With the 2023 NFL Combine approaching, it’s a reminder that the 2023 NFL Draft is closer than we think. While we might not see much movement in the top 10, other prospects have a chance to show why they should move up or even into the first round. In this mock draft, a number of new faces hear their names called.
2023 NFL Mock Draft
1) Houston Texans (via CHI): Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Trade: Texans receive pick 1, Bears receive picks 2, 12, 65, 104, and a 2024 first-round selection
If Houston falls in love with Bryce Young, this move should be expected. They’re not going to wait for another team to pass them up if they want him. Again, what a loss could have done for them at the end of the season. Instead, the Texans give up a ton to move up and get their guy. That being said, he’s worth it.
Young’s an incredible talent with the most poise in this class. He’s cool in the clutch, which allows him to keep plays alive. The more time he gets to throw, the more likely his team is going to gain yards. Houston needs a jolt in their offense, and Young’s the perfect player to get that process started.
2) Chicago Bears (via HOU): Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
What a deal for the Bears. Not only do they gain another first-round pick, but they only drop one spot. Everything’s still on the table. Adding Will Anderson Jr. would be great, but not if they don’t add picks. Here, they do both.
Anderson’s a beast on the edge, something Chicago needs dearly. Teams schemed around him this past year, but he was still able to make an impact. It should remind fans of the Khalil Mack days and will help the Bears’ defense get after opposing quarterbacks.
3) Arizona Cardinals: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Jonathan Gannon knows what good defense looks like, and he’ll ensure the Cardinals’ fanbase sees that soon enough. Gannon saw a Georgia DT join the Eagles last year, and this year, he’ll see that Bulldogs’ teammate join his new squad.
Jalen Carter is a menace in the trenches, plain and simple. Right when you think you can handle his power, he hits you with a swim move that makes you think Houdini’s on the field. The blend of quickness and power is unmatched in this class, and Arizona’s defense gets back on track with Carter in the trenches.
4) Indianapolis Colts: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Indianapolis might have to stay put if they can’t find the right deal. Yes, they need a quarterback, but they also don’t need to sell the farm to get one. It just depends on who they value.
C.J. Stroud fits what the Colts need. While the debate over QB1 currently favors Young, Stroud’s a gunslinger in is own right. The gap between the two isn’t big, so it’s not like the Colts are missing out if they “settle” for Stroud.
5) Seattle Seahawks (via DEN): Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
Seattle’s in a great spot if they can sign a few guys back to the roster. If Geno Smith is one of those players, then the draft opens up greatly for this franchise. The Seahawks don’t win the Will Anderson sweepstakes in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, but they get the next best thing.
Myles Murphy brings freakish traits to Seattle’s defense. The edge of that group needs a boost in terms of impact players, and Murphy’s a guy that can start right away. His length and motor make him tough to block, and that energy could infect the rest of the group.
6) Carolina Panthers (via DET): Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Trade: Panthers receive pick 6, Lions receive picks 9, 39, 61, and a 2024 first-round selection
Here’s the tough part for Carolina. In order to ensure they get their guy, they must move up. Sitting back at ninth overall might wipe away their hopes of drafting a quarterback, which could turn out to be fine. In this mock, however, they decide to move up and get their guy.
Anthony Richardson has arguably the best raw traits of any QB in this class. From the rocket of an arm to his athleticism, Richardson is a nightmare if he can put it all together. Carolina’s in the process of a rebuild, so getting a quarterback now to let him learn and develop would be a smart move.
7) Las Vegas Raiders: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Once the top three quarterbacks are off the board, it could force someone’s hand. If the Raiders can’t move up into the top five to get one of them, they might be forced to settle for Will Levis, which could be good or bad.
Levis has traits that teams like, and there’s a reason why some have him going in the top five. However, there are some concerns that could keep teams away. If a franchise desperately needs a quarterback, though, it might not matter.
8) Atlanta Falcons: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
There are many routes that the Falcons could go in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, but it won’t ever hurt to protect the quarterback better. Paris Johnson Jr. brings great size and length to the Falcons’ offensive line. He also has experience playing multiple positions, which gives Atlanta options across the line.
9) Detroit Lions (via CAR): Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Jeff Okudah gives Detroit a great corner on their defense, but pairing him with another potential star would spark more excitement into this franchise. The defense is full of guys that play hard, but the Lions need to find a way to elevate the talent level.
Christian Gonzalez is trending upward after this year. He’s considered the best athlete of all the corners in this class, and his film shows why. Pairing Okudah and Gonzalez gives the Lions two potential lockdown corners, and that helps a team that’s looking to make even more noise in the NFC North.
