The 2023 NFL Draft is nearly upon us. The hype, the anticipation, and the smoke screens are at an all-time high. Football fans across the country are counting down the days, hours, and minutes until the Draft is officially open.
Like every year, there are a ton of storylines and plenty of mystery and intrigue leading up to night one of the 2023 NFL Draft. Most seem to think they know who will hear their name called first, but until Commissioner Roger Goodell says it, it is still in question.
The goal of the entire offseason leading up to the event for draft analysts has been to predict potential fits for each NFL team. Assessing rosters, needs, and top prospects in an attempt to nail a future match.
One Player Each Team Should Target in the 2023 NFL Draft
Here, we take a look at one player that each NFL team should do whatever it takes to select in the 2023 NFL Draft, as they are seemingly a perfect fit.
Buffalo Bills – Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
The biggest hit that the Buffalo Bills took this offseason was losing the centerpiece of their defense. 2018 first-round pick Tremaine Edmunds signed a monster four-year $72 million deal with the Chicago Bears in free agency, leaving a gaping hole at linebacker for the Bills.
While Sean McDermott still has Matt Milano under contract through 2026, and brought back veteran A.J. Klein, the Bills now lack the athletic, playmaking presence that Edmunds was in the middle of their defense.
Jack Campbell is a perfect fit to be the MIKE linebacker in McDermott’s offense. When in Carolina, McDermott had one of the league’s best in Luke Kuechly, who Campbell has been training with leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft. Kuechly stated that Campbell has the potential to be just as good as him.
On tape, Campbell does it all. He is smart and instinctive against both the run and the pass. He tested incredibly well at the Combine, backing up the idea that he can bring a similar level of athleticism that Buffalo will be missing without Edmunds. It would not surprise me if the Bills wind up taking Campbell in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Miami Dolphins – Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
After losing Mike Gesicki in free agency, the Miami Dolphins could really use an athletic pass-catcher at tight end. Sure, they signed Durham Smythe to a two-year extension, but he has just 88 receptions, 809 yards, and 3 touchdowns in his five-year NFL career, so he clearly isn’t really the weapon that Miami should be looking for.
Sam LaPorta, on the other hand, has been productive in the passing game at Iowa (the modern-day “Tight End University”) and is incredible with the ball in his hands. The Dolphins need a player that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa can target with some quick hitters, allowing them to make plays after the catch. With Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle on the outside, LaPorta will be able to make the middle of the field his oyster in Miami.
New York Jets – Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
It still seems as though Aaron Rodgers will end up playing for the New York Jets, at least for the 2023 season. The Jets have solid weapons on their offense but need to make sure they can protect the former MVP (and whoever ends up being their long-term answer at quarterback).
Broderick Jones seems to fit the mold for what general manager Joe Douglas and the Jets look for in offensive linemen. One of his first picks with New York was monster tackle Mekhi Becton, who has struggled to stay healthy and on the football field.
Jones has great size at 6-foot-5 and 311 pounds and has the experience and technique that teams look for. He succeeded at the highest level of college football in the SEC for the back-to-back National Champion Georgia Bulldogs, not allowing a sack as the starting left tackle in 2023. With Jones at left tackle and Becton at right tackle, the Jets would be on their way to a formidable offensive line to protect Rodgers and open up holes in the run game.
New England Patriots – Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
Like Jones, Darnell Wright is an imposing physical presence who found great success against SEC opponents. Wright is 6-foot-5 and 333 pounds with a nasty streak and a powerful anchor. He held Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. at bay and allowed the Tennessee tandem of Hendon Hooker and Jalin Hyatt to have a field day against the Crimson Tide.
The New England Patriots are currently set to roll out veteran Riley Reiff at right tackle in 2023. It is clear that Reiff is not the long-term answer for the Pats offensive line and, frankly, I wouldn’t want to rely on him for even this season, at this point in his career.
Wright would come in and immediately start, and be a mainstay, at right tackle. New England always loves SEC talent, especially in the trenches. There are many needs that the Patriots will need to address to get back to their former glory, but starting with a great, young tackle in the 2023 NFL Draft would be wise.