2023 NFL Mock Draft: Houston Pays Dearly To Take Bryce Young

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Houston Pays Dearly To Take Bryce Young

Another week done means the closer we get to a finalized NFL draft order. In this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, a trade at the top gets us going, but other teams stay disciplined. Let’s dive into who overpaid to get the future of their franchise.

2023 NFL Mock Draft

Everyone knows Chicago wants to trade down, but it just comes down to who’s willing to take the bait. That team must give up a lot to move into that slot, and the Bears are already appearing like winners before the draft even begins.

1) Houston Texans (From CHI): Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Trade: Houston receivers Pick 1, Chicago receives Picks 2, 12, 174, 191, 2024 first-round pick (CLE), and 2024 second-round pick

Madness is a lot like gravity. All it takes is a little push. Houston had one job in Week 18. One! It’s tough to tell competitors to lose a game, but losing the last game of the season would have been a win. So the Texans get punished for winning a football game by forcing them to trade up for the first pick and give up quite a bit of capital to get their guy.

Now, that being said, Houston’s getting an electric playmaker in Bryce Young. The Alabama star brings incredible poise to the NFL. His ability to make off-platform throws with ease reminds me of the backyard football days. The days where you just try to make a play any way possible. Only, Young does it against D1 players and in full pads.

2) Chicago Bears (From HOU): Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

Chicago’s in a great position. Defeat never tasted so sweet. That’s what they say, right? In this case, the Bears do. Someone’s going to be desperate enough to take the top pick, and that only means good things for Chicago. Plus, they’re not moving that far back in the top 10, no matter who trades with them.

Will Anderson Jr. is a special talent. His ability to command extra attention means he deserves respect. It’s also a big reason why he could potentially go first overall if the Bears keep their pick. He’s the perfect way to get fans back to the Khalil Mack days too.

3) Arizona Cardinals: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

J.J. Watt’s retirement leaves a vacancy that must be filled. Arizona might field calls for a trade here, but it’s also not a bad idea to draft Myles Murphy. The Clemson defensive end has freakish traits and could be the dominant force that Watt was during his time in the NFL.

4) Indianapolis Colts: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

According to the data, Colts fans want a quarterback. Specifically, C.J. Stroud. If no one trades above them, he’ll fall into their laps. The offense has plenty of nice pieces to work with, but they need a QB who can elevate them.

Stroud makes a lot of throws look easy. He might not have the off-platform arsenal like Young, but his highlight reel features a number of throws that will get you out of your seat.

5) Seattle Seahawks (From DEN): Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

The only thing bigger than the hat that Jalen Carter donned after the national championship is the headaches he gives offensive coordinators. At 6’3″, 310 pounds, Carter’s natural strength and power make him a nightmare even if he’s using a basic block-shedding package.

MORE: Jalen Carter Stands Tall Amongst DTs in the 2023 NFL Draft

Throw in the fact that he’s a former tight end and basketball player, and now you’ve opened up a new realm of nightmares for guards and centers. Carter’s agility creates new problems for offenses, and Seattle would be elated to see him fall this far.

6) Detroit Lions (From LAR): Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

If Detroit remains content with Jared Goff at quarterback, they can shift their attention elsewhere in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Adding Christian Gonzalez to their defense makes the Lions better protectors of their den.

At 6’2″, 200 pounds, Gonzalez’s frame gives teams plenty to be excited about, and he’s a natural hunter of the football. The best thing for him will be learning from Jeff Okudah, and the Lions’ secondary improves because they’re not handcuffed by their quarterback.

7) Las Vegas Raiders: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

We’ve reached the point where analysts dive deep into prospects even more. With the season over, they want to make sure they have an accurate view of each prospect. Even guys like Paris Johnson Jr., who haven’t seen their draft stock drop much, aren’t immune.

Hand usage currently is a concern for Johnson, but it won’t be enough to move him out of the first round. While Las Vegas might consider a QB here, they’d have to be confident that Anthony Richardson or Will Levis can get the job done. Without proper protection, though, no one’s throwing the ball efficiently.

8) Atlanta Falcons: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Drake London is 6’4″ and 214 pounds. Kyle Pitts stands 6’6″, weighs 247 pounds, and runs a 4.4 40-yard dash. Quentin Johnston comes in at 6’4″ and 215 pounds. Why does that matter? On a superficial level, it makes play-calling much simpler.

Think about it. You have three guys that make defensive backs sweat simply by running downfield. Atlanta could go full Madden mode and just run four verticals for an entire drive and probably find success.

9) Carolina Panthers: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

There are several good fits for Anthony Richardson. Carolina enters a rebuild, which means there’s time for a young QB to learn on the fly or sit and watch Sam Darnold. Richardson gives the Panthers a potentially bright future.

