We’re halfway home in the college football season, and so much has changed in such a short period of time. Stars continue highlighting the top of this fan-drive 2023 NFL Mock Draft series, but there’s still plenty of change too.
2023 NFL Mock Draft | Round 1
The order for this 2023 NFL Mock Draft is taken from the reverse Super Bowl odds. We don’t necessarily think that your team isn’t great, but Vegas does. That said, the Houston Texans are on the clock with the first overall pick.
This mock draft is also taken from what you — the fans — have told us you would do with your team’s pick. Each selection is based upon Pro Football Network’s Mock Draft Simulator results from this year and is based on which player is currently the highest-drafted player for each team with a first-round pick.
In the event that the player with the highest ADP has already been selected, we chose the second-highest drafted player, and so on, until a player was available.
1) Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Stroud headlines College Football Networks’ Midseason All-American team, but that award carries as much weight as saying Ohio State beat a Top-5 team in Notre Dame. The Ohio State signal-caller has been shredding defenses even without top target Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka made life easy for him without Smith-Njigba, but Stroud’s been throwing dimes all year. He’s one of the most consistent prospects we’ve seen this year, and the Texans happily add him to their roster in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
2) Chicago Bears: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
While Tennessee found a way to negate Will Anderson‘s effectiveness, that game plan added to his draft stock. Teams will do anything and everything to avoid his side of the field, and it feeds into his label as a game changer.
Still good enough for CFN’s First-Team Midseason All-American team, Anderson has produced 10.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks. He most likely won’t be contained for much longer, and the Volunteers most like don’t want to see him again.
3) Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
While Hendon Hooker stole the spotlight on Saturday, Bryce Young did anything and everything in his power to keep Alabama in the game. His 455 passing yards were a season-high, and he proved once again that he’s cool in the clutch.
Alabama missed the potential go-ahead field goal, but Young’s ability to drive the Tide down into position is what stood out. Even with the chaos that remains on an uncharacteristically undisciplined Alabama team, Young remains one of the lone bright spots.
4) Washington Commanders: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Georgia’s star defensive tackle continues his quiet season, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a coveted prospect. Injuries are keeping him out of games, but that appears to be a nonissue with Georgia’s dominance.
Getting Carter back on defense adds yet another weapon for the Bulldogs, and his return for the second half of the season could give that unit a much-needed boost. Washington already brings Chase Young on the edge, but now they add a good complement in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
5) Seattle Seahawks: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
Myles Murphy didn’t have time for Florida State’s feel-good story this weekend. He got right to work and produced 4 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble in just the first half of the game. He’s quickly reminding teams that he is, as the kids say, him. It’s safe to say that the Seahawks fans did their research with this pick.
6) Pittsburgh Steelers: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
While the Steelers added yet another problem to Tom Brady’s life, they still have some holes to fill. The offensive line remains near the top. Johnson continues to be the top pick for Steelers fans in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft series, and it’s easy to see why.
After making a smooth transition from guard to tackle, Johnson’s a big reason why Ohio State has found so much success offensively. C.J. Stroud gets plenty of time to throw because he knows the opponent’s top pass rusher won’t find much success.
7) Detroit Lions: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
When the 2022 season began, quarterback appeared to be the most popular pick for the Lions. After the season we’ve seen, it’s easy to see why fans are holding off in a 2023 NFL Mock Draft. After Stroud and Young, QB3 doesn’t appear to be settled yet.
With that being said, Lions fans pair one of the best corners in college football with Jeff Okudah. Ringo is proving to be a smooth operator for the Georgia Bulldogs, so much so that teams are choosing to test freshman Malaki Starks more. It’s not going well, so teams must find a new strategy for their passing attack.
8) Atlanta Falcons: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Simply based on injury (and a couple of notable performances by other prospects), I’d be shocked if Jaxon Smith-Njigba stays in the Top 10 much longer. Falcons fans want to give Kyle Pitts some relief in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, and they give him a player who’s one of the best when healthy.
A hamstring injury continues to keep Smith-Njigba off the field, but Ohio State appears to be just fine without him. His draft stock might take a hit, and only his return to the field can keep it here. The Buckeyes aren’t rushing him back too quickly, but that’s good for his future and likely for their late-season success.
9) Arizona Cardinals: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
USC sustained its first loss of the season on Saturday, and we saw an absolute battle between Jordan Addison and Clark Phillips III. Both won their fair share of the battle, and it should excite NFL fans about both of their futures.
Marquise Brown’s injury highlights yet another concern for the Cardinals franchise, and acquiring Robbie Anderson might not be a long-term solution. So, adding a younger player in Addison to work with Kyler Murray seems like a good option.
