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2023 NFL Draft Burning Questions (Fantasy Football)

2023 NFL Draft Burning Questions (Fantasy Football)
camera2023 NFL Draft Burning Questions (Fantasy Football)

The NFL Draft is fast approaching, and the closer it gets, the more questions we will have about prospects and what teams do to make the best use of their draft capital.

These are some of the most significant burning questions at the moment:

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NFL Draft Burning Questions (Fantasy Football 2023)

Who Do the Panthers Draft?

The Panthers traded up to the 1.01, giving up DJ Moore and a haul of picks to convince the Bears to move back, allowing them a clean shot at whichever quarterback they prefer. The rumor mill is in overdrive, and there are convincing arguments to be had that any of C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young or Anthony Richardson could be Carolina’s future quarterback.

Bryce Young has great talent but is undersized. Stroud hasn’t always been able to move between reads in the passing game. Anthony Richardson is an athletic beast but has some way to go to being a polished product in the passing game. The Panthers seem committed to a multi-year rebuild. So their decisions shouldn’t be based on who can help the team win immediately, which opens up the possibility of all of these quarterbacks being the long-term answer. One thing is for sure, after several years of quarterback misery in Carolina, they need to ensure they get this pick right.

Who Trades Up to 1.03?

The Cardinals are now in an enviable situation with the draft’s third pick. Assuming Kyler Murray‘s knee injury isn’t far worse than we’ve been led to believe, Arizona has their franchise quarterback. They will no doubt field calls from teams keen to secure whichever quarterback is still available when the clock starts ticking for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals have plenty of needs on their roster, and new head coach, Jonathan Gannon, is being tasked with a soft rebuild in 2023. Trading back several spots should allow the Cardinals enough ammo to make that rebuild far easier. With teams like the Colts, Raiders, Falcons and Buccaneers all possibly in the quarterback market, we should expect a trade to materialize at some point.

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What Do the Bears Prioritize in Their Rebuild?

Now that the Bears are no longer in the conversation for a quarterback in 2023, attention turns to how they can build around Justin Fields to further evaluate him. The additions of Moore and Robert Tonyan already have Chicago’s offense looking deeper than in 2022, but the roster is still talent-depleted.

While Bears fans may dream of Bijan Robinson or Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the Bears may be better served as a team by spending picks on the offensive line or on the defensive side of the ball. The best run-heavy teams typically have solid defenses that can complement an offense, helping to keep opponents off the field. Right now, Chicago doesn’t have the pieces in place to make it worth trying to drain the clock. However, with four picks in the first three rounds, they can start to build a defense that can take some of the pressure off the offense.

Does Hendon Hooker Go in the First Round?

Before the NFL Combine, it seemed highly unlikely that Hendon Hooker might find his way into round one of the Draft. Yet, the former Tennessee quarterback, who is recovering from a torn ACL, has started to creep into the back end of round one in industry mock drafts. Daniel Jerimiah of NFL Network has been particularly consistent with his opinion that NFL teams see Hooker as a round-one talent.

While it’s fair to remember people said the same about Malik Willis, typically, Jerimiah has been a reliable source for how the NFL is thinking. In 11 games in 2022, Hooker threw for 3,135 yards with 27 passing touchdowns and only two interceptions. He also rushed for 430 yards on 104 carries and five rushing touchdowns. A late first-round pick might allow Hooker the time he needs to recover from his ACL injury and then compete for a job in 2023.

Who Drafts Bijan Robinson?

Bijan Robinson has been the unquestioned 1.01 in dynasty rookie drafts for almost a year now, and there seems little doubt in most people’s minds that he will stay there regardless of who drafts him. There are, however, some teams that could be a negative outcome for Robinson.

While he’s the most talented prospect since Saquon Barkley, he is not immune to the coaching decisions of the NFL. The Cowboys continue to be linked to Robinson, and it’s hard to imagine Tony Pollard not seeing the field a decent amount as the Cowboys pay him $10M on the franchise tag. That is just one possible scenario that Robinson will face in what will be a nervous wait for fantasy managers, hoping he lands in the emptiest backfield possible.

Do the Ravens Prioritize Wide Receiver To Keep Lamar Jackson Happy?

Many pages seem to be unwritten in the Ravens’ offseason saga with Lamar Jackson. But whether he stays or goes, the Ravens need to consider if they’re taking a wide receiver in the first round. The likes of Smith-Njigba would be ideal for Jackson with his uncanny ability to win in the middle of the field, or Quentin Johnston might allow Jackson to play more from the pocket going forward.

However, the Ravens are staunchly a “best-player-available” team and have holes at edge rusher and cornerback that need addressed. With no second-round pick due to the Roquan Smith trade, they have to hit on their first-rounder and balance the need to keep Jackson happy with what the team needs.

Is Will Levis Still a Top10 Pick?

In recent weeks, Will Levis has gone from being an auto-pick for the Raiders at 1.07 to occasionally slipping out of the top 10 in mock drafts. With the Raiders having quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo under contract, there is slightly less urgency for them to draft a quarterback. If they don’t, who wants a quarterback with obvious flaws in his decision-making? Teams like the Buccaneers and Vikings might be ready to leap should Levis start to fall.

Beyond our fantasy football content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – which optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football draft season.

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