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2023 NFL Draft Buzz: Latest league news, rumors from Monday ahead of Thursday's Round 1

What the Houston Texans do with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft is anyone's guess.

With the Carolina Panthers seemingly set on selecting a quarterback with the top selection, Houston's pick is being portrayed as the first domino to fall on Thursday night, as NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport indicated Monday on NFL NOW.

"No one has any idea what the Houston Texans are going to do," Rapoport said three days before the draft kicks off in Kansas City, Missouri. "Literally, no one except for (general manager) Nick Caserio and (head coach) DeMeco Ryans, which has led to rumors all over the place from could the Texans not take a quarterback? Could they just take the top position player, whether (Alabama edge) Will Anderson or (Texas Tech edge) Tyree Wilson? If it's not (Ohio State QB) C.J. Stroud, is it another quarterback? Nobody knows, and this really, to me, is the biggest pivot point we've seen in years for the draft."

The Texans have certainly played their cards right if keeping their strategy a top secret was the goal. Which position they ultimately go with and who they choose could have a major ripple effect around the league during Round 1.

Here's what else we're monitoring Monday ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, which kicks off Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET:

  • Syracuse cornerback Garrett Williams is recovering nicely from a torn ACL suffered last season, Rapoport reported. He's expected to be cleared by July after the procedure performed by Cowboys doctor Dan Cooper, Rapoport added.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers have the No. 17 overall pick and the first pick of the second round (No. 32 overall), a pick they got from the Bears the Chase Claypool trade. With two big picks ahead of them in the coming days, the team will be looking to see what is the right fit. Although the club was proactive during the offseason, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin says the team's proactive offseason has helped their draft strategy. "Obviously, we've been able to do some things in free agency that I really feel like provides a clean slate for us ahead of the draft perspective," Tomlin told reporters on Monday. "We don't have any glaring needs and so we're able to look at the board in totality and not be swayed inappropriately in any specific way." While other teams are looking for the next quarterback to take lead, the Steelers are able to look at other options with Kenny Pickett at the helm. Tomlin added why he believes there more players with more experience in this year's draft compared to others. "We do truly believe there's great depth in this draft and so we're ready and comfortable for whatever," he said. "And I'll be really specific why we feel this is a deep draft. I think it's another byproduct of COVID, you know, there's some veterans guys in this draft. Guys with six years of college football playing experience, and five years of college football experience."
  • With the No. 28 overall pick in the draft, the Cincinnati Bengals don't have the pressure of a high selection, but they still face a big decision. However, head coach Zac Taylor does not think it will be a challenge. "I don't think we look at it as difficult," Taylor told reporters Monday. "You know, you just got to have your top 28 there that you're willing to take just because that's where you pick. It's not that much different when you're picking, what, did we get Ja'Marr (Chase) fifth? And then we had the 36th pick or the 37th, you know? It's the same conversations, really." Taylor also talked about the tight ends in this year's draft -- widely considered one of the top positions in the 2023 class. "I think it's a good class," Taylor said. "Again, it depends, they've all got different traits, they've all got different sizes. Depends on what you're looking for, but I think, top to bottom, it's a good class of tight ends." However, Taylor continued and was not so sure if Cincinnati even needs a tight end (the Bengals lost Hayden Hurst in free agency but added Irv Smith Jr. and re-signed Drew Sample). "If we add to the mix, we add to the mix," he said, "but I don't feel like it's something we have to do because I think we put ourselves in a really good position with the guys that are in the room."
  • Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy will be his team's new play-caller this season, and he's going to make sure to help his cause in the draft. Speaking Monday in Dallas' pre-draft news conference, McCarthy said the entire 2023 Cowboys draft class would be devoted to the offensive side of the ball. "I see us taking nothing but offensive players," McCarthy said with a grin across his face, clearly joking. He later countered his joke by talking about how he trusts the board and says he has "great confidence there will be a helluva player" available. The Cowboys have the No. 26 overall pick in the first round, along with the No. 59 overall pick in the second round to kick off their seven-pick slate.

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