Georgia Tech DL Keion White (6) (Courtesy of Getty Images)

Senior Bowl week was full of opportunities for teams to let us know where their interests lie in this upcoming NFL Draft. Based on the historical nature of front offices, the holes in their rosters, and their views on positional importance – This mock will do its best to gauge the current state of the 2023 NFL Draft.

* – Denotes a traded pick


PROJECTED TRADE: The Houston Texans send the 2nd overall pick, the 33rd pick, the 105th pick, and a 2024 3rd round pick for the 1st overall selection.

1) *Houston Texans via CHI – Bryce Young (QB, Alabama) 6’0” 194 lbs

DeMeco Ryans and Bryce Young is a pairing that can keep Houston in contention for a decade minimum. Young is the most valuable player on most horizontal boards, and with developing young talent the Texans cannot afford to pass up on a quarterback in this draft.

2) *Chicago Bears via HOU – Jalen Carter (DT, Georgia) 6’3” 300 lbs

We’re not certain how highly Matt Eberflus values a 3-tech in his defensive scheme, so the pick here could be Anderson. However, the sense is more teams may have Carter higher on their boards at this point. Either would be an excellent addition to the Bears. 

PROJECTED TRADE: The Carolina Panthers send the 9th overall pick, the 94th pick, and a 2024 1st-round pick for the 3rd overall selection.

3) *Carolina Panthers via AZ – Will Levis (QB, Kentucky) 6’3” 232 lbs

This pick is informed by the recent actions of Panthers owner David Tepper, the rumors surrounding this Panthers’ offseason, and the hiring of head coach Frank Reich who worked with a similar player in Carson Wentz. Carolina will be aggressive to get their quarterback, and at this very moment, it appears they like Levis. 

4) Indianapolis Colts – CJ Stroud (QB, Ohio State) 6’3” 218 lbs

What we know about the Colts at this point is they value athletic traits in the draft, and don’t love spending large amounts of resources. With Jim Irsay’s clear intentions to tank for a quarterback this season, I’d expect Chris Ballard to let the board fall to them before selecting a QB.

5) *Seattle Seahawks via DEN – Will Anderson (EDGE, Alabama) 6’4” 243 lbs

This is an ideal situation for the Seahawks who have made it clear they want to upgrade the defensive line in the draft. Anderson fits the odd-front defensive structure in Seattle well. He’ll get time to develop with the high amount of front seven snap rotations Seattle uses.

6) *Detroit Lions via LAR – Devon Witherspoon (CB, Illinois) 6’0” 180 lbs

Witherspoon has become a late-developing blue-chip prospect in this draft class. His fiery competitiveness on the field is exactly what the Lions look for in prospects. Detroit could use another starting outside cornerback opposite Jeff Okudah. 

7) Las Vegas Raiders – Anthony Richardson (QB, Florida) 6’4” 232 lbs

It’s uncertain at this point what the Raiders’ plan at quarterback will be post-Derek Carr. Even if Las Vegas brings in Jimmy Garoppolo, I could see them being interested in one of these top quarterback prospects. Josh McDaniels was on staff in New England when they brought in a similarly tooled player in Cam Newton.

8) Atlanta Falcons – Tyree Wilson (EDGE, Texas Tech) 6’6” 275 lbs

I had six (6!) separate people representing separate teams tell me about their excitement for potentially drafting Tyree Wilson during Senior Bowl week. You could go in many directions with a large athletic defensive lineman with rotational utility. Opposite a more speed-oriented rusher in Arnold Ebiketie, Atlanta obtains an edge pocket pusher. 

9) *Arizona Cardinals via CAR – Peter Skoronski (OL, Northwestern) 6’4” 315 lbs

The Cardinals should be a trade-back team due to their lack of young talent. Peter Skoronski has some length concerns, but that doesn’t overshadow his five positional versatility and high-level technical play over the past few years. It’s been a while since Arizona has invested in the offensive line. Regardless of where Skoronski ends up, this helps. 

