2023 NFL Mock Draft: Post Super Bowl, version 4.0

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After the Super Bowl we created a new NFL Mock Draft
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy while talking to Terry Bradshaw after the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The Super Bowl is behind us and the full NFL Draft order is set which means it’s time for a new NFL mock draft.

This is a no-trades NFL mock draft, and much of it remains the same as version 3.0, which you can see here, but we made one major change for version 4.0, voting on each pick as a staff rather than assigning teams to individual writers. It caused a bit of a turnover in the middle of the draft, so dive in and let us know what you think. 


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2023 NFL Mock Draft: First Round

1. Chicago Bears, 3-14: Will Anderson, EDGE Alabama

The Chicago Bears will likely be looking to deal this pick for a haul, but we’re not going to project trades in our first mock. There’s a really strong likelihood that the Colts might try to make a move for this pick to get ahead of Houston, but, for now, Chicago stays home and takes Will Anderson, who is probably the best overall player in the draft. 

2. Houston Texans, 3-13-1: Bryce Young, QB Alabama

Bryce Young could very well be the No. 1 pick in the draft, but there are some concerns about his size at 6-foot, 190 pounds. The choice will likely be between Young and the more projectible but far more raw Will Levis. We’ll say the Texans go with the more NFL-ready option. 

3. Arizona Cardinals, 4-13: Jalen Carter, DT Georgia 

With head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim out in Arizona, the Cardinals could be looking at an overhaul. But, for now, we’ll assume that Kyler Murray stays along with his talented receiving corps, which means the Cardinals need defensive help, especially with J.J. Watt retiring. Jalen Carter is an immediate difference-maker

4. Indianapolis Colts, 4-12-1: C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

BOOM. Our first major change as we had previously slotted Will Levis here. Either way, the Colts are going to take a quarterback but which one will depend on the new head coach, former Eagles’ offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. There’s a good chance they trade up to the first pick to grab whichever quarterback they like most, but, for the purposes of this mock, we have them going with C.J. Stroud. He might not have the upside of Will Levis, but he’s a bit of a safer bet and has the accuracy to handle Steichen’s likely system well. 

5. Seattle Seahawks (via Broncos, 5-12): Tyree Wilson, EDGE Texas Tech

The Seahawks make the playoffs and get a top-five pick, but we saw from their Wild Card loss to the 49ers that they still need an influx of talent on the defensive side of the ball. This is also where the draft gets interesting because Seattle could trade down with somebody who wants to take Stroud, if he’s still on the board, but since we’re avoiding trade for now, Seattle continues to boost their young defense with a pass rusher who has elite physical traits and can be disruptive off the edge.

6. Detroit Lions (via Rams, 5-12): Devon Witherspoon, CB Illinois

Another shake-up early in the draft with the Lions opting for Witherspoon as the top cornerback off the board. The Lions’ defense is a mess, but their secondary in particular is a real issue outside of Jeff Okudah. This may be a little early to take a corner, and Detroit is in a good position to trade down with Stroud still on the board, but since we’re not doing trades, they will take Witherspoon, who is a good cover corner that plays with a toughness and tenacity that Dan Campbell will love. 

7. Las Vegas Raiders, 6-11: Will Levis, QB Kentucky

It’s highly unlikely that Levis will fall outside the top five with teams looking to trade up, but this is a no-trade NFL mock draft so Josh McDaniels could have the best overall quarterback in this class depending on your view. The raw tools for Levis are clear, but can Josh McDaniels bring them to the surface consistently? 

8. Atlanta Falcons, 7-10: Myles Murphy – EDGE, Clemson

Atlanta has a ton of needs on the roster but none so more than in the trenches. The Falcons were 31st in the NFL in sacks last year, so grabbing Murphy to pair with Grady Jarrett on the interior could do wonders for this line. Murphy has some consistency concerns, but he’s a long and athletic defender that can be a problem for offensive lines if he reaches his full potential. 

9. Carolina Panthers, 7-10: Anthony Richardson, QB Flordia

Depending on who you ask, this is a deep quarterback class. Richardson is even more of a project than when Josh Allen came out of college. Richardson has several raw tools but his tape is about as uneven a player as I’ve ever seen. Carolina will be gambling here and it could hinge on whoever the head coach is. 

