Elite QBs dominate top of Round 1

Bryce Young, Alabama, 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The smokescreens clear out and the elite top QBs in the class go quickly in this full 7-round 2023 NFL Mock Draft one day before the clock starts ticking.

After months of uncertainty and consternation, the 2023 NFL Draft is finally here. It is time to finally figure out where the best prospects in this very deep, unique draft class will start their respective professional careers. With so many quarterbacks projected to be picked high, the drama is unending.

Not only will teams that spent the better part of last season getting drubbed by the rest of the league find themselves an opportunity to add a legit game-changer, but the contenders have a shot to land that one difference-maker that sets them apart.

With how quickly teams can rise and fall, crushing this draft could be the precursor to a successful stint as a contender in this league if the team plays their cards right. After months of scouting and mocking, let’s finalize things and predict all 259 selections.

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Full 7-round projection of all 259 picks

Round 1


The Panthers traded up to No. 1 to select a quarterback, and there really isn’t a wrong way to go when looking at CJ Stroud or Bryce Young. With Frank Reich’s offensive mind at the sticks, whoever they end up taking will have some very solid support behind them.

Young’s lack of weight is alarming and a historical outlier, but the Heisman Trophy winner is going to come into the league as a relatively finished product. With outrageous playmaking ability, mobility, and accuracy in tight windows, Young’s arm could usher in a new era in Carolina.


DeMeco Ryans and the Texans may not get their pick of the top quarterbacks in this draft, but getting whichever of the dynamic duo falls to them isn’t a bad consolation prize. With a variation of the San Francisco offense coming to Houston, quick decision-making is necessary.

Stroud may not wow anyone with athleticism, but he possesses a tremendous arm with pinpoint downfield accuracy to all levels. A quick processor that sliced Georgia up in the Buckeyes’ postseason matchup, expect Stroud to come right into Houston and immediately supercharge the Texans’ offense for the next decade.


Will Anderson Jr.

EDGE Alabama

Arizona is in a position to select the best player available in this draft class, and they don’t get any better than this. Anderson’s college production at Alabama was so cartoonish that it looks like something out of a video game, making him an immediate Day 1 player in the NFL.

While not a perfect prospect, Anderson’s faults are so minuscule that focusing on them is akin to complaining about Cindy Crawford’s mole. With or without Kyler Murray behind center, Jonathan Gannon can build a defense in his image with Anderson at the center of it all.


Levis has accuracy concerns, but he has a bazooka of a right arm with tremendous mobility and a serious gunslinger mindset. Going to Indianapolis would let him marinate on the bench and get up to speed in the pros before eventually taking over from Gardner Minshew and leading the Colts to their new frontier.

If Colts head coach Shane Steichen is going to run a variation of the same offense he perfected with Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia, the Colts could strike gold by taking the promising Levis. If he fails, heads will roll. If he clicks, Indianapolis will have a perennial Pro Bowl quarterback for a decade.

NFL Mock Draft: Will Levis has tools to work with


Tyree Wilson

EDGE Texas Tech

Some scouts might question where Wilson’s best position in the pros is, but what everyone is in agreement on is the fact that he can instantly wreck any offensive gameplan when he’s on. With tremendous length, functional power, and versatility, a team like Seattle will have a field day developing him.

The Seahawks need to prioritize defense in this draft, as it was clearly the team’s weak link. As a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end with a surprisingly refined technique, Wilson profiles as a quality two-way defensive end who will make Pete Carroll very happy by breaking quarterbacks in half.


Devon Witherspoon

CB Illinois

The Lions have addressed many of their key needs in free agency, but the defense could still use one or two more big names alongside Aidan Hutchinson. Witherspoon would give the Lions one of the league’s most exciting and fun-to-watch units in all of football, thanks to the volcanic fury with which he plays the game.

Witherspoon is a tremendous tackler in open space, a feisty fighter at the line of scrimmage, and a capable enough playmaker when the ball is in the air to challenge Christian Gonzalez as the top corner in this draft potentially. Detroit has built a worthwhile offense, but this is the acquisition the defense needs.


