more” at the QB position this offseason. So who will it be? The top candidates are Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis, and Florida’s Anthony Richardson. No matter what, the Texans will be doing their due diligence all offseason long.

Related: ESPN analyst compares 2023 prospect Bryce Young to Patrick Mahomes

Minnesota Vikings could spend first-round pick on QB

Syndication: Ocala StarBanner

After missing out on Justin Fields in 2021, the Minnesota Vikings could see an opportunity in the 2023 NFL Draft to land their quarterback of the future. While the franchise is committed to Kirk Cousins for the 2023 season, second-year Vikings’ general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah might have his eye on hand-picking the next passer for the team. As one NFL insider explained, with details below, there is a real scenario where the Vikings spend their first-round pick on a quarterback in April.

Bryce Young draft stock sliding?

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News

If evaluating quarterbacks based purely on talent and intangibles, Bryce Young would be the unquestioned No. 1 overall pick. However, the Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback carries one massive red flag. At 5-foot-11 and weighing under 190 lbs, his frame is a major concern for teams.

As a result, per ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano, there were rumblings at Super Bowl week that C.J. Stroud is starting to push up to the top of some draft boards. The gap between the two isn’t as wide as some were led to believe and it stands to reason, because of Young’s size, he might not be the No.1 pick.

2023 NFL Draft tight end class making waves

Syndication: Notre Dame Insider
Michael Caterina / USA TODAY NETWORK

A year after the first tight end was drafted with the 55th overall pick, the 2023 NFL Draft class looks much stronger at tight end. Notre Dame start Michael Mayer is viewed as the No. 1 tight end in the draft class, but he might not be the only one drafted in Round 1.

Speaking to NFL scouts and executives at the Senior Bowl, The Ringer’s Ben Solak wrote that tight ends generated a lot of attention from teams. There’s reportedly now first-round buzz around four tight end prospects, including Utah’s Dalton Kincaid and Georgia’s Darnell Washington. While Solak still doesn’t expect to see three tight ends picked in Round 1, this projects as one of the best classes at the position in years.

Hendon Hooker draft stock climbing after Senior Bowl

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Clemson at Tennessee
Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Hendon Hooker suffered a torn ACL on Nov. 19, ending his shot at the Heisman Trophy and delivering a blow to his draft stock. While he couldn’t take part in Senior Bowl practices, the 25-year-old quarterback made the most of his trip to the Senior Bowl.

According to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, Hooker made a strong impression on multiple teams during his interviews this week. The scouting process also involves NFL clubs reaching out to prospects’ former coaches and teammates, gauging the type of leader and person he is. According to league officials who spoke to Howe, Hooker is viewed as a strong leader by his Tennessee teammates.

The NFL Scouting Combine will allow teams to evaluate Hooker’s surgically-repaired knee, determining how far along in the rehab process he is. While he won’t be a first-round pick, Hooker could be one of the best Day 2 quarterbacks drafted.

NFL Draft rumors: Latest on 2023 NFL Draft prospects after Senior Bowl

Syndication: Online Athens

As the Senior Bowl 2023 wraps up, information on some notable 2023 NFL Draft prospects emerged with some players boosting their stock while others created more questions.

It starts with Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett, who was recently charged with public intoxication. The 25-year-old quarterback hasn’t done himself any favors during the pre-draft process. Already knocked for his size and diminished talent, Bennett opted not to participate in the Senior Bowl. Between his recent off-field issue and the declined Senior Bowl invite, NFL executives told Ari Meirov of the 33rd Team that Bennett now projects as a late Day 3 pick at best.

It’s not all bad news for NFL Draft prospects. Tulane running back Tyjae Spears stood out at the 2023 Senior Bowl, catching the eyes of NFL teams with his big-play ability, vision and athleticism. In addition, per Meirov, scouts and executives came away impressed by Notre Dame edge defender Isaiah Foskey and Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright.

NFL divided on top passers in 2023 draft clas

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Many have assumed for the past year that Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young would be the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. While he is still the consensus QB1 this year, the latest NFL Draft rumors indicate there is plenty of debate regarding the position.

