NFL Draft 2023: Ryan Tannehill among 5 veterans who suffered; Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert among 5 who profited

evaluating which veteran NFL players the 2023 NFL Draft benefited and damaged

Given that the draft is already over and that every team has begun holding summer minicamps in anticipation of the upcoming league year, the 2023 NFL season won’t be all that far off. Many players on rosters are aware of their position on the depth chart going into minicamp, with the exception of seasoned free agents looking for new teams. These gamers are far more aware of their current employment condition and the people that are preventing them from securing it.

Given what their teams performed throughout the three-day selection meeting to strengthen the roster, there are undoubtedly the veteran players who gained greatly from the draft. After the first two waves of free agency, some rosters undoubtedly changed throughout the course of the weekend compared to how they looked on paper.

Which players are still worth investing in after the draft is over? What about the athletes to avoid? These veterans are the ones to watch in the upcoming months.

Five veterans the draft helped

Lamar Jackson

In terms of average annual compensation, Jackson became the highest-paid player in NFL history over the course of draft weekend, making him the largest winner. The Ravens wasted no time in providing Jackson with another pass-catching wide receiver who is anticipated to start contributing right away after the contract extension was eventually secured.

Baltimore selected Zay Flowers in the first round, and with Odell Beckham and Rashod Bateman manning the outside, he can start right away in the slot. With Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely as his middle-field tight end options, Jackson will have his finest wide receiver group since being selected by the Ravens in 2018.

Jackson not only received payment, but he also has Flowers as a safety net that he can lean on. Jackson, who once led the league in touchdown passes and passer rating, should post his highest career throwing statistics in 2023.

D’Andre Swift

Swift’s future in Detroit was very uncertain after the Detroit Lions selected Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round. Swift’s role was diminished by the Lions’ signing of David Montgomery, but Gibbs effectively served as Swift’s long-term replacement because he will become a free agent at the end of the season.

Swift chose the Philadelphia Eagles as his team, which was the perfect choice. In Philadelphia, he will alternate carries with Rashaad Penny while lining up behind the league’s top offensive line. Over the past two seasons, the Eagles have amassed the most rushing yards (5,224) and rushing touchdowns (57), and they now possess their finest pass-catching running back since LeSean McCoy.

Swift ought to flourish in Philadelphia as he won’t be required to carry the run game. He attended St. Joe’s Prep nearby while growing up in the city, which also helps.

Justin Herbert

Is Herbert still under contract with the Los Angeles Chargers after a long extension? No, but the Chargers are committed to ensuring that their star quarterback can earn as much money as possible.

Quentin Johnston was chosen by the Chargers in the first round, giving their offense another dynamic pass-catcher to go with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams as wide receivers. Johnson is another wide receiver who can make a big play, and he should have plenty of opportunities now that Allen and Williams must be controlled. Johnson should be easy to locate downfield for Herbert, who should have no issue accumulating passing yards.

The Chargers have a strong wide receiver corps, and Austin Ekeler is still a part of the team. Los Angeles also boasts Joshua Palmer, Jalen Guyton, and rookie Derius Davis. The man with the most touchdowns over the past two seasons appears to be staying with the Chargers because Los Angeles was unable to deal Ekeler during the draft.

The Chargers have a potent attack. Herbert will earn even more money than he already is if he has a successful season.

Geno Smith

Smith received all the playmakers he needed from the Seattle Seahawks to be successful in the draft, beginning with the addition of Jaxon Smith-Njigba to the group of wide receivers that already includes Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. A matchup nightmare for opposition teams is created when Smith-Njigba moves right into the slot, and Seattle arguably has one of the league’s top wide receiver trios.

Zach Charbonnet was also acquired by Seattle to the running back room, and with his quickness out of the backfield, he will take the place of second-year back Kenneth Walker. The skill positions are where Smith has the most talent, and every top running back and wide receiver outside of Tyler Lockett is 25 or younger.

With an offensive line that got better throughout the previous season, Smith had a potent offense. In addition, he was given a new contract this offseason, and Seattle skipped the QB draft. The Seahawks handed Smith all the playmakers he needs to have an even better 2023 because this is Smith’s team.

Fletcher Cox

Jordan Davis is entering his first season as a starter, so Cox accepted a hometown discount to remain with the Eagles, but the seasoned defensive lineman was asked to carry the interior. Although Milton Williams was also supposed to play a big part in the rotation, things became considerably simpler for Cox as a result of Jalen Carter’s draft status dropping.

