2023 NFL Draft order: Bears holding highest pick since 2017; Cardinals nearing top 10

This is a look at the first-round order for the 2023 NFL Draft heading into Week 12 of the 2022 NFL season, along with the top three needs for each team. The order is determined by record, using strength of schedule as the first tiebreaker (click here to see a full list of the draft-order tiebreakers). Keep in mind — teams that would make the playoffs if the season ended today are marked as PL (short for playoffs) in the order below. The draft order for playoff teams is determined by the results of postseason play.

Arrows reflect movement from last week’s order.

NOTE: The NFL announced in August that the Miami Dolphins will forfeit their 2023 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick following an investigation into whether the team violated league policies pertaining to the integrity of the game.

Biggest needs: QB, WR, DT

Week 12 opponent: at Dolphins

EE: The Texans have had to rely on the likes of Maliek Collins, Thomas Booker, Roy Lopez, Kurt Hinish and Michael Dwumfour at defensive tackle. That’s just not going to work in 2023. Houston’s opponents are averaging nearly 180 rush yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry.

Biggest needs: QB, CB, DL

Week 12 opponent: vs. Broncos

DP: There are needs in a lot of places for the Panthers, so defensive line gets a spot on the list this week, replacing wide receiver. Carolina has building blocks in Brian Burns and Derrick Brown, but the complementary pieces are not yet in place.

Biggest needs: Edge, DL, OL

Week 12 opponent: at Jets

DP: The Bears have lost seven of eight, they face teams with winning records in three of their next four games and Justin Fields is injured. They’re trending toward making their highest draft pick since they selected Mitch Trubisky second overall in 2017.

Biggest needs: OT, Edge, DL

Week 12 opponent: at Seahawks

EE: Kolton Miller is a building block when healthy. Rookies Dylan Parham and Thayer Munford Jr. also have shown promise in Year 1. But Munford looks like a better option inside than at right tackle, a position that has been a black hole for Las Vegas this entire season. Josh McDaniels knows his offense can’t keep being held back by poor blocking on the edge.


Broncos’ record: 3-7 (.446)

Broncos’ Week 12 opponent: at Panthers

See the playoff teams section of this article for analysis of the Seahawks’ and Broncos’ needs.


Rams’ record: 3-7 (.486)

Rams’ Week 12 opponent: at Chiefs

See Pick No. 13 for analysis of the Lions’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Rams’ needs.

Biggest needs: DL, CB, TE

Week 12 opponent: vs. Ravens

EE: Cornerback Tyson Campbell looks like a young star in the making. But the four other primary options at corner have been sub-par or worse. Jacksonville can cut Shaquill Griffin without too much of a hit in 2023, so we expect the team to comb the draft options at the position for more help.


Browns’ record: 3-7 (.539)

Browns’ Week 12 opponent: vs. Buccaneers

See Pick No. 1 for analysis of the Texans’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Browns’ needs.

Biggest needs: OT, CB, DL

Week 12 opponent: at Colts

EE: All three levels of the defense might need help, and the draft is likely to supply some of that. The Steelers could use more youth up front, a change in personnel at linebacker and possibly some additional pieces in the secondary with a handful of DBs set to hit free agency.


Saints’ record: 4-7 (.469)

Saints’ Week 12 opponent: at 49ers

NOTE: See the playoff teams section of this article for analysis of the Eagles’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Saints’ needs.

Biggest needs: OL, CB, Edge

Week 12 opponent: vs. Chargers

DP: There wasn’t much that went right for the Cardinals’ defense in Mexico City, but the pass rush was especially lacking. Arizona failed to sack Jimmy Garoppolo and pressured him just six times on 29 dropbacks.

Biggest needs: WR, S, TE

Week 12 opponent: at Eagles

DP: The tight end spot is going to require the Packers’ attention this offseason, with backup Josiah Deguara the only Green Bay player at the position who doesn’t have a deal that voids or expires in 2023. 

