Our NFL draft experts drafted dueling 10-man superteams of top prospects: Who has the best roster?
On April 27, NFL teams will have the chance to draft the best prospects in the 2023 class. But first, we gave our draft analysts a chance to do it. Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, Jordan Reid and Matt Miller played out a 10-round, 40-pick draft to build their best superteams made up solely of prospects from this year’s class. For the full draft and some spirited debate, check out the newest edition of “First Draft.”
Here’s how this worked: Kiper, McShay, Reid and Miller snake-drafted 40 picks to fill out starting lineups. Each roster had specific required positions: one quarterback, one running back, one wide receiver or tight end, one offensive tackle, one interior offensive lineman, three front-seven defenders, one cornerback and one safety. Our experts were allowed to draft positions in any order, and they designed their units around whatever scheme they wanted to run on each side of the ball. Versatility is key.
The superteam draft also provided a unique way of looking at the class, touching on positional value, how each analyst stacks his personal board and which prospects should prove most impactful at the next level. Which team ended up with the best offense and most dominant defense? Let’s start at the top with Miller and then go pick-by-pick. And you can even vote for the winner of our 2023 NFL draft fantasy league at the bottom.
See all 40 picks of the draft in order
Rosters: Kiper | McShay | Reid | Miller
Vote on which analyst’s team is best
Watch the full draft on ‘First Draft’
The draft order was randomized, with Miller landing the first pick. But because it is a snake format, Kiper has back-to-back selections at Nos. 4 and 5, and Miller doesn’t pick again after No. 1 until No. 8. No trades were allowed.
1. Miller: Will Anderson Jr., OLB, Alabama
2. Reid: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
3. McShay: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
4. Kiper: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
5. Kiper: Peter Skoronski, G, Northwestern
6. McShay: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
7. Reid: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
8. Miller: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
9. Miller: Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
10. Reid: Brian Branch, S, Alabama
11. McShay: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
12. Kiper: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
13. Kiper: Nolan Smith, OLB, Georgia
14. McShay: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
15. Reid: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
16. Miller: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
17. Miller: Steve Avila, C/G, TCU
18. Reid: Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson
19. McShay: Lukas Van Ness, DE, Iowa
20. Kiper: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
21. Kiper: Will McDonald IV, DE, Iowa State
22. McShay: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
23. Reid: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida
24. Miller: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
25. Miller: Drew Sanders, ILB, Arkansas
26. Reid: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
27. McShay: Adetomiwa Adebawore, DE, Northwestern
28. Kiper: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
29. Kiper: Riley Moss, CB/S, Iowa
30. McShay: Joe Tippmann, C, Wisconsin
31. Reid: Trenton Simpson, ILB, Clemson
32. Miller: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
33. Miller: Sydney Brown, S, Illinois
34. Reid: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
35. McShay: Keion White, OLB, Georgia Tech
36. Kiper: Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M
37. Kiper: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
38. McShay: Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
39. Reid: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
40. Miller: Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
QB: Anthony Richardson
RB: Roschon Johnson
WR/TE: Jaxon Smith-Njigba
OT: Darnell Wright
G/C: Steve Avila
DL/LB: Will Anderson Jr.
DL/LB: Tyree Wilson
DL/LB: Drew Sanders
CB: Christian Gonzalez
S: Sydney Brown
Miller on his team: I went with a “best player available” approach to build an all-around talented team, starting with the No. 1 player in the class in Anderson. My strategy was to wait on quarterback and running back while building the trenches. And I ended up walking away with the my top-ranked wide receiver, right tackle, interior lineman and linebacker, along with the best two edge rushers in the class. I can’t believe Jordan let Wilson fall to me at No. 9 overall, but I happily took his guy to pair with Anderson off the edge. Come on … that’s not even fair.
Kiper gave me hell for the JSN pick because we both knew it was coming — Smith-Njigba is my dude in this class and appears to be far-and-away the best receiver of the group. Then getting the QB with the highest ceiling of any prospect in the class at No. 32 overall feels great. And I had to get at least one Texas player on my team, and I think Johnson would have been one of the best running backs in the country if he weren’t backing up the clear-cut No. 1 guy for the Longhorns. A lot of upside here!
