Much has been made about which QB the Panthers will elect to go with come draft day and rightfully so; the decision between Bryce Young & C.J. Stroud is a tough one. For me, I have them graded out almost identically and it’s so close with Young getting the slight edge. But you just can’t ignore the physical size difference of these two men, especially when you consider the damage quarterbacks take in the NFL. If Bryce was 6’3″ and not 5’10”, the pick would be him; he’s not & the pick is C.J. Stroud.
C.J. Stroud is NFLDraftCity.com’s #1 Ranked Quarterback.
The Texans will have an easy decision when they go on the clock; whichever quarterback between Young & Stroud go #1, they’ll be taking the other at #2. Will Anderson, Jr. will get some strong consideration with this pick, but Houston simply cannot pass on the talented franchise quarterback. Davis Mills will provide some healthy competition for Bryce early on, which is always a good thing for a new QB.
- Bryce Young is mentioned as one of NFLDraftCity.com’s 2023 NFL Fantasy Football targets.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for Bryce Young is Drew Brees.
Detroit is in win-now mode and they get aggressive to grab the best player in the draft at #3. Anderson is a generational talent and combining him with last years rookie standout in Aiden Hutchinson would give the Lions a menacing pass rush tandem for potentially the next 10 years. They still need a DT & a LB but, boy, this would be an excellent start towards turning around a defense that ranked near the bottom of the league in far too many categories.
DETROIT RECEIVES: 2023 1st round pick, #3 overall ARIZONA RECEIVES: 2023 1st round pick #6 overall, 2023 2nd round pick #55 overall, 2024 3rd round pick & 2025 5th round pick.
The Colts will look to finally put an end to the washed up veteran quarterback carousel they’ve been on the last few years and finally nab their franchise signal caller. Anthony Richardson is certainly the sexier pick here, but he’ll need a couple years before you can rely on him to carry a franchise so, the Colts elect for the seasoned, more NFL ready prospect in Levis.
- Will Levis is NFLDraftCity.com’s #3 Ranked Quarterback.
The Seahawks could certainly use an edge rusher and will look at a few in this spot, but they simply cannot pass on 20 year old Anthony Richardson’s potential. Since they’ve got another 1st rounder and this isn’t even their own pick, you’d have to imagine they don’t anticipate picking this high again in the near future making it imperative to capitalize on their unique position. Richardson will be able to sit behind Geno Smith for a year or two and take over the reins at the appropriate time.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL player comparison for Anthony Richardson is Cam Newton.
- Anthony Richardson is one of the draft’s youngest players at just 20 years old.
- Geno Smith’s new $105m contract only contains a fully guaranteed 1st year at $27m and the team can cut him after this season only costing Seahawks an additional $13m in total.
The Cardinals are a team in apparent disarray. Kyler has been dealing with numerous injuries, coaching staff is turning over, star players are requesting trades out of Arizona – all is not well in the desert. I’m not sure what they got in the trade to move down in this mock will be enough to pass on Will Anderson, but adding an additional 3 picks would certainly help with the expected mass roster turnover coming. They need help at several spots and CB is at or near the top. Joey Porter, Jr. as the first cornerback off the board may surprise some folks, but he is as clean a prospect as I’ve scouted and he will certainly go earlier than most project him to.
ARIZONA RECEIVES: 2023 1st round pick #6 overall, 2023 2nd round pick #55 overall, 2024 3rd round pick & 2025 5th round pick.DETROIT RECEIVES: 2023 1st round pick, #3 overall.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for Joey Porter, Jr. is Aqib Talib.
Do we believe the reports about the Raiders removing Jalen Carter from their draft board? I don’t entirely, considering how talented the DT is, I can’t imagine anyone simply removing him from their draft board however, I can certainly understand valuing him a little less in this spot. Ultimately, I see the Raiders addressing their most pressing need at Cornerback and selecting Devon Witherspoon.
- Devon Witherspoon is NFLDraftCity.com’s 4th Ranked Cornerback.
The Texans will be on a mission to add some difference makers in this draft and they may even get aggressive in their attempts to do so. Nolan Smith is quickly rising up draft boards after his impressive showing at the combine (4.39 forty), and tantalizing skillset. In my edge rush rankings, I have Nolan Smith as the 12th best pass rusher in this draft, but what do I know? While he certainly is able to do things on the field that make your eyes light up; he doesn’t do them as consistently as other guys in this draft and he’s also the smallest at 6’2” 238. I still think he has loads of potential, just a bit of a project. I do get the sense that some teams may be willing to take on that project with an early pick in the first round.
HOUSTON RECEIVES: 2023 1st round pick, #8 overall. ATLANTA RECEIVES: 2023 1st round pick #12 overall, 2023 3rd round pick #73 overall & 2024 2nd round pick.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for Nolan Smith is Bruce Irvin.
- Nolan Smith is NFLDraftCity.com’s #12 Ranked Edge Rusher.
The Bears have a lot to look forward to next season with the table seemingly setting up for a breakout year from Justin Fields. They’ll look to strengthen the odds of that by adding arguably the best offensive lineman in the draft in Paris Johnson, Jr. to keep him upright. While Pete Skoronski will definitely get consideration here, Johnson, Jr.’s dynamic athletic ability & meanstreak will make him too tough to pass up on.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for Paris Johnson, Jr. is Trent Williams.
- Parison Johnson, Jr. is NFLDraftCity.com’s #1 Ranked Offensive Tackle.
The Eagles find themselves in a very fortunate & unusual position – playing in the super bowl this past season and now picking in the top 10 of the corresponding NFL draft. Thanks to some shrewd draft maneuvering last season, Philly is in position to take a player who some think is the best in this draft in Jalen Carter. While his talent and physical gifts are undeniable, there are certainly more questions surrounding Carter than most, if not all other prospects in consideration to go in the top 10. All things considered, I think this is the perfect spot in the draft for him to go, and to the perfect team.
The offseason accident involving the death of a teammate and friend while drag racing was tragic. To be honest, it makes me sort of uncomfortable to bring up, but I sympathize with him and those involved & I do not blame him for the result of the immature decisions made that led to a loss of life. With that being said, a legitimate concern can be made of Carter’s decision not to workout at the combine and then show up to his pro day 10 pounds heavier and injure himself, preventing him from completing his workout.
Tennessee has been rumored to be interested in moving up in the draft, although I find that to be a questionable decision given the trajectory of this football team. Like the Cardinals, the Titans appear to be a team closer to rebuilding than contending. They took a mini swing on Malik Willis last year that looks like a miss and Ryan Tannehill had an abysmal season in 2022. They seemingly ‘lost’ their trade with Philly for A.J. Brown which led to the firing of their GM, who was also responsible for the Isaiah Wilson pick a couple years ago, which was embarrassing. Ultimately, I think the Titans just need a win and getting Skoronski in this spot is a big win.
- Peter Skoronski is NFLDraftCity.com’s #2 Ranked Offensive Tackle.
The Falcons have had a busy offseason adding impact players in free agency & trade to shore up a defense that struggled this past season. They seem intent on giving Desmond Ridder a shot and will look to continue adding playmakers to the defense early on in the draft. Lukas Van Ness is a versatile defender that should complement one of the better interior defensive line cores in the NFL as a pass rusher off the edge.
ATLANTA RECEIVES: 2023 1st round pick #12 overall, 2023 3rd round pick #73 overall & 2024 2nd round pick. HOUSTON RECEIVES: 2023 1st round pick #8 overall.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for Lukas Van Ness is Ryan Kerrigan.
