In my final mock draft, I’m making the switch. I’ve
had Anthony Richardson here for my first three, but it’s
looking more and more likely that Young is the pick. He’s
a significantly safer player, and it seems that’s what the
Panthers are looking for. There are rumors that Will Levis would
be the pick, but I’m not buying it. Young finally gives
Carolina some consistency at quarterback.
1.02 Houston Texans - Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Although I don’t believe that Levis is going to go first
overall, it wouldn’t shock me to see him be the second quarterback
selected. CJ Stroud is apparently falling, and the Texans haven’t
ever been linked to Anthony Richardson. Levis has a big arm, but
he’s a player that comes with quite a bit of risk as well.
The Texans could opt to trade out of this pick or select Will
Anderson, but it’d make the most sense for them to try to
find the face of their franchise here.
1.03 Arizona Cardinals - Will Anderson, Edge, Alabama
The Cardinals need plenty of help on the defensive side of the
ball. Anderson is arguably the best prospect in this draft, and
edge rushers are generally coveted in the NFL. Heís likely
the safest prospect in the entire draft, but he also comes with
tremendous upside. He can immediately help the Cardinalsí
defense, making him the obvious option with plenty of questions
surrounding Jalen Carter.
1.04 Indianapolis Colts - CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
The Colts have had a revolving door at quarterback for quite
some time, but theyíll have the chance to draft their future
here. They may reach on Will Levis, but I believe talent wins
out in this situation. Stroud found tremendous success at Ohio
State, and heís flashed all of the makings of a solid NFL
quarterback. We know quarterbacks are over-drafted, so he doesnít
necessarily have to be the best prospect available to be taken
The Seahawks locked up Geno Smith in the offseason, and they
have quite a bit of their offense figured out at this point. Instead,
they can shift their focus to their defense, which they will need
to fix if they want another shot at the playoffs. Wilson isnít
as safe of a prospect as someone like Anderson, but he comes with
nearly as much upside. He has game-changing ability off of the
edge, and thatís one of the most coveted skills in the NFL.
1.06 Detroit Lions - Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
I’ve got cornerbacks going with the next two picks, but
I’m not entirely sure which one gets selected first. Witherspoon
and Christian Gonzalez have seemingly separated themselves from
the rest of a stacked class. Both can become top options in the
league, and they will both have the ability to turn into shadow
1.07 Las Vegas Raiders - Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
The Raiders need help in their secondary, and Gonzalez will make
an elite option here. As I mentioned above, he has a strong ceiling,
and Las Vegas is likely to take whichever option of the two is
1.08 Atlanta Falcons - Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
This is an extremely aggressive pick, but it does make sense.
Many see Robinson as the best running back to come out of college
in quite some time. He has the potential to completely change
an offense, and Atlanta should be looking for that. They traded
for Jeff Okudah
and signed Bud
Dupree, which takes care of their two biggest defensive needs
for the moment. Granted, they could draft either position here,
but I’m going with the surprise RB pick.
1.09 Chicago Bears - Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
This could be an ideal spot for the Bears. Carter wouldíve
been an option at them if they kept the first overall pick, so
getting him here would be a major win. Some believe heís
the most talented player in the NFL Draft, but he has a plethora
of off-field concerns. It isnít likely that he falls all
that far because of his elite talent, and the Bears are a team
that could opt to take that shot on him. He can provide immediate
help and could turn out to be the steal of the draft in five years.
1.10 Philadelphia Eagles - Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa
The Eagles aren’t a team filled with holes, so they have
a major luxury with this pick. Van Ness didn’t start at
Iowa, which has comes into question during the pre-draft process,
but it isn’t likely to cause him to slide. He comes with
elite upside, and he can learn from some of the top pass rushers
in the NFL in Philadelphia.