Christian Gonzalez

CB Oregon

The Raiders have been courting some of the top quarterbacks in the draft, but the Jimmy Garoppolo contract could signal that they will use this pick elsewhere. The secondary has been a problem for years, but adding a man coverage monster like Gonzalez could rectify that.

While his zone coverage range leaves a lot to be desired, Gonzalez’s length and speed give him all the traits any DC could ask for in a top cornerback. A tremendous tackler with versatility and a knack for timely playmaking in big moments, Las Vegas can build their new-look defense around Gonzalez.


Atlanta may have one of the best corners in the league in AJ Terrell, but he alone might not be enough to rectify this defense. Anderson and Carter are the two best players in this class, with Carter’s explosion, run-stuffing skill, and masterful technique making him a no-doubt pick to succeed in the pros.

Carter’s concerns are legitimate, considering the drag racing incident and the fact he was awful at his pro day. If the Falcons feel comfortable selecting him, it will be hard for them to pass up a player who had Ndamukong Suh levels of dominance on his collegiate tape regularly.


Paris Johnson Jr.

OT Ohio State

The Bears did well to acquire a true No. 1 wide receiver for Justin Fields in DJ Moore, but they need to do something about their porous offensive line. Chicago could add a former teammate of Fields in Johnson, who will bring a premium dose of athletic ability and pass-blocking proficiency to the team.

With a freakish wingspan and terrific mobility at the second level, Johnson profiles as a player that can completely shut down whatever side of the field he is on. Johnson should not make it past this spot, as the Bears could draft a decade-long starter if everything manages to click for him.


It’s not hyperbole to suggest that Robinson is as good of a prospect coming out of Texas as Saquon Barkley was a Penn State. Everything one could want in a top back prospect (size, power, speed, elusiveness, production in big games) are present in one of the best RB prospects we’ve seen in a decade.

The only argument against Robinson is based on value, as Philadelphia hasn’t used premium picks on running backs during the Howie Roseman tenure. With Miles Sanders in Carolina and Nick Sirianni looking to run a ton, the defending NFC champions could draft a true bell cow if they pick Robinson here.


Anthony Richardson

QB Florida

The Titans need to figure out a backup plan after Ryan Tannehill leaves, and new GM Ran Carthon could choose to make his mark on this team by picking a new quarterback that can set the stage for the next decade. While a risky player due to his disappointing final season, Richardson’s tools are jaw-dropping.

Drafting a player with one year as a starter and a 53% completion percentage No. 4 overall might seem like a major red flag, but that’s worth doing when he grades out as the most athletic quarterback ever despite weighing 244 pounds. Richardson also possesses the strongest arm in this class, which is the best trait he will bring to Tennessee.


Murphy is a premium athlete at the defensive end spot, so much so that Houston should eschew getting their quarterback a new receiver. Murphy may not be the strongest or most refined player, but even professional tackles will need to respect his edge-bending abilities.

Murphy showed terrific explosion off the snap and the body type of someone that profiles as a Pro Bowl hand-in-the-dirt defensive end. The Texans need a stout defensive line to run Ryans’ defense in the same way he managed in San Francisco, and Murphy is a good start.


Michael Mayer

TE Notre Dame

Oh, the irony. After neglecting first-round skill position players for years with Aaron Rodgers, new Packers QB Jordan Love would get a starting tight end immediately. Green Bay would be prioritizing Day 1 impact with this pick, as Mayer should make a very smooth transition to the pros.

Mayer may not have one extraordinary trait, but he is slightly above average in just about every aspect of playing the tight end position. The most complete in-line tight end in this class, Mayer could be one of Love’s most trusted targets thanks to his soft hands and bruising running as a ball carrier.


Peter Skoronski

OT/OG Northwestern

New England could get Mac Jones some weapons here, but protecting him is just as important. Skoronski has performed very well against a murderer’s row of pass-rush talent while showing off some very nice footwork and some mauling as a run-blocker that Bill Belichick will love.

Skoronski might need to move inside to guard due to his short arm length, but the Patriots might be willing to make that move if necessary. However, if he stays at left tackle and Cole Strange takes a step forward, the left side of the offensive line will be taken care of for a decade.


