TWSN 2023 NFL Mock Draft 5.0

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

TWSN 2023 NFL Mock Draft 5.0


TWSN 2023 NFL Mock Draft 5.0

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

1 Houston Texans Bryce Young, Quarterback, Alabama

When a franchise quarterback is available, you pull the trigger. The Houston Texans are not a talented football team and have needs all over the field, but none are greater than the need under center. 2021 Heisman winner Bryce Young has the arm strength, mobility, and poise to be a high-level starter in the NFL. His small stature is a concern, but not enough to pass on him with no better alternatives on the market or on the roster. As a bonus, he would reunite with his college target, John Metchie III. Houston has been competitive in recent games, and Young would provide the stability and upside at quarterback to raise them out of the league’s bottom tier.


2 Chicago Bears Jalen Carter, Defensive Tackle, Georgia 

Simply put, Jalen Carter has been a man amongst boys this college football season. Carter uses his explosiveness, fast twitch, and hand placement to disrupt opposing offenses. The Georgia product stands at 6’3, 300 lbs and runs a 4.9 second 40-yard dash. Chicago needs to acquire the best talent on the board, and Carter has the potential to have a Chris Jones-like impact in the Windy City.


3 Seattle Seahawks (via DEN)- Will Anderson, Edge, Alabama 

C.J. Stroud could’ve been the pick here, but Geno Smith, even with some poor play the last few weeks, should be the starter for at least 2023. The offense is capable, but the defense still needs to improve to help out the offense, especially the pass rush. On the season, they have only accumulated 107 pressures, and Darrell Taylor hasn’t necessarily been the best off the edge this season. So, the Seahawks go best player available here with Will Anderson Jr. Over his career, Anderson has racked up 37 sacks, 201 pressures, 112 tackles, and in coverage only has allowed 93 yards. Anderson would provide a major boost to the defensive line. 

4 Arizona Cardinals – Joey Porter Jr, Cornerback, Penn State

Fourth overall for a cornerback may seem nuts, especially in a loaded class, but Joey Porter Jr. has the talent to go this high. He has elite length and size with 35-inch arms at 6’2, and 195 pounds. He excels in zone coverage, but has the traits and physicality to grow into a dominant man corner as well. Vance Joseph runs a man-heavy scheme in Arizona currently, but coaching changes could be on the way soon, so that does not disqualify Porter from this selection. Porter improved every season at Penn State, going from a high-traits prospect prone to penalties and big plays to one of the best lockdown cornerbacks in college football. His PFF grade climbed to 77.4 by his senior year where he had nine pass breakups. Porter is a menace in the run game as well, blowing up plays at the line of scrimmage. He can be a bit aggressive, which led to an uncharacteristically high 17.6% missed tackle rate in 2022 (3.0% and 8.3% in 2020 and 2021). Overall, Porter has everything NFL scouts look for in a dominant corner and has the upside to be an All-Pro player, just like his dad was.


5 Indianapolis Colts – C.J. Stroud, Quarterback, Ohio State

The Matt Ryan experience hasn’t turned out well for the Indianapolis Colts, as it has included Ryan being benched for Sam Elingher. Jeff Saturday is not the long-term solution at head coach, so it makes sense to bring in a new quarterback and head coach at the same time. C.J. Stroud lit up the scoreboard while at Ohio State, as he currently has 7,775 passing yards and 81 passing touchdowns. Stroud has NFL arm talent and a high understanding of how to read defenses. There may be a learning curve, but the supporting cast of Michael Pittman Jr., Alec Pierce, Paris Campbell, and Jonathan Taylor will help Stroud tremendously.


6 Atlanta Falcons- Myles Murphy, Defensive End, Clemson

Pass rush is essential in today’s NFL, and the Falcons just don’t have that. The Falcons rank LAST in the NFL in pressures with 76, and 31st in sacks with 19. Grady Jarrett leads the team in pressures with 19, but he isn’t exactly getting any younger, same goes for Lorenzo Carter who is third with 13. Jarrett has still been productive, so why not draft a top defensive end in this draft class in Myles Murphy to line up alongside Jarrett. Pairing Murphy with Jarrett would absolutely make it difficult on opposing offensive lines to block, as Murphy has great speed-to-power to frequently cause havoc in the backfield. 


7 Detroit Lions (via LAR) – Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech

Long-armed defensive end Tyree Wilson is one of the most intriguing players in the entire 2022 draft class. He is a freak athlete at 6’6, 275 pounds. Last year, we saw a prospect with a similar profile in Travon Walker rise all the way to the number one pick. Wilson may not test as well as Walker did with his historic combine performance, but his traits are worthy of a top-10 selection. He lacks the bend that most high-level edge prospects have, which may lead to some teams viewing him as a tweener, but he is powerful and dominant at the line of scrimmage with his size and hand usage. Wilson put together back-to-back dominant seasons at Texas Tech, with 27.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks in 2021 and 2022 combined. Detroit could use talent all across their defense, and Wilson’s ceiling is too high to pass up and not pair with Aidan Hutchinson.


8 Carolina Panthers – Will Levis, Quarterback, Kentucky 

Will Levis is actually what the doctor ordered for the Carolina Panthers. There hasn’t been a long-term solution at quarterback for Carolina since they drafted Cam Newton in 2011. After firing Matt Rhule and trading Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers will look for a fresh start with a new head coach and quarterback tandem. Levis exudes confidence and has the skill to back it up. Kentucky’s signal caller has good throwing power and elite accuracy. If he can continue his development in reading defenses, it will be a home run selection for the Panthers.


9 Las Vegas Raiders- Cam Smith, Cornerback, South Carolina 

Even with the benching, and most likely trade, of Derek Carr, the Raiders will most likely address the quarterback spot in free agency. With that thought process, the pick here is cornerback. The Raiders have allowed the sixth most pass yards in the NFL with 3,664 and 22 touchdowns. If they decide to go with a rookie quarterback down the line, they need to start building up the defense to help support the rookie. Cam Smith is an extremely physical cornerback willing to help against the run, and he pairs that with excellent coverage skills. After allowing only a 47.7% completion percentage and two touchdowns in 2022, Smith provides an excellent boost.


10 Philadelphia Eagles (via NO) – Christian Gonzalez, Cornerback, Oregon

Darius Slay and James Bradberry currently form one of the league’s best cornerback duos, but it is unlikely Philadelphia will be able to retain both after this season. Christian Gonzalez was a breakout prospect at Oregon who excels in zone coverage. Like Slay, he is prone to big plays, including four interceptions this season. He is an athletic monster with elite speed and jumping (23 mph recorded in-game, reported 42-inch vertical). Gonzalez would be an ideal fit to learn and grow next to Darius Slay, and has the upside to be the best cornerback in the class.


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