Three quarterbacks in the top four picks. Two running backs in the top 12. Back-to-back-to-back-to-back wide receiver selections in the middle of Round 1. And all 31 first-round picks came from major conferences for the first time in the common draft era. The 2023 NFL draft started with a bang on Thursday with a surprise trade up to No. 3, and there were five more deals on the night. It was one of the wildest drafts in my time at ESPN; this was No. 40 in my current role.
Now that we've been through all 259 picks, it's time for my favorite exercise of the year: grading how all 32 teams fared. I love doing these draft grades because it helps me put each class into perspective. I can survey the good, the bad, the reaches, the steals. Which teams actually got value with their picks? That's the biggest question I try to answer.
Same rules apply, as always: I grade all 32 classes using my Big Board and position rankings as the prism to gauge how effectively each team addressed key personnel holes as well as how efficient each was in maneuvering the board and adding extra picks or future assets. I'll also mention a few of my favorite prospects in the class. I recapped Round 1 on Thursday night and Day 2 on Friday evening, but I'll dump all of my notes below.
Let's get into the team-by-team grades. We'll start with the best grades and go to the worst, with teams that have identical grades listed in alphabetical order: