Which 2023 Draft Picks Are Best Setup To Make An Impact As Rookies?

Now that the NFL draft picks have blossomed into fresh-faced rookies, it’s time to determine which of them are poised to be those “instant impact” players. Hold onto your nachos! As the 2023 NFL Draft concludes, the crystal ball of NFL experts is buzzing with predictions. They’re wagering on which fresh-faced rookies will effortlessly glide into the NFL scores next season. With so many teams at the table, it’s a gamble to see who’ll make a touchdown-worthy transition.

According to reliable online sources, I have compiled a list of the most promising rookie players from different teams who are poised to make a remarkable impact in 2023. Following these predictions, I will share my personal favorites.

Best Rookies From 2023’s Draft Picks

Paris Johnson Jr., Arizona Cardinals

Paris Johnson, Jr., the top lineman in the draft, will start immediately for the Cardinals. His versatility and the team’s need for a strong offensive line make him a valuable addition.

Darnell Wright, Chicago Bears

Darnell Wright, a versatile Tennessee offensive tackle, excelled on the right side, earning a first-round pick. He’s set to be the Day 1 starter at right tackle for the Bears, filling a crucial hole.

Charlie Jones, Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals found their dynamic slot receiver & return specialist in Charlie Jones. He brings game-changing momentum flips & potential as Burrow’s go-to target, with future slot receiver potential.

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

Despite pre-draft scrutiny, the Panthers confidently chose QB Bryce Young. His skills, Alabama’s success, and potential make him a strong bet for greatness and the Panthers contenders for the NFC South title.

O’Cyrus Torrence, Buffalo Bills

The Bills’ high draft choice of guard O’Cyrus Torrence suggests his exceptional versatility and fit in their 2023 zone-blocking scheme. With his talent, they aim for Torrence to excel as a rookie and secure the starting job at right guard, exceeding expectations.

Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens

Zay Flowers, the standout wide receiver, is set to have a significant offensive role right away, benefiting from Lamar Jackson’s accurate throws and potentially contributing to the return game.

Bijan Robinson, Atlanta Falcons

Texas RB Bijan Robinson is the clear choice for the Falcons. He’ll make an immediate impact, affecting every aspect of the offense. Comparisons to McCaffrey and Kamara speak volumes.

Siaki Ika, Cleveland Browns

Likely influenced by new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Siaki Ika is expected to be the lead contributor at defensive tackle for the Browns in 2023.

DT Mazi Smith, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys bolstered their run defense with DT Mazi Smith, adding immediate force in the middle. Smith’s pass rush potential and pairing with Osa Odighizuwa create a strong DT duo. A smart pick breaking a first-round drought since ’91.

Will Anderson Jr., Houston Texans

With C.J. Stroud’s potential impact uncertain, the immediate star is Will Anderson Jr. Houston’s first-round pick, a dominant force with impressive college stats. DeMeco Ryans will position this young linebacker for success.

Marvin Mims, Denver Broncos

Marvin Mims faces tough competition at WR, but Coach Payton has a specific role for him. Mims’ knack for stretching defenses adds a vital dimension to Denver’s offense, aiming to revive last season’s low-scoring performance.

Jack Campbell Detroit Lions

Lions GM Brad Holmes prioritized impact players. Jack Campbell, a plug-and-play stack linebacker, brings speed and effort to boost the defense. Expect a much-improved Lions defense in 2023.

Luke Musgrave Green Bay Packers

Luke Musgrave, a promising tight end, fills a void for the Packers. Experts predict his talent could make him the best in this draft class. Musgrave’s skill set and opportunity to be the top TE in Green Bay’s offense have the Packers thrilled.

Julius Brents, Indianapolis Colts

Indy’s own Julius Brents could be the Colts’ standout rookie. With the cornerback roster thinning, the physical Brents has the tools to start from Day 1. Coming off an impressive college season, he’s poised to make an impact despite a wrist injury.

Antonio Johnson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Steal of the draft! Jaguars land Antonio Johnson, a top-ranked safety. He fills a major secondary need and brings impact as a box safety. It was a brilliant pick at 160th in the fifth round!

DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas City Chiefs

With his talent and first-round status, DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah has the clearest path to make an immediate impact for the Chiefs. He’ll thrive alongside DE George Karlaftis, bolstering the pass rush on crucial third downs with Charles Omenihu and Chris Jones.

Michael Mayer, Las Vegas Raiders

Michael Mayer, despite starting behind Hooper and Howard, possesses the tools to become the eventual starter. Strong, reliable, and skilled in route running, he needs to enhance his blocking technique under Coach McDaniels. Determination and physicality make it possible.

Tuli Tuipulotu, Los Angeles Chargers

Tuli Tuipulotu is set for significant playing time as a rookie. 3rd an edge rusher behind Bosa and Mack, with 25 snaps per game guaranteed. Interior pass rush ability, and potential for dynamic packages. The Chargers trust him as a key run defender.

Steve Avila, Los Angeles Rams

Steve Avila brings versatility and potential to the Rams’ interior offensive line. With his character and work ethic, he’s poised to excel as a long-term center, providing stability to a struggling roster.

Cam Smith, Miami Dolphins

Cornerback Cam Smith’s versatility and playmaking instincts make him Miami’s top pick. He’ll shine alongside Ramsey and Howard, benefiting from learning under their expertise.

WR Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings

Vikings took a chance on WR Jordan Addison, confident in his skills and ability to thrive. Despite size concerns, his separation skills and impact on defensive coverages make him a valuable weapon alongside Justin Jefferson.

My Personal Favorites

Offensive players

Here are a few offensive players who I think have a good chance to make an impact as rookies in 2023:

  • Bijan Robinson: Robinson is an all-around powerhouse at running back. He brings a lethal combination of speed, versatility, and selflessness. Expect him to be a prized asset in any offense, and don’t be shocked if he claims the starting spot from day one.
  • Treylon Burks: Burks is a colossal target, blessed with the strength to make plays deep in the field. A master of routes, his hands are golden. Brace yourself, for he will become the go-to guy and a day-one big-play menace for his QB.
  • Drake London: London is a towering target with the ability to create big plays deep down the field. A formidable weapon in the red zone, he’ll be a prized asset for any offense, capable of making an immediate impact as a dynamic big-play receiver.

Defensive players

  • Will Anderson Jr.: Anderson is an unstoppable pass-rusher with lightning-fast speed and impressive athleticism. He’s a ball magnet and a defensive line powerhouse who just might achieve double-digit sacks in his rookie season. Get ready to witness some serious quarterback takedowns!
  • Kyle Hamilton: Hamilton is the Swiss Army knife of safeties. He’s a tackling wizard, a deep-ball defender, and a box playmaker. Any defense would be lucky to have him and don’t be surprised if he’s rocking that Pro Bowl jersey as a rookie.
  • Andrew Booth Jr.: Booth is a lockdown cornerback, a real receiver repellent. With his lightning speed, athleticism, and nose for the ball, he’s the total package. Expect him to start from day one and become an NFL shutdown corner.

While there are plenty of talented players in this draft class, these few have a real shot at making a lasting impact. Keep an eye on them as they battle it out for the prestigious title of Rookie of the Year.

Factors To Consider When Predicting Rookie Impact

There are a number of factors that can affect a rookie’s impact, including:

  • Position. Some positions, such as quarterback and pass rusher, are more likely to produce impact players than others.
  • Team needs. A player who fills a team’s biggest need is more likely to see the field early and often.
  • Coaching staff. A good coaching staff can help a rookie develop and reach their full potential.
  • Health. Injuries can derail even the most promising rookie careers.


The upcoming 2023 NFL draft holds immense promise with a remarkably talented class, comprising numerous players poised to leave a significant mark as rookies. Anticipation builds as we eagerly await the development and invaluable contributions these players will bring to their respective teams in the coming years.

Although it is challenging to definitively forecast the immediate impact of rookie players in the NFL, by taking into account the aforementioned factors, one can gain valuable insights into which individuals possess the potential for remarkable success.