2023 NFL Draft Trades: Breaking Down all 7 moves in the First Round

Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. on stage after being selected by the Houston Texans third overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. on stage after being selected by the Houston Texans third overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

It was expected that the 2023 NFL Draft would be loaded with “quarterbacks and chaos” and it’s safe to say that we got plenty of that in the top 31 picks on Thursday night. After a flurry of trades in the top half of round one, things settled down a little bit but the shock factor continued all throughout, including with some of the players left on the board.

Although there were no established studs traded during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft like AJ Brown and Hollywood Brown were in the 2022 NFL Draft, there were still plenty of fireworks. In total, seven trades went down on Thursday, including one deal that didn’t impact the first round at all. Let’s break down every move that took place, in the order in which they happened.

Breaking down every first-round trade in the 2023 NFL Draft

1. Cardinals popped for tampering with Jonathan Gannon

Cardinals get:

  • 94th pick (3rd round)
  • 2024 5th-round pick

Eagles get:

  • 66th pick

Just before the draft got going, it was reported that the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals came to a settlement over some tampering issue with the Cardinals hiring Jonathan Gannon to be their next head coach.

Make no mistake about it — this is a huge blow for the Arizona Cardinals. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles and general manager Howie Roseman just keep on winning.

2. Houston Texans make shocking move up to no. 3 with Cardinals

Texans get:

  • 3rd pick
  • 105th pick (4th round)

Cardinals get:

  • 12th pick
  • 33rd pick (2nd round)
  • 2024 1st-round pick
  • 2024 3rd-round pick

Almost undoubtedly the biggest trade of the first round happened almost right away. The Houston Texans surprised just about everybody by picking CJ Stroud second overall, and they shocked everyone by trading up from no. 12 overall into that 3rd overall slot to take Will Anderson Jr. as well.

It cost the Texans some very valuable picks, including that 2024 first-round pick (Texans pick, not Cleveland’s pick). But Houston were big winners of the first round.

3. Arizona Cardinals jump up to 6th pick with Lions

Cardinals get:

  • 6th pick
  • 81st pick (3rd round)

Lions get:

  • 12th pick
  • 34th pick (2nd round)
  • 168th overall (5th round)

The Arizona Cardinals were at it yet again with their third move of the night, moving back up in this case with the Detroit Lions in order to select Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. Protecting Kyler Murray was worth the price of a borderline first-round pick (34th overall) to the Cardinals, who did end up getting 81 back. This team needs a volume of picks so thankfully, they were able to recoup that one.

The Lions turned around and took Jahmyr Gibbs at pick no. 12, one of the most shocking picks of round one.

4. Philadelphia Eagles move up one spot with Chicago Bears

Eagles get:

  • 9th pick

Bears get:

  • 10th pick
  • 2024 4th-round pick

The Philadelphia Eagles were picking 10th and 30th overall going into this night despite winning the NFC last year. Playing with house money is an understatement. They traded a meaningless 4th-round pick in 2024 to the Bears in order to move up and take a risk on Jalen Carter, the player some consider the best overall talent in this class. After losing Javon Hargrave in free agency, it feels like an ideal situation for all parties.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers trade up with the Patriots a handful of spots

Steelers get:

  • 14th pick

Patriots get:

  • 17th pick
  • 120th pick (4th round)

A run on offensive tackles prompted the Steelers to move up, not to select Joey Porter’s kid, but Broderick Jones. Jones joins a Steelers offensive line that will now look to punish folks on the ground. It was a disappointing year two for Najee Harris. Hopefully this pick can get Pittsburgh some better balance offensively.

6. New York Giants move up one spot in swap with Jaguars

Giants get:

  • 24th pick

Jaguars get:

  • 25th pick
  • 160th pick (5th round)

After a bit of a dry spell, the New York Giants moved up one spot, paying the price of a fifth-round pick to do so, in order to select Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks. Cornerbacks fell a little bit with a big run on WRs from pick 20-23.

7. Buffalo Bills move up as Jaguars move down for a second time

Bills get:

  • 25th pick

Jaguars get:

  • 27th pick
  • 130th pick (4th round)

The final trade in the first round came from the Buffalo Bills, who traded a fourth-round pick in a swap with the Jacksonville Jaguars to jump the Dallas Cowboys and take the first (and only) tight end off the board in round one of the 2023 NFL Draft — Dalton Kincaid. The Bills got themselves another big-time weapon for Josh Allen to spread the ball to.