While it’s possible this pick could end up being involved in an Aaron Rodgers deal, I would imagine the Jets are doing what they can to prevent that from happening. The Jets have invested heavily in the offensive line and it’s still a concern however, they may elect to cross their fingers and hope a player like Mekhi Becton develops like they’d hoped OR they could take Darnell Wright in this spot. I think they elect for the former and take one of the best football players in the draft, in Brian Branch. The Crimson Tide standout has been projected by numerous outlets to go deep into the 20’s – I think it’s highly doubtful he makes it past 17. A secondary with Sauce Gardner & Brian Branch would fortify one of the best secondaries in the NFL.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for Brian Branch is Eric Berry.
Leave it to the Patriots to take a player that wasn’t on anyone’s radar this high and get a really good player in B.J. Ojulari. Make no mistake about it, B.J. is worthy of this selection even if nobody is talking about him. He’s one of the most refined & explosive pass rushers in the draft and exactly the kind of hard working, intelligent players Bill Belichick loves to draft.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for B.J. Ojulari is Matthew Judon.
The Bills lacked playmakers on offense outside of Stefon Diggs and the burden proved too much to bear for Josh Allen. Zay Flowers is the most dynamic receiver in the draft and a playmaker that would serve to elevate the Buffalo offense. I could see them considering Bijan Robinson, but I don’t take the Bills as a team who’d invest a high pick on a RB even though an upgrade at the position would be welcomed. I think they may look at Dalvin Cook if he’s released or Kareem Hunt to address the position.
BUFFALO RECEIVES: 2023 1st round pick #15 overall. GREEN BAY RECEIVES: 2023 1st round pick #27 overall, 2023 2nd round pick #59 overall & 2025 4th round pick.
- Zay Flowers is NFLDraftCity.com’s #1 Ranked Wide Receiver.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for Zay Flowers is Antonio Brown.
Washington will have their pick of one of the top CB’s or OT’s remaining on the board and they elect to go with the long & speedy cover corner in Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez. I could see them taking a very long look at Darnell Wright or Dalton Kincaid as well in this spot OR possibly trade down.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for Christian Gonzalez is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
- Christian Gonzalez is NFLDraftCity.com’s 5th Ranked Cornerback.
The Steelers have pressing needs on the offensive line, cornerback, linebacker and edge rusher – with 4 picks in the top 80, they should be able to address all four spots nicely. Here, they start with cornerback Deonte Banks. The Maryland product is a physical cornerback with shutdown capability and a terrific athlete. After losing Cam Sutton in the offseason, the position should receive heavy emphasis in the early stages of this draft.
- Deonte Banks is NFLDraftCity.com’s #2 Ranked Cornerback.
The 2022 Lions’ defense was essentially the worst in the NFL – it makes sense to address it early and often in this draft. There’s a big hole in the middle of the unit that will be expected to be filled by the explosive interior lineman, Calijah Kancey. Detroit doubles down on impact defensive linemen that should cause a trickle effect, improving the other levels of their defense. The Lions have an enviously talented offensive line and using back to back picks making their defensive line a strength would elevate the trenches in Detroit to be the envy of the league.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for Calijah Kancey is John Randle.
The Bucs after Brady is a peculiar position.They’re not really in a spot to get a franchise quarterback at #19; could they take Hendon Hooker here? I think it’s too early for him at this pick so, why not go with a safer choice at a position of need in Hooker’s teammate, Darnell Wright. Tampa Bay cut ties with Donovan Smith and he’ll need to be replaced. In order for the Bucs to have any kind of success in the near future, Baker Mayfield or whoever is playing quarterback for the team in the coming years will have a solid cocoon to work out of with Wright & Tristan Wirfs on the other side of that line.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for Darnell Wright is Penei Sewell.
The Seahawks made a luxury pick, nabbing their franchise quarterback of the future with their first pick. Now, onto more pressing matters; an edge rusher. Tyree Wilson has been projected to go as high as #2 in this draft by some draft “experts” and for the life of me, I just can’t wrap my head around the love for this player. He is certainly physically gifted, but the tape just doesn’t scream top 10 player to me. I gave him a 3rd round grade and I think he’ll disappoint whichever team selects him higher than that. Fans will be thrilled though, to get Wilson at #20.
