The regular season is over for college football, which means it’s time for yet another 2023 NFL Mock Draft. So much has changed since the beginning of the season, and it’s time to take a look at who remains in the first round.
2023 NFL Mock Draft | Round 1
Check the PFN Mock Draft Simulator after every NFL game to see the most up-to-date draft order, and each subsequent mock draft will indicate the rapidly changing environment that is the 2023 NFL Draft.
1) Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
It feels weird that Bryce Young hasn’t been in the spotlight recently. Thanks mostly to Alabama’s two losses, the attention on the Crimson Tide star quarterback dwindled. However, that doesn’t mean he’s irrelevant in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
With Davis Mills hitting the bench, it’s clear the Texans will be looking for a future franchise quarterback. With the C.J. Stroud-Bryce Young debate decided, it’s a matter of if Houston takes Young or his teammate.
2) Chicago Bears: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
That teammate is arguably just as likely to go first overall, so Chicago thanks Houston for its quarterback issues. Will Anderson Jr. began the season as a Heisman favorite to many. However, the hype died quicker than NFTs.
The value is still there in Anderson’s skill set. A monster on the edge, the biggest reason for his absence in the national conversation is opposing teams sending extra help his way.
3) Detroit Lions: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Buckle up everyone, because Jalen Carter’s about to remind everyone why he’s a top-five pick. With the SEC Championship Game and College Football Playoff ahead of him, he will face a number of quality linemen in the next few games.
He brings a unique value to the interior defensive line. He joins his former teammates Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt from last year as another Bulldogs first-round pick, and I can already smell the fear of teams trying to stop Carter and Aidan Hutchinson.
4) Seattle Seahawks: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
Myles Murphy and the Clemson defensive line deserve to be in the spotlight. There’s just Dabo Swinney, the quarterback drama, the upsets, the lack of confidence in the offensive coordinator, and the secondary getting torched by a guy named Juice. Other than that, they’re right there.
Myles Murphy commands respect on the edge. He’s yet to meet his match this year and continues to show why he still hasn’t reached his full potential. It’s a high ceiling to reach, but he’s well on his way.
5) Pittsburgh Steelers: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
This is how good Clemson’s defensive line plays. Two of their top players go in the top five of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Bryan Bresee possesses the frame of a defensive end but weighs 300 pounds — almost like he was created in NCAA 23. (Sigh, remember when EA Sports gave us hope?)
6) Carolina Panthers: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Alright, time to get weird. Anthony Richardson can chuck a pigskin better than any quarterback in the country right now. Add in freakish athleticism and you’ve got arguably the most potential of anyone in this draft class.
What’s the catch? Consistency. If a team’s drafting him in the top 10, they’re betting on potential. At this point, this wouldn’t be the worst thing for Carolina to do. After all, the Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold experiment isn’t exactly thriving.
7) Philadelphia Eagles: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
If you look at the current standings and this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, you’ll find it hard to believe that the Eagles are in the top 10. It’s almost unfair, but Philadelphia finds themselves in a great position.
Drafting a cornerback is a great pick for the Eagles. With Darius Slay and James Bradberry already on the roster, it’s not an immediate need. However, the future secondary needs some youth. At 6’2″, Kelee Ringo has great size to compete with the best receivers in the country, and he’ll learn plenty from the veterans on his new squad.
8) Arizona Cardinals: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
We’ve probably seen the last of Christian Gonzalez in an Oregon Ducks uniform, but we’ve seen enough. While there are some aspects of his games to improve, he brings the potential of a shutdown corner to the next level.
9) Green Bay Packers: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Christian Watson continues proving he’s the go-to receiver for Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love. That means the need for another wide receiver slowly diminishes, opening things up for other assets to join the roster.
Michael Mayer belongs in the top 10 if the right team wants him, and the Packers can improve their passing attack by drafting him in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
10) Las Vegas Raiders: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
Broderick Jones gets a chance to face LSU edge rusher BJ Ojulari this weekend, giving him another opportunity to elevate his draft stock. He’s a big tackle who’s faced plenty of challenges this year, and that’s helped him move into the top 10. The Raiders need to protect Derek Carr, and Jones helps with that immensely.
