College football. Is. Back. As the roars of sold-out stadiums begin to erupt, let’s break down yet another 2023 NFL Mock Draft. There are a few blue-chip players at the top of the class, but the rest of the field is largely unsettled. So, let’s discuss and discover some NFL draft prospects that could create waves leading up to April.
2023 2-round NFL Mock Draft | Round 1
Using the Mock Draft Simulator, the 2023 NFL Draft order was based on the reverse order of current Vegas Super Bowl odds alongside PFN’s season-long projections.
1) Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Name the traits you want in a quarterback, and I can guarantee Bryce Young has them. Well, outside of size (6’0″, 194 pounds), if Kyler Murray can be the first overall pick, there’s no reason Young can’t.
Poise under pressure. Ability to work the middle of the field. Accuracy to all three levels. Young has it all. Plus, we’ve already seen him thrive against the closest a college player can get to an NFL defense: 2021 Georgia.
2) Atlanta Falcons: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Outside of A.J. Terrel, the Falcons’ defense is devoid of youthful talent. So, why not give them possibly the best defensive player in the draft?
Three Georgia defensive linemen came off the board in the first round last April. One even went first overall. But Jalen Carter is better than all of them. He consistently penetrates the pocket and is a scheme-independent DT. Carter is truly a top-three talent with twitch, power, and length.
3) Chicago Bears: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
As a true sophomore, Will Anderson Jr. racked up 17.5 sacks and 31 tackles for loss. For reference, Chase Young produced 16.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss as a junior. Anderson isn’t a cheap knockoff — he’s the upgrade.
Anderson is on the slighter side at 6’4″ and 240 pounds but showcases elite traits that made Von Miller a Hall of Fame pass rusher: explosiveness, flexibility, length, and power. Anderson doesn’t need to take another snap — he’s a surefire top-five pick.
4) Detroit Lions: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
The battle for QB1 won’t be settled until the end of the season. And even then, it may come down to one’s preference.
C.J. Stroud is the bigger passer and has no issue pushing the ball downfield. His delivery is compact, and his confidence and poise grew exponentially as the season progressed. He won’t heave the ball the furthest or run the fastest in the class, but Stroud wins games.
5) Seattle Seahawks: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
Seeking the most powerful EDGE in the country? Look no further than Clemson’s Myles Murphy. He cinder blocks for hands, popping on contact and controlling nearly every encounter. Murphy can chase RBs sideline to sideline, possesses a relentless motor, and doesn’t lack an exceptional first step. Complete packages don’t come much bigger than 6’5″ and 275 pounds.
6) New York Jets: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
With another season-ending injury, the Jets may be done with Mekhi Becton. Duane Brown can still play, but at 37 years old, the question is for how long? George Fant will be a free agent next offseason, so yeah, New York needs reinforcements at OT.
Peter Skoronski‘s high floor makes him one of the safest picks in the draft. He’s consistent in his technique and overall play, offering an easy transition from Rashawn Slater for Northwestern as a true freshman. Now, 6’4″ and 295 pounds without elite length leaves much to be desired. But Skoronski can add to his build prior to April and should quell concerns this season.
7) Jacksonville Jaguars: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
Kayshon Boutte is the next great LSU receiver to hear his name called in the first round of the NFL draft. You’d think he was homesick with how many house calls he makes (13 in his last eight games). It’s difficult not to see shades of Ja’Marr Chase with Boutte racking the No. 1 on his jersey. He could improve his physicality and aggressiveness at the catch point, but allowing him to do so would be borderline negligence on the NCAA’s behalf.
8) Carolina Panthers: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
If there is one word to describe Anthony Richardson in the 2023 NFL Draft, it’s “upside.” His physical traits vault him over other QBs behind the Young/Stroud tier. I mean, he looked like a five-star recruit at the high school level last season, only he was a redshirt freshman making collegiate defenders look silly. The things Richardson can do at 6’4″ and 237 pounds are uncanny.
