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NFL Mock Draft 2023 - Round 1

Mock Draft

Round 1


Carolina Panthers

Bryce Young

QB Alabama

The Panthers have come full circle on the QB prospects to make the right final decision after their aggressive trade up the board. Young is special all-around with his intangibles, leadership and playmaking, whether it's with his arm or legs. Carolina can't pass on a much-needed long-term franchise passer and Young is a much better choice than C.J. Stroud.

Round 1


Houston Texans

Will Anderson Jr.

EDGE Alabama

The Texans' other rumored interests here are Will Levis at QB instead of C.J. Stroud and Tyree Wilson off the edge instead of Anderson. But with the team needing elite playmaking beyond pass-rush pop as part of a big overhaul, it makes most sense to grab Anderson as a cornerstone for rookie defensive-minded coach DeMeco Ryans, once a standout linebacker at Alabama.

Round 1


Arizona Cardinals

Tyree Wilson

EDGE Texas Tech

The Cardinals also have been thinking about high-end help for their own rookie defensive-minded head coach, Jonathan Gannon. Should every QB except Young be available, there's a chance they trade down to stockpile for new GM Monti Ossenfort's rebuild, but should they stay put, they love the freakish pass-rush skills of Wilson, also a huge asset vs. the run.

Round 1


Indianapolis Colts

Anthony Richardson

QB Florida

The Colts have done well with GM Chris Ballard to keep everyone guessing on their QB of choice after Young. Levis might seem to have momentum for the pick with Stroud being the fall back, but Richardson's athletic and big-arm skill set with more youthful upside just keeps aligning more with new offensive-minded coach Shane Steichen, coming off leading Jalen Hurts to big things with the Eagles.

Round 1


Seattle Seahawks

Jalen Carter

DT Georgia

The Seahawks' history of feeling good about removing any potential red flags from prospects comes into play here as Carter represents the best non-QB available. Carter fills a huge all-around disrupting need up front next to pass-rushing newcomer Dre'Mont Jones.

Round 1


Detroit Lions

Devon Witherspoon

CB Illinois

The Lions, after trading 2020 No. 3 overall pick Jeff Okudah to the Falcons, need to make rounding out their secondary a priority. Witherspoon's size and agility are appealing, but his physicality to help Cameron Sutton, Emmanuel Moseley and C.J. Gardner-Johnson make him the preferred big corner early.

Round 1


Las Vegas Raiders

Christian Gonzalez

CB Oregon

The Raiders will be standing by to get Carter and also will listen to offers to trade down, but should they execute this pick, addressing their major need in perimeter coverage is smart. Gonzalez is an exceptional athlete with smooth coverage and ballhawking skills for his size.

Round 1


Atlanta Falcons

Myles Murphy

EDGE Clemson

The Falcons will be ready to pounce on Anderson, Wilson or Carter should any of them slip but Murphy isn't just a pass-rushing consolation prize for them in the top 10. Murphy also provides a classic combination of size, speed and quickness and is a great fit for outside linebacker in their revamped 3-4 defense.

Round 1


Chicago Bears

Peter Skoronski

OT Northwestern

The Bears will end up focusing most of their draft on a defensive makeover, but need to get a rock for their offensive front first when the value is highest. Skoronski's standout explosive athleticism is made to protect Justin Fields well for a long time from left tackle.

Round 1

PICK #10

Philadelphia Eagles

Bijan Robinson

RB Texas

The Eagles and Lions are in a battle of NFC title contenders to see who will use an extra first-rounder for a "luxury" pick. Robinson is actually more a necessity for the Eagles to carry the load as a runner and receiver behind their awesome offensive line, given fragile Rashaad Penny is their shaky top option for now replacing Miles Sanders.

Round 1

PICK #11

Tennessee Titans

Will Levis

QB Kentucky

The Titans may trade up for him, too, but once the Panthers take Young and the Colts commit to Richardson, there's a chance Levis will be straight-up available with this pick given the few teams before won't be going QB. The Titans love Levis' big arm, moxie and dash of athleticism to think he can be the centerpiece of transitioning their offense from Derrick Henry-heavy to pass-happier.

Round 1

PICK #12

Houston Texans

C.J. Stroud

QB Ohio State

The Texans getting Anderson and Stroud would be something, wouldn't it? But the way things are buzzing now, it's not crazy to feel Houston can still land its accurate, stout, winning pocket passer.

Round 1

PICK #13

Green Bay Packers

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

WR Ohio State

Smith-Njigba has reemerged as the preferred top wideout prospect given he's smoother all-around than Jordan Addison and still has big-time big-play flair a la Quentin Johnston. Smith-Njigba is the ideal dynamic slot in the Amon-Ra St. Brown go-to guy mold to fit in between second-year wideouts Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs to further boost new starting QB Jordan Love.

Round 1

PICK #14

New England Patriots

Paris Johnson Jr.

OT Ohio State

The Patriots are leaning toward offensive tackle most late and Johnson fits the bill for either side because of great athleticism and footwork for his size. Left tackle Trent Brown is 30 and coming off a rough season and right tackle Riley Reiff is a shaky 34-year-old free-agent addition. 

