In this iteration of my mock draft, I tried out two new trades that I think make a lot of sense for the teams involved. With the Senior Bowl happing right now and the combine on the horizon, we are starting to ramp up the draft season in a major way! Below are my previous mocks, as well as mock drafts from other sharp analysts at FantasyPros.
- Matthew Freedman’s Mock Drafts (1.0 | 2.0)
- Kent Weyrauch’s Mock Drafts (1.0 | 2.0)
- Matthew Jones’s Mock Drafts (1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.0)
- Mock Drafts w/ Trades (1/26)
Kent Weyrauch has been a top-30 most accurate NFL Mock Drafter for each of the last two years.
2023 NFL Mock Draft
1. Houston Texans: Bryce Young (QB – ALA)
For this mock, the Texans will be offering a package of picks to the Bears so they can lean into the rebuild, while the Texans secure the top quarterback in this class by consensus big boards. Despite size concerns, Bryce Young has shown that he can compete in difficult conditions. His football IQ is second-to-none.
2. Chicago Bears: Will Anderson Jr. (EDGE – ALA)
The Bears will be (correctly) sticking to Justin Fields as their starting quarterback going forward, according to Albert Breer. This perpetuated the trade with the Texans and ultimately allowed them to get the top non-quarterback in this draft class — Will Anderson Jr. He was a five-star recruit that translated easily to college dominance, a trend that should continue to the NFL level as well.
3. Arizona Cardinals: Jalen Carter (DL – UGA)
The Cardinals sit in an interesting spot, but they certainly need to address their defensive line this off-season. Jalen Carter is a blue-chip defensive tackle with all-SEC honors this last season for the Bulldogs. However, he’s no statue. The UGA product moved all around the line, allowing him to stop the run and rush the passer with ease.
4. Indianapolis Colts: CJ Stroud (QB – OSU)
The Colts get a gift with CJ Stroud falling to the fourth-overall pick. Stroud was under consideration for first overall for a while, but his junior-year production wasn’t quite as good as his sophomore season — though it was still quite good. He steps onto a Colts team that needs steady production from their passer.
5. Seattle Seahawks: Myles Murphy (EDGE – CLEM)
Myles Murphy was a three-year starter for Clemson, where he accumulated 36 tackles-for-loss and 18.5 sacks. The biggest issue that the Seahawks face this off-season is bolstering their front seven. Murphy’s defensive instincts on the edge are elite and should slide into the Seahawks’ starting rotation immediately.
6. Carolina Panthers: Will Levis (QB – UK)
They say to never catch a falling dagger, but the Panthers trade up three spots to nab their quarterback of the future. Will Levis will be a divisive prospect in this draft cycle, but it’s a certainty that some scouting departments around the league will love his traits. After failing a few passer experiments, they put their eggs into one basket in an attempt to develop Levis into an NFL-caliber weapon.
7. Las Vegas Raiders: Paris Johnson Jr. (OG – OSU)
Though Paris Johnson Jr. is a prototypical left tackle, the Raiders will be desperately looking for a right tackle. I believe that Johnson will humbly accept that role and that the Raiders will offer him as a contingency plan should Kolton Miller ever be cut/traded during this mini-rebuild ahead.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Tyree Wilson (EDGE – TTU)
Tyree Wilson is the last edge defender before a sizeable tier break in terms of talent, and the Falcons will be happy to land him here. As of today, the Falcons don’t really have a number one edge rusher on their roster. Wilson’s toughness and power will pave the way to taking that role.
9. Detroit Lions: Christian Gonzalez (CB – ORE)
After sliding down, the Lions will fill a position of need. Christian Gonzalez is currently the top-rated cornerback on NFL Mock Draft Database. The Oregon Duck has it all: size, speed, and skill. He will deploy these attributes to boost a secondary that allowed the third-most passing yards last season.
10. Philadelphia Eagles: Joey Porter Jr. (CB – PSU)
Joey Porter Jr. is my top cornerback this year, but his draft stock has been settling a bit after rising during the college football season. However, he is still a great prospect that the Eagles should be elated to have join their secondary. Porter ended the year on AP’s first-team All-Big Ten team and has very transferrable game fluidity that will help him succeed against NFL receivers.
