The 2023 NFL Draft is hours away! Before the proceedings in Kansas City, I teamed up with six NFL experts — John Volk, Patrick Andres, Christian Clark, Davis Johnson, Tristan Tucker and Bradley Locker — to give it a go at drafting for the 31 first-round picks. Each general manager was tasked with improving his team as much as possible, whether through ace selections or high-reward trades.
We’ve also run this mock draft in 2020, 2021 and 2022. We’ll see if we improve this time around!
And… here… we… go…
1) Carolina Panthers (Christian) – Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
2) Houston Texans (Bradley) — CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
3) Las Vegas Raiders (Davis) — Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
Trade between Arizona Cardinals and Las Vegas Raiders: 3 for 7 and next year’s 1
4) Indianapolis Colts (John R) — Will Anderson, LB, Alabama
5) Seattle Seahawks (John V) — Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia
6) Detroit Lions (Patrick) — Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
7) Arizona Cardinals (Tristan) — Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
8) Atlanta Falcons (John) — Peter Skoronski, G/T, Northwestern
BREAKDOWN: At the top, it’s all quarterbacks. The Panthers go Bryce Young as expected with CJ Stroud close behind, while the Raiders push all their chips to the center of the table and go with red-hot prospect Anthony Richardson from Florida. The next four picks switch over to the defensive side of the ball, with the Colts opting defense instead of a quarterback and all three levels of the defense represented. Top offensive lineman Peter Skoronski rounds out the top fourth of the draft, joining a young Atlanta squad with NFC South aspirations.
9) Chicago Bears (Christian) — Paris Johnson, Jr., OT, Ohio State
10) Houston Texans (Bradley) — Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
Trade between Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles: 10 for 12 and 73
11) Tennessee Titans (Davis) — Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
12) Green Bay Packers (Patrick) — Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Trade between Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles: 12 for 13 and 116
13) Philadelphia Eagles (Tristan) — Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
14) Dallas Cowboys (John) — Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
Trade between Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots: 14 for 26, a future 2nd, a 4th
15) New York Jets (Christian) — Calijah Kancey, DL, Pitt
16) Washington Commanders (Tristan) — Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
BREAKDOWN: The NFC champions are plenty active, wheeling down from the 10th to the 13th pick while accumulating some mid- and late-rounders. In more aggressive moves, the Cowboys move up from 26 to bolster their pass rush with Lukas Van Ness. Other highlights include Will Levis heading to Tennessee to compete with Ryan Tannehill and Malik Willis, Jaxon Smith-Njigba teaming with Jordan Love in Green Bay and Chicago giving Justin Fields some help with Paris Johnson.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers (Bradley) — Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
18) Detroit Lions (Patrick) — Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Davis) — Brian Branch, S, Alabama
20) Seattle Seahawks (John V) — Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
21) Los Angeles Chargers (John R) — Jordan Addison, WR, USC
22) Baltimore Ravens (John R) — Joey Porter, Jr., CB, Penn State
23) Minnesota Vikings (John V) — Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
24) Jacksonville Jaguars (Davis) — OCyrus Torrence, OG, Florida
BREAKDOWN: The most eye-popping development to headline of the round’s back half is Minnesota’s selection of Hendon Hooker, who blossomed with the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturdays this fall and could succeed Kirk Cousins as the Vikings QB of the future. Pete Carroll also makes a splash, shoving aside his front office to grab a running back. This section is a strong mix of offense and defense and trenches and skill players.
25) New York Giants (Patrick) — Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
26) New England Patriots (Davis) — Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State
27) Buffalo Bills (Bradley) — Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
28) Cincinnati Bengals (Christian) — Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
29) New Orleans Saints (Patrick) — Adetomiwa Adebawore, EDGE, Northwestern
30) Philadelphia Eagles (Tristan) — Mazi Smith, DL, Michigan
31) Kansas City Chiefs (John) — Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson
BREAKDOWN: A run on defensive linemen and edge rushers concludes the first round. After the Giants and Bills opt for receivers, the Bengals, Saints, Eagles and Chiefs load up with potent pass rushers who could make an immediate impact. Quentin Johnson landing with Buffalo could make for an exciting OPOY candidacy with Josh Allen under center.