If you’re an NFL team looking to add playmakers to your offense, there will be plenty of options in the 2023 draft. The running back, wide receiver and tight end positions are all pretty deep, and there are some special prospects atop each position group.
But where could some of these players fit best in the NFL? I picked out ideal landing spots for 15 of the best offensive skill prospects, factoring in skill sets, scheme, team needs and value in this draft. All of these players are likely to come off the board somewhere in the first three rounds. Which teams make the most sense for Bijan Robinson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Zay Flowers, Michael Mayer and other potential future stars?
Height: 5-foot-11 | Weight: 215
Where the Falcons could get him: Round 1 (No. 8 overall)
Why he fits: Robinson is one of the best overall prospects in the 2023 class, and I wouldn’t argue if some teams had him graded out as the No. 1 guy on the board based on his outstanding tape. We know he doesn’t play a premium position in terms of draft value, so it’s still very much up in the air where he actually gets picked. And maybe No. 8 ends up being too high. But I really like the fit for Robinson as the lead back in Arthur Smith’s offense.
I see him as an all-purpose playmaker — a prospect who can produce in any game situation. Simply put, he has all the traits, and it showed in his 1,580 rushing yards and 18 TDs on the ground last season at Texas. No other team ran as much as the Falcons last season (51.1% of offensive plays), so Robinson would see consistent volume in their zone-blocking schemes, while also upgrading the pass game for second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder as a versatile target.
Height: 5-foot-9 | Weight: 199
Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2 (No. 46 overall)
Why he fits: The Patriots have depth in the running back room with Rhamondre Stevenson, James Robinson and 2022 fourth-round pick Pierre Strong Jr. Even so, I like Gibbs here because he has a dynamic skill set that would add a playmaking element which is currently missing at the position in New England. With his 4.36 speed and formation flexibility to upgrade the pass game for new coordinator Bill O’Brien, I see Gibbs as an offensive asset for the Patriots. He can pick up big chunks on perimeter run schemes or backfield releases to give quarterback Mac Jones leveled reads.
Plus, I’d love to see Gibbs flexed outside to run unders and screens for the Pats after he caught 44 passes at Alabama in 2022. He has home-run juice, too, breaking free for 25 rushes for 10 or more yards last season. The Patriots need a jolt of speed on this side of the ball.
Height: 5-foot-9 | Weight: 188
College: Texas A&M
Where the Bengals can get him: Round 3 (No. 92 overall)
Why he fits: With Samaje Perine singing in Denver and Joe Mixon‘s future with the team a little cloudy at this point, Achane fits in the Bengals’ run game due to his traits and play style. The speed pops here on tape. Achane ran a 4.32-second 40-yard dash at the combine, and he plays big despite his smaller frame. He’s decisive and determined in downhill schemes, with the perimeter ability to bounce the ball to daylight. Achane averaged 5.6 yards per carry last season. And the receiving skills are there, too — he brought down 36 catches and scored three receiving TDs in 2022.
I like the upside of Achane in Cincinnati, who can work in a backfield rotation to share touches and provide quarterback Joe Burrow with another playmaker.
Height: 6-foot-1 | Weight: 196
College: Ohio State
Where the Packers could get him: Round 1 (No. 15 overall)
Why he fits: I do think the Packers could go tight end with their first-round pick, and I thought about Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer as a fit in Green Bay. But adding Smith-Njigba — who I consider the top wide receiver in this draft class — would provide a big boost to the pass game for quarterback Jordan Love in Matt LaFleur’s system, assuming Aaron Rodgers is traded to the Jets.
Watch the plays that make Jaxon Smith-Njigba a top NFL prospect
Check out some of the plays from WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s special time at Ohio State.
Green Bay has the vertical stretch ability of Christian Watson and the developing skill set of Romeo Doubs, but Smith-Njigba could excel as a slot target, using his high-end change-of-direction speed and foot quickness to uncover as a high-percentage target for Love. He’d run the unders and crossers, hit the seams and pick up catches on slot fades. With the route detail we’ve see from Smith-Njgiba on tape, he should produce early in his rookie season on play-action and dropback concepts. He was limited to five catches last season while dealing with hamstring issues, but he totaled 1,606 receiving yards in 2021.
Height: 5-foot-9 | Weight: 182
College: Boston College
Where the Chargers could get him: Round 1 (No. 21)
Why he fits: Let’s give the Chargers and their new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore some much-needed juice on offense with Flowers. The Boston College product is a rapid accelerator in the route tree, and his play speed jumps out when watching his tape. He can create at the third level, but Flowers also has the easy movement skills and toughness to produce after the catch. He forced 25 missed tackles on catches last season, fourth-most in the FBS, and has outstanding ball carrier vision in space.