The Eagles were able to select Carter at No. 10 after moving up just one position in the draft. In order to save his body for the second half of the season, Cox will either start alongside a rookie with an immediate impact like Carter or take part in substantial snaps in a defensive tackle rotation with Carter, Davis, and Williams.

Cox, who is 32 years old, should have a solid season and contribute essential veteran leadership to an already strong locker room since the Eagles pass rush is deep at defensive tackle and heavy on the edge.

Five veterans the draft hurt

Ryan Tannehill

Tannehill will once again be keeping an eye on the QB this year. Will Levis may pose a more significant threat to Ryan Tannehill’s position than Malik Willis, who the Titans drafted in the third round of last year’s draft.

Levis, a quarterback who was previously predicted to go in the top five of the selection, was selected by the Titans when they traded up to take him with the second pick of the second round. Levis will have a year to mature in Tim Kelly’s playbook and has the potential to become Tennessee’s next franchise quarterback.

In this, Tannehill’s final contract year, can Levis dethrone him? If Levis performs well, Tannehill might not earn his job back if he struggles or sustains a multi-week injury. Tannehill will begin the season as the starter, but will he continue to do so in January?

The most Tannehill will likely hold the starting quarterback position in Tennessee is one more season.

Tyler Allgeier

The prize for having more than 1,000 yards of rushing in a first season? Allgeier saw the Falcons choose a legendary running back with a top-10 pick.

Bijan Robinson was selected by the Atlanta Falcons at pick No. 8, making him the first running back selected in the top 20 since Saquon Barkley in 2018. Robinson will be the starting running back for a club that finished second in the NFL in rush-play percentage (55.3%) and third in rush yards per game (159.9%) last season, so he’s going to put up big numbers behind one of the top offensive lines in football that can block for runs.

Allgeier, what about him? Last season, he only ran for 1,035 yards, averaging 4.9 yards per carry (on 210 attempts). Allgeier will continue to be used by the Falcons in their attack, but in his second NFL year, he will see a marked reduction in carries. In addition, Cordarrelle Patterson is a running back in the rotation.

Allgeier will probably be effective, but he won’t get nearly as many carries as he did in the last six games of the previous season, when he averaged 16.7 per game.

Kenneth Walker

Another rushing back who won’t be getting as many carries as he did during his first season is this one. Walker was one of the top rookie running backs last season, averaging 18.6 carries per game as the starter while carrying for 1,050 yards and nine touchdowns (4.6 yards per carry).

Walker will continue to be Seattle’s starting back, although Zach Charbonnet will reduce some of his touches this year. When Rashaad Penny was the starting running back in the previous season, Seattle didn’t choose Charbonnet in the second round with the intention of benching him, and the same goes with Walker.

They’ll be a potent combo for the Seahawks’ rushing attack, but to make it work, Walker’s playing time will be impacted.

Gardner Minshew

The Colts were going to be interested in one of the best quarterbacks available in the draft, but Minshew’s future was probably set when Anthony Richardson was chosen at pick number four overall. Going into training camp, Minshew will probably be the starting quarterback, but will his performance be good enough to keep Richardson off of the starting lineup in Week 1? Should I care?

Richardson is the Colts’ future, therefore they could want to play him in Week 1 to give him experience on the field. When he was the offensive coordinator, head coach Shane Steichen accomplished this with Richardson and Jalen Hurts, and he probably wants to do it again with Herbert and Herbert.

Richardson will play if doing so increases the Colts’ chances of winning. Like he was in Philadelphia, Minshew might be Indianapolis’ No. 2 quarterback.

Chandler Jones

Last year, Jones was one of the biggest free-agent letdowns, failing to make the impression the Las Vegas Raiders had hoped for when they signed him. Jones had 47 pressures and a 10.6% pressure rate (same to 2021), but the number of sacks decreased from 10.5 to 4.5. Jones didn’t record a full sack until Week 13, which is bad given that Maxx Crosby played on the other edge.

Tyree Wilson, who the Raiders selected seventh overall, is anticipated to contribute right away to the pass rush. Although the bulk of snaps will be decided in training camp between Wilson and Jones, top-10 picks are anticipated to have an immediate impact. Wilson will see action throughout his first season.

Although Jones is still a capable pass defender at age 33, he will have to fight for his opportunities moving ahead. If he performs well on the field, he may still get plenty of playing time.