2023 NFL Mock Draft
The 2023 NFL Draft is just around the corner, and you know what time it is — mock drafts, mock drafts, mock drafts.
At this point in the process, we have all of the information, including the NFL Draft invitees, which gives us a glimpse of who we should expect to go early.
But that’s enough chit-chat — Let’s get you ready for your NFL betting and examine the picks.
2023 NFL Mock Draft
Carolina Panthers - Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
While this has flip-flopped between Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, the pick should ultimately be Young. The Panthers' offensive line should do enough to protect the under-sized Young. His only issue is his size. While that can’t be changed, Young is Joe Burrow-like, just smaller. This is the pick the Panthers should make unless they can talk the Texans into a Draft Day haul to flop from 1 to 2.
Houston Texans - Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
With Young off the board, the Texans opt for the premier defensive player in the draft in Anderson. Stroud is represented by David Mulugheta, who, as you may know, represents Deshaun Watson. That’s likely not a road they want to go down again. They also have the additional draft capital to move up for a quarterback if needed.
TRADE: Las Vegas Raiders - C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
This is the only scenario I can see the Raiders moving up for a quarterback — if Stroud falls to the Cardinals at No. 3.
The Raiders have Jimmy Garoppolo, but it’s a shorter-term deal, and Garoppolo is often injured. Stroud is the type of player head coach Josh McDaniels can work with.
If they get the player we saw in his game against Georgia, this is a slam dunk.
However, Stroud struggled against pressure for most of his college career, so the Raiders need to address and shore up the offensive line.
Indianapolis Colts - Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Reports say that the Colts like Levis over Florida’s Anthony Richardson. While that may or may not be accurate, based on general manager Chris Ballard’s draft history, that’s not too farfetched.
Levis has all the tools in the world to be a successful quarterback. We saw it in spurts throughout his college career, but playing for Kentucky limits a lot of upside for players.
This is certainly a roll of the dice, especially with Richardson also on the board, which I prefer.
Seattle Seahawks - Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia
With Richardson on the board, it could be tempting for the Seahawks to go in that direction with incumbent starting quarterback Geno Smith on a contract they could bail out of after one season.
However, Carter didn’t visit teams outside of the Top 10, which confirms that he is a lock to go in that range.
Also, in his 70s now, does Carroll want to develop a young quarterback? He’s lively for his age, but Carter helps the Seahawks much sooner than Richardson in their current situation.
TRADE: Houston Texans - Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
We said they had the draft capital to do it, and this is where the Texans strike to move up from No. 12 to No. 6 to get Richardson. The team isn’t going to be good any time soon, so it’s not like there’s any pressure to lock Richardson in Week 1 as the starter. He could very well come in later in the year while Davis Mills and/or Case Keenum play.
Richardson could be an option for the Detroit Lions, who own No. 6, but the team seems content with Jared Goff, who’s played well there.
The Texans leave the top six with a cornerstone defensive player and their quarterback.
Arizona Cardinals - Devon Witherspoon, CB, Syracuse
Moving down from No. 3 to No. 7, the Cardinals still get arguably the best cornerback in the draft in Witherspoon. Sure, getting Carter or Anderson would’ve been nice. Still, Witherspoon fills a much-needed hole in the secondary, especially if the team trades safety Budda Baker.
Witherspoon has just one season of production, but he’s aggressive and excellent at detecting routes. He could be a leader in a secondary that desperately needs it, whether Bakers stays or leaves.
Atlanta Falcons - Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
A bit of the roll-of-the-dice here at No. 8 overall. Smith went to Georgia and stays in the state with the Falcons. At 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, Smith doesn’t have the traditional frame for an edge rusher, but his athleticism and burst are unmatched. Amongst all edge rushers, he ranked in the 99th percentile in the 40-yard dash and 10-yard split, 98th percentile in the vertical, and 95th percentile in the broad jump. He’s a freak of nature in the best way possible.
Chicago Bears - Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern
This is one of the easiest picks in the draft. The Bears desperately need offensive line help, and Skoronski, who’s likely more of a guard at the NFL level because of his arm length, is the best overall offensive lineman in the draft.
He’s a plug-and-play Day 1 starter on a team that desperately needs to protect quarterback Justin Fields and the run game.
Philadelphia Eagles - Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
The team kept James Bradberry and Darius Slay, but the Eagles are already a team with an embarrassment of riches, so why not add more? Gonzalez would still get plenty of playing time behind those two and has enough flexibility to line up anywhere in the secondary.
He’s a fantastic athlete that will pay huge dividends on the Eagles roster.
TRADE: Baltimore Ravens - Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Chris Mortenson of ESPN reported that quarterback Lamar Jackson wanted the team to get Odell Beckham Jr. and DeAndre Hopkins. The team reportedly told him they couldn’t get both but got OBJ.
This move here signifies their commitment to him, moving up from No. 22 to No. 11 to get one of the best receivers in the draft to pair up with OBJ.
The Ravens now have OBJ, JSN, and Mark Andrews as weapons for Jackson.
Detroit Lions - Calijah Kancey, DL, Pittsburgh
Coming out of Pittsburgh, you can’t help but see the similarities between Kancey and Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Both are small for the position but are incredibly athletic. Kancey would make head coach Dan Campbell proud on the defensive interior.
New York Jets - Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
With Aaron Rodgers likely on his way, the team needs help protecting him, especially with an aging Duane Brown and the unknown status of Mekhi Becton.
Paris Johnson Jr. is an offensive tackle that appears to have been built in a lab. At 6-6 and 310 pounds, Johnson Jr. has a 96th-percentile arm length, 95th-percentile wingspan, and an 84th-percentile board jump.
