One Player Each Team Should Target in the 2023 NFL Draft

Oct 15, 2022; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) warms up before the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 15, 2022; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) warms up before the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports /
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Paris Johnson Jr. and Dawand Jones, potential targets of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Sep 3, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) hugs offensive lineman Dawand Jones (79) following their 21-10 win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the NCAA football game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports /

Cincinnati Bengals – Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State

The Cincinnati Bengals completely reshaped their offensive line last offseason after a Super Bowl run. Unfortunately for them, they almost need to completely reshape their offensive line again this offseason.

The team already made their biggest move by signing Orlando Brown Jr. to a four-year, $64 million deal to play left tackle. By doing so, they made Jonah Williams ask for a trade, and with the status of La’el Collins in question, the Bengals need a reliable right tackle.

Dawand Jones played his college ball nearby at Ohio State and is an absolute mountain of a man. He is a mauler in gap run scheme and as solid as they come in pass protection on the right side. Regardless of what happens with Williams and Collins, the Bengals would have their tackles of the future locked in with Brown and Jones to protect the face of their franchise, Joe Burrow.

Baltimore Ravens – Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

After bringing in veteran receiver Odell Beckham Jr., I would expect the Baltimore Ravens to target a cornerback early in the 2023 NFL Draft. Marlon Humphrey is a staple for the Baltimore defense but the team still needs to find a perfect complement. Deonte Banks can be that guy.

Banks has the perfect skillset to be a lockdown, man cover corner. He is long, physical, and fast. He can knock the receiver off his spot in press, stay with anyone down the field, and make a play on any ball at the catch point. Playing at Maryland, Banks would not have a long way to go to Baltimore.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a handful of glaring needs that they can address in the 2023 NFL Draft, but I think offensive tackle is at the top of the list. I think the team desperately needs two new starting tackles, which opens up their options early in the draft.

The perfect option, to me, is Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. The main question would be whether or not he will be there at pick 17, but Johnson may be good enough to trade up to go get. I think his future is at left tackle, but he has played multiple positions at Ohio State, giving the Steelers versatility.

Johnson has desired size at 6-foot-6 and 313 pounds with great length and impressive athleticism. He can become even more dominant once he fills out his impressive frame, maintaining his technique that allows him to fend off rushers. Pittsburgh will still have to make a few moves to be contenders in the AFC North but a franchise left tackle is an important building block.

Cleveland Browns – Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin

Not selecting until the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft, options may be limited for the Cleveland Browns. For the right player, the Browns may trade up a bit to get their guy. I could see that being Wisconsin big man Keeanu Benton.

Even after bringing in Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency, Cleveland is paper thin at defensive tackle. Factor in the uncertainty surrounding 2022 draft pick Perrion Winfrey, and the Browns will likely be looking for another young, promising defensive tackle for new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to mold.

Benton can play anywhere between the tackles on the defensive line, providing more versatility for the Cleveland defensive front. If they want him to, he can play nose and eat up blocks and double-teams. He may be even more effective at three-technique, shooting gaps and making plays in the backfield. He could start right away alongside Tomlinson and would hopefully be a long-term productive player for a defensive front that has been lacking playmakers aside from Myles Garrett.