The 2023 NFL draft wrapped up Saturday and through five rounds, 12 quarterbacks were selected — the most in the common draft era. When the draft ended, there was a total of 43 trades, breaking the record of 40 trades set in 2019.
Three general managers ran their first NFL drafts this weekend: Tennessee’s Ran Carthon, Arizona’s Monti Ossenfort and Pittsburgh’s Omar Khan. Were they able to alleviate some questions surrounding their teams? Regardless of whether your favorite team got a quarterback, running back or the future steal of the class, you probably can find reason for optimism. Did your team answer the biggest question it faced entering the draft? What’s next?
We asked our NFL Nation reporters to tell us both what the most pressing question is coming out of this weekend and to answer it. Read their post-draft insight below.
Check out what ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay thought of each teams’ class, scan the full classes for every team and check out the big-picture takeaways coming out of Round 7.
Jump to a team:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LAC | LAR | LV | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH
What does the future at defensive tackle look like for the Bills?
Uncertain. Bills general manager Brandon Beane said that he hoped to add a defensive tackle in the draft, but that “it just didn’t fall our way.” None of the team’s defensive tackles are under contract past the 2023 season including Ed Oliver, who is currently set to play on his fifth-year option but is a candidate for an extension. Some answers might come in the next couple weeks, as the team is in communication with veteran free agents, and it’ll be a post-draft priority for the Bills. — Alaina Getzenberg
How do Cam Smith and Devon Achane fit into the Dolphins’ immediate plans?
Neither Smith, a cornerback, nor Achane, a running back, were need-based picks. But considering they were taken in the top 100, it’s reasonable to expect them to see some level of playing time. Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel hinted after the draft that their defense under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio offers “a lot of different ways” for defensive backs to get on the field once they understand the scheme, meaning Smith could share the field with Jalen Ramsey and Xavien Howard if he beats out Kader Kohou, last year’s rookie standout. McDaniel lobbied heavily for Achane and his speed can be utilized in myriad ways — he’s a player to keep an eye on this summer. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Did the Patriots do enough to help quarterback Mac Jones and the offense?
The Patriots’ first three picks were defenders, which Bill Belichick said was simply the way it worked out. Belichick also noted that the majority of veteran free agent signings earlier in the offseason came on offense (e.g. wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, tight end Mike Gesicki and offensive tackles Riley Reiff and Calvin Anderson). Still, OT, TE and WR seemed like areas that could use a boost entering the draft and there weren’t any major draft-based investments there. — Mike Reiss
Did the Jets do enough to protect Aaron Rodgers?
The Jets added perhaps the top center in the draft in second-round pick Joe Tippmann, who should replace Connor McGovern at some point. But they left themselves vulnerable at tackle by not addressing it until the fourth round (Carter Warren). This means they’re counting on 37-year-old Duane Brown and oft-injured Mekhi Becton, who has played only one game since 2020, his rookie year. That’s risky, considering the investment in Rodgers. — Rich Cimini
Who’s the Ravens’ other starting cornerback?
The Ravens have one cornerback starter set with Pro Bowler Marlon Humphrey but a huge question mark on the other side. Baltimore hasn’t re-signed Marcus Peters, a four-year starter for the team, and didn’t draft a cornerback until the fifth round. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta insinuated the team will add a veteran cornerback after the draft, saying, “That’s a fast way to get beat is to not have enough corners on the field.” The Ravens could add Rock Ya-Sin, who met with Baltimore last month. — Jamison Hensley
What happens now at running back?
Joe Mixon is coming off a lackluster year and is set to count $12.8 million against the salary cap. Third-down back Samaje Perine left in free agency. Cincinnati drafted RB Chase Brown in the fifth round. The Bengals could roll the dice by cutting Mixon and playing Brown and Trayveon Williams, pursue a veteran running back via trade or free agency or re-work Mixon’s contract. — Ben Baby
Did the Browns do enough to solidify their defensive line?
Cleveland had one of the worst run defenses in recent NFL history last year. After signing Dalvin Tomlinson, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Trysten Hill and Maurice Hurst in free agency, the Browns used two of their first four draft picks on more defensive linemen, adding 335-pound defensive tackle Siaki Ika (Baylor) and defensive end Isaiah McGuire (Missouri). GM Andrew Berry has hinted that the Browns could still sign another free agent up front but the Browns already stand to have up to six new players in their DL rotation, giving them the pieces to significantly improve at stopping the run. — Jake Trotter
Can Matt Canada use the new offensive playmakers effectively?
