A hectic first day of NFL free agency has concluded. As teams fill holes on their respective rosters, it changes their perspective on the 2023 NFL Draft. Here are the Day 1 signings that could impact a team's strategy on draft night:
Jimmy Garoppolo to sign with the Raiders
Head coach Josh McDaniels and Jimmy Garoppolo reunite after spending four years together in New England. Garoppolo received a lucrative deal (three years, $67.5 million) that certainly implies he will be the team's starter initially. More importantly, the move gives Las Vegas flexibility. The Raiders do not have to act out of desperation to fill the position, but if a quarterback to their liking were to be available in the draft, then the contract does not prevent them from adding that player.
OT Andre Dillard signing in Tennessee
Left tackle Taylor Lewan was released and right tackle was already a need. Andre Dillard fills one of those roles and allows the Titans to play the draft board instead of being in a position where they had to pick an offensive tackle. One should not rule out the idea that Tennessee takes an offensive tackle in the first round, but it is not a given after Day 1 of free agency. The Titans could theoretically sign another free agent offensive tackle and remove the need entirely.
Browns adding interior defensive line help
The interior defensive line has been an issue for Cleveland despite investing multiple draft picks into the unit. Monday night's terms agreement with Vikings defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson removes some of the pressure as first-year defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz builds his defense. The Browns are without a first-round pick as a result of the Deshaun Watson trade but defensive tackle was a high priority in the second round. The team could still draft an interior player but it is no longer a necessity.
Lions bolster secondary with addition of Cam Sutton
Cameron Sutton gives Detroit depth at the cornerback position with Jeff Okudah and Jerry Jacobs. The Lions, who hold the Nos. 6 and 18 overall selections, have been associated with the top cornerbacks in this draft class. The Sutton signing does not automatically remove the position from consideration but it allows them the flexibility to take a different position whether that is quarterback, defensive tackle, edge rusher, tight end or otherwise.
Giants adding veteran to linebacker room
Indianapolis has done a good job of developing linebackers, but that development has cost it over the past few years losing veteran contributors like Anthony Walker and Bobby Okereke. Okereke is the latest to depart as he signs with the New York Giants. Similar to most other signings, Okereke's presence does not remove the linebacker position from consideration in the draft, but it makes it less urgent. The Giants hold the No. 26 overall selection and will probably be targeting other positions, but linebacker was thought to be a position of interest as the team enters Day 2.
Bears to sign not one, but two linebackers
After trading Roquan Smith to Baltimore, Chicago invested heavily in the position on the first day of free agency by agreeing to terms with T.J. Edwards and Tremaine Edmunds. The defensive front seven is expected to be heavily emphasized in the draft with focus now on the edge rusher and defensive tackle positions.
Chicago is also expected to sign offensive guard Nate Davis. At No. 9 overall, one player who has been mentioned is Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski. He played left tackle for the Wildcats, but will be viewed as an interior blocker by some teams. If the Bears are one of those teams, then the Davis signing also impacts the draft in that manner.
The Bills set to sign free agent offensive guard Connor McGovern makes the the position less likely in the first round. Florida's O'Cyrus Torrence had been a popular association for them in mock draft scenarios. The Broncos invested heavily in the trenches with right tackle Mike McGlinchey, offensive guard Ben Powers and defensive lineman Zach Allen. Although the Broncos do not have a first-round selection as a result of the Russell Wilson trade, those positions fall down the list of needs for the AFC West franchise on Day 2.
CBSSports.com's Cody Benjamin named winners and losers from Day 1 of free agency. Fans can also find every free agent signing broken down by team.