#TrendingNews Blog Business Entertainment Environment Health Lifestyle News Analysis Opinion Science Sports Technology World News
2023 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

The NFL draft is a mere month away, and with the free agency already underway, we are starting to see teams fill needs and ignore others. This behaviour naturally leads to speculation from NFL fans on what their team could be looking to do with their first-round pick. The draft is enjoyable because it represents something different to each organization, meaning the conversations surrounding the event will be passionate, hopeful, and optimistic. It's a fresh slate for every fanbase and something to discuss until the season kicks off in the fall. So what will your team do? Here is my first draft of the season. This is a predictive mock, so it isn't what I would necessarily want the teams to do, but what I think they will do.


PFF.com provided the teams' needs.


1.     Carolina Panthers

Team Needs: QB, RB, TE, ED


CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State University

It is no secret that the Panthers are looking to draft a franchise quarterback with the first overall pick. They gave the Chicago Bears two firsts, two seconds, and DJ Moore for the right to make this selection, and the only position potentially franchise-altering enough to warrant that kind of price tag would be a QB. Stroud balled out at the combine just before this trade went down, so rumblings are that the Panthers have fallen in love with his game. Other QBs are in the mix for number one but don't be surprised if the Buckeye QB is the first off the board.


2.     Houston Texans

Team Needs: QB, C, DL


Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Bryce Young is the best QB prospect in this draft class. His ability to slow the game down, make the right reads, and facilitate a game plan are second to none, and his raw athleticism can often bail him out the rare time he does make a mistake. So why is he not the first pick? The simple answer is he is small. The last two QBs under 6' tall and picked first overall were Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. Baker has a hard time finding a starting job in the league right now, while Kyler is coming off the worst year of his career in the first year of a massive contract. So although Bryce Young is a much different player, and I would argue a better player, his size may make GMs think twice about investing the future in him.


3.     Arizona Cardinals

Team Needs: G, C ED, CB


Will Anderson Jr. ED, Alabama

The Cardinals need to get better on defence, specifically rushing the passer. Their two best pass rushers last year were Zack Allen and JJ Watt, Allen is now with the Denver Broncos, and Watt is retired, so this is a glaring need. Will Anderson was the consensus best defensive prospect going into this college football season, and he would be a welcomed addition to the Cardinals front seven.


4.     Indianapolis Colts

Team Needs: QB, OL

Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

We may look at this draft in a few years and wonder how Anthony Richardson wasn't taken first overall. His skill is undeniable. He can throw the ball a country mile and be dynamic on the ground, and his improvisation in the pocket make him a human highlight reel. Everything about the guy on paper screams special until you watch a complete game. He is raw, he is inconsistent, and he is going to need some time to mature. The Colts are a team in the midst of a rebuild, and I think they could have the patience to develop Richardson into a superstar. He could be this year's Josh Allen, or he could be this year's, Jamarcus Russell. We'll have to wait and see.


5.     Seattle Seahawks

Team Needs: G, C, DL


Tyree Wilson, ED, Texas Tech

Seattle finds themselves in a great position, having outperformed expectations this season; they can take advantage of the pick they got from Denver in the Russell Wilson trade by taking the best player available. Wilson has skyrocketed up draft boards since the end of the college season and is a lock to be drafted in the top 10. So let's give Pete Caroll’s defence another weapon and see if they can return to the Legion of Boom days.


6.     Detroit Lions

Team Needs: DI, LB, CB


Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

The Lions found themselves with one of the most potent offences in the NFL last season but constantly found themselves in shootouts because their defence couldn't do their job. Gonzalez is the best corner in the draft and will slow down opposing pass attacks. Keep building Dan Campbell; Detroit fans deserve a playoff berth.


7.     Las Vegas Raiders

Team Needs: QB, OL, DB


Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

After rumblings of dissent between the QB and the front office, the Raiders cut Derek Carr this offseason. Jimmy Garoppolo was brought in to take his place, but you never know the next time you will have a top 10 pick. So take the opportunity to grab a young gun at QB to develop behind your veteran free-agent signing. It's how championship teams are built.


8.     Atlanta Falcons

Team Needs: QB, WR, ED, LB


Jalen Carter, DI, Georgia

Sorry Bears fans, but the slide stops here. Prior to recent legal issues involving his involvement in a fatal car crash, the defensive tackle was the potential first-overall pick. Picking a Georgia DT is becoming a cheat code for GMs; they almost always hit. The Falcons need help on every level of the ball, so take the best player available and move on, legal trouble be damned.