10) New York Jets: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
New York won’t be picking in the Top 10 if their success continues. A big win on the road over the Green Bay Packers built plenty of confidence, but that means they won’t have a Top 10 pick pretty soon. In this 2023 NFL Mock draft, though, Jets fans add a versatile weapon to their defense in Simpson.
11) Jacksonville Jaguars: BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
If Ojulari is anything like his brother, New York Giants’ Azeez Ojulari, Jacksonville is in business. With only one Jaguars player having more than one sack so far this year, it’s safe to say that they need help on the edge. Josh Allen leads the edge players in every statistical category, and Jags fans know that he can’t continue doing everything himself.
12) Houston Texans (via CLE): Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Personally, I’d like to see the Texans pick a wide receiver at this spot, but it’s hard to turn down a guy like Michael Mayer. Currently, the only reliable option in the passing attack for the Irish, Mayer gets plenty of attention from his quarterback as well as the opposing defense.
Given that they’ve already drafted C.J. Stroud in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, Houston’s offense already has a higher ceiling. Adding Mayer gives them another threat in the passing attack, but also a solid blocker who can contribute in the run game too.
13) Philadelphia Eagles (via NO): Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
Bryan Bresee looked like a grown man the instant he stepped on the field at Clemson. At 6’5″, 300 pounds, he made people quickly forget about his youth. Now, he’s a dominant force for the Tigers’ defense, and Eagles fans line him up next to Fletcher Cox. That seems unfair.
The Eagles are the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL, but they’re looking towards the future with this pick. Bresee’s a powerful player who makes you forget that he’s 300 pounds with how quickly and easily he can move on the football field.
14) Seattle Seahawks (via DEN): Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Even with Geno Smith showing flashes of his West Virginia self, the offense could take another step. It’s unlikely they do that with him running the show. Levis remains one of the contenders for the QB3 spot, and it’s easy to see why.
He has all of the natural tools to be an NFL quarterback, but we just need to see it consistently. Kentucky was quickly reminded of the importance he carries in their offense in this past weekend’s win over Mississippi State, and Seattle fans decided that they want him to lead their team to new heights.
15) Las Vegas Raiders: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
Noah Sewell was born to play football, plain and simple. He gets a chance to shine in the spotlight when the Ducks host undefeated UCLA this weekend, and the Ducks linebacker should play a major role in the outcome.
Bruins head coach Chip Kelly must get his team to understand the importance of identifying Sewell each play. If you forget about him, he’ll make you play. His motor only has one speed, and it’s tough to slow him down once the play starts.
16) New England Patriots: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
It’s not that New England doesn’t have options at wide receiver. However, it’s becoming clear that their pass catchers are limited in terms of their ceiling. So adding young talent with a bright future appears to be the move.
Kayson Boutte has been struggling so far this year, but last week, he put up his first decent game since 2021. He possesses the talent to be an explosive playmaker; we just need to see him do it on a consistent basis.
17) New York Giants: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
One thing’s for sure, Anthony Richardson brings infinitely more excitement to the Giants offense than Daniel Jones does. I’m not saying that the results will be better, but New York would sell more tickets, for sure. Giants fans add Richardson to their team in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, and I love the pick.
Richardson’s cannon for an arm needs to be fine-tuned, but it’s hard to deny the excitement in his game. There’s not a throw off his radar, and he also brings an incredible display of athleticism that we saw once again this weekend.
18) Tennessee Titans: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
Mike Vrabel is the kind of coach that certain players gravitate toward, and Cam Smith fits that description. Smith is a competitive player who continues shining on a South Carolina team looking for answers. With Kristian Fulton and Roger McCreary on the roster, Smith adds another quality player to the cornerback position.
19) Indianapolis Colts: Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami (FL)
Maybe the most surprising pick of the first round, Colts fans add their new franchise quarterback in Tyler Van Dyke. Those pushing up Van Dyke’s stock may want to pump the brakes, though.
Sure, his 838 yards and 5 touchdowns over the last two weeks jump out, but they came against a struggling Virginia Tech team and a porous North Carolina defense. The tools are there to intrigue teams, but a first-round pick for the Miami quarterback might be a stretch.
20) Detroit Lions (via LAR): Antonio Johnson, CB, Texas A&M
Lions fans want to address the secondary in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. After taking Kelee Ringo earlier in the first round, they add Texas A&M’s Antonio Johnson. With teams finding life fairly easy against Detroit’s defense, it’s easy to see why fans are fed up.
