As the NFL regular season nears its conclusion, many fanbases are more focused on the latest 2023 NFL mock draft rather than the NFL postseason. In this NFL mock draft, we forecast the first-round fortunes for every fanbase with a Day 1 pick next April.
2023 NFL Mock Draft
1) Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Despite loosening their grip on the first overall spot with their Week 16 win, the Houston Texans are still in pole position for the number one pick next April. In this 2023 NFL mock draft, they snag Alabama quarterback Bryce Young as the face of the future face of the franchise.
Young strikes like a laser with short and intermediate velocity and accuracy, with the arm talent to drive the ball to the deep third too. His poise, professionalism, and leadership are worthy of the first pick.
2) Chicago Bears: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
I’m a firm believer that the Chicago Bears should do everything in their power to protect and support Justin Fields with an offensive tackle or wide receiver selection next April.
However, in this 2023 NFL mock draft, they beef up the defensive ranks with Alabama’s elite edge rusher, Will Anderson Jr. Anderson provides a much-needed pass rush presence, with the speed, ferocity, and power to be disruptive behind the line of scrimmage and in pursuit down the field.
3) Seattle Seahawks (From DEN): Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
With two selections within the first 12 picks of this 2023 NFL mock draft, the Seattle Seahawks are in a position to live a little dangerously.
With Geno Smith’s play this year, QB might not be the priority need it was once thought to be. Considered a “two-year project” by some scouts, landing in Seattle would give Anthony Richardson the time to develop the areas of his game that would weaponize what are already elite physical tools in terms of a bazooka for an arm and exciting creation capacity.
4) Arizona Cardinals: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
With J.J. Watt retiring, the Arizona Cardinals have lost a significant presence on their defensive front. Fear not, as they bolster the trenches in this 2023 NFL mock draft with the capture of Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter.
The 6’3″, 310-pound defensive playmaker is a force in all phases. Few players of his size can move the way that Carter does, with elite relative athleticism that is weaponized by high-level technical ability and incredible physical tools.
5) Indianapolis Colts: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Matt Ryan, Sam Ehlinger, and Nick Foles have all taken snaps under center for the Indianapolis Colts this season, and none of them have been particularly effective.
Quarterback is going to be the biggest need for the Colts in April, and landing C.J. Stroud in this 2023 NFL mock draft instantly upgrades their QB room. At 6’3″ and 215 pounds, Stroud boasts alluring NFL size. Meanwhile, he’s an accurate passer who displays enticing arm talent with an array of dazzling throws on his resumé.
6) Atlanta Falcons: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
While there’s an ever-lasting temptation to try and solve the Atlanta Falcons’ pass-rush problems from the edge position, securing an interior defensive lineman like Bryan Bresee has the potential to be far more effective than simply adding another edge player in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Bresee is a monster with the size, strength, and power to bulldoze offensive linemen for fun. His addition will allow the likes of Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone to flourish.
7) Detroit Lions (From LAR): Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Imagine the pre-draft meeting between the Detroit Lions and Will Levis. Dan Campbell is sitting at the table, using his bare hands to chomp down a plate of kneecaps as Levis savages an orange with the skin still on.
They swill it down with a cup of mayo-infused coffee, then laugh heartily about how they’re going to dominate the NFC North for years to come. Some things are simply meant to be, and the tough, strong-armed QB from Kentucky feels like a natural fit in the “The Motor City.”
8) Carolina Panthers: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
With a flurry of quarterback activity ahead of them, the Carolina Panthers are on the clock without any answers to their biggest offseason question. With a marquee passer unavailable, they use the eighth pick of this 2023 NFL mock draft on an elite pass-rush prospect instead: Myles Murphy.
The 6’5″, 275-pound edge prospect has a practically unstoppable combination of size and strength. The Clemson star gives the Panthers a dangerous bookend option opposite Brian Burns.
9) Las Vegas Raiders: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
Maxx Crosby has established himself as one of the best defensive ends in the NFL during his time with the Las Vegas Raiders.
He can’t continue to do it all himself, however, and this 2023 NFL mock draft gives him a partner-in-crime in the form of one of the best defensive ends in college football. Tyree Wilson boasts excellent length, awe-inspiring athleticism, and the power to bully and brutalize anyone that stands in his path.
10) Philadelphia Eagles (From NO): Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
While being historically unlikely given the Philadelphia Eagles’ aversion to first-round cornerbacks, there is little that makes more sense in this 2023 NFL mock draft than upgrading the secondary in the “City of Brotherly Love.”
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Joey Porter Jr. combines incredible ferocity in both the run game and pass games with enticing athleticism to ensure that he’s everywhere and anywhere all at once. At 6’2″ and with excellent length, the Penn State product is extremely adept at disrupting the ball.