Darnell Wright

OT Tennessee

Even though the Jets will likely go into the season with Mekhi Becton and Duane Brown as the two starting tackles, they need to find someone that can be a productive starter when Brown retires or Becton once again succumbs to his injuries, and Wright more than checks that box.

While Wright might be limited to right tackle in the pros, he is preposterously strong and can dominate even the most tactically skilled pass rusher on sheer brutality alone. Wright will keep whomever is under center pristinely clean in pass protection for the next half-decade at least.


Joey Porter Jr.

CB Penn State

The son of the great Steelers linebacker, Joey Jr. is a giant corner that can swallow up receivers at the line of scrimmage and be an absolute pain when the ball is in the air. Porter is a willing and able tackler that emerged as the undisputed leader of the Nittany Lion defense.

With Washington set at quarterback (according to them) in 2023, Ron Rivera could upgrade a suspect pass defense with this pick. No matter who is under center, Porter possesses the talent to help shoot the Commanders’ volatile secondary up the hypothetical power rankings.


Broderick Jones

OT Georgia

Pittsburgh is all in on Kenny Pickett, so why not get a high-end right tackle that can keep him upright? While Jones is going to go through growing pains at the professional level, he is such a dominant mauler when he gets his hands in position that even elite rushers trembled in fear.

The Steelers’ offensive line has been a work in progress for quite a long time, and Jones is going to be perhaps the most important piece as they try to get back to league average in this area. As a run-blocker, there may not be one player in this class that can top him.


The Lions went for a secondary upgrade at No. 6, so why not get Hutchinson a long-term running mate at No. 18? Van Ness is a raw player who was never a consistent starter at Iowa, but he is a freakish athlete with insane power that embarrassed the likes of Peter Skoronski when he was on the field.

Van Ness has the size to move around the defensive line and the quickness needed to send his hulking frame speeding right past NFL tackles. Detroit’s new-look defense will help them support an offense that is good enough to compete for a division title this year and the next.


A former No. 1 recruit, Smith never had amazing production at Georgia and will come into the league quite light for a defensive end. That shouldn’t dissuade the Buccaneers from starting the post-Tom Brady era by building a defense that scares the rest of the division.

With Shaq Barrett getting older and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka starting to flatline, Tampa Bay would be wise to add a speedy edge rusher that can be a pest on Day 1. Athletes like that are often targeted high in the draft by Todd Bowles, meaning that Smith could override their need for a quarterback.


Jaxon Smith-Njigba

WR Ohio State

A wide receiver finally comes off the board, and it’s one of the most dominant route-runners we’ve seen in quite some time. Smith-Njigba won’t win any 100-meter dashes, but he will give Seattle’s high-octane offense another consistent threat over the middle.

The Seahawks would instantly have one of the best starting wide receiver trios in the league in DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Smith-Njigba alongside Geno Smith. In terms of Day 1 impact, none of the receivers in this thin class can match up to what JSN can provide.


The Chargers’ lack of quality support around Justin Herbert has been exposed, with some new pass-catchers needed in the worst way possible. A new tight end for Kellen Moore to fill around with, especially a former San Diego transfer in Kincaid, would be what Los Angeles fans need right now.

Kincaid’s ability to break tackles as a runner, right crisp routes, and block well enough in the running game make him a complete tight end that should have no trouble acclimating to life in the NFL. Moore turned Dalton Schultz into a stud, and Kincard profiles as a much better player.


Johnston’s ceiling in the pros has been in question due to his weird body-catching habit and a limited route tree in college. Even with those concerns, his height-speed combination and surprising flexibility as a runner make him a complete package at receiver with high-end starter potential.

The Ravens may have signed Odell Beckham Jr. to give Lamar Jackson (maybe) a No. 1 receiver, but that is not an adequate long-term fix. Johnston will allow Jackson and Todd Monken to stretch the field, giving Baltimore the verticality and red-zone presence their offense has often lacked.


Minnesota needs cornerbacks as badly as just about any team in the league, and adding a top-shelf athlete with length and a tenacious demeanor like Banks will help fix that issue as soon as possible. Banks’ standout performance against Michigan was one of the best games any prospect put on tape this season.

The Vikings might be poking around the quarterback market, but rolling with Kirk Cousins and surrounding him with a defense that is worth a damn isn’t the worst idea in the world.