At 6’4″, 231 pounds, Richardson’s a unique talent in many ways. His frame is perfect for the NFL, he possesses a cannon for an arm, and wheels for days. If he can find consistency, the Panthers will be a force in the NFC South.

10) Philadelphia Eagles (From NO): Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

Brandon Graham and Robert Quinn won’t be in the league for long, and the Eagles need some more youth along the defensive line. Tyree Wilson stands 6’6″, 270 pounds, and thrashes even the best of offensive linemen.

With Jordan Davis returning, the future on the Eagles line is bright, and I can’t imagine a scenario where any line is excited to face Wilson and Davis at the same time.

11) Tennessee Titans: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

When the Titans traded A.J. Brown away, wide receiver immediately became a need. Robert Woods and Treylon Burks are already on the roster, but Woods is 30, and Burks can’t do it all alone.

Jordan Addison opens up the field for one or both of them. His ability to create separation will demand extra help in the secondary, but it also means he’ll get open for either Ryan Tannehill or Malik Willis frequently.

12) Chicago Bears (From HOU): Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

It’s fitting that Broderick Jones wore a ski mask in warmups for the national championship game. The Bulldogs tackle was moving downhill with speed and force against TCU, and was knocking down Horned Frogs defenders like Bode Miller used to go through gates during a race.

Jones gives Chicago what they need offensively: protection for Justin Fields. We’re seeing the Bears quarterback take some steps as a passer, but he needs more help around him. Jones gives him time to throw and gives fans an elite training camp matchup when he faces off with new teammate Anderson.

13) New York Jets: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

Sauce and Kelee Ringo. Ringo and Sauce. Good luck passing on the Jets if they get their hands on that duo. Sauce Gardner’s already one of the best cornerbacks in the league, and the Jets could have the best duo in the NFL if they draft the Georgia star.

Ringo stands 6’2″, 210 pounds, and has no problem playing a physical style of football. At times, that can get him into trouble, but people also said that about Gardner. If anything, it’s a tone-setter for a defense that has a bright future.

14) New England Patriots: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

Trenton Simpson‘s going to give a team plenty of versatility on their defense. He just needs someone to give him a chance. Bill Belichick always wants to find an edge, and Simpson could be the latest addition to help him do that.

His quickness helps him move sideline to sideline, but he also has the strength to handle life in the trenches. He’s been a great playmaker for Clemson, and he’ll continue doing that for the Patriots thanks to this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.

15) Green Bay Packers: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Will Levis is the perfect replacement for Aaron Rodgers for multiple reasons. He plays the right position, he could replace his predecessor, and his mayo in coffee habit makes him a perfect candidate for State Farm’s personal price plan.

Levis has all of the tools to be a great quarterback. Arm talent, athleticism, you name it. Levis has it. The consistency just wasn’t there. Whether that was due to the offense or his inability to perform efficiently, he’ll remind Packers fans of their (potentially) former signal-caller.

16) Washington Commanders: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon

Noah Sewell‘s been on the NFL’s radar for years now. It’s what happens when you start for Oregon multiple years and are the brother of Detroit Lions OT Penei Sewell. Like his older brother, Noah brings elite physicality to his position. His ability to get downhill quickly is a defensive coordinator’s dream.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Prospects

There are concerns about his coverage skills, but you can bet that he’s going to play the game with a purpose. Taking plays off isn’t a thing for Sewell, and he’s a tone-setter that will make his presence known quickly.

17) Pittsburgh Steelers: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Pittsburgh has the luxury that is Minkah Fitzpatrick in their secondary, but the Pro Bowler would love getting some support. In this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, Mike Tomlin’s squad adds a big corner whose game continues improving.

Joey Porter Jr. boasts a 6’2″ frame, with ball skills that make him a first-round prospect. It doesn’t hurt to have the name recognition, either. However, Porter will make a name for himself on his dad’s old team.

18) Detroit Lions: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

Alim McNeill and Isaiah Buggs are a solid duo for Detroit, but they’re not Bryan Bresee. The former Clemson Tiger has been a force when healthy for his entire collegiate career, and he can do the same for the Lions.

Bresee brings plenty of power within his frame and showcases underrated athleticism. It just comes down to health. It shouldn’t be enough to move him out of the first round, but it might slide him towards the back half. Detroit’s more than fine with that.

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama

So many needs for the Bucs, but only one pick. Tom Brady’s future could force Tampa Bay’s hand with what they need in this draft, but they’ll need to give up a lot to find his successor in Round 1. So, they choose to go another route here.

Eli Ricks has first-round talent. The length jumps out on tape, and he has the ball skills to be a great corner. Ricks started for the Tide late in the year thanks to an injury, and that might have been the best thing for him.

