The NFL Combine is around the corner and the picks are locked in. It’s time to expand our 2023 NFL Mock Drafts to include three rounds. In this 2023 three-round NFL Mock Draft, we enable trades for the first two rounds to better match teams to players and attack runs in the NFL draft.
All of this will change after the combine and after free agency, but let’s take a swing at where teams stand right now.
2023 Three-Round NFL Mock Draft
1) Houston Texans (From CHI): C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Trade: Houston receives pick 1; Chicago receives picks 2, 12, and 2024 second-round pick
Trading up just one pick in the draft in a class with two “clear” high-end quarterbacks seems ridiculous, but in this scenario, we project that Bryce Young’s frame gives NFL evaluators enough pause that there is a clear separation between him and C.J. Stroud. The draft compensation is fairly steep, but not out of line with historic trades for a quarterback.
While it’s a good deal more than what San Francisco received when Chicago traded up from the third overall pick to the second overall pick, it’s still less than what Washington offered to St. Louis when trading up for Robert Griffin III in 2012 and is somewhat reminiscent of the trade the San Diego Chargers made for Ryan Leaf when trading up from third overall to second overall.
MORE: Top 10 Quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft
This allows DeMeco Ryans to begin his tenure with the quarterback of his choice. Stroud makes quick decisions and demonstrates accuracy while showcasing high-level athleticism.
Here, the Texans don’t give up the farm to select the quarterback they liked best, so they can build on their promising 2022 class by surrounding Stroud with talent acquired from this year’s draft class.
2) Chicago Bears (From HOU): Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama
Will Anderson Jr. will immediately bolster a Bears pass rush sorely needing help. Despite his size, Anderson was a high-level run defender, which is a good supplement to his remarkable capability to rush the passer. Matt Eberflus will know how to best unlock Anderson and re-establish the terrifying Bears’ defense.
The Bears ranked dead last in pressure rate last year. They’ll need all the help they can get to improve on that mark.
3) Arizona Cardinals: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
Taking Jalen Carter here at third overall is a steal for the Cardinals, who will need to replace their interior pass rush with J.J. Watt retired. New head coach Jonathan Gannon knows the importance of a deep and capable defensive line, so it’s no surprise that he would go with that position out of the gate.
Carter has out-of-this-world athletic capability that gives him incredible pass rush talent, but his strength and awareness have made him an excellent run defender too. Gannon will want to work with him to improve his consistency and technical refinement, but this should immediately boost a defense that has athleticism and talent but no identity.
4) Indianapolis Colts: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Ideally, in this scenario, the Colts would trade down a few spots to take advantage of the NFL’s projected hesitancy surrounding Bryce Young. This would be considered an overdraft should that happen, but the Colts don’t want to trade down too far. And the next four or five teams with selections have no reason to trade up. Their team needs are well accounted for in the current value slots.
Young is a great quarterback, even if some people have concerns about his size. He’s one of the most creative players we’ve seen come out of the draft and was the engine behind Alabama’s success this year — not often the case for Alabama quarterbacks.
5) Seattle Seahawks: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
The Seahawks need an edge rusher. They have a preference for athletes who test well and have length and love athletes who play with abandon. This pick nearly writes itself, even if it is a little bit boring.
Myles Murphy is scheme-versatile, allowing the Seahawks to experiment with a number of fronts to complement their back end coverage packages. Murphy should provide Seattle with the ferocity they lack up front.
6) Detroit Lions: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
It is possible that the Lions trade down in a CB-rich draft for a team looking for a quarterback, but they’ve very much been a go-get-your-guy franchise under Dan Campbell. Christian Gonzalez seems like a Dan Campbell guy.
As a physical press corner with length and a willingness to tackle, his scouting report is reminiscent of Jeff Okudah. Pairing those two together could help make sure the Lions’ defense keeps up with its impressive offense.
7) Las Vegas Raiders: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
Assuming the Raiders make good on their gamble in the quarterback market and they re-sign Josh Jacobs, they will likely want to make sure their offense stays on track.
