Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs as the Super Bowl Champions! That means that the entire draft order is now decided, and the draft season is officially upon us! In this rendition of my mock draft, I will be going two rounds without trades as we begin to peg player value through this draft cycle. Enjoy!
Check out our 2023 Draft Guide here and also dive into these other outstanding mock drafts from our staff below:
- Thor Nystrom’s Mock Drafts
- Matthew Freedman’s Mock Drafts (1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0)
- Kent Weyrauch’s Mock Drafts (1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0)
- Matthew Jones‘s Mock Drafts (1.0 | 2.0 | 3.0 | 4.0 | 5.0)
- Andrew Erickson’s Mock Drafts (1.0)
- Mike Fanelli’s Mock Drafts w/ Trades (1.0 | 2.0)
- John Supowitz’s Mock Drafts (1.0)
Kent Weyrauch has been a top-30 most accurate NFL Mock Drafter for each of the last two years.
2023 NFL Mock Draft
1. Chicago Bears: Will Anderson Jr. (EDGE – Alabama)
The Bears will be (correctly) sticking to Justin Fields as their starting quarterback going forward, according to Albert Breer. This iteration of my mock draft won’t feature any trades. However, the Bears still land the top edge rusher in this 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.
2. Houston Texans: Bryce Young (QB – Alabama)
Despite size concerns, Bryce Young has shown that he can compete under challenging conditions. His football IQ is second-to-none. The Texans scoop up one of the better QB prospects in the last few draft cycles.
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: Will Levis (QB – UK)
The Geno Smith experiment was fun, but he trailed off at the end of the season when they needed him most. The Seahawks are heading into this draft with the second-most draft capital, so it makes the most sense for them to load up on younger players and develop into the future. Will Levis and his traits will match that plan perfectly.
6. Carolina Panthers: Christian Gonzalez (CB – Oregon)
The battle at the top of the cornerback board will be fierce, but I still think that Christian Gonzalez has the most polish to his game. Not to mention his 6’2″ and 200-pound frame should stand the test of NFL-level physicality.
7. Las Vegas Raiders: Devon Witherspoon (CB – Illinois)
Devon Witherspoon is another player on the come-up recently. This time around, he’s rising all the way to the Raiders at seventh overall. His combination of length and speed is unmatched in this class.
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. Carolina Panthers: Anthony Richardson (QB – FLA)
Someone is going to love Anthony Richardson‘s traits. This time the Panthers take a swing on the freakiest athlete at the quarterback position in some time. He still needs to work on his passing mechanics and touch, but there is arm talent there to be harnessed.
10. Philadelphia Eagles: Bijan Robinson (RB – Texas)
There it is – a running back in the top 10. While there are arguments to be made about the position, Bijan Robinson possesses no such question marks. His game is strong and complete. The Eagles make a luxury pick in an effort to run it back to the Super Bowl next February.
11. Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson Jr (OL – OSU)
This is a match made in heaven as the Titans will likely be releasing Taylor Lewan, according to…. well, Taylor Lewan. Paris Johnson Jr. is a behemoth of a left tackle with the technique to stop the fastest and strongest edge rushers with ease.
12. Houston Texans: Myles Murphy (DE – Clemson)
Texans catch a break with Myles Murphy nearly falling into the teens. He was a three-year starter for Clemson, where he accumulated 36 tackles-for-loss and 18.5 sacks. Murphy’s defensive instincts on the edge are elite, and he should slide into the Texans’ starting rotation immediately.
13. New York Jets: Peter Skoronski (OT – Northwestern)
Many people argue that Peter Skoronski projects as a guard at the NFL level, but I am not in that camp. That being said, there are a few question marks with the Jets’ line, so his versatility may benefit them. Skoronski allowed just six pressures on 474 pass-blocking snaps for Northwestern this season, per PFF.
14. New England Patriots: Broderick Jones (OT – Georgia)
Left tackle is a massive need for the Patriots, so Broderick Jones landing there just makes sense. Jones was a five-star recruit that allowed just 11 total pressures on his 535 pass-blocking snaps during his tenure at UGA.
15. Green Bay Packers: Michael Mayer (TE – Notre Dame)
Michael Mayer is currently ninth on Jack Lichtenstein’s aggregating big media boards. The Packers have never been a great spot for tight ends, but with the Rodgers era all but over, that may change. Michael Mayer cleared 800 receiving yards and scored at least seven touchdowns in each of his last two seasons with Notre Dame.
16. Washington Commanders: Joey Porter Jr (CB – Penn State)
It seems likely that the Washington Commanders will look to fix their cornerback situation in the mid-first. 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.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: 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 might not be the Steelers’ biggest need, but Van Ness brings versatility that could help greatly. Van Ness would make an excellent rotational piece with the traits to become a bonafide starter down the line.
18. Detroit Lions: Drew Sanders (EDGE – Arkansas)
A new edition to the first round for my mock drafts, Drew Sanders, lands on the Detroit Lions. He covers the ground well and uses speed as a strength when tasked out as an edge rusher. He also garnered a 74.3 coverage grade on 27 targets.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 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 47.1% in coverage. The Bucs will likely be transitioning to a rebuild, so Smith could step in as a replacement for cap casualties.