10. Philadelphia Eagles (via Saints, 7-10): Brian Bresee, DT Clemson

The Eagles defense let them down in the Super Bowl, and now they face a reality that Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave are free agents. It’s time for them to add some young talent to the interior of that defensive line. Breese is a long and explosive athlete who creates a ton of mismatches inside the defensive line; he’d be a great fit in Philly.

11. Tennessee Titans, 7-10: Peter Skoronski, OT Northwestern

Skoronski is the top tackle product in the draft and while he may lack length, he offers good power, balance, and technique. He will be a good fit for the Titans on the right side, which is a huge need in Tennessee right now.

12. Houston Texans (via Browns, 7-10): Paris Johnson – OT, Ohio State

The Texans were hoping for Skoronski here but are fine to settle for Johnson to help protect number two overall pick Bryce Young. The Texans need all the help they can get along the offensive line and protecting their new franchise quarterback should be a top priority.

13. New York Jets, 7-10: Broderick Jones – OT, Georgia

 If the Jets do not trade this pick for a quarterback, they’ll look to solidify the offensive line Since Skoronski and Johnson go quickly off the board following each other, the Jets pivot to Jones, who is a very good athlete and has excellent length. He is a powerful blocker in the run game and will be a day-one starter for New York.

The Jets select Broderick Jones in our NFL Mock Draft
Broderick Jones blocks on a passing play against South Carolina (wikimedia commons)

14. New England Patriots, 8-9: – Quentin Johnston, WR TCU

Bill Belichick saw the absolute beating Mac Jones took this season due to the lack of weapons, poor offensive line, and flawed coaching. He’ll look to rectify that this offseason and provide some level of positivity for their young quarterback. Johnson is arguably the best receiver in this draft.

15. Green Bay Packers, 8-9: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR OSU

How funny would it be that the year Aaron Rodgers retires is the year the Packers finally take a wide receiver in the first round? Pairing Christian Watson with a top slot receiver in this class is almost too perfect for Jordan Love or Rodgers, should he choose to come back.

16. Washington Commanders, 8-8-1: Christian Gonzalez, CB Oregon

It’s a strong corner class, and there are many people who have Gonzalez inside the top 10 (we did up until this mock). In a division where the Giants, Eagles, and Cowboys all have top weapons at wide receiver (if we expect the Giants to solidify their receiving core) then the Commanders will need all the help they can get for a secondary that has struggled at times this year. 

17. Pittsburgh Steelers, 9-8: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

It’s a matchup made in heaven. Porter playing in the city his father made an all-pro career out of is too easy to predict. Pittsburgh’s defense wasn’t the problem this season but help in the secondary is always needed when you have the Bengals, Ravens, and Browns in your division.

18. Detroit Lions, 9-8: Lukas Van Ness, DE, Iowa

The Lions have a golden opportunity to build one of the more imposing, young defenses in football if the dominos fall as they are in this NFL mock draft. Van Ness flirts as a top-10 talent in the Class of 2023 as an athletic and versatile edge rusher with inside/outside flexibility that can step in and play meaningful snaps right away.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-9: Brian Branch, S Alabama

 Tampa Bay is poised to lose two of its best cornerbacks in Jamal Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting, so adding talent in the secondary is crucial for them. Branch has the versatility to line up at safety or as a nickel corner. That will gives the Bucs matchup flexibility that will be very important for their defense. 

20. Seattle Seahawks 9-8: Cam Smith, CB Auburn

The Seahawks need to bolster an interior that has been bullied by the run game this season, but their selection of an EDGE at No. 5 takes them out of the running for now. They have a No. 1 corner in Tariq Woolen, but much is left to be desired from the spot opposite him. There might not be a cornerback in the nation that had been avoided more than Cam Smith. Following a three-interception, nine pass-breakup campaign in 2021, opposing quarterbacks targeted receivers covered by Smith just 22 times in eight games this season.

21. Los Angeles Chargers 10-7: Trenton Simpson, LB Clemson

The Chargers’ offense, led by Justin Herbert, is among the NFL’s most elite. They have adequate skill position players, and their offensive line is serviceable enough. But, their defense, particularly their running defense, is shakey. The team gave up the 5th-most rushing yards in the NFL this year (2,478). Trenton Simpson is an elite athlete who would make an immediate impact, and help secure the middle of the field for years to come.

