The Pro Football Network Mock Draft Simulator is a valuable tool for fans, analysts, teams, and everyone in between. Potential big-time 2023 NFL Draft news and storylines have made their way through everyone’s picks on the PFN MDS, and here are the biggest headliners as the NFL Draft closes in.
2023 NFL Draft News
Taking into account the picks made by users of a specific team, player landing spots and potential team needs have begun taking form. While the data we have from user picks dates back to May of 2022, now that we’re less than three weeks away from the 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City, this data is just from the past seven days of user simulations.
Arizona Cardinals Fans Love Will Anderson Jr.
As a consolation prize for picking No. 3 and both teams ahead of them needing a quarterback, the Arizona Cardinals are in a prime position to select the best player available. That player — according to fans and the MDS big board — is Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Cardinals’ fans are selecting Anderson with over 50% of their first-round selections. Is that the biggest lock of a pick in the top 10?
Atlanta Falcons Users Prefer Defensive Line Prospects
With their first-round choice, Atlanta Falcons fans have a very specific need they’re trying to fix on defense: the defensive line. Six of Falcons users’ top 10 most-drafted players hail from the trenches, including Georgia DT Jalen Carter, Texas Tech EDGE Tyree Wilson, and Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy.
Falcons users are comfortable with Carter — enough to select him 18% of the time, which is more than any other player in Round 1.
Wide Receiver or Bust for the Baltimore Ravens?
For over 12 weeks in the season, Baltimore Ravens fans wanted one player: Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba. They drafted him more than any other player for a PFN MDS record of 12 consecutive weeks.
Now that the draft order is set and Smith-Njigba may not be around, Ravens users have turned their sights on the next crop of receivers. Four of the five most-drafted players in Round 1 by Ravens users are receivers, including TCU’s Quentin Johnston (19.9%), who leads the way.
C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young Lead The Way for Carolina, Houston
If the fans have anything to say, the top of the 2023 NFL Draft will go C.J. Stroud to Carolina and Bryce Young to Houston. Users of the Panthers are selecting Stroud more than any specific player has been drafted to any specific franchise since the PFN MDS switched to the 2023 NFL Draft.
Stroud heads to the Panthers on 71.8% of Carolina users’ simulations, while Texans users are clearly comfortable grabbing Young with 29% of their first first-round selections.
Could the Chicago Bears Trade Back Again?
As if one first-round trade wasn’t enough, Chicago Bears users are indicating they may not be done. Bears users are trading back with over 25% of their first-round selections, targeting Tennessee OT Darnell Wright in the process.
Michael Mayer vs. Dalton Kincaid
A growing theme in the PFN MDS, the battle between Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer and Utah TE Dalton Kincaid is one to watch as we approach the 2023 NFL Draft. Users of multiple teams are selecting their fair share of Mayer vs. Kincaid.
- Kincaid, 11.4% (26.7 ADP)
- Mayer, 10.4% (26.8 ADP)
Green Bay Packers:
- Kincaid, 7.6% (22.4 ADP)
- Mayer, 8.3% (22.7 ADP)
- Kincaid, 5.4% (24.7 ADP)
- Mayer, 5.2% (25 ADP)
Los Angeles Chargers:
- Kincaid, 8.6% (24 ADP)
- Mayer, 4.7% (24.6 ADP)
New Orleans Saints:
- Kincaid, 5.9% (29 ADP)
- Mayer, 10.9% (29 ADP)
Overall, Mayer has an average draft position of 31.5 compared to Kincaid’s 30.7. Kincaid has risen up draft boards faster than any other offensive player in the past month.
Detroit Lions May Go Best Player Available at Pick No. 18
Headlining the Detroit Lions’ users is a treasure trove of selections with their second first-round pick. Currently selecting 18th overall after picking at No. 6, Lions users are torn with who to select — depending on how the board falls.
Packers Want a Pass Catcher
With uncertainty around their quarterback entering the 2023 season, one thing is for sure with the Green Bay Packers: They need a pass-catching weapon. That weapon is being drafted with five of the six most-drafted players by Packers users.
Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba leads that group, being selected 13.4% of the time by Packers users — more than any other player.
Anthony Richardson or Will Levis for Indianapolis
You may not be sold, but Indianapolis Colts fans are. Indianapolis users on the Pro Football Network Mock Draft Simulator are selecting between their pick of quarterbacks no matter which way we slice it. Given the fact that users are clearly trading up to draft Stroud or Young (14.1% of the time), the options, if they stay put at No. 4 overall, are between Anthony Richardson and Will Levis.
Colts users are selecting Richardson nearly double what they’re selecting Levis, going for the Gators QB 38.6% of the time compared to the Wildcats QB’s 20.5%.
Jets Users Want a Tackle
New York Jets users are selecting tackles more than any other position. No matter their quarterback in 2023 — OK, fine, it’s going to be Aaron Rodgers — the Jets users know they need to protect their signal-caller.
Jets users are selecting offensive tackles with 61.9% of their first-round selections, as Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski leads the way at 28.2% of picks.
Joey Porter Jr. to Pittsburgh Is a Feel-Good Story
Staying in-state and going to the franchise you grew up watching your father play for would likely be a dream for any prospective NFL player. For Porter Jr., it may just become a reality.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Order
Pittsburgh Steelers fans are selecting Porter Jr. — the son of former Steeler great LB Joey Porter — more than any other player in Round 1, drafting the Penn State cornerback 26.3% of the time. The next closest player is Tennessee OT Darnell Wright (9.8%).
Cornerback or Tackle for Washington?
Using the data from the PFN MDS, we can understand what Washington Commanders fans want to see happen with their first-round selection. It seems that they’re torn — much like analysts are — on which team need is the biggest for the franchise to address in 2023.
Washington users are selecting a cornerback as their top two players drafted (Porter Jr., 17.7%; Devon Witherspoon, 11.7%) but selecting an offensive tackle with over 20% of their first-round pick.
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