2023 NFL Draft Round 1 Fantasy Grades

Tyree Wilson picks up Roger Goodell after being drafted #7 to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Now that the draft’s first round is complete, it’s time to look at how the teams did. Adam Krautwurst does just that from a fantasy football perspective. Adam’s 2023 NFL Draft Grades evaluates the fantasy stocks for the skill position players selected in Round One.

This article is written by Adam Krautwurst. Show Adam some love on Twitter by giving him a follow. 

Bryce Young goes #1 to the Carolina Panthers.

Carolina Panthers: QB Bryce Young

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The Carolina Panthers finally secured the franchise quarterback they’ve sought since Cam Newton.

Bryce Young finds himself in a favorable situation with former NFL quarterbacks as his head coach Frank Reich and quarterbacks coach Josh McCown. These coaches witnessed Young’s conduct, ability to absorb information, and gameplay. Considering these factors, his physical stature becomes less significant.

He ranks as my second-best quarterback in this class, so this selection is not a stretch.

Grade B+

CJ Stroud goes #2 to the Houston Texans.

Houston Texans: QB CJ Stroud

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The Texans were in need of a quarterback after parting ways with Deshaun Watson, and C.J. Stroud can immediately thrive in an offense with a solid offensive line and Dameon Pierce behind him or alongside him. I believe Stroud will emerge as the top quarterback from this class.

Grade A+


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Anthony Richardson goes #4 to the Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts: QB Anthony Richardson

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General manager Chris Ballard values exceptional qualities. He just drafted the most talented quarterback prospect of all time, and Anthony Richardson has landed in a favorable situation under the guidance of new head coach Shane Steichen, who previously mentored Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert.

However, I have doubts about Richardson’s passing ability. It will take him several years to develop that aspect of his game. (Editor’s note: We’re sorry Colts fans. We know you’re excited and so are we. We desperately want to be proven wrong here because they swung for the parking lot and he will be fun to watch! Colts HC Shane Steichen commented that the only way to develop is with reps, so look for him to get his chance early.)

Grade C with A+ upside

Bijan Robinson goes #8 to the Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons: RB Bijan Robinson

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Typically, selecting a running back in the top 10 wouldn’t receive an “average” grade, but it’s difficult to criticize this pick too much, considering Bijan Robinson‘s outstanding performance in 2022. Weighing 220 pounds, he is an impressive athlete who forced a record 104 missed tackles and earned a 95.3 PFF grade. The Falcons will use Bijan to the max. He could lead the league in carries as a rookie.

Grade A

Detroit Lions: RB Jahmyr Gibbs

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Jahmyr Gibbs is the second-ranked running back on the Big Board, but he barely makes the top 40 prospects overall. While he was projected as a potential late first-round pick, choosing him with the 12th overall pick is a significant reach. However, he can contribute in the passing game, having caught 103 passes for 1,215 receiving yards over the past three seasons.

Grade C-

Scott’s Dynasty take: I’d be shooting out tons of trade offers to De’Andre Swift owners immediately. They’re probably feeling deflated right now, but there’s a good chance that will be short-lived. There’s no doubt he’ll need to be shipped to a better situation and his stock should only go up from here.

Seattle Seahawks: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

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Jaxon Smith-Njigba joins a roster that already features DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. There is some overlap with Lockett, who primarily played as the Seahawks’ slot receiver.

Nevertheless, the Seahawks can rotate Lockett and JSN between inside and outside positions, while Metcalf maintains his role. Additionally, Seattle continues to enhance their offensive talent, with the emergence of Kenneth Walker III as a 1,000-yard back in his rookie season and the acquisition of bookend offensive tackles in the previous draft. Smith-Njigba forms an excellent trio, making the Seahawks a formidable offense, as long as Smith performs at the same level as last year.

Grade B+

Los Angeles Chargers: WR Quentin Johnston

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The Chargers acquire the third-ranked wide receiver, a player with exceptional elusiveness in open space. Quentin Johnston forced 19 missed tackles on just 60 receptions and averaged 17.8 yards per catch. However, he did drop 11.8% of the catchable passes thrown his way last season.

Moreover, he provides QB Justin Herbert with another big target. The Chargers’ offense could pose significant challenges for opposing teams.

Grade B+

Zay Flowers goes #22 to the Minneota Vikings

Baltimore Ravens: WR Zay Flowers

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The Ravens chose Zay Flowers from Boston College with the 21st pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Flowers had to deal with subpar quarterback play in college. When watching his tape, he appears explosive in his route running and dynamic after catching the ball. However, he is undersized and his ceiling feels a bit capped in a now-loaded offense. The Ravens didn’t need a WR here.

Grade C+

Minnesota Vikings: WR Jordan Addison

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Jordan Addison presents the Minnesota Vikings with a talented threat to complement Justin Jefferson. Similar to Jefferson’s early days in the league, Addison is projected to excel as a slot receiver. While he may be smaller in size, his ability to find open spaces is exceptional. This selection aligns perfectly with the team’s needs, talent, and value.

Grade A

Buffalo Bills: TE Dalton Kincaid

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The Buffalo Bills made a trade to move ahead of the Dallas Cowboys and secure Dalton Kincaid. With the Cowboys lacking a strong tight end on their roster after Dalton Schultz’s departure in free agency, the Bills decided to trade up two spots and sacrifice a fourth-round pick to ensure they acquired their desired tight end.

Despite the influx of wide receivers earlier in the first round, the Bills still required a contributor in the slot and the red zone. Kincaid instantly upgrades both aspects. Although officially categorized as a tight end, he excels when utilized as a detached option. His ability to make catches in a wide radius and his toughness over the middle of the field are unquestionable. Josh Allen should be ecstatic with what the Bills accomplished in the first round.

Grade A

Night two is always the bigger night for fantasy as we hopefully will have a bunch of skill position players going off the board. We’ll see you back here after Round Three!