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2023 Draft Talking Points

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way too early, yet I'll talk about it anyway

The first four picks as I see it should come from (in no particular order)

TE - I like what Hayden Hurst is saying, and I hope he signs a 3-4 year extension before the draft.  If he does, this position can wait til later rounds for depth.  If he doesnt, they need to go TE early

DT - Similar to the above, kinda depends on where DJ Reader stands at years end.  Yes, I know he's signed through 2023.  I love DJ.  Hope he extends.  If he doesnt, they need a baller at NT, preferably one who can help the pass rush a bit.  An absolute stud 3 down DT would be wonderful

CB - I like Apple a lot better than I did before he became a Bengals.  he's resurrected his career here.  I think he'll ask for elite CB money.  He's good but not elite.  We probably are losing our TE-covering CB as well.  We need to look for a starting quality CB.  This probably needs to be the R1 pick

LB - Germain Pratt is a FA after 2022, and unless he wants to sign for fairly team-friendly money I think we lose him, although I think he is very underrated and will hate to lose him.   Have to save money to extend Wilson, though


so TJ, no OLs?  WTF dude?

well, injuries could change this, but with the OL settling down this past week I think the OLine we have is finally earning the big money they were paid.  We need depth at all 3 spots, especially OC, but those guys can be picked up in R5 or later

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quite honestly, tho, the Superbowl window is still open.....they should look hard at players on the trading block that could provide immediate and strong team improvement before the trading deadline

Im not saying I have any identified, just that they should keep their eyes open this year and next

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I heard the announcement that Cam Taylor-Britt was cleared for practice today

this made me realize that I had completely forgotten about him when I said CB was the most likely r1 pick for 2023

my bad

anyway, I guess we will see over the next few weeks if he has what it takes to be a starter, or if he is the second coming of the Mr Glass ie Brandon Ghee.  so far, albeit its very early in his career, looking more like the latter

btw, Dax is healthy and mostly not playing.  If the other safety we drafted were healthy, would he even be in the 53?

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As long as abates and Bell are healthy, those guys aren’t seeing the field much, if at all. I think the coaches alluded to that at the start of the season.  Personally, if the plan is to let Bates walk, then I want Dax to get “some” reps through the season. Likely to be some turnover at CB as well, so yes, CTB as well.

First round could go many directions. You could literally guess almost any position, minus QB, and make an argument in favor of it.


Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

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Yup, RB. Mixon isn”t running like a $12 million back and even if that changes he’s set to make $22 million+ in 2023 and 2024. We’re likely to be picking in the second half of the round anyhow. Could even trade down and probably still get the top guy.

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I just want Burrow and the passing game to have that dynamic runner out of the backfield capable of catching passes as well.
Sure, there's both lines and some other defensive and offensives needs, but I would have no issue with a 1st round RB.

Robinson is the guy I want.  Call it my early pimping...

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If there is a special pass rusher, especially on the interior, or a blue chip 3 down TE, I cant see us going RB in r1

I say that while fully acknowledging that Mixon has been a disappointment so far on the field

the big worry initially with Mixon is he'd be an off the field nightmare, but I have to mention he's been a solid citizen.....but still, that doesnt move the chains

Id only want a rb in r1 is he is the second coming of Barry Sanders


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  • 3 weeks later...

I am slowly coming around to the idea of drafting a running back no later than round 3, and I can see drafting one in r1, but the one thing holding me back is the huge cap hit we'd take if we rid ourselves of Mixon before 2025

I'd like to upgrade this spot, but the financial shackles here are enormous

That said, I can see them making him a post-June1 (so they can spread the dead money out) release if he doesnt start producing this year. 

I cant see a trade because he doesnt seem all that valuable and I am all but sure that a trade leaves us with a huge cap hit to absorb in a single year at a time when we need to find money to pay/extend other valuable vets

I feel a little bad writing this.  He came to us with the assurance of top notch onfield performance but lots of baggage.  Its been the opposite, somewhat - he's been a solid citizen ever since as far as I know but his performance is definitely declining.  and he never was a good pass blocker, which is a big problem.  He's seemingly an all around good guy.  I like that we have good guys on our team.  But the value needs to be there as well.  At his pay level, he should be a star, and he isnt even close

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It’s the dead cap hit which you have to consider if I’m not mistaken TJ. For example if come 2023 we move on, there is a 5.5 million dead cap hit, so we end up saving money off the 12.8 million total for the year. Go one more year and it drops to 2.75 of over 13 million.

That being said, I wouldn’t want a 1st round RB to mean his departure necessarily. I think it gives them a nice 1-2 combo for a couple of years and then they move on naturally.

