We’re one week into the NFL playoffs, and certain teams saw their team needs exposed. Others are flexing their strengths, but there are still areas that clubs must address in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. We take a look at where the top prospects land, as well as some who see their NFL draft stock fall.
2023 NFL Mock Draft
1) Chicago Bears: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Though other teams may be prepping to offer a stockpile of picks to trade up, the Bears sit tight with the top spot. As usual, it’s between Jalen Carter and Will Anderson Jr. with the first pick of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
One could say that Georgia played the CFP National Championship exactly like their star defender did — without remorse and pure domination. Carter is a freak in the trenches with his special blend of power and athleticism. Chicago will love having multiple options with this pick, including selecting an upgrade on defense.
2) Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
In the actual draft, the Texans will sweat things out unless they can trade up for the top pick. If not, they better have a couple quarterbacks they like. In this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, no one jumps them, so Bryce Young falls into their laps.
Even if Young isn’t throwing bombs deep to his receivers, he knows how to carve up defenses with his accuracy and poise. Alabama faced plenty of tribulation this year, but nothing rattled their star quarterback. That will go a long way on a team that might need some time to find success.
3) Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the Bears keeping their pick could be the Arizona Cardinals. Chicago will debate between Carter and Anderson, and the Cardinals see a future game-changer fall to them.
Anderson commands attention because of his domination. With J.J. Watt retiring, fans will want someone who can bring value to the position. Anderson gives them that. He’s an explosive player at the snap, and Cardinals fans will quickly see why he was one of the best players in the country this past season.
4) Indianapolis Colts: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
C.J. Stroud kept everyone waiting for his decision. A potential NIL deal kept fans waiting for his future until the last day to declare, but he officially put his name in the draft on Monday. Indianapolis can breathe a little easier knowing he’s an option.
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Stroud put an exclamation point on his collegiate career with his performance against Georgia. He’s capable of making any throw on the field, and his athleticism was on full display in the College Football Playoff. The Colts have some promising players on offense, and the quarterback could be the big difference.
5) Seattle Seahawks: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
Seattle is another team that could push for a quarterback in this class, but they could sit tight given what Geno Smith did for them. If they look elsewhere, the pick has to be Myles Murphy.
The Clemson defensive end has taken strides every year since he arrived on campus, and now the 6’5″, 275-pound star can become a force at the next level. Good length helps him shed blockers and keep his eyes in the backfield, and his strength makes life difficult for any offensive tackle.
6) Detroit Lions: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Detroit is another team potentially satisfied with their quarterback short term, so they look at other positions in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. The offense received a jolt when Jameson Williams joined the team for the first time, and his presence created instant flexibility with this pick.
With Jeff Okudah already on the roster, cornerback has at least one star. Adding Christian Gonzalez gives them the potential to have another. At 6’2″, 200 pounds, he brings good size to the Lions’ defense, and his growth over the last year gives fans plenty of excitement.
7) Las Vegas Raiders: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
His draft stock is all over the place, but Broderick Jones will be a first-round pick. He’s a mauler who physically dominates his opponents into submission. Las Vegas could use a quarterback, but it comes down to how willing they are to develop a prospect. Someone still needs to protect that player, so taking Jones makes more sense right now.
8) Atlanta Falcons: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
If this pick happens, the Falcons could have the biggest trio of pass catchers in the NFL. With Drake London and Kyle Pitts already contributing, adding Quentin Johnston has lethal potential. If Desmond Ridder proves to be the answer at quarterback, this offense is in great hands.
9) Carolina Panthers: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Carolina has a good core of players to build around, and it makes sense to take a young quarterback now rather than wait. The new coaching staff should get a clean slate to build this franchise, and starting with a selected quarterback instead of an inherited one should be the path they take.
Anthony Richardson is the perfect player to walk into the above situation. He’s raw as a prospect, but the potential makes him extremely enticing for any team in the first round. This should be the right place for him to learn and grow as a passer, and the results could be explosive.
10) Philadelphia Eagles: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
Philadelphia’s yet to play a playoff game this year, but they have one of their picks solidified. The luxury of having multiple first-round picks as the top team in the NFC means the rich should get richer, and the Eagles start with their secondary.