10) Philadelphia Eagles (via NO): Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
The Super Bowl brought out some concerns on the Eagles’ defense, but a lot of them were overreactions. Does Philly need a corner? Yes, but not as desperately as some led on after the loss. Still, it’s not going to shock anyone if they add one with this pick.
Joey Porter Jr. brings a great mentality to Philadelphia’s defense. He loves playing press on his man, and he’s really good at it. He’ll learn a ton from James Bradberry and Darius Slay this year, and could push one of them for the starting spot.
11) Tennessee Titans: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
With the turnaround at the position, it would be surprising to see the Titans take anyone but a tackle at this spot. When you throw in that Broderick Jones brings a hard nose mentality to the line, it’s almost a done deal.
If Paris Johnson isn’t available, Tennessee still has options. Jones is an athletic tackle who looks to punish his matchup any chance he gets. He wants to get downhill as fast as possible, and that’s perfect for an offense that features a tank in Derrick Henry.
12) Chicago Bears (via HOU): Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
This is why you trade down if you’re Chicago. The ability to get another draft pick in the first round is reason enough to let the first overall pick go. Plus, you get some help for the franchise quarterback.
For years, we’ve talked about the Bears needing to add a wide receiver that can be a big-time player. We haven’t seen it, so now they add Quentin Johnston.
At 6’4″, 215 pounds, Johnston has the size that Chicago fans will love. While his tape is all over the place in terms of consistency, his ceiling makes him an enticing option for a Bears offense that desperately needs his talent.
13) New York Jets: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
Mekhi Becton gave the Jets a massive tackle with tremendous potential back in 2020. While the team isn’t sure what his future with the team looks like, drafting another massive tackle would be an imposing move.
Dawand Jones is huge, there’s no other way to put it. At 6’8″, 360 pounds, he gives New York a player that can give the QB time to throw. The Senior Bowl helped Jones’ draft stock, and it’s only a matter of time before he slips into Round 1.
14) New England Patriots: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
They say if you’re going to make a mistake, make it full speed. Sure, Devon Witherspoon has made his fair share of mistakes, but he’s done so giving it his all. That being said, the mistakes he makes continue to decrease as he develops into a future NFL star.
Witherspoon is one of the biggest risers in the last few months, and his film shows why. He might not have the size that some of these other corners do, but he’s a relentless player that will give his team full effort anywhere on the field. Witherspoon’s confidence won’t be shattered no matter what the Patriots ask him to do, and he’s going to make a bunch of plays because of it.
15) Green Bay Packers: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
When Aaron Rodgers makes his decision, it will affect this franchise in a big way. If he returns, the offense is in great hands. Adding another weapon for their superstar would be a great way for Green Bay to let him know that they’re behind him.
Michael Mayer is the perfect addition to accomplish that. Not only is he a reliable pass catcher for Rodgers, but he’s also a great blocker who can punish his opponent. That balance gives the Packers’ offense a boost, and it’s a great way to get them back into the playoff picture this season.
16) Washington Commanders: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
Anyone playing linebacker for the Commanders should love their experience. With a defensive line that Washington boasts, playing linebacker can seem easy at times. Still, they need to elevate the talent level at the position.
Trenton Simpson expected success from an early age, so it’s no surprise to see him in the first round of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. He’s been a star at every level, and now, he gets a chance to do it as a pro. An athletic player, not many plays are off limits with Simpson’s range.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
Imagine the combination of T.J. Watt and Tyree Wilson. That would put everyone on notice immediately. Watt’s already proven himself, and Wilson is a 6’6″, 275-pound menace who appears to be trending upward. Pittsburgh’s defense would make both tackles sweat every play if they’re able to make this happen.
18) Detroit Lions: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
There aren’t many players that fit better into Dan Campbell’s culture than Bryan Bresee. Injuries will be his primary concern, but a healthy Bresee gives the Lions a monster on the inside of the line. His strength and power shine the brightest, but he’s an underrated athlete that can chase down ball carriers too.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
While the Bucs begin their rebuild, they need to address multiple positions. Quarterback is at the top, but the price appears too steep for Tampa to trade up and get one. So they settle with another position of need.
Kelee Ringo brings good size and length to the next level, and he plays the game aggressively. Sure, penalties become a concern because of it, but it’s hard to knock him for playing that way. With the Bucs losing some key players in the secondary, Ringo would be a welcomed addition.
20) Seattle Seahawks: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
Tariq Woolen already has one spot secured for the Seahawks’ secondary, but adding another corner would be huge for this defense. After taking Murphy with their first pick in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, Seattle continues improving this side of the ball.