11. Tennessee Titans: Peter Skoronski (OT – NW)
Many people argue that Peter Skoronski projects as a guard at the NFL level, but I am not in that camp. Skoronski allowed just six pressures on 474 pass-blocking snaps for Northwestern this season, per PFF. Prospects that succeed in spite of having short arms do not need to be double-knocked. The Titans need to find a replacement for Taylor Lewan, who recently expressed his desire to play for the Steelers.
12. Houston Texans: Quentin Johnston (WR – TCU)
The first wide receiver of the draft goes to the Texans at the 12th overall pick. Compared to recent draft classes, Quentin Johnston isn’t the clear-cut WR1 like in other years, but he’s still a solid prospect. His 6’4″ frame and near-freak athleticism will allow him to contribute immediately to any NFL offense. The Texans pair him up with Bryce Young to bring in the future.
13. New York Jets: Broderick Jones (OT – UGA)
A huge riser from my last mock draft, Broderick Jones lands on the Jets. It is inevitable that big, athletic blockers make their way into the middle of the first round. Jones was a five-star recruit that allowed just 11 total pressures on his 535 pass-blocking snaps during his tenure at UGA.
14. New England Patriots: Jordan Addison (WR – USC)
Given the eligible free agent receivers that will be available this year are lackluster at best, the Patriots turn to the draft to bring in receiving talent. Enter Jordan Addison, the guy who absolutely dominated the ACC for Pitt in 2021 with 1,593 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. After transferring to USC for his junior year, he logged 875 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games before suffering an ankle injury.
15. Green Bay Packers: Brian Branch (CB – ALA)
The Packers are entering an interesting franchise-defining moment, so they might lean into talented play-makers that can be developed into NFL roles down the line. Brian Branch likely starts as a slot cornerback that rotates in as a box defender, then hones his coverage skills to contribute as a versatile safety.
16. Washington Commanders: Cam Smith (CB – South Carolina)
The top of this cornerback class is so good – and Cam Smith is no exception. He logged over 1,300 defensive snaps for the Gamecocks over four seasons. Over his last two seasons, Smith allowed a catch percentage of just 47.1% in coverage. The Commanders were ninth in dropback EPA allowed but still need some cornerback depth to keep that train rolling into the 2023 season.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Bryan Bresee (DT – CLEM)
This might be low considering his rising draft stock, but it’s always tough to tell with defensive tackles. However, if Bryan Bresee did fall this far the Steelers would scoop him up with glee. This stout defensive tackle who was a five-star recruit in both 247 Sports and ESPN’s ratings. Bresee suffered an ACL injury during his sophomore season but rebounded with 330 defensive snaps and 24 pressures from the interior this year.
18. Detroit Lions: Michael Mayer (TE – ND)
Michael Mayer is currently ninth on Jack Lichtenstein’s consensus big board that aggregates big media boards. The Lions sent TJ Hockenson away to the Vikings at the trade deadline this last year, so filling that gap with another top-tier tight end makes sense. Michael Mayer cleared 800 receiving yards and scored at least seven touchdowns in each of his last two seasons with Notre Dame.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kelee Ringo (CB – UGA)
The traity corner with consistency issues finds a new home with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kelee Ringo is easily the most athletic corner that is likely to land in the first round of this year’s draft. The Bucs could potentially be losing both Jamal Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting to free agency, which makes Ringo a slam-dunk selection.
20. Seattle Seahawks: Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – OSU)
This selection comes with a hypothetical caveat that the Seahawks stick with Geno Smith as their quarterback. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is an electric play-maker that augments and already solid receiving corps of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. With Lockett on the older side, this could be a transition plan for the Seahawks to maintain two dynamic receivers in the future.
