Mellor’s 2-round 2023 NFL Mock Draft: C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, and Will Levis go in the first nine picks

This iteration of a 2023 NFL Mock Draft is headlined by four signal-callers hearing their names called in the top 10 picks.

2023 2-round NFL Mock Draft | Round 2, Picks 33-48

33) Houston Texans: Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma

Moving into Round 2 of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, the Texans grab their new quarterback a dominant catch-point threat in Marvin Mims. He has plenty of speed and route savviness, but Mims is a body-control master. No catch is too difficult for him, and he’ll add great value to this receiving corps.

34) Atlanta Falcons: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama

Staying home after a one-year trip to Tuscaloosa, Jahmyr Gibbs is the pick here. After transferring to Alabama for this season, Gibbs was dominant at Georgia Tech. He has a blend of contact balance and speed as well as documented return ability on special teams.

35) Detroit Lions: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama

The Lions grab Jordan Battle as the big safety from Alabama has more than enough ball skills to cover any set of pass catchers from the slot. Battle presents a big upside for the Lions, who need more than one player in the secondary to bolster a unit that has struggled over the past decade.

36) New York Jets: Jalen Catalon, S, Arkansas

A ball hawk, Jalen Catalon toyed with entering the 2022 NFL Draft. His return to the college field can mean good things as he hones his ability to find the football, close space in the blink of an eye, and increase his coverage ability in the process. The Jets shouldn’t be completely sold on their current unit and adding an influx of talent in coverage is a must.

37) Jacksonville Jaguars: Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor

The Jaguars hit the defensive line again, grabbing the two-gapping, run-stuffing, pass-rushing monster Siaki Ika. This move allows the Jags to play to Will Anderson’s strengths and perhaps allow this past season’s No. 1 overall pick the ability to play anywhere on the defensive line. Ika will take the nose while Walker and Anderson dominate elsewhere with favorable matchups.

38) Carolina Panthers: John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota

If the 2022 NFL Draft taught us anything, it’s that true centers are hard to come by and often sought after. John Michael Schmitz is a dominant player in the middle, paving the way for huge rushing lanes and keeping clean pockets in pass protection.

39) New York Giants: Henry To’oTo’o, LB, Alabama

The Giants hit the defensive well again in this class, selecting Henry To’oTo’o to patrol the middle of the field. To’oTo’o has great instincts to run the alley and closes space in the underneath coverage area very well.

40) Chicago Bears: Jaxson Kirkland, OT, Washington

After returning to the Washington program under injury concerns, the thought is Jaxson Kirkland will return to health and once again dominate for the Huskies in 2022. If he does, the Chicago Bears grab themselves a stalwart tackle in pass protection with plenty of upside in the rushing game. Keeping Justin Fields clean from pressure is paramount.

41) Seattle Seahawks: Emil Ekiyor Jr., G, Alabama

The Seahawks have drafted a new quarterback and need to continue to get help on offense around Will Levis. As such, they grab Emil Ekiyor Jr. from Alabama to help bolster their pass-protection efforts. Ekiyor has plenty of strength and a stout anchor in his game as he’s steadily improved each year at Alabama.

42) Washington Commanders: Will Mallory, TE, Miami (FL)

With a deceptive after-the-catch ability, Will Mallory holds more value than most tight ends in this class. He’s dominant at the catch point and has an underrated elusiveness in his game once he’s caught it. He also has an ability to pave the way on the edge for backside runs or move across the formation and aid in carving out rushing lanes.

43) Pittsburgh Steelers: Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Cincinnati

One of the top MAC linebackers from the past few seasons has a new home in Cincinnati as Ivan Pace Jr. can cement himself among this class with a solid year in the Queen City. He’s a hard-nosed, downhill thumper with an ability to play QB spy among the best we’ve seen. Pace is big and fast, a fun combination to add an influx of both to Pittsburgh’s defense.

44) New Orleans Saints: Clark Barrington, G, BYU

One of the top interior prospects, Clark Barrington heads to the New Orleans Saints as they continue to improve their depleted line. Barrington is one of the grittiest players in this class and a true master of his pass-protection craft. He’ll also plant you in the ground in the run game.

45) Philadelphia Eagles: Jaquelin Roy, DT, LSU

A big man with plenty to give in the pass-rushing game, Jaquelin Roy improves the Eagles’ pass-rushing unit in the immediacy while also adding a valuable piece to the eventual life-after-Fletcher-Cox days. Roy is a compact prospect with a bevy of pass-rush moves from the inside at his disposal. He also offers a sure tackler if he gets his hands on the ball carrier.

46) New England Patriots: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

Gone are the days of shorter cornerbacks with speed to burst to the ball. The new prototype at cornerback is Cam Smith — a 6’1″ long strider with athleticism in bunches and burst in batches. He’ll stick in coverage and limit receptions among the best in the country, and that’s if he is even targeted.

47) Las Vegas Raiders: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

The Raiders go back to the Georgia well in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft by selecting Broderick Jones to help improve their line. Jones is a stalwart in pass protection and a road grader in the run game. He may not be the new prototypical 6’7″ tackle on the left, but he certainly understands how to use his leverage to block bigger defensive linemen. He also has enough strength to stymie any smaller lineman as well.

48) Miami Dolphins: Ricky Stromberg, C, Arkansas

The Dolphins rush up to take a big hole on their line by grabbing Ricky Stromberg. While John Michael Schmitz is the top center, Stromberg is right behind him, and the Dolphins don’t sit idly by here. Stromberg offers great skill in every facet and has a depth of experience after four seasons of starting along the Arkansas line.

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