Five first-round picks were traded before the 2023 NFL Draft even commenced. revisits each of those deals to explore how it has played out thus far.

No. 5 overall: Seahawks via Broncos

Russell Wilson
PIT • QB • #3
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It felt as though the partnership between Seattle and quarterback Russell Wilson was souring over the final two years. There were reports of "preferred destinations" before a trade had ever been requested. Denver was excited about acquiring the quarterback to work with first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett. Fast forward a year: Hackett is gone, and media outlets are exploring ways for the AFC West franchise to get out of Wilson's freshly signed contact in the event new head coach Sean Payton is unable to fix him. The team finished at the bottom of the AFC West with a 5-12 record.

Seattle used its haul of picks to rebuild the roster. Offensive tackle Charles Cross and edge rusher Boye Mafe were added with picks acquired in the deal last year. General manager John Schneider can continue his impressive run by making the most of this year's draft capital. Drew Lock did not contribute to the team's success but Noah Fant and Shelby Harris played impactful roles.

Witherspoon is arguably the best cornerback in the draft and a Day 1 starter in Seattle. He'll pair with Tariq Woolen at cornerback. Hall should bolster the Seahawks pass rush. 

No. 6 overall: Lions via Rams

Jared Goff
DET • QB • #16
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  • Detroit received: Quarterback Jared Goff; 2021 third-round selection (Ifeatu Melifonwu); 2022 No. 32 overall selection (used to trade up for Jameson Williams with the No. 12 selection); 2023 No. 6 overall selection (traded down and selected Jahmir Gibbs at No. 12 and Sam LaPorta at No. 34 overall -- also have a 2023 fifth-round pick). 
  • Los Angeles received: Quarterback Matthew Stafford

Detroit began the season with a 1-6 record. It went 8-2 to end the season on the back of Jared Goff and the offense. General manager Brad Holmes used the No. 32 overall selection to trade up and select Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams. The franchise added Gibbs in a running back rotation with David Montgomery and a LaPorta as a tight end after dealing T.J. Hockenson last year. 

The Rams obviously did not perform well this season given the Lions' placement in the draft order. However, the team did win a Super Bowl with Matthew Stafford, and that is more than enough to justify the draft capital surrendered as part of the trade.

No. 10 overall: Eagles via Saints

A.J. Brown
PHI • WR • #11
REC YDs1496
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  • New Orleans received: 2022 No. 16 overall selection (used to trade up for Chris Olave with the No. 11 selection), 2022 No. 19 overall selection (Trevor Penning) and 2022 sixth-round selection (Jordan Jackson)
  • Philadelphia received: 2022 No. 18 overall selection and 2022 third-round selection (both used to trade for A.J. Brown) and 2022 seventh-round selection (used to trade up for Kyron Johnson with a sixth-round selection); 2023 No. 10 overall selection (used to trade up and select Jalen Carter); 2024 second-round selection

The foresight of Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman to trade a first-round pick last year benefitted the Super Bowl runner-up. The Eagles now hold the No. 10 overall selection in this year's draft and used last year's first-round pick to acquire star wide receiver A.J. Brown. The Eagles' end of the deal will largely be completed this year with the No. 10 overall selection.

The Saints were desperate to fill a few needs in 2022. New Orleans used its first-round selections on wide receiver Chris Olave and offensive tackle Trevor Penning. Penning played in just six games this season while dealing with injury. Olave was highly productive, recording 72 receptions for 1,042 yards and four touchdowns. The team was heavily reliant upon him due to an injury to Michael Thomas. The Ohio State product was in the hunt for Offensive Rookie of the Year, but it was ultimately granted to his former teammate, Garrett Wilson.

The Eagles also parted ways with a 2024 fourth-round pick to move up one spot and draft Carter, arguably one of the top players in the draft. 

No. 12 overall: Texans via Browns

Deshaun Watson
CLE • QB • #4
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  • Cleveland received: Quarterback Deshaun Watson, 2024 sixth-round selection
  • Houston received: 2022 No. 13 overall selection [traded to Philadelphia in what resulted in the No. 15 overall selection (Kenyon Green), a second-round selection (John Metchie III), a third-round selection (Christian Harris) and a fifth-round selection (Thomas Booker); 2022 fourth-round selection (Dameon Pierce); 2023 No. 12 overall selection (traded up to select Will Anderson) and 2023 third-round selection; 2024 first-round selection (one of two first-round picks traded to Cardinals) and 2024 fourth-round selection

The Browns fell short of the playoffs in Deshaun Watson's first season. Jacoby Brissett played really well, but the team blew some ripe opportunities to win early in the season. Cleveland's viewpoint of the trade is strictly dependent upon Watson and just how far he is able to take the franchise. 

Houston is getting three first-round picks in exchange for Watson. It should theoretically get at least three foundational picks, but the reality is that the outlook of the trade will be determined by whether or not the Texans are able to land a franchise quarterback this year. If the quarterback of choice turns out to be a quality player, then the draft picks received should go a long way towards supplementing the roster. Last year, Houston traded back out of the pick acquired from Cleveland and selected Texas A&M interior offensive lineman Kenyon Green.  

The Texans had an abundance of premium picks, using them to move up from No. 12 to No. 3 and snag Anderson -- giving them two of the top three picks in the draft. 

No. 29 overall: Saints via Broncos via Dolphins via 49ers

  • New Orleans received: 2023 No. 29 overall selection; 2024 second-round selection
  • Denver received: Head coach Sean Payton; 2024 third-round selection

The most recent trade involving a first-round pick occurred earlier this month when Denver acquired Sean Payton from New Orleans. The Saints were without a first-round pick in 2022 until the Payton trade. 

Denver had acquired the pick in a trade that sent edge rusher Bradley Chubb to Miami. Miami acquired the pick from San Francisco as part of the package for the 2021 No. 3 overall selection, which was used on North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance