It has been way too long since I’ve done a mock with analysis, so here you go all!
|QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State – 6’3, 214 lbs||258-389, 3688 yards, 41 TD, 6 INT||From CHI
The Panthers traded up to the very top of the draft, obviously with eyes on drafting a quarterback. They have not given any indications as to what direction they are going, but I still think CJ Stroud will be the guy here. He and Bryce Young are two very different prospects, but I believe they will both be successful. CJ Stroud has nice size, and all the experience you could ask for from a redshirt sophomore. He played in a pro style offense and helped several receivers become first round picks.
|QB Bryce Young, Alabama – 5’10, 204 lbs||245-380, 3328 yards, 32 TD, 5 INT||The Texans need a new quarterback in the worst way, and get to sit back and select whichever prospect the Panthers pass on. Despite his size, Bryce Young is my favorite quarterback in this class. He has a great arm, is a strong decision maker and can be quite the improvisor. Houston smartly waited to draft a quarterback, and with a ton of upcoming draft picks, now is the time to pounce.|
|EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Alabama – 6’4, 253 lbs||51 tackles, 10 sacks, 1 INT||With Anthony Richardson still on the board, the Cardinals could probably get a nice haul for this pick. If they stand pat, Will Anderson Jr. is the only player that makes sense. He might be the top prospect in this entire class. He is a pass rushing terror who would give the Cardinals a much needed backfield wrecker.|
|QB Anthony Richardson, Florida – 6’4, 244 lbs||176-327, 2549 yards, 17 TD, 9 INT||The Indianapolis Colts have been literally the only team to not flat out say “no” when asked about the possibility of adding Lamar Jackson. A trade will have to come together pretty quickly, and I do not see that happening as of now. So the Colts go with the immense talent that is Anthony Richardson. Richardson put on a combine masterclass and is squarely in the top ten mix, despite being extremely raw as a passer.|
|DT Jalen Carter, Georgia – 6’3, 314 lbs||30 tackles, 3 sacks||I am not going to pretend I am an insider or know anything about Jalen Carter’s recent off the field issues. They are potentially serious and career damaging, but it is simply too early to know what consequences they are going to have on his draft stock. So for now, he remains in the top five. Seattle smartly resigned Geno Smith and is poised to go for it in an extremely wide open NFC. Carter might be the most talented prospect in this whole class and would completely elevate the weak Seahawks defense.|
|DE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech – 6’6, 271 lbs||61 tackles, 7 sacks||From LAR
The Lions signed several defensive backs during free agency, making the front four the biggest need on the team. 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.
Las Vegas Raiders
|CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon – 6’1, 197 lbs||51 tackles, 4 INT||It is going to be a long rebuild for the Raiders, again, who need pretty much everything on both sides of the ball. Christian Gonzalez used a tremendous combine to solidify the top cornerback ranking in this class. He is big, blazing fast and a great cover guy. He needs to improve his run defense, but could help shore up a Las Vegas secondary that has had a ton of draft whiffs lately.|
|CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois – 6’0, 181 lbs||42 tackles, 3 INT||The Falcons have added a lot of talent during the free agency period, but the secondary still needs help. Devon Witherspoon is not the biggest or the fastest, but he is unquestionably the most technically sound cornerback in this class. He only allowed 22 receptions on the season, and should be an immediate plug and play option for Atlanta.|
|OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State – 6’6, 313 lbs||N/A||From CAR
The Bears have been extremely aggressive in adding talent to this roster during the opening days of free agency. The offensive line remains a work in progress, with only Braxton Jones and Alex Leatherwood at tackle. Paris Johnson Jr. is my favorite tackle in this class. He has his issues, but is very talented, experienced and has the ideal size and agility to be a starting left tackle in the NFL
|DE Lukas Van Ness, Iowa – 6’5, 272 lbs||36 tackles, 6.5 sacks||From CLE
The Eagles love to deploy a deep rotation along the defensive line. Lukas Van Ness technically never started a game in college, but he was a back field wrecker in 2022. He could be the same for the Eagles behind Josh Sweat and the ageless Brandon Graham.