20) Seattle Seahawks: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida

Another team in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft that will feature a monumental battle in training camp. With Carter already on the team with their earlier pick, Seattle adds a ferocious blocker in O’Cyrus Torrence.

The Florida Gator came from Louisiana and did not skip a beat with his dominance. He brings great size to the Seahawks’ line, and the future looks bright for this squad on offense because of it.

21) Jacksonville Jaguars: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

When the season began, it looked like there would be many needs for the Jaguars. Now they find themselves in a much better position. Trevor Lawrence is playing great, easing some concerns about the offense. So Jacksonville can flip to the defense with this pick.

Cam Smith is a competitor who’s sticky in coverage. It’s been tough to stand out in this crowded cornerback class, but Smith’s a solid option for any team late in the first round.

22) New York Giants: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

There’s a new Mayer of New York, and his name’s Michael. From South Bend to the Big Apple, Mayer’s play will help him win over the Giants’ fanbase. A steady increase in his draft stock while at Notre Dame pushed Mayer into Round 1, and his balanced skill set should keep him in the league for a while.

Mayer was the highlight of a passing game that struggled mightily. At times, he was the only reliable target for his quarterbacks, but it gave him more opportunities to prove his worth as a pass catcher. He’s also a good blocker that adds to New York’s run game.

23) Baltimore Ravens: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pitt

Calijah Kancey isn’t the biggest interior defender, but his production can’t be denied. He’s an explosive playmaker that finds many ways to win despite those concerns. His 34.5 career tackles for loss and 16.0 career sacks show that he knows how to win.

If you watched a Pitt game this year, one trend continuously showed up on tape: Kancey making plays. His dominance put him in position to make the play or finish it frequently. Kancey’s size won’t be enough to keep teams away, because his play makes him a nightmare for anyone he’s facing.

24) Los Angeles Chargers: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina

Since the minute he started for the Tar Heels, Josh Downs has terrorized defensive backs. His crisp routes and explosive cuts break ankles on a regular basis, and he’s a great complement to the Chargers’ current receivers.

Mike Williams and Keenan Allen are already exceptional receivers, but adding a major threat underneath opens things up for them even further. Downs commands attention in the slot, and it will be tough for LA to pass on him if he’s available here.

25) Dallas Cowboys: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

This pick benefits both parties immensely. Zay Flowers isn’t the biggest receiver at 5’10”, but he plays big. He’s led Boston College in receiving the last three seasons, and for most of the past two, he was the only consistent option. So naturally, Flowers didn’t see the spotlight much, but he’s a player that brings an explosive skill set to Dallas.

MORE: Top WRs in the 2023 NFL Draft

Flowers has plenty of speed and explosiveness in his route running, and it will be nice for him to join a team that features support for him in the passing attack. Dallas could use another weapon for Dak Prescott, so the pick gives both sides something to look forward to in 2023.

26) Cincinnati Bengals: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

It’s hard for me to not pick an offensive lineman for the Bengals with this pick. With Peter Skoronski sitting on the board, it might be too good to pass on such a versatile talent.

The Northwestern star gave the Wildcats arguably their lone source of consistency this year. A 1-11 team featured plenty of weaknesses, but Skoronski wasn’t one of them. The expectation is that he’ll slide inside to guard, so the Bengals have some flexibility to put him where they need him most.

27) Minnesota Vikings: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

While the Kirk Cousins’ debate rages on, the Vikings must find help at other positions. Offensive line could be a big need at this spot, but the value isn’t there in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. So, they look to a position that features plenty of depth.

Emmanuel Forbes is a natural playmaker who finished third in college football in interceptions this season. He’s a long player with great potential, and the Vikings need someone to step up and be a force at this position.

28) Denver Broncos (From SF via MIA): Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame

Unfortunately for the Broncos, they can’t draft multiple positions with one pick. So, they’ll start with a player that can attempt to give them some versatility. Isaiah Foskey played linebacker and defensive end for Notre Dame and appears to still be developing along the line. If Denver can help him along that path, he’ll be a huge addition.

29) Buffalo Bills: Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M

Buffalo needs assistance at safety and linebacker. While Antonio Johnson might play safety, he did see time in an LB role at Texas A&M too. Johnson’s familiarity in the front seven gave him experience that not many at his position saw in their collegiate careers.

Johnson brings good size to Buffalo’s defense at 6’3″, 200 pounds. His length in coverage makes him tough to escape downfield, and his tough mentality helps him win against guys that weigh 100 pounds more than him.

30) Kansas City Chiefs: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

While Kansas City’s offense moved on well from Tyreek Hill, it wouldn’t hurt to add some serious speed back into the offense. Jalin Hyatt brings track speed to the Chiefs, and Hendon Hooker could tell Patrick Mahomes about the benefits of having Hyatt running routes downfield.