With the expectation that Moore elevates the vertical element in the pass game for quarterback Justin Herbert, Flowers is a fit as an inside/outside target, thanks to 4.42 speed and plenty of playmaking traits. Los Angeles only attempted 61 throws at least 20 yards downfield last season, 15th in the NFL. With Flowers in the mix, alongside veterans Mike Williams, Keenan Allen and Joshua Palmer, the Chargers can open things up and present a dynamic passing attack that fully utilizes the physical tools of Herbert.
Height: 6-foot-3 | Weight: 208
Where the Ravens could get him: Round 1 (No. 22 overall)
Why he fits: We don’t know if Lamar Jackson will be the starting quarterback for the Ravens in 2023. But whether it is Jackson, Tyler Huntley or another veteran signal-caller taking the snaps for Baltimore, there is a big need for a boundary X target with big-play ability under new coordinator Todd Monken.
For me, that’s Johnson, a wide receiver with the physical profile and traits to win as an isolation/deep-ball target early in his rookie season. Even with Johnston’s still-developing route tree, Monken can create vertical one-on-ones for him. But he will also deploy him on in-breakers, slants and shallows to create run-after-catch opportunities. Johnston averaged 17.8 yards per catch last season and forced 24 missed tackles on his receptions, tied for the fifth-most nationally. He would give the Ravens an explosive threat to work alongside Rashod Bateman, Nelson Agholor and upper-tier tight end Mark Andrews.
Height: 5-foot-11 | Weight: 173
Where the Giants could get him: Round 1 (No. 25 overall)
Why he fits: Let’s continue this late-Round 1 run on wide receivers with the Giants, who are in a position to take a swing on Addison. A highly productive receiver in college, Addison has the traits to get open and make himself available to quarterback Daniel Jones. His 2,468 receiving yards over the past two seasons — the first of which at Pitt before transferring — rank second in the FBS. He’s a fluid mover with the ability to change gears in the route stem and the burst and controlled footwork to separate.
Addison fits here given his inside/outside flex in Brian Daboll’s system. He can work out of the slot, and win on the boundary and press zone windows in the middle of the field. I see a combination of schemed throws for Jones with Addison’s ability to produce on multiple-breaking routes. Addison would also add to the deep matchup-based pass game in New York after the club already traded for tight end Darren Waller and added wide receiver Parris Campbell in free agency.
Height: 6-foot | Weight: 176
Where the Seahawks could get him: Round 2 (No. 37 overall)
Why he fits: Hyatt would add a true vertical element from both slot and boundary alignments in Seattle’s 11 personnel sets to mesh with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. He ran a 4.40-second 40-yard dash at the combine, but he plays even faster on the grass. And his tape against Alabama this past season — where Hyatt racked up five touchdowns on six receptions — shows his ability to stretch defenses and produce at the third level of the field. He averaged 18.9 yards per catch last season on his way to 1,267 receiving yards and 15 touchdown catches.
With Hyatt bringing even more speed and big-play ability to the pass game for quarterback Geno Smith, the Seahawks could see more two-deep shells. That would open up the run front for Kenneth Walker III and impact the offense there, too.
Height: 5-foot-9 | Weight: 171
College: North Carolina
Where the Titans could get him: Round 2 (No. 41 overall)
Why he fits: This Titans’ offense needs more playmakers and overall juice in the route tree, so I like fitting Downs with them in the second round. He’s an explosive slot receiver who can be schemed as a motion/movement player.
Yes, as long as Derrick Henry is in the mix, the Titans will tend to be more run-heavy on the call sheet. I get it. But adding Downs to pair with 2022 first-rounder Treylon Burks will boost the pass game for quarterback Ryan Tannehill. This is where the Titans can expand their route system — especially on dropback throws — and create stress on opposing defenses at multiple levels with two targets who have catch-and-run ability. Tennessee only threw the ball 435 times last season, 29th-lowest in the NFL, so adding a dynamic receiver who caught 11 TD passes in 2022 should help improve that part of the offense.
Height: 5-foot-11 | Weight: 183
Where the Texans could get him: Round 3 (No. 65 overall)
Why he fits: With the expectation that Houston drafts a quarterback at No. 2 overall, DeMeco Ryans has to look for a wide receiver with big-play chops and run-after-catch ability. That’s Mims, who can play inside or outside in a pro system. While his college route tree will need to expand against NFL defenses, Mims has the 4.38 speed to get over the top of safeties on vertical throws. His 20.1 yards per catch ranked third in the country last season.
