After the conference championships became final, the draft order is all but set (minus picks 31 and 32). However, that means it is the season of mock drafts. The college all-star games are underway. Here is Dacota Haynes’ 2023 NFL Mock 1.0.
The NFL season comes to its official end on Feb 12, 2023. The Super Bowl will consist of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.
The first round of mocks are first-round only.
1. Chicago Bears
Pick: Georgia DL Jalen Carter
There’s a chance that the Bears trade this pick, but we’re not going to predict trades on the mock drafts. So they’re going to keep Justin Fields, and they’re going to add potentially the best defensive tackle in the draft by taking Carter. The Bears need talent on their defensive line, and with this pick, they’ll be able to pick up blue-chip talent.
2. Houston Texans
Pick: Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud
The Texans recently named Demeco Ryans their head coach. Now, they’ll be able to pick up a quarterback that could be the face of the franchise in Houston. Stroud is coming off his best game against Georgia in the College Football Playoff.
3. Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Alabama EDGE Will Anderson Jr.
With J.J. Watt set to retire, the Cardinals will need to improve their defensive line. They should probably take whichever one of Jalen Carter or Anderson is available at their pick. Anderson falls to No. 3 and he’s headed to Arizona to try and help fix the pass rush.
4. Indianapolis Colts
Alabama QB Bryce Young
No public announcement has been made on the Colts’ search for a head coach, but whoever the Colts hire will need a quarterback. Young has concerns about his size, but he checks off just about every other box that a franchise quarterback needs.
5. Seattle Seahawks (via Denver Broncos)
Pick: Texas Tech EDGE Tyree Wilson
The Seahawks will get to cash in on the Russell Wilson trade by potentially taking a supremely athletic edge rusher. Wilson can bolster an already impressive core of young defensive talent. If Seattle takes the former Texas Tech edge-rusher, they would feature a fearsome foursome up front with Uchenna Nwosu, Darrell Taylor, Boye Mafe and Wilson.
6. Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles Rams)
Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez
Gonzalez is coming off an impressive season with the Ducks, and features what the Lions need: a strong presence in the secondary. The former Oregon Cornerback is a hot commodity heading into the draft, but for good reasons. He’s a talented player who recorded 50 tackles, four interceptions and seven pass completions in his junior year.
7. Las Vegas Raiders
Kentucky QB Will Levis
Derek Carr is all but gone from the Raiders, The Raiders were favored to after Tom Brady, though he is now headed off into retirement, which means the Raiders will probably have to grab a new quarterback via the draft. Levis fits the mold of a Raiders QB, a guy who brings toughness even if a challenge presents itself.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy
The Falcons have not had a good pass rush for quite some time now, going back to the pre-Matt Ryan seasons. Murphy, or really any lineman can help them move forward and heat up their edges. Though outside of Wilson, Anderson and Carter: Murphy presents the most potential and well-rounded edge rush in the 2023 class.
9. Carolina Panthers
Florida QB Anthony Richardson
It’s hard not to foresee the Panthers taking any position outside of a QB. They have already announced, Frank Reich as their new coach. Reich has developed many quarterbacks in his time as a coach, and Richardson could present the best QB prospect that the Panthers have had since Cam Newton.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans Saints)
Alabama CB/S Brian Branch
Is it fair that the Eagles have a top-10 pick and they’re playing in the Super Bowl? Probably not. However, that’s sometimes what happens when you acquire a pick and the Eagles can use this pick as a luxury. Branch has all the tools to be a lockdown corner in the NFL.
11. Tennessee Titans
Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr.
Tennessee needs to add some youth at tackle. Johnson has the potential to be a long-term starter at left tackle for whatever team selects him.
12. Houston Texans (via Cleveland Browns)
Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski
With their first pick, the Texans took Stroud, they’re also going to need some protection for him. Northwestern has been known for developing smart and gifted offensive lineman, which happens to be a position of need for the Texans. Skoronski fits the mold and can help lead this offense upfront.
13. New York Jets
Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer
A quarterback falling here would be nice, but that didn’t happen. The best offensive lineman have also already been selected, so the next best option for the Jets would be to grab a guy can who bolster the pass rush and catch passes, in Mayer.
14. New England Patriots
TCU WR Quentin Johnston
Johnston is an aggressive, athletic wide receiver. Though he really didn’t get a chance to put that on display in the National Championship. The former leading receiver for the Horned Frogs could be the perfect target for Mac Jones.
15. Green Bay Packers
Iowa Edge Lukas Van Ness
The Packers don’t really need a DL/Edge but it’s a position they could improve at and add some youth to. Outside of the already-taken names Van Ness is the only guaranteed top-20 selection. That is, unless he falls out of the top-20, but I don’t foresee that happening.