1.11 Tennessee Titans - Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
It’d be relatively shocking if Richardson actually falls
this far, and Tennessee will likely need to trade up if they want
to grab one of the top four signal callers. Richardson fell in
this draft, though, and Tennessee is in need of the future of
their franchise. The Florida quarterback isn’t NFL-ready
at the moment, and he could sit the entire season behind Ryan
1.12 Houston Texans - Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State
The Texans took the future face of their franchise with their
first pick, but now they need to keep him upright. Johnson is
a player that can immediately come in a start. He has the potential
to be a dominant left tackle for the next decade, which is great
to pair with Levis.
1.13 Green Bay Packers - Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
The Packers moved up two spots ahead of the Patriots in the Aaron
Rodgers deal, which makes sense since they’re looking
into similar players.The Packers could still use help in their
receiver room. Smith-Njigba has dropped a bit because of injuries
throughout his season, but Green Bay shouldnít overthink this
one. The wide receiver outplayed Chris
Olave and Garrett
Wilson at Ohio State, and both of those players found success
in the NFL as a rookie. Smith-Njigba comes with more than enough
upside to warrant this pick.
1.14 New England Patriots - Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia
Smith is an ultra-athletic edge rusher that has the potential
to become a difference-maker in the NFL. The Patriots are a team
that wants to lead with their defense, and Smith can help this
team take their defense to the next level. It should also be noted
that New England may look to package this pick with Mac Jones
to trade up if one of the top four quarterbacks slide.
1.15 New York Jets - Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
The Jets made a blockbuster trade with the Packers for Aaron
Rodgers. They moved back two slots in the first round, suggesting
they aren’t overly concerned with what the Packers or New
England are going to do. They could use help along the offensive
line, and Skoronski is arguably the best offensive tackle in this
draft. He could immediately help keep Rodgers upright as New York
tries to make a deep playoff run.
1.16 Washington Commanders - Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
This feels like a spot where Washington could take the best available
cornerback. They need help in the secondary, and this is a loaded
class. In this mock draft, Porter is the top available option,
but it’s also possible a team jumps Washington since it’s
a valuable position of need. Similar to the two options above,
Porter has the potential to turn into a shadow corner and could
potentially be a CB1 for years to come.
The Steelers need help at offensive tackle or in the secondary.
Jones is a work-in-progress, but he comes with tremendous upside.
He’ll need a bit of time to develop, but he can protect
Kenny Pickett for years to come. Even though he does need to develop,
Jones could potentially start for the Steelers early in his career
1.18 Detroit Lions - Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson
The Lions drafted Aidan Hutchinson last year, and itís
clear heís going to be a great player in the NFL. They also
drafted a cornerback earlier in this draft to help fix their secondary.
The other way to fix their secondary is to get more pressure on
the opposing quarterback. Murphy was once seen as a top 10 pick,
but he seems to be sliding a bit. He would benefit from playing
with Hutchinson, and this could solidify Detroitís defense
for the next 10 years.
1.19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
This is somewhat of an odd spot for the Buccaneers. Brian Branch
could potentially fit better in their defense, but Banks is shooting
up draft boards after his outstanding combine. Ultimately, this
is a bad roster, and it makes more sense to draft the better overall
prospect. Thatís Banks, and he has the ability to become
a high-end cornerback in the NFL. There are plenty of holes here
for the Bucs, including quarterback, but Banks makes the most
sense at the moment.
The Seahawks got a high-upside edge rusher earlier in this draft,
but they still need help along the interior of the defensive line.
Kancey doesn’t boast the best size, but he’s a quick
tackle with elite explosion. It’s impossible to compare
anyone with Aaron Donald, but that’s the style of player
he is. Seattle could give their opponents quite a bit of trouble
if both of these players hit their ceilings.
1.21 Los Angeles Chargers - Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Mayer is arguably the best tight end in this loaded class. He
has outstanding receiving skills, specifically over the middle.
