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2023 RZL First Round Draft Grades (11-20)
By Keith Van Wagner
Special to rzl-football.com

Here is the second installment of my Draft Grades. Please keep in mind the disclaimers I put forth in the first article. Enjoy!

1.11 Ė WR Dennis Anderson, Cardinals. Initially I didnít have Anderson that high on my draft board and looking back now, Iím not sure why. I had Warren Carson ranked higher, but in retrospect I like Anderson better. Anderson doesnít have mind blowing attributes, but he has what matters most for a WR Ė size (6í2Ē) and speed (94 SPD), arguably the best combo behind Lawrence Ellis. This rookie doesnít have good hands (68 CTH) but that can progress. He also lacks much football smarts (45 AWR) or decent stamina, but at the end of the day Anderson looks like he can be a stud. GRADE: B+

1.12 Ė TE Juan Torres, Lions. The Lions picked Torres higher than anybody has ever picked a TE before. Is he that special? Maybe, maybe not. Torres has speed, and lots of it. Heís not that dissimilar from Fendi Onobun, who has had a good career. But is 45 catches and 750 yards a year worth a first round pick? The Lions need weapons for new QB Tyler Wilson, but time will tell if Torres will be the difference maker. GRADE: C+

1.13 Ė FS Russell Graham, Eagles. Taking a safety in the first round is like eating broccoli. Itís not that much fun, but itís good for you. Here, the Eagles take Graham and immediately improve their secondary. Graham has the size (6í2Ē) and good speed (88 SPD) but more importantly heís the strongest FS in the class, brings pro level awareness and has great jumping ability (93 JMP). GRADE: A

1.14 Ė DT Andrew Elliott, Giants. On my board there were 3 or 4 Defensive Tackles bunched together, including Elliott. You canít argue with his attributes. Heís one of the biggest bodies in the draft (338 lbs) and has a good combo of speed (64 SPD) and strength (93 STR). He does have some question marks about his toughness (74 TGH) but heíll be a solid starter. GRADE: B

1.15 Ė DT Wayne Ward, Giants. The Giants do the double pick, double DT move, which I donít know weíve ever seen before. Whatís interesting is that the Giants took DT Lamont Garcia in the Top 10 in 2021 and he had 8 sacks last year. So Iím not sure the strategy here. More to the point, Ward is a good talent on the smaller side, but I liked Michael Guerrero here more. Itís one thing to overload at a position if itís a guy you canít pass up. But I think the Giants couldíve passed here. GRADE: D+

1.16 Ė DT Michael Guerrero, Eagles. The Eagles beef up their interior defensive line with the pickup of Guerrero. Guerrero has the best combo of speed (67 SPD) and strength (95 STR) in the draft and good agility and acceleration. The only knock on the DT is his lack of size. At 6í0Ē heís giving up a few inches every snap. His 309 lb frame is nothing to sneeze at, but certainly not elite. Still, a good pick-up. GRADE: B+

1.17 Ė LG Stuart Allison, Bengals. This yearís offensive line crop was one of the thinnest in years. Whereas the 2017 draft had 6 lineman taken in the first, 2023 features only 1, Stuart Allison. Allison is a curious pick in that he clearly wasnít the best lineman available. Allison does possess some of the best acceleration in the draft (78 ACC), but other than that thereís nothing very special about him. GRADE: D+

1.18 Ė MLB Randall Johnston, Bucs. Leave it to the Bucs to nab one of the best players in the draft at a pivotal position in the back half of the draft. Johnston was the 7th best player on my board and the Bucs are instantly better. They donít even need Johnston as they have stud MLB Austin Dillon, but as usual Tampa Bay stockpiles elite players. Johnston lacks elite speed (81 SPD) but is impressive otherwise across the board. GRADE: A+

1.19 Ė CB Sean Allen, Seahawks. Itís not that I donít like Sean Allen, but the Seahawks miss an opportunity here by passing on CB Willie Saunders. Allen has decent height (5í11Ē), good speed (92 SPD) and is a ferocious tackler. But a player like Saunders is heavier, faster, more aware, and has better agility and acceleration. Allen is a bit stronger, but doesnít have the upside of Saunders. GRADE: B

1.20 Ė DE Matthew Collins, Vikings. Iím not sure what to make of Collins. To me heís more of a 3-4 DE or maybe a 4-3 DT. But I think the Vikings run a 4-3. Collins is huge for an End, coming in at 6í7Ē, 297 lbs. He doesnít have much speed (75 SPD) but is super strong (85 STR). Heíll be an interesting player to watch develop and see how he is deployed. He definitely has some talent, but itís unclear the best way to use it. GRADE: C+
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