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NFL 2023 Final Mock Draft

We've finally made it to the best part of the NFL offseason: The Draft! After hours upon hours of film study, reading twitter threads for uber-analytical stats, and wracking my brain around how this draft will pan out, I've came up with my best guess to how the draft will play out. I don't think some of these picks are the best options, in my opinion, but hopefully will pan out for each of the teams. Let's dive into my final mock of the 2023 offseason!

Photo: Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

 

#1 Carolina Panthers (via CHI) - Bryce Young, Quarterback, Alabama


Bryce has moved his way back up to being the consensus #1 pick, despite a pro-Levis reddit thread popping up a few days before the draft. Young will be a foundational piece to Carolina's future as they prepare to conquer a lackluster NFC South.

#2 Houston Texans - Will Anderson Jr, Alabama, Edge


Demeco Ryans is a big defensive mind, and they'll need all the help they can get on that side of the ball. Anderson brings a feistiness this defense desperately needs, as the #1 guy on my board lands in Houston.


#3 Tennessee Titans (via ARZ) - CJ Stroud, Quarterback, Ohio State


Trade alert!! I don't think Tennessee should take a QB in this draft, but they won't be able to help themselves with Stroud sitting at the three spot ripe for the taking.


#4 Indianapolis Colts - Will Levis, Quarterback, Kentucky


With 2 QBs gone, the Colts make the easy choice of drafting Levis. They *hopefully* get their franchise QB.


#5 Seattle Seahawks - Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech


With Geno getting a solid contract, I think they pass up on Anthony Richardson in favor of one of the best defensive prospects this year.


#6 Detroit Lions (via LAR) - Devon Witherspoon, Cornerback, Illinois


Devon is the safer of the two cornerbacks here, and seeing as the Lions need to be sound in their secondary, they take Devon here.


#7 Las Vegas Raiders - Peter Skoronski, Tackle, Northwestern


The Raiders have plenty of needs, with the offensive line arguably being their biggest. They add the tackle/guard at the top of most draft boards.

Photo: Ryan Kuttler/Northwestern Athletics


#8 Atlanta Falcons - Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson


While I think Nolan Smith is the best edge available, the Falcons regime likes strong and tall edge players, and Murphy fits that mold perfectly.


#9 Chicago Bears (via CAR) - Jalen Carter, Defensive Tackle, Georgia


Bears have needs along the offensive and defensive line, and they take the best player available in Carter to beef up their front seven.


#10 New York Jets (via PHI via NO) - Paris Johnson Jr, Offensive Tackle, Ohio State (#11 JBB)


Trade alert!! With Paris still available, the Jets trade up to shore up their offensive line. Whether they plug him in at LT or RT, he's an immediate upgrade for them.


#11 Arizona Cardinals (via TEN) - Christian Gonzalez, Cornerback, Oregon


The Cardinals need desperate help in the secondary, so they take an elite athlete in Gonzalez to be their CB1 of the future.


#12 Houston Texans (via CLE) - Anthony Richardson, Quarterback, Florida


With Richardson falling out of the top 10, Houston pulls the trigger and gets their QB for the near future. The odds of them tanking and securing Caleb Williams next year are slim when the Rams will most likely finish last in the league.


#13 Green Bay Packers (via NYJ) - Jaxon Smith Njigba, Wide Receiver, Ohio State


Green Bay fills out their receiving room by taking the consensus WR1 in this draft. He'll be a day 1 starter in the slot and hopes to give Jordan Love some major help.


#14 New England Patriots - Zay Flowers, Wide Receiver, Boston College


New England seems to be in love with Zay, and they have a decent need at receiver. They should probably go offensive line, but they'll take the 2021 Bengals approach.


#15 Philadelphia Eagles (via NYJ via GB) - Bijan Robinson, Running Back, Texas


And there it is, the Eagles land their superstar RB to pair with Jalen Hurts. Yes they added Rashaad Penny, but they got him for pennies, Eagles take the best player available here.

