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  • Writer's pictureDominic Konareski

Grading New York's 2023 First Round NFL Draft Picks

New York teams each made one pick during the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, let's take a look at who will play for the Empire State teams.


New York Jets | Pick 15 | Will McDonald IV | DE

The Jets moved from 13th overall to 15th with the Aaron Rodgers trade swap, nevertheless there were still stacked options both offensively and defensively. Many thought that New York would draft Wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, but they would pass and instead add a Defensive end in the name of Will McDonald IV. The 23-year-old 6-foot-4 DE played at Iowa State dating back to 2018, New York considered him the best pass rusher in this year’s draft. It was a shocking pick though, no one expected McDonald to sport a green and white jersey in ‘23 and he was expected to go late in the first round, obviously the Jets valued him higher.

OVERALL DRAFT GRADE: C


New York Giants | Pick 24 | Deonte Banks | CB

Big Blue hit the bank with Deonte Banks as the team gets a star in what was an inconsistent cornerback depth chart last season. Banks will succeed right at the start and overall could be one of the best CBs in the NFL next to Jets’ Sauce Gardner. 2022 featured 26 tackles in a great rebound year after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in 2021.

OVERALL DRAFT GRADE: B+


Buffalo Bills | Pick 25 | Dalton Kincaid | TE

Many have given mixed reviews of Buffalo adding a Tight end in the first round, but it was something that needed to happen. The Utah TE had 70 receptions in 2022 for 890 yards, he averaged 12 yards-per-reception. Kincaid fits perfectly in the Bills’ offensive scheme and could be Josh Allen’s TE1 for this upcoming season. One of the best attributes to the draftee is his ability to work hard: Kincaid only played one year of high school football and was a walk-on at San Diego before ending up at Utah, now he is the Buffalo Bills’ first round selection.

OVERALL DRAFT GRADE: A+


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