9.     Chicago Bears

Team Needs: WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, DB


Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

The Bears had the first overall pick for a reason; they have holes everywhere. Taking an elite corner like Witherspoon in a pass-happy league is a great way to build your defence. Jalen Carter would have been the pick here if the Falcons went in another direction, but the Illinois DB is a good consolation prize.


10.  Philadelphia Eagles

Team Needs: WR, G, C


Quentin Johnson, WR, Texas Christian University

Another luxury pick here. The Eagles have one of the best front offices in football, and Howie Roseman finds himself with the tenth overall pick despite having the best record in the NFL and losing in the Super Bowl. Johnson is a big-bodied receiver that can win with power or speed. There are questions about his route tree, but with Devonta Smith and AJ Brown lining up next to him, he won't be asked to do anything out of his comfort zone. If the Eagles get the TCU star, they will be almost impossible to contain.


11.  Tennessee Titans

Team Needs: WR, T, ED


Peter Skoronski, T, Northwestern

LT Taylor Lewan went down midseason with an ACL tear and was subsequently cut in the offseason, so this is a huge position of need for the Titans. Northwestern coaches have compared Skoronski to his old teammate Rashawn Slater, who, as a rookie, was one of the best tackles in football last season. Plug and play for Tennessee; they'll need him in their run-heavy offence.


12.  Houston Texans

Team Needs: QB, C, DL


Paris Johnson Jr. T, Ohio State

The Texans locked down their star LT Laremy Tunsil this past week, so let's get them an RT to shore up that line for Bryce Young. Successful teams give their franchise players the best opportunity to succeed, and that's what the Texans are doing here by solidifying the trenches.


13.  New York Jets

Team Needs: QB, T, LB


Broderick Jones, T, Georgia

Aaron Rodgers might not be officially a Jet yet, but he has expressed that this is where he wants to be. Assuming this pick is not included in the trade to acquire him, taking a tackle to protect their investment would be a good idea. Mekhi Becton has been unable to stay healthy during his young career, so the Tackle position is needed on a complete roster. Rodgers makes them a potential Super Bowl contender.



14.  New England Patriots

Team Needs: QB, T, ED


Joey Porter Jr. CB, Penn State

Belichick's defense has not looked the same over the last few seasons. He has, however, had success with young corners throughout his career, and with rumours that they are looking to shore up their receiving room in free agency, let's take the best player available and try to get this Patriots defence back to where they are used to being.


15.  Green Bay Packers

Team Needs: WR, TE, ED, LB


Myles Murphy, ED, Clemson

It would be very funny if the Packers finally drafted a first-round receiver in the first season without Aaron Rodgers. But this isn't realistic, as history has shown they look for receiver value later in the draft. Myles Murphy has elite traits and would be a welcomed addition to a severely depleted line after Za’Darius Smith signed in Minnesota before last season.


16.  Washington Commanders

Team Needs: QB, G, C, LB


Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

The Commanders have a pretty good roster on paper, with quarterback being the glaring hole that needs to be filled. However, the top four are off the board, and unless they believe in Hendon Hooker coming off a torn ACL, they will go elsewhere with this pick. Trenton Simpson has soared up draft boards after a solid combine performance and would be a valuable off-ball linebacker in Ron Rivera's defence.


17.  Pittsburgh Steelers

Team Needs: T, LB, CB


Brian Branch, CB/S, Alabama

Brian Branch is an elite ball hawk safety with size, speed, and a great football IQ. His player comparable is Steeler great Troy Polamalu, so there is no better spot for Branch than the Steel City. In terms of overall scheme fit, this is a home run.


18.  Detroit Lions

Team Needs: DI, LB, CB


Luke Van Ness, ED, Iowa

Keep adding players to the defence. We discussed it earlier; the offence was one of the best in football, so take players that can help hold the leads that offence gives them. Luke Van Ness has received top 10-15 hype in this pre-draft period, so getting the Iowa pass rusher at 18 would be a great pick.


19.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Team Needs: QB, TE, G, C, DI


Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

The Buccs look like a completely different team after Tom Brady's retirement. Kyle Trask has some big shoes to fill at quarterback, but Michael Mayer will help him along the way. In addition, the consensus top tight end in the draft is excellent in all facets of the game and will be an immediate starter for Tampa Bay.


20.  Seattle Seahawks

Team Needs: G, C, DL


Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

The Seahawks are in a great spot. The turn-around after the early departure of Russell Wilson has gone better than anyone could have expected. They signed QB Geno Smith in the offseason and still have one of the best offences in the NFL with the three-headed monster of Metcalf, Lockett, and Kenneth Walker. So taking the best defender on the board would be a great move. Look out for Seattle next season, a real dark horse in a weak NFC.


