NFL Mock Draft 2023
NFL Mock Draft 2023, Top 10 Picks
Written by: Joe Kwan
Chicago Bears Select Jalen Carter
The Bears appear to be a team headed in the right direction (Week 18 notwithstanding) in large part because they’ve found their franchise QB in Justin Fields. But there’s a lot of work to do on the other side of the ball after moving on from Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith. Both Jalen Carter and Will Anderson Jr. could be options here, and both are layup selections. Or the team could choose to trade out of the No. 1 pick should there be interest from QB-needy teams looking to move up.
Houston Texans Select Bryce Young
You can’t really go wrong with Young or Stroud, but Young is my first QB off the board. Despite being around 6’0 and 194 pounds, Young has exceptional accuracy and the ability to hit throws in the intermediate and short areas of the field. The standout ability of Young is his spatial awareness.
His ability to create outside of structure and improvise is the best in the draft class, and it makes up for his lack of height. While I have questions about Young’s top end arm strength and his tendency to drift back in the pocket rather than forward or outside the pocket, his ability to create out of structure and use his legs places him at the top of the QB class for me.
Arizona Cardinals Select Will Anderson
Even though Anderson’s statistics were down this season after having 17.5 sacks and 31 tackles for a loss as a sophomore in 2021, he is a legitimate top-tier playmaker who still produced 10 sacks and 17 tackles for a loss in 2022. With JJ Watt’s retirement, and an overall bad defense, so adding Will Anderson can change the entire shape of that side of the ball.
Indianapolis Colts Select CJ Stroud
QB (Ohio State)
Since Andrew Luck’s retirement, the Colts have had little success turning to QBs nearing the end of their careers, and it’s safe to assume that owner Jim Irsay will be looking for the team’s next face of the franchise. C.J. Stroud has flown under the national-media radar all season, but some NFL teams will tell you he’ll be in the running for QB1, and his performance in the semifinal game vs. Georgia showed that he can beat you with his arm and his legs.
Seattle Seahawks (via Denver) Select Myles Murphy
Murphy’s blend of elite athleticism, great edge contain, high end pursuit, strong tackling and elite football intelligence (FBI) gives him the ceiling of being one of the better edge defenders in football and potentially someone who can challenge for a DPOY. However his lack of a counter move, inconsistencies with gaining leverage and a not fully developed pass rushing repertoire gives him the floor of a low-end starter. But the Seahawks would not be able to pass on the incredible potential.
Detroit Lions (Via LAR) Select Bryan Bresee
The moment of truth is coming for the Lions’ quarterback plans, as Detroit can no longer count on annual top-10 picks after narrowly missing out on the playoffs. If Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes have any concerns about Jared Goff, two picks in the first round and two more in the second provide ammo for a trade up the board. But changing gears might be hard to embrace after that 8-2 close to the season. If the Lions stay the course behind center, Bresee is a sensible option as a force in the middle who can amplify the havoc created by standout rookie Aidan Hutchinson.
Las Vegas Raiders Select Will Levis
Jarrett Stidham balled out against the 49ers, and came back to earth against Kansas City but it’s hard to imagine he’ll be in the team’s long-term plans as a starter. And with Derek Carr set to be somewhere else in 2023, drafting a QB seems to be a high priority. The thing is, if Vegas had found a way to beat San Francisco, the Panthers would be in this spot. Instead, the Raiders target Will Levis. And Levis, who definitely looks the part, was plagued by injuries and poor play all fall. That said, NFL teams love how he projects to the next level, but he’ll be a controversial talking point for the next six months.
Atlanta Falcons Select Tyree Wilson
OLB (Texas A&M)
While going into Year 3 of a regime with a third-round quarterback might seem risky, the three quarterbacks which are worthy of top 10 selections, Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot might be content to entrust the reins to Desmond Ridder – or at least stave off using a high selection on a passer. Instead, the shrewd move might be using that premium pick to bolster a pass rush that generated just 21 sacks. The 6-6, 275-pound Wilson can punish blockers whether operating inside or on the edge, though he’ll need to prove he can consistently beat opposing offensive linemen at the next level with his speed.
Carolina Panthers Select Anthony Richardson
The Carolina Panthers had a lot going on under center this year. They added Baker Mayfield in the offseason as the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft joined Sam Darnold, who was the No. 3 overall pick in that same class. Mayfield then won the starting job over Darnold in training camp but he had more than his share of struggles.
Mayfield was eventually benched for P.J. Walker, with Darnold injured, and ended up being released when Darnold came back. That came at the request of Mayfield who wanted to find somewhere he could play. He got that as he was successful with the Rams but the Panthers — who also fired head coach Matt Rhule — still need to get things figured out.
Richardson did improve down the stretch this season and is easily the most athletic quarterback in this class. However, he needs a lot of work and really isn’t worth a top-10 pick.
But in the NFL, teams will reach for quarterbacks hoping they can win the lottery. And if Carolina can help him become a more accurate passer, that could be exactly what they do.
Philadelphia Eagles (via Saints) Select Christian Gonzalez
Another team that gets into the early portion of the draft despite a fantastic season is the Philadelphia Eagles. They were the final remaining undefeated team this year but still end up with a premium selection thanks to a trade with New Orleans last season.
With that pick, they grab Christian Gonzalez from Oregon. A former Colorado defensive back, Gonzalez transferred to Oregon this year. A redshirt sophomore, he had his best season as a collegiate player with 50 tackles, four picks, and seven pass defenses.
Gonzalez has great size at 6-foot-2 and 200-pounds and has the speed and intelligence to shadow any wideout in the game. He also has enough size to match up with the tall wideouts as well. Showing a huge improvement in ball skills this year was the final check mark for him as he asserted himself as one of the top corners in this class.
In Philly, he would be able to work with Darius Slay who has been one of the best corners in the league for a long time. Picking his brain will only help him develop quicker as the Eagles will have a scary duo in their secondary.