So, CBS Sports released a mock where Anthony Richardson was the first pick overall. I guess any publicity is good publicity. Let us go ahead and fix all of that nonsense real quick.
Note: There is a large chance that a quarterback will be picked first overall, but I do not project trades in my mocks. Guessing players is enough.
|DT Jalen Carter, Georgia – 6’3, 300 lbs||30 tackles, 3 sacks||Jalen Carter is emerging as the best player in this class. The Georgia defense has had a plethora of top prospects the past few years, but Carter is the most talented of the group. He has the talent to be an All-Pro as a rookie, and would instantly be one of the best players on the hapless Bears roster.|
|QB Bryce Young, Alabama – 6’0, 194 lbs||245-380, 3328 yards, 32 TD, 5 INT||Even though they lost out on the top overall pick, Houstin is in good position to finally adress the quarterback position. I refuse to put Anthony Richardson or Will Levis at the top of the quarterback heap. Those are the type of decisions that get scouting staffs fired. If Bryce Young was slightly bigger, this would be a no-braine pick. He has the best mix of ability, arm strength and improvosation in this class.|
|EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama – 6’4, 243 lbs||51 tackles, 10 sacks, 1 INT||The Cardinals defense is in shambles. With the third overall pick, they should have an opportunity to draft either Jalen Carter or Will Anderson Jr. Either player would fill a huge need. Anderson is the guy here. He is the best pass rusher in this class, and can definitely play defensive end if Arizona switches its scheme.|
|QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State – 6’3, 218 lbs||258-389, 3688 yards, 41 TD, 6 INT||It is absolutely laughable that Will Levis is often ranked above CJ Stroud (let along Bryce Young) amongst so called experts. Why so low on Stroud? Sure, he plays with a ton of NFL talent, but all he has done in two years as a starter is produce at an extremely high level, including carving up an all world Georgia defense. I think he will be a very solid pro. The Colts put on one of the most impressive mid-to-late season tanking jobs in NFL history, and it looks like it will pay off with a chance to draft a new quarterback.|
|DE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech – 6’6, 275 lbs||61 tackles, 7 sacks||From DEN
Seattle’s offense is good enough to win some playoff games, so they need to invest heavy on defense. Tyree Wilson has been a late bloomer who really started to produce as a redshirt junior and has carried that over as a fifth year senior. He is a good pass rusher and is also built strong enough to hold up against a run.
|DE Myles Murphy, Clemson – 6’5, 275 lbs||40 tackles, 6.5 sacks||From LAR
The 9-8 Lions finished the season with a flurry, and even though it did not result in a playoff berth, things are looking bright. The offense is in good hands with Jared Goff and company, meaning they can continue to devote resources to the defense. Myles Murphy is not the athletic freak that a Chase Young or Nick Bosa is, but he is a very reliable run defender and pass rusher with a high floor. He, along with Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston, could make pass rushing a real strength.
Las Vegas Raiders
|QB Will Levis, Kentucky – 6’3, 232 lbs||185-283, 2406 yards, 19 TD, 10 INT||I am not a huge Will Levis fan. He is already 23, has not shown up in big games this year and is undisciplined. But you cannot underestimate the desperation of some NFL teams, and no one screams desperation quite like the Las Vegas Raiders. I think they are going to try to get a veteran quarterback, but until that happens, I have to mock a quarterback.|
|DE Lukas Van Ness, Iowa – 6’5, 269 lbs||36 tackles, 6.5 sacks||Pass rushing and quarterbacks are the name of the game when it comes to the 2023 draft. Bad teams usually need one or both, which is the case for the Atlanta Falcons. Lukas Van Ness only has two years of play under his belt, but is a tremendous athlete and pass rusher who should use the combine to spring board up the board.|
|QB Anthony Richardson, Florida – 6’4, 232 lbs||176-327, 2549 yards, 17 TD, 9 INT||Based on pure talent, Anthony Richardson may be at the top of this class. He is built like Cam Newton and is a true dual threat. He also greatly improved his accuracy and decision making as the year went on. An ultimate wild card to be sure, and a multi-year project, but there will be a team that just cannot help itself. The Panthers could very well be that team, especially if forced to envision another season with a Sam Darnold type.|
|CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon – 6’2, 201 lbs||51 tackles, 4 INT||From NO
The Eagles have a very deep roster, but defensive end and cornerback stand out as two need areas. Fortunately, they stole this pick from the Saints and will be in good position to add a difference maker. There is not a consensous CB1 in this class, but I like Christian Gonzalez’s mix of size and speed.
|OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State – 6’6, 310 lbs||N/A||I am a huge Paris Johnson Jr. fan. He is a former top recruit who worked his way into the starting lineup as a sophomore, not an easy task on a team full of NFL prospects. He has anchored one of the top passing attacks in college as a junior. The Titans are likely to release Taylor Lewan, making this an easy fit.|
|DT Bryan Bresee, Clemson – 6’5, 305 lbs||15 tackles, 3.5 sacks||From CLE
Bryan Bresee was a monster as a freshman at Clemson, but has struggled with a variety of issues his past two years, and his stock as suffered as a result. Still, there was a reason he was formerly the top overall prospect in the country, as he offers rare pass rushing ability from the interior. He is one of the few players in this class with true star potential, and would be a very nice gamble for a Texans team that has quite a few first round picks coming up.
New York Jets
|OT Broderick Jones, Georgia – 6’4, 310 lbs||N/A||Other than quarterback, which will probably be a veteran in 2023, offensive line is easily the biggest need on the roster. Broderick Jones only has two years of on the field experience, but he has Pro Bowl upside, thanks to rare athleticism and agility.|
New England Patriots
|CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois – 6’1, 180 lbs||42 tackles, 3 INT||Devon Witherspoon is not the most known out of all the top cornerbacks, but he definitely had the best 2022 season. He only allowed 22 receptions the entire year. The Patriots lost a bunch of depth in the secondary the past couple of off-seasons, and Witherspoon should be able to step in right away.|
Green Bay Packers
|TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame – 6’4, 265 lbs||67 rec, 809 yards, 9 TD||Drafting tight ends in the first round is always risky, but Michael Mayer would be a great fit. He is not a supreme athlete like Kyle Pitts or TJ Hockenson, but represents solid value here. He is a reception hog who would be a great safety net for what could be a very young passing attack in Green Bay.|
|CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State – 6’2, 198 lbs||27 tackles||Joey Porter Jr. only has one career interception on his resume, but that does not always tell the full story. He is big, strong, tackles like a safety and is hardly tested. Washington’s secondary was a mess last year, and that caused the entire defense to suffer.|
|OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern – 6’4, 315 lbs||N/A||Northwestern had an absolutely miserable 2022 season, but that was not Peter Skoronski’s fault. He earned spectacular offensive line grades from all analysts. There are questions as to whether he is a tackle or guard long term, but either way, he is a beast, especially in the run game. The Steelers often sit back and let great prospects fall to them, and that happens once again here. This time, the player fills the biggest need on the roster.|
|HB Bijan Robinson, Texas – 6’0, 220 lbs||258 rushes, 1580 yards, 18 TD||Imagine how good the Lions would be with a true three down threat at running back like Bijan Robinson? It is hard to find a fit for running backs in mocks, especially one who has handled the rock 258 times already this season. Still, he has carried that often because he is damn good at it, averaging over 6 yards per carry. He is a great receiver as well, making him a true three down back, and those guys are still picked in the early-to-mid first round.|
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia – 6’2, 210 lbs||42 tackles, 2 INT||This is a great class for cornerbacks. Kelee Ringo might be the most talented of the bunch, and had a great sophomore season for the Bulldogs. I expect him to have a fantastic combine and shoot back up into the top fifteen. The Buccaneers secondary was exposed in 2022, and their best cornerback is a free agent.|
|OG O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida – 6’5, 347 lbs||N/A||I know I said the Seahawks need to take nothing but defensive prospects, but O’Cyrus Torrence may be too good to pass up here. He is easily the best interior prospect in this class, and is the type of plug-and-play offensive guard who can take care of a starting position for the next decade.|
Los Angeles Chargers