But there’s a glaring issue with Richardson’s scouting report: 66. That’s how many pass attempts he’s thrown since joining Florida. If he can show marked improvements in his technique while also providing elite production in the SEC, Richardson would easily be the third QB off the board.
9) New York Giants: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
William Shakespeare once said, “A jack of all trades is a master of none but oftentimes better than a master of one.” There is no better way to describe Trenton Simpson. Need him to move to the slot and cover a receiver? Done. How about blitz on third down? Count the sack now. And what about filling gaps in run defense? Just call him Flex Seal the way he stops leaks.
10) Pittsburgh Steelers: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
There isn’t a Derek Stingley Jr. or Ahmad Gardner in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, the 6’2″ and 205-pound Kelee Ringo is a size/speed freak, recording a 4.35 40-yard dash in high school. He doesn’t allow receivers to stack him vertically, and he has the ability to squeeze opponents toward the sideline.
11) Washington Commanders: Antonio Johnson, DB, Texas A&M
Don’t call Antonio Johnson a safety or a cornerback. Simply call him a “defensive back” because pigeonholing him into one role is irresponsible. Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said it best:
“There’s not much [Johnson] can’t do. He’ll play nickel, safety, dime. We can move him around and match him up because he’s such a tremendous football player.”
6’3″ and 200 pounds should not move the way Johnson does. His rapid downhill trigger eliminates big plays before they can happen, and he has the speed to click and close and recover downfield.
12) New England Patriots: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
All you need is one game to understand why Jaxon Smith-Njigba is a foolproof top-15 selection: The 2021 Rose Bowl. Against Utah, Smith-Njigba set the record for the most receiving yards by any player in a bowl game in college football history with 347 on 15 receptions, including three TDs. But more than that, Smith-Njigba paced two 2022 NFL Draft first-rounders, Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, by over 500 yards in the same receiving room last season.
The issue is most of his production has come from the slot. Yet, with Olave and Wilson gone, Smith-Njigba should see more reps outside. Still, Justin Jefferson spent most of his collegiate career in the slot, and look how he turned out.
13) Philadelphia Eagles (from NO): Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
Have you ever been hit by a brick on the face? Me neither, but I’m sure that’s what it feels like to be tackled by Noah Sewell.
The 6’3″ and 250-pound linebacker is a heat-seeking missile from the second level. He crushes opponents coming downhill, dispatches blockers with ease, and is even a stellar blitzer. His coverage ability and open-field tackling are a bit of a work in progress. But if Sewell improves in those facets, I’d give a … Penei … for NFL offensive coordinators’ thoughts.
14) Arizona Cardinals: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
I’d like to put Nolan Smith higher in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, but his absence of polished pass-rush moves limits his ceiling. Regardless, the former No. 1 high school recruit in 2019 owns asinine closing speed, can set hard edges with a strong anchor, and quickly sheds blocks in run defense.
At 6’3″, Smith naturally wins leverage battles but will need to add weight (listed 235 pounds) to hold up in the NFL. Although there are some glaring issues with Smith’s profile, I’d bank on the defensive tone-setter reaching new heights this season.
15) Las Vegas Raiders: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
The Raiders need offensive line help as much as I need sleep after writing this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Paris Johnson Jr. has gone as high as the top five in recent mock drafts, and for good reason.
A former five-star in the 2020 recruiting class, Johnson started at right guard for the Buckeyes last season. His quick feet and 6’6″, 315-pound frame looked out of place on the interior and should provide a dependable floor at tackle. Much like many players at this point of the draft cycle, Johnson’s selection here is riding on potential.
16) Tennessee Titans: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Tight end is notoriously a position with a substantial learning curve in the NFL. However, I don’t think that will be an issue for Michael Mayer.