According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, several NFL executives believe that Ohio State signal-caller C.J. Stroud will be the No. 1 overall pick. Furthermore, there are additional evaluators who think Stroud is going to be the best quarterback from this crop three years from now.

Naturally, there is a wide spectrum of opinions. While a majority of scouts still love Young’s football IQ and processing ability, making him the most NFL-ready quarterback, others are thinking of the upside. It’s why a select number of evaluators are betting on either Will Levis or even Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson to emerge as the best player from the 2023 NFL Draft.

Jalen Carter, Kelee Ringo have ‘coachability’ red flags

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Texas Christian at Georgia
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Anonymous executives play a part in NFL Draft rumors every year, either providing information about top prospects moving on draft boards or concerns teams have regarding a player. Of course, there are also anonymous reports from scouts about character concerns regarding players.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, NFL executives are already taking a hard look at Georgia Bulldogs stars Jalen Carter and Kelee Ringo. Specifically, they are focused on exactly how difficult they were for Georgia’s staff to coach.

“It’s not fatal character stuff. I’ve had people tell me Ringo’s not a bad kid, he just frustrates the hell out of you. And Carter, I don’t know if he’s malicious, it’s nothing criminal, but he’s not easy to coach.”

AFC executive on 2023 NFL Draft prospects Kelee Ringo and Jalen Carter

It’s worth keeping in mind that Bulldogs’ coach Kirby Smart praised Carter’s discipline and restraint during an on-field incident in December. Furthermore, Georgia football reporter Anthony Dasher shared that his conversations with the coaching staff have provided any credibility to the rumor that Carter might have character issues.

NFL coaches are more than willing to put up with strong personalities and overconfident young players if it helps them win games. With no off-field issues to speak of, these red flags won’t prevent Carter and Ringo from being top picks.

Darnell Washington generating early buzz

NCAA Football: SEC Football Championship-Louisiana State vs Georgia
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Darnell Washington isn’t the best tight end on the Georgia Bulldogs roster nor is he the No. 1 player at his position in the 2023 NFL Draft. Yet, the 6-foot-7 offensive chess piece is already becoming a favorite prospect for plenty of NFL teams.

According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, a lot of scouts view Washington as a “terrific” tight end who will be drafted much earlier than many project. While some mock drafts view him as a Day 2 selection, there’s a chance he could get picked late in Round 1.

There have been NFL comparisons to Marcedes Lewis, who functions like another offensive tackle on the Green Bay Packers offensive line. However, Washington’s athleticism is reminiscent of Lewis in his prime years and there is even more upside for Washington as a red-zone threat. He definitely projects to be an even better NFL player than he was in college.

C.J. Stroud elevated 2023 NFL Draft stock in CFP Semifinal

Syndication: USA TODAY
Kyle Robertson / USA TODAY NETWORK

There is plenty of debate regarding where C.J. Stroud will be drafted. Plenty of executives share the belief that Stroud is a better quarterback prospect than former Ohio State star Justin Fields. However, he went into the CFP Semifinal with most consensus draft boards ranking Stroud behind Bryce Young and Will Levis.

Related: 2023 NFL mock draft

Facing the one of the best defenses in college football, Stroud put everyone on notice. The Heisman Trophy finalist posted a 93.9 QBR with four touchdown passes, 348 passing yards and a 67.6% completion rate. The 6-foot-3 quarterback led Ohio State to 41 points, doing a lot of damage without top wideouts Marvin Harrison Jr. and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

‘He really helped himself and that he was doing it without star players was huge. It’s all the stuff he was busted on—that he was good, but it was more about the star receivers or the line. He was without his top two receivers, top two backs, best tight end, that all counts for something. And I don’t know if it was a conscious effort he made, but that he willingly pulled the ball down and ran is something everyone will notice.”

Anonymous NFC executive on Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud (via MMQB’s Albert Breer)

Stroud’s ability to handle pressure with ease and make smart decisions with defenders in his face spoke volumes to talent evaluators. He also showcased effective athleticism, moving around in the pocket and even running for first downs when necessary.

Widely viewed as a player ready to start in Week 1, Stroud likely guaranteed a top-10 selection. If he performs at the NFL Combine and puts on a show then crushes the interview process, there’s at least a chance he could be the first quarterback drafted.

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