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2023 NFL Mock Draft: Kent Weyrauch’s Post-Free Agency (7.0)

2023 NFL Mock Draft:  Kent Weyrauch’s Post-Free Agency (7.0)

Now that the NFL Free Agency period is dwindling down, it’s time to make another mock draft! This rendition will not feature any trades, nor will it make any prediction on the Aaron Rodgers or Lamar Jackson situations. It’s a good time to regroup on player values as we move into the home stretch.

Check out our 2023 Draft Guide here and also dive into these other outstanding mock drafts from our staff below:

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Kent Weyrauch has been a top-30 most accurate NFL Mock Drafter for each of the last two years.

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2023 NFL Mock Draft

Round 1

1. Carolina Panthers:  Bryce Young (QB – Alabama)

After the Panthers traded up, it was widely assumed that C.J. Stroud was the target quarterback. However, recent rumors and musings have stated that Bryce Young is still very much in play at the top of the draft. Young dominated at his pro day, so even though he didn’t weigh in, there isn’t much reason for concern.

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2. Houston Texans: CJ Stroud (QB – OSU)

A no-brainer pick here for a prospect that can at least hold a candle to Bryce Young. C.J. Stroud showed off incredibly precise passing with buttery smooth throwing mechanics during drills at the Combine.

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3. Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr. (EDGE – Alabama)

It feels pretty likely that the Cardinals will trade down from three, but if they stay in this position, Will Anderson Jr. feels like the obvious choice. The Cardinals signed two defensive tackles during the free agency period, so edge remains a glaring need.

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4. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Richardson (QB – FLA)

Anthony Richardson is now safely my QB3 in this class. Obviously, his upside is enormous, but he has several aspects of the passing game that need work. One area where he excels in that regard is manipulating the pocket — a skill that translates well to the NFL.

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5. Seattle Seahawks: Tyree Wilson (EDGE – Texas Tech)

Tyree Wilson showed up to the NFL Combine interviews looking very, very long. And that translates on the tape — he wraps up opponents and finished tackles with immense strength. There has been a lot of buzz on Wilson from the combine, with some even potentially taking him over Will Anderson.

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6. Detroit Lions: Christian Gonzalez (CB – Oregon)

The Lions may have signed several key secondary players in free agency (C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Cameron Sutton, Emmanuel Moseley) they still have just one main corner under contract through the 2024 season. Christian Gonzalez looks the part of an NFL-caliber cornerback and would solidify a very strong-looking Lions’ secondary.

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7. Las Vegas Raiders: Jalen Carter (DL – UGA)

First, a quick legal update, Jalen Carter plead no contest to his charges and avoided any severe punishment. But more importantly, Carter showed up to his pro day heavy and unconditioned. Several viewers noted a rough showing during drills. That being said, he is certainly under a boatload of stress from all angles right now. His tape is immaculate, but the red flags are concerning. The Raiders take their chances and hope to turn the tides on Carter’s career.

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8. Atlanta Falcons: Will Levis (QB – Kentucky)

While Will Levis had a very solid combine, his pro day was slightly less inspiring. The arm cannon was still on display, but there were a few moments where he was off the mark. With the Raiders signing Jimmy Garoppolo, Levis falls to a Falcons’ team that currently only has Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke. Pitting Ridder and Levis against each other might increase the chances that either reach their ceiling.

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9. Chicago Bears: 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. The Bears seem like they are primed to bring Skoronski into the fold as a versatile option. Skoronski allowed just six pressures on 474 pass-blocking snaps for Northwestern this season, per PFF.

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10. Philadelphia Eagles: Devon Witherspoon (CB – Illinois)

The Eagles had a TON of players leave in free agency. And while (for the time being, at least) they will have Darius Slay and James Bradberry returning, the Eagles are likely not able to make a luxury pick like Bijan Robinson anymore. Devon Witherspoon is a stud and could bolster confidence to move Slay for some additional draft capital.