31) Philadelphia Eagles: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Regardless of how the Eagles drafted in the past, it’s impossible for me to let Bijan Robinson leave the first round. Philadelphia’s offense has great potential without him, but imagine pairing Robinson and Jalen Hurts.

While this team doesn’t need to utilize a luxury pick, I think they should indulge. If a generational talent falls into your lap at the end of Round 1 (your second pick in that round), then you take him.

Round 2

32) Pittsburgh Steelers (From CHI): Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

Pittsburgh’s offense has the potential to be great in 2023. While they sort out the QB situation, the offensive line could use some help, and Darnell Wright can help. He’s faced some of the most talented prospects in the draft, so it won’t be a surprise when Wright thrives at the next level.

33) Houston Texans: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

Injuries might hurt Nolan Smith‘s draft stock, but the raw talent is still there. Great length and a ton of explosiveness on the edge make him a potential nightmare for offensive tackles.

Despite his injury this year, Smith brings a ton of experience from a Georgia defense loaded with talent the last couple years. So for him to stand out enough to still be drafted this high speaks to his talent.

34) Arizona Cardinals: Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida

While everyone focuses their attention on the newest addition to the Cardinals’ line in Myles Murphy, they must also face their fears of Gervon Dexter. At 6’6″ and 313 pounds, Dexter’s a physically imposing specimen even at the NFL level.

Watching him bully offensive linemen is like watching Bane manhandle extras in Dark Knight Rises. At his peak, he’s a force to be reckoned with, thanks to superior power in his frame. Throw in good length, and most guys can’t get their hands on him before they found themselves sitting on the turf.

35) Indianapolis Colts: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

Look, the Colts have a solid group on offense, but they’re missing a few pieces to make them better. While they took Stroud with their first pick in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, someone needs to protect his blindside.

Anton Harrison still has some things to iron out in his game, but his raw talent is noticeable. A line that already features Quenton Nelson means that there are opportunities to learn and grow, so Harrison has plenty of resources to utilize for his development.

36) Los Angeles Rams: BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU

We welcome the Los Angeles Rams to the draft thanks to their willingness to go all in for a Super Bowl. Hey, it worked, so we can’t fault them. They just might have a few rough years in the future because of it.

BJ Ojulari is a solid way to get things going, though. He’s a long player who brings good value in the second round. While Ojulari’s ceiling might not be as high as other edge players in this class, he’ll have the tools and resources to be good. His brother Azeez should be able to help as well.

37) Seattle Seahawks (From DEN): JL Skinner, S, Boise State

A secondary that features Tariq Woolen gets another big player in Boise State’s JL Skinner. He might not have the speed of Woolen, but Skinner brings a powerful punch to any ball carrier in his vicinity.

Skinner’s flown under the radar most of his career, so it won’t be a surprise to see him go in Round 2. Seattle’s building a promising secondary, and the Legion of Boom Part 2 might become a nickname if they continue trending upward.

38) Las Vegas Raiders: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Bret Bielema’s already done great things at Illinois, and his hire of Ryan Walters proved to be his best. The new Purdue head coach led Bielema’s Illini to one of their best statistical seasons in school history and produced a number of exciting NFL prospects in the process.

Devon Witherspoon isn’t afraid of anything. The man doesn’t know what fear is, which will help him adapt to the physicality of the NFL game. Las Vegas needs some help at cornerback, and there’s a lot to like in Witherspoon’s game.

39) Carolina Panthers: Henry To’oTo’o, LB, Alabama

Panthers fans might mourn the retirement of Luke Kuechly forever, but there’s a player who could give them flashbacks. Henry To’oTo’o has a future as a coach when his playing days are done, and that speaks to his football intelligence.

To’oTo’o’s not the flashiest player, but he’s going to make the right play. His work off the field puts him in great positions before plays even start because he knows where it’s going. Sound familiar? He won’t be Kuechly, but he’s going to be a good linebacker.

40) New Orleans Saints: Brian Branch, S, Alabama

One thing Alabama struggled with occasionally was making tackles, but Brian Branch wasn’t a big contributor to that. A potential first-round pick, the New Orleans Saints get their 2023 NFL Mock Draft started by adding talent in the secondary.

Branch brings great athleticism to New Orleans. He’s not small, but he’s not going to make a ton of plays because of his size. It’s his ability to get to the ball carrier and stop them efficiently that makes him a great player. He’ll give the Saints a reliable defender that can produce stops in critical moments.