New England Patriots - Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
The Patriots desperately need offensive line help, and Wright can immediately step in and play. The Patriots brought in Riley Reiff, but he shouldn’t stop them from taking the powerful tackle.
Green Bay Packers - Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
The Packers love drafting athletes, and it’s hard to find one on the edge better than Wilson. At 6-6, 275 pounds, Wilson is in the 96th percentile for arm length but is a five-year player. He still needs some time to develop more, but he could be lethal on the edge for the Packers.
Washington Commanders - Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
The Commanders miss out on a quarterback here, so it’s time to load Sam Howell up with weapons. The Commanders are in the process of being sold, they have a solid defense, and now it’s up to their offense.
Kincaid is the best tight end in the class and should see meaningful reps with Logan Thomas as the starter for the team.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
The Steelers had his dad on the team, and now it’s time to bring in Junior.
Pittsburgh desperately needs cornerback help, and Porter Jr. can be a starter for them immediately. According to Pro Football Focus, Porter Jr. had a 40% forced incompletion rate in 2022. His 6-2, 200-pound size will only help continue that trend at the next level.
Detroit Lions - Quentin Johnson, WR, TCU
It seems like Johnston is slipping down some boards, which allows the Lions to swoop in here. I prefer USC’s Jordan Addison, but Johnston has the size (6-4) that the Lions don’t currently have. He’s explosive, has a massive catch radius, and would be an excellent third option along with Jameson Williams and Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
With Tom Brady retiring, the Buccaneers are in disarray. There are many holes on the roster to fill, but the offensive line is massive, with Matt Feiler currently slotted as the right tackle. Jones is an imposing offensive tackle that will be excellent in pass protection, which will only help Baker Mayfield. An offensive line bookended by Tristan Wifs and Jones would be an excellent start to rebuilding the squad.
Seattle Seahawks - Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
After taking Carter for the interior, the Seahawks bring in a powerful, shredded edge rusher in Van Ness. Van Ness overpowered opponents in college, generating nine sacks and 46 pressures. As a team known for being the Legion of Boom once upon a time, he’d bring that, but up front. A tandem of him and Carter would be sensational.
Los Angeles Chargers - Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
Theoretically, the Chargers' cornerback room should be solid with Asante Samuel Jr. and J.C. Jackson. Still, both were either injured or struggled last season. Banks is a bigger cornerback at 6-2, but still has excellent speed and is great at sticking to opposing receivers. You cannot have enough secondary help in a division with Patrick Mahomes.
Tennessee Titans - Jordan Addison, WR, USC
No matter who the Titans play at quarterback, they need weapons. Addison didn’t test as well as anyone had hoped at the combine, but when you watch the tape, he can play inside or outside and is a phenomenal route-runner. If Burks takes another step forward, this is a fun young duo.
Minnesota Vikings - Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
The Vikings are seemingly always a candidate to draft a cornerback, and they do so here, taking the lanky and light Forbes. He’s phenomenal at tracking and taking the ball away, with 14 interceptions and six pick-sixes. He’d likely be the best cornerback on the roster right away.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Brian Branch, S, Alabama
Cardinals safety Budda Baker is on the market, and the Jaguars are a potential destination. If they miss out, this feels like the spot for Branch. He’d be an immediate starter and a force in the Jaguars' secondary with his aggressiveness and eagerness to tackle.
New York Giants - O’Cyrus Torrence, OL, Florida
The Giants just locked up quarterback Daniel Jones long-term and adding more talent along the offensive line will only help him and the running game flourish. Torrence is a massive player with hands beyond 11 inches. He’s an instant starter at guard and will move defenders relatively easily.
Dallas Cowboys - Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
This just feels like a match made in heaven. The Cowboys' window is closing and if they can look at drafting Robinson as a five-year-only investment, he’d be the perfect Ezekiel Elliott replacement to accompany Tony Pollard.
Buffalo Bills - Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
The Bills need to continue throwing assets at the secondary and Smith is a great place to start. He may not be the most athletic cornerback in the class, but he makes up for it with his football IQ. He’s the perfect player in the inclement Buffalo conditions — he’ll play at an incredibly consistent level.
Cincinnati Bengals - Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson
The Bengals have a solid pass rush with Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard, and Bresee should only help with that. He’s powerful and has great burst, and could line up as an EDGE if needed. He still needs to develop more refined pass-rushing techniques, but his strength and burst should help the Bengals' defensive line immediately.
New Orleans Saints - Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
The team brought Derek Carr to town, and now they should load him up with some weapons. They have Chris Olave, and Michael Thomas is back, but he needs more.
Flowers isn’t a big receiver, but he’s Antonio Brown-like with his ability to separate. He would be a target most for Carr.
Philadelphia Eagles - Mazi Smith, DL, Michigan
Imagining a future Eagles defensive interior of Jordan Davis and Mazi Smith is unfathomable. Davis is the big intimidating enforcer; while Smith can still do that, he’s an uber-athletic player that’s incredibly strong. He’s best built for a nose tackle, but the Eagles are a team that can certainly figure out how to use him best.
Kansas City Chiefs - Keion White, EDGE, Georgia Tech
White received an invite to the NFL Draft, prompting us to assume the NFL views him highly. White is certainly an intriguing prospect coming out of Georgia Tech. Fortunately, he’ll have some time to develop in going to the Chiefs, as their window is never closing with Mahomes on the roster. At six-foot-five, White’s natural athletic ability, coupled with coaching from Andy Reid, could make him one of the more dominant edge rushers in the coming years.
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