21.  Miami Dolphins (Forfeited)


22.  Los Angeles Chargers

Team Needs: WR, T, LB, CB


Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

Austin Ekeler has requested a trade so that Bijan Robinson may be in play here, but until that happens, the Chargers could use another receiver to help Justin Herbert finally get a playoff win. JSN would be a great weapon in the slot to open up the downfield passing game for Mike Williams and Keenan Allen.


23.  Baltimore Ravens

Team Needs: WR, ED, CB


Nolan Smith, ED, Georgia

Baltimore loves to take combine superstars. Nolan Smith fits the bill. Calais Campbell was released this offseason, so another high-tempo pass rusher would help the Ravens maintain their reputation as one of the most formidable defences in the NFL. His mix of speed and power is reminiscent of last year's Raven's first-rounder Odafe Oweh. The rich get richer.


24.  Minnesota Vikings

Team Needs: DI, LB, CB


Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

Like their division rivals in Detroit, Minnesota is another team that had a hard time supporting their offence. They had the lowest point differential of any 13-4 team in NFL history, so the defence should be their top priority heading into the draft. Cam Smith's combined performance has cemented his spot in the first round.


25.  Jacksonville Jaguars

Team Needs: G, C, DB


O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida

Trevor Lawrence had his breakout season last year. Any team with a young QB needs to make protecting that asset their primary objective. O’Cyrus Torrence is the top guard in the draft, and the Jags would be thrilled to land him with the 25th pick.


26.  New York Giants

Team Needs: WR, TE, C, LB


Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

Ringo was a highly touted prospect heading into the season but was overshadowed by the amazing Georgia defence around him. However, he is still an elite prospect and deserves to be a first-round pick. After his first season as the Giant's Head Coach, Brian Daboll has earned the benefit of the doubt. He showed that he could get the best out of whoever he coaches on offence. However, the defence didn't always hold up its end of the bargain. Kelee Ringo can help with that.


27.  Dallas Cowboys

Team Needs: DI, LB


Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Jerry Jones won’t be able to help himself here. Running backs rarely go in the first round anymore because of positional value, but the Cowboys owner loves to go against the grain. Bijan Robinson may be the best prospect at his position since Saquon Barkley and would be a perfect replacement for Ezekiel Elliott.


28.  Buffalo Bills

Team Needs: WR, G, DB, LB


Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

The Bills need to get Josh Allen more help. The quarterback accounts for over 90% of the team's offensive production and consistently puts the team on his back in tight matchups. Buffalo's receivers after Stefon Diggs leave much to be desired, and they desperately need a weapon in the slot. It's an arms race in the AFC, and if Buffalo doesn't add more firepower, they risk getting left behind. Zay Flowers is a dynamic route runner specializing in creating separation; Josh Allen could use a target like that.


29.  Cincinnati Bengals

Team Needs: T, DI, CB, TE


Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M

The Bengals have an incredible roster and will likely take the best player available here. If they were to look at a need, though, losing safety Jessie Bates to free agency has created a hole on the defense's back end. Antonio Johnson is a smart, hard-hitting safety that was a five-star recruit out of high school and continued his dominance at the college level by quarterbacking Aggie's defence. The Bengals have had trouble containing Travis Kelce in the playoffs the last two seasons; Antonio Johnson can help.


30.  New Orleans Saints

Team Needs: DI, CB


Calijah Kancey, DI, Pittsburgh

Kancey is an analytics darling and a fast riser in the mock draft community. Although the Saints have dedicated a ton of draft capital to their offence in the last few years, it’s high time they shored up the defensive trenches. Calijah Kancey is the type of boom or bust prospect that has historically thrived in New Orleans.


31.  Philadelphia Eagles

Team Needs: WR, G, C


Steve Avila, G, TCU

The Eagles' roster is strong, but losing Miles Sanders could hurt their run game. Avila is a bruiser that will help open up holes for both Jalen Hurts and newly acquired Rashaad Penny. Howie Roseman is the best in the business at evaluating offensive line talent, and Avila should be right up his alley.


32.  Kansas City Chiefs

Team Needs: WR, DL


Dawand Jones, T, Ohio State

The defending Super Bowl Champions lost starting tackle Orlando Brown to the Cincinnati Bengals this past offseason, so that they will be looking for his replacement in the draft. Although Patrick Mahomes is the best player in the NFL and needs to be protected, Jones is a 6'8 tackle who spent his college career protecting dynamic QBs at Ohio State. He should fit right in Kansas City.


Photo Credit: CBS Sports

Edited By: 

Share This Post On


Leave a comment

You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in