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2023 NFL Mock Draft with Trades: Russell Brown (2.0)

2023 NFL Mock Draft with Trades: Russell Brown (2.0)

We’re officially under three weeks away from the 2023 NFL Draft! Before you know it, your favorite teams will have a much clearer vision of their futures. For better or worse, the outlook for some teams will drastically change. So let’s jump into my second mock draft with FantasyPros to see what direction your favorite teams could go in in a few weeks.

(Download Russell Brown’s free draft guide here.)

Please note: The Miami Dolphins have forfeited the 21st overall pick. Also, my final mock draft won’t have any trades. Lastly, this mock is what I think could happen a few weeks from now in the 2023 NFL Draft.

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Two Teams Trade up for a QB

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

The betting odds have consistently changed leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft. Currently, on DraftKings, C.J. Stroud is the favorite at -130, but with -105 odds, Bryce Young isn’t far behind. In my first mock draft, I had the Panthers selecting Anthony Richardson, and I could still see that happening. That said, I’ve got them selecting Bryce Young because, with smoke, there’s fire. Young is incredibly poised and makes a ton of throws while being able to extend plays in and out of the pocket. By selecting Young, the Panthers get a quarterback who can play right away while having the potential to be the best player from the 2023 NFL Draft.

2. Houston Texans — Will Anderson (EDGE – Alabama)

If Bryce Young comes off the board, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Texans scraped the idea of selecting a quarterback this early. Instead, they could very well look into drafting a defensive player in this spot who will help new head coach DeMeco Ryans. For me, the best player in this year’s draft is Will Anderson, and he’d provide an immediate impact off the edge for the Texans. He packs a mean punch while having the speed and length needed to consistently make plays in the backfield.

3. Las Vegas Raiders (Mock Trade with Arizona) — Anthony Richardson (QB – Florida)

One thing we do know is that the Raiders seem to be enamored with the quarterbacks in this draft. While they’ve added quarterbacks such as Jimmy Garoppolo and Brian Hoyer, the future at the position looks dull. However, by selecting Anthony Richardson, the future gets a whole lot brighter. We all know that Richardson needs polishing, but his potential is through the roof. He moves around the pocket like a seasoned veteran while possessing elite arm strength and mobility. If he can throw with some more touch and anticipation, it’ll improve his ball placement issues, and he should be able to take his game to the next level in the NFL.

Mock Trade Details:
ARI receives: 2023 1st Round Pick (7th overall), 2023 2nd Round Pick (38th overall), 2023 4th Round Pick (109th overall) and 2024 3rd Round Pick
LV receives: 2023 1st Round Pick (3rd overall)

4. Indianapolis Colts — C.J. Stroud (QB – Ohio State)

This one becomes a layup after Young and Richardson come off the board. The Colts get C.J. Stroud, and he should be able to start right away. He’s got a clean and compact release while being able to make every throw on the field. In the NFL, he won’t be able to be so hesitant as he was at times in college, but playing with the established playmakers the Colts have should help him.

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

Went back and forth between Jalen Carter and Tyree Wilson in this spot but ultimately, the Seahawks have added interior defensive line help this offseason. They could look at bringing in an edge rusher in this spot. Wilson provides immediate versatility with his ability to play as a 3-technique or in a 4i-technique. He wins with his length, bend and motor. No matter where he lands, he should be able to contribute right away.

6. Tennessee Titans (Mock Trade with Detroit) — Will Levis (QB – Kentucky)

This could become a common trade-up spot for the Tennessee Titans. Much of that is due to the fact that Lions GM Brad Holmes and Titans GM Ran Carthon worked together during their tenure with the Los Angeles Rams. That said, the Titans have researched quarterbacks, and while this regime has Malik Willis, they didn’t draft him. During this draft process, they’ve done private workouts with quarterback Will Levis. His toughness, mobility and velocity when throwing the ball should provide teams with plenty of intrigue.