Notre Dame’s leading receiver over the last two seasons is ready-made for the pros. He’s no Kyle Pitts, a generational receiver at the position, but Mayer can start inline from Day 1. He is a controlling blocker and a physically domineering pass catcher — there isn’t much Mayer can’t do.
17) Houston Texans (from CLE): Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
Isaiah Foskey is an easy projection to the NFL at 6’5″ and 260 pounds. As a dynamic mover, Foskey can set the edge against the run and collapse the pocket efficiently.
Consistency and adding more power to his game will be crucial for the Notre Dame EDGE this season. Meeting these requirements could see Foskey ascend to the top of the class behind Anderson and Murphy.
18) Minnesota Vikings: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen need a third running mate in the receiving corps. It doesn’t get much better than a former Biletnikoff Award winner, given to the nation’s best receiver.
Jordan Addison is a playmaker with the ball in his hands, accelerating past would-be tacklers in the blink of an eye. While concentration drops litter his tape, there are two times the amount of highlight-reel receptions.
19) Indianapolis Colts: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
The Colts need a left tackle. Point blank, period. And wouldn’t you know, Darnell Wright is one of the top left tackle prospects in the class. He owns an intriguing blend of size, power, and short-area athleticism. Additionally, Wright’s raw strength creates displacement in the ground game, and his tenacity is what you want in a starting offensive lineman.
20) Philadelphia Eagles: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
I was a huge fan of former UCLA Bruin and current Tennessee Titan WR Kyle Philips. His film is littered with teach tape, beating corners in every conceivable way. But one CB gave him the most trouble last season: Clark Phillips III. At 5’10” and 185 pounds, Phillips is a tad undersized, but his feet, twitchy lower half, and patient temperament allow him to match nearly every route.
21) Cincinnati Bengals: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
The next great Oregon defensive back to make the leap to the NFL could very well be Colorado transfer Christian Gonzalez. Standing 6’2″ and 200 pounds, Gonzalez hit 23.3 mph on the GPS last season and jumped 42″ in the vertical jump.
He is fluid on the outside and maintained proper leverage against every receiver he faced last season. Similar results with the Ducks on a larger national stage will see Gonzalez contend for a first-round pick.
22) Baltimore Ravens: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson
One look at Bryan Bresee, and you see why he was the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2020 cycle. He’s a well-proportioned 6’5″ and 300+ pounds, looking like a massive defensive end. Yet, Bresee can prevail from any position along the front four. An ACL tear robbed him of the final games in 2021, but a return to form in 2022 would cement Bresee’s Day 1 billing.
23) Dallas Cowboys: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
Fifty-five receptions, 1,099 yards, eight touchdowns. Those numbers don’t exactly scream “NFL,” especially when you realize they are over a two-year span. So why is Quentin Johnston the fourth receiver off the board in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft?
6’4″, 215 pounds, 42″ vertical, and a 4.4 40-yard dash. Now those are NFL numbers. We need to see Johnston put it all together in 2022, and if he does, he could go as high as the second WR overall in the class.
24) Seattle Seahawks (from DEN): Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Say what you will about Sean Clifford, but he forced Will Levis to transfer out of Penn State. That was the best decision of Levis’ career, as he went on to dominate with Kentucky. In now-Rams offensive coordinator Liam Coen’s offense, Levis completed 66% of his passes for 2,826 yards and 24 TDs. His 13 interceptions are concerning, but I expect some positive regression in his turnover luck this season.
Levis has a howitzer attached to his right shoulder, hitting bombs all over the field. Still, his pocket presence and food habits are … disturbing, primarily the latter. He must display a more consistent base and a better feel for pressure in 2022 to be worthy of a first-round selection.
25) Miami Dolphins: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Should NFL franchises select running backs in the first round? I don’t believe so, but I’m just a 23-year-old writer, not Bill Belichick. Although, he has only selected one RB in the first round once since 2006 (Sony Michel, 2018). How did that work out?
