NFL execs make predictions for 2023: Forecasting landing spots for top QBs and big names

  • ESPN staff writer
  • Previously a college football reporter for
  • University of Florida graduate

The 2022 NFL offseason was one of the wildest in recent memory.

The Seattle Seahawks stepped out boldly (or clairvoyantly?) and traded Russell Wilson, considered at the time a top passer in his prime.

The Cleveland Browns shook the league with the Deshaun Watson deal.

Tom Brady’s retirement lasted about 40 days, before Brady realized he preferred the pocket to the golf course.

Ten NFL franchises changed head coaches.

Three top receivers — Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill and A.J. Brown — changed teams via trade.

Like we do every January, we tried to forecast some of the action by talking to evaluators and coaches around the league. Not every prediction looks smart — the one about the Eagles moving on from Jalen Hurts was rather painful. But we got plenty right, too, including Wilson wearing a new jersey, the Browns trading Baker Mayfield, Sean Payton taking a TV gig and the Steelers drafting Ben Roethlisberger’s successor in Kenny Pickett.

This year feels even harder to predict. Is there a natural home for Aaron Rodgers? Tough to read. Will Lamar Jackson really wear a new jersey before 2023? Anything feels possible, but there’s hardly evidence of that at the moment. Free agency and the draft will keep a frantic pace of moves that are hard to crystallize just yet.

Nonetheless, we asked a selection of top league executives to come with bold takes only. Here are some of the themes that emerged from those conversations:

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