|QB Will Levis, Kentucky – 6’4, 229 lbs||185-283, 2406 yards, 19 TD, 10 INT||I have let it be known that I am not a real Will Levis fan, but he should still be a top 20 pick. The question is fit. Tennessee drafted Malik Willis last year and still has Ryan Tannehill on the roster, but I doubt the team is happy with either. Levis would be decent value here, even though he will be a big project at the ripe old age of 24 during the 2023 season.|
|WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State – 6’1, 196 lbs||5 rec, 43 yards||From CLE
Bryce Young is the new face of the Texans, but the team traded Brandin Cooks and needs more receiving talent. Jaxon Smith-Njigba has 15 receptions in two years with a 95 catch season sandwiched in the middle. He has regained most of his pre-2023 season draft value, and has the talent and route running ability is there to be a prototypical WR2/slot at the NFL level.
New York Jets
|OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern – 6’4, 313 lbs||N/A||While Aaron Rodgers hilariously strings the Jets along like a 14 year old with a crush, offensive line remains a huge problem for the Jets. 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.|
New England Patriots
|HB Bijan Robinson, Texas – 5’11, 215 lbs lbs||258 rushes, 1580 yards, 18 TD||Bill Belichick never drafts the way analysts think he will. Remember when he took Sony Michel ijn the first round in 2018? This offense is at its best with a great running game. Bijan Robinson is strong, tough, quick enough to get the job done. He is also a great pass catcher, meaning he could be the rare running back to play all three downs.|
Green Bay Packers
|TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame – 6’5, 249 lbs||67 rec, 809 yards, 9 TD||Michael Mayer to the Packers has been a mainstay in my mocks for months. I think Mayer has the best combination of receiving and blocking skills out of any tight end in this class. He is not a supreme athlete but should be a very great safety blanket for likely 2023 starter Jordan Love.|
|CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State – 6’3, 193 lbs||27 tackles||Washington did not do much to improve a weak secondary during the free agenty period. Fortunately, this is a very deep cornerback class and they should be able to land a good one with the 16th pick. 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.|
|OT Broderick Jones, Georgia – 6’5, 311 lbs||N/A||Offensive line is unquestionably the biggest need area on the Pittsburgh roster. Broderick Jones lacks experience and is too aggressive at time, but has a load of talent and should develop into a very solid right tackle in time.|
|TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah – 6’4, 246 lbs||70 rec, 890 yards, 8 TD||The Lions traded former first round pick T.J. Hockenson. Will they use another first round pick on a tight end? Former undrafted free agent Brock Wright tops the depth chart, and the team could really use a third receiving threat. Dalton Kincaid is not a blocker, but has special ability as a pass catcher.|
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|OT Anton Harrison, Oklahoma||N/A||The Buccaneers will likely be a bottom ten team in the NFL next year, so this pick essentially kicks off a rebuild. Other than right tackle, the offensive line is a bit of a mess. Anton Harrison is technically sound and should be a quality starting left tackle in time.|
|OLB Nolan Smith, Georgia – 6’2, 238 lbs||18 tackles, 3 sacks||The Seahawks could realistically go defense this entire draft. Nolan Smith is a former number one overall recruit, who did not exactly stand out during his four seasons on a loaded Georgia defense. That all changed during the combine, where he ran a ridiculious 4.39 40 yard dash. He also showed up bigger than people thought. He has Haason Reddick like ability and could play a variety of roles for Seattle’s hybrid defense.|
Los Angeles Chargers
