This is a look at the order for the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft (April 27-29 in Kansas City, Missouri), along with the top three needs for all 32 teams. The order for picks 1-18 was determined by record, using strength of schedule as a tiebreaker. The order for playoff teams (19-31) was determined by the results of postseason play.
NOTE: The NFL announced last August that the Miami Dolphins will forfeit their 2023 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick following an investigation into whether the team violated league policies pertaining to the integrity of the game.
UPDATE: On Monday, April 24, NFL Network Insiders Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport reported that the Jets and Packers are finalizing a trade that sends Aaron Rodgers, the 15th overall pick and the 170th overall pick to the Jets in exchange for the 13th overall pick, the 42nd overall pick, the 270th overall pick and a conditional second-rounder in 2024 (which could become a first-rounder).
Bears' record: 3-14 (.571 strength of schedule)
Panthers' biggest needs: QB, Edge, WR
DP: Carolina traded into the top spot of the draft for a new franchise quarterback. Once the Panthers complete that task, the next steps to take will be giving their young passer more speed at receiver and finding a running mate for Brian Burns off the edge.
Biggest needs: QB, WR, Edge
EE: Quarterback and edge rusher have to be addressed by the Texans, but don’t forget about the major need for help at receiver, especially after the departure of Brandin Cooks.
Biggest needs: DL, CB, OL
DP: Rebuilding the defensive line is essential for first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon, who enjoyed rare depth up front as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator.
Biggest needs: QB, CB, OL
EE: The QB void has been discussed ad nauseam -- it’s there and it’s real. But how the Colts go about landing their QB and taking care of some other clear needs will be fascinating. The trade of Stephon Gilmore leaves Indianapolis lacking experience at corner. Offensive line, despite it being a well-paid group in Indy, remains a need after free agency. The Colts also could use another receiver.
Broncos' record: 5-12 (.481)
Seahawks' biggest needs: DL, WR, OL
DP: The need for a third receiver behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett still looms. Also, there is room for upgrades off the edge on defense and on the interior of both the offensive and defensive lines.
NOTE: See the bottom of this article for analysis on the Broncos' needs.
Rams' record: 5-12 (.517)
Lions' biggest needs: DL, DB, TE
DP: Detroit seems to be on the brink of a breakthrough. The draft to-do list includes adding another defensive playmaker or two and a pass-catcher to bolster a franchise starved for a playoff run.
NOTE: See the bottom of this article for analysis on the Rams' needs.
Biggest needs: CB, OL, DL
EE: It’s possible that the Raiders could take a quarterback high in Round 1, but there are more pressing immediate needs after the signing of Jimmy Garoppolo. Cornerback has been an issue for years, and right now, they can’t count on much more than Nate Hobbs there. Both the offensive and defensive lines could stand to add starting-caliber talent. The Raiders really could use an interior presence on defense, namely one who can penetrate gaps and impact the pass and run.
Biggest needs: Edge, CB, WR
DP: Atlanta is badly in need of some juice for a pass rush that produced the lowest sack percentage (3.6%) and second-lowest QB pressure rate (22%) in the league last season.
Panthers' record: 7-10 (.474)
Bears' biggest needs: DL, OL, CB
DP: GM Ryan Poles must find some building blocks for the defense, especially off the edge, and provide Justin Fields with better protection if the Bears are going to take a step in the right direction next season.
Saints' record: 7-10 (.507)
Eagles' biggest needs: S, DL, RB
DP: The reigning NFC champions are short on glaring holes, but they could at least use more competition/depth at safety and running back. Preparing for the long-term future on the defensive line should be a priority, as well.
NOTE: See Pick No. 29 for analysis on the Saints' needs.
Biggest needs: OL, WR, DB
EE: It’s difficult to get a feel for the Titans’ immediate and future plans based on their offseason moves. Are they tearing this thing down or trying to build around the current nucleus? Right now, the team could use influxes of talent and athleticism at guard, wideout and possibly safety.
Browns' record: 7-10 (.524)
NOTE: See Pick No. 2 for analysis on the Texans' needs and the bottom of this article for analysis on the Browns' needs.