10) *Philadelphia Eagles via NO – Christian Gonzalez (CB, Oregon) 6’2” 201 lbs

For a long time, cornerback was viewed as an exceedingly difficult position to scout. But over the past few drafts, teams have begun to hit on top corner prospects. Howie Roseman has recently stuck to the perceived safer option in the trenches. But, with a need for cornerback depth, he may opt for the curve ball.

11) Tennessee Titans – Paris Johnson Jr (OT, Ohio State) 6’6” 310 lbs

Tennessee will be looking for a new starting left tackle if Taylor Lewan is cut. Johnson’s size, athleticism, and film check the necessary boxes needed to play in year one. The new offensive coaching personnel brings experience from Atlanta’s outside zone blocking scheme. Getting Johnson moving downhill in space is an asset. 

12) *Houston Texans via CLE – Keion White (DL, Georgia Tech) 6’5” 280 lbs

White is a name that everyone quietly knew would rise in mocks post-Senior Bowl. He has a uniquely large frame for a player that can line up as your 4-3 defensive end. In Houston under DeMeco Ryans, White’s utilization has the potential to stretch from the inside shade of guards to attack from the edge position on passing downs.

13) New York Jets – Broderick Jones (OT, Georgia) 6’4” 310 lbs

It doesn’t get discussed as much for the offensive tackle position, but there’s something to be said about poise. Jones stepped into the left tackle position at Georgia and looked extremely comfortable in year one as a pass protector against SEC pass rushers. The Jets may be moving on from Mekhi Becton. 

14) New England Patriots – Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR, Ohio State) 6’1” 200 lbs

Smith-Njigba suffered from not playing all season in college but the lack of a true top receiver prospect seems to have re-sparked interest in his abilities. Much like Garrett Wilson last year, Smith-Njigba may test better than most in draft media believe. The Patriots haven’t shied away from slot receivers in the past.

15) Green Bay Packers – Myles Murphy (EDGE, Clemson) 6’5” 275 lbs

Even if Preston Smith sticks around in Green Bay, the Packers will need to improve their edge depth going into 2023. The past shows this organization is not afraid to play oversized edge players in the standup 3-4 OLB position. Either Murphy becomes part of an intimidating duo with Rashan Gary, or he adds weight and sticks his hand in the dirt.

16) Washington Commanders – O’Cyrus Torrence (OG, Florida) 6’5” 337 lbs

Ron Rivera made it clear in his end-season press conference that he wanted a run-first attitude from this football team. With the current build of this offensive line, it’s likely Washington sticks with the gap scheme even after some off-season additions. Torrence is a great fit for an offense that wants to run duo and power.

17) Pittsburgh Steelers – Deonte Banks (CB, Maryland) 6’1” 205 lbs

Deonte Banks is another name that will only continue to shoot up boards throughout the draft process. He plays with physicality and should test well at the combine. But most importantly, Banks put better zone and man press versatility on tape than maybe any other corner in this draft.

18) Detroit Lions – Bijan Robinson (RB, Texas) 6’0” 222 lbs

Jamaal Williams is a free agent, and although Detroit may bring him back there are murmurs of frustration with last year’s perceived starter D’Andre Swift. With a roster that’s well built, the Lions may opt to take the blue-chip backfield prospect and maximize their strong offensive line play. 

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Joey Porter Jr (CB, Penn State) 6’2” 194 lbs

There are mixed opinions about how quickly Porter Jr can start at the NFL level, but he fits Tampa’s model for drafting corners well. Porter is a man corner that leverages length and physicality first. His aggressive tendencies at the catch point create the turnovers that have supported this Bucs’ defense at its best.

20) Seattle Seahawks – Siaki Ika (NT, Baylor) 6’3” 358 lbs

Wouldn’t be shocked if Seattle doubled down on their front seven in the first round. The Seahawks like to play three down linemen in the 4-tech and nose positions. Ika is a high-ceiling project that can two-gap from the nose. With a limited number of truly massive interior players in this draft, you can expect a good combine will launch Ika’s draft stock.