And yet, I believe Bijan Robinson is a first-round talent. He’s an elite runner in all facets and is even a dependable receiver. There isn’t a single blemish on Robinson’s draft profile, well, outside of being folded in half once.
26) Los Angeles Chargers: Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland
Jaelyn Duncan needs to have a remarkable season to earn first-round consideration, but the potential is undeniable. He has the movement skills to mirror edge rushers and the size/length combination to hold them at bay. To receive Day 1 capital, Duncan will need a refined skill set across the 2022 season. Nevertheless, the foundation is there to build on.
27) Detroit Lions (from LAR): Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
Let’s make one thing clear: Cam Smith is not Jaycee Horn. Sure, they both play with confidence and a physical edge for the Gamecocks, but that’s about it. Smith doesn’t have the elite tools Horn did, but he shuts down receivers with his football IQ, length, and ball skills.
28) Kansas City Chiefs: Jaquelin Roy, DT, LSU
It’s been Chris Jones and a whole lot of names along the Chiefs’ defensive front. And no, Frank Clark isn’t more than just a name. They did select George Karlaftis in the first round last April, and he should provide a solid return on investment. Nonetheless, Jones needs a partner — or successor — on the interior.
Jaquelin Roy wins with overwhelming upper body strength at 6’4″ and 215 pounds, and he was only a true sophomore last season. With further physical development, Roy could be a lock for Round 1 come the season’s end.
29) Green Bay Packers: BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
The younger brother of the New York Giants’ Azeez Ojulari and a grandson of a Nigerian prince, BJ Ojulari has quite the lineage. He’s a long and light pass rusher that wins with his speed. Ojulari’s first step jolts opponents, and his sudden change-of-direction ability allows him to virtually disappear at a moment’s notice. Just watch his ghost move as evidence.
30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami (FL)
Tom Brady is leaving soon, whether it’s for the Dolphins, FOX, a golfing career, or to focus on his overpriced clothing brand. Either way, his departure will deflate the Buccaneers’ odds of success. So they’d be wise to target his heir apparent in the 2023 NFL Draft. Tyler Van Dyke could be one such target, as the redshirt sophomore flashed as a first-year starter in 2021.
Across the Hurricanes’ final six contests, Van Dyke notched 300+ passing yards and led his squad to a 5-1 record. He is only scratching the surface of his abilities, which should send shivers down the spines of ACC defenses.
31) Buffalo Bills: JL Skinner, S, Boise State
JL Skinner is a rocked-up 6’4″ and 218 pounds, and it shows in his playstyle. He is an enforcer over the middle of the field and can daze running backs when he meets them in the hole.
Downhill thumpers are becoming a rare breed, but the Boise State safety is a throwback to the likes of Kam Chancellor. Although he isn’t elite athletically or in coverage, Skinner will make a positive impact in the secondary.
2023 2-round NFL Mock Draft | Round 2
32) Houston Texans: Jermaine Burton, WR, Alabama
Jameson Williams left Ohio State, joined Alabama, and earned a first-round draft pick. Quite the lucrative decision — one Jermaine Burton intends to follow in 2022.
Despite his agility and route-running prowess at 6’0″ and 200 pounds, Burton never saw 5+ targets in a single game last season for the eventual national champion Georgia Bulldogs. That will change with the reigning Heisman winner under center.
33) Atlanta Falcons: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
A former 2020 five-star recruit, Broderick Jones only has four starts to his name. Regardless, he passed the eye test at 6’4″, 310 pounds, and played well in his limited action. Jones flashed his skill set against Will Anderson in the national championship, and with a full year of starting reps, he should only improve.
34) Chicago Bears: A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest
Losing Sam Hartman for the season will undoubtedly hinder A.T. Perry‘s output in 2022. Yet, he checks nearly every box for a prototypical X receiver. Production? 72 catches, 1,293 yards, and 15 TDs last year. Size? 6’5″ and 212 pounds. Speed and top-of-route nuances? Check, check, and check.