That question won’t be fully answered until the season, but Canada — Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator since 2021 — should have everything he needs to improve the Steelers’ red zone efficiency and scoring. Not only did the team add a first-round offensive tackle in Broderick Jones (Georgia) who will help the run game, but the Steelers also drafted versatile tight end Darnell Washington (Georgia), who can be used as a big red zone target and a formidable blocker. The Steelers have used their last three first-round picks to acquire foundational offensive pieces. Now they have to translate that to success on the field. — Brooke Pryor
Do the Texans have enough playmakers at receiver?
Simply put, no. The Texans still need more as their projected No. 1 wideout is Robert Woods, who is coming off a season in which he finished with a career-low 527 receiving yards. They traded their previous No. 1 receiver, Brandin Cooks, to the Cowboys. They added Nathaniel Dell and Xavier Hutchinson in the draft to a room that includes holdover Nico Collins and free agent pickup Noah Brown, but there isn’t enough there right now to elevate rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. — DJ Bien-Aime
Did the Colts adequately address their offensive line?
Indy added swing tackle Blake Freeland from BYU in the fourth round and took a flier on Jake Witt, a seventh-round tackle from Northern Michigan. But the biggest question in the unit remains the starter at right guard. The position had a revolving door of subpar performances in 2022, which impacted the rest of the unit. Look for a veteran addition in the coming weeks. — Stephen Holder
Did the Jaguars do enough to help their pass rush?
No … not yet. That was their biggest weakness, but they didn’t add a pass-rusher until the fifth round (Yasir Abdullah). In fact, he was the only edge rusher the team drafted. Doug Pederson said they’re counting on a big leap from 2022 No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker (3.5 sacks as a rookie) and having Josh Allen put up better numbers while he’s playing on the fifth-year option. However, GM Trent Baalke didn’t rule out adding one of the free agent pass-rushers that are still on the market. — Michael DiRocco
Did the Titans properly address their wide receiver room?
After finishing with only three 100-yard receiving performances last season, Tennessee’s only free agent receiver acquisition was veteran Chris Moore. They didn’t select a wideout until the seventh round of the draft (Colton Dowell). Although last year’s first-round pick, Treylon Burks, returns as the likely top option, the wide receiver room still lacks a proven playmaker. Perhaps that’s why Titans coach Mike Vrabel said they’ll continue to scour the waiver wire for possible additions. — Turron Davenport
Do the Broncos have enough depth at running back?
Everything the Broncos have done thus far in the offseason, including free agency and the draft, have pointed to Sean Peyton’s offense using plenty of play-action in the passing game along with a more efficient, physical run game. But Javonte Williams is still working back from last season’s knee injury/surgery and free agent signee Samaje Perine hasn’t had more than 95 carries in a season since his rookie year in 2017. With only five picks in the draft, the Broncos didn’t select any running backs, so it is a position that will still need attention in the weeks and months to come — Jeff Legwold
Do the Chiefs have enough playmakers at WR?
The Chiefs lost more than 100 catches and 1,200 yards from last season when JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman Jr. departed as free agents. They have no shortage of candidates to replace that lost production, a list led by Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore and second-round draft pick Rashee Rice. But none of those players has been a consistent NFL producer, so this is one of the key issues to watch for the Chiefs when training camp begins. — Adam Teicher
What, no offensive linemen for the Raiders?
True, right tackle was one of the Raiders’ biggest needs entering the offseason. Then they re-signed last year’s presumptive starter Brandon Parker before re-upping eventual starter Jermaine Eluemunor. And the Raiders, for just the second time since 2010, did not draft an offensive lineman. The O-line was not as terrible as many predicted, paving the way for Josh Jacobs to become the league’s leading rusher while getting better as the season progressed. Las Vegas will no doubt add undrafted rookies on the O-line in the coming days, but it’s apparent the Raiders like where they are … for now. — Paul Gutierrez
Are the Chargers set at tight end?
It seemed inevitable that the Chargers would draft a tight end given the perceived lack of depth at the position. However, a tight end was not among the seven picks made by the Bolts. “It’s fair to say it was definitely a deep tight end class, but the way the board fell, the timing wasn’t right for us,” said coach Brandon Staley, who expressed confidence in their current group of Gerald Everett, Donald Parham Jr., Tre’ McKitty and Stone Smartt. Everett is entering the final season of a two-year contract, Parham returns after spending a significant portion of last season sidelined due to a hamstring issue and McKitty is hoping to bounce back from a lackluster year. — Lindsey Thiry
Who’s the kicker in Dallas?
