Another exciting and crazy NFL regular season has come to an end. Georgia was crowned back-to-back National Champions after dominating TCU on both sides of the ball. The Divisional round of the NFL Playoffs is here. What better time for a 2023 NFL Mock Draft?!
There are a lot of rumors flying around these days on different prospects for different reasons; I’m going to lean into some of those rumors in this mock. Who might YOUR favorite team select? Which players might drop? Which prospects might rise up boards? Keep reading and find out!
(Current draft order set as if the NFL Draft were held today; this 2023 NFL Mock Draft shows what the teams might do, not what I would do if I were the GM)
1. Indianapolis Colts – Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
I don’t do trades in my mock drafts normally, but I wanted to shake it up. The Colts CANNOT continue their recent trend of replacing one ineffective veteran signal caller with another. General Manager Chris Ballard came out recently and made it clear the team was prepared to “do whatever it takes” to land a franchise quarterback. I definitely don’t have Levis as my QB1, but there’s noise that he sits atop more than one team’s quarterback rankings at this point. One can see why – 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.
Kentucky QB Will Levis 2022 Highlights ᴴᴰ
2. Houston Texans – Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Houston needs to come out of this off-season with a starting quarterback. Davis Mills has shown that he ain’t it, and a new head coach will likely 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, and decision making while at Alabama.
Bryce Young | 2022 Highlights
3. Carolina Panthers – C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Carolina doesn’t want to be stuck with the Sam Darnold’s and Baker Mayfield’s of the quarterback world moving forward. A trade up is their best bet at nabbing one of the top QB in this class. In this case, they “settle” for the third quarterback taken after Indianapolis traded up. Stroud needs to work on his consistency, but he has good arm strength, mobility, and size for the position. Stroud would be a nice consolation prize for the quarterback desperate Panthers.
C.J. Stroud | 2022 Highlights
4. Chicago Bears – Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
Chicago is in a good spot with the first overall pick. They can stay put and take the best edge rusher to come out of college since Nick Bosa in 2019, or they can trade the pick to a team in need of a quarterback (like Indianapolis), and possibly STILL end up with their guy. Anderson Jr. isn’t putting up the insane stats he did in 2021 (101 tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss, 17.5 sacks last season), but his elite athleticism and explosive first step make him the best player in this class. Chicago ranked 32nd in the NFL in sacks this season (only 20 sacks as a team).
Carter is considered by some to be the best prospect in this class, but may drop if there is a run on quarterbacks in the top five. Seattle badly needs an infusion of young talent on the interior of their defensive line. Carter has an excellent combination of power and athleticism, and would be an elite building block up front.
Most DOMINANT Defensive Lineman in College Football || Georgia DL Jalen Carter 2022 Highlights ᴴᴰ
6. Detroit Lions (via LAR) – Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
While the offense was strong all season, Detroit’s defense was historically bad in the year’s first half. Even though that unit got better as the season wore on, it still needs some real upgrades. Myles Murphy looks like a perfect fit due to his elite athletic tools, and versatility to play in any front. Having Murphy opposite former 2nd overall pick Aidan Hutchinson would be a huge boost for Detroit’s defense.
Clemson DE Myles Murphy 2021 Highlights 🐅 ᴴᴰ
7. Las Vegas Raiders – Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
I don’t have Jones as my OT1 on my Big Board, but the rumors are swirling that he is the top offensive tackle in some teams’ eyes. Jones is inexperienced and very raw technically, but his athleticism and sky-high ceiling could work in his favor leading up to the Draft. The Raiders could go several directions here, but improving the offensive line should be a priority. They are also moving on from Derek Carr, so a QB could also be on their radar early in the Draft.
“WELCOME TO PITTSBURGH” Broderick Jones Official Highlights
8. Atlanta Falcons – Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
The Atlanta Falcons finished this season with only 21 sacks as a team – good for 31st in the NFL. Adding Arnold Ebiketie in last year’s Draft was a good start, and Tyree Wilson would be an ideal running mate up front. Wilson has high-level physical traits that allow him to make plays against both the run and the pass. His versatility to get pressure from the edge or inside adds to his value.
Tyree Wilson 2022 Texas Tech Highlights ⚔️ || HD
9. Arizona Cardinals – Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
Arizona is in a weird place right now. The team will have a new head coach, coaching staff, and general manager. Team officials have already said they will also be open to offers for star receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Arizona could stand to upgrade the defensive line with J.J. Watt retiring, but sorting out the offensive line should be a top priority. There are some questions as to what position Skoronski plays at the next level, but I view him as a plug-and-play left tackle in the NFL.
Best O-Linemen in the Nation💪Peter Skoronski Official Highlights
10. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO) – Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
This might seem like a bit of a luxury pick, but breakout runningback Miles Sanders is a free agent, as is backup Boston Scott. The Eagles do have needs along the defensive line with several players due for free agency there as well, but Bijan Robinson might be tough to pass on. Robinson would be an immediate starter, and allow the team to spend money elsewhere in free agency.
Bijan Robinson | 2022 Highlights
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 with an aging roster, an old/injured/expensive quarterback possibly on his way out, and no cap space. 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 if the team releases Taylor Lewan for some salary cap relief.
Paris Johnson Jr. Official Highlights – “NASTY O-LINEMEN”
The Texans already have Brandon Cooks, but adding a young wideout to grow with their new quarterback should be high on the list. 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 elite size.
Quentin Johnston 🔥 Most Freakish WR in College Football ᴴᴰ
13. New York Jets – Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson
The Jets need a quarterback, but will likely target a veteran via free agency or trade. They could also use help on the offensive line, but if three offensive tackles are already off the board when they are on the clock, they may go best player available. Gang Green has three defensive lineman slated for free agency (over 1,300 combined snaps played). Bryan Bresee comes with injury concerns, but has an excellent combination of power and agility. He excels at making plays in the backfield, and experience playing all along the defensive line.
Bryan Bresee Ultimate Clemson Highlights 🐅 || HD
14. New England Patriots – Jordan Addison, WR, USC
New England probably wants to add some talent along the offensive or defensive lines, but with none worth a pick at this point, they might be interested in adding a dynamic weapon to their offense. Jordan Addison’s crisp route-running, elite separation both down the field and across the middle, and his big-play ability will be an immediate improvement to New England’s mediocre passing game.
Jordan Addison 🔥 Best WR in College Football ᴴᴰ
15. Green Bay Packers – Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb are free agents, but Green Bay has three tight ends with expiring contracts. We know A-a-ron doesn’t like dealing with rookie wideout growing pains, but he might appreciate having a mismatch like Michael Mayer over the middle. Mayer is a better prospect than Hockenson when he came out, and should be an immediate factor in the passing game. He is no slouch as a run blocker, either.
Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer Career Highlights 🍀🍀🍀 ᴴᴰ
16. Washington Commanders – Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Washington still has Carson Wentz under contract for a couple of years, but Taylor Heinicke is a free agent, and I don’t know if Sam Howell is the long term answer at QB. Anthony Richardson will have some fans around the league because he is an elite athlete, with elite arm strength, and 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.
Anthony Richardson | 2022 Highlights
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
Pittsburgh is yet another team with needs along the offensive line, particularly at tackle, but with none on the board worth spending this pick on, they might be looking to show their secondary some love. Cornerbacks Cameron Sutton and James Pierre are free agents, and even if Sutton is brought back, the Steelers could still use reinforcements on the outside. 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.
Joey Porter Jr. | 2022 Highlights
18. Detroit Lions – Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
Earlier in this mock draft, Detroit bolstered their pass rush 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 secondary can also use some attention, especially with corners Mike Hughes, Will Harris, and Amani Oruwariye all slated for free agency. Cam Smith has the length, athletic ability, and ball skills to be an immediate contributor on the outside.
Cam Smith 🔥 Top Cornerback in College Football ᴴᴰ
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Brian Branch, CB/S, Alabama
Tampa Bay has several players in the secondary headed for free agency: cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting, and safeties Mike Edwards, Keanu Neal, and Logan Ryan. Tampa can’t re-sign them all, so the team could be looking at defensive backs with this pick. Brian 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.
Brian Branch 2022 Highlights | Alabama DB | 2023 NFL Draft Prospect
20. Seattle Seahawks – Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas
Seattle might be tempted by one of the edge rushers here, or maybe even a corner. However, with Cody Barton a free agent after this season, and Jordyn Brooks having torn his ACL against the Jets in week 17, linebacker has suddenly become a big need. Drew Sanders is a dynamic athlete, with the ability to make plays in coverage and as a pass rusher. Sanders will need some seasoning after playing off-ball linebacker for just one full season, but Seattle could fall for his fluidity and explosiveness.
Best Linebacker in the Nation 💪 | Drew Sanders 2022 Arkansas Highlights 🐗 || HD
21. Los Angeles Chargers – Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Bryce Callahan is a free agent, but he didn’t play particularly well this season, and the rest of the corners were just average (JC Jackson got injured and missed most of the season). Devon Witherspoon has been elite in man coverage this season, and was PFF’s highest graded corner. Witherspoon’s biggest question is his size, and whether it will force him to the slot at the next level. Size 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.