Biggest needs: QB, DB, DL

Week 12 opponent: vs. Bills

DP: Jared Goff’s production has been quite ordinary (64.1 completion percentage, 179.3 yards per game, 3:1 TD-INT ratio, 91.7 rating) over the last few games, but the Lions have still won three in a row. Now it’s looking like the 2023 first-round pick acquired from the Rams could give Detroit a better chance to land a top quarterback in the draft than its own first-rounder.

Biggest needs: QB, WR, Edge

Week 12 opponent: vs. Steelers

EE: The Colts have gone the veteran route at quarterback, almost on an annual basis, to address big needs at the position. They also drafted backup types such as Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger in that same timeframe. The approach likely needs a changeup this offseason.

Biggest needs: Edge, WR, DL

Week 12 opponent: at Commanders

DP: Quarterback slides off the needs list for now, with sources telling NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport the Falcons love the development of rookie Desmond Ridder, who is waiting in the wings should Marcus Mariota move in the wrong direction.

Biggest needs: WR, OT, DL

Week 12 opponent: at Cardinals

EE: It remains to be seen whether Jamaree Salyer could play right tackle next season once Rashawn Slater returns from injury. If Salyer’s not the answer at the position, the Chargers can’t keep trying their current options there.

Biggest needs: QB, CB, OL

Week 12 opponent: vs. Falcons

DP: Credit Taylor Heinicke for earning the starting job, but we’re going to need to see more winning before moving quarterback down the needs list here. Heinicke’s career record as a starter is now 11-11, including the playoffs.

Biggest needs: OL, S, QB

Week 12 opponent: vs. Bears

EE: Even with a strong showing in a Week 9 upset of the Bills, Zach Wilson’s continued struggles in the big picture — especially against New England — bear watching. Drafting a quarterback two years after they took Wilson second overall feels like it’s far short of being a lock. But the possibility of taking an interesting project a bit farther down in the draft is something to keep an eye on.

Biggest needs: QB, DB, DL

Week 12 opponent: at Browns

DP: The Bucs last spent a first-round pick on a cornerback in 2016, when they drafted Vernon Hargreaves, who is currently out of the league. They could find themselves back in the market at the position this offseason with Jamel Dean in a contract year.


49ers’ record: 6-4 (.413)

49ers’ Week 12 opponent: vs. Saints

Broncos’ needs: OL, WR, CB

EE: The Broncos must get the offensive line right next season for the offense to have a chance to flourish. They’ve used seven different O-line combinations this season, and few of them feature the requisite athleticism to match Russell Wilson’s skill set. Expect significant changes to this group in the offseason.

NOTE: See the bottom of this article for analysis of the 49ers’ and Dolphins’ needs.

Biggest needs: Edge, WR, LB

Week 12 opponent: vs. Raiders

DP: In addition to the three positions listed above, the interior offensive line is a spot to watch for the Seahawks. Starting center Austin Blythe and guard Phil Haynes have deals that expire in 2023.

Biggest needs: OL, WR, DL

Week 12 opponent: at Vikings

EE: The continued shuffling on the offensive line and the recent injury to center David Andrews makes clear that the Patriots no longer have a bedrock group up front any longer, despite drafting Cole Strange in Round 1 this year. I believe there will be significant changes up front in New England next year.

Biggest needs: CB, OT, DL

Week 12 opponent: at Titans

EE: Chidobe Awuzie’s torn ACL and the continuing trials of Eli Apple make cornerback a position the Bengals almost certainly will address. But after drafting DBs Dax Hill and Cam Taylor-Britt in Rounds 1 and 2 this year, it wouldn’t be stunning to see director of player personnel Duke Tobin attack both lines of scrimmage at some point through the draft.

Biggest needs: QB, WR, interior OL

Week 12 opponent: at Cowboys

DP: The Giants’ leading receiver, Darius Slayton, is on pace for fewer than 750 receiving yards and is due to reach free agency this offseason. If Daniel Jones is back at quarterback in 2023, GM Joe Schoen has to give him more help on the perimeter.

