Image Credit: (Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
We are now 48 days away from the 2023 NFL Draft. Man time flies so fast. So I have decided to do my first mock draft post the 2023 NFL Combine. Now with my mock drafts I will not be mocking trades as I feel that it is too early to do that and making trades is a part of NFL Business and things change day to day. So in this Mock Draft I will not be making any trades whatsoever. Let's get into it with the Chicago Bears being on the clock.
1. Carolina Panthers - QB CJ Stroud (Ohio State)
Well now this got interesting as the Panthers now hold the 1st Overall Pick. Many say that this pick is going to be a lock for Bryce Young, but I disagree. There have been rumors out there that the Panthers prefer QB CJ Stroud over Bryce Young. Until those get shot down or the draft gets closer when more comes out I have to lock CJ Stroud with this selection. All I know is that this pick will be made on a quarterback.
2. Houston Texans - QB Bryce Young (Alabama
No question that Bryce Young is the best QB prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Texans need a QB as Davis Mills is clearly not the guy. Young is a more complete prospect compared to CJ Stroud, but Carolina I have heard rumors prefers Stroud over him. I would be shocked if the Texans pass on Bryce Young if he is available in the draft.
3. Arizona Cardinals - CB Christian Gonzalez (Oregon)
Excluding CB Byron Murphy and S Budda Baker the Cardinals secondary is absolutely terrible. Plus Byron Murphy is also testing Free agency as well, so they're going to need a cornerback desperately if he does leave. To me, Christian Gonzalez is the best cornerback in the draft and unless the Cardinals trade down they will likely use their first round pick on Gonzalez.
4. Indianapolis Colts - QB Will Levis (Kentucky)
You know, with how the Colts handled Week 18 and them making the right decision to not make Jeff Saturday the Full Time Coach, they deserve to get their QB of the future with this pick. It is clear that Will Levis is the next best QB available on most boards and should finally give this team their long term QB that they have been sorely looking for since Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement.
5. Seattle Seahawks - DE/EDGE Will Anderson (Alabama)
Seattle legit had one of the greatest seasons ever. Being a surprise team to make the playoffs and they still get a Top 5 pick, I mean win-win. With teams desperately needing to get a QB they can legit sit back and wait to pick the best player available. The Seahawks need pass rushing help and Will Anderson is on the board who has risen on many teams draft boards and for good reason.
6. Detroit Lions - CB Devon Witherspoon (Illinois)
Detroit's secondary was the easy weakness on this defense and while Jeff Okudah got better now that he was healthy and no longer had a hack as the head coach, they could use an upgrade in the secondary. With Gonzalez gone they go with Devon Witherspoon from Illinois who has risen up draft boards the past few months. Witherspoon is starting to be a lot of teams favorite option at this position too and it will be Detroit's gain taking Witherspoon here.
7. Las Vegas Raiders - QB Anthony Richardson (Florida)
Ok I am going to be real, I am not a fan of Anthony Richardson at all in this draft. I get he had a great combine, is mobile, and has a rocket arm, but despite that Richardson is a terrible prospect. He struggles in the important skills that he needs to succeed and is extremely raw as a prospect. However, I am realistic and it is clear he is going in the 1st round and this would be a classic selection for the Raiders to make. Especially as they are an organization that loves speed and do need a QB now that Derek Carr is gone. So, Richardson would be the QB they would pick.
8. Atlanta Falcons - RB Bijan Robinson (Texas)
The Falcons desperately need to improve on offense and while Cordarrelle Patterson has been a great option for them at running back, he is turning 32 in March. He is not the future at running back and they're going to need one. Robinson is clearly the best runningback in this draft class and he might be way too good for the Falcons to pass on. Just like they did when Kyle Pitts was available, the Falcons do the same here by taking the best player available.
9. Chicago Bears - DE/EDGE Tyree Wilson (Texas Tech)
Chicago desperately needs pass rushing help when they traded Robert Quinn during the deadline. With trading down and stockpiling picks, the Bears can easily help start fixing there defense by taking Tyree Wilson who is no question the 2nd best pass rusher in the draft.
10. Philadelphia Eagles - DT Jalen Carter (Georgia)
The Eagles defensive line has a toon of key free agents in Fletcher Cox, Ndamukong Suh, Javon Hargrave, and Linval Joseph are all free agents this offseason. With the Eagles having a Top 10 pick and Jalen Carter falling due to his off the field issues, the Eagles take a player who many argue is the most talented defensive player in this class. I mean Green light here and if Carter falls you can bet GM Howie Roseman is going to want to fly to the podium and make this pick.