You expected me to wonder if Ezekiel Elliott will return? Highly doubtful, but the Cowboys entered the draft with a plan to take a kicker, which never materialized. Owner Jerry Jones conceded the team will look at veterans currently available, such as Robbie Gould. He also said he would not rule the potential return of Brett Maher, who had a terrific regular season and set a team record for points in a season in 2022 before missing six extra point attempts in the last three games, including four in the wild-card win against the Buccaneers. The only kicker on the roster at the moment is Tristan Vizcaino. — Todd Archer
What now with Saquon Barkley?
The Giants and Barkley’s side will “reconvene” this week to see if it makes sense to open back up negotiations on a new deal. In the meantime, Barkley remains away from the offseason program and hasn’t signed his franchise tag. After not addressing the running back position until the fifth round of the draft, it’s more certain than ever that Barkley will play for the team this season … whether it’s on a new contract or not. — Jordan Raanan
Did the Eagles find the cure to the Super Bowl hangover?
The last NFC team to lose the Super Bowl and make it back to the game the following year was the 1974 Vikings. But that won’t dampen the optimism in Philly after the Eagles grabbed Georgia standouts Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith in the first round and traded for D’Andre Swift to close out the weekend. There are a couple positions that could use further bolstering, including linebacker, but it’s not hard to picture Philly being the class of the NFC once more given the moves they’ve made so far this offseason. — Tim McManus
Did the Commanders improve their offensive line?
Washington’s front struggled last season, allowing the seventh-most sacks in the NFL (48). The Commanders did add two starters in free agency in center Nick Gates and tackle/guard Andrew Wylie but did not draft a player that would be projected to start in 2023. That means they still have a void at left guard. But one of their past drafts might yield the winner there — Saahdiq Charles (fourth round, 2020) or Chris Paul (seventh round, 2022). Third-round pick Ricky Stromberg also will have a shot, but his best spot might be center. The Commanders have good talent at running back and receiver and intriguing young tight ends but need a stronger line to protect inexperienced quarterback Sam Howell. — John Keim
How will the Bears address the void at edge rusher?
The Bears drafted three defensive tackles to improve their interior pass rush, but a glaring hole remains on the edge. Chicago signed DeMarcus Walker in free agency, a 28-year-old rotational edge rusher who has inside-outside versatility, and needs to bring in more competition at defensive end. Several free agent options remain, such as Yannick Ngakoue, Leonard Floyd and Frank Clark, and it’s possible Jets DE Carl Lawson could soon be a cap casualty and available. Either way, Chicago’s front still needs work after the Bears got 7.5 sacks from their defensive linemen last season. — Courtney Cronin
Will the Lions regret trading down from No. 6 overall?
At No. 6, the Lions had a shot at getting a potential defensive impact player such as Georgia’s Jalen Carter or Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson but startled many by trading down, then surprisingly selecting Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs at No. 12. Then they picked Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell, who was projected to be off the board later, at No. 18. But general manager Brad Holmes insists that Gibbs and Campbell will make an immediate impact for a team in win-now mode. “Look, we don’t want to take a step back and we don’t want to stay stagnant,” Holmes said. “So, we got to get to the point where we can put ourselves in a position where we can get in the postseason and ultimately make some noise.” — Eric Woodyard
Will the Packers look for a veteran to back up Jordan Love?
It doesn’t sound like it. At least not until they get a good look at the dynamic between Love, returning practice squad QB Danny Etling and rookie fifth-round pick Sean Clifford. At this point, all a veteran would do is take time away from the work that the younger trio needs in the offseason program and OTA practices. Said GM Brian Gutekunst after the draft: “I like that room right now and all those guys need reps, so I think we’ll probably see how these guys do before we think about bringing in a veteran right away.” — Rob Demovsky
Is this Kirk Cousins‘ last year with the Vikings or not?
Here’s what we know: Cousins’ contract is set to expire after the 2023 season. The same is true for backup Nick Mullens. But the Vikings weren’t able to draft an obvious heir and wound up selecting BYU’s Jaren Hall in the fifth round. Hall is an intriguing prospect but not one any organization would build around sight unseen. So if the Vikings are going to replace Cousins — and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said no such plan is in place — they’ll have to acquire his replacement elsewhere. — Kevin Seifert
How might Atlanta divvy up the offensive work?