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11. Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson Jr (OL – OSU)

Another lock unless things change through free agency. Paris Johnson Jr. is the best left tackle prospect in this class, and the Titans should select him here every time he is available.

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12. Houston Texans: Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – OSU)

At Ohio State’s pro day, Jaxon Smith-Njigba ran a 4.48 40-yard dash. This was basically the last question mark that Smith-Njigba needed to answer for his draft stock. If the Texans nab both Stroud and Smith-Njigba, they will be very happy.

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13. New York Jets: Broderick Jones (OT – Georgia)

Broderick Jones is a former five-star recruit that allowed just nine pressures (and zero sacks) this season for the Bulldogs. His talents will be shipped over to the New York Jets offensive line that is still in need of attention as the draft looms near.

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14. New England Patriots: Quentin Johnston (WR – TCU)

With Jakobi Meyers out and Juju Smith-Schuster in, the Patriots’ need at wide receiver may not be nearly as massive as prior to free agency. However, with the tackles moving up boards during the process (as they always do), the Patriots will turn to the wide receiver position and select arguably the best all-around receiver in this class — Quentin Johnston.

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15. Green Bay Packers: 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. Van Ness brings versatility that could greatly assist a defense that needs revamping. Van Ness would make an excellent rotational piece with the traits to become a bonafide starter down the line.

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16. Washington Commanders: Joey Porter Jr (CB – Penn State)

The top of this cornerback class got a lot of coverage during the NFL Combine, which was for a good reason. Joey Porter Jr. is no exception. He measured up as the third-tallest corner and was tied for the longest arms in this class.

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17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Darnell Wright (OT – TENN)

The Steelers signed two solid guards during free agency but make the executive decision to shore up the entire offensive line with Darnell Wright. A right tackle that seems to be flying up draft boards, Wright had a solid tenure at Tennessee but capped it with a zero-sack season in his senior year.

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18. Detroit Lions: Nolan Smith (DE – Georgia)

Talk about another prospect who had a monster NFL Combine performance. Nolan Smith ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash at 238 pounds! As an edge rusher, he’s quite polished technically and can use his quick-twitch speed to rush the quarterback before they know what hit them.

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19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brian Branch (S – Alabama)

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. The Bucs brought back Jamel Dean and have a strong secondary, but adding Branch to that would make things quite scary for opposing passers.

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20. Seattle Seahawks: O’Cyrus Torrence (OG – Florida)

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.

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Miami Dolphins forfeited their pick.

21. Los Angeles Chargers: Bijan Robinson (RB – Texas)

With Austin Ekeler potentially on the outs, the Chargers bring in possibly the only replacement that can guarantee similar production or better. Bijan Robinson is the complete package for the running back position. The Chargers’ offense might finally come to an explosive fruition.

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22. Baltimore Ravens: Jordan Addison (WR – USC)

The Ravens might need to think about life beyond Lamar Jackson, meaning they somehow still need to address the wide receiver position. 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.

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23. Minnesota Vikings: Deonte Banks (CB – Maryland)

The Vikings managed to navigate the cap in such a way that they could sign Byron Murphy to replace Patrick Peterson but still need more defensive backs. Deonte Banks has shown excellent ball skills and athletic explosiveness — he will immediately be a top-three corner on the Vikings.

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24. Jacksonville Jaguars: 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.

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25. New York Giants: Zay Flowers (WR – Boston College)

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 still needs an iconic pass-catcher following some mediocre free-agent signings. Flowers’ route-running and ball-tracking skills should boost their offense on day one.

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26. Dallas Cowboys: Michael Mayer (TE – Notre Dame)

Michael Mayer is currently ninth on Jack Lichtenstein’s aggregating big media boards. With Dalton Schultz gone, it seems fitting that the Cowboys bring in a Jason Witten-esque tight end like Mayer to shore up their offensive identity.

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27. Buffalo Bills: Antonio Johnson (S – Texas A&M)

This is kind of a tough board for the Bills, and their roster is fairly complete already, too. However, I think bringing in Antonio Johnson as a long-term guy could be a smart move here. His physical traits and natural talent are robust, but he has some technical things that he could work on in addition to utilizing his size to his advantage.