|DT Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh – 6’1, 281 lbs||31 tackles, 7 sacks||Calijah Kancey has drawn Aaron Donald comparisons due to college and size. Of course, he is not Donald, but he is fresh off running a 4.67 40 yard dash, showing off his tremendous athleticism. He should be strong enough to hold up as a 3-4 defensive end, and his supreme pass rushing ability is a plus. The Chargers have struggled to transition to a 3-4 defense.|
|WR Quentin Johnston, TCU – 6’3, 208 lbs||60 rec, 1069 yards, 6 TD||Baltimore’s general manager called out the receiver position as a weak spot, so he should put his money where his mouth is during the draft. Quentin Johnston may have the best size/speed combo out of any receivers, but struggled badly with drops in 2022, which is why he is still available here.|
|WR Jordan Addison, USC – 5’11, 173 lbs||59 rec, 875 yards, 8 TD||The Vikings finally chose to part with long time wideout Adam Thielen. Unless they want superstar Justin Jefferson to face constant double teams, they should look to add a legitimate WR2. Jordan Addison is not the biggest, nor is he a blazer, but he has over 200 receptions on his college resume and should be a productive compliment to Jefferson.|
|DT Bryan Bresee, Clemson – 6’6, 298 lbs||15 tackles, 3.5 sacks||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 Pro Bowl potential if it all comes together, and would be a nice gamble for the Jaguars here.|
New York Giants
|CB Deonte Banks, Maryland – 6’0, 197 lbs||38 tackles, 1 INT||Deonte Banks was one of the biggest combine winners, and looks like a safe bet to go in the 20’s this April. He ran a 4.35 40 yard dash, which is extremely impressive considering his 6’0, 200 pound frame. He is a strong tackler and developing cover guy. The Giants signed severl receivers during the free agency period, which moved secondary to the top of the needs list.|
|DE Myles Murphy, Clemson – 6’5, 268 lbs||40 tackles, 6.5 sacks||Myles Murphy slips a little bit for me because his motor can run hot and cold, and he is not the athletic freak that someone like Chase Young is. But he is only 21 years old and has the ability to be a three down lineman. He would be a nice rotation piece for the Cowboys.|
|DE Adetomiwa Adebawore||38 tackles, 5 sacks||The Bills have used several Day 1 and Day 2 picks on the defensive line and that could easily continue in 2023. Adetomiwa Adebawore was one of the combine’s biggest winners. A man as big as him should not move the way he does. He is now squarely in the first round mix as a productive all around defensive end.|
|OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee – 6’5, 333 lbs||N/A||The Bengals added Orlando Brown, but it created an additional problem with Jonah Williams, who does not want to lose out on contract money by moving to right tackle, Darnell Wright is a right tackle only, but he is tough and a very solid run blocker. Adding Wright would allow Cincinnati to move Williams.|
New Orleans Saints
|DE Keion White, Georgia Tech – 6’5, 285 lbs||54 tackles, 7.5 sacks||From SF
Keion White is a 23 year old who played on a bad football team, but used the combine to really get his name out there, and could wind up a first round pick as a result. He has great size and is a top notch athlete. Cameron Jordan is the only sure thing along a questionable New Orleans defensive line.
|HB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama – 5’9, 199 lbs||151 rushes, 926 yards, 7 TD||The Eagles let starter Miles Sanders walk during free agency. They did sign Rashaad Penny, but that is not nearly enough. Imagine Philadelphia’s explosive offense with Jahmyr Gibbs behind center. Is is small, but extremely quick and shifty, and catches the ball like an extra receiver.|
Kansas City chiefs
|TE Darnell Washington, Georgia – 6’7, 264 lbs||28 rec, 454 yards, 2 TD||Darnell Washington is what the draft community likes to call a “gosh darn unicorn”. A 6’7 man should not run a 4.64 40 yard dash. Washington is a supreme athlete who was not heavily featured in the Georgia passing attack. A lot of that had to do with his ability to block like an extra offensive lineman. Tight ends are always risky, but he has first round ability. Travis Kelce is still on the Kansas City roster, of course, but tight ends could fall off at any minute.|
One thought on “2023 NFL Mock Draft With Analysis – 4/4/23”