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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 2023 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 – The Trades Mock

2023 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 – The Trades Mock

Dan Kornhauser's 2023 NFL Mock Draft 3.0!
Publish Date: 04/22/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
April 22, 2010: The NFL Shield during the 75th NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York.

The 2023 NFL Draft is next weekend! Teams are wrapping up their official pre-draft visits with prospects and big boards are being finalized. We will be hearing more rumors of what teams might be thinking as we move closer to Draft day. This 2023 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 is the wild one – my “trades” mock. NFL Draft day trades are always difficult to predict, but I gave it a whirl using recent rumors and researching front office Draft Day tendencies.

Check out my Mock Draft 2.0, released last Monday! 

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

1. Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Talks of Anthony Richardson have died down a bit, but rumors are still swirling about which QB Carolina will actually take. The consensus had been that C.J. Stroud was the target in trading up, but there is a lot of smoke around the team’s interest in Bryce Young. Are they actually interested, or are they trying to bait the Texans?

2. Houston Texans: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

It has been reported that new head coach DeMeco Ryans is enamored with Anderson Jr. Another rumor that has been making rounds is that the Texans don’t like any quarterbacks outside of Bryce Young. Then, there have been grumblings that General Manager Nick Caserio might leave the team after the Draft. If Houston is indeed out on any non-Young QB, trading down is also an option.

3. Indianapolis Colts: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

*Trade with ARZ* Indianapolis trades up one spot to guarantee they get their guy. Back in my Mock Draft 1.0, I had a team trading up to take Stroud third overall, and here we are again. Indy is one of a few teams that HAS to come out of this Draft with a potential starting QB. Don’t rule out Will Levis here.

4. Detroit Lions: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

*Trade with ARZ* Head coach Dan Campbell has a “man crush” on Tyree Wilson, according to reports. Trading up ahead of Seattle may be something the team considers, as Wilson is rumored to be a potential target for the Seahawks as well. Wilson’s inside/outside versatility fits Detroit’s defense nicely.

5. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

*Trade with SEA* The idea that Tennessee might trade up has been gaining more traction every day. The Cardinals are a popular projected trade partner, but Seattle might be tempted to move back if they can get a nice haul in return. This would be ideal for Richardson, as it would allow him to sit for at least one season behind Tannehill.

6. Arizona Cardinals: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

*Trade with DET* Trading back a couple times adds extra picks to help restock a rebuilding roster. Gonzalez would be an immediate starter at a position in dire need of upgrades. The team already had nothing at cornerback, after losing Byron Murphy in free agency. Star safety Budda Baker has also requested a trade, so a total overhaul of the secondary is on the horizon.

7. Las Vegas Raiders: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

The Raiders could address needs along the offensive line or defensive tackle, but recent rumors suggest cornerback may be high on their list of priorities. Las Vegas signed a few veteran free agents, but that shouldn’t affect the team from drafting a talented corner like Witherspoon.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

Atlanta might be tempted by one of the quarterbacks, or addressing the gaping hole at edge rusher, but Jalen Carter might be too good to pass on. The Falcons finished this season with only 21 sacks as a team – good for 31st in the NFL. While he comes with off-field questions, the team might feel comfortable taking Carter after bringing him in for an official “Top 30” visit.

9. Chicago Bears: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been rumored to be interested in trading up to this pick for Jalen Carter, if he is still on the board. In this case, he isn’t, so the Bears stay put and add arguably the top offensive tackle in this class. Braxton Jones played well for them at left tackle last season, but they still need a starting caliber right tackle. Teven Jenkins is a better fit at guard than he is at tackle, and they could move Cody Whitehair back to center.

10. Philadelphia Eagles: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

Philly would love it if Jalen Carter were available here, but going with his Georgia teammate is a pretty solid backup plan. Smith is undersized for a conventional edge rusher, but he’s very explosive. Brandon Graham has one foot out the door, but would be an excellent mentor.

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

*Trade with SEA* This feels like the most far-fetched trade in this mock draft, but stuff like that happens on Draft day! The G.O.A.T retired (for real this time). The Bucs signed Baker Mayfield in free agency, but he was signed to a one year deal. Levis is raw and comes with potential character concerns, but the talent is there. 

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

Houston needs a potential number one wide receiver, and JSN fits the bill. There have been numerous reports that JSN is considered by several teams to be the top wide receiver in this class, and the only guaranteed first round receiver.

13. NY Jets: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

Assuming the Jets don’t trade this pick for Aaron Rodgers, they could go a number of ways here. Beefing up the offensive line should be a top priority, regardless of the quarterback situation. Duane Brown is old and coming off injury, and Becton can’t be trusted.

14. New England Patriots: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

This feels weird, but I wasn’t able to come up with a trade that felt Belichicky enough, so the Pats stay put and add a much needed weapon at wide receiver. Flowers is undersized, but will be a great fit in this short-intermediate passing game. New England has been rumored to be interested in Flowers, and brought him in for an official pre-draft visit.

