With the 2023 NFL Draft mere weeks away, all 32 groups are trying ahead to a different alternative so as to add gifted gamers to their group. Of course, completely different groups have completely different objectives in relation to the draft, nevertheless it’s certainly extra necessary that some get issues proper than it’s for others, whether or not because of the place they’re slated to select or what their group state of affairs is.
On Monday, my colleague Jordan Dajani took a have a look at 5 NFC groups that have to get this 12 months’s draft proper. In the area under, I’ll dig into the AFC.
Not solely do the Texans personal the No. 2 general decide within the draft, they’re at present scheduled to make a league-high 12 picks, together with two within the prime half of the primary spherical, 5 of the highest 73 picks, and Mr. Irrelevant. There’s the potential for this to be a franchise-changing class, and the method begins with nailing that No. 2 decide, which it’s broadly assumed will probably be used on the group’s quarterback of the longer term. The almost certainly candidates appear to be Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud, however whoever it’s will fortunately be dropped right into a considerably friendlier offensive surroundings than the one Davis Mills operated previously two seasons, thanks each to Houston’s bevy of picks and its offseason signings that targeted on stable, reliable veterans who will probably be in the suitable place on the proper time and lift the ground of the offense. They can use the draft to lift the group’s ceiling sooner or later.
Much like their division rivals, the Colts are broadly assumed to be in search of their quarterback of the longer term on this class. Will they be capable of stick at No. 4 to get him, or will they’ve to surrender one thing of worth to the Arizona Cardinals to ensure one other group would not bounce them for the No. 3 general decide? That’s an enormous tipping level on this 12 months’s draft. But the Colts have additionally underratedly had a little bit of a swoon of their player-acquisition decisions over the previous few years. The roster will not be of the identical high quality because it was a number of years in the past, when it appeared like this group was only a quarterback away from being a perennial contender. There’s a have to restock the cabinet, and that course of has to start with this draft class. (That job can be made harder if the Colts do find yourself having to make the transfer up from No. 4 on the board to No. 3.)
We’re not purposely going with the AFC South theme right here, however with the Titans selecting simply exterior the highest 10 and seemingly getting ready to embark on a full-scale rebuild below a brand new entrance workplace, it appears necessary that they lay the inspiration for that subsequent period with a robust draft class. Tennessee has already undergone a bunch of roster turnover this offseason, and it is totally potential that by this time subsequent 12 months (if not earlier), each Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill are now not on the group, both. Will the Titans attempt to transfer up and get their quarterback now? Will they attempt to commerce again and accumulate extra property? Could Henry be on the transfer throughout the draft? There are a variety of instructions this group can go, however no matter they do needs to be with a watch on contending a number of years down the road, which is an enormous change of tempo for a group that has been all-in on win-now mode in latest seasons.
The Brandon Staley period is heading into Year 3. In the primary two years, Los Angeles has missed the playoffs on the ultimate day of the season, after which blown a 27-0 lead within the first spherical of the playoffs. This group has now swapped out its offensive coordinator, and final 12 months it went on an enormous spending spree to improve its defensive personnel. The outcomes have but to return on protection, and this group must be about one thing aside from “Justin Herbert is superior and we have now Austin Ekeler and our coach generally goes for it on fourth down.” The Chargers desperately want so as to add some explosiveness on this draft, whether or not with a fringe receiver or a good finish, or a complement to Ekeler within the backfield. They additionally, once more, want to repair their run protection, as a result of it was not almost adequate final season. Picking from the again half of the primary spherical, there’s a variety of work to be executed right here.
The Bills have been top-of-the-line groups within the NFL for a number of years now, however have been unable to interrupt by and get to the Super Bowl. Unlike final 12 months, they didn’t make a large addition in free company with an elite participant (Von MIller), so that they’ll should improve their expertise base through the draft. Quietly, they might use some extra weapons for Josh Allen as a result of when Stefon Diggs did not have his A-plus sport final 12 months, there wasn’t a lot else Buffalo may do to maneuver the ball. The offensive line nonetheless wants work, and after Tremaine Edmunds walked in free company, the second degree of the protection may use some assist as nicely. The Bills are nonetheless actually, actually good, however they want an infusion of expertise to assist attain their final aim.
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