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Kent Weyrauch’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft w/ Trades (8.0)

Kent Weyrauch’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft w/ Trades (8.0)

Now that the NFL Free Agency period is dwindling down, it’s time to make another mock draft! It’s a good opportunity 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 Draft Guide: Prospect Rankings & Player Profiles

2023 NFL Mock Draft

Round 1

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

Many NFL Draft talking heads and beat writers have been coming out in support of the Panthers targeting Bryce Young with their newly acquired first-overall selection. It was recently leaked that he scored the highest among quarterbacks in the S2 cognition test. Bottom line is that he’s the most complete passer in this class and posted outstanding performances in SEC competition.

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

C.J. Stroud has many elite traits that the Texans will fall in love with. The only red flag is his decision-making process under pressure. If he cleans that up, the Texans will have a bright future.

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3. Seattle Seahawks: Anthony Richardson (QB – Florida)

Trade Alert! The Seahawks send No. 5, No. 37 and a 2024 2nd-round pick for No. 3 overall.

The Seahawks see an opportunity here to jump the Colts and secure the most intriguing quarterback in this class – Anthony Richardson. This situation would provide a season buffer for Richardson to hone his accuracy problems and reach his potential ceiling.

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4. Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis (QB – Kentucky)

The Seahawks trade leaves the Colts in a bit of mud since they’re “taking the scraps” with Will Levis. However, I do think they have a genuine interest in him. Levis shows moxie and has plenty of arm talent.

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

Trade Alert! Cardinals receive No. 5, No. 37, and a 2024 2nd-round pick for No. 3 overall.

This would be an outstanding outcome for the Cardinals. During the free agency period, the Cardinals signed two stop-gap defensive tackles, but edge remains a glaring need. Will Anderson is a blue-chip edge rusher that requires no further explanation. He’s a slam dunk at No. 5 overall.

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

Despite Jalen Carter’s legal issues and sloppy pro day, his agent is insisting that Carter will only take top-30 team meetings from NFL teams drafting in the first 10 picks. While that might be a bit bold, it’s certainly a way to galvanize interest from top teams. Because of this, the Lions roll the dice and make a push to claim the NFC North title.

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7. Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Gonzalez (CB – Oregon)

The Raiders have a gaping need at cornerback, and Christian Gonzalez is likely the top corner in this class. Lock it in.

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8. Atlanta Falcons: Tyree Wilson (EDGE – Texas Tech)

Ever since the NFL Combine, draftniks have been sneaking Tyree Wilson further up draft boards — and for good reason. He is long and powerful in his pursuit of opposing passers. Still, with a quarterback-heavy mock like this, he shakes out to the Falcons, who could certainly use his expertise.

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9. Chicago Bears: Paris Johnson Jr. (OL – Ohio State)

There has been a bit of heat for Peter Skoronski here, but ultimately I think that the Bears take the prototypical left tackle of the class in Paris Johnson Jr..

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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 unable 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: Peter Skoronski (OT – Northwestern)

With Johnson Jr. gone in this rendition, the Titans are still quite happy to select Skoronski. They are currently projected to start members of their accounting staff on the offensive line, so Skoronski’s versatility will suit the Titans well. Skoronski allowed just six pressures on 474 pass-blocking snaps for Northwestern this season, per PFF.

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

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, which still needs 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 before free agency. However, with the tackles moving up boards during the process (as always), 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. Cincinnati Bengals: Bijan Robinson (RB – Texas)

Trade Alert! The Bengals trade No. 28, No. 60 and a 2024 2nd-round pick for No. 17 and No. 120.

This is a bit of a spicy trade, but it makes sense, given Joe Mixon‘s off-field issues and contract situation. Bijan Robinson is an explosive running back with elite vision and footwork. The Bengals are looking for dynamic ways to make it past the AFC title game, and this certainly gives them an opportunity there.

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

The Lions signed a few defensive backs during free agency, but don’t exactly have a secured long-term plan in place. Deonte Banks is an explosive athlete who uses his size effectively in press assignments.

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Dynasty Rookie Draft Kit

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 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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20. Seattle Seahawks: Myles Murphy (DE – Clemson)

Myles Murphy might be on the rise again. 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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Miami Dolphins forfeited their pick.

21. Los Angeles Chargers: 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 Chargers team that is looking for a longer-term top receiver. Flowers’ route-running and ball-tracking skills should boost their offense on day one.

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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, a receiver 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: 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. Given the uncertainty of their younger cornerbacks and Harrison Smith being on the path of aging out, the Vikings could use that versatility.

