The 2023 NFL Draft will welcome unexpected outcomes. It promises to be an unpredictable weekend in Kansas City. Several franchises will look to trade up and down throughout Thursday’s opening round. Trading down often represents the best value. Acquiring additional selections increases a general manager’s odds of finding long-term contributors.
Smart general managers will take advantage of overeagerness from their competitors. A handful of trades will come to fruition. We’ve swiftly identified three franchises that should consider trading out of the opening 32 selections completely.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs own the No. 31 overall selection. General manager Brett Veach should receive plenty of offers from franchises looking to secure the fifth-year contract option on their intended target. Quarterback Hendon Hooker could be a target for several franchises picking in the early 30s and 40s. The Houston Texans could look to move up from 34th overall if they initially pass on a quarterback. They’d have to overpay.
The Chiefs could be targeting an offensive tackle or wide receiver with their first selection. Plenty of good value should remain at those positions even following a potential trade-down. Dawand Jones, Anton Harrison, and Matthew Bergeron have plug-and-play potential. All three are expected to be drafted within Kansas City’s range even after a slight trade-down. Day two has also been the sweet spot for receivers as of late. Veach has options.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane is equipped with a measly six total selections in the 2023 NFL Draft. Beane could look to parlay the 27th overall selection into one or two more picks. I believe the Bills are well set up to execute such a deal given the positions Beane is expected to target.
Beane could target a starting guard after Rodger Saffold failed to meet expectations last season. Saffold is a free agent and isn’t expected back in Buffalo. The Bills could look to draft Steve Avila, O’Cyrus Torrence, or Cody Mauch in hopes of filling that void.
Alternatively, a linebacker is needed to replace the outgoing Tremaine Edmunds. Jack Campbell and Drew Sanders are potential targets. All five of these prospects could be available after Buffalo trades down, allowing Beane to land his preferred player while also affording him more lottery tickets down the road.
The Ravens allowed a 26th-ranked 232.2 passing yards per contest in 2022. General manager Eric DeCosta didn’t add any difference makers via free agency. DeCosta must draft immediate contributors at cornerback as a result.
The Ravens have six total selections at their disposal. Only the Miami Dolphins have fewer picks (5). The Ravens could trade down and still target a cornerback. This class is loaded with talented cover men. In fact, corner may be the deepest overall position in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Several talented cornerbacks will be available throughout the second round. The possibilities following a trade-out may still include Kelee Ringo, Cam Smith, Deonte Banks, Emmanuel Forbes, and DJ Turner, to name a few. The Ravens could add additional selections and still draft a starting-caliber cornerback.
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