We do a lot of mock drafts each offseason. So let’s mix it up a little bit today. In this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, there are trades, surprise selections, and outside-the-box pairings later on in the 2023 NFL Draft. How do you grade your team’s haul?
1) Houston Texans (From CHI): C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Trade: Houston receivers Pick 1, Chicago receives Picks 2, 12, 73, 2024 first-round pick, and 2024 third-round pick.
In this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, the Texans outbid the Colts, Raiders, and other teams to take hold of the No. 1 overall pick, which they use to select C.J. Stroud. Stroud is the best pocket operator in this class, and he also has the size, athleticism, and arm talent to suggest an even greater ceiling.
2) Chicago Bears (From HOU): Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
The only thing more concerning than the Bears’ pass blocking in 2022 was their near-complete lack of a pass-rushing presence on the edge. At the very least, Will Anderson Jr. changes that the day he walks through the door at Halas Hall with his ruthless disposition.
3) Arizona Cardinals: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Arizona is in prime position to play the board and take BPA at third overall. In this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, that player is Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter. At 6’3″, 300 pounds, Carter has the athleticism and violent style to be a transformative force on the interior.
4) Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
The Colts have the feel of a team that will favor more traditional QB prospects over an undersized signal-caller like Bryce Young. Will Levis fits the prototypical mold at 6’3″, 230 pounds, and has the athleticism, arm talent, and toughness to develop.
5) Seattle Seahawks (From DEN): Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
Myles Murphy has been the favorite to be EDGE2 through the entire 2023 NFL Draft cycle.
MORE: Top 10 EDGEs in the 2023 NFL Draft
While it’s no longer a consensus opinion, he has rare athleticism and power at 6’5″, 275 pounds, with the fleet-footed mobility to play as a stand-up rusher. His upside doesn’t come around often.
6) Detroit Lions (From LAR): Brian Branch, DB, Alabama
The term “slot defender” has, at times, been deflated. But having an elite slot DB can be a game-changer in the NFL, and Brian Branch is a slot DB worth taking in the top 10. Branch has both athleticism and instincts to the near-highest degree and is a menace in run support.
7) Las Vegas Raiders: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
If you were to rank the franchises in the NFL by how much uncertainty they face in the near future, Las Vegas would be near the top, both on and off the field. No QB is better equipped to deal with that uncertainty, with his unflappable poise and creation ability, than Bryce Young.
8) Atlanta Falcons: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Though mocks don’t always have them picking a QB, the Falcons have just as much incentive to add a signal-caller in the 2023 NFL Draft. Anthony Richardson helps reset the team’s clock and gives them a QB with legitimate top-five upside in the NFL.
9) Carolina Panthers: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
This is a worst-case scenario for the Panthers. Ideally, they’ll trade up to ensure they can get a QB. But if they don’t and miss out, the next best option is adding a weapon. Quentin Johnston is as dynamic and multifaceted as they come with his size and dynamic short-area athleticism.
10) Philadelphia Eagles (From NO): Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
In both the immediate timeline and the long-term future, the Eagles could seek more stability on the edge. Tyree Wilson not only strengthens Philadelphia’s presence but also gives them a rare physical specimen to mold and develop with his elite power and surprising mobility.
11) Tennessee Titans: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
Broderick Jones isn’t quite as refined as you’d like your OT1 to be. He can still employ more independent hand usage in his game. But with his footwork, elite strength at the point of attack, and rare athleticism, Jones has the tools to be the road grader the Titans want.
12) Chicago Bears (From CLE via HOU): Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
With their second first-round pick acquired in a trade down with the Texans, the Bears add a potential OT1 in Paris Johnson Jr. Johnson has the flexibility to move across the front if they like Braxton Jones, but his elite athleticism and power would be game-changing on the left side.
13) New York Jets: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
Injuries could push Bryan Bresee down the board a bit in the 2023 NFL Draft. But as long as teams give him the green light, he has the high-end explosiveness, length, lateral agility, and hand strength to be worth a top-15 selection.
14) New England Patriots: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
For all the analysis that goes on at the wide receiver position, one thing can make or break a team’s unit, and offense by extension. That one thing is separation.
MORE: Top 10 WRs in the 2023 NFL Draft
Quarterbacks need separation to work with, and few in the 2023 NFL Draft separate better than Jordan Addison.
15) Green Bay Packers: Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
Isaiah Foskey experienced a slight regression on tape in 2022. But the flashes of brilliance from his 2021 tape are still there, and they’re representative of what he can be at his peak. Foskey is an explosive, high-motor rusher at 6’5″, 260 pounds, who’d fit in Green Bay’s scheme.