20. Seattle Seahawks: O’Cyrus Torrence (OG – FLA)
The big man out of Florida heads to the Seahawks in an effort to bolster their offensive line. 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.
Miami Dolphins forfeited their pick.
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Quentin Johnson (WR – TCU)
The first wide receiver of the draft goes to the Chargers with the 21st-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.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Jordan Addison (WR – USC)
If the Ravens want to keep Lamar Jackson, they need to entice him. 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.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – OSU)
While the Vikings desperately need defensive help, they see value on the board with Jaxon Smith-Njigba falling to the end of the first round. With Adam Thielen a potential cap casualty, JSN playing in the slot while Justin Jefferson dominates the perimeter would be a tough passing offense to scheme against.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brian Branch (S – Alabama)
The Jaguars have a surprisingly solid squad heading into the 2023 season, but their secondary could use some assistance. 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.
25. New York Giants: Zay Flowers (WR – BC)
Zay Flowers had a breakout season as a true Sophomore with 892 yards and nine touchdowns on just 56 receptions. The Boston College prospect joins a Giants team that could certainly use a culture shift at wide receiver. Flowers’ route-running and ball-tracking skills should boost their offense on day one.
26. Dallas Cowboys: Kelee Ringo (CB – UGA)
The traity corner with consistency issues finds a new home with the Dallas Cowboys. Kelee Ringo is easily the most athletic corner that is likely to land in the first round of this year’s draft. The Cowboys will just have to teach him to be more consistent in his pursuit, but doing so could return dividends.
27. Buffalo Bills: Antonio Johnson (CB – Texas A&M)
The Bills go with the best pick available, as safety isn’t their biggest need. However, Antonio Johnson is a tall and athletic safety with a frame that is conducive to packing on muscle. The Bills will be happy to deploy him all around the field.
28. Cincinnati Bengals: Anton Harrison (OT – Oklahoma)
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.
29. New Orleans Saints: Bryan Bresee (DT – Clemson)
If Bryan Bresee did fall this far, the Saints would happily use their newly acquired first-round selection on him. This stout defensive tackle 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.
30. Philadelphia Eagles: Calijah Kancey (DT – PITT)
Calijah Kancey has popped up on a few notable big boards recently, and it’s easy to see why. The meatball of a man simply does not allow opposing runners to continue beyond him. His power and anchor offset his lack of length to defend the inside well.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Jalin Hyatt (WR – Tennessee)
The speedy Biletnikoff award-winner Jalin Hyatt goes to a Chiefs team that seemingly doesn’t need to invest heavily at the position but could still use some help at the position. Hyatt’s speed combined with Mahomes’ arm would be a sight to behold.
32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Trenton Simpson (LB – CLEM)
33. Houston Texans: Josh Downs (WR – UNC)
34. Arizona Cardinals: Isaiah Foskey (EDGE – ND)
35. Indianapolis Colts: Nolan Smith (EDGE – UGA)
36. Los Angeles Rams: B.J. Ojulari (EDGE – LSU)
37. Seattle Seahawks: Andre Carter (EDGE – ARMY)
38. Las Vegas Raiders: Cody Mauch (OG – NDSU)
39. Carolina Panthers: Felix Anudike-Uzomah (EDGE – KSU)
40. New Orleans Saints: Jahmyr Gibbs (RB – ALA)
41. Tennessee Titans: Clark Phillips III (CB – UTAH)
42. Cleveland Browns: Siaki Ika (DT – BAY)
43. New York Jets: Keion White (EDGE – GT)
44. Atlanta Falcons: Emmanuel Forbes (CB – MSST)
45. Green Bay Packers: Jordan Battle (S – ALA)
46. New England Patriots: Kayshon Boutte (WR – LSU)
47. Washington Commanders: Darnell Washington (TE – UGA)
48. Detroit Lions: Dalton Kincaid (TE – UTAH)
49. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mazi Smith (DT – MICH)
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tuli Tuipulotu (DT – USC)
51. Miami Dolphins: Deonte Banks (CB – UMD)
52. Seattle Seahawks: Keeanu Benton (DT – WIS)
53. Chicago Bears: Rashee Rice (WR – SMU)
54. Los Angeles Chargers: Luke Musgrave (TE – ORST)
55. Detroit Lions: Gervon Dexter (DT – FLA)
56. Jacksonville Jaguars: John Michael Schmitz (IOL – MINN)
57. New York Giants: Noah Sewell (LB – ORE)
58. Dallas Cowboys: Devon Achane (RB – TAMU)
59. Buffalo Bills: Dawand Jones (OT – OSU)
60. Cincinnati Bengals: Sam Laporta (TE – IOWA)
61. Carolina Panthers: Zach Charbonnet (RB – UCLA)
62. Philadelphia Eagles: Will McDonald (EDGE – ISU)
63. Kansas City Chiefs: Darnell Wright (OT – TENN)