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28. Cincinnati Bengals: Darnell Washington (TE – Georgia)

One of the other biggest winners of the NFL Combine weekend was UGA’s Darnell Washington. Only two prospects had a faster 20-yard shuttle than Washington, and they were a receiver and a cornerback. His blocking ability is (literally) huge, and his tools as a receiver are nothing to sneeze at, either.

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29. New Orleans Saints: Myles Murphy (DE – Clemson)

I feel as though there is some prospect fatigue going on with the NFL Draft community right now regarding Myles Murphy. His stock is dropping because he is waiting until his Pro Day to complete drills for NFL scouts, but the tape shows a first-team All-ACC monster with speed, power, and a pass-rushing toolkit.

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30. Philadelphia Eagles: Calijah Kancey (DT – Pittsburgh)

Despite coming in at 6’0 1/2″ tall, Calijah Kancey ran a 4.67 40-yard dash at 280 pounds! His speed shows well as a line-penetrating 3-technique, and he can use that to make up for his lack of natural size.

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31. Kansas City Chiefs: Anton Harrison (OT – Oklahoma)

The Chiefs lost Orlando Brown and brought in Jawaan Taylor at tackle. And while Jawaan Taylor has historically been a right tackle, it was leaked that the Chiefs plan to move Jawaan Taylor to left tackle for whatever reason. However, with Anton Harrison on the board, I think the Chiefs would keep Taylor on the right side while the big Sooner steps on the left.

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Round 2

32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Drew Sanders (LB – ARK)
33. Houston Texans: Bryan Bresee (DT – CLEM)
34. Arizona Cardinals: Adetomiwa Adebawore (EDGE – NW)
35. Indianapolis Colts: Jack Campbell (LB – IOWA)
36. Los Angeles Rams: B.J. Ojulari (EDGE – LSU)
37. Seattle Seahawks: Felix Anudike-Uzomah (EDGE – KSU)
38. Las Vegas Raiders: Dawand Jones (OT – OSU)
39. Carolina Panthers: Jalin Hyatt (WR – TENN)
40. New Orleans Saints: Emmanuel Forbes (CB – MSST)
41. Tennessee Titans: Will McDonald (EDGE – ISU)
42. New York Jets: Trenton Simpson (LB – CLEM)
43. New York Jets: Steve Avila (OG – TCU)
44. Atlanta Falcons: Josh Downs (WR – UNC)
45. Green Bay Packers: Dalton Kincaid (TE – UTAH)
46. New England Patriots: Kelee Ringo (CB – UGA)
47. Washington Commanders: John Michael Schmitz (IOL – MINN)
48. Detroit Lions: Mazi Smith (DT – MICH)
49. Pittsburgh Steelers: Clark Phillips III (CB – UTAH)
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tuli Tuipulotu (DT – USC)
51. Miami Dolphins: Luke Musgrave (TE – ORST)
52. Seattle Seahawks: Cody Mauch (OG – NDSU)
53. Chicago Bears: Isaiah Foskey (EDGE – ND)
54. Los Angeles Chargers: Tyrique Stevenson (CB – MIA)
55. Detroit Lions: Joe Tippmann (IOL – WIS)
56. Jacksonville Jaguars: Luke Wypler (IOL – OSU)
57. New York Giants: Daiyan Henley (LB – WSU)
58. Dallas Cowboys: Jahmyr Gibbs (RB – ALA)
59. Buffalo Bills: Julius Brents (CB – KSU)
60. Cincinnati Bengals: Matthew Bergeron (OT – SYR)
61. Chicago Bears: Sydney Brown (S – ILL)
62. Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Battle (S – ALA)
63. Kansas City Chiefs: Keion White (EDGE – GT)

2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice

Beyond our fantasy football content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator, which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents, to our Draft Assistant, which optimizes your picks with expert advice, we’ve covered this fantasy football draft season.

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