|OT Anton Harrison, Oklahoma – 6’5, 315 lbs||N/A||The Chargers have used back to back first round picks on offensive lineman, and could easily make it three for three here. The offensive line is still that big of a need. Anton Harrison is a fringe first rounder who has the ability to crush the combine and improve his stock. He would give the Chargers a solid bookend combo, along with Rashawn Slater.|
|WR Quentin Johnston, TCU – 6’4, 215 lbs||60 rec, 1069 yards, 6 TD||The elephant in the city of Baltimore is the Lamar Jackson contract situation, but no matter what happens there, the Ravens hope to have a more balanced offensive attack in 2023, and that starts with upgrading the wideout position. Quentin Johnston has tremendous size and skills and completely dominated Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl. Sure, he put up a dud against Georgia, but so did every player on TCU’s roster.|
|WR Jordan Addison, USC – 6’0, 175 lbs||59 rec, 875 yards, 8 TD||Justin Jefferson is an All-World talent, but the Vikings could use a quick upgrade over the declining Adam Thielen.. Jordan Addison is undersized, but a true playmaker in every sense of the word. His deep threat abilities would be a nice contrast to Jefferson’s all world production.|
|SS Brian Branch, Alabama – 6’0, 193 lbs||90 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 INT||What a difference a year makes. The Jaguars are suddenly in position to draft for need instead of desperately trying to add talent. Brian Branch is a rare prospect at safety. He tackles like a linebacker, but has the speed and quickness to play a cornerback style game. He would be quite a weapon in Jacksonville’s secondary.|
New York Giants
|WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba||5 rec, 43 yards||Wide receiver is need one through five for the New York Giants, especially if they are forced to give Daniel Jones $40 million per season. Jaxon Smith-Njigba has 15 receptions in two years with a 95 catch season sandwiched in the middle. The talent and route running ability is there to be a prototypical WR2 in the NFL level.|
|OLB Drew Sanders, Arkansas – 6’5, 232 lbs||103 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 1 INT||Micah Parsons is already an All-Pro, but the rest of the linebacker group leaves something to be desired. Drew Sanders, a Texas native, showed why he was a former top recruit for Alabama, showing a complete game at outside linebacker, winding up with over 100 tackles, 9.5 sacks and even an interception for good measure.|
|HB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama – 5’11, 200 lbs||151 rushes, 926 yards, 7 TD||If there is one team picking in the 20’s that I think should go all in on running back, it is the Bills. The offense is a dynamic threat in the backfield away from being truly special. Jahmyr Gibbs is like another receiver on the field, but has the ability to run between the tackles as well.|
|TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah – 6’4, 240 lbs||70 rec, 890 yards, 8 TD||Ja’Marr Chase is a Pro Bowler, but the Bengals have questions to answer in regards to Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Hayden Hurst. It will be hard to retain all three, so drafting someone like Dalton Kincaid would help alliviate some of the pressure. Kincaid is basically a big wide receiver but he is quite an athlete.|
New Orleans Saints
|DT Tuli Tuipulotu, USC – 6’4, 290 lbs||46 tackles, 13.5 sacks||The Saints like to use picks on the defensive and offensive lines. The tackle position could use an upgrade, so I think that is a good position to mock. Tuli Tuipulotu led all of college football with 13.5 sacks. He has the versatility to back up all positions along the New Orleans defensive line.|
|EDGE Felix Anduike-Uzomah – 6’4, 255 lbs||46 tackles, 8.5 sacks||Felix Anduike-Uzomah is a bit one dimensional right now, but he can really get after the quarterback. The Eagles like to employ a deep rotation along the defensive line, so all they will ask FAU to do is pin his ears back and blitz.|
Kansas City Chiefs
|DT Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh – 6’0, 280 lbs||31 tackles, 7 sacks||Kansas City has a couple of solid pass rushers, but you can never have enough of a good thing. Calijah Kancey is definitely undersized, but he has the rare ability to rush the quarterback from the interior.|