Johnson brings a versatile skill set to the defense, and his size and speed should be utilized all over the field at the next level. The Aggies aren’t having the greatest season so far, but Johnson has been a star despite that.
21) Cincinnati Bengals: Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame
Brandon Joseph‘s draft stock continues jumping all over the place. In PFN draft director Cam Mellor’s latest 2023 NFL Mock Draft, he sent Joseph to the Commanders early in the second round. Bengals fans didn’t want to wait that long to add him to their secondary.
22) Miami Dolphins (via SF): Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Miami running backs eclipsed the 100-yard mark in just one game this season. While the offense is loaded (when healthy) via the passing game, running the ball remains a concern. Bijan Robinson can help.
The Longhorns superstar continues commanding the spotlight, and there aren’t many bad things you can say about him. He’s an elite ball carrier who possesses the ability to catch passes downfield and is a willing blocker. Adding his services to the Dolphins offense gives them yet another headache to defend.
23) Dallas Cowboys: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
One position that had many questions heading into the season was the tackle spot. As the season progresses, we’re seeing more viable prospects emerge as potential first-round talents. Jones is one of them.
Georgia’s offense looks much better than last year, and it’s not just the unicorns in the tight end room. Jones and the offensive line continue to do their part for quarterback Stetson Bennett, and the Cowboys hope he can do the same for Dak Prescott.
24) Baltimore Ravens: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
Just give it time. Quentin Johnston will fly up the draft boards soon enough. After catching just 12 passes for 114 yards and no touchdowns through the first four games of this season, Johnston has exploded over the last two games. Against Oklahoma State and Kansas, he caught 22 passes for 386 yards and 2 touchdowns.
At 6’4″, 215 pounds, he brings a good frame to any offense. It’s his ability to attack quickly after the catch that sets him apart. Not many people his size can move as fast as he can, and adding him to be Lamar Jackson’s top target was too good for Ravens fans to ignore.
25) Green Bay Packers: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
Phillips shined in the national spotlight against the reigning Biletnikoff winner, Jordan Addison. Showcasing his grit and tenacity, Phillips reminded us why size isn’t the only thing that matter when defending the pass.
He’s smart at the catch point, something that he’s only gotten better at this year. Sometimes he knows that he won’t win at the catch point with his size, so he’s crafty in the way that he knocks the ball from the hands of the receiver. His positioning through the route takes certain receivers out of the progression too.
26) Minnesota Vikings: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
Even with play at the cornerback position continuing to improve, Minnesota must add a corner in the draft. Joey Porter Jr. has the pedigree and elite play to make him a coveted prospect in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
Penn State’s rush defense struggled mightily this weekend against Michigan, but their pass defense did its part. Porter continues making plays for the Nittany Lions defense, and he could push himself further up in the first round at this rate.
27) Los Angeles Chargers: Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida
Florida is not having the season Gators fans wanted, but the talent on the roster at least keeps fans intrigued. Dexter continues to make life miserable for the teams he faces, and it’s a big reason why he’s considered a first-round pick. The Chargers need some help shoring up the middle of their defense, and their fans address that need in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
28) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida
One of the biggest questions for Torrence coming into the year was how he would handle life in the SEC versus the Sun Belt. It’s a different level of competition in the SEC, and Torrence continues to thrive. He’s one of the best interior blockers in the country and continues refining his technique on his way to becoming a first-round pick.
29) Kansas City Chiefs: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
Skoronski’s team keeps him out of the spotlight, but analysts know how good he can be. Whether he stays at tackle or slides in at guard, Kansas City gets a reliable and consistent protector for Patrick Mahomes. As long as their franchise quarterback has time to throw, the Chiefs offense will thrive.
30) Philadelphia Eagles: Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
Even though his stock has fallen to fringe first-round prospect status, Isaiah Foskey remains a great pick for any team. He’s spent a lot of time as a defensive end, but he’s shown that he’s capable of winning at a new position thanks to his skill set. His power jumped out over the past few games, and it adds to the intrigue in his projection to the NFL level.
31) Buffalo Bills: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
If not for Bryce Young and Jahmyr Gibbs, there would be a chance that Alabama has more than one loss. Gibbs continues showing his value to the Tide’s offense, and it’s a reason he’s moving up into the first round. While many focus on Bijan Robinson, Gibbs keeps reminding everyone of his ceiling.
Whether he’s running the football or catching passes, Gibbs thrives. It doesn’t matter what Alabama asks him to do. At times, you don’t realize a running back caught the football because Gibbs looks so natural doing it. Comparisons to New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara don’t come lightly, and Gibbs lives up to that comparison each week.
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