Perry can improve as a route runner, and he isn’t elite athletically or speed-wise, but he can get open for his QB. Inherently, that’s a wide receiver’s job.
35) Detroit Lions: Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame
This time last year, many discussed Brandon Joseph as one of the top safeties behind Kyle Hamilton. Well, now he replaces Hamilton in Notre Dame’s defensive backfield and hopes to provide similar production.
Joseph is one of the best cover safeties in the class and has seen time in the box, deep safety, and the slot. Over the last two years, he has snatched nine (yes, nine) interceptions.
36) Seattle Seahawks: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
Eight interceptions, 10 pass deflections, and three pick-sixes. That’s quite the two-year résumé, but Emmanuel Forbes is more than just the box score. He obviously owns enticing ball skills but is also a high-IQ defender with fluidity in his backpedal and transitions.
Forbes floats at the catch point and sports alluring length, competing with even the tallest of pass catchers. Bulldogs CB teammate Martin Emerson came off the board in the third round last draft — Forbes should go higher.
37) New York Jets: Jalen Catalon, S, Arkansas
5’10” and 200 pounds isn’t exactly the size NFL teams covet in a safety, but Jalen Catalon makes it work. He flies around the field, routinely separating the ball from the opposition. Once Catalon identifies the play, he hits the NOS and acts as a human missile. Were it not for injury, he’d likely be in the NFL already.
38) Jacksonville Jaguars: Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida
Like many other picks in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, Gervon Dexter is still a projection. His 6’6″ and 300+ pound frame has the movement skills to generate pressure along the interior. But the potential has yet to show up on the field, with 2022 expected to be the catalyst for a huge rise up draft boards. If that growth doesn’t come to fruition, Dexter may return to “The Swamp” for another go.
39) Carolina Panthers: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State
Felix Anudike-Uzomah‘s combination of burst and bend makes him deadly off the edge. He fires off the snap and has the ideal body type to withstand the rigors of the NFL. With another standout season in 2022, you may as well write his name in Sharpie in first-round 2023 NFL mock drafts.
40) New York Giants: Cooper Beebe, OL, Kansas State
Cooper Beebe is following in the footsteps of former Wildcats who started at tackle in college but moved to the interior in the NFL. Cody Whitehair and Dalton Risner were both selected in Round 2, and Beebe very well could be next in line.
Manning the LT spot in 2021, Beebe didn’t allow a single sack and was a vital component of the rushing attack. He plays light on his feet and has no issue moving defenders against their will.
41) Pittsburgh Steelers: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
Jordan Battle surprised many when he chose to return to Alabama after a strong 2021 campaign. Nevertheless, he did and now features as one of the top safeties in the 2023 NFL Draft. There are few weaknesses to Battle’s game, as he swiftly triggers downhill on runs, has the athleticism to match in coverage, and sports a prototypical body.
42) Washington Commanders: Cameron Latu, TE, Alabama
Cameron Latu emerged as a well-rounded tight end for Alabama last season. With Jahleel Billingsley now at Texas, the TE room is Latu’s to dominate. He gained a first down (15) or scored a touchdown (eight) on 23 of 26 receptions in 2021 — not bad for a former defensive end.
43) New England Patriots: Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama
As a true freshman, Eli Ricks looked like he would be the next Derek Stingley Jr. But injury hampered him in 2021. Still, now under Nick Saban’s tutelage, Ricks could propel himself into the Day 1 conversation.
He’s still learning the playbook and may not even start in Week 1, so I can’t put Ricks much higher in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Yet, his physicality, size/length, and instincts make him an intriguing prospect.
44) New Orleans Saints: Devin Leary, QB, NC State
Is Devin Leary a Round 1 or 2 talent? I don’t believe so. But the Saints need a QB (Jameis Winston is not the long-term answer), and Leary needs a stable situation to succeed. It’s the perfect arranged marriage.