11) Houston Texans (From CLE): Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
After fielding zero players with double-digit sacks or tackles for loss this season, and only one player exceeding single-digit quarterback hits, the Texans use their second pick in this 2023 NFL mock draft to bolster their defensive ranks.
FSU is becoming a king-maker for edge prospects, and Jared Verse has ascended through this season to become a bona fide pass-rush prospect. The 6’4″, 250-pound wrecking ball has the speed and power to terrorize around the outside track or from the interior.
12) Seattle Seahawks: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
With quarterback Richardson safely squirreled away, the Seahawks strike for an immediate contributor with their second pick in this 2023 NFL mock draft. They struck gold with cornerback Tariq Woolen last cycle, and the addition of Oregon playmaker Christian Gonzalez gives them a dynamic defensive-back duo.
This season, Gonzalez has showcased the enticing athleticism, football intelligence, and mind-blowing ball skills that should make him a much-sought-after prospect in April.
13) Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
Whether Taylor Lewan is released or retires at the end of a season in which he tore his ACL, the fact of the matter is that the Tennessee Titans are going to be in the market for a new left tackle. Paris Johnson Jr. could fit straight into that hole left by Lewan.
He’s a 6’6″, 310-pound, built-for-the-NFL offensive tackle prospect who boasts excellent strength and power as a pass protector. Furthermore, his overall athleticism and on-the-move blocking benefit Derrick Henry’s ground game.
14) New England Patriots: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
The New England Patriots’ offense has become almost unwatchable this year. If they want to unlock the talent they saw in Mac Jones when they drafted him, there have to be changes made.
While those changes start at the offensive coordinator position, furnishing Jones with an elite pass catcher must be next on the list. TCU’s Quentin Johnston is the epitome of an elite WR in this class. At 6’4″ and 195 pounds, he’s a physical threat at the catch point with deceptive after-the-catch value.
15) New York Jets: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
The New York Jets’ defense hasn’t been the issue this season. However, picking 15th overall in this 2023 NFL mock draft, they’re not in a position to replace Zach Wilson here. They can secure a game-changing piece at linebacker to play alongside C.J. Mosley, which is exactly what they get with the selection of Noah Sewell.
The 6’3″, 250-pound Oregon linebacker is a menace in the opposing backfield, flying downhill and asserting his authority on a game. He’s also shown improvement in coverage.
16) Pittsburgh Steelers: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
Protecting Kenny Pickett at all costs is the name of the game for the Pittsburgh Steelers in this 2023 NFL mock draft. Broderick Jones has been the offensive line catalyst for a Georgia Bulldogs offense that sent quarterback Stetson Bennett to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Jones has extremely violent hands as a pass protector while boasting the strength to be a people-mover. His explosive athletic profile gives him a distinct advantage both in pass protection and run blocking.
17) Green Bay Packers: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
Despite the success of Christian Watson, there’s still a clamor amongst a certain subsection of Green Bay Packers fans for more wide receiver weapons for Aaron Rodgers. However, finding a long-term answer at offensive tackle is a much more valuable use of their pick in this 2023 NFL mock draft.
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Oklahoma OT Anton Harrison is acutely aware of his value, reportedly turning down a large NIL offer to stay with the Sooners to gamble on his exquisite physical tools and high football IQ.
18) Detroit Lions: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
After securing a quarterback earlier in this mock draft, the Lions turn to the defensive side of the ball. They have several needs, and what better way to attempt to fill them than by selecting a player oft-referred to as the “Swiss Army knife” of the 2023 NFL Draft class?
Clemson’s Trenton Simpson is a hyper-athletic linebacker/safety hybrid who can act as a downhill enforcer while possessing the athleticism and ball skills to be a playmaker in coverage.
19) Jacksonville Jaguars: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
The Jacksonville Jaguars should be considered a contender for a first-round pass catcher, but with a player some consider the CB1 of the class falling into their lap in this 2023 NFL mock draft, they shore up the secondary with the selection of Kelee Ringo.
A significant part of Georgia’s nation-leading defense, Ringo boasts the size and length to dominate on the boundary. Meanwhile, his eye-popping relative athleticism ensures he can go toe-to-toe against even the fastest WRs downfield.
20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
With several players from the secondary set to hit free agency in the spring, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers land one of the most productive cornerback playmakers in NCAA history.
Emmanuel Forbes has the most interceptions returned for touchdowns in FBS history, but he’s worth more than mere statistics. He also possesses the length, vertical athleticism, quick footwork, route recognition, and physicality of an immediate NFL starter. Sadly for Buccaneers fans, he can’t also play quarterback.
21) Washington Commanders: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
The Washington Commanders are another team who could/should be in the quarterback market next April, but picking in the bottom half of this 2023 NFL mock draft means any QB selection would be a significant reach.