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24. Jacksonville Jaguars: O’Cyrus Torrence (OG – Florida)

The big man out of Florida heads to the Jaguars 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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25. New Orleans Saints: Calijah Kancey (DT – Pittsburgh)

Trade Alert! Saints trade No. 29 and No. 71 for No. 25 and No. 160.

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 three-technique, and he can use that to make up for his lack of natural size. The Saints use some of their acquired draft capital from the Sean Payton trade to secure Kancey and bolster their defensive line.

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26. Dallas Cowboys: Mazi Smith (DT – Michigan)

This connection has been popping up more and more in Draft circles recently. Mazi Smith is a big, strong nose tackle that pivoted to B-gap and occasionally over-tackle assignments. His motor and power have piqued several teams’ interest for good reason.

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27. Buffalo Bills: Darnell Wright (OT – Tennessee)

This would be a great fit. The Bills still need a right tackle, and Darnell Wright is the premier right tackle in this class. Once he became the full-time right tackle for Tennessee in his senior year, he allowed just seven pressures and zero sacks, per PFF.

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28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Anton Harrison (OT – Oklahoma)

Trade Alert! The Steelers receive No. 28, No. 60, and a 2024 2nd-round pick for No. 17 and No. 120.

Similarly to the Bills, this would be a great match for the Steelers. They still need a left tackle, and while Anton Harrison isn’t leading the charge from a prospect perspective, he is solidly at the top of the second tier of left tackles in this class. After trading down, this would be a dream scenario for the Steelers.

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29. New York Giants: Cam Smith (CB – South Carolina)

Trade Alert! The Giants receive No. 29 and No. 71 for No. 25 and No. 160.

With the top receivers off the board at 25, the Giants move down to recoup some draft capital and approach the board from a new perspective. At 29, they nab Cam Smith from South Carolina, a great corner with the speed to play vertical threats effectively.

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30. Philadelphia Eagles: Adetomiwa Adebawore (DE/DT – Northwestern)

The Eagles haven’t set up any top-30 visits with Adetomiwa Adebawore yet, but several teams at the top of the second round are eyeing him (the Bears, Rams and Saints). Adebawore moved all around the defensive line and showed off elite athleticism at the Combine.

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31. Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Bresee (DT  – Clemson)

This landing spot would allow Bryan Bresee to rotate in on schemed plays, then put his creativity and burst into use. The Chiefs could use him as a one-tech for the time being and work as an insurance policy for Chris Jones. He might need to get more weight on his 6’5″ frame.

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Round 2

32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Emmanuel Forbes (CB – Mississippi State)
33. Houston Texans: Michael Mayer (TE – Notre Dame)
34. Carolina Panthers: Will McDonald (EDGE – Iowa State)
35. Indianapolis Colts: Drew Sanders (LB – Arkansas)
36. Los Angeles Rams: B.J. Ojulari (EDGE – LSU)
37. Arizona Cardinals: Kelee Ringo (CB – Georgia)
38. Las Vegas Raiders: Antonio Johnson (S – Texas A&M)
39. Arizona Cardinals: Steve Avila (OG – TCU)
40. New Orleans Saints: Josh Downs (WR – North Carolina)
41. Tennessee Titans: Jalin Hyatt (WR – Tennessee)
42. New York Jets: Jack Campbell (LB – Iowa)
43. New York Jets: John Michael Schmitz (IOL – Minnesota)
44. Atlanta Falcons: Hendon Hooker (QB – Tennesee)
45. Green Bay Packers: Dalton Kincaid (TE – Utah)
46. New England Patriots: Dawand Jones (OT – Ohio State)
47. Washington Commanders: Trenton Simpson (LB – Clemson)
48. Detroit Lions: Darnell Washington (TE – Georgia)
49. Pittsburgh Steelers: Daiyan Henley (LB – Washington State)
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cody Mauch (OG – North Dakota State)
51. Miami Dolphins: Luke Musgrave (TE – Oregon State)
52. Seattle Seahawks: Luke Wypler (IOL – Ohio State)
53. Chicago Bears: Felix Anudike-Uzomah (EDGE – Kansas State)
54. Los Angeles Chargers: Tuli Tuipulotu (DT – USC)
55. Detroit Lions: Keion White (EDGE – Georgia Tech)
56. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyrique Stevenson (CB – Miami)
57. New York Giants: Joe Tippmann (IOL – Wisconsin)
58. Dallas Cowboys: Jahmyr Gibbs (RB – Alabama)
59. Buffalo Bills: Clark Phillips III (CB – Utah)
60. Pittsburgh Steelers: Keeanu Benton (DT – Wisconson)
61. Chicago Bears: Julius Brents (CB – Kansas State)
62. Philadelphia Eagles: Sydney Brown (S – Illinois)
63. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler Scott (WR – Cincinnati)

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