2023 NFL Mock Draft (First Round)
Hey everyone it’s about that time again and this SHOULD be the final draft pending the Aaron Rodgers situation which in my opinion might involve the Jets pick here. But that aside unless someone makes last minute pick-swaps, this mock draft is conducted based on talent and needs with explanations which each pick. That said, there will be no trades.
#1 – Carolina Panthers – CJ Shroud – QB – Ohio State
It came down to two quarterbacks being taken and it just comes down to Shroud having better film and better size.
#2 – Houston Texans – Bryce Young – QB – Alabama
The Texans have been planning to draft a stud quarterback to man the ship for about a year or so. Maybe more. After a great offseason, Texans take Bryce Young. They say his size is a concern but he is prepared to start Week 1 and is a top prospect for a reason.
#3 – Arizona Cardinals – Will Anderson Jr – Edge – Alabama
Some rank Anderson Jr the best talent in this draft. With many needs this is taking the best talent available. Why not start off with pass rush? After Chandler Jones leaving over a season ago and now JJ Watt in retirement, there is a hole on the defensive front that needs serious attending to.
#4 – Indianapolis Colts – Anthony Richardson – QB – Florida
Colts ignored drafting a QB for too long. This has to be the start of a new light. Rather than hoping that a veteran can bail them out. Richardson is the next man up. The talent is there. It comes down to getting him in the right position and all on coaching from here on out.
#5 – Seattle Seahawks – Jalen Carter – DT – Georgia
This one might be worse since Carter had a bad pro day. Including nine pounds of weight gained and not having the stamina to go through everything. Conditioning is a red flag, but the Seahawks camp will take the chance to get him on the same page and have him involved to help the Seahawks battle for the division.
#6 – Detroit Lions – Devon Witherspoon – CB – Illinois
Based on needs they are going with the best corner in the draft. No need to reach for a defensive lineman and linebacker as far as talent rankings won’t really come until around the second round. Corner is a need and Detroit will take advantage.
#7 – Las Vegas Raiders – Will Levis – QB – Kentucky
The Raiders did sign a veteran, aging, and fragile quarterback this offseason and it is a very upfront for a contract. Have Levisstay behind the man that taught Trey Lance and Brock Purdy for a little while. They have time. Because they are the worst team in their division at this point in time. Best case third place in the AFC West. Build while you can.
#8 – Atlanta Falcons – Tyree Wilson – Edge – Texas Tech
With a young offense that is still cooking with a young sophomore quarterback with good weapons in Drake London and Kyle Pitts, the Falcons should go get some pass rush. Their defense since the Super Bowl lose has had inconsistent defenses. Time to make a good move and get back on track. With maybe hope to make the division a little interesting.
#9 – Chicago Bears – Peter Skoronski – OT – Northwestern
With the Bears going all-in on Justin Fields and rightfully so, the best thing to do for the whole offense is to get him the best offensive lineman on the board. Especially after striking out on names such as Orlando Brown Jr in free agency.
#10 – Philadelphia Eagles – Bijan Robinson – RB – Texas
The Eagles lost Miles Sanders in free agency. They kept their defense intact and lack a rusher. If anyone thinks they needed to get a big time rusher, just keep in mind that every Super Bowl between 2009-2022 the Super Bowl winning lead rusher earned 2.5M base salary or less. That stat is one of the reasons why running backs aren’t having paydays anymore. Plan for the Eagles to be a big rushing threat yet again.
#11 – Tennessee Titans – Jaxon Smith-Njigba – WR – Ohio State
The Titans put themselves in the corner trying to be the Patriots by have a mediocre wide receiver core, bad developed wide receivers that were drafted, and upgraded their O-Line from the recent free agency. With the Titans most likely with a closing window and a year away from breaking it all down due to guaranteed money on Henry, Tannehill, and Byard in limbo, they are still trying to contend in the weak division.
#12 – Houston Texans – Quentin Johnston – WR – TCU
With Brandin Cooks traded, time to get their new quarterback a new target. With many predicting one or the two best wide receivers in this draft class.
#13 – New York Jets – Paris Johnson – OT – Ohio State
Once again, pending Aaron Rodgers compensation to the Packers. But with Duane Brown old, Mechi Becton more fragile than a cheap glass, the Jets need more line help. This team is in win now mode and needs to attend the elephant in the room. All the Jets QBs run around like headless chickens behind their offensive line the last two years. Period.
#14 – New England Patriots – Brian Branch – S – Alabama
With one of their safeties retiring, time for Belichick to fill those shoes fast. The offense will be fine with Bill O’Brien calling the shots. Could use an offensive lineman but I wouldn’t go high because Belichick knows how to find, draft, and develop them. Best thing to do for the Patriots is replace their safety and stay the course.