They don’t have a right tackle or right guard under contract, and though they’ll likely sign some players in free agency, they’ll want to secure this position long-term like they had hoped to with Alex Leatherwood not too long ago.
Peter Skoronski could be a tackle or a guard in the NFL, and the Raiders could use him at either spot. In this case, they likely want him to excel at tackle before moving anyone around.
8) Atlanta Falcons: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
Kaleb McGary is hitting free agency, and he never developed at the pace that Chris Lindstrom did. The Falcons may be comfortable letting him go and drafting his replacement.
Even if they re-sign McGary, they could draft Paris Johnson Jr. to play him at guard in Matt Hennessy’s stead to set up a long-term replacement for left tackle Jake Matthews, who will be 31 entering the season. At quarterback, the Falcons will continue to explore what Desmond Ridder can do.
9) Carolina Panthers: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
The Panthers get remarkably lucky here and land the quarterback of their choice without having to trade up. Both the Falcons and the Lions were good candidates for a trade up, and we may see that when the draft rolls around. But the NFL may not value quarterbacks like Anthony Richardson or Will Levis enough to demand a move inside the top ten.
Richardson is a dynamic athlete with a great arm and his upside is nearly impossible to ignore. He needs a lot of refinement, but he’s well worth investing in. In the meantime, the Panthers can either pursue a veteran free agent or hold an open competition between Richardson and Matt Corral.
10) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (From PHI): Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Trade: Philadelphia receives picks 19 and 50; Tampa Bay receives pick 10
The Eagles have an enormous number of positions to restock after the Super Bowl, so even though they have multiple first-round picks, it makes sense for them to trade down in the first round to secure another second-round pick. Not only that, but they are running out of years on Jalen Hurts’ rookie deal, so securing more rookie contracts is smart.
For Tampa Bay’s money, getting Will Levis to compete with Kyle Trask at the tenth overall pick isn’t a bad deal. Giving up a second-round pick and nothing else for a shot at a franchise quarterback is an ideal scenario; the Kansas City Chiefs traded the 27th overall pick, a third-round pick, and the next year’s first-round pick for Patrick Mahomes at pick number ten in 2017.
11) Tennessee Titans: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
Knowing that the next three teams could all pick a tackle, the Titans choose not to trade down and slightly overdraft Broderick Jones in order to move on smoothly from Taylor Lewan.
Jones’ length and power give him the tools they need to continue executing their running game and sets up a potential pivot to Malik Willis longterm. In the meantime, Jones’ tools should also help Tennessee protect Ryan Tannehill.
12) Chicago Bears (from HOU): Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
Trading down allowed the Bears to get the best defensive player and best offensive skill player in the draft. They’ll still want to invest in the offensive line in order to fully enable Justin Fields, but this pick goes a long way toward evaluating their exciting young passer.
Quentin Johnston is going to provide a speed element that the Bears have been missing, and he should create space for Darnell Mooney to win underneath.
13) New York Jets: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
The New York Jets might need some help along the offensive line, but a return to health would mean more there than a first-round pick. Instead, they complement a skill group that already has Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall with another weapon. With Elijah Moore also in that mix, the Jets should be an appealing destination for any quarterback they hope to sign or trade for.
A younger receiver, Jordan Addison has dynamic athleticism and can win at all levels of the field. He and Wilson should be able to alternate roles to keep defenses off balance.
14) Philadelphia Eagles (From NE): Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
Trade: New England receives picks 19 and 62; Philadelphia receives picks 14 and 107
The Eagles needed to accumulate more picks, which is why they traded down with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But 19 was a very steep fall, and moving back up to 14 allows them to grab a falling Tyree Wilson at a position of extreme need.
At the same time, New England, which has a number of needs at defensive line, defensive back, and receiver, can secure some more picks themselves without losing out on a first-round quality player at one of those positions. This move also fulfills the tradition of New England trading with Philadelphia.