Photo: Adam Davis/Associated Press


#16 Washington Commanders - Deonte Banks, Cornerback, Maryland


The DMV native stays put as the Commanders take one of the best route anticipators in this draft. He'll be fantastic in Washington's secondary, no matter the coverage.


#17 Pittsburgh Steelers - Broderick Jones, Offensive Tackle, Georgia


The Steelers need OL help, and they get it with the gargantuan tackle out of Georgia. His mix of size and athleticism is rare for tackles in general, let alone first round talents.


#18 Baltimore Ravens (via DET) - Joey Porter Jr, Cornerback, Penn State


Trade alert!! The Ravens trade up so they can snag their new starting CB in Joey Porter Jr. He'll fit in perfectly as a Raven.


#19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dalton Kincaid, Tight End, Utah


Same pick as last mock, he's the best guy available, and the Bucs need a sure-fire tight end.


#20 Seattle Seahawks - John Michael-Schmitz, Center, Minnesota


I'll be honest, I wasn't on the JMS to Seattle train until the Round Robin Mock Draft earlier this week. Now, I can't unsee it, makes too much sense for Seattle.


Miami Dolphins - Pick Forfeited


Due to Miami tampering with Tom Brady and Sean Payton in 2021, they were forced to lose their first round draft pick and will not have a pick until the second round.


#21 Los Angeles Chargers - Calijah Kancey, Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh


The Chargers need interior DL help in a big way, and Kancey brings a unique skillset to LA. He'll get to learn from Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, while starting from day 1.


#22 Detroit Lions (via BAL) - Michael Mayer, Tight End, Notre Dame


With Jamo suspended for the first six games, the Lions need a pass catcher bad. Bring in sure-handed Michael Mayer to help out Jared Goff and this pass attack.

Photo: Darron Cummings/Associated Press


#23 Minnesota Vikings - Jordan Addison, Wide Receiver, USC


With Adam Thielen gone, the Vikings need serious help in their receiver room. Addison compliments Justin Jefferson perfectly, similar to DeVonta Smith and AJ Brown.


#24 Jacksonville Jaguars - Brian Branch, Safety, Alabama


The Jags luck out with the best player available and a position of need falling to them. They need an adept nickel corner, and Branch fits that bill.


#25 New York Giants - Quentin Johnston, Wide Receiver, TCU


With other Giants needs being taken earlier, QJ falls to Big Blue and adds game breaking ability to the receiver room.


#26 Dallas Cowboys - Darnell Washington, Tight End, Georgia


This feels like a Jerry Jones move waiting to happen. He may not be the best player available, but he's a massive target for Dak who can run block really well.

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages


#27 Arizona Cardinals (via BUF) - Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia


Trade alert!! The Cards trade back into the first and double down on defense by taking the best player available. Cards will get offensive value later in the draft, while addressing a major defensive need here.


#28 Cincinnati Bengals - Darnell Wright, Offensive Tackle, Tennessee

After Jonah Williams failed to pan out, the Bengals finally take an offensive lineman in the draft. Darnell is a great pass protector, and should do well in a pass-heavy scheme.


#29 New Orleans Saints (via SF) - Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa


New Orleans needs the best defensive lineman available, and Lukas falls perfectly into their lap.


#30 Carolina Panthers (via PHI) - Will McDonald IV, Edge, Iowa State


Trade alert!! Carolina re-enters the first round and nabs Brian Burns' new partner in crime. McDonald as a true edge will be a force in the NFL.

Photo: Matthew Putney/Associated Press


#31 Kansas City Chiefs - Adetomiwa Adebawore, Edge, Northwestern


Based on how the bored fell, this pick makes the most sense. He's versatile, strong, and fills a need no matter where he lines up along the DL.

 

Final Notes:


Some final names who could go in the first round are Emmanuel Forbes, Anton Harrison, Mazi Smith, and Jamhyr Gibbs. Based on needs at certain positions, all four could very well be first rounders by Thursday night.


This draft cycle has been insane, here's to hoping this weekend lives up to the hype!

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