- Tyree Wilson is NFLDraftCity.com’s 15th Ranked Edge Rusher.
- Tyree Wilson is listed on NFLDraftCity.com’s 2023 Draft Buyer Beware List.
After a six-month investigation stemming from disgruntled former coach, Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL in which he accused the Dolphins of being racist and intentionally losing games, the league concluded neither of those accusations to be true. However, in the midst of the investigation the league found the Dolphins and owner Stephen Ross guilty of tampering with Tom Brady & Sean Payton resulting in a $1.5m fine, the stripping of their 2023 1st round pick and 2024 3rd round pick.
- The Miami Dolphins’ first selection in the 2023 NFL Draft is #51 of the 2nd round.
The Chargers may have more pressing needs at Safety and Defensive Tackle, so a player like Adetomiwa Adebawore of Northwestern will get strong consideration here. The Bolts do need a tight end and could use another receiver and they get essentially both in Dalton Kincaid. The Utah product had taken a backseat to Michael Mayer & Darnell Washington in the lead up to this month but, more and more folks have realized Kincaid may very well be the best of the talented TE group in this draft. Kincaid is a dynamic receiver and draws comparisons to Zach Ertz. He can block pretty well too.
- Dalton Kincaid is NFLDraftCity.com’s #1 Ranked Tight End.
Is there a light at the end of the tunnel of the Lamar Jackson saga? The Ravens recently adding OBJ certainly bodes well for the idea of Lamar returning to the Ravens for at least this coming season you would think, but who really knows. I can’t remember a more tumultuous offseason between a quarterback and a team since Aaron Rodgers & the Green Bay Packers in 2021, 2022 & 2023… Anyhow, the Ravens maybe need a quarterback, perhaps, and seemingly no longer need a wide receiver so, addressing the secondary it is. As long as Ozzie Newsome is still involved with the organization, I trust the Ravens to make the right decisions. Taking cornerback Cam Smith, will end up being one of the best picks in the draft.
- Cam Smith is NFLDraftCity.com’s #1 Ranked Cornerback.
The Steelers passed on an offensive tackle with their earlier pick and may not have expected a player they coveted with the 17th pick to still be on the board at this point, so they make a move to take the uber-athletic tackle out of Georgia, Broderick Jones. Sensing a potential run on the remaining top Tackles in the 1st round, Pittsburgh makes an aggressive and wise decision to come away with both Deonte Banks & Broderick Jones on Day 1 of the NFL draft.
PITTSBURGH RECEIVES: 2023 1st round pick #23 overall. MINNESOTA RECEIVES: 2023 2nd round pick #32 overall & 2024 2nd round pick.
The Trevor Lawrence era in Jacksonville is in full effect and they’ll look to continue investing in protecting their franchise quarterback by replacing the departed Jawaan Taylor with the massive tackle from Ohio State, Dawand Jones. At 6’8” 374 pounds, Jones is an athletic freak with the potential to be an outstanding lineman in the NFL. While not as polished or refined as the top 3 tackles taken earlier in this draft, Jones is equally as talented and will be a terrific player for the Jags.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for Dawand Jones is Orlando Brown, Jr.
The Giants missed the wave of cornerbacks in the first round, but they will absolutely flirt with the idea of pulling the trigger on a player who I think might be the most talented corner in the draft, in Emmanuel Forbes out of Mississippi State. The only problem is, he’s 166 pounds. Ultimately I think they end up selecting the playmaking receiver out of USC, Jordan Addison. Addison is one of the most NFL ready wide receivers in this draft and will finally provide Daniel Jones and the NYG offense the dynamic receiver they’ve been searching for, for years.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for Jordan Addison is Stefon Diggs.