Essentially, the Eagles have turned the 10th and 62nd overall picks into the 14th, 50th and 107th overall picks. Wilson has an incredible toolset with more length and size than any other edge defender in the draft, and he can kick inside, too. His tools make him intriguing, and the Eagles won’t be forced to play him full time right away.
15) Green Bay Packers: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
The Green Bay Packers haven’t had a franchise-quality tight end since Jermichael Finley. With Robert Tonyan getting up there in age and a clear TE1 in this draft, Michael Mayer seems like a no-brainer for a team looking to provide friendly options for Jordan Love should they move on from Aaron Rodgers.
Mayer is the prototypical size for a tight end and has been a fantastic pass-catching target for Notre Dame while also demonstrating fantastic blocking — that kind of complete package is rare.
16) Washington Commanders: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
Joey Porter Jr. is only other top-level cornerback in the draft, and the Washington Commanders find much better value than the Lions did with Gonzalez.
MORE: 2023 NFL Mock Draft Simulator
Washington will lose a few defenders in free agency and may lose more next year. They have an issue at cornerback and could remedy that with Porter, who plays with the kind of quickness that made Kendall Fuller such a success at the position. The difference is that Porter is 6’2”.
17) Pittsburgh Steelers: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
The Pittsburgh Steelers grab value in defensive tackle Bryan Bresee, who could have been picked in the top ten without much objection. Bresee has phenomenal size, strength, and length, and he generates a ton of force. He’s one of the few defensive tackles generally considered capable of playing in both one-gap and two-gap schemes.
18) Detroit Lions: Brian Branch, S, Alabama
After drafting Gonzalez, the Lions are willing to double-dip in the secondary in order to really improve upon an enormous weekness. Brian Branch allows the defense to get creative — he’s played in the box, up high as a centerfielder, and in the slot in both man and zone coverages.
Given the Lions’ penchant for creative blitzes and reliance on safeties to cover the deep end while sending pressure, this pick should supercharge the defense.
19) New England Patriots: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
The Patriots traded down, knowing that there would be a number of cornerbacks and receivers available later on. Though the cornerback talent is a bit richer now than the receiver talent, they still opt to go for a corner because the equation changes in the second round, where the WR talent will likely be deeper.
Devon Witherspoon is a great selection here because of his tenacity. Though he needs to bulk up a little bit, his willingness to be physical, along with a natural instinct for shutting down receivers, should help the Patriots replace who they’re losing in free agency.
20) Seattle Seahawks: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
Ideally, Seattle will be able to find good value for an interior offensive lineman or defensive tackle, but they’ll have to make do with a first-round receiver who might be able to replace Tyler Lockett long-term and can supplement he and D.K. Metcalf before then as a third receiver.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba won’t have to come online right away, so he can take his time recovering from injury. When takes the field, he can fit naturally into the slot for the Seahawks.
21) Los Angeles Chargers: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
The board fell the wrong way for the Los Angeles Chargers here. Ideally, someone would package together a bevy of picks for Bijan Robinson, who is still on the board. But the teams who most need running backs — the Broncos, Dolphins and Panthers, for example — don’t have first-round picks or needed to spend them on something dire, like a quarterback.
Los Angeles had good luck with their young cornerbacks, so could withstand the free agency failure of J.C. Jackson and don’t need to spend a first-round pick on one here.
That leaves them to either overdraft a receiver, double-up at cornerback, or pick a linebacker with the understanding that Kenneth Murray will never become who they thought he could be. Drue Tranquill, hitting free agency regardless, is nice but not elite — even though the defense de-emphasizes the position.
We went with the last option because good coaches can find ways to use good players, and Trenton Simpson is one of the best. He can and has lined up everywhere along the defense and has terrorized offenses from safety to edge rusher.
22) Baltimore Ravens: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
The Baltimore Ravens have several cornerbacks hitting free agency and were plagued with injuries to older veterans among those still under contract. Cam Smith is a versatile corner who can play inside and outside and excels in press coverage.