16. Washington Commanders
Clemson DL Bryan Bresee
We likely won’t know where Bresee will land until the medical portion of the NFL Scouting Combine. Though, what we don know is that Bresee has been a stalwart for Clemson and would pair well with Chase Young upfront as a longterm option.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon
The secondary is not really an area of need for the Steelers, but its hard to pass up on Witherspoon here after the Lions’ struck gold last season by drafting former Illinois Safety Kirby Joseph. Witherspoon is one of the scrappiest, but most instinctive secondary players in this years draft.
18. Detroit Lions
Georgia Edge Nolan Smith
More help for the Lions’ defense. Smith’s stats have not been consistent over his four years with the Bulldogs, but he could be a longterm piece for the Lions on the front seven.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Georgia CB Kelee Ringo
Ringo has the ability to go much higher than this, but prospects fall every year in the draft. That’s a blessing for the Buccaneers who might need to add another cornerback to their roster this offseason.
20. Seattle Seahawks
Baylor DL Siaki Ika
The Seahawks had one of the worst run-stopping defenses last season, and need to fill the void up the middle. The redshirt junior can definitely do that and more at 6-4, 358. Though, he’s not much help on the pass rush, Ika is one of the better run-stopping nose tackles in this years draft. It’d be a surprise if Ika went this early, but the Seahawks take a surprise pick every year.
21. Los Angeles Chargers
Georgia T Broderick Jones
Yes, the Chargers need some WR help with Keenan Allen slowing down, and Mike Williams potentially on his way out. However, they have Joshua Palmer, Jalen Guyton and DeAndre Carter. The Chargers need to better protect Justin Herbert, especially with Kellen Moore taking over as offensive coordinator. Jones is one of the better offensive linemen in this year’s draft.
22. Baltimore Ravens
USC WR Jordan Addison
The Ravens need more weapons for Lamar Jackson. With TCU’s Johnson already off the board, Addison may be the next best option. Addison is a game-changing WR who led the Trojans in 2022 with 875 yards.
23. Minnesota Vikings
South Carolina CB Cam Smith
The Vikings got off to a great start in their first season with Kevin O’Connell, but they need to continue adding talent if they want to repeat their success from this past season. Smith is a nice option and fits what the Vikings need, he has starting upside as a long, athletic corner.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars
Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr.
It will be a surprise if Porter actually falls this far, as one of the best corners in this year’s draft. Porter is the real deal when it comes to man coverage with a ton of athleticism.
25. New York Giants
Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba
No matter who is playing quarterback for the Giants next season, they could use another wide receiver. JSN’s 2022 season was derailed by injuries. With the X and Z receiver positions being locked down by Darius Slayton and Richie James, JSN could play in the slot or be the fourth receiver on occasion.
26. Dallas Cowboys
Florida OG O’Cyrus Torrence
The Cowboys are in need of some help at the Guard position with just three listed. Torrence could be a starter on the opposite side of Connor McGovern.
27. Buffalo Bills
Oklahoma OT Anton Harrison
Buffalo needs an upgrade on the right side of its line and gets lucky with a talented tackle prospect falling right into its lap at the end of the first round. Whether it be Broderick Jones, Harrison or Dawsand Jones there’s multiple offensive tackles the Bills could take.
28. Cincinnati Bengals
Oregon State TE Luke Musgrave
The Bengals could take another offensive lineman here, in fact, some may project them to. However, they might not be able to afford TE Hayden Hurst and if that’s the case, they will need a replacement. Musgrave makes the most sense for a Joe Burrow-led offense that may have to pay other important players over the next few years. The Oregon State product is an athletically gifted TE who could be a weapon for the Bengals, if he gets the ball more.
29. New Orleans Saints (via San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos)
Georgia QB Stetson Bennett
The Saints are back in the first round after they traded the rights for Sean Payton to the Broncos. Here at the end of the draft, the Saints options are open. Whether they go after a quarterback in the draft or in free agency. There’s a lot of options. Bennett may not be your atypical QB, but he led the Bulldogs to a National Championship. More than likely, he won’t go this high but he’s considerably the next best QB in this draft.
30. Kansas City Chiefs
Texas A&M S Antonio Johnson
The Chiefs could fill many needs here, but Juan Thornhill is a free agent, and the Chiefs can replace him with a versatile playmaker that offers both length and hitting ability.
31. Philadelphia Eagles
Texas HB Bijan Robinson
What do the Eagles need when in reality they look good at every position? The only thing I could think is a running back to replace Miles Sanders if he walks in free agency. Though, this season there are not really any RB’s projected to go in the first round, Robinson may be the best running back in this draft. He’s an electric back that can do what you need him to.
TL//DR: Haynes’ 2023 NFL Mock Draft
The Miami Dolphins forfeited a pick due tothe NFL’s tampering investigation.
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