41) Tennessee Titans: John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota

It’s hard to imagine where Minnesota would have been without John Michael Schmitz. The offensive line struggled at times for the Gophers this year, but Schmitz gave them a bright spot of consistency.

Mike Vrabel should love his new interior linemen because of his toughness but also because of his versatility. Schmitz has experience at both guard and center, giving the Titans depth and talent at both positions.

42) Cleveland Browns: Rashee Rice, WR, SMU

More and more Browns fans are taking a wide receiver with this pick, so I’ll join the club. Rashee Rice adds to a team that needs more depth at the position. Amari Cooper proved to be a reliable target, and Donovan Peoples-Jones also stepped up. Yet, no other WR produced more than 24 catches.

SMU featured Rice in the passing attack more than Rhett Lashlee probably wanted, but it helped his draft stock immensely. Now Rice joins an offense that should take some of that weight off his shoulders.

43) New York Jets: Blake Freeland, OT, BYU

While we’re still not sure if Mekhi Becton can be the tackle New York needs, they’ll still need to add someone to the position. Especially if they still believe in Zach Wilson. New York’s offense has a ton of potential, so giving their quarterback everything he needs will only give him the tools to improve.

Blake Freeland entered the season as a potential first-round pick. His stock has fallen since then, but that mostly has to do with other more naturally talented players developing. He’s a reliable player that gives the Jets stability at a position they desperately need it.

44) Atlanta Falcons: Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor

Siaki Ika knows what it takes to bet on himself and win. When he transferred from LSU, he took a chance that his time in Waco would help him get to where he wanted. Turns out, it was a smart move.

Ika’s been a force for the Bears’ defense for a couple years now, and his skill set should fit right in with the Falcons. A two-gap player, moving Ika off the line of scrimmage is easier said than done. His strength at the point of attack will also win over the linebackers behind him, who should find life much easier when trying to tackle the ball carriers.

45) Green Bay Packers: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

Without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers’ offense won’t be the same. With the assumption that he’s done playing, it’s time for a youth movement offensively. Christian Watson proved to be a good pick in last year’s draft, and now Green Bay adds Levis and Dalton Kincaid to the mix.

Brant Kuithe commanded the spotlight in Utah’s offense coming into this year, but Kincaid was starting to creep into the picture. Injuries sidelined Kuithe and thrust his backup into a more productive role. Matt LaFleur will love the reliability that his new tight end brings to the table, and the offense should still be exciting to watch without their superstar running the show.

46) New England Patriots: Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee

Mac Jones would like some help. Preferably sooner rather than later. While most of college football had their attention on Hyatt, Cedric Tillman flew under the radar. Injuries drove his draft stock down, but Tillman still has the ability to dominate when healthy.

Look specifically at his performances against Georgia and Alabama in 2021. When healthy, Tillman terrorizes secondaries with ease. Even if his team isn’t going to win the game, he will find ways to win. Tillman won’t be the reason that his team loses, and that should win over his new teammates quickly.

47) Washington Commanders: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah

If you’re a fan of the underdog, then Clark Phillips III will quickly become one of your favorite prospects. Ignore the obvious thing that every draft analyst will hammer when discussing his game. Let’s talk about why he’s great.

Phillips understands leverage. More specifically, his leverage. Every corner understands general leverage principles, but Phillips understands how to utilize his skill set to keep him in good leverage.

He knows how to take away space from his receiver and typically knows how to keep himself in good position to make a play. If Phillips does lose on a pass, it’s typically because his guy has a bigger frame. Even then, he’s going to make them earn it regardless.

48) Detroit Lions: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State

Aidan Hutchinson needs a buddy. A buddy in the backfield. No one’s getting the job done consistently enough to warrant extra help away from Hutchinson, so adding Felix Anudike-Uzomah would make the Lions star end very happy.

The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year provided the Wildcats’ defense with a consistent force on the line. When he’s on, there aren’t many tackles that can block him, and teams will send help to the tackle blocking his way. Pick your poison at that point.

49) Pittsburgh Steelers: Sedrick Van Pran, C, Georgia

I think TCU’s front six (yes, six) still has nightmares of getting pummeled by Georgia’s offensive line. Sedrick Van Pran was a multi-year starter for the Bulldogs’ offensive line, and he’s going to make someone happy that he falls to them.

Again, Pittsburgh needs to open things up for their skill-position players, and they’re addressing that need in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Van Pran brings plenty of experience and talent to start right away and elevate the play on the line.

50) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Zach Evans, RB, Ole Miss

The emergence of Rachaad White means that a running back isn’t a huge need for Tampa Bay, but they might be ready to move on from Leonard Fournette. With RBs naturally falling to the second round and beyond, they’ll have solid options here.