He’s also a great blocker, making him a complete player
at the position. The Chargers have a few needs, and tight end
is one of the more pressing ones. He’ll make a great option
along with a strong receiver group for Los Angeles.
The Ravens could opt to go with a receiver here, but it may make
more sense for them to go with a cornerback. They added Odell
Beckham Jr. in free agency, and there are rumors that they may
be trying to add DeAndre Hopkins as well. If they can’t
add Hopkins, a receiver like Quentin Johnston would make sense.
They need help at cornerback, though, and Banks is a player moving
up draft boards. He isn’t as safe as some of the other options,
but he comes with tremendous upside, which could be what Baltimore
is looking for.
1.23 Minnesota Vikings - Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Adam Thielen signed with the Panthers earlier in the offseason,
and the Vikings are going to have to come out of this draft with
a new wide receiver. Some believe Flowers is the best of the bunch,
as he comes with elite route running. Heíd see plenty of
single coverage with Justin Jefferson on the other side, and he
could immediately help the Minnesota offense in 2023.
1.24 Jacksonville Jaguars - Brian Branch, CB, Alabama
The Jaguars could use help at a slot corner and safety hybrid
role. That’s the exact type of role that Branch should thrive
in. He ran a slow 40-yard dash, which hurt his draft stock a bit.
He’s consistently found success at Alabama and he’s
outstanding against the run. He could immediately help this Jacksonville
1.25 New York Giants - Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
New York’s made a few strange moves throughout the offseason.
They’ve signed multiple receivers that perform at their
best in the slot, and they already have Wan’Dale
Robinson. I’m not going to pretend to know what plan
they have, but it would make sense for them to get a big-bodied
outside receiver. Johnston comes with as much raw upside as any
receiver in this class, and he can help on the outside for the
1.26 Dallas Cowboys - Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
It feels like the Cowboys are going to be locked into a tight
end at this position if one is available. Some believe Kincaid
is the best tight end in this class after he received good news
on his medical report. He’s an elite receiving option, and
he could help take Dallas’ offense to the next level.
1.27 Buffalo Bills - Jordan Addison, WR, USC
Thereís a very real chance that Addison is the best receiver
in this draft. Itís all about who you prefer as a team.
The Bills gave Gabriel Davis a chance last season, and he struggled
with injuries. It isnít out of the question that they could
add Addison as their second option behind Stefon Diggs. Iím
a bit worried that Addison isnít exactly the type of player
that will take the top off of a defense, and he may need a bit
more volume to find consistent success. Regardless, itís
easy to be excited about someone with his talent in this Buffalo
I’m not entirely sure that Washington is drafted in the
first round, but it would make sense for him to be selected here.
Cincinnati needs help at the position, and Washington is a player
that can start immediately. He’s a dominant blocker, and
he comes with high-upside receiving potential as well. Washington
could find elite success in an offense like the Bengals.
1.29 New Orleans Saints - Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
Smith is an intriguing player that is going to be drafted based
on his physical tools rather than his production. He comes with
elite athleticism and size, but he was entirely too inconsistent
in college. He certainly comes with risk, but he also comes with
tremendous upside. The Saints need help along the defensive line,
and he’s a player that could develop into an elite starter.
1.30 Philadelphia Eagles - Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
If the Eagles go with an edge rusher early in the draft, they
could potentially take a cornerback at this spot. Smith has good
coverage instincts, and he can learn from some of the top corners
in the NFL in Philadelphia. This isnít a position of immediate
need for the Eagles and their overall roster will allow them to
go a few different ways, but cornerback is likely on their radar.
1.31 Kansas City Chiefs - Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
The Chiefs could use a bit of help keeping Patrick
Mahomes upright, and that’s what they should look for
in this pick. Harrison isn’t the highest-upside prospect
in the entire draft, but he’s a smart player that understands
what his strengths and weaknesses are. He’s also a better
pass-protecting than run-blocker, and Kansas City may be a team
that is willing to accept those traits.