It’s official. Football season is over, but that means it’s time for another 2023 NFL Mock Draft. With NFL draft season upon us, the future is the only thing fans care about, and the players taken today could turn their new franchises into contenders. It also might make teams overpay to get their guy, which we see below. Let’s dive in.
2023 NFL Mock Draft
1) Indianapolis Colts (From CHI): C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Trade: Colts receive pick No. 1, Bears receive picks No. 4, No. 35, and a 2024 third-rounder
Indianapolis can’t afford to wait for other teams to trade above them. So they send a few picks to Chicago to ensure they get their guy. Someone needs to run the offense, and C.J. Stroud is the guy for the job.
A great arm with tremendous accuracy, Stroud brings everything you want in a quarterback. Throw in that he’s 6’3″, and that combination will make Colts fans ecstatic that they traded up.
2) Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
I firmly believe that Houston shouldn’t trade up. If you’re picking between Stroud and Bryce Young, you shouldn’t have to give up anything to settle for one of them.
Young’s size will always be his biggest concern. It’s not that anyone’s doubting his ability to make throws, but rather his ability to take hits and stay healthy is in question. Once you move past that, the greatness is undeniable.
Young is the most poised prospect in this draft class, and it’s the biggest thing that will help him at the next level. Pair that with an elite ability to make any throw, and Young’s a great player to “settle” for in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
3) Carolina Panthers (From ARI): Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Trade: Panthers receiver pick No. 3, Cardinals receive pick No. 9, pick No. 39, pick No. 93, and a 2024 third-rounder
Once Young and Stroud are off the board, teams need to make some serious decisions — and Carolina is one of them. If they’re satisfied with the guys they have on the roster, they’ll stay put. But they may decide they need a talent like Anthony Richardson.
Frank Reich’s staff has a good core in place to build around, but it might take time to improve the franchise. That’s perfect for a guy like Richardson, who needs time to learn how to be a pro. With a rocket for an arm and elite athleticism, there’s a ton of upside to love about his game.
4) Chicago Bears (From IND): Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
Trading down makes so much sense for the Bears. Assuming they keep Justin Fields, acquiring more draft picks is ideal. Plus, their team needs are still available even if they drop back to fourth overall.
Will Anderson Jr. fits a big need for Chicago. His ability to change game plans and get after the quarterback makes him one of the best prospects in this class, and it will be fun to see what he can do at the next level.
5) Seattle Seahawks (From DEN): Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
Seattle can thank Geno Smith for allowing them to sit tight at the QB position. If he didn’t play the way he did, the Seahawks might also be a team looking to trade up for the future of their franchise. And while Smith might not be the long-term option, he’s the short-term solution, opening this draft up for Seattle.
Myles Murphy has a ton of great tools that teams want in an edge rusher. There’s still another level that he can reach, but the foundation is there. Seattle could use a force on the edge, and Murphy’s proven at Clemson that he can be that guy.
6) Detroit Lions (From LAR): Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Like Seattle, Detroit can thank Jared Goff for giving them flexibility in the draft. Imagine how happy the Lions fanbase would be if they’re sitting here with Jalen Carter on the board. There wouldn’t be much to discuss.
Carter’s a potential first-overall pick, but it depends on who’s picking. A powerful player who displays unique athleticism, Carter is the ultimate mismatch for any interior offensive lineman.
7) Las Vegas Raiders: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Will Levis has tools that teams want, but it will take the right team to decide they can develop him into an All-Pro. Consistency will be the biggest concern. The Raiders need to think about the future, and Levis can be that guy if developed.
8) Atlanta Falcons: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
A.J. Terrell continues to provide great play for the Falcons’ secondary, but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind getting a little help. Also, if Atlanta is satisfied with Desmond Ridder being the future of the offense, they can sit tight and focus elsewhere.
Joey Porter Jr. gives Atlanta a 6’2″, 200-pound corner who’s still on the rise. Terrell can provide him with the tricks of the trade, and the Falcons would get a great duo in their secondary.
9) Arizona Cardinals (From CAR): Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Arizona’s been picking EDGE players for a number of mock drafts, but moving back is an option too. Even if they move this far back in the top 10, there’s plenty of talent remaining.
Christian Gonzalez took great strides at Oregon this year. He hopes to continue that with a Cardinals secondary that’s full of potential. At 6’2″, 200 pounds, Gonzalez brings great size to the next level. He’s also shown great ball skills that figure to only improve in the NFL.
