NFL Draft 2023 was one of the most unpredictable drafts in recent years. Despite the widespread anticipation leading up to the event, no one could have predicted what would come. Fans and analysts were left scratching their heads as the first few rounds unfolded, with the only certainty being that quarterback Bryce Young would be selected as the first overall pick by the Carolina Panthers.

As with every NFL draft, there were bound to be some teams that fared better than others. In NFL Draft 2023, it was no different. The Houston Texans and Las Vegas Raiders were particularly well-positioned heading into the draft, boasting an impressive arsenal of 12 picks each.

NFL Draft 2023 Winners: Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young on stage after he was drafted first overall by the Carolina Panthers in the first round of the NFL Draft 2023 at Union Station. | ©USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Houston Texans and Las Vegas Raiders having the most picks, it was the four teams with multiple first-round picks that generated the most excitement in the NFL Draft 2023. The New York Jets had demonstrated in the previous year’s draft that getting those picks right could be a game-changer, even for a team that was still in the early stages of its rebuild.

The 2023 NFL Draft presented a unique opportunity for several teams that were on the cusp of championship contention in 2022. By filling gaps in their rosters, these teams could make a significant push toward a Super Bowl title. Three such teams that emerged from the draft as serious contenders were:

NFL Draft 2023 Winners

1. Baltimore Ravens

As the hours ticked down to the NFL Draft 2023, Baltimore Ravens fans received the news they had been eagerly awaiting: quarterback Lamar Jackson had inked a long-term contract to remain with the team for the foreseeable future. With their franchise player locked in, the Ravens knew that the key to success was surrounding him with the right pieces to compete in a highly competitive AFC.

NFL Draft 2023 Winners: Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings
Regarded as one of the best budding wide receivers, Zay Flowers was picked as the Baltimore Ravens No. 1 pick.

The Baltimore Ravens’ main objective in the NFL Draft 2023 was to give quarterback Lamar Jackson the weapons he needs to compete in the AFC. The Ravens only had five picks going into the draft, but they managed to get their top target, wide receiver Zay Flowers, in the first round. Flowers will join a receiver room that already boasts Odell Beckham Jr, Nelson Agholor, Rashod Bateman, and Devin Duvernay, as well as All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews. The addition of Flowers and the other weapons makes the Ravens’ offense one of the most explosive in the NFL, especially with a healthy J.K. Dobbins in the backfield.

The Ravens are hoping that this draft class will help them finally get over the hump and win a championship. In previous years, they have been very close but fell short due to injuries or bad play calls. With their main target secured, the Ravens used the rest of the draft to supplement their roster and make another push. With the addition of Flowers and other talented players, Baltimore is poised to make a run for the Super Bowl in the upcoming season.

2. Philadelphia Eagles

NFL Draft 2023 Winners: Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings

The Philadelphia Eagles were the reigning NFC champions and came within one game of winning the Super Bowl in 2022. They had a remarkable NFL Draft 2023, which gave them an edge over their rivals. With five picks in the first 105, they had all the resources they needed to make a second run at the Lombardi trophy.

The Eagles’ defense made a significant difference for them last year, and with the loss of some key players, they went back to retool on that side of the ball. The team took a page out of the Georgia Bulldogs’ playbook, drafting five of their players in two years, including Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith for their defensive line and Kelee Ringo as a cornerback.

The addition of running back Deandre Swift on the draft night only solidified the Eagles’ already impressive offense. The team looks even better going into the 2023 season and has placed itself as favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl once again. With the remarkable draft picks the Eagles have made, there is no doubt they will be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming season.

3. Minnesota Vikings

NFL Draft 2023 Winners: Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings finished the 2022 season with an impressive record of 13-4, securing the third seed in the NFC. Many wondered if their success was due to luck or skill, but it was actually a bit of both. Head coach Kevin O’Connell’s organizational skills had a significant impact on the team’s success. The Vikings were particularly impressive in situational plays, which improved greatly compared to previous years. The team’s offense, led by Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson, was exceptional, despite the defense ranking 31st overall.

In the NFL Draft 2023, the Vikings added wide receiver Jordan Addison to their already impressive pass-catching group. With Jefferson, KJ Osborn, and tight end TJ Hockenson, this offense will be a nightmare for opposing defenses to match up against. Mekhi Blackman, a third-round cornerback, was a steal for the Vikings. The cornerback position was a real need for the team, and if Blackman can improve on his talent displayed at USC, he could be a gem for Minnesota.

The Vikings only had five picks in the draft, but their first two selections could be game-changers next season. The team’s success will also rely on the continued growth of its young players, including quarterback Kirk Cousins and wide receiver Justin Jefferson. With a solid foundation in place, the Vikings have the potential to make a deep playoff run in the upcoming season.