15. L.A. Chargers: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

*Trade with GB* The Chargers can address issues along their defensive line, wide receiver, and runningback later in the Draft – replacing Trey Pipkins at right tackle should be a priority. Pipkins just hasn’t been good, and adding Darnell Wright would give Los Angeles an elite, young pair of bookends. Wright has seen his stock boom, to the point where there are rumors he could be selected as high as the top 15.

16. Washington Commanders: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State

This one is right in line with the whispers that have been swirling for weeks now. Dawand Jones is one of the players the Commanders have been rumored to be hot on. Washington signed Andrew Wylie in free agency, but he played guard for his first three years; so if he doesn’t impress on the outside, Wylie can provide depth at guard and tackle.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern

Pittsburgh has been reported to be interested in trading up to 9th overall for Jalen Carter. I didn’t project that here, but keep an eye out for that. Peter Skoronski can start at either tackle spot, or he could be a stud at guard. Pittsburgh seems to always have injuries along the offensive line, so that versatility could come in handy.

18. Detroit Lions: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Detroit made some solid additions to their rebuilt secondary, but need one more piece to start on the outside. Joey Porter Jr. might not be on the board at this point come Draft day, but he would be a plug-and-play starter at one of the outside corner spots.

19. Seattle Seahawks: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

*Trade with TB* Seattle is in line to potentially select a blue chip prospect in the top five, but might be tempted to move back if they can rack up some high future picks. Even dropping to this spot, Seattle can still nab a potential rookie starter. Murphy would beef up a nice, young pass rushing group with Uchenna Nwosu, Darrell Taylor, and last year’s second rounder Boye Mafe.

20. Seattle Seahawks: John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota

This is one of the worst kept secrets of the pre-draft process. Buzz about Seattle liking Schmitz started way back in February. Schmitz had a dominant week at the Senior Bowl, and solidified a likely round one spot. Seattle signed Evan Brown from Detroit in free agency, but he is better utilized as a backup at center and guard.

21. Green Bay Packers: Lukas Van Ness, DL, Iowa

*Trade with LAC* After losing a couple of defensive linemen in free agency, there is a need up front, despite spending last year’s first round pick on Devonte Wyatt. Van Ness can play a variety of roles on the defensive line, and would form an excellent trio with Wyatt and Kenny Clark.

22. Buffalo Bills: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

*Trade with BAL* Talks of Buffalo trading up have come out over the past few weeks. It has been reported they would be targeting skill position or offensive line help if they move up. In this case, they trade up for arguably the best player in this class in Bijan Robinson. Buffalo has a deep runningback group, but Robinson could take this offense to the next level.

23. Minnesota Vikings: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Minnesota has been the hot team for Hendon Hooker first round projections, but i’m not buying it. It’s possible, but this team has a bunch of other holes on both sides of the ball, and still have Kirk Cousins around. Addison would immediately be their second best target in the passing game, and is an excellent fit.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brian Branch, DB, Alabama

Jacksonville might want to add some depth along both lines, but help in the secondary should be addressed early. Branch can rotate in at safety, and be the starting slot corner as a rookie. Jacksonville appears set on the outside at corner, but could use an upgrade from Tre Herndon in the slot.

25. N.Y. Giants: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

Cordale Flott showed some potential as a rookie this past season, but the team shouldn’t hesitate to beef up their secondary. Banks has seen his stock skyrocket since the Scouting Combine, and the Giants have been rumored to be targeting a corner early.

26. Kansas City Chiefs: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

*Trade with DAL* The Super Bowl champs swapped out Orlando Brown Jr. for Jawaan Taylor at left tackle, but trusting Lucas Niang at right tackle might come back to bite them. Harrison was one of the better pass blockers in college football this past season, and would help keep Mahomes upright.

27. Baltimore Ravens: Keion White, DL, Georgia Tech

*Trade with BUF* Keion White was invited to the NFL Draft, so the NFL must know something the rest of us don’t. Baltimore needs to add to their defensive line after Calais Campbell left for Atlanta this off-season. White stood out at the Senior Bowl, and is seen as a player who has a lot of room for growth at the next level.

28. Cincinnati Bengals: O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida

Cordell Volson started every game for the Bengals at left guard as a rookie, but he was a fourth round pick, and didn’t play particularly well. Torrence was one of the best interior linemen in the country this past season, and would be a nice final piece to the offensive line puzzle.

29. New Orleans Saints: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

New Orleans lost a lot of key players along the defensive line, and didn’t do enough in free agency to fill the gaps. Bresee comes with injury concerns and needing refinement, but his athleticism and versatility would be a much needed boost.

30. Philadelphia Eagles: Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern

Another big time rumor being thrown around these days is the fact that Philadelphia’s general manager loves Adetomiwa Adebawore. This might be a little early for him, but anything is possible at the end of the first round. Adebawore blew up at the combine, and has enough size to play inside or out.

31. Dallas Cowboys: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

*Trade with KC* Dallas might be tempted to take a linebacker like Drew Sanders here after trading down, but the tight end position is one of the biggest needs on this roster. Meyer was considered by many to be the top tight end in the country throughout most of this past season. That changed for some after the Scouting Combine, but he would be a day one starter and a potential steal at this point.

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