Leary throws with velocity, touch, and processes at one of the quickest rates in the class. While Leary’s ceiling is capped by his physical tools, his floor is high enough for New Orleans to pull the trigger in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
45) Arizona Cardinals: Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M
Robinson is the unquestioned RB1, but there is a battle for the second spot. Many proclaim Jahmyr Gibbs as the clear RB2, but Devon Achane has something to say about that. The Texas A&M weapon is a threat to make a house call on any given carry or kick return. His Mach 10 speed gives defenders friction burns — if they can even get close to him, that is.
46) Miami Dolphins: Andrew Vorhees, OL, USC
2022 will be Andrew Vorhees‘ fifth year starting for the Trojans. The only positions he doesn’t have significant experience at are center and right tackle. He hasn’t allowed a sack since USC’s first game of 2020. I mean, besides age, what isn’t there to like about Vorhees? Heck, his 6’6″ and 320-pound frame could hold up at tackle in the pros, thanks to solid movement skills. Just draft Vorhees, plug him into the starting lineup, and prosper.
47) Las Vegas Raiders: Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse
The Syracuse Orange haven’t had a player selected in the first two rounds of the draft since 2013 — that changes in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
Garrett Williams is an easy mover, sticking to WRs like white on rice, as evidenced by his 13 PBUs in two seasons. Enhancing his play downfield and at the catch point should solidify his Round 2 standing.
48) Tennessee Titans: Henry To’oTo’o, LB, Alabama
The Titans desperately need linebacker help, and Henry To’oTo’o is the answer to their prayers. He is an NFL-caliber athlete in Nick Saban’s defense, which usually translates to a Round 1/2 selection.
Still, To’oTo’o returned for his senior campaign because he knew he could take his game to a new level. If he can speed up his read-and-react ability, To’oTo’o could challenge for the first round.
49) Cleveland Browns: Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
If you want the diet version of Jordan Addison at a discount, look no further than Marvin Mims. He is one of “my guys” in the class due to his body control, hands, and speed. His tape is littered with highlight-reel receptions all over the field.
Mims easily threatens downfield — as the saying goes, “if he’s even, he’s leavin.” Mims simply plays bigger than his 5’11” and 184 pounds in every facet and is as sure-handed as any WR in this class.
50) Minnesota Vikings: Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
Williams isn’t the only Syracuse prospect who could earn Round 2 draft capital. Matthew Bergeron carries his 320-pound frame well and has experience at both tackle spots. Add in his strength, ferocity, and linear progression, and Bergeron shouldn’t have to wait long to hear his name called in the 2023 NFL Draft.
51) Indianapolis Colts: Kris Abrams-Draine, CB, Missouri
Kris Abrams-Draine‘s receiver background is easy to see in his ball skills. He recorded three interceptions and seven PBUs last season, playing in the slot and outside. Physicality can be an issue with WRs that transitioned to CB, but Abrams-Draine plays through hands, tackles well, and isn’t afraid to crash in run support.
52) Philadelphia Eagles: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
At 6’6″ and 275 pounds, Tyree Wilson has the build to play wherever needed on the defensive line. His length and power capacity stuns opponents, allowing him to set the edge and penetrate the pocket all the same.
53) Cincinnati Bengals: Zion Nelson, OT, Miami (FL)
Zion Nelson has improved with each passing season. He could’ve been a late Day 2 or early Day 3 pick last year, but he set his sights higher. First-round-caliber tools raise his ceiling, but Nelson has to show further refinement and consistency in his technique as a pass and run blocker this season.
54) Baltimore Ravens: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
Josh Downs is a slot receiver, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t go in Round 2. Downs is a dynamic athlete who can be a vertical threat from the inside. Exploding in and out of breaks and as soon as the ball hits his hands, Downs creates separation and gains yards in the open field with ease. The Ravens land a talented WR2 for Rashod Bateman in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
55) Dallas Cowboys: Justin Flowe, LB, Oregon
This is the time of year when draft analysts can put prospects in mock drafts that absolutely do not deserve it based on their collegiate careers thus far. For me, one such prospect is Justin Flowe.