Round 1

PICK #15

New York Jets

Broderick Jones

OT Georgia

Jones fills a targeted need with a pleasing combination of strength and quickness. Tackle is a concern for new QB Aaron Rodgers away from hopeful rebounding first-rounder Mekhi Becton given Duane Brown's age (37) and durability concerns and Max Mitchell's ineffectiveness.

Round 1

PICK #16

Washington Commanders

Deonte Banks

CB Maryland

The Commanders badly need cornerback help and can be thrilled to land some from right down the road in College Park, despite the run on the position. Banks has ridden the wave and shot up draft boards as he's gotten noticed for his own blend of size and natural ballhawking skills that falls in line with the other high prospects at a deep spot.

Round 1

PICK #17

Pittsburgh Steelers

Joey Porter Jr.

CB Penn State

The Steelers have a need a corner opposite venerable newcomer Patrick Peterson and will find it hard to resist meeting that with the son of their legendary edge pass rusher from their favorite instate program. Porter is part of the wave of big playmaking corners who will go early.

Round 1

PICK #18

Detroit Lions

Dalton Kincaid

TE Utah

The Lions traded away T.J. Hockenson last season and although they could think about waiting at a deep position, Kincaid stands out as a great fit for their offense. Passing targets who have the athleticism to stretch the field at times are a higher priority with Jameson Williams' suspension.

Round 1

PICK #19

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Hendon Hooker

QB Tennessee

Here's how to hook Hooker into the first round as the Buccaneers are the QB-neediest team in the back half. They should like his strong downfield passing attributes, accuracy and leadership to the point they can wait a little for him to get to full health, knowing he can start sooner rather than later at 25.

Round 1

PICK #20

Seattle Seahawks

John Michael Schmitz

C Minnesota

The Seahawks did well to land offensive tackles Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas in last year's draft but they can fill their long-standing void in the middle by taking the best pure center prospect a little earlier than expected.

Round 1

PICK #21

Los Angeles Chargers

Zay Flowers

WR Boston College

The Chargers should be looking for a Tyler Lockett inside-outside type to help with their age and injury concerns with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and Flowers is a perfect unique new go-to guy for Justin Herbert.

Round 1

PICK #22

Baltimore Ravens

Quentin Johnson


The Ravens signed Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor but those are short-term receiving fixes in Todd Monken's offense. They need a true speedy field-stretcher to push their passing attack to the next level with hopefully Lamar Jackson back and happy at quarterback.

Round 1

PICK #23

Minnesota Vikings

Jordan Addison


The Vikings will take advantage of Addison slipping a bit in relation to the other receivers and jump on him as their slot-forward replacement for Adam Thielen to take full advantage of the attention Justin Jefferson gets everywhere.

Round 1

PICK #24

Jacksonville Jaguars

Brian Branch

S Alabama

The Jaguars don't have many other glaring needs but safety is a weakness on their rebuilding defense. Branch's value lines up nicely here as a well-rounded defender with ace inside coverage skills.

Round 1

PICK #25

New York Giants

Drew Sanders

LB Arkansas

The Giants are starting to warm up to Sanders' versatility on the second level as his rare upfield skills and pass-rush production will be a welcome cog for Wink Martindale playing off last year's first-rounder, Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Round 1

PICK #26

Dallas Cowboys

Antonio Johnson

S Texas A&M

The Cowboys do have a developing need in the middle of their secondary and staying in state for Johnson as a complete safety makes a ton of sense when going for guard and tight end can be done well later.

Round 1

PICK #27

Buffalo Bills

Trenton Simpson

LB Clemson

The Bills need to replace Tremaine Edmunds with a do-everything linebacker to complement the coverage skills of Matt Milano, above opting for an offensive luxury at running back at wide receivers. Sanders or Simpson are both right in the wheelhouse.

Round 1

PICK #28

Cincinnati Bengals

Michael Mayer

TE Notre Dame

The Bengals, who once drafted Pro Bowler Tyler Eifert out of Notre Dame in the first round, will be thrilled to land the co-best tight end in the class to fill a key receiving need for Joe Burrow after losing C.J. Uzomah and Hayden Hurst in consecutive offseasons.

Round 1

PICK #29

New Orleans Saints

Luke Van Ness


The Saints have lost two promising pass rushers opposite future Hall of Famer Cameron Jordan with Trey Hendrickson and Marcus Davenport signing elsewhere. They need to replenish things for.defensive-minded Dennis Allen and Van Ness' relentlessness and explosiveness has raw appeal.

Round 1

PICK #30

Philadelphia Eagles

Nolan Smith

EDGE Georgia

The Eagles loaded up on Georgia's loaded defense with Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean as future help in last year's class. Now they can do the same by tapping into a high-upside freakish pass-rusher behind Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat.

Round 1

PICK #31

Kansas City Chiefs

Darnell Wright

OT Tennessee

The Chiefs signed Jawaan Taylor to offset the loss of Orlando Brown Jr. and they should be in the market for a fast-rising tackle in Wright because of being similar to Brown and having a shot to play either tackle if Taylor feels more comfortable staying on the right side in time.