If the Ravens want to keep designing aggressive blitzes and living off the turnover potential of their coverage, then Smith is the perfect cornerback to help them out.
23) Minnesota Vikings: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
The Minnesota Vikings double up on physical Georgia defensive backs in the first round, following up their Lewis Cine pick last year with Kelee Ringo, who might be the best run defending cornerback in this year’s draft among a class full of them.
He’s incredible at bringing down ball carriers and carries high-level coverage capability against pass catchers. That sounds like somebody who could thrive in Brian Flores’ scheme.
24) Buffalo Bills (from JAX): Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Trade: Jacksonville receives picks 27 and 91, Buffalo receives picks 24 and 121
The Buffalo Bills wouldn’t trade up all the way to 21 for a running back — a slight luxury pick — but would be willing to jump three picks in order to prevent Arizona or another team from leaping up from the second round, at least in this scenario.
The Bills can get the best running back in the draft while still maintaining the same number of picks — important, as they only have six of them in this year’s draft.
Robinson is a big back that plays like a big back against contact and a small back in space. He has incredible athleticism and agility, is a great pass catcher, and has good speed. His burst isn’t quite that of some of the top backs in previous drafts, but he stands out among the crowd over the past two or three years. He’s a phenomenal player to watch.
25) New York Giants: Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas
Linebacker is not the biggest need for the New York Giants — they could do more with a receiver or center. But in terms of talent to need, it’s hard to beat Drew Sanders. The Giants will find players in the second and third rounds to fill those other roles and wouldn’t be sacrificing value along the way.
For now, they can invest in the 6’5”, 234-pound Arkansas backer that has played both edge defender and off-ball linebacker. He excelled in both roles, and the Giants can look to division rivals Dallas Cowboys to see how valuable that can be.
26) Dallas Cowboys: O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida
This is a dream draft for the Dallas Cowboys, who can select a guard and now keep Tyler Smith on the outside with Jason Peters hitting free agency and possibly retiring.
There’s plenty of contractual work they may need to do at running back, but the primary driver of their running game has been a good offensive line. In order to preserve that, drafting a powerful run blocker in O’Cyrus Torrence should keep their offense chugging along.
27) Jacksonville Jaguars (from BUF): Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
The Jacksonville Jaguars missed out on the cornerback run, but they can still help their secondary with safety Antonio Johnson. A large safety with length and power, Johnson is best suited for the box but has succeeded deep and in man coverage as a slot defender.
His ability to sort through the trash and find the runner is great – as is his blitzing – but his balance and athleticism gives him coverage upside that the Jaguars will need to see more of from their secondary.
28) Cincinnati Bengals: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
Anton Harrison is not a prototypical zone-blocking offensive tackle, but he does have the athleticism to win with those concepts while using his impressive size to shut down pass rushers.
The Cincinnati Bengals have done quite a lot without much talent on their offensive line but now need to invest in the position. With La’el Collins locking down the right side, Harrison could help the Bengals offense truly hit their ceiling.
29) New Orleans Saints: Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
The New Orleans Saints have a lot of needs and could justify reaching here for a quarterback or receiver. But the best value here is an edge defender, and Isaiah Foskey is a complete athlete that could replace Marcus Davenport, who is likely departing in free agency.
With Cameron Jordan getting up there in age, this would be an ideal pick to address a position that will have multiple vacancies very soon.
30) Philadelphia Eagles: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
The Philadelphia Eagles have James Bradberry hitting free agency and also have to worry about Darius Slay’s enormous cap hit. Their versatile slot safety, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, is also hitting free agency.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
With that in mind, they’ll make a small reach at corner to secure a fifth-year option. Emmanuel Forbes is a bit small and needs to add bulk, but he plays with physicality and length.
31) Kansas City Chiefs: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
It’s not hard to imagine what the Kansas City Chiefs can do with an undersized deep threat with rare speed and the ability to win contested catches. The fact that Josh Downs can also win after the catch and aggressively attacks space just makes him seem like the perfect Kansas City Chief.
