Breaking down players selected in 1st round of NFL draft

·3 min read

The players chosen in the first round Thursday of the NFL draft:

1) Carolina Panthers — Bryce Young, QB, 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, Alabama

Scouting report: Poised leader and creative playmaker, who excels at buying time while seeing the entire field. Elite combination of instincts and intelligence with a good arm, but, boy, is he small for an NFL quarterback.

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Fact: The national high school player of the year as a senior in California went on to become the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner as a sophomore at Alabama.

Notable: Alabama's first Heisman-winning quarterback is now the first Tide player taken No. 1 overall in the NFL draft since QB Harry Gilmer by Washington in 1948.

2) Houston Texans — C.J. Stroud, QB, 6-3, 214, Ohio State

Scouting report: Elite accuracy and touch combined with good size and arm strength. Has shown above-average athleticism, but has seemed reluctant to use. Can linger in the pocket and lock on receivers.

Fact: Threw 85 touchdown passes to break a Big Ten record held by Drew Brees for TDs over two seasons.

Notable: Third straight Ohio State starting quarterback drafted in the first round, following Dwayne Haskins (No. 15 to Washington in 2019) and Justin Fields (No. 11 to Chicago in 2021).

3) Houston Texans (from Arizona) — Will Anderson Jr., OLB, 6-3, 253, Alabama

Scouting report: Quick first step with an array and moves and power, and ability to dominate a game. Can quibble with his tackling and ability to finish against the run, but he’s probably the best prospect regardless of position.

Fact: Racked up 34 1/2 sacks and 62 tackles for loss in 41 games and won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation's top defensive player twice.

Notable: Texans traded up to become the first team since Washington in 2000 to make two of the first three picks in the draft (LB LaVar Arrington at No. 2 and OT Chris Samuels at No. 3).

4) Indianapolis Colts — Anthony Richardson, QB, 6-4, 244, Florida

Scouting report: The most intriguing prospect in the class, with Cam Newton-type size, athleticism and arm strength. The mechanics need work to fix accuracy issues.

Fact: Richardson had 13 career starts and only 393 pass attempts in three seasons at Florida.

Notable: The last two quarterbacks the Colts selected in the first round were Andrew Luck (No. 1 in 2012) and Peyton Manning (No. 1 in 1998).

5) Seattle Seahawks (from Denver) — Devon Witherspoon, 5-11, 181, Illinois.

Scouting report: Aggressive, disruptive and physical defensive back, who took a huge leap as a senior to become one of the best defensive players in the country. Maybe a little too aggressive, especially at that size.

Fact: Didn’t play high school football until his junior year and spent a season at junior college before going to Illinois.

Notable: Witherspoon is the first cornerback drafted in the first round by Seattle since 2006 (Kelly Jennings at No. 31).

6) Detroit Lions (from L.A. Rams)

7) Las Vegas Raiders

8) Atlanta Falcons

9) Chicago Bears (from Carolina)

10) Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans)

11) Tennessee Titans

12) Arizona Cardinals (from Houston via Cleveland)

13) Green Bay Packers (from N.Y. Jets)

14) New England Patriots

15) New York Jets (from Green Bay)

16) Washington Commanders

17) Pittsburgh Steelers

18) Detroit Lions

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

20) Seattle Seahawks

21) Los Angeles Chargers

22) Baltimore Ravens

23) Minnesota Vikings

24) Jacksonville Jaguars

25) New York Giants

26) Dallas Cowboys

27) Buffalo Bills

28) Cincinnati Bengals

29) New Orleans Saints (from San Francisco through Miami and Denver)

30) Philadelphia Eagles

31) Kansas City Chiefs


AP NFL: and

Ralph D. Russo, The Associated Press