11) Houston Texans: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
With the quarterback position locked down by adding Bryce Young, the Texans add a master separator to their pass-catching room. Jordan Addison reminded the college football world why he’s one of the best receivers in the country this year, and he’ll elevate the Texans’ offense too.
12) Jacksonville Jaguars: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
Quentin Johnston’s stats don’t do him justice. With just two games over 100 yards this year, it’s tough to see his value by just looking at the box scores. His frame and skill set make him an enticing prospect, and Trevor Lawrence will be the biggest fan of this selection.
A big-body receiver with the moves of a smaller one, Johnston is a mismatch walking. Jacksonville needs a guy like that on their roster, and the passing attack would instantly improve with this pick.
13) Detroit Lions: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
This might be an overreaction from the Michigan game, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see C.J. Stroud drop on teams’ draft big boards. Stroud more than likely is still a top-10 pick, but the chips might fall for the Lions to snag him at 13.
Detroit is definitely in the process of rebuilding, and it starts with the quarterback. Stroud can’t fix all of the Lions’ issues, but this is the first step.
14) Indianapolis Colts: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
At some point, the Colts must address the quarterback position, but protecting their future franchise player remains a priority too. If Matt Ryan can play a couple more years, then they can wait.
Paris Johnson Jr. continues dominating his competition. I’ll admit I was skeptical about his draft stock coming into the year, but he’s stood firm near the top half of the first round. With Quenton Nelson already on the line, Johnson just makes sense for Indianapolis.
15) Atlanta Falcons: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
Jared Verse tore apart offensive tackles at the FCS level, and now he’s doing the same thing in the ACC. This might be a little high for him to go in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, but you can’t deny the talent.
A knee injury put his draft stock rise on hold, but he’s resumed his usual domination. Atlanta needs some help on the edge, and Verse addresses that concern.
16) Seattle Seahawks: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
There’s been so much talk about other tackles in this class, but Peter Skoronski might be the most reliable one. It’s hard to get much attention on a one-win Northwestern team, but scouts have kept an eye on him.
His tools may not be elite, but the domination he shows on film negates that. At worst, Seattle asks him to slide inside to play guard. With what we’ve seen from him, it won’t matter what position he plays.
17) Los Angeles Chargers: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
Remember that one teammate that you always thought, “man, I really hope that guy never hits me”? That’s Noah Sewell. The Oregon linebacker crushes ball carriers for a living thanks to his quickness and power downhill. A natural tone-setter, not much gets past him if he makes contact.
Coverage may be a concern, but he’s shown that he can adapt to a new challenge. Even with those limitations, he’s worthy of a first-round pick in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
18) New England Patriots: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
New England might decide it needs a new shutdown corner in the first round, and it would be tough to pass on Joey Porter Jr. if he falls to them here. Then again, he might be too mainstream for Bill Belichick, so this might not be the pick.
Porter’s elevated his game significantly this year. The potential was there heading into the season, but he’s played his way into becoming a first-round pick. He has the size to compete right away in the NFL, and his ball skills could make him elite.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
Comparisons to former Gamecocks corner Jaycee Horn aren’t fair — Cam Smith isn’t the same player. He’s worthy of a first-round pick, but he’s just not the same player as Horn. A talented player who’s forced many teams to look elsewhere when passing, Smith adds to a Bucs secondary looking for some youth to lead their future.
20) Washington Commanders: JL Skinner, S, Boise State
If you watched the game against Wyoming two weeks ago, you saw the talent JL Skinner brings to the table. Two interceptions on the final two drives showcase his ball skills, and his late push here could get him into the first round.
Kendall Fuller and Benjamin St-Juste lead the way for the Commanders’ corners, but the safety position could use some help. Skinner brings a solid frame with the right attitude to play at multiple levels. He’s not afraid to throw his weight around either, which helps when stopping the run.
21) Baltimore Ravens: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
Any team that takes Clark Phillips is getting an ultra competitor. He’ll fit in almost any scheme because of his heart, which will win over his future fans. He’s not the biggest corner, but he has the ball skills and work ethic to be good at the next level — even if that means sliding in to cover the slot.