11. Tennessee Titans - OT Parris Johnson Jr (Ohio State)
Looks like the Tennessee Titans have dropped the Nuke and are blowing it all up. They pretty much have to at this point and when rebuilding the best place to start is at offensive tackle. The Titans have pretty much been looking for a tackle since they let Jack Conklin go years ago. To me that moment there was the moment the Titans fell apart and it resulted in the Titans drafting Isaiah Wilson who to me is the biggest draft bust in that franchise's history. Now with Taylor Lewan parting ways with the Titans as well they desperately need a tackle and Parris Johnson is easily the best one in the draft. So, yeah since he is available at this point the Titans can pick him.
12. Houston Texans - WR Quentin Johnson (TCU)
If you draft a QB, you're going to need to give him receivers to throw too. It looks like WR Brandon Cooks is on the outs in Houston as he requested a trade during last season's deadline and I doubt he returns. Yes John Metchie should be back next season as he sat out last season due to battling Leukemia. However you need more than one wide receiver and Johnson would be a great target for Bryce Young to throw the ball too.
13. New York Jets - OT Broderick Jones (Georgia)
As a fan of this team, unless this pick gets traded for Aaron Rodgers or Lamar Jackson, then this pick has to be either offensive tackle or linebacker. No question as those are the two biggest needs and clearly there is no Linebacker that is worth a Top 15 pick in this class. So, the Jets play it smart by keep building the O-line by selecting Broderick Jones
14. New England Patriots - WR Jalin Hyatt (Tennessee)
This would be a classic Bill Belichick pick here as he would either trade down, or reach on a prospect. Since I will not be doing any trades, I went for the option to reach and I went with the Patriots taking Jalin Hyatt with this selection. Then again the Patriots do need a wide receiver to help give Mac Jones a target to throw the football. Hyatt also fits the bill in New England’s system as well.
15. Green Bay Packers - DE/EDGE Marcus Murphy (Clemson)
I contemplated the Packers going tackle here as it is clear David Bakhtiari can’t stay healthy and is not the most dependable tackle. But unless the Packers trade down, they have other needs to fill on this squad. One big need is that they got to fix their pass rushing core as it was not great last season. That should change with the Packers going Marcus Murphy who should bring a boost too the pass rushing core and be the eventual Preston Smith replacement on defense.
16. Washington Commanders - S Brian Branch (Alabama)
Yes I know Washington has a lot of more needs on offense, but let's be real the Commanders secondary is terrible. They desperately need an upgrade especially at Safety and Brian Branch would be an excellent edition for the Commanders defense. Especially in a division where you have to face AJ Brown and CeeDee Lamb it might be best to solidify the secondary. They tried last season by overpaying CB William Jackson, but that did not work out. Branch could even be a fit at cornerback as well as that is another need for the Commanders.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers - CB Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State)
No joke, I legit have mocked Joey Porter Jr. being drafted here since the Steelers were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Why do you ask? Well it's because Joey Porter Jr’s father use to play for the Steelers and even was their Defensive assistant/ Linebackers coach with the Steelers from (2014-2018). This would be a classic “The Steelers Way” draft choice to make and it would honestly be a pick I would not mind. Especially as the Steelers defense has only two great players in DE/EDGE TJ Watt and S Minkah Fitzpatrick. When both went down this defense was horrendous and drafting Porter would help with the secondary.
18. Detroit Lions - TE Michael Mayer (Notre Dame)
With trading TJ Hockenson during the deadline last offseason, the Lions need to fill that position. Brock Wright and James Mitchell may be young and have promise, but they are not truly a number 1 tight end on this team. That changes by drafting Mayer who will give Jared Goff another target to throw to and fill a big need for this squad that is aiming for the playoffs.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - OT/G Peter Skoronski (Northwestern)
Tampa Bay is in full rebuilding mode as it looks like they are going to blow it all up and start fresh. One thing that rebuilds need to immediately fix in a rebuild is the offensive line and Tampa needs any o-lineman. Peter Skoronski is perfect as he can play at tackle or guard. He would be a great starting point with their rebuild by starting at offensive line.
20. Seattle Seahawks - DT Bryan Breese (Clemson)
The Seahawks Defensive line was a mess last season both at DE/EDGE and DT. With the Seahawks picking a pass rusher earlier in the draft, now it is time to strengthen the defensive line. To do that the Seahawks decide to pick DT Bryan Breese from Clemson who will make an immediate impact in the run game and even help as a pass rusher.