Darius Slay and James Bradberry bring veteran experience to the defense — Joey Porter Jr. has the pedigree and talent to fill their shoes. Any corner could be a great selection here, but Porter could have extra appeal thanks to his name.
11) Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
With Taylor Lewan on his way out the door, the Titans must find a new dominant tackle. Tennessee gets lucky here by seeing Paris Johnson Jr. fall to them in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. He brings a great foundation to the NFL, and the Titans have the staff to mold him into an All-Pro player.
12) Houston Texans: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
With the quarterback position solidified, the Texans need someone to get open for their new franchise signal-caller. If they can find someone that is a master of separation, it’s a bonus.
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Injuries limited Jordan Addison toward the end of the year, but it shouldn’t hurt his draft stock. His ability to get wide open made Caleb Williams happy, and now Bryce Young will get to see what the reigning Heisman Trophy winner benefited from this season.
13) New York Jets: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
If New York can find another big corner to complement Sauce Gardner, good luck throwing on the Jets. Kelee Ringo and Gardner play a similar game — two physical players that want to send a message early in the route and make life awful for the receivers they face.
Penalties will be a concern due to his nature, but Ringo makes up for it with the other plays he makes. Throw in good long speed — he’s tough to beat on any route.
14) New England Patriots: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
It’s not the out-of-the-box pick we all expect the Patriots to make, but it makes their defense better. Noah Sewell plays the game how Bill Belichick wants: physical and fast.
Concerns about his coverage skills remain, but he’s an eliminator in the run game. The ability to get downhill in a hurry helps him limit the damage done by the ball carrier and helps him run sideline to sideline quickly.
15) Green Bay Packers: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Aaron Rodgers’ future could send the Packers into a panic, but his return would open up this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Given what teams need above them, the odds that Green Bay can take Michael Mayer appear to be admirable.
Mayer’s a well-rounded tight end, a big reason why he’s the top tight end in the class. A reliable pass catcher, Rodgers would love adding another weapon to the passing game. Matt LaFleur and the rest of the offense would also love his physicality as a blocker, too.
16) Washington Commanders: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
There isn’t a consensus opinion on Will Levis, making it unclear where teams will take him right now. The current trend is that he’ll be gone well before this pick, but for now, there’s a chance that the Commanders can snag him.
The future at quarterback isn’t super bright, so Washington needs to find a solution. Levis has the tools to be an elite quarterback, but it comes down to consistency. If he gets into the right system, Levis could take this offense to new heights.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
All I can picture with this pick is the terror that the combination of T.J. Watt and Tyree Wilson brings to the table. Wilson’s 6’6″, 275-pound frame brings plenty of challenges for his matchups.
A great blend of power and athleticism give him a good skill set, and his tape shows a versatile game plan when attacking his matchup. Pittsburgh would have a nightmare of a pass rush, and teams would need to adjust their passing attack when facing the Steelers.
18) Detroit Lions: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
Detroit’s defense is full of exciting players that play the game with good energy. So, it’s hard for me to pass on a player that would fit in well with that group. Trenton Simpson’s an athletic playmaker at linebacker, and his ability to make plays all over the field puts him in a great position to improve this defense.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
Whether or not Nolan Smith goes in the first round remains to be seen, but the potential is there. He’s a long, explosive player on the edge, giving the Bucs another weapon on defense.
If Tom Brady hangs up his cleats, there’s a chance Tampa Bay trades up for a quarterback. If he comes back, that opens the draft board up to other positions. Smith, despite his injury, gives this defense an exciting playmaker.
20) Seattle Seahawks: Brian Branch, S, Alabama
Seattle sticks to defense in the first round of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft by adding to their secondary. Despite Alabama’s struggles defensively, Brian Branch proved to be one of the most reliable tacklers on the team. He’s not the most physically imposing player, but his athleticism puts him in great positions to make plays.
21) Los Angeles Chargers: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
As the Chargers recover from one of the biggest collapses we’ve seen in playoff history, the draft offers some consolation. Protecting Justin Herbert will always be a good idea, and Los Angeles gets versatility with their pick.
Peter Skoronski doesn’t possess elite traits physically, but his consistent play stands out. While he most likely slides inside to guard at some point during his career, he’ll get a chance at tackle. Again, it has nothing to do with his play. Skoronski stonewalled many talented pass rushers, so teams shouldn’t discount his time at tackle.
