Smith 2023 Mock Draft 3.0

Smith 2023 Mock Draft 3.0

2023 NFL Draft

Smith 2023 Mock Draft 3.0


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Free Agency has slowed down, nearly to a halt as teams focus in on Pro Days and the upcoming draft. With less than five weeks until draft day, let’s take another swing at how the first round could play out. 

1. Carolina Panthers (Via Chicago): C.J. Stroud – Quarterback, Ohio State

Yeah, there may be some smoke that Bryce Young is the guy. But after Stroud’s performance at his Pro Day and how Panthers’ quarterback coach Josh McCown was gushing over the Buckeye’s QB, this one seems set in stone. 

2. Houston Texans: Bryce Young – Quarterback, Alabama

The top two picks will remain the same until something comes out to change it. Bryce Young will be the Texans quarterback in 2023 and they narrowly escape disaster even after their last second win in Week 18 that nearly lost them the Alabama star. 

3. Indianapolis Colts (Via Arizona): Anthony Richardson – Quarterback, Florida

Indianapolis may be the only team who could make a run at Lamar Jackson, and I seriously considered that possibility here. But this move makes more sense for the team. Owner Jim Irsay is desperate for an answer at QB and Richardson could be a star in the making. 

4. Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr – Edge Rusher, Alabama

The Arizona Cardinals are going to be quite bad in 2023, but adding Will Anderson to their defense will certainly improve the juice off the edge while providing a building block for the future. 

5. Seattle Seahawks: Will Levis – Quarterback, Kentucky

The Seahawks have been flauting their pre-draft meetings with each of the top quarterbacks thus far and they’re seriously doing their due diligence. Levis seems like the kind of guy who would thrive in the Seahawks run-heavy offense and the offensive skill players around him will boost his game. 

6. Detroit Lions: Christian Gonzalez – Cornerback, Oregon

Even after the cornerback additions in free agency, Christian Gonzalez makes too much sense. Okudah, Sutton, and Gonzalez would be a fun trio on the back end of the Lions defense. 

7. Las Vegas Raiders: Tyree Wilson – Edge Rusher, Texas Tech

Cornerback would make sense here, but you can never have enough edge rushers. Wilson would be a perfect option who can kick inside or spell Chandler Jones or Maxx Crosby. 

8. Atlanta Falcons: Devon Witherspoon – Cornerback, Illinois

With the top edge rushers off the board, Atlanta will look into Jalen Carter but ultimately decide to pass on the Georgia prospect. Devon Witherspoon would be the perfect compliment to A.J. Terrell and that duo would give nightmares to opposing quarterbacks. 

9. Chicago Bears (Via Carolina): Peter Skoronski – Offensive Tackle, Northwestern

A Northwestern alumni who happens to fill a need is a match made in heaven. Skoronski can kick inside to guard or stay at tackle and be a plug-and-play starter on the right side for Chicago. 

10. Philadelphia Eagles (Via New Orleans): Jalen Carter – Defensive Tackle, Georgia

Carter’s fall stops here and it’s a perfect landing spot. Carter has all the talent in the world but has had a disastrous pre-draft process. Fletcher Cox is the perfect mentor for Carter and reuniting him with his former Georgia teammate, Jordan Davis, is the perfect opportunity. 

11. Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson Jr. – Offensive Tackle, Ohio State

This one makes too much sense for it to not happen. If Levis is on the board, i’m sure he would get heavy consideration. But Johnson is the best player available and would be the immediate starter at left tackle for a team desperate for a competent offensive line. 

12. Houston Texans (Via Cleveland): Myles Murphy – Edge Rusher, Clemson

Pairing Bryce Young with one of the rookie receivers would be fun, but the value doesn’t add up. Houston takes the best available edge rusher to be a foundation of DeMeco Ryans’s defense. 

13. New York Jets: Broderick Jones – Offensive Tackle, Georgia

The Jets seem hardpressed to keep their first round pick, and if Jones is available, they’ll sprint to the podium. He’s a bit raw in terms of his technique, but he has the highest upside of the big three tackles. 

14. New England Patriots: Lukas Van Ness – Edge Rusher, Iowa

I tried to think of a weird Bill Belichick-type pick, but nothing really made sense. Van Ness makes all the sense in the world. Pairing him with Matthew Judon would be a scary sight for opposing offenses. 

15. Green Bay Packers: Darnell Washington – Tight End, Georgia

Everyone always wanted the Packers to give Aaron Rodgers weapons, and with him gone from Green Bay, they’ll finally draft a pass catcher in the first. Washington is an A+ blocker with room to grow as a receiver, but you have to think his size and athleticism will pay off in the end. 

