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2023 NFL Draft: Winners and Losers from Day 1 of the NFL Draft

There was one clear winner of the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. We break down both the winners and the losers from Day 1.

Syndication: Columbia Daily Tribune Chris Kwiecinski/Tribune / USA TODAY NETWORK

Well that was a fun Day 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft. We all got to sit around and watch while the Denver Broncos did nothing. That Russell Wilson trade is almost paid off. Just one more round to go there!

In any case, we did have some excitement and wow moments tonight. We here at Mile High Report decided to catalog our winners and losers of the first round. All of it is projection, since no one knows who of these players will end up superstars and who will be considered busts. But projecting is a fun part of the post-draft discussion, so let’s get to it!

2023 NFL Draft First Round - Winners

Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans

Eagles already had a loaded roster and they added Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith. Easy choice. Texans added C.J. Stroud and Will Anderson with the 2nd and 3rd overall picks. Obvious choices. - Scotty Payne


Howie Roseman has drafted brilliantly the past two years and acquired four top-tier prospects from Georgia’s elite championship defense. He understands how valuable a front seven can be in the league. I’m absolutely stunned the rest of the National Football League let this happen. - Chris Hart

C.J. Stroud

Everyone who is anti-Wonderlic. Even though CJ Stroud tanked his wonderlic test like it was a college calculus exam, he was still taken as the 2nd overall pick. We all know there’s a group of fans that think the wonderlic test is useless and not a good display of a prospect’s talent (kind of like the combine in general). The Texans just told that test to shove it, and that’s good news for the critics. And for Stroud’s bank account. - Ross Allen

Buffalo Bills

I’m going with the Buffalo Bills. Adding a big target down the seam and in the red zone is going to make Josh Allen that much more dangerous. That was an excellent move by them in the first round to pick up Dalton Kincaid. - Tim Lynch


Eagles really went to the Super Bowl last season and had the draft board fall their way, huh? Javon Hargrave departed for the Niners in free agency, and how do the Eagles respond? By extra beefing up their already beefy defensive line. How many more times am I gonna say beef? - Rachel Strand


Not to echo the room here, but E A G L E S, Eagles! - Adam Malnati


I’ll migrate away from the obvious and say the Ravens. If you’re going to make Lamar Jackson the highest paid player in history, you better give him weapons. OBJ could regain the form of his glory days, but it’s hardly a given, so taking Zay Flowers, an outstanding wide receiver, is a solid move. Beckham, Bateman, Flowers, Duvernay, and Andrews will be a formidable unit. - Nick Burch

2023 NFL Draft First Round - Losers

No one!

It’s draft day, no one is a loser right now. - Scotty Payne

Dallas Cowboys

I don’t think there were many bad picks in the first round, but I don’t understand the Cowboys taking Mazi Smith. He can take up space and help free up Micah Parsons, but I think he has a way to go before he can be a full-time contributor and see a consistent level of snaps. That’s just my humble opinion. - Chris Hart

Will Levis

Will Levis slipping out of the first round and becoming this year’s Bo Callahan also earns him a slot in the losing category. - Chris Hart

Will Levis

It has to be Will Levis. Going from one of the betting favorites to dropping out of the 1st round entirely has to be a brutal feeling. The only positive side about Levis dropping is that there wasn’t a team that got stuck with one of the most overhyped talents going into this year’s draft. Maybe he can drown his sorrows with some mayo coffee. - Ross Allen

Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs

I think the biggest losers of Day 1 have to be the Raiders and Chiefs. Mostly because they are, well, the Raiders and Chiefs. - Tim Lynch

Not having a pick

Not having a pick in the first round meant the Broncos couldn’t give the fans something to cheer about after an abysmal 2022 season. It’s not that Broncos Country is a loser. It’s more like, we didn’t get a chance to feel like a winner. - Adam Malnati

Detroit Lions

Individual-wise, Levis is the obvious loser, but looking at the team picks, I’m unsure of what Detroit is doing. When did it become cool again to take a RB top-15? And are they really comfortable with Goff? - Nick Burch

Will Levis

Will Levis. I was correct in my prediction of him falling out of the first round. Dude is highly acclaimed for his “big arm” but something about his personality just seems off to me. Kind of a weird guy. Gives me Paxton Lynch 2.0 vibes. Maybe the fact that he puts mayo in his coffee dropped his stock... - Rachel Strand

Who are your winners and losers of round one? Share in the comments section below!