Biggest needs: DB, OT, WR
EE: They’d be able to line up today if needed, but the Patriots have scarcities at the crucial positions listed above, arguably one or two quality bodies shy at all three. I’ve lumped safety and cornerback together since Devin McCourty’s successor could come from within, but their plan there (and at corner) is unclear now.
Biggest needs: OL, DT, S
EE: I’d like to see the Jets attack the long-term depth at offensive tackle and center, even with the team bringing back Connor McGovern inside. There’s also a need to add layers of depth on defense. In fact, it’s arguable the Jets don’t have a clear-cut DT starter next to Quinnen Williams at this moment.
Biggest needs: CB, OL, TE
DP: The need for a cornerback who can play outside stands out, but adding pieces around second-year QB Sam Howell is a must for a team looking to get out of the cellar in the NFC East.
NOTE: See Pick No. 6 for analysis on the Lions' needs.
Biggest needs: OL, S, DL
DP: There are a lot of directions the Bucs could go in as they begin life after Tom Brady. It would be a great start if they could land potential starters at offensive tackle and safety, as well as help for the defensive line.
NOTE: See Pick No. 5 for analysis on the Seahawks' needs.
Biggest needs: WR, DL, TE
EE: Giving Justin Herbert more options in the passing game feels crucial. The Bolts' depth at tight end is good, but they still could use a quality in-line option. On defense, the biggest concerns appear to be with the thin depth at both tackle and edge.
Biggest needs: CB, OT, DE
EE: The Jaguars could use a starting nickel corner (and some depth on the outside there), a swing tackle and one more pass-rush source to come close to -- or possibly surpass -- the volume of talent they had a year ago.
Biggest needs: WR, OL, CB
DP: The Giants have committed to Daniel Jones and now they have to surround him with an improved supporting cast. Needs in the defensive backfield cannot be overlooked, though.
Biggest needs: DL, OL, TE
DP: Bolstering the roster inside the trenches and landing a pass-catcher at tight end for Dak Prescott should be the Cowboys’ primary areas of focus in this year’s draft.
Biggest needs: OT, TE, RB
EE: The Bengals have tended to go need-heavy in Round 1, so it’s entirely possible they select one of those first two positions at No. 28 overall. With Jonah Williams requesting a trade, Cincinnati might be prompted to go for a right tackle first and then look for a tight end or back on Day 2.
49ers' record: 13-4 (.417)
Saints' needs: DL, TE, OL
DP: The Saints should be looking to bolster both the defensive end and defensive tackle positions. On offense, finding a safety valve for Derek Carr at tight end and depth for the offensive line would be shrewd moves.
NOTE: See the bottom of this article for analysis on the 49ers, Dolphins and Broncos' needs.
NOTE: See Pick No. 10 for analysis on the Eagles' needs.
Biggest needs: WR, OT, Edge
EE: One way or another, I figure the Chiefs will address the wide receiver position. The right tackle spot seems to be Lucas Niang’s right now, but they need to add talent and competition there. And why not add one more pass rusher to the mix, even with Charles Omenihu on board? That would give the Chiefs a quality quartet at edge rusher.
TEAMS CURRENTLY WITHOUT A FIRST-ROUND PICK
Biggest needs: DE, LB, RB
EE: The team has replenished defensive tackle and wide receiver enough where it can potentially wait until Day 3 for help there. The defense still needs to be bolstered, but don’t forget running back, where Nick Chubb is sneaking up on his deal ending after the 2024 season.
Broncos' needs: C, Edge, RB
EE: The busy Broncos are headlong into remaking the roster in Sean Payton’s vision, but there are boxes left to check. With four-fifths of the offensive line appearing to be set, the question turns to the middle, where there figures to be competition. Also, there are injury-fueled needs with the pass rush and in the backfield; Denver must find depth with Randy Gregory and Javonte Williams coming off season-ending injuries.
Biggest needs: Edge, CB, DL
DP: There are needs at almost every position for the Rams, but no roster hole appears to be bigger than the one at edge rusher.
Biggest needs: OL, RB, TE
EE: The depth at offensive tackle was exposed with injuries to Terron Armstead and Austin Jackson last season, and they could even look to bolster the interior, too. Even with the Dolphins bringing back their top running backs and extending Durham Smythe through 2025, I think they still could look to add receiving options in the backfield and at tight end.