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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 2023 Mock Draft 2.0: Four QB’S to go in the Top 10?

2023 Mock Draft 2.0: Four QB’S to go in the Top 10?

Dan's post free agency Mock Draft for the 2023 NFL Draft!
Publish Date: 04/10/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The 2023 NFL Draft is just a few weeks away! Free agency is winding down, pro days are flying by, and teams are taking their “top 30” visits with prospects…seems like a good time for my new 2023 Mock Draft 2.0! A lot has changed since my Mock Draft 1.0, so let’s get to it!

*Note: this mock shows what the teams might do, not what I would do if I were the GM*

1. Carolina Panthers: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Carolina has a glaring need at quarterback, and made a splash by trading up to nab the first overall pick. Stroud needs to work on his consistency, but he is extremely accurate, and fits what new head coach Frank Reich typically prefers at the position. I projected the Panthers trading up and taking Stroud in my Mock Draft 1.0, so I’m gonna stick with that here.

Video: C.J. Stroud | 2022 Highlights

C.J. Stroud | 2022 Highlights

2. Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Houston needs to come out of this Draft with a starting quarterback. Davis Mills has shown that he ain’t it, and new head coach DeMeco Ryans will want to select his own guy. Young’s only major question is his size, but the former Heisman trophy winner has displayed elite accuracy, poise, pocket awareness, and decision making while at Alabama.

Video: Bryce Young | 2022 Highlights

Bryce Young | 2022 Highlights

3. Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

Arizona is in a good spot here. They can either trade back with a team looking for a quarterback (Indy? Vegas? Titans?), or stay put and land a blue chip defensive prospect. In this case, they stay put and add a potential stud edge rusher in Will Anderson Jr. Anderson Jr. didn’t put up the insane stats he did in 2021, but his elite athleticism and explosive first step make him my top player in this class.

Video: Alabama LB Will Anderson Jr. 2022 Highlights ᴴᴰ

Alabama LB Will Anderson Jr. 2022 Highlights ᴴᴰ

4. Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

I had the Colts trading up to number one to select Levis in my Mock Draft 1.0, but no trade up needed this time around! Levis has upper echelon arm strength, good mobility, and played in a pro-style offense against top competition. He needs a ton of development, but the physical talent is there to work with. Anthony Richardson is also a strong possibility here if he is on the board.

Video: Kentucky QB Will Levis 2022 Highlights ᴴᴰ

Kentucky QB Will Levis 2022 Highlights ᴴᴰ

5. Seattle Seahawks: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

Seattle badly needs an infusion of young/elite talent up front. Tyree Wilson has the high-level physical traits Seattle likes. It allows Wilson to make plays against both the run and the pass. His versatility to get pressure from the edge or inside adds to his value.

Video: Tyree Wilson 2022 Texas Tech Highlights ⚔️ || HD

Tyree Wilson 2022 Texas Tech Highlights ⚔️ || HD

6. Detroit Lions: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Detroit did a good job adding some quality pieces at cornerback and safety during free agency, but they could still use some young, high end talent in the secondary. Christian Gonzalez has everything teams look for in a shut down perimeter corner: good size, long arms, excellent athleticism, and good hands.

Video: Christian Gonzalez 🔥 Top Cornerback in the Nation ᴴᴰ

Christian Gonzalez 🔥 Top Cornerback in the Nation ᴴᴰ

7. Las Vegas Raiders: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Anthony Richardson blew up after the combine because he is an elite athlete, with elite arm strength, interviewed well with teams, and has a quick release. However, he will need to work on his accuracy and mechanics, and will likely have to sit at least one season before he’s ready to start in the NFL. In Vegas, he can develop while sitting/learning behind Jimmy G.

Video: Anthony Richardson | 2022 Highlights

Anthony Richardson | 2022 Highlights

8. Atlanta Falcons: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

The Atlanta Falcons finished this season with only 21 sacks as a team – good for 31st in the NFL. Nolan Smith is one of the most physical players in the country, exhibiting true three down value. Smith holds up well against the run, and is versatile enough to move inside on passing downs. Smith had an excellent combine, and it sounds like he may not make it out of the top 10 come Draft day.

