Skip to main content

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Matthew Jones (6.0)

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Matthew Jones (6.0)

Now that the NFL Combine has been completed and the Carolina Panthers have acquired the first overall pick, here’s an updated look at how the first round of the draft could pan out were the draft held today. This is a fairly significant change relative to my previous projection; all but eight of the selections have been changed this time around, there are six new prospects included in the first round, and a handful of teams are picking prospects from different positions than before, especially toward the end of the round. Any comments are appreciated; feel free to reach me on Twitter @draftexaminer!

Dynasty Rookie Draft Kit

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Matthew Jones (6.0)

  1. Carolina Panthers – C.J. Stroud (QB – Ohio St.) 

I tend to believe the Panthers will lean toward C.J. Stroud over Bryce Young with this pick, as I believe Frank Reich values height and arm strength and may prefer to draft a more direct fit for his scheme rather than building around Young.

  1. Houston Texans – Bryce Young (QB – Alabama)

The Texans should be locked into taking whichever quarterback the Panthers don’t want. Because I think they might prefer Young anyway due to the connections Nick Caserio and Demeco Ryans have, this could be an ideal scenario for them.

  1. Arizona Cardinals – Will Anderson (DE – Alabama) 

With Jalen Carter starting to tumble down the board and the first two picks looking likely to be Stroud and Young in some order, Will Anderson should be considered a likely third-overall pick at this point as arguably the draft’s best player.

  1. Indianapolis Colts – Will Levis (QB – Kentucky)

Levis may not be the most accurate passer or best on-field decision-maker in the draft, traits which incoming head coach Shane Steichen values highly, but he’s certainly a closer fit than Anthony Richardson, so I tend to favor him here.

  1. Seattle Seahawks (from Broncos) – Jalen Carter (DT – Georgia)

Carter is the hardest player in the class to slot, and his evaluations may vary significantly from team to team, especially if he isn’t able to resolve his legal issues before the draft; re-signing Geno Smith makes Anthony Richardson less likely.

  1. Detroit Lions (from Rams) – Christian Gonzalez (CB – Oregon) 

With his workout in Indianapolis, Gonzalez should probably be considered the most likely bet to be the first cornerback off the board on draft day, narrowly edging out his peers with the most impressive combination of size, athleticism, and polish.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders – Paris Johnson (OT – Ohio St.) 

Could Josh McDaniels draft Anthony Richardson after missing on Tim Tebow, another inaccurate Florida quarterback in the first round? Yes, but I wouldn’t consider it the most likely outcome for the team; a veteran makes more sense.

  1. Atlanta Falcons – Tyree Wilson (DE – Texas Tech)

I lean slightly toward Wilson over Myles Murphy here because he resembles Marcus Davenport, who the Saints drafted fourteenth overall when new Falcons coordinator Ryan Nielsen was the defensive line coach in New Orleans.

  1. Chicago Bears – Myles Murphy (DE – Clemson)

Murphy’s big frame might suit what the Bears look for more than Will Anderson, so being able to land him at this point would be a good value; presumably, they’d also consider Jalen Carter or Tyree Wilson were they to fall this far.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (from Saints) – Joey Porter (CB – Penn St.)

Should James Bradberry leave in free agency, the Eagles will be facing the need to draft at least one cornerback, and given how rare Porter’s physical tools are and the fact that he’s a local prospect, this seems like a logical move for Philadelphia.

  1. Tennessee Titans – Broderick Jones (OT – Georgia)

After Peter Skoronski‘s arms measured in below the 33″ threshold many teams look for in the tackle position, it’s possible someone like Jones could leapfrog him and become the Titans’ new blindside protector, replacing Taylor Lewan.

  1. Houston Texans (from Browns) – Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – Ohio St.)

An ideal Caserio offense would be built from the inside out; the Texans drafted John Metchie in the second round last year, but I think they could find a way to get him on the field with Smith-Njigba, Stroud’s teammate at OSU.

  1. New York Jets – Peter Skoronski (OT – Northwestern)

Whether the Jets will still have this pick a few days from now remains to be seen, as it’s been rumored that Green Bay is asking for a first-round pick to trade Aaron Rodgers; if they stay, tackle seems to be the most likely direction they’ll go in.

  1. New England Patriots – Brian Branch (DB – Alabama)

Now that Devin McCourty has retired, bringing in a safety who could likely make a seamless transition to New England would be a solid move, if not the sexiest choice; this could change if the Patriots sign one of the premier free agent safeties.

  1. Green Bay Packers – Michael Mayer (TE – Notre Dame)

I’m still projecting Mayer to be the top tight end off the board, although momentum is building behind Dalton Kincaid; drafting Mayer will allow the Packers to lean more heavily on the run game while providing Green Bay with a reliable target.

  1. Washington Commanders – Anthony Richardson (QB – Florida)

No, Richardson probably won’t fall this far on draft day, but without projecting trades, it’s not obvious which team would draft him. It doesn’t look like Washington is in love with Sam Howell enough to commit to him at this point.

2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers – Devon Witherspoon (CB – Illinois)

This seems early for one of the offensive tackles in the draft, although it’s possible Pittsburgh could draft Jordan Addison to reunite him with Kenny Pickett; pending a pro day disaster, I feel like Witherspoon is probably valued higher by most teams.