#15 – Green Bay Packers – Lukas Van Ness – Edge – Iowa
The Packers will eventually trade Aaron Rodgers and then see what they will do with Jordan Love who they already agreed to his fifth year option. This will be a transition period where the offense is young and as long as Jordan Love can game manage correctly, will keep it interesting. In the meantime, they need pass rush.
#16 – Washington Commanders – Christian Gonzalez – CB – Oregon
Washington is in an awkward stage. Worst team in the division, in a time where the ownership will change, and sometime during the year head coach Ron Rivera might even be shown the door. This is a take the best man available type move.
#17 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Joey Porter Jr – CB – Penn State
The Steelers lost pieces of their secondary in free agency. Time to replace one of those pieces with a next man up.
#18 – Detroit Lions – Calijah Kancey – DT – Pittsburgh
Who wouldn’t sign up to have the best DT combo potentially in the game? Help the pass rush and help the kneecap biting Lions to become a respectable franchise again. Who says no?
#19 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dalton Kincaid – TE – Utah
The weapons depth chart is getting thin in Tampa. That along with salary cap purgatory doesn’t help in the slightest. The Bucs could use a tight end to help block with the run game and be another option. There is Evans, Godwin, Gage, and then it runs dry. They could use someone else. And it can start with the top rated top TE in this draft class. No matter who is calling the shots under center, this team needs more star power and blocking on the edge.
#20 – Seattle Seahawks – Nolan Smith – Edge – Georgia
Last year’s draft was about Seattle getting their offense together. This year is helping the defense out. The Seahawks can start looking scary. They aren’t the 49ers, but the NFC West is interesting.
Miami Dolphins – Forfeited
Blame the owner for trying to tamper. Next.
#21 – Los Angeles Chargers – Deonte Banks – CB – Maryland
JC Jackson has a lot of drama going on. A knee injury, an arrest, and in a division with Patrick Mahomes they want to keep the defense up to par.
#22 – Baltimore Ravens – Myles Murphy – Edge – Clemson
The Ravens need one more pass rusher. Based on who is on the board no need to stretch at wide receiver at this time.
#23 – Minnesota Vikings – Bryan Breese – DT – Clemson
The Vikings need everything defense. Take the best available and keep on building. This potentially might be the last year for the Vikings before the door closes. With the second worse defense in the NFL last year, they need to improve. The NFC North is theirs to lose, but playoff time they can’t lose in the first round again.
#24 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Anton Harrison – OT – Oklahoma
It’s amazing that the Jags lost to the Super Bowl winners in the playoffs. The team has high hopes. With the interior O-Line needing help and losing a left tackle in free agency makes protection Trevor Lawrence who still could be a top 10 quarterback in the league some good blockers.
#25 – New York Giants – Zay Flowers – WR – Boston College
The biggest knock on the Giants was the wide receiver core. Add a fast receiver that knows how to create space. That’s going to be tough to match up with since Daniel Jones will have Waller, Hodgins, Slayton, and then Flowers for the depth with injury concerns with half the unit.
#26 – Dallas Cowboys – Michael Mayer – TE – Notre Dame
With their tight end gone there is an empty hole there. Then there is a 6’4” 250-pound blocker that caught 67 balls for 809 yards and 9 touchdowns. This has Jerry written all over it.
#27 – Buffalo Bills – Jordan Addison – WR – USC
The Bills need to upgrade at WR. They need to get a little younger and some scared that Stefon Diggs may want out. Just a rumor however. Either way after Diggs who is WR2? Gabe Davis that is very inconsistent? No one is dependable and that has been exposed.
#28 – Cincinnati Bengals – Broderick Jones – OT – Georgia
Who Dey? A top 3 AFC team with a top 5 NFL quarterback. Joe Ice needs protection. He is one of the most sacked QBs in the NFL. Sacked 92 times the last two regular seasons. That needs to be priority one. Left tackle. And here they get their man.
#29 – New Orleans Saints – Mazi Smith – DT – Michigan
The Saints have two main needs. One of them is D-Line. Mazi is tough and just want New Orleans needs to keep quarterbacks honest going forward.
#30 – Philadelphia Eagles – Will McDonald IV – Edge – Iowa State
The Eagles get a type of player that can play OLB or DE for depth for the Eagles. Their defense improves and keeps that as a front runner in a division that won’t be up for grabs.
#31 – Kansas City Chiefs – Dawand Jones – OT – Ohio State
The Chiefs lost both their OT’s in free agency and only signed one. They need a replacement ASAP. The wide receiver room isn’t bad as the experts say. The Chiefs have another OT to protect Mahomes and their RB group is powerful lead by Isiah Pacheco. The defending champs will keep it moving.
There we have it. Are you happy with your team? Is it improving? Win now? Or get some talent to get by as they tank for a 2024 NFL Draft Class quarterback? Very hard choices so far and still free agents on the board (3/25/2023 upon editing).