22. Miami Dolphins 9-8: PICK FORFEITED

23. Baltimore Ravens 10-7: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

The Ravens need to get Lamar Jackson more weapons on offense if they’re going to keep him happy. Mark Andrews is a mainstay and Rashod Bateman should lock down one of the perimeter spots, but Jordan Addison would be a great addition as one of the best contested-pass-catchers in this class. He has excellent route-running, speed, and ball-tracking ability and could fill the hole left by the trade of Marquise Brown.

24. Minnesota Vikings 13-4: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

The Vikings’ loss to the Giants showed that they can really use another wide receiver. Adam Thielen is on the downside of his career and really disappeared in the second half of the season, and KJ Osborn is really just a good depth piece. Hyatt has the speed to beat defenders deep, but he has quick feet and good route running to make plays over the middle of the field too. He’d be a huge get for the Vikings here. 

25. Jacksonville Jaguars 9-8: Kelee Ringo, CB Georgia

Michael Mayer remains an option here since Evan Engram is a free agent this offseason, but we opted to give Jacksonville a little more help on the boundary. There aren’t many cornerbacks more physical than Ringo and he would be a great pair with Tyson Campbell to give the Jaguars a secondary that can lock down the Chiefs, Bengals, and Bills in the AFC. 

26. New York Giants 9-7-1: Michael Mayer, TE Notre Dame

Daniel Jones has shown he is more than capable of being a top quarterback in this league. Pairing him with a top receiving option will be key this off-season. There are a few solid veteran wide receivers in free agency that Joe Schoen might find it hard to pass up on a talent like Mayer. He’s a strong blocker and a more athletic and skilled pass-catcher than people originally believe. He’s the complete package at tight end. 

The Giants select Michael Mayer in our NFL mock draft
FILE – Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer (87) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against BYU during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Las Vegas. Mayer was selected to The Associated Press All-America team released Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

27. Dallas Cowboys 12-5: Zay Flowers, WR Boston College

The Cowboys are among the most well-rounded teams in the NFL, so they have a solid amount of freedom to take the best player off the board with this pick. Right now, that means adding a wide receiver to a room that includes CeeDee Lamb and then a bunch of question marks. How good is Jalen Tolbert? Is Michael Gallup a WR2 when healthy? Flowers will give them deep speed and the chance to compete with Philly and San Fran. 

28. Buffalo Bills 13-3: O’Cyrus Torrence, IOL Florida

The Bills are in the market for receiving help and there are still a few good ones on the board, but it will be hard for them to pass up on Torrence if he falls. O’Cyrus Torrence is a big and physical guard who is dominant in the run game and has a strong anchor in pass protection. The Bills’ number one priority is to protect Josh Allen, and this will go a long way toward doing that. 

29. Cincinnati Bengals 12-4: Blake Freeland, OT BYU

The biggest thing that the Bengals could do going forward is to protect Joe Burrow. Cincinnati’s passers have been sacked 44 times this season (11th-most in the NFL), and the offensive line has not been great at helping the running game. Blake Freeland is NFL-ready and would make an immediate impact next season, with his huge 6-foot, 8-inch frame, and the versatility to play anywhere along the line. 

30. New Orleans Saints (via DEN, via MIA, via SF): B.J. Ojulari, EDGE LSU

The Saints recently saw Trey Hendrickson leave in free agency and will likely see the same thing with Marcus Davenport this off-season. Cam Jordan is their largest cap hit but is 33 years old and may not have many more years left in New Orleans. They need youth at the position, and Ojulari features impressive versatility and a balanced skill set to rush the passer and defend the run.

31. Philadelphia Eagles 14-3: Deonte Banks, CB Maryland

It’s hard to see Howie Roseman draft a running back in the first round, so we moved away from Bijan Robinson here. The secondary struggled to handle the motion of the Chiefs’ wide receivers, and there will be a lot of free agent turnover on defense. Banks attacks the football with aggression and was trusted to cover top receivers this past season. The Eagles love to play an aggressive style of defense and will welcome his turnover ability. 

32. Kansas City Chiefs 14-3: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

The Chiefs have a few issues on the defensive line, outside of Chris Jones. George Karlaftis is showing improvement and Mike Danna is solid, but there’s a chance that one or both of Frank Clark and Carlos Dunlap is not in Kansas City next year, so the Chiefs need some bodies at the edge position that could morph into a pass rush weapon. Smith has an appealing blend of size, length, power, and flexibility, and features a high ceiling that a team like the Chiefs will take a gamble on.


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