The 2023 NFL Draft is less than three months away. CBSSports.com explores how teams with two first-round selections could approach Thursday night, with the intention of exploring the same topic closer to draft night to see how the thought process may have changed.
Detroit Lions: Nos. 6 and 18 overall
Detroit also made two picks in last April’s NFL Draft when they selected Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson and Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams. The Lions began the season with a 1-6 record before winning eight of their final 10 games. The confidence built during the second half of the season has many questioning whether or not the team would consider using a first-round selection on a quarterback. If the franchise elects to move forward with Jared Goff, then that opens the door for other scenarios.
With the No. 6 overall selection, Detroit has to take the best player available rather than reaching to fill a need. Most projections have at least two quarterbacks, as well as Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. and Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter coming off the board. Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson and Clemson edge rusher Myles Murphy figure to be among the best available.
With the No. 18 overall selection, the Lions should have quality options dependent upon how the board falls. Cornerback and tight end are a few positions that make sense in that range. In this scenario, the franchise could walk away with Murphy and Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon.
Houston Texans: Nos. 2 and 12 overall
Houston has an opportunity to positively alter the direction of its team following the Deshaun Watson trade. The Texans have made two first-round selections in the same draft twice in franchise history, including last year when LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. and Texas A&M interior offensive lineman Kenyon Green were added.
Quarterback of choice was sacrificed when the Texans defeated Indianapolis in Week 18. Houston may have to settle for taking the second quarterback off the board. Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud is the choice in this projection. It also has a bevy of other needs to fill including the interior offensive line, linebacker, defensive line and wide receiver.
Let’s assume Clemson edge rusher Myles Murphy and Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson are off the board considering they are in this projection. The Texans upgrade Stroud’s protection with versatile Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski.
For more extensive draft content, check out our latest prospect rankings and mock drafts, as well as our new weekly podcast, “With the First Pick,” featuring former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman.
Philadelphia Eagles: Nos. 10 and TBD overall
Philadelphia has a top-10 selection despite playing in the Super Bowl two weeks from now. New Orleans traded what amounted to the No. 10 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft for a first-round pick in last year’s draft. As a result, the Eagles could add a blue-chip talent to a Super Bowl-caliber roster.
From a talent perspective, Texas running back Bijan Robinson makes a lot of sense. Miles Sanders is slated to become a free agent after the season and Robinson is easily a top-10 prospect overall when position value is not considered. However, selecting a running back this early would not seem to be general manager Howie Roseman’s modus operandi. It would make more sense to trade back if presented with a trade offer. Rather than adding more hypotheticals to a projection, Philadelphia sticks and picks Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson.
Robinson could come into play later in the first round, but he should be long off the board. They could theoretically add Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs but instead take Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison.
Seattle Seahawks: Nos. 5 and 20 overall
Head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Geno Smith drastically exceeded expectations by reaching the playoffs. It makes sense to commit another year or two to Smith, but Seattle cannot punt on the idea of taking a quarterback altogether. It is tough to envision the Seahawks ever being in a position to draft this early in the foreseeable future considering their proclivity to overdeliver. It would be a mistake to over-invest in a 32-year-old quarterback. If Smith is a bridge to whichever quarterback they select at No. 5 overall, that is a much easier pill to swallow.
For the sake of this exercise, the Seahawks select Kentucky quarterback Will Levis. Seattle offensive coordinator Shane Waldron was on Sean Mcvay’s Los Angeles staff with Liam Coen, who served as Levis’ offensive coordinator and position coach in 2021. Insider trading is just a phone call away.
In most mock draft scenarios, the board does not fall in favor of the NFC West franchise at No. 20 overall. It is usually in a position to add offensive skill talent. Tyler Lockett could be entering his final season with the team, so USC wide receiver Jordan Addison is added to support Levis.