Video: Nolan Smith Ultimate Georgia Highlights 🐶 || HD

Nolan Smith Ultimate Georgia Highlights 🐶 || HD

9. Chicago Bears: Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

Jalen Carter is considered by many to be the top overall prospect in this class, but has had some issues leading up to the Draft that could affect his stock. First, he pleaded no contest in connection to a fatal car accident involving two people. Then at Georgia’s Pro Day, he showed up heavier than he did at the Combine, and was out of shape – unable to finish workout drills. Chicago added to the defensive line in free agency, but could stand to add an elite talent up front. Carter would be a perfect fit – and a potential steal.

Video: Most DOMINANT Defensive Lineman in College Football || Georgia DL Jalen Carter 2022 Highlights ᴴᴰ

Most DOMINANT Defensive Lineman in College Football || Georgia DL Jalen Carter 2022 Highlights ᴴᴰ

10. Philadelphia Eagles: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Yes, the Eagles brought back Darius Slay and James Bradberry, but the team can opt out of both those deals after two years. Devon Witherspoon was elite in man coverage this season. Size questions aside, Witherspoon is physical, with elite ball skills, and a willingness to mix it up in the ground game. He gave up zero touchdowns this season in coverage, while getting three picks, 14 pass breakups, and allowing only 22 receptions for 206 yards.

Video: Devon Witherspoon 2022 Illinois Highlights 🔒❌ || HD

Devon Witherspoon 2022 Illinois Highlights 🔒❌ || HD

11. Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

Tennessee has been one of the better teams the past few seasons, but suddenly find themselves in a bit of a rebuild – with an aging, expensive roster. Tennessee’s offensive line is one of the worst, if not the worst line in the league. Paris Johnson Jr. can step right in as the new starter at left tackle, especially after the team released Taylor Lewan.

Video: Paris Johnson Jr. Official Highlights -

Paris Johnson Jr. Official Highlights – “NASTY O-LINEMEN”

12. Houston Texans: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

Houston added Robert Woods in free agency but traded Brandin Cooks to Dallas. They still need help at the position for their rookie quarterback. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is an excellent route-runner, has great hands, and always finds the open hole in the coverage. He lacks vertical speed, and has been primarily a slot receiver at Ohio State, but there are rumors that some teams see him as the clear WR1 in this class.

Video: Jaxon Smith-Njigba | 2021 Highlights

Jaxon Smith-Njigba | 2021 Highlights

13. NY Jets: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern

Mekhi Becton has proven unreliable, while Duane Brown is aging and on the last year of his contract. Peter Skoronski is fundamentally sound, and was an elite three year starter at left tackle in college. Some have questions as to what position Skoronski would play in the NFL, but I view him as a plug-and-play offensive tackle in the NFL. He can start at either tackle spot, and even move inside when injuries hit.

Video: Best O-Linemen in the Nation💪Peter Skoronski Official Highlights

Best O-Linemen in the Nation💪Peter Skoronski Official Highlights

14. New England Patriots: Brian Branch, DB, Alabama

The Patriots filled a lot of key holes in free agency, so they could go a number of directions here. Bill Belichick loves versatile defensive backs, and long-time starter Devin McCourtey retired this off-season, so a guy like Brian Branch might be awfully tempting. Branch’s calling card is his versatility and high motor. He should carve out a nice role as a slot corner/box safety, with very good short-area quickness and good tackling in the run game.

Video: Brian Branch 2022 Highlights | Alabama DB | 2023 NFL Draft Prospect

Brian Branch 2022 Highlights | Alabama DB | 2023 NFL Draft Prospect

15. Green Bay Packers: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Jordan Love is slated to take over once Aaron Rodgers gets traded, but he will need more help than Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. Jordan Addison displays crisp route-running, elite separation both down the field and across the middle, and big-play ability. Addison would be an excellent addition to Green Bay’s rebuilt passing game.

Video: Jordan Addison 🔥 Best WR in College Football ᴴᴰ

Jordan Addison 🔥 Best WR in College Football ᴴᴰ

16. Washington Commanders: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

Andrew Wylie was added in free agency, but both he and Charles Leno could be gone in two years. Broderick Jones is inexperienced and very raw technically, but his length, athleticism, and sky-high ceiling would be tempting here. There have been rumors swirling that Jones is the top offensive tackle on some team’s boards.

