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Three Polarizing 1st Round NFL Draft Prospects

In this article, We’ll take a closer look at three players who many analysts believe have a decent amount of risk, but also possess a tremendous amount of reward if they reach their potential.

Ankit Kanaujia
Last updated: 26.04.2023
Three Polarizing 1st Round NFL Draft Prospects

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Even though regular season games don’t kick off for another few months, this time of year is still very exciting for NFL fans. Supporters look at ways their favorite team can improve the talent on their roster, and one of those avenues is through the NFL Draft.

Front offices really hope they can infuse their team with an influx of solid young players, because it sets up a strong foundation for them moving forward. It might seem a little bit extreme to say, but decisions made at the draft can affect next year’s Super Bowl bets in advance. We saw evidence of this during the previous Super Bowl, as rookie running back Isiah Pacheco and defensive tackle Jordan Davis suited up for the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively. There will probably be a couple of first year players who suit up for the big game next February as well.

We’ll take a closer look at three players who many analysts believe have a decent amount of risk, but also possess a tremendous amount of reward if they reach their potential.

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Anthony Richardson

One of the biggest wild cards in this year’s NFL Draft is quarterback Anthony Richardson from the University of Florida. NFL teams are enamored with his physical talent, as it appears like there isn’t anything he can’t do out on the field. The idea that he could be the next Josh Allen or Cam Newton is going to be awfully difficult for franchises to pass up on in the first ten selections.

However, Richardson’s resume at the collegiate level is a bit brief, as he only became a full-time starter for the Gators this season. The game tape shows an ability for him to escape defenders outside the pocket while rocketing throws down the field, but his career numbers don’t exactly leap off of the page. Richardson has thrown for 24 touchdowns and 15 interceptions throughout his college career.

With all of these factors taken into consideration, any team that drafts him would be well suited by leaving Richardson on the bench for as long as they can, while he acclimates to the NFL game. Even with the break-in period built in, there are still a lot of teams who are going to want to have the chance to develop him into a star. There may be teams with uncertain quarterback situations like the Baltimore Ravens who may want to make a play for him.


Jalen Carter

Heading into every NFL Draft, there are usually only a couple of names mentioned that are worthy of being selected with the first overall pick. The 2023 NFL Draft is somewhat unique in the sense that there are a few players who could legitimately warrant going first, and one of those guys this year is defensive lineman Jalen Carter from the University of Georgia. At 6’3” and 310 pounds, Carter’s ability to serve as a matchup nightmare is a scary proposition for anyone who faces him.

Despite his talent, it seems all but assured that Carter probably won’t be selected with the first handful of picks. He’s involved in an off the field situation that has muddied his stock for a couple of different reasons. NFL organizations might be worried that Carter may turn into someone who makes less than ideal decisions away from the facility.

The league might also choose to suspend Carter for a few games at the outset of his NFL career, although their jurisdiction regarding an incident that happened while he was in college is unclear. It appears as if Carter will be available for certain teams at a point in the draft he was never expected to go. It will be fascinating to see which organization decides to bring him in.


Bijan Robinson

While the two players above have different circumstances that affect where they will be selected in the draft, running back Bijan Robinson from the University of Texas has very few question marks with regards to things that actually pertain to him. He’s viewed as a powerful, athletic carrier of the football, who can make tacklers miss and take the ball the distance on any play. Robinson’s pass catching ability has also been lauded, which is something teams are always looking for out of the backfield.

However, it’s been well documented that NFL teams aren’t looking to invest substantial capital at the running back position at this day and age. This widely held viewpoint would seemingly limit how high Robinson can get selected, despite his impressive skill set. There may be a team who will throw out the playbook with regards to where running backs should be drafted, if they think he can be the missing piece.

There are a few dots that connect Robinson with the Cincinnati Bengals at the end of the first round, which would be a frightening thought for AFC opponents. It seems like there’s a decent chance the team will not bring starter Joe Mixon back, which would open the door for Robinson to have a huge role right away. The last two running backs drafted in the first round were Travis Etienne of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Najee Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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