Zach Evans, when healthy, is a home-run hitter. Whether that’s as a runner or a pass catcher, he’s a threat to score on any play. That gives the Bucs a potentially lethal 1-2 punch in the backfield.

51) Jacksonville Jaguars: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

While the offense does appear to be playing well for the Jaguars, there’s still another level they could reach if they add the right players. Thanks to a hamstring injury, Jaxon Smith-Njigba is available on Day 2.

That injury hampered his draft stock, but JSN is a playmaker. He’s a nightmare to cover anywhere he lines up (just ask Utah), and he was the big attraction for the Ohio State offense before Marvin Harrison Jr. emerged.

52) Miami Dolphins: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama

Oh, hello, Miami. Thank you for joining us. Your patience is rewarded with another member of the potentially fastest 4×100 relay team in the NFL. Good things come to those who wait.

Jahmyr Gibbs going to Miami means that I don’t want to be anyone in the AFC East. At least, defensively. If Tua Tagovailoa can stay healthy, this offense is ridiculous. If not, Gibbs should be the backup. I will not accept any other suggestions. Move over, Skylar Thompson.

The former Georgia Tech transfer has been making defenders look bad since the minute he stepped onto a college campus. Gibbs brings suddenness, explosiveness, speed, agility, and pretty much any other word that describes Dolphins fans dropping their jaws to the floor after watching him. He’s that good.

53) Seattle Seahawks: Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma

Seattle already boasts two 1,000-yard receivers in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, so why do they need a receiver? For starters, Lockett turns 31 in September. More importantly, though, Marvin Mims resembles a lot of Lockett’s game, making the veteran the perfect mentor for the new addition.

All Mims did at Oklahoma was make big plays. Despite being an undersized receiver, he found ways to be the go-to guy for three different quarterbacks. He’s proven that change doesn’t affect him, and that should carry over into the NFL.

54) New York Giants: Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas

Drew Sanders remains one of the more intriguing prospects in this class, mostly because we only have one full year of starts for him. The former Alabama transfer stepped into Arkansas’ starting lineup and never looked back.

Sanders is an athletic playmaker with the tools to be elite at the next level, and the Giants will love adding him to their roster. Jaylon Smith and Micah McFadden won’t mind having him open things up for them, either.

55) Los Angeles Chargers: Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse

If the Chargers want Justin Herbert to continue making plays, then ensuring his protection in the pocket would be another area to address. Not that it’s a huge concern, but they’ll need to look at taking a player on the edge.

Matthew Bergeron mostly flew under the radar this year because of Syracuse’s abysmal second half of the season. Bergeron faced a number of future pros, and he held his own against some of the best. That consistency against top competition makes him an appealing prospect.

56) Chicago Bears (From BAL): Jarrett Patterson, G, Notre Dame

Chicago is one of the early picks to be a big-time winner in the draft, thanks to the potential to trade down. While they only do it once in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, I could see a scenario where they do it multiple times and keep acquiring more picks. There’s a reason they have the first pick, after all.

Protecting Fields will be a high priority for this organization, and they already took Jones. Now, they add Jarrett Patterson to the mix. At Notre Dame, Patterson played every position, which gives the Bears a player that provides depth at any position they see fit.

57) Dallas Cowboys: Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse

If the Cowboys decide they don’t want to break the bank to keep both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard on the roster, the draft will be the perfect place to look for talent. Sean Tucker is another home-run RB in this draft and someone that can take over at the position when Elliott’s time expires.

Tucker also gives Dallas a lot of what Pollard can do. While he might not be as polished as a pass catcher, he’s still an asset in the passing game. His powerful legs and long speed make him a threat to score on any play.

58) Cincinnati Bengals: Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia

Okay, so imagine that you’re worried about slowing down Tee Higgins and JaMarr Chase, and all of a sudden, Bigfoot runs you over. I admit that Darnell Washington isn’t as elusive as the mysterious and polarizing creature, but the size comparison stands.

At 6’7″, 270 pounds, Washington is a luxury for any offense. He’s developed well as a pass catcher this past year, and it’s tough to see him falling outside of the second round with those natural traits.

59) Carolina Panthers (From SF): Andre Carter II, EDGE, Army

Carolina took a chance on Brian Burns, and there’s the potential to hit the lottery again on another raw edge player. Andre Carter II stands 6’7″, 260 pounds, and he’s still learning how to be an even bigger force on the edge.

Pairing Burns and Carter together makes sense. The Panthers are going through a rebuild right now, so they have time for these two to work together to allow Carter to become another weapon for this defensive line.

60) Detroit Lions (From MIN): Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State

When Detroit traded away T.J. Hockenson, tight end became a position of need. They look towards the future by adding Tucker Kraft in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Kraft’s Jackrabbits are coming off a big national championship win over rival NDSU, and now he’s adding to his accolades by becoming an NFL draft selection.