After two years of salary cap issues, the Falcons bolstered their offensive skill positions entering 2023. So what might this look like? Expect a more balanced offense than the run-heavy approach in 2022, with the focus on Kyle Pitts, Drake London, Jonnu Smith and first-round pick Bijan Robinson as pass-catchers and Robinson and Tyler Allgeier as rushers. Atlanta is setting up second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder for success with a plethora of talented options around him — with all except Smith, receivers Mack Hollins and Scotty Miller and offensive option Cordarrelle Patterson on rookie contracts. — Michael Rothstein
Day 1 NFL draft picks who could impact your fantasy teams
Daniel Dopp, Field Yates and Mike Clay examine the potential fantasy impact of three Day 1 draft picks.
How long will it take Bryce Young to move ahead of Andy Dalton on the depth chart?
Listen, the Panthers have to pencil in the veteran Dalton for the moment. But they know their best chance to challenge in the NFC South and move forward as an organization is with the top pick of the draft. Look for Dalton to remain the listed starter until the start of training camp, but somewhere before the opener it will become clear that Young is the starter. What coach Frank Reich wants to do offensively is geared around Young’s special skill set as a thrower and runner. — David Newton
Will the Saints sign a tight end after losing one during the draft?
Saints coach Dennis Allen said he’s happy with the tight end group after trading Adam Trautman to the Broncos on Saturday, but the Saints might still have work to do at that spot. They brought in free agent Foster Moreau earlier in the offseason before discovering a medical issue, so it’s possible they look into this position after the compensatory pick window closes next week. — Katherine Terrell
The Bucs didn’t draft an offensive tackle, which was supposed to be a priority, so who starts opposite Tristan Wirfs?
Luke Goedeke, who struggled at left guard as a rookie last year, is the front-runner at right tackle spot (with Wirfs moving to left tackle), with Brandon Walton and Matt Feiler competing. The Bucs see second-round pick Cody Mauch as a guard even though he played tackle at North Dakota State. “I felt like we wanted a tackle, but you just can’t get everything you want in the draft,” Bucs vice president of player personnel John Spytek said. “We saw Luke play right tackle in an NFL game, we saw Luke play right tackle in Baton Rouge against some really good edge rushers in college. Am I betting my house that he’s going to be great at it? I wouldn’t bet my house on anything, probably — but I know he’ll go out there and compete.” — Jenna Laine
Did the Cardinals do enough to reshape their roster and win in 2023?
The Cardinals certainly addressed some big issues with their roster. They had significant holes at offensive line, pass-rusher, defensive line and cornerback that were addressed throughout the draft, and they even addressed needs at wide receiver, which was a minor concern compared to the other positions. But was it enough? With the Cardinals not signing any big-ticket names in free agency, this year’s draft class, while fine, will not be enough to shift the season outlook. That could happen after pairing next year’s 11 picks (as of now) with this year’s class. Some of the picks this year by new general manager Monti Ossenfort could be foundational, but some will be fliers. — Josh Weinfuss
Did the Rams do enough to help out DT Aaron Donald?
The Rams came into the draft with a glaring need for players who can get to the quarterback, and they added pass-rushers at several points in the draft. Los Angeles ranked 20th in the league with 38 sacks during the 2022 season. Although the Rams added pass-rushers, the first came in the third round, and the group as a whole might need some development. Still, the Rams took the first step in helping Donald in an effort to have more success getting to quarterbacks in 2023. — Sarah Barshop
How will the 49ers’ quarterback situation play out?
The Niners and quarterback drama have been tied at the hip since Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch arrived in 2017. All signs point to Brock Purdy being the guy when healthy, but there’s still no set timeline for when or if that will happen, though the Niners are optimistic about his recovery. After Purdy, the Niners still have Trey Lance and Sam Darnold, both of whom are expected to get first-team reps in the offseason program and might ostensibly be competing for the starting job while Purdy recovers. There’s plenty that has to play out here, and the outcome will go a long way in determining whether this team can contend for a Super Bowl again. — Nick Wagoner
Have the Seahawks closed the gap on the 49ers?
Three losses to San Francisco last season by a combined 46 points illustrated how much work the Seahawks had to do in order to legitimately challenge the 49ers for the NFC West title. Seattle’s offense isn’t the question, especially after adding Jaxon Smith-Njigba, arguably the best receiver in the draft, at No. 20 overall. The Seahawks spent most of their free agent dollars to fix their troublesome defense and used the fifth overall pick on cornerback Devon Witherspoon, but they waited until Day 3 to address their thinnest position group, taking defensive linemen Cameron Young in the fourth round and Mike Morris in the fifth. — Brady Henderson