Mims can also lift the secondary, opening up intermediate windows on schemed concepts. And with so many crossers and over routes in today’s NFL, Mims can be set up to run away from man coverage. The Oklahoma product has the traits to complement Nico Collins and Robert Woods well in Houston.
Height: 6-foot-2 | Weight: 220
College: Ole Miss
Where the Vikings could get him: Round 3 (No. 87 overall)
Why he fits: After the departure of veteran Adam Thielen, the Vikings could add someone like Mingo to the wide receiver room on Day 2 of the draft. And I really like the fit for him in Kevin O’Connell’s offense, given Mingo’s powerful frame, route detail and production after the catch.
Jonathan Mingo’s NFL draft profile
Check out the best highlights that contributed to a stellar college career for Ole Miss’ Jonathan Mingo.
The Vikings can create free access off the ball for Mingo with motion and creative formations, giving him targets on rhythm throws from quarterback Kirk Cousins. That’d provide schemed voids that also put Mingo in a position to get loose after the catch, where he averaged 7.4 yards after the reception in 2022. Finally, Mingo would have the slot flexibility in Minnesota’s system to fit well with the Vikings premier targets Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson.
Height: 6-foot-4 | Weight: 249
College: Notre Dame
Where the Cowboys could get him: Round 1 (No. 26 overall)
Why he fits: Drafting Mayer would fill a need on the Dallas roster with veteran Dalton Schultz leaving for the Texans in free agency. Mayer also fits in Mike McCarthy’s offense as a tight end with the receiving and blocking traits to impact the game plan. McCarthy could scheme Mayer for quarterback Dak Prescott on play-action and boot, with Mayer running unders and crossers.
In short, the Cowboys could utilize the tight end on the classic pro route tree, which caters to Mayer’s game based on his college tape. Think middle-of-the-field quick seams, sticks and sit routes. That’s where Mayer — who finished third among FBS tight ends last season with 809 yards — can use his strong frame in the high traffic areas to move the chains for Prescott and the Dallas offense.
Height: 6-foot-7 | Weight: 264
Where the Bengals could get him: Round 1 (No. 28 overall)
Why he fits: Let’s give quarterback Joe Burrow an upside target in Washington, a tight end with the physical traits to develop into a dominant run blocker and create mismatches in the pass game. He can use his size and power to seal the edge on outside zone run schemes or move defenders off the ball in gap schemes. And with his 4.64 speed and long frame, Washington has the potential to produce as a second-level option for Burrow while also creating conflict for linebackers and safeties in the red zone. He has post-up ability to dig out space in the end zone.
Adding Washington would fill a need for the Bengals after the departure of Hayden Hurst. The arrow is pointing up on the Georgia tight end, despite middling numbers last season while playing behind Brock Bowers.
Height: 6-foot-4 | Weight: 246
Where the Raiders could get him: Round 2 (No. 38 overall)
Why he fits: The Raiders added Austin Hooper in free agency, and he’ll be the in-line tight end in Josh McDaniels’ offense. But I think the Raiders could still use a true seam-stretcher like Kincaid, who can work all three levels of the route tree and has catch-and-run ability. That’s where I see McDaniels deploying Kincaid as a flex target in both 12 and 11 personnel, with the play-action concepts opening up those voids for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Kincaid could get loose on trap passes, boots and clear-and-replace schemes, and he can win one-on-one with the catch radius to climb the ladder and finish.
Kincaid has the receiving skills to go in the first round, but if he does slide a bit, I like the idea of the Raiders adding a pass-catching asset to replace Waller. Only Georgia’s Bowers had more receiving yards among tight ends last season than his 890.
Height: 6-foot-3 | Weight: 245
Where the Jaguars could get him: Round 2 (No. 56 overall)
Why he fits: Doug Pederson could add LaPorta to pair with Evan Engram in the Jags’ 12 personnel sets. LaPorta has the lower-body flexibility to set up defenders in coverage, and he’s rugged after the catch with 4.59 speed. And I think we could see Peterson deploy him as a boundary X target to the backside of 3×1 sets for quarterback Trevor Lawrence. These are isolation throws for Lawrence to a big-body target with route running traits. And with Engram playing on the tag this season, LaPorta could serve as the tight end of the future in Jacksonville. He closed last season with 657 receiving yards (fourth among tight ends) but only caught one touchdown.