Detroit’s offense shows plenty of promise for the future, and Kraft adds to that feeling. He’s developed well as a pass catcher and is a willing blocker who enjoys creating openings for his running backs.

61) Buffalo Bills: Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn

In the past, I’ve given Buffalo Bijan Robinson in the first round. Since they addressed another need with that pick, they now turn their attention toward that position here.

Tank Bigsby got lost in the shuffle this year. From Auburn’s boosters leading pitchfork nation to get Bryan Harsin out of town, to the struggles on the field, Bigsby didn’t see the spotlight much.

Still, he’s one of the best RB prospects in this class. Also, his name is Tank. Automatic bonus points without question. While his nickname doesn’t describe his running style, Bigsby’s production cannot be denied and makes him an exciting fit in the Bills’ offense.

62) Kansas City Chiefs: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State

While it’s fun to watch Patrick Mahomes escape pressure and make one of his famous Dude Perfect-type throws, I’m sure Chiefs fans would like it more if those throws were less nerve-wracking.

Insert Dawand Jones. At worst, he gives Kansas City another big tackle (6’8″, 360 pounds) that gives them depth. At best, he’s a monster who’s rivaled teammate Johnson at times this season. Seems like solid value here.

63) Philadelphia Eagles: Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami (FL)

Most mock drafts have the Eagles taking a corner, and it’s easy to see why. The veterans on the roster provide great experience and knowledge for the newcomer, but Philadelphia can wait to get their guy.

Tyrique Stevenson, at one point, was considered a first-round pick. The former Georgia transfer was a bright spot on Miami’s defense, and I think he still has the first-round talent in him. He won’t go in that round, but that’s his ceiling.

Round 3

64) Chicago Bears: A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest

When your top receiver only catches 40 passes for 493 yards and two touchdowns, there’s a problem. Especially when you had 17 games to do it. A.T. Perry knows a thing or two about making plays, and he elevates the passing attack for Chicago.

65) Houston Texans: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU

Off-field issues and a lack of production might tank Kayshon Boutte‘s draft stock, but the talent and potential are definitely there for the right team.

66) Arizona Cardinals: Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA

A physical, hard-nosed runner, Zach Charbonnet could start right away next to Kyler Murray in the Cardinals’ offense.

67) Denver Broncos (From IND): Tommy Eichenberg, LB, Ohio State

Eichenberg’s a natural playmaker who improved his draft stock immensely this past season and joins a roster that featured two linebackers with 120+ tackles this year.

68) Denver Broncos: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU

Jim Thorpe award winner Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson joins the same division that his uncle once dominated.

69) Los Angeles Rams: Kenny McIntosh, RB, Georgia

Injuries and inconsistent play left the Rams longing for more from their running backs, but Kenny McIntosh has the talent to give them that.

70) Las Vegas Raiders: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama

Jordan Battle is a veteran playmaker that can be an imposing presence for any defense. His stock dipped a little, but he’s still a good value pick here in Round 3.

71) New Orleans Saints: Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee

I don’t see a world where New Orleans doesn’t take a quarterback in this draft, and Hendon Hooker could give them the offensive spark they need.

72) Tennessee Titans: Mekhi Garner, CB, LSU

Tennessee has some exciting, young players in their secondary, and Mekhi Garner’s upward trajectory could help add to that excitement.

73) Houston Texans (From CLE): Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland

At one point considered a first-round pick, Jaelyn Duncan‘s athleticism could make him one of the biggest steals in the draft. Houston will be happy if that’s the case, considering what they gave up earlier to get Young.

74) New York Jets: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan

Mazi Smith is a freak that can physically dominate any matchup, and the Jets’ defense is ready to add a player like that to their front seven.

75) Atlanta Falcons: Kyu Blu Kelly, CB, Stanford

A.J. Terrell is a lockdown corner for the Falcons, but someone has to man the other side. Kyu Blu Kelly is an underrated prospect who could fill that need.

76) New England Patriots (From CAR): Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa

A defensive end from Iowa that no one’s heard of all year? Sounds like Lukas Van Ness is the perfect Patriot.

77) Miami Dolphins (From NE): Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame

Brandon Joseph is a natural playmaker with the ability to make an impact against the run and pass for the Dolphins’ defense. He also brings a ton of experience from his time at Northwestern and Notre Dame.

78) Green Bay Packers: Christopher Smith, S, Georgia

Arguably one of the most underrated and underappreciated Georgia defensive prospects in the last few years, Christopher Smith plays the game with a big chip on his shoulder.

79) Indianapolis Colts (From WAS): Cody Mauch, OT, NDSU

Cody Mauch shuffled along the line at NDSU thanks to their multiple looks, so he gives the Colts flexibility to move him around and see where he fits best.