Yes, still want Robinson out of Texas.

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Again, I'm not suggesting Mixon going anywhere regardless of us drafting another running back.
However, his dead cap next year is only 5.5 mil, which would still save the team over 7 mil overall.
The following year, that hit drops to 2.75 mil and a savings to the team of over 10 million.

Please correct if I'm reading that wrong.

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its right

my thinking was we need to be rid of him earlier rather than later, because his performance (as I see it) doesnt match his pay

if you (like Liscow) think he is fine then you just let him play out his contract, ie there is no cap hit issue to resolve

Im not saying you and Liscow are wrong, rather, I am saying my opinion is that he isnt fine, that he is declining and overpaid and we could opt to replace him in the 2023 draft.....perhaps with this running back youve been bringing up

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  • 2 weeks later...

I will be watching Jonah closely for the rest of the season

Is he truly regressing as a player or is his recent shitty play been all about the injury that isnt getting the rest it needs to heal

If it is the former, OLT becomes a position to address in either round 1 or round 2, and quite likely in free agency as well

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  • 3 weeks later...

Forget everything I said in the first post

We need pass rush

Interior, exterior, doesnt matter.....we need it desperately

so gimme the best pass rushing DL available at pick 32 in the first round

unless CTB starts turning it around soon, r2 pick needs to be a man-press corner.  12 tackles is nice, but gimme pass breakups or ints instead, please

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would love the Illinois Conerback, Witherspoon?   -  Good coverage and strong run support.     I think his early grades are 2nd/3rd, but the way CBs are selected it would not shock me he ends up in the 1st. 

Would also love pass rush.   Then pending how this line finishes up,  tackle would be of interest.

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As usual, it will depend on how they tackle free agency.  The emphasis may be on the in house players hitting the market.

All of the following are unrestricted free agents after the season:
S- Jessie Bates
S- Vonn Bell
CB- Eli Apple
TE- Hayden Hurst
RB- Samaje Perine
LB- Germaine Pratt

And there are more depth guys, but those are the ones getting constant snaps week in and week out.
Then there are the big ones coming due shortly thereafter.  Take a look at the 2024 options they will have to address:
QB- Joe Burrow (club option)
RB- Joe Mixon (club option)
DT- DJ Reader (UFA)
WR- Tyler Boyd (UFA)
CB- Chidobe Awuzie (UFA)
LT- Jonah Williams (UFA)
WR- Tee Higgins (UFA)
LB- Logan Wilson (UFA)
DT- Josh Tupou (UFA)
LB- Akeem Davis-Gaither (UFA)

That doesn't include Chase's contract which will follow all of that as well.  BIG decisions will be coming for the team after this season.
Who stays? Who goes?  The above is what you call the window closing on this group.

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Naturally, free agency results do affect the draft to an extent.  I mean, had we handled free agency properly two years ago, we almost assuredly wouldnt be stuck with Carman now.

That said, I look at the draft as being more about the intermediate future, and FA for the immediate future, so to me they are somewhat separate

So I still want pass rush first and foremost, but I'd like pass rush in the FA period as well.

Main target would be a new 3TDT, since Hill has regressed considerably since last year, and although he has shown some occasional flashes I dont think Carter is a starter (didnt mean to rhyme there, sorry)

On a related note: I havent been able to figure out why they let Domenique Davis go and kept the Blimp (Shelvin) on the PS.  I'm all in if Shelvin shows some serious improvement (and probably a loss of 20-30 pounds of fat) but I havent seen any

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One (FA) impacts the other (draft) in my thoughts. We not view RB as a priority but if Perine asks for a hell of a lot more than the club anticipates, RB is now a priority in the first few rounds. Especially when they can get out from Mixon after next year.

Bates is leaving. What if Bell ends up walking? Not thinking he will, but if he does, the safety position is a fairly large concern even with Dax in the building.

The linebackers over the next two FA periods? WR’s… DT’s and so on and so on. I would think (and I could be wrong) that a team known for building through the draft is forward thinking and wanting to cover the bases that could be left bare.

In honesty though, none of this is a worry to me. In fact, I’m pretty intrigued to see how it’s all going to work out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From Matt Miller over at ESPN:


Who are the real first-round prospects for the 2023 NFL draft? No, not the players who will be drafted in the first round, but rather the players who actually receive a true Round 1 grade. And yes, there is actually a difference.

There will be 31 players selected in the first round, thanks to the Miami Dolphins being penalized a selection for violations of league policies relating to the integrity of the game. But NFL teams will not put first-round grades on 31-plus players. Why? The sacred first-round grade is reserved for a player who would be a Day 1 pick in any recent draft year, and the number varies by team and scouting department. One NFC team told me it limits its board to just 15 first-round grades to make scouts be more critical before handing them a special grade. Round 1 grades are reserved for players who are truly worthy of the early pick, not just those who will end up being one.