Instead, they upgrade a porous pass defense with the addition of Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III. Don’t overthink his diminutive stature. Phillips is a ferocious defensive back whose ability to contest the catch point, affinity for jumping routes, and sticky fluidity make him a Day 1 prospect.
22) New York Giants: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
As we near the end of the season, no New York Giants wide receiver has broken 750 receiving yards, and Richie James Jr. and Isaiah Hodgins lead the way with a paltry three touchdown receptions apiece.
Upgrading the wide receiver room should be a focus in the offseason, and Jordan Addison is a significant upgrade. A former Biletnikoff Award winner, Addison is a scary speed threat who boasts route-running savvy and a solid pair of hands despite concerns over his 6’0″, 175-pound frame.
23) Los Angeles Chargers: Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
With a place in the playoffs secured for this season, this 2023 NFL mock draft adds another piece with which to maximize the Los Angeles Chargers’ Super Bowl window with Justin Herbert still on his rookie deal.
SMU’s Rashee Rice led the nation in yards per game this season, but he’s more than just a product of a high-volume passing game. Rice has the size, speed, catch-point prowess, and after-the-catch dynamism to be a three-level threat in the NFL.
24) Baltimore Ravens: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Wide receiver is a trendy 2023 NFL mock draft pick for the Baltimore Ravens, and it’s easy to understand why. However, lining up Texas running back Bijan Robinson in the backfield with Lamar Jackson is enough to give any opposing defensive coordinator nightmares.
Robinson runs routes and catches the ball as well as some of the WR talents in the class, providing an excellent outlet in the passing game in addition to his generational talent as a running back.
25) Denver Broncos (From SF via MIA): Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
The Denver Broncos can’t move on from Russell Wilson. Well, they can, but it makes zero financial sense. So, how can they help Wilson achieve the levels of success that he has had historically in his career?
Giving him some more time to work is one way, and the selection of Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright in this 2023 NFL mock draft helps there. Wright has experience at both bookends, boasts NFL size and power, and is a valuable weapon in the ground game.
26) Dallas Cowboys: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Four different tight ends have seen targets for the Dallas Cowboys this season, and the leader of the group — Dalton Schultz — is set for free agency this fall.
Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer gives Dak Prescott a reliable target who can perform convention-defying catches on the boundary while being a physical target in the middle of the field. While he’s lauded for his pass-catching antics, Mayer is an equally impressive blocking tight end, doubling his value for this Cowboys offense.
27) Cincinnati Bengals: Antonio Johnson, DB, Texas A&M
Six of the Cincinnati Bengals’ potential free agents next spring come from the secondary, including starting safety Jessie Bates III. By selecting Antonio Johnson in this 2023 NFL mock draft, the Bengals land a versatile talent who could occupy a number of roles for the defense.
Although he’s seen a high nickel usage for Texas A&M, he has the size (6’3″, 200 pounds), speed, length, and physicality to be a force all over the field from whatever alignment Cincinnati chooses.
28) Kansas City Chiefs: Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
While there’s a temptation to add an offensive weapon for Patrick Mahomes to play with, the Kansas City Chiefs continue their stellar work from the previous cycle by pairing George Karlaftis with Notre Dame edge prospect Isaiah Foskey.
While not the same size as the “Grecian Goliath,” the 6’4″, 260-pounder has the size the Chiefs like at the defensive end position. Meanwhile, Foskey’s length, power, and motor allow him to be a wrecking ball who makes his living in the backfield.
29) Minnesota Vikings: Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor
Za’Darius Smith was a valuable addition to the Minnesota Vikings, forming a deadly pass-rush partnership with Danielle Hunter. But, what if we told you there was a way for the duo to become even more deadly?
Siaki Ika is a gargantuan nose tackle who eats double teams for fun, allowing his teammates to thrive around him. And with a jaw-dropping athletic profile for a 6’4″, 358-pound behemoth, the Baylor prospect is a backfield threat himself while providing a roadblock against the run.
30) Buffalo Bills: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida
This is comfortably one of my favorite team/prospect matches to make in any 2023 NFL mock draft. Josh Allen has danced his way around some interior offensive line issues the last two seasons, and upgrading that unit should be a priority next April.
Former Louisiana guard O’Cyrus Torrence followed his head coach to Florida and adapted to the SEC with aplomb. He’s a big, powerful, people-mover in the ground game who showcases technical proficiency as a pass protector.
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31) Philadelphia Eagles: BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
The edge talent in the 2023 NFL Draft class is extremely impressive, with the Eagles having their pick of several potential first-round prospects at the back end of this mock draft. BJ Ojulari has the talent to be selected much earlier than this.
The LSU prospect is extremely explosive, fantastically flexible, and possesses a plan of attack to help him counter and manipulate any offensive lineman that he faces.