21. Los Angeles Chargers - WR Jordan Addison (USC)
The Chargers got to get another receiver. Keenan Allen is not getting any younger and excluding Mike Williams the Chargers don’t have a lot of depth at receiver. Plus if Brandon Staley was not such a terrible coach and botched Week 18 last season they probably would have beaten the Jags if Mike Williams played. Remind me why Brandon Staley is still employed as the Head Coach of the Chargers? Anyway this pick must be wide receiver and supply QB Justin Herbert with as many tools to utilize on offense.
22. Baltimore Ravens - WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State)
While there still is an unknown if Lamar Jackson will be the starting QB for the Ravens next season, there is one thing for sure they desperately need a wide receiver. I mean excluding Rashod Bateman they really don’t have a great receiver. Smith-Njigba should be a nice addition to the Ravens and give another target for whoever the QB will be to throw to. Plus Smith-Njigba has the potential and tools to be a fantastic receiver if he can stay healthy.
23. Minnesota Vikings - CB Cam Smith (South Carolina)
The Vikings were showcased as frauds during the playoffs and a big reason why was how terrible their defense was last season. With it looking like the Vikings are going to retool this offseason, they're going to likely go defense with this pick. With how bad the secondary was they need to get help on the secondary, so the Vikings here take Cam Smith here who is the next best cornerback available on the board.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars - CB Kelee Ringo (Georgia)
With the Jaguars cutting Shaquille Griffin recently they now have a need at cornerback. Ringo is a nice cornerback that could be a nice replacement for Griffin and give an extra boost to a Jaguars defense that is lacking in depth. In fact I even read that they were at one point ranked worst against the pass last season.
25. New York Giants - WR Zay Flowers (Boston College)
The Giants re-signed QB Daniel Jones and franchise tagged RB Saquon Barkley which is great, but what about wide receiver? They released Kenny Golladay and Sterling Sheperd and clearly don’t have a top receiver on the team. Well, one guy who I believe is a sneakily good 1st round talent receiver is Zay Flowers. He may be small, but he has a ton of traits you want to see in a wide receiver.
26. Dallas Cowboys - DT Calijah Kancey (Pittsburgh)
Kancey definitely raised his draft stock with his combine performance. Even if he did not have that combine performance, I actually like the film I saw of him during the combine and has a ton of potential. The Cowboys need help on the interior defensive line and Kancey could help bring a boost. Now he is a bit raw, but with how athletic he is and showing flashes as a rookie, there is a ton of upside.
27. Buffalo Bills - LB Noah Sewell (Oregon)
This is the Tremaine Edmunds replacement on defense as it looks like the Bills don’t have the cap space to give the contract he wants and Edmounds will be gone this offseason. I have the Bills going to Noah Sewell here as I think he is the best middle linebacker in this draft class. Edmunds normally lines up at middle linebacker and selecting Sewell would be a nice replacement for a team that needs to win now.
28. Cincinnati Bengals - TE Dalton Kincaid (Utah)
There were reports that the Bengals really wanted to draft Trey McBride in last year's draft, but Arizona drafted him ahead of them and the Bengals decided to abandon the idea of taking a Tight end in last year's draft. With Hayden Hurst and Drew Sample both free agents the Bengals could get their long term tight end, by supplying Joe Burrow with another weapon to throw to by going with the next best Tight End available by drafting Kincaid.
29. New Orleans Saints - RB Jahmyr Gibbs (Alabama)
I still have no idea what the hell is going on with the Alvin Kamara situation and won’t speculate because I am not a lawyer. What I do know though is Alvin Kamara is not getting any younger and could be suspended for a chunk of the season. It might be time to start a backup plan both in the short term and long term by looking at the running back position. While I see Gibbs as more of a 2nd round prospect, the Saints could reach a bit to secure the next best running back available, because I am not sure he will be available at pick 40. Especially as Carolina holds the 39th Overall pick and can easily take him.
30. Philadelphia Eagles - DE/EDGE Isaiah Foskey (Notre Dame)
Again with the Eagles free agents, they are also in dire need of help at pass rush with both Brandon Graham and Robert Quinn potentially leaving (Update: Brandon Graham just signed a one year contract). Isaiah Foskey would be a great pick to help fill the potential loss at pass rusher. Foskey could even be a piece on the Eagles defense for the long term even if Quinn and Graham decide to return.
31. Kansas City Chiefs - OT Blake Freeland (BYU)
It is looking more and more that Orlando Brown Jr will be parting ways with the Chiefs soon and now they are going to need a tackle. The one guy that impressed me at the combine is Blake Freeland from BYU and there is a lot to like about him. He is a great pass and run blocker who can help fill in the role Brown had.