10) Philadelphia Eagles (From NO): Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Darius Slay and James Bradberry possess great knowledge about playing corner in the NFL, and the Eagles add someone they can groom in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
Devon Witherspoon plays the game with his hair on fire. His ability to make plays stems from his motor. He’s still a fairly raw prospect, but Witherspoon’s size and intensity make for a potentially great player in the NFL.
11) Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
This draft class features a deep group of offensive tackles. But one thing remains: Paris Johnson Jr. sits at the top of the group
The Titans could use a star like Johnson on their offense. Derrick Henry will always love more running room, and the quarterbacks would appreciate more time to throw. Johnson’s length and power give Tennessee a solid player on the edge. They’ll just need to tweak some things about his game to make him even better.
12) Houston Texans (From CLE): Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
Houston could go with a receiver here, but the intriguing option on the edge could trump that need. Tyree Wilson brings all of the tools you want in an EDGE player to make him a first-round pick, and the Texans bite on his potential in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
At 6’6″, 275 pounds, Wilson brings natural size to the position. His determination to make a play and great explosiveness make for a potential nightmare. Houston’s defense would improve greatly with Wilson on the roster.
13) New York Jets: Brian Branch, S, Alabama
Sauce Gardner gave New York a corner that can take half of the field away on his own, and that’s helped their defense tremendously. However, there’s still a need to improve the secondary, even with him on the roster.
Brian Branch brings versatility to the Jets as well as reliability. He’s a consistent player that can play safety and nickel, which would help Gardner and New York. Whether that’s in coverage or as a tackler, Branch was one of Alabama’s most reliable players.
14) New England Patriots: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
With the verdict still out on Mac Jones as an NFL quarterback, adding weapons to the Patriots’ offense would be a great way to find out either way. Jones has the ability to be the future of New England’s offense, but there’s plenty to prove.
Quentin Johnston gives Jones a big-time player in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. At 6’4″, 215 pounds, he’s a great deep threat with the ability to extend plays with his quickness. That’s a great player to add to help Jones become the QB the Patriots expect him to be.
15) Green Bay Packers: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
Aaron Rodgers’ future with the Packers determines quite a bit with their pick in the first round. If he decides to return to Green Bay, it would be wise for the franchise to add some more weapons for him to utilize.
Christian Watson appears to have a bright future in this offense, but he’d like some help. Jordan Addison is an incredible separator downfield, and that could remind fans of former receiver Davante Adams. If Addison can stay healthy, this offense has great potential thanks to his addition.
16) Washington Commanders: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
There’s a lot of nice pieces on the Commanders’ defense, but the secondary could use another player to contribute. Thanks to a great defensive line, there won’t be a ton of pressure on that player to be a lockdown guy right away.
Cam Smith can be that lockdown player for the Commanders. He has good ball skills and great size, and would be an instant impact player. He also elevates the secondary that has some good talent, but not enough to shut down opposing passing attacks.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
If Kenny Pickett is the future of the Steelers’ offense, he’ll need time to prove it. Broderick Jones would quickly be a fan favorite thanks to his “bad man” mentality. He’s an athletic big man who can get out in space well, but he’s also someone who looks to dominate his opponent every single play.
18) Detroit Lions: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Detroit’s already a winner of the first round, thanks to Carter falling to them, but they’re not done yet. The Lions have a great defense full of energetic and talented players, but the ceiling must be elevated.
Kelee Ringo joins Jeff Okudah to give the Lions two great corners. Ringo brings good size and speed to the defense, and just needs to find a way to eliminate the penalties that plagued him at times this year.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida
With Tom Brady gone, quarterback becomes a big need. However, the Bucs might need to give up the farm to get one. So instead, they stay put to take a player that can help their future starter get settled.
O’Cyrus Torrence is a massive guard who plays the game with great physicality in the trenches. He’s a tone-setter on the interior of the offensive line, and he’ll do his part to help the offense during this transition period.
20) Seattle Seahawks: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
It’s tough to see a team address just one part of their team with two picks, but it’s also tough to watch teams pass on a talent like Bryan Bresee. With Murphy already taken in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, the Seahawks add his teammate to their defensive line.
Murphy and Bresee were a great duo with the Tigers, and there are plenty of reasons to believe they can do that in the NFL too. Bresee, despite injury concerns, brings a skill set that can’t be denied. Carter gets a lot of credit for his blend of power and athleticism, but Bresee can do that as well. If he can stay healthy, the Seahawks will be a nightmare to block.
21) Los Angeles Chargers: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Prepare yourselves for the Justin Herbert to Zay Flowers connection, because it’s going to be electric. If the Chargers can make this 2023 NFL Mock Draft come to life, the excitement would rise among their fanbase.