21) Los Angeles Chargers – Zay Flowers (WR, Boston College) 5’9” 182 lbs

This may seem high for Flowers, but don’t be shocked if his name gets called even higher. There’s a lack of all-around athletes at receiver in this draft. More and more we’re seeing size be ignored at receiver for quick twitch and separation. Flowers is a natural replacement for Keenan Allen in this offense.  

22) Baltimore Ravens – Darnell Wright (OT, Tennessee) 6’5” 342 lbs

Wright had the tape and measurables to raise his stock into the first round. His play in the Senior Bowl after weighing in at 342 pounds pushes the needle. Morgan Moses is serviceable for the Ravens, but he’s also 31 years old. Wright can either develop into a long-term right tackle or play guard.

23) Minnesota Vikings – Lukas Van Ness (EDGE, Iowa) 6’5” 275 lbs

I’d expect the analytics-driven front office in Minnesota will be looking to select either a corner or edge player with this pick. The Vikings are far from formidable on the defensive side of the ball with their current talent. Van Ness has the size and athleticism you look for in a first-round edge rusher. 

24) Jacksonville Jaguars – Michael Mayer (TE, Notre Dame) 6’4” 250 lbs

Looking at how Trent Baalke has operated in Jacksonville, there seems to be an emphasis on finding players with unique athletic traits. When paired with a young Trevor Lawrence, Mayer’s movement skills for a tight end of his size are intriguing. The best way for Jacksonville to compete long-term is to support their quarterback.

25) New York Giants – Quentin Johnston (WR, TCU) 6’4” 215 lbs

Johnston is maybe not the receiver you see paired with the Giants in most mock drafts. However, there is no reason to think a receiver with his physical profile can’t develop into a true x-receiver. Brian Daboll will be in New York for a long time. For now, the Giants can select high-upside projects in the early rounds.

26) Dallas Cowboys – Darnell Washington (TE, Georgia) 6’7” 270 lbs

Jerry Jones has always made an effort to invest capital at the tight-end position in Dallas. It’s long been an important part of tying the run game into play-action passes for the Cowboys. Washington is effectively a jumbo tackle who runs routes like a basketball power forward. He’ll need a bit more refinement as a receiver, but the gamble is worth it. 

27) Buffalo Bills – Brian Branch (S, Alabama) 6’0” 193 lbs

Branch could go much higher in this draft but it’ll depend on which teams either need a safety or slot defender. With Micah Hyde coming off an injury in his 30s and Jordan Poyer’s contract running out, Buffalo needs a middle-field defender. Branch’s versatility is useful in a secondary that is still taking shape.

28) Cincinnati Bengals – Calijah Kancey (DT, Pittsburgh) 6’0” 280 lbs

There’s still a way to go in Kancey’s draft process but his off-ball explosiveness is intriguing. His length and athletic testing will be interesting numbers to watch as they come in. Depending on the outcome of Kancey’s draft process, he could be selected anywhere from later on day 2 to in the top 20 picks.

29) *New Orleans Saints via SF – Jordan Addison (WR, USC) 6’0” 175 lbs

If the Saints are considering going the veteran route – perhaps Derek Carr – to solve their quarterback situation, then they’ll need to use early selections on a lacking offensive starting lineup. Addison replacing Michael Thomas can create an over-the-top threat on both sides of the field for New Orleans.

30) Kansas City Chiefs – Dawand Jones (OT, Ohio State) 6’8” 375 lbs

Kansas City has one of the NFL’s best interior offensive line groups. However, they are still lacking at the tackle position. Dawand Jones can help create a truly dominant offensive line group in both phases. Jones showed in the senior bowl that he can use his historical width in pass protection against NFL competition.

31) Philadelphia Eagles – Cody Mauch (OG, North Dakota State) 6’5” 305 lbs

The Eagles aren’t getting out of the first round without adding to the trenches. Mauch fits the persona of this team at a position group that must continue to restore. He will need to add some weight before becoming a long-term starter at guard, but the Eagles have that time.


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