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2023 NFL Mock Draft: Kent Weyrauch (9.0)

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Kent Weyrauch (9.0)

This is my penultimate mock draft for the 2023 NFL Draft cycle. Now it’s time to hone back into the first round and make some final tweaks heading into the NFL Draft. This mock and my final mock will not feature any trades, as predicting draft-day trades has proven to be a difficult endeavor and mock contests don’t compensate that enough with their scoring systems.

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

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

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2023 NFL Mock Draft

Round 1

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

The odds for Bryce Young to be drafted first overall plummeted all the way to -1200 on DraftKings this week, cementing what I’ve been saying all along — Bryce Young will be the first player selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.

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2. Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud (QB – Ohio State)

Not only has the narrative for C.J. Stroud at 1st-overall soured but now there are “leaks” coming out that Stroud might slip even further down the board. I’m not bought into the latter part of that equation. Chaulk it up to silly season league chatter.

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

For the sake of predicting the draft, I won’t be attempting to match trading partners. However, I strongly believe that the Cardinals will — or at least should — trade down from the 3rd pick with a team looking to snipe the Colts at the quarterback position. If they stay, Will Anderson Jr. is favored to be the first defender off the board.

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

This choice is going against the odds a bit, as Will Levis is still the favorite to land on the Colts in this slot. Anthony Richardson just represents such a unique profile that overpowers any marginal day-one advantage that Levis might hold. Even Jim Irsay had something to say on the matter!

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

Something about Tyree Wilson just screams Pete Carrol to me. Wilson is a physical and athletic specimen on film that never ended up testing. The odds on him being the first defender off the board have rocketed up, but still think he’s ultimately the second one drafted.

 

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6. Detroit Lions: Jalen Carter (DL – Georgia)

For better or for worse, it seems that Jalen Carter will maintain his draft stock. The juice on the U6.5 ran out quickly at +100 already, despite the line being 7.5 just last week. Since the Lions pick twice in the first round, they grab the best available player here in Carter.

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7. Las Vegas Raiders: Devon Witherspoon (CB – Illinois)

It seems that Devon Witherspoon has distanced himself a bit from Christian Gonzalez as the first cornerback off the board. The Raiders signed Jimmy Garoppolo, so odds are that they wouldn’t take Levis here. Instead, they hit a position of need — cornerback.

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8. Atlanta Falcons: Lukas Van Ness (EDGE – Iowa)

Lukas Van Ness is a versatile pass-rusher that can move around the line. The Falcons need some defensive line help, and there’s reason to believe that he could be a top-10 selection on traits alone.

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9. Chicago Bears: Peter Skoronski (OT – Northwestern)

I had Paris Johnson Jr. as the top offensive lineman for the longest time, but the Draft winds are singing Skoronski’s name — and for a good reason! The Bears could use him in a few spots across the line, including at tackle.

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10. Philadelphia Eagles: Nolan Smith (DE – Georgia)

Here the odds hint that drafting a defensive lineman might be more in play than most realize. The Eagles could find creative ways to manufacture looks for Nolan Smith and showcase his immense athleticism.

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11. Tennessee Titans: Will Levis (QB – Kentucky)

They say to never catch a falling blade in economics (and even in the NFL Draft too), but this landing spot just makes a ton of sense for both parties. Will Levis will need some time to adjust to NFL game speed and hone in his mid-range passing touch. He will get that time behind Tannehill for at least half a season.

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

Another lock for me during this cycle. The Texans need receiving talent with Brandin Cooks gone and Jaxon Smith-Njigba will most likely be the first receiver drafted this year.

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2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice

13. New York Jets: Paris Johnson Jr. (OL – Ohio State)

The way this board shakes out is a blessing to the New York Jets. They get an elite left tackle at 13, which means Mekhi Becton can move back to the right side we’re he’s had success previously.

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14. New England Patriots: Christian Gonzalez (CB – Oregon)

This would be a decent “fall” for Gonzalez, but with the Lions and the Eagles both dipping into defensive line selections, this is certainly feasible.

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15. Green Bay Packers: Myles Murphy (DE – Clemson)

Myles Murphy is back where he belongs. His pro-day numbers were elite. Not to mention, the tape shows a First-Team All-ACC monster with speed, power, and a pass-rushing toolkit.

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

Joey Porter Jr. has been locked into this slot for a while. It’s just a perfect team-player match.