Video:

“WELCOME TO PITTSBURGH” Broderick Jones Official Highlights

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Cornerback Cameron Sutton left as a free agent, and William Jackson was released. Pittsburgh re-signed James Pierre and brought in Patrick Peterson as a free agent, but the Steelers could still use reinforcements at cornerback. Joey Porter Jr. is the son of former Pittsburgh Steelers OLB Joey Porter. Porter Jr. is long, athletic, good in run support, and some think he can even succeed at safety.

Video: The Most Physical CB in the 2023 Draft 🔥 Joey Porter Jr 2022 Highlights ᴴᴰ

The Most Physical CB in the 2023 Draft 🔥 Joey Porter Jr 2022 Highlights ᴴᴰ

18. Detroit Lions: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Earlier in this mock draft, Detroit bolstered their secondary in an attempt to improve a defense which finished last in total defense, 30th in passing defense, and allowed the third most points in the league. The front seven could also use some attention. Myles Murphy looks like a perfect fit due to his elite athletic tools, and versatility to play in any front.

Video: Myles Murphy | 2022 Highlights

Myles Murphy | 2022 Highlights

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

Tampa Bay has needs in the secondary, but they should address the offensive line early. The Bucs released longtime starting left tackle Donovan Smith, but Tristan Wirfs could slide over there, allowing a guy like Darnell Wright to take over the right tackle spot. Wright has been a rising star during the Draft process, and has aced every step of the way. He had a good season, an excellent performance at the Senior Bowl, solid Scouting Combine, and has solidified his place in the first round.

Video: Darnell Wright Right Tackle Highlights

Darnell Wright Right Tackle Highlights

20. Seattle Seahawks: Lukas Van Ness, DL, Iowa

Seattle is a true wildcard, as they could go a number of directions with their two picks in the first round. The Seahawks added Dre’Mont Jones and Jarran Reed in free agency, but both have opt-outs after this season. Lukas Van Ness is a typical Seattle pick: elite physical tools/strength with prototype size, but very raw and in need of refinement if he is to meet his potential.

Video: Lukas Van Ness 2022 Highlights | Iowa DL | 2023 NFL Draft Prospect

Lukas Van Ness 2022 Highlights | Iowa DL | 2023 NFL Draft Prospect

21. LA Chargers: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

The Chargers had one of the worst run defenses in the league for the second year in a row. They added inside linebacker Eric Kendricks via free agency, but more help is needed up front. Bryan Bresee comes with injury concerns, but has an excellent combination of power and agility. He excels at making plays in the backfield, and has experience playing all along the defensive line.

Video: Bryan Bresee Ultimate Clemson Highlights 🐅 || HD

Bryan Bresee Ultimate Clemson Highlights 🐅 || HD

22. Baltimore Ravens: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Signing Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor to one year deals in free agency was a nice start, but the Ravens might want to add a more long term answer at receiver. Zay Flowers is undersized, but is a well rounded wide receiver, and might not even be on the board here come Draft day. Flowers can win on the outside or in the slot, is dangerous in the open field, and is a big-play/yards-after-catch threat.

Video: Zay Flowers 2022 Season Highlights | Boston College WR

Zay Flowers 2022 Season Highlights | Boston College WR

23. Minnesota Vikings: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Minnesota has needs at cornerback and the defensive line, but might opt for help at receiver. The Vikings needed to add a wide receiver, even before they released long-time starter Adam Thielen. Quentin Johnston profiles as a potential true number one wide receiver, with his ability to contribute at every level. Johnston has good burst and acceleration, to go with quality size.

Video: Freakiest WR in the 2023 NFL Draft 🔥 Quentin Johnston Full Highlights ᴴᴰ

Freakiest WR in the 2023 NFL Draft 🔥 Quentin Johnston Full Highlights ᴴᴰ

24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

Jacksonville released Shaquill Griffin to save some salary cap space, and could use some reinforcements at cornerback. Deonte Banks has seen his stock rapidly rise after putting on a dominant performance at the Scouting Combine. Banks is a physical cornerback with elite athleticism. He excels in both press and off coverage, and his scheme versatility is a bonus.