  1. Detroit Lions – Bryan Bresee (DL – Clemson)

It would probably be wise for Detroit to double down on defenders in the first round, and having drafted a corner, perhaps they’d shift their attention toward the interior of the defensive line by swooping up a sliding stud like Bresee here.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Bijan Robinson (RB – Texas)

I’ve had Robinson here for some time and don’t see that changing in the near future, but will reevaluate after free agency, where the Buccaneers are currently expected to lose several of their key contributors on defense due to cap limitations.

  1. Seattle Seahawks – Nolan Smith (DE – Georgia)

This year’s draft class is loaded with tall, physical cornerbacks, so it’s tempting to give one to the Seahawks, but they tend not to draft defensive backs high, so maybe someone like Smith, who would fit well as a “Leo” next to Carter.

  1. Los Angeles Chargers – Dalton Kincaid (TE – Utah)

Wide receiver is a more popular pick here, but I wonder whether, with Kellen Moore coming in as the team’s new offensive coordinator, it might be more likely that they upgrade their passing attack by drafting a top tight end instead.

  1. Baltimore Ravens – Deonte Banks (CB – Maryland)

The Ravens appear to be doing a lot of homework on this year’s cornerback class, and right now, it looks likely that at least one of this year’s freaky set of players at the position will be available; maybe they’d prefer a local option with this pick.

  1. Minnesota Vikings – Lukas Van Ness (DE – Iowa)

Coming off of a successful (if arguably very lucky) season, Minnesota appears to have opted for a fairly extensive rebuild of their roster; Van Ness would be a good fit for incoming defensive coordinator Brian Flores’ scheme.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Kelee Ringo (CB – Georgia)

Drafting Tyson Campbell in the second round of the 2021 draft was a major hit for the Jaguars, and they can go back to the same well and bring in a toolsy corner here; tight end, strong safety, and maybe right tackle could work too.

  1. New York Giants – Quentin Johnston (WR – Texas Christian)

Having committed the next few years to Daniel Jones, it’s time to provide him with targets to throw to; Johnston’s ability to break tackles and run after the catch could help the Jones and Giants turn some shorter throws into big plays.

  1. Dallas Cowboys – Calijah Kancey (DL – Pittsburgh)

I love the idea of putting a disruptive three-technique like Kancey into Dan Quinn’s defense; the Cowboys don’t have a particularly strong interior on their defensive line, and it’s possible Kancey goes even higher than this on draft day.

  1. Buffalo Bills – O’Cyrus Torrence (OG – Florida)

This may be one of the more likely picks to be traded, as the Bills are projected to have several appealing prospects to choose from; left guard Rodger Saffold will be 35 years old and is set to hit free agency, and Torrence can slot right in.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – Darnell Washington (TE – Georgia)

Personally, I tend to think Jonah Williams deserves another shot at proving he’s a starting-caliber left tackle, but the team also spent a 2021 second-round pick on Jackson Carman, so maybe the Bengals would favor a tight end over a lineman.

  1. New Orleans Saints – Jordan Addison (WR –  Southern California)

Addison slipped quite a ways here, and with Jarvis Landry and Michael Thomas not certain to be back next season, the Saints might like the chance to bring in a versatile receiver for new quarterback signing Derek Carr to throw to.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – Cam Smith (CB – South Carolina)

Doubling down on cornerbacks would be a somewhat unusual move, but I don’t love the fits/values on the defensive lien right now, and Philadelphia are reportedly letting Dwayne Slay seek a trade, so maybe they’d end Smith’s slide.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs – Dawand Jones (OT – Ohio St.)

This would be an excellent situation for the Chiefs, with candidates including Jalin Hyatt and Darnell Wright also available; I tend to lean toward Jones, who is more nimble than Wright, as a potential replacement for Orlando Brown Jr.

Also considered: RB Jahmyr Gibbs, WR Zay Flowers, WR Jalin Hyatt, OT Darnell Wright, DE B.J. Ojulari, LB Drew Sanders, LB Trenton Simpson, DB Antonio Johnson

2023 NFL Draft Guide: Prospect Rankings & Player Profiles

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio

More Articles

FantasyPros Football Podcast: Start or Sit These 36 Players in Week 4 – Tank Dell, Jerome Ford, Quentin Johnston

FantasyPros Football Podcast: Start or Sit These 36 Players in Week 4 – Tank Dell, Jerome Ford, Quentin Johnston

fp-headshot by FantasyPros Staff | 2 min read
Week 4 Fantasy Football Advice

Week 4 Fantasy Football Advice

fp-headshot by FantasyPros Staff | 2 min read
Fantasy Football Week 4 Start/Sit Advice: Sleepers & Duds (2023)

Fantasy Football Week 4 Start/Sit Advice: Sleepers & Duds (2023)

fp-headshot by FantasyPros Staff | 4 min read
9 Fantasy Football Smash Starts for Week 4 (2023)

9 Fantasy Football Smash Starts for Week 4 (2023)

fp-headshot by Joel Bartilotta | 4 min read

About Author

Current Article

time 5 min read

FantasyPros Football Podcast: Start or Sit These 36 Players in Week 4 – Tank Dell, Jerome Ford, Quentin Johnston

Next Up - FantasyPros Football Podcast: Start or Sit These 36 Players in Week 4 – Tank Dell, Jerome Ford, Quentin Johnston

Next Article   arrow-image