21. Miami Dolphins forfeited their pick.
22. Los Angeles Chargers: Bijan Robinson (RB – TEX)
With Kellen Moore taking on play-calling duties for the Chargers, they will look to add more weapons for Justin Herbert to utilize. While Austin Ekeler has been great for the Chargers, his rushing success has regressed in recent seasons. Pairing his receiving skills with Bijan Robinson’s deadly ground game would be fearsome for any NFL defense.
23. Baltimore Ravens: Jalin Hyatt (WR – TEN)
The speedy Biletnikoff award-winner Jalin Hyatt goes to a Ravens team that still needs pass-catchers if they want to keep Lamar Jackson on the Exclusive Franchise Tag for one more season. Hyatt is a burner out of the slot that would fit in nicely alongside Rashod Bateman and Mark Andrews.
24. Minnesota Vikings: Devon Witherspoon (CB – Illinois)
Devon Witherspoon is another player on the come-up recently. It’s no secret that the Minnesota Vikings still need secondary help after an embarrassing loss to the Daniel Jones-led Giants in the playoffs. Witherspoon is a lengthy and quick corner that excels in press coverage — something the Vikings could use.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Clark Phillips III (CB – Utah)
Clark Phillips is a versatile corner that played both slot and outside for the Utes during the 2022 season. The Jaguars need to replace Darious Williams in nickel and dime packages with someone that is quicker and more reliable. Phillips fills that need nicely near the end of the first round.
26. New York Giants: Trenton Simpson (LB – Clemson)
Positional disparity still exists in the NFL and unfortunately, linebackers are one of the positions on the decline lately. Trenton Simpson is the top linebacker for most draftniks this year, and the Giants will seize the opportunity to draft him at 26th overall. At this point, it’s tough to find a former five-star defensive recruit that plays with the same motor as Simpson.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Josh Downs (WR – UNC)
It’s clear that Michael Gallup doesn’t possess the same burst that he had prior to his ACL tear in 2021. The Cowboys will replenish their receiving crops with Josh Downs, the speedy wideout from UNC. This move will fire Downs out of the slot while CeeDee Lamb moves around the offense to create defensive mismatches.
30. Buffalo Bills: O’Cyrus Torrence (OG – FLA)
The big man out of Florida heads to the Bills in an effort to bolster their offensive line. As of right now, they have just one true guard on their roster. O’Cyrus Torrence is a four-year starter, though he transferred from Louisiana after his junior season. In his college career, he was not credited with a single sack allowed.
28. Cincinnati Bengals: Anton Harrison (OT – OU)
Anton Harrison is a left tackle coming from the Oklahoma Sooners. With Jonah Williams struggling heavily for the Bengals this season, they may look to move on from the former first-round draft pick. Harrison is big and strong, but slightly lacking in speed and agility. Still, Harrison would be a good fit for Zac Taylor’s offensive scheme.
Bengal's run concept frequency since Zac Taylor took over:
Inside Zone: 32%
Outside Zone: 26%
Outside Zone: 16%
Inside Zone: 15%
They've done a great job of fitting the run game to the personnel.
— Andrew Russell (@Andrew_Russell7) January 23, 2023
29. New Orleans Saints: Zay Flowers (WR – BC)
The Saints traded the rights of head coach Sean Payton to the Broncos in exchange for some extra draft capital, including their first-round pick this year. The Saints will turn around and land Zay Flowers — a rising prospect on draft boards. With Michael Thomas due $31.8 million on March 17th, it’s likely that he gets cut or traded. Flowers’ YAC ability as a possession receiver will fit nicely across from Chris Olave.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Lukas Van Ness (EDGE – IOWA)
Lukas Van Ness is a twitchy pass-rusher with excellent agility and instincts. He needs to refine some of his pass-rush moves but makes up for that with his length. Edge is a position of need for the Chiefs this cycle, and Van Ness would make an excellent rotational piece with the traits to become a bonafide starter down the line.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Isaiah Foskey (DE – ND)
Isaiah Foskey has been looking good at the Senior Bowl, though is still quite raw and needs to refine his technique before being an every-down starter. The Eagles patchworked their front seven during the 2022 season, so adding Foskey in to learn from some veterans makes a lot of sense here.