Christian Gonzalez’s NFL draft profile
Check out the highlights from dynamic Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez.
QB: C.J. Stroud
RB: Bijan Robinson
WR/TE: Quentin Johnston
OT: Dawand Jones
G/C: O’Cyrus Torrence
DL/LB: Calijah Kancey
DL/LB: Myles Murphy
DL/LB: Trenton Simpson
CB: Deonte Banks
S: Brian Branch
Reid on his team: The second overall pick came down to Robinson and Carter, but I stuck to my board because of the steep drop-off in this year’s running back class after the top two ball-carriers. Then I got two more foundational offensive players in Stroud and Johnston to build around. Todd threw me for a loop by taking Young inside the top three, and with Matt’s back-to-back picks upcoming, I had to ensure one of the top passers in the class. And to cap off the offense, I value physicality in the trenches, so I was also elated to add two massive linemen in Torrence and Jones. Try slowing that unit down.
On defense, I prioritized speed, physicality and explosiveness. In the front seven, Kancey, Murphy and Simpson fit those traits perfectly. On the back end, I focused more on versatility and players who can thrive in man coverage. Branch at No. 10 overall might have seemed early, but I learned my lesson last year and wanted to draft the weakest positions early. Overall, I’m very, very happy with my team this year.
The plays that make Calijah Kancey a top NFL prospect
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QB: Bryce Young
RB: Jahmyr Gibbs
WR/TE: Zay Flowers
OT: Broderick Jones
G/C: Joe Tippmann
DL/LB: Lukas Van Ness
DL/LB: Adetomiwa Adebawore
DL/LB: Keion White
CB: Devon Witherspoon
S: Antonio Johnson
McShay on his team: I focused on adding offensive firepower, playmakers and versatility. With Anderson and Robinson off the board, I wanted to get Young right off the bat. I consider him the best prospect in the entire class. I was planning to follow that up with Carter at No. 6, but Kiper stole him from me (though I was a little surprise he jumped on Skoronski so early with his next selection). So I took Gibbs since I see a big drop-off at the running back position after him, and I know I can move him around the offense. And Flowers is one of just two receivers with a first-round grade from me, so that was a no-brainer.
I wanted to get ahead at key positions and secure the best or second-best prospect at the most important spots. I ended up doing so at every position except along the front seven, though I still landed three guys all ranked in my top 41 and my No. 2 defensive end in Van Ness. This team will make some plays. Young is going to be able to distribute, and good luck containing Gibbs and Flowers in the open field. And no one is going to be able to move the chains against me with Van Ness coming off the edge and Witherspoon smothering receivers. Just another year, another dominant draft for me.
Jahmyr Gibbs’ NFL draft profile
Check out the best highlights that contributed to a stellar college career for Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs.
QB: Will Levis
RB: Devon Achane
WR/TE: Jordan Addison
OT: Paris Johnson Jr.
G/C: Peter Skoronski
DL/LB: Jalen Carter
DL/LB: Nolan Smith
DL/LB: Will McDonald IV
CB: Joey Porter Jr.
S: Riley Moss
Kiper on his team: Listen, I love my team. Even after getting stuck with the fourth pick, I was able to land Carter, the No. 1-ranked prospect on my board. I added two electric edge rushers in Smith and McDonald to fly past tackles and get to the quarterback. We’re going to struggle a little bit setting the edge in the run game, but that might not matter if Carter is already in the backfield at the snap. In the secondary, Porter will shut down a team’s best receiver (though he would struggle with Flowers’ change of direction; ToddToddTodd got Flowers ahead of me in Round 3) and Moss would fly to the football and play deep safety. Some teams see him as a corner, but I have a second-round grade on him at safety.
On offense, I added both my top-ranked tackle (Johnson) and top-ranked guard (Skoronski) to protect my quarterback. Ultimately, whether you like my team comes down to your feelings for Levis, who I have ranked ahead of Stroud and Richardson. I think he’s going to become a star in the right situation. In this offense, he would fire off strikes to Addison and Achane as my team cruised down the field.
Nolan Smith’s NFL draft profile
Check out the highlights from Georgia linebacker Nolan Smith.