Written by Chris Lemke
The 2022 NFL Combine just finished up, so naturally we are now jumping into the “Rookie Fever” phase of the NFL Offseason Calendar. But what about those 2023 rookie picks that everyone is talking about? What should we be doing with those picks?
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last year, you know that the 2023 Rookie Class is special. Want QBs? Check. Want RBs? Check. WRs? Check. And, there’s even a TE worthy of a 1st Round Rookie pick. Let’s look ahead…
2023 Top Prospects:
QB- Bryce Young (Alabama), CJ Stroud (Ohio State)
RB- Bijan Robinson (Texas), Jahmyr Gibbs (Alabama), Tank Bigsby (Auburn), Sean Tucker (Syracuse), Zach Evans (Ole Miss)
WR- Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State), Kayshon Butte (LSU), Jordan Addison (Pitt)
TE- Michael Mayer (Notre Dame)
…and this list doesn’t include a bevy of other QBs that can (and will undoubtedly) jump up into the 1st Round of the NFL Draft, and therefore, vaulting them into the 1st Round of your Rookie Draft. As you can see, I only listed 11 players. You add 2-3 more QBs into the mix, and this makes the 2023 2nd Round picks quite valuable as well.
I’m here to tell you now, this is your LAST chance to buy those 2023 picks… and I PROMISE, they’ll be worth it. I’d go as far as trading any back-half of the 1st Round pick in 2022 for a random 2023 1st. So anything 1.07 or later, I would likely flip to a 2023 1st if I can.
We’ve recently put up a poll on our twitter account, and as you can see, people are already asking for a hefty return on those 2023 picks…
The 2022 Class is, well, pretty meh. Sure Breece Hall just ran a 4.39 40-yard dash and has all but cemented himself as the locked-and-loaded 1.01 (barring Urban Meyer‘s ghost entering the Jaguars Draft Room). You also have 3 nice WRs in Treylon Burks, Garrett Wilson, and Drake London, but the QBs leave much to be desired. And those TEs…you can forget about them this year… leave it to your league mates to waste dart throws on them.
Here are my NFL Comparisons for the incoming rookie QBs:
Malik Willis – Jalen Hurts
Matt Corral – Marcus Mariota
Kenny Pickett – Ryan Tannehill
Sam Howell – Baker Mayfield
Desmond Ridder – Alex Smith
Carson Strong – Drew Bledsoe
Now, mind you, these are, in my opinion, BEST CASE SCENARIO comps for these QBs. Only Malik Willis presents league-winning upside. The others are merely depth pieces. If they bust, then they are just floating around on the bottom of rosters for a couple years before they are out of the league. That’s not exactly something I personally care to be investing my 1st or 2nd Round picks on.
QBs and RBs drive the value of a Draft Class one way or the other. 2023 has 2 QBs, Young and Stroud, that present Deshaun Watson-type skills. That’s TOP-5 potential at QB… meaning Top-5 Overall potential in Superflex Leagues. Bijan Robinson expects to be a Top-10 pick in the NFL Draft, and Gibbs (and maybe another one or two RBs) may go in the 1st Round as well.
So whether you’re re-building or competing this year, RIGHT NOW may be your last opportunity to acquire 2023 picks at a reasonable price.
KNOW THE GUYS IN YOUR LEAGUE AND THEIR TRADING TENDENCIES!
Sure, when you’re on-the-clock with your 1st Round pick, you might be able to pull something off. However, you’ve got to remember that once your Rookie Draft is over with, those 2023 picks become the top picks listed on your league mates’ rosters for the rest of summer and all of next year. Unless you’ve got a bunch of “Bill O’Briens” in your league, you aren’t going to get those 2023 Draft Picks without GROSSLY OVERPAYING!
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