Home News NFL Draft 2023: 5 best picks of the first round

NFL Draft 2023: 5 best picks of the first round

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Anthony Richardson, Florida Gators, Indianapolis Colts, NFL Draft, Roger Goodell

Anthony Richardson, Florida Gators, Indianapolis Colts, NFL Draft, Roger Goodell. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

These are the five best picks made by any team during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

With two more days left in the 2023 NFL Draft, let’s take a look at some of the highlights from Thursday night’s festivities in Kansas City.

One blue-chipper after another came off the board in a flurry of Power Five dominance. Not a single Group of Five star heard his name called by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell before the night drew to a close. While it was unpredictable to say the least, we may have overstated the wildness of it just a tad. Still, it was a good time to be had by everyone who did make a selection.

Here are the five best picks made at any point during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Honorable mentions: Paris Johnson Jr. (OT, Ohio State, Arizona Cardinals, No. 6), Broderick Jones (OT, Georgia, Pittsburgh Steelers, No. 14), Christian Gonzalez (CB, Oregon, New England Patriots, No. 17), Dalton Kincaid (TE, Utah, Buffalo Bills, No. 25), Mazi Smith (DT, Michigan, Dallas Cowboys, No. 26)

NFL Draft 2023: 5 best picks made during the first round

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Anthony Richardson

QB Florida Gators

Give the Indianapolis Colts a ton of credit for rolling with Anthony Richardson

I will be the first to say that I have written some very nasty things about the Indianapolis Colts over the last few years. They have been a terribly run operation ever since Philip Rivers retired. However, I will give them a ton of credit for making the right selection for them at this stage of their competitive life cycle by standing pat and selecting Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson.

No more retreaded quarterback nonsense, period. I applaud the fact that owner Jim Irsay, general manager Chris Ballard and new head coach Shane Steichen were totally united in this selection. Richardson is far from a finished product, but he works for Indianapolis quite well. Steichen will run him while he develops as a passer. He can lean on having Jonathan Taylor in the backfield, too.

To beat Trevor Lawrence and now C.J. Stroud in-division, you were going to have to roll the dice. Richardson is not going to be the next JaMarcus Russell, but his pro career could play out like Vince Young’s did. Conversely, he could be the next version of Josh Allen or Cam Newton. If things go according to plan, Indianapolis can win its first division crown with Richardson since Andrew Luck.

For a franchise that is so ridiculously impulsive, showing patience and grace here goes a long way.