2023 NFL Mock Draft | Round 2
32) Pittsburgh Steelers: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
33) Houston Texans: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
34) Arizona Cardinals: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
35) Indianapolis Colts: Cody Mauch, OT, NDSU
36) Los Angeles Rams: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
37) Cleveland Browns (from SEA): BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
Trade: Seattle receives picks 42 and 126; Cleveland receives pick 37
38) Atlanta Falcons (from LV): Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
Trade: Las Vegas receives picks 44 and 113; Atlanta receives pick 38
39) Carolina Panthers: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
40) New Orleans Saints: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
41) Tennessee Titans: John Michael Schmitz, OC, Minnesota
42) Seattle Seahawks (from CLE): Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor
43) New York Jets: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
44) Las Vegas Raiders (from ATL): Derick Hall, EDGE, Auburn
45) Green Bay Packers: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State
46) New England Patriots: Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
47) Washington Commanders: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
48) New York Giants (from DET): Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
Trade: Detroit receives picks 57 and 102, New York receives pick 48
49) Pittsburgh Steelers: Tuli Tuipulotu, DT, USC
50) Philadelphia Eagles: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pitt
51) Miami Dolphins: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
52) Seattle Seahawks: Henry To’oTo’o, LB, Alabama
53) Chicago Bears: Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland
54) Los Angeles Chargers: Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
55) Detroit Lions: Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
56) Jacksonville Jaguars: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
57) Detroit Lions (from NYJ): Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
58) Dallas Cowboys: Keion White, DL, Georgia Tech
59) Buffalo Bills: Andre Carter II, EDGE, Army
60) Cincinnati Bengals: Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State
61) Denver Broncos (from CAR): Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
Trade: Carolina receives picks 67 and 141; Denver receivers pick 61
62) New England Patriots: Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
63) Kansas City Chiefs: Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State
2023 NFL Mock Draft | Round 3
64) Chicago Bears: Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida
65) Houston Texans: Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee
66) Arizona Cardinals: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State
67) Carolina Panthers (from DEN): Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
68) Denver Broncos: Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M
69) Los Angeles Rams: Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami (FL)
70) Las Vegas Raiders: Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin
71) New Orleans Saints: Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford
72) Tennessee Titans: Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse
73) Houston Texans: Steve Avila, OL, TCU
74) New York Jets: JL Skinner, S, Boise State
75) Atlanta Falcons: Mike Morris, DL, Michigan
76) New England Patriots: Daiyan Henley, LB, Washington State
77) Miami Dolphins: Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
78) Green Bay Packers: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
79) Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Vorhees, OG, USC
80) Pittsburgh Steelers: Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
81) Detroit Lions: Xavier Hutchinson, WR, Iowa State
82) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jaylon Jones, CB, Texas A&M
83) Seattle Seahawks: Luke Wypler, OC, Ohio State
84) Miami Dolphins: Christopher Smith, S, Georgia
85) Los Angeles Chargers: Dontayvion Wicks, WR, Virginia
86) Baltimore Ravens: Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
87) Minnesota Vikings: Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern
88) Jacksonville Jaguars: Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
89) New York Giants: Joe Tippman, OC, Wisconsin
90) Dallas Cowboys: DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas
91) Jacksonville Jaguars (from BUF): Parker Washington, WR, Penn State
92) Cincinnati Bengals: Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State
93) Carolina Panthers: Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati
94) Philadelphia Eagles: Jammie Robinson, S, Florida State
95) Kansas City Chiefs: Zacch Pickens, DT, South Carolina
96) Arizona Cardinals: Kyu Blu Kelly, CB, Stanford
97) Washington Commanders: Byron Young, EDGE, Tennessee
98) Cleveland Browns: Colby Wooden, DT, Auburn
99) San Francisco 49ers: Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama
100) San Francisco 49ers: Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame
101) San Francisco 49ers: Jarrett Patterson, OG Notre Dame
102) Detroit Lions: Jaren Hall, QB, BYU
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