Mock Trade Details
DET receives: 2023 1st Round Pick (11th overall), 2023 3rd Round Pick (72nd overall) and 2024 2nd Round Pick
TEN receives: 2023 1st Round Pick (6th overall)

7. Arizona Cardinals (Mock Trade with Las Vegas) — Jalen Carter (DT – Georgia)

It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Cardinals stay with the third overall pick and take the highest-rated defensive player on their board. However, if C.J. Stroud or Anthony Richardson become available, I think they could very well move the pick and gain additional draft capital for this year and next. While Carter is a gamble due to off-the-field issues, teams look past character concerns all the time. More often than not, talent trumps character, and the Cardinals will look to bring in one of the most talented players in the draft. With a blend of power, speed and versatility, Carter can make an immediate impact if he keeps himself in line outside of football.

Mock Trade Details:
ARI receives: 2023 1st Round Pick (7th overall), 2023 2nd Round Pick (38th overall), 2023 4th Round Pick (109th overall) and 2024 3rd Round Pick
LV receives: 2023 1st Round Pick (3rd overall)

8. Atlanta Falcons — Bijan Robinson (RB – Texas)

Recently trading for cornerback Jeff Okudah shouldn’t alter what the Falcons do defensively in this draft. They could still add another cornerback and a pass rusher on Day 2 of the draft. The way the opening night of the draft should go for the Falcons is by adding some type of weapon into the offense for quarterback Desmond Ridder. They could look at a receiver in this spot, but to me, the addition of Bijan Robinson is an excellent option. He’s got an elite change of direction ability while having the desired skill set to be a three-down back in the NFL.

9. Chicago Bears — Darnell Wright (OT – Tennessee)

With the run of top defensive talent happening in front of the Bears, they flip to the offensive line and look to protect quarterback Justin Fields. There have been mumblings out of Chicago that they will put recently signed free agent Nate Davis to left guard. While doing so, they’ll keep Teven Jenkins at right guard, opening the door for a starter at right tackle. There’s not a better right tackle in this draft than Darnell Wright from Tennessee. He’s got a big frame, and he hits with heavy hands. Meanwhile, his snatch-trap technique is vicious and would be a big help with keeping Justin Fields upright.

10. Philadelphia Eagles — Peter Skoronski (OT – Northwestern)

As Jalen Carter and Bijan Robinson fall off the board, the Eagles go with the next best option on their draft board. Adding a player like Peter Skoronski fits exactly what Philadelphia looks for in an offensive lineman. Technically sound, with the versatility to move anywhere on the offensive line. Skoronski will get knocked for his arm length, but he’s shown that he can hold up at left tackle. Worst case scenario, he becomes one of the top guards to come out of this class.

2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice

11. Detroit Lions (Mock Trade with Tennessee) — Devon Witherspoon (CB – Illinois)

Throughout the draft process, I’ve thought the Lions would select Christian Gonzalez from Oregon. Of course, that could still happen, but with how the last week or two has gone, all signs point to Devon Witherspoon being their guy. In an interview after a personal workout, Witherspoon told reporters that he “would love to play Kerby Joseph again.”

Meanwhile, their defensive back coach Dré Bly was all smiles when watching Witherspoon work out. Throw on the tape, and he’s exactly the type of player that head coach Dan Campbell praises about. He hits hard and brings it every play.

Mock Trade Details
DET receives: 2023 1st Round Pick (11th overall), 2023 3rd Round Pick (72nd overall) and 2024 2nd Round Pick
TEN receives: 2023 1st Round Pick (6th overall)

12. Houston Texans — Hendon Hooker (QB – Tennessee)

It won’t be surprising if the Texans try to move up and get a quarterback. That said, I’ve got them staying put and taking one in this spot. While it’s unclear if Hendon Hooker will be ready by the start of the season, he’s got the potential to be good at the next level. An athletic quarterback that throws with touch and anticipation, he’s got the potential to take his game to the next level. Especially if the Texans surround him with weapons. In total, the Texans have 12 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft and can certainly put pieces around Hooker while building up their defense.