Darnell Washington

TE Georgia

Washington was never as productive a receiver at Georgia as many would have hoped, but that is Brock Bowers’ fault more than his. Washington is every bit of 6-7 and 270 pounds, making him the best tight end blocker in this class. His blocking is so strong he almost functions as a sixth offensive lineman.

The Jaguars might need to jettison Evan Engram at some point in the near future due to all their potential extensions, so Washington could be a very natural replacement. Alongside Trevor Lawrence in a Doug Pederson offense that often highlights tight ends, one of the best TE athletes in years will thrive as a pass-catcher in Jacksonville.


Addison has a bad pre-draft process, as his unimpressive athletic times, combined with a downturn in production last season, have teams questioning his long-term fit. If Addison clicks for the receiver-needy Giants, his playmaking ability will help him pile up the yards.

New York will need to surround Daniel Jones with top-end talent due to the insane contract they handed out, and Addison could help Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka gift Jones a player that can win on the outside regularly. If the Addison we saw at Pitt comes to the pros, look out.


With Ezekiel Elliott gone and Tony Pollard potentially in a position to cash in next offseason, the Cowboys need to get their running back room sorted out once and for all. Gibbs would be RB1 in most drafts, as his slippery style and unparalleled receiving skill make him perfect for the modern NFL.

Dallas has pledged to run the rock more now that Mike McCarthy is taking a bigger role on the offensive side of the ball, so investing in a player like Gibbs would be one way to ensure that the ground game is working well. Imagine the fun packages that feature Pollard and Gibbs on the field at the same time.


O’Cyrus Torrence

IOL Florida

Buffalo’s addition of Damien Harris and retention of Jordan Poyer makes guard one of their biggest areas of need at this point. The Bills will never turn down a chance to grab a solid protector that can minimize the contact on Josh Allen, and Torrence certainly fits that bill.

A complete mauler who can turn even the toughest defenders into mincemeat, Torrence is a rare athlete for the guard position with freakish power at the point of attack. Buffalo has many of the pieces needed for a title run, but the line could use some work.


Branch may not look like a prototypical deep zone safety, but he is one of those players that makes things happen no matter where he lines up. In a deep tight end class, Cincinnati opts for a defensive standout that can help shore up a weakened secondary.

With Jessie Bates in Atlanta and Vonn Bell in Carolina, the Bengals will likely look to Branch and Daxton Hill as the safety tandem of the future. Joe Burrow will have the offense cooking, and Branch can make sure Lou Anarumo’s defense remains in a select tier.


Zay Flowers

WR Boston College

If the Saints neglect the defensive line here, Flowers will be the best wide receiver left on the board. While incredibly skinny, Flowers is such a dynamic route-runner and ball carrier that he can give Derek Carr a lethal threat underneath while working on becoming a better deep threat.

Jarvis Landry is a free agent, and the Michael Thomas era appears to be speeding to a very unsatisfying conclusion. New Orleans will need to add multiple targets for Carr in this draft, with Flowers standing out as a player who can eventually be a consistent 1,000-yard threat in Pete Carmichael’s offense.


The Eagles can afford to take a chance on a raw player here that may not fit into one specific role, as Sanders can plug in as both a traditional inside linebacker and a pass rusher on the edge due to his size and burst. Sanders’ versatility will be key to making him a star.

With Nakobe Dean guaranteed nothing in his second year, bringing in a player like Sanders might help both of them lock horns and sharpen each other’s skills. Between this duo and Jordan Davis on the line, Philadelphia is building a young, sustainable defense that can support Jalen Hurts on offense.


Anton Harrison

OT Oklahoma

Kansas City signed Jawaan Taylor to replace Orlando Brown, but Andrew Wylie signed with the Commanders to create another long-term gap that needs to be fixed. While he is a bit green as a pass protector, Harrison plays with such incredible nastiness that he’d be a worthy addition to the Chiefs’ line.

Harrison plays with a ferocity and mobility that few others in this draft class can claim to have. No matter where Jones and Taylor end up slotting in, Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid can take solace in the fact that he is being protected by arguably the best line in the game.

Source link

Leave a Reply