This might be the pick I was most indecisive on; is it Bijan Robinson or Michael Mayer or someone else? The Cowboys cut Ezekiel Elliott and let Tight End Dalton Schultz take an uber ride down to Houston, and then proceeded to franchise tag Tony Pollard, but he’s coming off a broken leg. Ultimately the decision on the pick comes down to availability; there are a handful of free agent running backs the Cowboys could plug into their lineup, including a still available Zeke, but there aren’t any impact TE available. So with the 27th pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys select Michael Mayer. The Jason Witten comparisons aren’t unwarranted; Mayer is as polished, technical & as dependable as they come at the position. While it’s certainly no guarantee Mayer will have the career Witten had, he’s a super safe pick.
- Michael Mayer is NFLDraftCity.com’s #3 Ranked Tight End.
The Chiefs are in the midst of a dynasty and will be in one as long as Patrick Mahomes is playing quarterback. They swung and missed on Clyde Edwards-Helaire a couple years ago and will look to right their wrong with this aggressive move, leapfrogging the Bengals, Saints & Eagles to land Texas star running back, Bijan Robinson. Kansas City could use a pass rusher to replace Frank Clark and they’ll look to do that with their other picks. Landing a player that could potentially receive 20-25 touches a game will help to protect their half-a-billion dollar investment in Mahomie.
KANSAS CITY RECEIVES: 2023 1st round pick #27 overall. GREEN BAY RECEIVES: 2023 1st round pick #31 overall & 2023 4th round pick.
The Bengals are poised to continue to make noise in the AFC North and have been inconsistent in keeping Joe Burrow’s jersey clean. They added Orlando Brown, Jr. to protect Burrow’s blindside and that apparently ruffled Jonah Williams’ feathers to the tune of a trade request. It remains to be seen what will happen with him. At tight end, the Hayden Hurst experiment last season was a decent one, but he’s gone to Carolina. With needs at Offensive Line and Tight End, they get essentially both in the massive 6’7” 270 pound Darnell Washington. When he’s not making one handed catches that look like he’s catching a tennis ball or hurdling defenders; Washington can operate as essentially a 6th lineman.
- If the Bengals trade Jonah Williams – that would impact this pick.
The Saints have maintained their refusal to enter the rebuild stage ever since Drew Brees retired and will look to take advantage of a weak NFC South after optimistically adding Derek Carr to serve as their answer at quarterback. There are concerns and uncertainties with their aging star players, Michael Thomas & Alvin Kamara on & off the field. The Saints could go in a number of directions with this pick, including Guard Steve Avila or Running Back Jahmyr Gibbs. They pick again at #40 so, they take the best player available in Myles Murphy. The defensive line is a serious need for New Orleans and getting Murphy, who I believe to be a top 15 talent, at #29 is a huge dub.
- NFLDraftCity.com’s NFL Player Comparison for Myles Murphy is Chandler Jones.
The Eagles could use a safety in this spot, but they’ll probably be able to get a good one in the second round like Sydney Brown, Antonio Johnson or Jordan Battle. After addressing their big hole in the middle with their selection of Jalen Carter, the Eagles add to their second level on the defensive side with dynamic playmaker Drew Sanders. The Alabama transfer switched from defensive end to linebacker at Arkansas and flourished. He’s an elite pass rusher at the position, has tremendous size and has adequate coverage ability. Sanders could be one of those players when we look back on this draft and wonder how he didn’t go higher.
- Drew Sanders is NFLDraftCity.com’s #1 Ranked Linebacker.
After trading down twice, the Packers take a player at #31 they could have taken at #15 and nobody would have questioned it. The new chapter in Green Bay will require playmakers to help ease the transition from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love. Will the Packers ignore their need for skill position help like they did when Aaron Rodgers was their starting quarterback and they picked Jordan Love as his successor instead? Maybe they look at Hendon Hooker, here. Just Kidding. I could easily see this pick being Northwestern’s Adetomiwa Adebawore or Iowa’s Sam LaPorta.
- Quentin Johnston is NFLDraftCity.com’s #2 Ranked Wide Receiver.