Video: Deonte Banks 2022 Highlights | Maryland DB | 2023 NFL Draft Prospect

Deonte Banks 2022 Highlights | Maryland DB | 2023 NFL Draft Prospect

25. NY Giants: John Michael Schmitz, OC, Minnesota

The G-men could still stand to add a legit outside threat at wide receiver, but a gaping hole at center could force their hand early in the Draft. John Michael Schmitz was a first-team Associated Press All-American who logged 36 career starts at center in college. Schmitz is a physical run blocker, and performed very well at the Senior Bowl.

Video: John Michael Schmitz Full Season Highlights | 2023 NFL Draft Film |

John Michael Schmitz Full Season Highlights | 2023 NFL Draft Film |

26. Dallas Cowboys: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

This is a luxury pick for the Cowboys. Dallas franchise tagged Tony Pollard, but they released Zeke Elliott – so they might pounce at the chance to take an elite talent in the backfield. Bijan Robinson is considered by many to be a top-five prospect in this class and arguably the Draft’s best offensive prospect. Pollard and Robinson would be an elite duo at running back and would give Dallas an affordable/elite long-term option at the position.

Video: Texas RB Bijan Robinson 2022 Highlights 🤘 ᴴᴰ

Texas RB Bijan Robinson 2022 Highlights 🤘 ᴴᴰ

27. Buffalo Bills: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

Buffalo is a team that doesn’t have any glaring holes, but there are rumors they are looking to trade up for either an offensive lineman or a skill position player (Bijan?). Anton Harrison has good arm length, an ideal frame, and the athleticism to challenge for a starting spot as a rookie. He needs to add some strength and refinement in the ground game, but Harrison proved to be one of the better pass blockers in the nation – he allowed only three sacks in 800+ pass-blocking attempts the past two seasons.

Video: Anton Harrison Left Tackle Highlights

Anton Harrison Left Tackle Highlights

28. Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Cincinnati probably wants to take an offensive lineman here but might not pass on the chance to take arguably the top tight end in this class. Michael Mayer won’t “wow” you with his athleticism, but he is a rock-solid all-around tight-end prospect. Mayer is a similar prospect to TJ Hockenson when he came out and should be an immediate factor in the passing game. He is no slouch as a run blocker, either.

Video: Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer Career Highlights 🍀🍀🍀 ᴴᴰ

Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer Career Highlights 🍀🍀🍀 ᴴᴰ

29. New Orleans Saints: Calijah Kancey, DL, Pitt

The Saints signed free agent defensive tackles Khalen Saunders and Nathan Shepherd, but neither is a difference maker up front. Calijah Kancey lacks the size and length teams typically prefer inside. He makes up for what Kancey lacks in girth with explosiveness and pressure up the middle. Kancey put on a show at the Scouting Combine, including running the fastest 40 yard dash for a defensive tackle since 2003.

Video: Calijah Kancey 2022 Regular Season Highlights | Pittsburgh DL

Calijah Kancey 2022 Regular Season Highlights | Pittsburgh DL

30. Philadelphia Eagles: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama

Philly lost Miles Sanders to Carolina as a free agent. The Eagles re-signed Boston Scott, signed Rashaad Penny in free agency, and still have Kenneth Gainwell. Problem is, none of those guys are the dynamic playmaker that Jahmyr Gibbs is. Gibbs is undersized, but is explosive, and might be the best pass catching tailback in this class.

Video: Jahmyr Gibbs 🔥 Most FREAKISH RB in College Football ᴴᴰ

Jahmyr Gibbs 🔥 Most FREAKISH RB in College Football ᴴᴰ

31. Kansas City Chiefs: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State

Kansas City lost both starting offensive tackles in free agency. They signed free agent Jawaan Taylor from Jacksonville to start at left tackle, but might want to shore up the right tackle spot. The Chiefs currently have former third round pick Lucas Niang penciled in as the starter, but he has dealt with injury and barely played last season. Dawand Jones has elite size and length, was downright dominant at the Senior Bowl.

Video: Dawand Jones [Hype Highlights ] 🗻 AKA BIG THANOS

Dawand Jones [Hype Highlights ] 🗻 AKA BIG THANOS

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