22) Baltimore Ravens: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
It’s difficult to find a better fit for the Ravens than Clark Phillips III. Let me explain. With Marlon Humphrey back, Phillips can learn plenty from the Baltimore star. If they bring Marcus Peters back, that makes this even better. Should Peters head elsewhere in free agency, Phillips is his replacement.
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Phillips plays the game a lot like Humphrey and Peters. He brings the tenacity and competitiveness of Peters, and he’s a proven winner like Humphrey. Forget the size disadvantage he yields to his man — he’s going to put in work off the field to win on it.
23) Minnesota Vikings: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
A few things stood out in Minnesota’s loss to the New York Giants this weekend. One of them was the lack of pressure in key situations on Daniel Jones. Now, everyone knows the edge of the line is fine, but the interior needs an upgrade.
If Bryan Bresee falls this far, someone will sprint to get him. It’s tough to see the Vikings pass on him, given their needs. Bresee is a 6’5″, 300-pound nightmare for offensive linemen. His power is evident, but where he catches people off guard is his ability to move so quickly at his size.
24) Jacksonville Jaguars: Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida
If you did a 2023 NFL Mock Draft at the beginning of the year, wide receiver would have been the top priority. Given the development of the passing game and Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars now have other concerns.
Gervon Dexter is a 6’6″, 320-pound freak on the interior of the defensive line. At his peak, he’s a dominant force that won’t be denied. Davon Hamilton returns, but 34-year-old Cory Peters hits free agency. Dexter gives the Jags a young, talented player who can elevate the level of play on the inside.
25) New York Giants: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida
New York’s offense played well against Minnesota this weekend, but more aggression on the inside would be appreciated. Adding a guy like O’Cyrus Torrence helps them with that. He’s a big, physical presence who’s proven he can handle any competition he faces. The Giants’ offense should benefit from a more consistent north/south rushing attack.
26) Dallas Cowboys: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Dak Prescott put on a show this weekend, and now he gets a gift of getting another weapon downfield. Zay Flowers should find the NFL provides more support than his time at Boston College, too.
Flowers is an elite talent who’s carried the Eagles’ passing attack for years now. When he joins the Cowboys’ offense, he’ll see less attention from the defense, which could put him near the top of the Rookie of the Year candidates in 2023.
27) Cincinnati Bengals: Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State
With Darnell Washington on the board, it might be difficult to see the Bengals passing on him. However, there are a few options that Cincy could consider here. Tucker Kraft is an under-the-radar player coming off a national championship win. He’s a well-rounded player who can be a factor in both the rush and passing attacks.
28) Denver Broncos: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
It will be tough to fix Denver’s problems with one pick, but it’s a start. Russell Wilson struggled mightily this year, and getting better protection appears to be a good way to help him.
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Darnell Wright faced some stiff competition this season, which helped elevate his draft stock to a fringe first-round pick. He brings good size and length but needs to work on his anchor a little more to be an elite tackle.
29) Buffalo Bills: Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
Buffalo’s offense could benefit from adding a running back, but they could also wait to get their guy. With that in mind, the Bills select a player that can add talent to their defense in multiple ways.
Antonio Johnson played everywhere for Texas A&M. He saw time at every position in the secondary as well as linebacker, which adds value to his stock. Buffalo’s getting someone who’s comfortable both in coverage and near the line of scrimmage, so in a way, they’re getting good depth at a few positions.
30) Kansas City Chiefs: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
Kansas City’s offense is good, but it’s never a bad idea to add more weapons. Josh Downs is an assassin in the slot, and he’s great at creating separation against his matchup. He also brings great speed to a fast offense, so it shouldn’t take long for him to fit in with this unit.
31) Philadelphia Eagles: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Just imagine pairing Jalen Hurts with Bijan Robinson. That thought alone creates nightmares that most defensive coordinators will never forget. If anything, Robinson takes hits away from Hurts, which helps the offense as a whole.
If this were 10 or more years ago, Robinson would be a top-10 pick (maybe higher), but it’s a different era now. Robinson doesn’t have many weaknesses in his game. He makes defenders miss with ease, and he’s a threat to break off a big play at any moment. Throw in above-average value as a pass catcher — the Eagles have a star in the making.