Biggest needs: OL, TE, WR

Week 12 opponent: vs. Bengals

EE: Treylon Burks’ development is mildly encouraging, even with a stint on injured reserve. There’s also Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Robert Woods in tow, but the Titans theoretically could cut Woods this offseason and not incur a dead-money hit. The need here is to add a vertical threat to help stretch the field for more deep throws.

Biggest needs: WR, Edge, CB

Week 12 opponent: at Jaguars

EE: Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul have been godsends, but how long will they have left after this season? Odafe Oweh is one young building block, and David Ojabo could be an asset in time. Houston, Pierre-Paul and Steven Means are all free agents in the spring. They’ll almost certainly add depth.

Biggest needs: DB, OL, WR

Week 12 opponent: vs. Giants

DP: Dallas has spent a middle-round pick on a receiver in each of the last two drafts (Simi Fehoko, Round 5 in 2021; Jalen Tolbert, Round 3 in 2022), but the team is getting almost no production from them. Fehoko, who is currently on injured reserve, and Tolbert have combined for five catches for 36 yards this season.

Biggest needs: OL, S, LB

Week 12 opponent: at Lions

EE: There will still be a need on the interior of the offensive line next year. Rodger Saffold and Mitch Morse will be 35 and 31 years old, respectively, and they have not dominated in 2022. Neither has Ryan Bates, who has been average this season after the Bills matched an offer sheet from the Bears to keep him.

Biggest needs: OT, DL, WR

Week 12 opponent: vs. Rams

EE: The trade for Kadarius Toney and the recent emergence of Skyy Moore make the receiver room look pretty strong at the moment. But Mecole Hardman and JuJu Smith-Schuster are pending free agents who could walk, and Toney’s injury history can’t be ignored. It’s a position they still could address, depending on how free agency shakes out.

Biggest needs: DB, WR, DL

Week 12 opponent: vs. Patriots

DP: Sunday’s knockout via the Cowboys highlighted Minnesota’s need to get stronger in the trenches, including on a defensive line that could part with Jonathan Bullard and Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency.

Biggest needs: DB, Edge, DL

Week 12 opponent: vs. Packers

DP: The Eagles recently signed Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph to bolster the interior defensive line for the stretch run, and they might be looking for help in that area again come the offseason. The contracts for Suh and Joseph run through the end of this season, and the deals for Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave void in 2023.



Biggest needs: DT, WR, S

Week 12 opponent: vs. Buccaneers

EE: The receivers Deshaun Watson meshes with down the stretch could give us an idea of how the Browns will proceed at the position next season. Amari Cooper will be on the roster. Donovan Peoples-Jones will, too. David Bell and Michael Woods II figure to be back. After that, it’s a fairly blank canvas. 


Biggest needs: Edge, OL, DB

Week 12 opponent: at Chiefs

DP: Of the four defensive backs the Rams started in Sunday’s loss to the Saints — the team’s fourth straight defeat — Jalen Ramsey is the only one whose contract runs beyond the 2022 campaign.


Biggest needs: OL, CB, TE

Week 12 opponent: vs. Texans

EE: Right now, the primary needs lie at the positions listed above. But the Dolphins could be left thin at other spots — such as running back — depending on how they manage their contracts and how free agency goes. There isn’t a tailback on the roster currently who is under contract for 2023.


Biggest needs: QB, DL, WR

Week 12 opponent: at 49ers

DP: With no first-round pick in next year’s draft, the Saints probably won’t be selecting early enough to find their 2023 starter at quarterback, but they’re going to need to develop a young passer at some point. 


Biggest needs: OL, DL, DB

Week 12 opponent: vs. Saints

DP: San Francisco lost to Philly in the Ndamukong Suh Sweepstakes, and the team’s hunt for interior D-line depth could extend to draft season given the potential free-agent departures up front.

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