So I set out to list every player with a first-round grade and ended up with 17 names. My own rule of thumb is evaluating whether each player would have been a first-round pick in every one of the past five draft classes. The list could grow or shrink over the next five months following all-star events, the scouting combine and college pro days. But for now, here's a look at the 2023 draft class' Round 1 grades. Players' overall rankings are in parentheses after their names.


Quarterback (3)

Bryce Young, Alabama (No. 2)

Comp: Tua Tagovailoa

Young entered the 2022 season with high expectations as the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, and he answered the call with more than 3,000 passing yards, 27 TD throws and just five interceptions. He showed growth as a player, displaying poise, pocket awareness and field vision. There will be many questions about Young's size (6-foot, 200 pounds), but his on-field work is that of a franchise quarterback.

C.J. Stroud, Ohio State (No. 6)

Comp: Dak Prescott

Stroud puts up big numbers in the wide-open Ohio State passing game (3,340 passing yards, 37 TD throws and six interceptions). At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Stroud has really good touch accuracy to all levels of the field. He's also an above-average runner and mover in the pocket when given room to operate. The hardest thing about evaluating Stroud is extrapolating his talent from the Buckeyes' scheme and figuring out what he can do without that system around him.

Will Levis, Kentucky (No. 17)

Comp: Matthew Stafford

Levis' numbers at Kentucky -- 2,406 passing yards, 19 touchdown passes, 10 interceptions -- are not good enough for the first round, but scouts love his 6-foot-3, 232-pound build, toughness, arm strength and mentality as a passer. Levis is very boom or bust, and he has to improve his decision-making.


Running back (1)

Bijan Robinson, Texas (No. 4)

Comp: Saquon Barkley

Robinson is the total package as a running back prospect. He plays with amazing patience but can also lower his shoulder with a 220-pound frame and create space for himself. Robinson's contact balance and vision in traffic are some of the best I've ever seen. He has rushed for 1,580 rushing yards and 18 TDs this season, and he's also a very good receiving threat out of the backfield (314 receiving yards). There are few players more talented than Robinson in this year's class.


Wide receiver (3)

Jordan Addison, USC (No. 10)

Comp: Keenan Allen

Addison transferred from Pitt to USC after winning the 2021 Biletnikoff Award for best wide receiver in college football. And he has quietly put together a WR1 year playing on Pacific Standard Time, with 59 catches, 875 yards and eight touchdowns. Addison isn't a big receiver (6-foot, 175 pounds), but he plays with great power after the catch and has the footwork to create separation in his route tree.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State (No. 12)

Comp: CeeDee Lamb

Smith-Njigba finished the 2021 season with a record-setting Rose Bowl appearance (347 receiving yards, three TDs) but has been hampered by a hamstring injury in 2022, limiting him to just five catches and 43 yards. It makes for a fascinating evaluation, but the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Smith-Njigba can still find himself in the top 15 picks. He shows excellent concentration and body control, and he can still get open even when the defense is keyed to stop him.

Quentin Johnston, TCU (No. 15)

Comp: Tee Higgins

Johnston broke onto the scene last season and followed it up with a strong 2022 while battling through an ankle injury: 53 catches, 903 yards and five touchdowns. Johnston is a big body at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, and he plays with fantastic leverage on underneath routes while showing the downfield speed and leaping ability to be a big-play threat. Johnston's size and experience (nearly 700 career routes) have many scouts considering him the only non-slot receiver with a Round 1 grade.


Tight end (1)

Michael Mayer, Notre Dame (No. 8)

Comp: T.J. Hockenson

Mayer is a throwback three-down tight end who can line up next to the offensive tackle and clear out in the run game or bring down passes up the seam. At 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, he has elite size and uses it to produce all over the field to the tune of 67 catches, 809 yards and nine touchdowns in 2022. Mayer is a post-up, box-out red zone threat, and while he's not expected to run a sub-4.5-second 40-yard dash, his power, agility and instincts should keep him in the top 15 picks even at a non-premium position.


Offensive tackle (2)

Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State (No. 7)

Comp: Terron Armstead

Johnson was arguably Ohio State's best lineman during the 2021 season while playing out of position at right guard. He moved to his natural position of left tackle for 2022 and has allowed just one sack all season. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound junior has solid quickness and balance while also playing with poise and power. He's still ironing out his technique, but Johnson's ceiling is the best of any 2023 offensive lineman.