Emmanuel Forbes is a certified playmaker. His ball skills set him apart from many players in this class, and it’s a big reason why he could move into the first round. Pair that with his size, and teams might rush to add him to their rosters.
21) Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
Justin Herbert could have used a guy like Jordan Addison this year. Injuries hurt the Chargers’ offense all year at wide receiver, and some depth would have been useful. LA sits in a great spot to add a player to address that, and Addison gives them a big-time threat.
Addison’s ability to separate from his matchup sets him apart from the rest of this group. He does well to utilize leverage in his favor and knows how to work blind spots and violent cuts to give his quarterback a big window. Herbert and the offense already are in good hands, but adding a guy like Addison makes them even more terrifying.
22) Baltimore Ravens: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
If Marcus Peters decides to head elsewhere, this becomes a big position of need. Even if he sticks around, Baltimore still needs a younger option to start long term. Cam Smith is perfect for either situation.
If Peters stays, Smith has experience at nickel, where he can step in and start right away. His versatility in the secondary is an added bonus too, giving the Ravens flexibility to move him around on the field.
23) Minnesota Vikings: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
If Minnesota’s staff decides they want to roll with guys like Lewis Cine, Akayleb Evans, and Andrew Booth Jr., then the secondary might not be the path they take with this pick. Even with those guys, the Vikings may still take a corner, but it also opens up their board for other positions.
Justin Jefferson needs some help, there’s no question about that. K.J. Osborn and Adam Thielen provided sparks at times this past year, but the offense could use another weapon. Josh Downs thrives in the slot, and he’d give Minnesota the perfect complement to Jefferson.
24) Jacksonville Jaguars: Brian Branch, S, Alabama
Jacksonville turned things around as the season progressed, and the fanbase feels much different now then they did a year ago. Defensively, they could use some help in the secondary, and Brian Branch is the guy for the job.
Branch has experience at safety and nickel, giving the Jaguars help at multiple positions. His reliability and athleticism put him in position to make plays, and that gives Jacksonville a player that can elevate this group.
25) New York Giants: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida
O’Cyrus Torrence is a natural New York Giant. He just fits this franchise. Torrence brings a massive frame to the interior offensive line, and he’s a mauler who’s thrived on every level. He’s a tone setter in the trenches, and he’ll be the perfect pick to help spring guys like Saquon Barkley (assuming he comes back) free on offense.
26) Dallas Cowboys: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Dallas’ offense returns several explosive playmakers, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the perfect complement. When healthy, he’s diced up a number of secondary’s at the collegiate level, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t do the same in the NFL. If Smith-Njigba’s hamstring is back to 100%, watch out.
27) Buffalo Bills: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
It would be fun to add a running back to this offense, but Buffalo could use someone on the offensive line too. While Peter Skoronski doesn’t bring elite length or size to the tackle position, he’s a relentless player that refuses to quit. Even if he doesn’t work out at tackle, he’ll slide in to play guard and will find success.
28) Cincinnati Bengals: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
With reports out that Joe Mixon could be cut this offseason, Cincinnati will be in the market for his replacement. Bijan Robinson gives them everything Mixon does for their offense, but comes at a cheaper price.
Robinson is a potential top-10 player that could fall because of the market. There are many options both in the draft and free agency, so teams might not rush as fast to draft him as originally thought. Nevertheless, the Bengals decide Robinson is the future at the position in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, and the fanbase will love what he can do for the offense.
29) New Orleans Saints (From SF via MIA via DEN): Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami (FL)
Tyrique Stevenson has the size and aggressiveness to be a first-round pick. The consistency needs to improve, but the foundation is there to get people excited. Stevenson’s length helps him make plays, and he’s an explosive player that can run deep with his receiver or work underneath to break up passes.
30) Philadelphia Eagles: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
Philadelphia made a RB rotation work all year, but why not get a guy that can give you everything you want from those players? Jahmyr Gibbs can run between the trenches with good leg drive and power, but he’s also a fast player who can be a nightmare in the passing game as well. Pair Gibbs with Jalen Hurts in the backfield, and you won’t need so many guys in the rotation anymore.
31) Kansas City Chiefs: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
We’re back to drafting fast guys to play for Patrick Mahomes. The defending Super Bowl champs found a way to make it work without Tyreek Hill, but adding some more speed to the offense wouldn’t hurt. Jalin Hyatt is a burner who can torch any matchup, and he could be the new Hill in Andy Reid’s system.
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