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

Throughout the draft process, the Jets have been connected to Broderick Jones on more than one occasion. It makes sense with so much uncertainty surrounding the future of Mekhi Becton. The talented product from Georgia might only have 19 career starts under his belt, but he’s got great strength and good length and is a devastating run blocker. At 6-foot-5 and 311 pounds, Jones can play either tackle spot for the Jets.

14. New England Patriots — Christian Gonzalez (CB, Oregon)

It’s hard for me to fathom a slide this far down the board for Christian Gonzalez, but it’s possible. However, the slide stops here, as Gonzalez would be a great fit in the Patriots’ defense. At 6-foot-1 and 197 pounds, he’s a great athlete with the speed and hip fluidity needed to run consistently with receivers. This led to him having 28 pass breakups during his collegiate career. With how aggressive he is at the catch point, he could be near the top of pass breakups in the NFL for rookies next season.

15. Green Bay Packers — Myles Murphy (EDGE – Clemson)

This feels very much like something the Packers would do in the first round. Many people would expect them to go with a pass-catcher or to upgrade the offensive line. However, they follow what they did in the 2021 NFL Draft and take the best player available. That’s what they did with Rashan Gary, and they’ll do that here. When you look at the athletic profile of Murphy, it’s quite comparable to Gary’s. Even though they gave Preston Smith a four-year contract in 2022, they could get out of the deal after this season. With that, Murphy brings a blend of speed and power and should be able to play standing up or with his hand in the dirt.

16. Washington Commanders — Michael Mayer (TE – Notre Dame)

It’s no secret that Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer is my top-ranked tight end, and I could see him taken in this spot. With Eric Bieniemy becoming the new offensive coordinator for the Commanders, we know that he values a tight end in his offense. Current tight end Logan Thomas is 31 years old and has struggled with injuries over the years. As for Mayer, he’s a 6-foot-4 and 249-pound tight end who isn’t overly explosive or fast, but he’s been incredibly consistent over his collegiate career. Productive when aligned in the slot or inline, Mayer has plug-and-play ability. There’s a chance he becomes one of the better tight ends in the league.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers — Paris Johnson (OT – Ohio State)

Even though it would be somewhat surprising to see Paris Johnson slide down the draft board, this would be a run-to-the-podium moment for the Steelers. They desperately need help at offensive tackle, and Johnson could help there. At 6-foot-6 and 313 pounds, he’s got over 36-inch arms and is only getting better. He can play guard or tackle, and with how the Steelers have done their research on the offensive tackles, this one makes too much sense.

18. Detroit Lions — Nolan Smith (EDGE – Georgia)

It’s been rumored that the Detroit Lions have done a lot of work on Nolan Smith from Georgia. It would make sense with his athletic ability and with how violent of a player he is on the field. After running the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds, there’s a chance that he ends up being a top-10 pick. However, he’s available in this scenario, and Detroit wastes no time with turning the card in. Smith attacks blocks and shows terrific pursuit of the football. He was limited by a torn pectoral in 2022, but if he’s fully healthy, he could rush the passer or drop into coverage for this defense.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Adetomiwa Adebawore (DL – Northwestern)

One of my favorite fits in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft is this one right here. With how Adebawore plays as a 3-technique, he’d slide in perfectly on the Bucs’ defensive line next to Vita Vea. There were a lot of bright spots on tape with Adebawore, from his explosiveness off the snap to his ability to defeat reach blocks. Add in what he did during the Senior Bowl and how he blew up the Scouting Combine, and he’s destined to be a first-round pick. He’s met with the Bucs, and I’m sure they feel the same way about the versatile defensive lineman.

20. Seattle Seahawks — Joey Porter (CB – Penn State)

This one just screams Seattle. Obviously, we’re unsure if Porter slips past the Patriots or Steelers, but if he does, I’d be somewhat surprised if the Seahawks let him slide. He fits exactly what the Seahawks look for in a cornerback with his length at 6-foot-2 and 193-pound frame. His 34-inch arms immediately stand out on tape, and he’s incredibly active at the catch point. He’ll need to not be so hesitant in the NFL, but the pairing of Woolen and Porter makes life difficult for receivers across the league.