The Oregon linebacker has played *checks notes* two games across two seasons for the Ducks. However, the potential he flashed in those two games and throughout his high school career is first-round worthy.
56) Seattle Seahawks (from DEN): Andre Carter II, EDGE, Army
Going from a two-star tight end recruit to a Day 2 EDGE prospect, Army’s Andre Carter II embodies the slogan “be all you can be.” Some will question his level of competition. To that, I say turn on his tape against Wisconsin, Wake Forest, and Missouri from last year — then we can talk.
Owning smothering length at 6’7″ and 265 pounds, Carter already broke out in 2021. Yet, his encore performance may be even better.
57) San Francisco 49ers: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU
I’ve been on the Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson hype train since last season, and it’s not because he is Hall of Fame RB LaDainian Tomlinson’s nephew … bonus points, though. THT is a fluid, physical, and patient CB. 5’9″ and 180-pound corners aren’t exactly sought-after, but not many bigger defenders can impact a defense like Hodges-Tomlinson.
58) Los Angeles Chargers: Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor
Watching Siaki Ika brings shades of Danny Shelton and Vita Vea — it would be even better if he also donned the purple and gold, but alas. Like those former Washington Huskies, Ika is a massive nose tackle but doesn’t move like it. He can create pressure from the interior and offer even more versatility to Brandon Staley’s multiple-front scheme.
59) Los Angeles Rams: Isaiah Land, EDGE, Florida A&M
No HBCU players were selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. Four were chosen last cycle. And 2023 looks to take it even further.
Florida A&M’s Isaiah Land is a legitimate NFL prospect. Statistical production is far from the end of evaluations, but Land’s 19 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss in 2021 is hard to ignore. If he can add mass to his 225-pound frame without hindering his explosiveness, expect Land to be the first HBCU drafted on Day 2 since Shaquille Leonard in 2018.
60) Kansas City Chiefs: Jaheim Bell, TE, South Carolina
Travis Kelce is 32 years old. Only Father Time knows how long he can continue his Hall of Fame level of play, but I’d bet it’s not too much longer. So, the Chiefs must be proactive.
Jaheim Bell is South Carolina’s do-it-all weapon, lining up inline, in the slot, out wide, and in the backfield last season. He’s a tad undersized (6’3″, 230 pounds) but simply electric with the ball in his hands. Bell has worn many hats in his college career — the next when he puts on will be on the stage next April.
61) Green Bay Packers: Noah Daniels, CB, TCU
This pick comes with a major caveat: Noah Daniels must remain healthy for the entire season. In five years with the Horned Frogs, he has barely surpassed 500 snaps due to constant injury issues. However, his fluidity and acceleration rival the top corners in the class. Daniels’ man coverage ability will endear him to NFL coaches — he just needs to stay on the field.
62) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee
The Buccaneers could use some ascending youth in their WR room. While I was a huge fan of Tyler Johnson and Jaelon Darden in their draft classes, neither has cemented themselves in the rotation behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
Enter Cedric Tillman. A solid athletic base supports his 6’3″ and 215-pound frame, offering a big-bodied target to whoever is under center.
63) Buffalo Bills: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
Tremaine Edmunds is on his fifth-year option, and Matt Milano has a potential out in his contract next offseason. The Bills need immediate linebacker depth, and Jack Campbell can provide just that.
Despite standing 6’5″ and 243 pounds, the Iowa LB moves like a much smaller man. As you’d expect from an Iowa-coached defender, Campbell read and reacts quickly and wraps up well. He is a moderate-to-low-ceiling/high-floor prospect — exactly what the doctor ordered in Buffalo.