Devon Witherspoon 2022 Illinois Highlights 🔒❌ || HD
22. Baltimore Ravens – Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
Lamar Jackson’s impending free agency looms over this franchise, but regardless of who’s at quarterback, the offense is seriously lacking talent at wide receiver. Jalin Hyatt has explosive speed, and was the best deep threat in the nation (18.9 yards per reception, 8 touchdowns of 20+ yards). The concerns with him are his limited route tree in college, the “one year wonder” tag, and the fact that he played from the slot 87% of the time. His speed is Tyreek Hill/Jameson Williams level though, and rumors are swirling he might go high in round 1.
Jalin Hyatt | 2022 Highlights
23. Minnesota Vikings – Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Minnesota won 13 games this season, but their defense was absolutely awful. They finished 31st in total yards allowed, 31st against the pass, and tied for third worst in points allowed. Veteran cornerbacks Patrick Peterson, Chandon Sullivan, and Duke Shelley are also free agents. Kelee Ringo has excellent size, length, and elite athleticism, and profiles as a potential outside lockdown corner.
Georgia CB Kelee Ringo 2021 Highlights ᴴᴰ
24. Jacksonville Jaguars – Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Jacksonville could go with a defensive lineman here if there is one on the board that they like, but it might be difficult to pass on a potential shutdown corner this late in the first round. Christian Gonzalez has everything teams look for in a shut down perimeter corner: good size, long arms, excellent athleticism, and good hands.
Christian Gonzalez 🔥 Top Cornerback in the Nation ᴴᴰ
25. New York Giants – Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Daniel Jones played well in the Wild Card game versus Minnesota, but the Giants are seriously lacking talent at wide receiver. Jaxon Smith-Njigba set the Big Ten receiving record in 2021 with 1,606 yards, but ended up playing in only three games this season due to injuries. JSN is an excellent route-runner, has great hands, and always finds the open hole in the coverage. He lacks high end 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.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba 🔥 Ultimate Highlights ᴴᴰ
26. Dallas Cowboys – Antonio Johnson, S/CB, Texas A&M
Safety Donovan Wilson and cornerback Anthony Brown are free agents, and quality depth in the secondary is lacking in Dallas. Antonio Johnson was a swiss army knife for the Texas A&M defense this past season. He played slot corner, free safety, box safety, and even linebacker in college. Johnson’s versatility, physicality, and run support will be a welcome addition to the Cowboys’ secondary.
Antonio Johnson 🔥 Best Safety in College Football ᴴᴰ
27. Cincinnati Bengals – Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
Cincinnati’s offensive line is what cost this team a Super Bowl, and while they tried shoring it up last off-season, it has not gone as planned. The offensive line is still the biggest need, particularly at tackle. 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.
After trading Bradley Chubb to Miami at the trade deadline, Denver could add another three down edge rusher to a rotation that already includes Randy Gregory and Nik Bonitto. Nolan Smith is one of the most physical players in the country, exhibiting true three down value. Smith holds up well against the run, can drop in coverage, and is versatile enough to move inside on passing downs.
Nolan Smith Ultimate Georgia Highlights 🐶 || HD
29. Buffalo Bills – Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
Buffalo doesn’t have many weaknesses, but they could use some more talent at cornerback. Some solid pieces are already in place like Tre’Davious White and Kaiir Elam, but this secondary seems to break down at the most inopportune times. Clark Phillips III has questions about his size and as a run defender, but his quickness/ball skills/willingness to come up in the ground game should endear him to a lot of teams. Phillips will most likely be a slot corner in the NFL, but he played plenty on the outside at Utah.
Clark Phillips III 🔥 Most Elite Corner in the Nation ᴴᴰ
30. Kansas City Chiefs – Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
The Chiefs did add Kadarius Toney via trade during the season, and drafted Skyy Moore in the 2nd round of last year’s NFL Draft, but JuJu Smith-Schuster, Justin Watson, and Mecole Hardman are all free agents this off-season. Zay Flowers might be undersized at 5’10, but he is a well rounded wide receiver. 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.
Zay Flowers 🔥 Shiftiest WR in College Football ᴴᴰ
31. Philadelphia Eagles – Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
Philly might be interested in beefing up their depth at defensive end. Robert Quinn is a free agent this off-season, while Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett will see their contracts expire after next season (assuming Graham doesn’t retire this off-season). Isaiah Foskey needs work in the ground game, but his motor and power/speed game would fit well as a rotational rusher.
Notre Dame DE Isaiah Foskey 2021 Highlights 🍀 ᴴᴰ
Players who just missed being first rounders in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft:
Josh Downs, WR, UNC
Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida
Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
B.J. Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
Indianapolis acquires: 1st overall pick
Chicago acquires: 4th overall pick, 2023 2nd and 5th round picks, 2024 2nd and 3rd round picks
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