21. Los Angeles Chargers — Bryan Bresee (DT – Clemson)

While I did consider a defensive back in this spot, I think the Chargers could look at finding an upgrade along the interior of their defensive line. They’ll do so by selecting a former number-one-ranked high school recruit. Injuries held Bryan Bresee from reaching his true potential at Clemson, but there were flashes. If healthy, he can provide an immediate impact in the NFL due to his athletic ability and lateral quickness. Going to the Chargers, Bresee would provide an upgrade as a 3-technique for their defense. Pairing him with Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack should lead to success for the Chargers’ defense.

22. Kansas City Chiefs (Mock Trade with Baltimore) — Zay Flowers (WR – Boston College)

I do believe that if there’s any team in the backend of the first round looking to trade up, it’s the Kansas City Chiefs. They’ve got 10 total picks for the draft and could easily part with half of them and still be in contention for the Super Bowl. With that, I think they’ve got one of these receivers near the top of their board. If I had to guess off the way they’ve drafted in the past at the position, Zay Flowers is right up their alley. His size is comparable to Mecole Hardman, who they lost in free agency. Hardman is 5-foot-10 and 187 pounds, while Flowers is 5-foot-9 and 183 pounds. With Flowers, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds and is a vicious route runner. He’s got the ability to win vertically, and with Patrick Mahomes throwing him the football, it’s a win-win for the Chiefs’ offense.

Trade Details:
BAL receives: 2023 1st Round Pick (31st overall), 2023 3rd Round Pick (95th overall) and 2023 4th Round Pick (122nd overall)
KC receives: 2023 1st Round Pick (22nd overall)

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

It’s possible that the Vikings consider a pass-catcher in this spot, but it feels like a spot where they upgrade their defense. Last season, Minnesota had one of the worst-ranked pass defenses by giving up the second most passing yards (4,515). With Brian Flores taking over their defense, he’ll want a physical cornerback that can jam receivers at the line of scrimmage. Deonte Banks provides that with his 6-foot and 197-pound frame. He’s strong and is able to redirect receivers off their routes once the ball is snapped. He’ll need some refinement with his overall technique, but he’d be a perfect fit for the Vikings’ new-look defense.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars — Lukas Van Ness (EDGE – Iowa)

Big, powerful edge rushers are exactly what Jaguars GM Trent Baalke looks for in the NFL Draft. Despite adding Travon Walker with the first overall pick last year, that’s not going to prevent him from selecting a 6-foot-5 and 272-pound edge rusher. Van Ness has a good overall frame that could still add some muscle once acclimated to the NFL. He’ll need to fix his base at the next level, but he’s got a great blend of power and speed. Hopefully, the former high school hockey player can find some ice down in Florida to skate around on in his spare time.

25. New York Giants — Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – Ohio State)

After the Scouting Combine, it felt like Jaxon Smith-Njigba was going to be the first receiver off the board. While that could still happen, it does feel like that’s started to change, with teams showing heavy interest in Zay Flowers over the last week or so. That said, I’d expect JSN to be selected soon after Flowers. There might not be a better spot for him than the New York Giants. After all, nobody has done more with less than quarterback Daniel Jones. By adding JSN, the Giants get a receiver that posted a 3-cone drill at 6.57 seconds. That’s a huge plus, as it matches what we saw on tape with him. He’s shifty as a route runner and finds ways to make defenders miss in the short areas of the field. I think head coach Brian Daboll can get creative with JSN on pre-snap orbit and jet motions.

26. Dallas Cowboys — Dalton Kincaid (TE – Utah)

Could the Cowboys be showing their draft plans after not bringing back tight end Dalton Schultz? Sure, the financials will always be questioned, but Schultz was a big part of the Cowboys’ offense. He had 69 receptions for Dallas last season — that was the second most on the team. They’ll need to replace that production, and fortunately, they can do so with Dalton Kincaid. By adding him, the Cowboys get the most sure-handed pass catcher in the draft. During his career at Utah, Kincaid only had one career drop. He is a perfect fit for today’s NFL with how he threatens defenses vertically while having great run after the catch ability.

