Smith Mock Draft 4.0 - Two Rounds

Smith Mock Draft 4.0 - Two Rounds

2023 NFL Draft

Smith Mock Draft 4.0 - Two Rounds

By

The Athletic

We are just over two weeks away from the NFL Draft. People are starting to form their ideas about where teams will go, but what if things get weird at the top of the draft. What if Houston passes on a quarterback with the second overall pick? What if Anthony Richardson really does slide? Here’s how the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft could play out. 

Round One

1. Carolina Panthers (Via Chi): Bryce Young – Quarterback, Alabama

The latest smoke from the national media is that Carolina is now leaning Bryce Young with their first overall pick. With just two weeks left to the draft, this line of thinking will likely stay the same. Young is a pure point guard of a quarterback who can make plays in and outside of structure. He’ll be the perfect face of the franchise for the Panthers. 

2. Houston Texans: Will Anderson Jr. – Edge Rusher, Alabama

This is where things get weird. Houston passes on CJ Stroud due to his representation. Odds are they won’t want to deal with David Mulugheta after the Deshaun Watson debacle. So instead, they opt for Will Anderson Jr. to be the cornerstone of their defensive line. Anderson is an elite pass rusher and dominant against the run. He’s a blue chip player and exudes All-Pro potential. 

3. Indianapolis Colts (via ARI): CJ Stroud – Quarterback, Ohio State

The best possible scenario for the Colts. While they would have been happy with Anthony Richardson, landing CJ Stroud speeds up the rebuild even more. Stroud is worth giving up a 2023 third round pick and a 2024 second. And Stroud will certainly have a massive chip on his shoulder after falling down a few spots from his initial projection. 

4. Arizona Cardinals (via IND): Jalen Carter – Defensive Tackle, Georgia

With Will Anderson gone, the Cardinals could look to trade back once again. But instead they take maybe the best overall player in the entire class. Carter is a game wrecker up front. He destroys double teams, he destroys run plays, and can apply pressure in an instant. Settle his immaturity, and you may have yourself an All-Pro defensive tackle. 

5. Seattle Seahawks (Via Den): Tyree Wilson – Edge Rusher, Texas Tech

The Seahawks could be a team to pull the trigger on a quarterback, but they opt for the  win now move. Tyree Wilson has room to grow, but he has all the tools to become a powerful presence on the defensive line. His versatility and skillset will play nicely against the run heavy NFC West. 

6. Detroit Lions (via LAR): Devon Witherspoon – Cornerback, Illinois

After trading Jeff Okudah to the Atlanta Falcons, the Lions most likely are locked in to the high-caliber cornerbacks in this class. Devon Witherspoon fits Aaron Glenn’s system a bit more due to the physical nature of his game. He’s a feisty press corner who’s not afraid to get dirty in the run game.

7. Houston Texans (via LAV): Will Levis – Quarterback, Kentucky

And boom goes the dynamite. With Levis falling, the Texans pull a fast one and trade up to snag the former Wildcat. Levis has a cannon of an arm and can be effective when he has time to throw. He struggled with a depleted cast at Kentucky, but his best football may be ahead of him. 

8. Atlanta Falcons: Peter Skoronski – Offensive Tackle, Northwestern

With the highest rated defensive linemen off the board, Atlanta could be a trade back option. But this time they stay put and take the most versatile offensive lineman in the class. Skoronski could immediately step in at guard and could be a long-term option at tackle. 

9. Chicago Bears (via CAR): Darnell Wright – Offensive Tackle, Tennessee

The Bears would have drafted Skoronski had he been available, but they settle for the best right tackle in the class. Wright is an elite athlete and a bully of a pass blocker. He needs work in the run game, but protecting Justin Fields should be their top priority.  

10. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO): Nolan Smith – Edge Rusher, Georgia

Nolan Smith adds some juice to an already dominant Eagles pass rush. With a 4.39 40-yard dash, Smith has speed to burn and would thrive next to Jordan Davis and Fletcher Cox. 

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