Peter Skoronski, Northwestern (No. 14)

Comp: Ryan Ramczyk

The 6-foot-4, 315-pound left tackle plays with NFL-caliber power and heavy hands but has good mobility at the second level in the run game. Skoronski's lack of length will be questioned by some teams, but he's a powerhouse blocker in the run and pass game and is positioned to be a Year 1 starter in the NFL. He has allowed just three sacks over 33 career starts.


Interior offensive line (0)

Positional value has hit the interior of the offensive line, as NFL teams find high-level starters on Days 2 and 3 of the draft. The 2023 class features talented guards and centers -- players like O'Cyrus Torrence (Florida), Luke Wypler (Ohio State) and John Michael Schmitz (Minnesota) -- who could sneak into Round 1 but don't carry an across-the-board first-round grade.


Edge rusher (3)

Will Anderson Jr., Alabama (No. 1)

Comp: Von Miller

A menace off the edge, Anderson saw his role increase in 2022 when the Alabama coaches needed more interior pressure and called on No. 31 to do the dirty work. Over the past two seasons, the 6-foot-4, 243-pounder has produced 27.5 sacks, 56 tackles for loss, 124 pressures, a forced fumble and an interception. He shows unstoppable first-step quickness and has a great understanding of pass-rush angles and leverage. Yes, Anderson misses some tackles in the backfield, but he is a complete pass-rusher who likely would have been the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 draft.

Myles Murphy, Clemson (No. 5)

Comp: Bradley Chubb

Murphy has produced from Day 1 at Clemson, working into the rotation as a true freshman. He has filled the stat sheet with 18.5 sacks and 31 tackles for loss over three seasons while developing rare speed and power. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Murphy is widely expected to run in the low-4.6s in the 40-yard dash at the combine, too. NFL teams are excited about his pass-rush tools and upside, given his rare burst, power and agility.

Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech (No. 13)

Comp: Frank Clark

One of the hottest draft risers of the 2022 season, Wilson brings a great combination of length, quickness off the ball and relentless pursuit mentality. Over the past two years, the 6-foot-6, 275-pounder has 14 sacks, 34.5 tackles for loss and 78 pressures while dominating at the point of attack. He's one of the safer defensive prospects in the class, as his positional tools are already so well developed. Wilson should enter the NFL as a solid starter with the upside to become a truly special player.


Defensive tackle (2)

Jalen Carter, Georgia (No. 3)

Comp: Fletcher Cox

The 2021 Georgia defense had five players selected in the first round of the 2022 draft, and Carter (not eligible in that draft) might have actually been the best defender on the team. At 6-foot-3 and 310 pounds, he has great first-step quickness and a powerful frame that can split double teams. Carter battled ankle and knee injuries this season and platooned on a deep Georgia defense last year, but he has still accumulated six sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in the past two seasons.

Bryan Bresee, Clemson (No. 9)

Comp: Leonard Williams

Bresee has missed three games this year because of injury and bereavement but has still shown a massive impact when on the field. At 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, Bresee has developed power to his game that pairs well with his initial quickness and burst. He's a true three-down interior defender who will immediately boost both the run and pass defense of an NFL scheme. He has 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss this season.


Linebacker (0)

The 2023 linebacker class is talented, and there are several players likely to be drafted in the first round -- but none of them have a true Round 1 grade at this time. Players in contention for Day 1 picks are Arkansas' Drew Sanders and Clemson's Trenton Simpson.


Cornerback (2)

Joey Porter Jr., Penn State (No. 11)

Comp: Marlon Humphrey

Porter has standout instincts and physicality. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound junior has already declared for the draft after breaking up 11 passes on limited targets -- opposing offenses stayed away from him. Porter has the length, toughness, speed and timing to be a top-tier NFL cornerback.

Kelee Ringo, Georgia (No. 16)

Comp: Trevon Diggs

Ringo is NFL ready with a big frame (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) and great ability to redirect receivers at the line of scrimmage. He's tough, physical and instinctive in coverage, and he's able to stay in phase with pro-caliber receivers. Ringo has a legitimate shot at CB1, depending on how the pre-draft process and combine testing go. He has four interceptions and 12 pass breakups over the past two seasons.

Safety (0)

The safety class lacks a consensus top player (like Kyle Hamilton in 2022), and it could not have a first-rounder when it's all said and done. Alabama's Brian Branch is talented as a versatile back-end defender, but his inconsistency down the stretch could kick his draft stock down a round. Texas A&M's Antonio Johnson is also a contender but looks like a Round 2 player at this time.


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  • ArmyBengal changed the title to 2023 Draft Talking Points

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