80) Pittsburgh Steelers: Nick Hampton, EDGE, Appalachian State

One of the biggest sleepers in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, Hampton has the length and explosiveness to be a big-time playmaker opposite of T.J. Watt.

81) Detroit Lions: Ronnie Hickman, S, Ohio State

It’s a defense-heavy draft for the Lions, but man, would this group be even more intimidating with this talent. Ronnie Hickman can play at an extremely high level, and the Lions’ secondary could have two Buckeyes running the show when Hickman joins Jeff Okudah.

82) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Steve Avila, C, TCU

Steve Avila brings good experience at multiple positions for the Bucs, along with youth and a team-friendly contract.

83) Miami Dolphins: Warren McClendon, OT, Georgia

Broderick Jones gets a ton of love for good reason, but Warren McClendon has the tools to be a great pro too. He can be just as tenacious as Jones, and that makes him a great value on Day 2.

84) Seattle Seahawks: Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State

We’ve been waiting for Zach Harrison to break out and be the dominant force we all know he can be. He did a little of that this year, and that kind of play will make life miserable for the NFC West.

85) Jacksonville Jaguars: Ricky Stromberg, C, Arkansas

A veteran and intelligent center, Stromberg played college ball like it was his day job. His ability to pick things up quickly will help him gel with Trevor Lawrence.

86) New York Giants: Charlie Jones, WR, Purdue

It’s weird to not send Charlie Jones to the Patriots, but the Giants decided they want this underrated playmaker on their roster instead.

87) Los Angeles Chargers: Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Cincinnati

All Ivan Pace Jr. did in college is produce, but this past year in Cincinnati, he took his game to another level. Pace’s quickness sideline to sideline surprised many, and it’s tough to run through him when he gets his arms on the ball carrier.

88) Baltimore Ravens: Owen Pappoe, LB, Auburn

Another extremely slept-on prospect, Pappoe is a thumper in the trenches that could be a great player at the next level.

89) Dallas Cowboys: Dorian Williams, LB, Tulane

Williams will blast any ball carrier at any time. You name the time and place, and he’ll be there. With so many teams giving Micah Parsons extra attention, the Cowboys would love to have another explosive weapon in the front seven.

90) Cincinnati Bengals: Nick Broeker, G, Ole Miss

If Skoronski ends up working out at tackle, then Nick Broeker will be a great guard for the Bengals. Good news, though. If Skoronski needs to move inside, Broeker also brings tackle experience. Versatility and value in two picks at a position of need.

91) Carolina Panthers (From SF): Jaren Hall, QB, BYU

Someone is going to overpay to get a quarterback in the first round. Carolina stayed disciplined in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, and they take a chance on Jaren Hall. The BYU quarterback can sling it as well as anyone in the class, so this could be potentially great for the Panthers. If not, there’s always next year.

92) Minnesota Vikings: Cameron Latu, TE, Alabama

Hockenson makes this less of a need, but Irv Smith Jr.’s health could still be a concern in the future. So, Minnesota adds another Alabama tight end.

93) Buffalo Bills: Benjamin Yurosek, TE, Stanford

Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis give the Bills two great weapons for Josh Allen, but Benjamin Yurosek could elevate both of them even more. At 6’6″, he’s a big target and the latest exciting Stanford tight end.

94) Kansas City Chiefs: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State

Plenty of veterans on the line should help Will McDonald IV acclimate to the NFL game, and his talent, combined with that knowledge, makes him a potential force for the Chiefs.

95) Philadelphia Eagles: Jaquelin Roy, DT, LSU

With plenty of older players along the line, Philadelphia does well to lower the average age at the position. Jaquelin Roy brings good power and explosiveness to join forces with Davis as the future of the Eagles’ front seven.

96) Cleveland Browns: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

A natural playmaker, Jack Campbell puts in work off the field to ensure he finds success on it, and the Browns will love that reliability.

97) San Francisco 49ers: Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State

Our final team to join the draft. San Francisco gets their 2023 NFL Mock Draft going by adding a player with tremendous potential. Julius Brents stands 6’4″, but is extremely raw as a prospect.

98) San Francisco 49ers: Byron Young, DT, Alabama

An under-the-radar Alabama player is a weird sentence to write, but Byron Young fits that description. He utilizes good leverage along with his above-average athleticism, and that will help him fight for playing time early with the 49ers.

99) New York Giants: Emil Ekiyor Jr., G, Alabama

New York needs some help giving Daniel Jones time to throw, but also needs help setting the tone up the middle. Emil Ekiyor Jr. has been helping Alabama’s young players do that for a couple of years now, so he could be the answer.