Flowers is an explosive weapon that was limited by his offense in college. He was the leading receiver for the Eagles for three years in his tenure, and now he’s hoping to receive more help at the next level.
22) Baltimore Ravens: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
Whether or not Marcus Peters returns, the Ravens need a young prospect to help Marlon Humphrey in the long run. Baltimore’s defense has the talent to get that player up to speed too, so finding the right guy shouldn’t be too difficult.
Emmanuel Forbes knows how to play the ball, evidenced by his production at Mississippi State. He brings good size to Baltimore, and the upside paired up with Humphrey should thrill the fanbase.
23) Minnesota Vikings: John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
Even if Garrett Bradbury is the guy at center, this pick still makes sense. The Vikings need help on the interior offensive line, and John Michael Schmitz gives them versatility that they desperately need.
Schmitz played both guard and center with the Gophers, and he’s one of the biggest risers after the Senior Bowl. His tenacity in the trenches sets him apart, and that is something Minnesota needs offensively to elevate the unit.
24) Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Jacksonville’s passing attack took great strides as the season progressed, but there’s still room for improvement despite that. There are plenty of exciting features in the passing attack, and now they can add a player to grow even more.
Michael Mayer brings a well-rounded player to the Jaguars’ offense. If Evan Engram costs too much to bring back, Mayer is a good backup plan. His ability to dominate as a blocker stands out, but Mayer also showed his reliability this season. If not for him, Notre Dame’s offense would have struggled mightily.
25) New York Giants: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
With Saquon Barkley set to become a free agent, it makes sense that the Giants would look for cheaper options to replace him. If Bijan Robinson falls this far in the first round, there’s no reason to believe the Giants would let him slip past them.
Robinson is an elite runner with above-average pass-catching abilities. He’s a special talent that makes tackles for loss turn into first downs with ease. His quick feet makes defenders look ridiculous in a phone booth.
Robinson’s going to be a stud at the next level. It just depends on his destination.
26) Dallas Cowboys: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
If the Cowboys can’t find a way to get Robinson, there’s a good backup option. If they can get Tony Pollard back on a cheaper deal due to his injury, that could be their top option. If not, there’s a player who can be Pollard in his absence.
Jahmyr Gibbs saw plenty of opportunities to showcase his talent this year. Alabama’s struggles offensively meant they had to lean on their strengths early and often. Gibbs not only led the way as a ball carrier, but he displayed his ability to be the go-to pass catcher for Bryce Young.
27) Buffalo Bills: JL Skinner, S, Boise State
Buffalo’s offense could use a big-time running back to help elevate that group, but they can wait if Robinson and Gibbs aren’t available. Instead, they turn their attention to the other side of the ball.
JL Skinner isn’t the popular pick as the second-best safety in the draft, but he has the talent to be. Boise State asked him to do a lot for their defense, and he proved that he could handle the responsibility. Skinner’s physical style of play stands out, and the Bills’ defense could use a guy with his skill set.
28) Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
If Cincinnati can’t retain Tee Higgins, they’re going to need another weapon downfield. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a wide receiver, though. Dalton Kincaid is a great route runner who can fill the Higgins void, and he’ll come at a cheaper price.
29) New Orleans Saints (From SF via MIA via DEN): Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Before Sean Payton went to Denver, the Saints were in a tight spot in the 2023 NFL Draft, but now they can breathe a little easier. Unless they can trade up, quarterback won’t be an option until later. So, they must give the offense as much talent as possible in the meantime.
Chris Olave already stands out as an elite weapon downfield, but his former teammate could help too. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, when healthy, is another big-time threat. His performance in the slot especially stands out, and that’s a skill set the Saints could utilize.
30) Philadelphia Eagles: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
While the Eagles fell short in the Super Bowl, there’s still plenty to like about this franchise. One thing that stood out, though, was the inability to stop the Chiefs’ offense. Patrick Mahomes made the Philly defense look bad in the second half, and even did so with his legs.
A guy like Trenton Simpson would help address that issue. Mobile quarterbacks would struggle to get past Simpson thanks to his athleticism, and the power in his frame would send a message that many quarterbacks would receiver after just one hit.
31) Kansas City Chiefs: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
The champions of the world currently bask in their championship, but soon they’ll turn toward the future. With a couple tackles set to become free agents, the Chiefs could use a young prospect to step in and help protect Mahomes.
With Orlando Brown already on the roster, adding Dawand Jones gives KC the biggest tackle tandem in the league. At 6’8″, 360 pounds, Jones is a monster with an incredible wingspan that could be a dominant force. His stock already elevated in the last month, and the Chiefs would love to add his services to their incredible offense.
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