22) New York Jets: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
Despite the benching, Zach Wilson’s going to be running the Jets’ offense in the future. While he figures out accountability and some of his other flaws, New York needs to add some protection for him.
Darnell Wright’s been moving up draft boards all year thanks to strong performances against guys like Alabama’s Will Anderson. He brings good length to the tackle position and has worked to refine his game for the next level — just what the Jets are looking for in their future blindside protector.
23) Cincinnati Bengals: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida
One thing that stood out last year in the Super Bowl was Cincinnati’s desperate need for help at guard. O’Cyrus Torrence steps in to help in that regard. After crushing Sun Belt competition, he’s proven he can handle the challenge of the SEC.
His next feat will be proving that he can protect superstar quarterback Joe Burrow. At best, he’ll go unnoticed because Burrow will have time to throw. After what Bengals fans suffered through last year, that is a welcomed addition to their offense.
24) New York Giants: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
If Trenton Simpson falls to the late part of the first round, you can expect teams to try to trade up and get him. Here, New York sees him fall to the 24th pick of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
Simpson joins Myles Murphy and Bryan Bresee as the latest Clemson defender to be selected in the first round. A natural playmaker with elite athleticism, Simpson gives the Giants a versatile weapon to move all over the field.
25) Denver Broncos: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
Defense and Texas Tech don’t exactly go together, but Tyree Wilson is the exception. After the Broncos sent Bradley Chubb to Miami, they need to find his replacement. Wilson brings similar length to what Chubb brought to the table, making him a great option to build toward the future.
26) Tennessee Titans: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
A fairly raw prospect, Anton Harrison brings some intriguing traits to the first round. His athleticism stands out, and I trust that Mike Vrabel’s staff can develop him into a good player. As long as he can refine his technique, he’ll be a valuable pick late in the first round.
27) Dallas Cowboys: Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
While Biletnikoff voters left off the leader in receiving yards, Rashee Rice has his sights set on the future. Dallas needs another reliable pass catcher, and Rice brings that to the table. SMU looked his way quite frequently this year, which means opponents adjusted his way.
That extra attention meant more difficult catches, but that didn’t scare him. Any ball that opposing QBs threw in his general vicinity had the chance of being caught courtesy of his great body control.
28) Buffalo Bills: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
The whole “don’t draft a running back early in the first round” way of thinking benefits the Buffalo Bills. Do they have other more pressing needs? Sure, but it’s tough to pass on a talent like Bijan Robinson.
The do-it-all back most likely played his last game as a Longhorn, and now the hype leading to the draft will skyrocket. He’s a generational player, and the Bills are getting the steal of a lifetime here.
29) Minnesota Vikings: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
Is a wide receiver absolutely necessary for Minnesota? No, but they’ll need to trade up if they want to address their other needs. Justin Jefferson’s cooking everyone he faces this year, but he needs more help. Adam Thielen’s stepped up as of late, but he’s 32 heading into next year.
K.J. Osborn and tight end T.J. Hockenson are the next best options, so it’s safe to say the Vikings wouldn’t mind adding a player of Josh Downs‘ caliber. No matter where North Carolina’s lined him up in his career, he’s been a nightmare for opposing secondaries. That’s music to Kevin O’Connell’s ears.
30) Kansas City Chiefs: Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor
Word on the street is that two-gap players are back in style, and Siaki Ika is ready to answer the call. A massive tackle for Baylor, Kansas City adds this unit of a man to their roster.
Ika’s great at eating up two blockers at a time, which opens things up for the linebackers behind him. With teams needing to designate double-teams for him frequently, the Bears’ defense has thrived because he puts his opponents in a mismatch right away.
31) Philadelphia Eagles: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
Jalen Hurts and Jahmyr Gibbs in the same offense seems unfair. Then again, Gibbs and Bijan Robinson falling this far feels criminal. Not only does Gibbs bring his speed to the Eagles’ backfield, but he also doubles as a reliable pass catcher downfield. As if Philadelphia’s offense needed more help being terrifying.
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