The 2023 NFL Draft is just about a week away, and the NFL news cycle is certainly ramping up. If you're someone who likes to dabble in NFL Draft betting, you've probably noticed that odds for virtually every prop have changed over the past few days, and it's likely they will continue to change into next week. If you think you're having a tough time figuring out which wagers to place, imagine what NFL general managers are dealing with right now.
The decisions that NFL GMs will make next week are franchise-altering. One pick could propel you to the top of the NFL world, or cause you to lose your job. This is the most important event of the offseason when it comes to roster building, so every team is going to be aggressive. While every decision made in the draft is tough, let's discuss five teams that have the toughest decisions to make in the first round. We will go in numerical order, starting with the team that selects No. 1 overall.
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Carolina Panthers, No. 1 overall
The Panthers traded two first-round picks, two second-round picks and star wideout D.J. Moore to the Chicago Bears for the right to make the first selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. Now what do they do?
When Carolina made the move up the draft board, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud became the heavy favorite to be selected No. 1 overall over at Caesars Sportsbook. Fast forward a month later, and now Alabama's Bryce Young is the big favorite to go No. 1 overall. While Young is most pundits' QB1, there is no clear Joe Burrow or Trevor Lawrence here.
Young recorded the second-most passing touchdowns in a two-year span in SEC history with 79. He has all the makings of a star -- minus his frame --as he's 5-foot-10 and just a hair over 200 pounds. Stroud's frame is more desirable, and his Ohio State offense was No. 1 in the FBS in points per game (45.0) and yards per game (526.0) over the past two seasons.
The Panthers have to predict who is going to be the best quarterback in this class. Is it Stroud or Young? Will they end up looking silly for passing on Anthony Richardson, who eventually becomes Cam Newton? Do you play it safe with the most polished product, or take the popular "QB1" despite concerns about his frame?
Las Vegas Raiders, No. 7 overall
There's pressure on general manager Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels. The Kansas City Chiefs are the Kansas City Chiefs, the Los Angeles Chargers are a playoff team, the Denver Broncos landed Sean Payton and then the Raiders are starting over at quarterback. Vegas gave Jimmy Garoppolo low-end starter money, so are the Raiders a candidate to trade up into the top five for a quarterback? That's not all for Vegas to consider.
At No. 7 overall, the Raiders could go any number of different directions. If Will Levis falls to No. 7, do you take him? Do you take the first cornerback off the board, or do you take Jalen Carter or a pass rusher? Maybe the Raiders take an offensive tackle. There's a lot to mull over.
The Raiders are set up to make an impact in the draft with 12 total picks, but that first one may be the most important. If they don't trade up, it may just come down to taking the most talented player available. At No. 7 overall, however, identifying that player is no easy feat.
Tennessee Titans, No. 11 overall
The Titans are in a weird spot. They aren't facing a "rebuild" yet, but they certainly need some retooling. The offensive line needs a makeover, as does the wide receiving corps. Defensively, the Titans need a pass rusher and a cornerback. At No. 11 overall, the Titans will have some options. Do they take their Taylor Lewan replacement in Paris Johnson Jr. or Broderick Jones? Do they take the first wideout in Jaxon Smith-Njigba? Do they take a pass rusher like Lukas Van Ness if he falls to them?
That's not all the Titans have to consider, either. Tennessee has already reportedly explored trading up to No. 3 overall. Not only does this move make sense with Ryan Tannehill having just one more year remaining on his contract, but new Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort spent the past three seasons as the Titans' director of player personnel. There's familiarity between these two organizations, but the question is, do the Titans want to mortgage picks/future picks for that quarterback? It's not like the Titans have plenty of draft ammo either, as they currently have six picks.
New England Patriots, No. 14 overall
Right in the middle of the first round are the Patriots, and they have needs at offensive tackle, wide receiver and cornerback. Looking at our CBS Sports mock drafts, our experts are all over the board. We have the Pats taking a right tackle in Darnell Wright, two of our experts have New England drafting Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon, one pencils in left tackle Broderick Jones at No. 14, another has the Patriots trading up for tackle/guard Peter Skoronski and then wide receiver Quentin Johnston is also mocked to the Patriots. Which direction the Patriots elect to go will be fascinating to watch -- especially when you consider that Bill Belichick likes to surprise people.
The Patriots are also a team to watch when it comes to quarterbacks. Mac Jones and Belichick haven't exactly had the best offseason. We saw Belichick suggest his former first-round pick may have to , and he reportedly was " " when he discovered Jones went outside the building for "counsel" last season. What happens if someone like Will Levis falls to New England? Is Belichick going to let bygones be bygones with Jones, or does he have something up his sleeve in the first round?
Minnesota Vikings, No. 23 overall
The Vikings are a team with several holes to fill, but just five draft picks at their disposal. The first comes at No. 23 overall, and Minnesota could be in play to take a quarterback. Kirk Cousins is likely entering his final season with Minnesota, so maybe Tennessee's Hendon Hooker is an option here. Quarterback is not the biggest need for the Vikings, but there's no way Kevin O'Connell is going to waste Justin Jefferson's prime while he searches for that next franchise quarterback.
If the Vikings do not take a quarterback, they will likely have to decide between taking a wide receiver, defensive lineman, pass rusher or cornerback. A wide receiver addition would be sexy, but would Minnesota be reaching there? Jim Nagy, the Executive Director of the Reese's Senior Bowl, recently said that he learned the NFL overall isn't nearly as high on this year's wide receiver class as the media/mock draft artists are. Nagy says he's spoken to numerous NFL teams that have just one prospect with a first-round grade. That player is Smith-Njigba -- who will likely be gone before No. 23 overall.