27. Buffalo Bills — Trenton Simpson (LB – Clemson)

Part of me believes that the Bills are circling in on Florida guard O’Cyrus Torrence with their first-round pick. Last year, it felt like Kaiir Elam at this time, and now it feels like Torrence. I’ll see how that sounds in about a week. For now, I’m sticking with what I’ve done in the past, and that’s a linebacker. Replacing Tremaine Edmunds won’t be easy for this defense, and there’s a good chance we see a run on linebackers in the second round. The Bills go after the top choice. Simpson isn’t for everyone, but he’s a versatile playmaker who was asked to wear a lot of hats in the Clemson defense. He’s got very good range, and his 4.43 speed can threaten the opposition on every snap. Pairing him with Matt Milano is a recipe for success.

28. Cincinnati Bengals — Brian Branch (S – Alabama)

Losing Jessie Bates won’t be easy for the Bengals. They brought in Nick Scott on a cheap three-year contract, but that might not be enough for their defense. Add in the fact that they’ve also got an aging defensive back in Mike Hilton as their slot corner, and he gave up 56 receptions (per PFF) last season. They can also get out of both of those players’ contracts after this season if needed. With that, the best safety in the class this year is Brian Branch. While his 4.58 speed will get tested, Branch does play well near the box and when covering the slot. He’s a fearless tackler and has no issues running upfield. I’d expect him to pair nicely with players such as Cam Taylor-Britt and Daxton Hill.

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

During my NFL Draft Stock Report, I mentioned the New Orleans Saints as a team to keep tabs on when talking about Will McDonald. They’ve done their homework on him, and he fits what they’re looking for in an edge rusher to play opposite Cameron Jordan. With McDonald, you’ll need to simplify his role in the NFL to strictly rush off the edge, but his versatility is a benefit. He almost has 35-inch arms with his 6-foot-4 and 239-pound frame. While he’s long, he can add some muscle, but he’s already an established pass-rusher with a good motor and spin move.

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

It should be no surprise if the Eagles go back to the trenches in this spot. They lost Javon Hargrave to the 49ers, and Fletcher Cox is nearing the end of his career. While the Eagles took Jordan Davis last year, they’ll get a perfect compliment to Davis by selecting Calijah Kancey. He’s certainly an outlier with his 6-foot-1 and 281-pound frame, but he’s an explosive interior defensive lineman. Kancey comes to the table with a plan, and he attacks it every chance he gets. Consistently working his hands, he can help with both passing and running downs. Putting him next to Jordan Davis should give him the opportunity to work one-on-one with offensive linemen more often than not.

31. Baltimore Ravens (Mock Trade with Kansas City) — Emmanuel Forbes (CB – Mississippi State)

As much as I’d like to believe that the Ravens would add Quentin Johnston or Jordan Addison in this spot, I just can’t see it happening. When the consensus believes a team will add a playmaker, they do the opposite. In this scenario, Baltimore moves back a few spots and gains additional draft capital — something that GM Eric DeCosta has stated he’d like to do. They need help opposite Marlon Humphrey, and they’ll take a shot here with Emmanuel Forbes. They’ve visited with him, and I could see them liking the former baseball player. Forbes checked into his Pro Day at 173 pounds, which was seven pounds heavier than he was at the Scouting Combine. With 32 1/4-inch arms, his length jumps off the screen with his wiry frame. Meanwhile, he posted a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds. His ball skills (14 career interceptions) could win over a war room, and I could see that team being the Ravens.

Trade Details:
BAL receives: 2023 1st Round Pick (31st overall), 2023 3rd Round Pick (95th overall) and 2023 4th Round Pick (122nd overall)
KC receives: 2023 1st Round Pick (22nd overall)

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