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17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Broderick Jones (OT – Georgia)

Tackle has been a big need for the Steelers this entire NFL Draft cycle. Broderick Jones is a beefy left tackle that ran a sub-five-second forty at the NFL Combine.

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18. Detroit Lions: Deonte Banks (CB – Maryland)

After scooping up Jalen Carter with their sixth-overall pick, the Lions still need a long-term solution at cornerback. Their free agent signings of Emmanuel Moseley and Cameron Sutton were more short-term. Banks is great at the “meat and potatoes” portions of his game but needs development in some of his route identification methods.

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19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Darnell Wright (OT – Tennessee)

With Tristian Wirfs on the left side of the Bucs’ offensive line, a true Wright tackle (I am so sorry) makes sense here. The Bucs have a long ways to go in terms of rebuilding, so this is BPA that just so happens to match a need nicely.

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20. Seattle Seahawks: Zay Flowers (WR – Boston College)

There has been some smoke on Zay Flowers being the second receiver off the board this year. Everyone after JSN has at least a couple of red flags, so any receiver in that second tier is fair game. His line is currently 22.5 juiced to the under. Flowers working underneath Metcalf and Lockett would be a dream for Geno Smith.

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Miami Dolphins forfeited their pick.

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

Ultimately I think that a team will be trading up (or down maybe) for Bijan Robinson in the 14-18 pick range, but as the board stands I don’t love any of those spots for him now. ESPN’s Draft machine has just a ~7% chance that he’s available this late.

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

This is another pairing that I’ve had lined up for a while, and I don’t think the Odell Beckham Jr. signing changes anything. The Ravens seem to still be making an effort to get Lamar Jackson to stay, so drafting another top-flight receiver in this draft would certainly help.

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23. Minnesota Vikings: Quentin Johnston (WR – TCU)

Wide receiver is a low tier 1, high tier 2 need for the Vikings, but markets have been souring on Quentin Johnston quite a bit in the last few weeks. I still think he’s a solid big-body receiver in a class filled with slight frames, and that carries some significance.

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24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Calijah Kancey (DT – Pittsburgh)

Despite reportedly not having any top-30 visits, I still think that Calijah Kancey goes somewhere at the end of the first round as a penetrating 3-technique with elite athleticism. The Jaguars tried something similar with Taven Bryan a few years ago, but Kancey has more polish to his game at this stage than Bryan ever had.

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25. New York Giants: Brian Branch (S – Alabama)

Branch had some top-15 buzz early in the NFL Draft cycle that dried up after a lackluster combine showing, but his game was never predicated on it. I think the Giants would get a good value here to shore up their secondary and potentially log some slot corner snaps.

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

I mean, the connection is obvious. Many say that Michael Mayer is a modern-day version of Jason Witten. Does everything very well with very few weak attributes. The betting markets strongly believe that he will be a Cowboy after the Mayer-to-Cowboys odds jumped to +350 a few days ago.

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27. Buffalo Bills: Bryan Bresee (DT  – Clemson)

The Bills have a need at the 1-technique DT position, a role that Bryan Bresee has filled in the past just not in a full-time capacity. At 6’5″ he certainly could beef up to 320+ and slid inside more often to support Ed Oliver very nicely while still being moved around the line in certain looks.

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28. Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton Kincaid (TE – Utah)

He’s been up and down throughout the draft process, but Dalton Kincaid is someone that could sneak into the back of the first round. He’s still ninth on Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50 prospects list as of April 9th. In a class with a lot of good tight ends, Kincaid still stands out as the premier pass-catcher of the bunch.

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29. New Orleans Saints: Will McDonald IV (EDGE – Iowa State)

This is actually the first time that I’ve had Will McDonald IV in the first round of my mocks during this cycle, though he has been very early second round nearly every time. The Saints have a large need at the EDGE position, and McDonald would likely contribute immediately.

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30. Philadelphia Eagles: O’Cyrus Torrence (OG – Florida)

With their second pick in the first round, the Eagles bolster an already immaculate offensive line unit with O’Cyrus Torrence out of Florida. Taking a guard in the first may raise eyebrows, but I have no problem with it this late when the Eagles have a nearly complete roster.

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

This would be a scenario where the Chiefs put Jawaan Taylor at right tackle, then have Anton Harrison step in as the day-one starting left tackle. Harrison allowed just four sacks on 1,002 pass-blocking snaps, per PFF.

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