16) Washington Commanders: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
The Commanders have work to do up front in the trenches. But if a top-10 talent like Christian Gonzalez falls this far, it’s tough not to pull the trigger. Gonzalez is a bonafide CB1 with his explosiveness, change of direction, awareness, and ball skills at 6’2″, 200 pounds.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
Dan Moore Jr. had his moments for the Steelers in 2022. But neither he nor Chukwuma Okorafor should stop Pittsburgh from seeking an upgrade at tackle. Anton Harrison can be that upgrade with his blend of high-floor and high-ceiling qualities.
18) Detroit Lions: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
The Lions have something with Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston on the edge. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get even stronger. Lukas Van Ness is an absolute powerhouse against tackles, but he can also rotate inside and give Detroit valuable flexibility.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern
Whoever the Buccaneers have at quarterback in the future, they’ll need to shore up their interior offensive line. Peter Skoronski played tackle in college, but his natural leverage, smooth footwork, and core strength all translate especially well at guard.
20) Seattle Seahawks: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Tariq Woolen and Michael Jackson notably exceeded expectations in 2022 and could be the Seahawks’ starting duo moving forward. Devon Witherspoon has the flexibility to slide out to the boundary if needed, but he potentially gives Seattle an elite CB trio with his slot ability.
21) Los Angeles Chargers: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
Los Angeles is in dire need of speed and burst at wide receiver. Josh Downs provides that. Beyond that, he also provides electrifying RAC ability, sharp route-running skills, and uncanny catching instincts and body control for an undersized receiving threat.
22) Baltimore Ravens: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
The Ravens don’t just need WR talent. They need proven, reliable WR talent. There are many exciting prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft, but none offer a floor higher than Jaxon Smith-Njigba. He’s a 1,000-yard receiver and target funnel right out of the gate.
23) Minnesota Vikings: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
Duke Shelley is good. And Andrew Booth Jr. has immense upside if he can stay healthy. But the Vikings’ current CB situation does not preclude them from taking a top-end talent like Joey Porter Jr. Porter has the length, fluidity, and physicality to dominate on the boundary.
24) Jacksonville Jaguars: Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
The Jaguars are already on track to have more weaponry in 2023 when Calvin Ridley’s suspension is lifted. But Rashee Rice would be their best ball-winner at the catch point on Day 1, and his ability to move around and be a RAC threat would create lots of flexibility.
25) New York Giants: John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
If you’re going to stick with Daniel Jones, you need a strong interior offensive line to maximize your abilities as an offense. John Michael Schmitz has the athleticism, strength, strong leverage acquisition, and mauler mentality to be an impact starter for years.
26) Dallas Cowboys: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Kelee Ringo isn’t the consensus CB1 anymore. But late in Round 1, he can still be a great value deal for a team like the Cowboys — a team that has a habit of capitalizing on BPA late.
MORE: Top 10 CBs in the 2023 NFL Draft
Ringo’s size, speed, and physicality grant him a nearly unmatched ceiling.
27) Buffalo Bills: BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
The Buffalo Bills’ sorely lacking pass-rushing presence was on full display against the Cincinnati Bengals. Adding a natural pass rusher like BJ Ojulari, who brings explosiveness, finesse, and active hands, could quench the thirst for more pressure.
28) Denver Broncos (From SF via MIA): Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
On my board, Darnell Wright is a natural right tackle prospect worth taking within the first 32 picks. The Tennessee product and former five-star recruit has elite raw power and grip strength, and his short-area mobility at 6’6″, 330 pounds, completes the package.
29) Cincinnati Bengals: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
We’re not quite at the point where the Bengals can take a luxury pick like this without second-guessing. But if Cincinnati was going to make this move, Jahmyr Gibbs — an elite multiphase threat with rare burst and twitch — would solidify an overwhelming offensive powerhouse.
30) Kansas City Chiefs: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Sure, the Chiefs need more WR talent. But, to put it simply, Patrick Mahomes is so good, he can succeed without traditional personnel groupings. With that flexibility, the Chiefs could roll out a dominant, versatile 12 personnel package of Travis Kelce and Michael Mayer — and maybe add Kelce’s eventual successor.
31) Philadelphia Eagles: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Bijan Robinson isn’t the first RB off the board in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. But that’s merely a reflection of the unpredictability of the draft. Robinson is RB1 in this class, and his rare running ability would be lethal alongside Jalen Hurts.