16. Washington Commanders: Deonte Banks – Cornerback, Maryland

William Jackson III was traded to Pittsburgh and there aren’t many other solid cornerback options on their depth chart. Banks’s elite combine performance vaulted his stock and he’d step in as CB1 in DC. 

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Joey Porter Jr. – Cornerback, Penn State

Everyone will be upset if this doesn’t happen. Seeing Joey Porter Jr. in any other NFL jersey would be wrong. Make this happen, NFL. 

18. Philadelphia Eagles (Via Detroit): Bijan Robinson – Running Back, Texas

My big prediction… Howie Roseman sees how close the Eagles are and takes a big swing to land Bijan Robinson. Trading a second round pick to land Robinson is a no-brainer and Roseman would walk out of day one with two of the top five talents in the draft. 

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Darnell Wright – Offensive Tackle, Tennessee

Tristen Wirfs is reportedly moving to left tackle, leaving a hole on the right side. Why not add Darnell Wright who had an excellent season at right tackle for the Volunteers. You’d have your bookend tackles for several years to come. 

20. Seattle Seahawks: Nolan Smith – Edge Rusher, Georgia

This feels right. Smith is undersized, but his speed and bend off the edge is elite. Pairing him next to Dre’Mont Jones opposite Uchena Nwosu and Boye Mafe would be quite the boost from last year’s defensive line.  

21. Miami Dolphins – PICK FORFEITED 

22. Los Angeles Chargers: Zay Flowers – Wide Receiver, Boston College 

I’m speaking this one into existence. Give Justin Herbert the best deep threat in this draft class and let that man cook. Here’s to hoping that Kellen Moore will let Herbert actually throw down field this year. 

23. Baltimore Ravens: Quentin Johnston – Wide Receiver, Texas Christian 

Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, and Quentin Johnston would be a formidable trio for Lamar Jackson, or whoever is throwing the ball in Baltimore next season. Johnston may not be the best receiver prospect, but his game fits perfectly with Jackson’s skillset. 

24. Minnesota Vikings: Jordan Addison – Wide Receiver, USC

Adam Thielen is off to Carolina, leaving Justin Jefferson and KJ Osbourn on their own. Addison is the best route runner in the class and could be a nice safety blanket for Kirk Cousins. 

25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brian Branch – Safety, Alabama

The Jaguars secondary needs some love, so why not give them the most versatile player in that area. Branch can play deep, in the box, or in the slot and excels at all three. 

26. New York Giants: Joe Tippman – Center, Wisconsin

The Giants have revamped their offense so far via trades and free agency, but the interior offensive line is not good. Tippman would be an instant upgrade at center and would bust open some holes for Saquon Barkley. 

27. Dallas Cowboys: Steve Avilia – Guard, Texas Christian

Interior defensive line makes sense here, but adding Avilia would allow Tyler Smith to kick back outside to left tackle and let him develop there for the long-term. Avilia and Smith would be quite the duo on the left side. 

28. Buffalo Bills: Will McDonald IV – Edge Rusher, Iowa State

With Von Miller out, the Bills struggled to pressure any opposing quarterback. Will McDonald IV is an explosive tornado off the edge and learning from Miller would only boost his game even more. 

29. Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Mayer – Tight End, Notre Dame

Cincinnati is down to Devin Assiassi as their only tight end under contract in 2023. If Mayer is on the board, the local kid will fulfill his dream and become a Bengal. This is nearly in sharpie. 

30. New Orleans Saints (Via San Francisco): Calijah Kancey – Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh

Kancey has been compared to Aaron Donald, and while he is a little smaller, the athleticism matches. New Orleans needs some love in the trenches and Kancey’s game would give Denis Allen a mismatch nightmare on the defensive line. 

31. Detroit Lions (Via Philadelphia): Bryan Bresee – Defensive Tackle, Clemson

Another team whose interior defensive line needs help, Detroit adds Bresee while also picking up an extra second round pick from Philadelphia. Bresee has injury concerns but feels like he has one of the highest ceilings in this draft. 

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Anton Harrison – Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma

Jawaan Taylor was signed to a massive $80 million contract to play left tackle. With Orlando Brown Jr. heading to Cincinnati, the Chiefs need to find someone to play on the right side. Harrison is one of the best pass blockers in this draft class and would be a perfect option to protect Patrick Mahomes.


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