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2023 NFL Mock Draft: Quarterbacks Lead The Charge

As we look ahead to the upcoming NFL season, we jump to next April and the 2023 NFL Draft. Which prospects could go in the first round?

The college football season is getting closer and closer, which means it is only a matter of time before the 2023 NFL Draft coverage is in full swing. This is a really good class, with several players who could break out. Here is a mock draft with some names to know for this upcoming fall. 

1. Houston Texans: QB, Will Levis, Kentucky

If the Texans pick first next year, the Davis Mills experiment failed. With quarterback guru Pep Hamilton on staff, Levis could be an intriguing option at one. He has a rocket for an arm, is a really good athlete and flashed special playmaking ability. All the traits are there but what stands out most on Levis' film is that he is a gamer. When Kentucky needed a big play last season, he made it. This upcoming season will be Levis' second year as a starter. As he improves his lower body mechanics and ability to see the field, Levis could vault himself up to the top of this quarterback class. 

2. Atlanta Falcons: QB, CJ Stroud, Ohio State

The Falcons have many needs, and quarterback is at the top of that list. It is hard to think they'd pass up on one of the top signal-callers in this year's class, even though they drafted Desmond Ridder last season. With Drake London and Kyle Pitts on his offense already, Stroud wouldn't be lacking high-caliber weapons. That said, the Falcons have a below-average offensive line that could make the transition a little more difficult for Stroud.

3. Detroit Lions: QB, Tyler Van Dyke, Miami (FL)

It will be hard for this coaching staff to pass up on Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson, but the Lions need to upgrade the quarterback position. They have an underrated offense; they are just missing a franchise quarterback. Van Dyke is a pocket passer with phenomenal accuracy. He can make about every throw and looked the part as a second-year player last season. He can slot right into the Lions' offense with the weapons and offensive line to allow Van Dyke to succeed from day one.

4. Seattle Seahawks: QB, Bryce Young, Alabama

It is only right that the Seahawks would land Young, whose pro comparison is Russell Wilson. The Seahawks are in full rebuild mode, but a quarterback as advanced as Young under center, it could help speed it up. There were times last season when Young single-handedly won games from the Crimson Tide and showed he could carry a team on his back. He is the best Alabama quarterback prospect in recent memory and would be the first pick in most classes.

5. New York Jets: DE, Will Anderson, Alabama

The Jets land the best player in the draft at five. Anderson is on the same level as Myles Garrett as a prospect and could easily reach double-digit sacks as a rookie. Pairing Anderson with Jermaine Johnson and John Franklin Myers would give the Jets one of the best and deepest pass-rush groups in the NFL, exactly what head coach Robert Saleh wants.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR, Cedric Tillman, Tennessee

The Jaguars need to get Trevor Lawrence more weapons. Tillman was arguably the best receiver in the nation during the second half of this past season, which included 200 yards and 152 yards against Georgia and Alabama, respectively. He is a legit X receiver who would be an excellent pairing with Christian Kirk and Zay Jones. At six-foot-three, Tillman is a blazer who can take the top off the defense and win above the rim. Every 50/50 ball on Tillman's film was 80/20. Tillman's combination of speed, agility and strength make him lethal after the catch. Right now, there isn't a consensus wide-receiver-one, but Tillman has all the tools to be that come next April.

7. Carolina Panthers: DT, Jalen Carter, Georgia

The Panthers are picking too low to get one of the top quarterbacks, so they might as well take the best player available for the second straight year. The Panthers are missing that elite pass rusher from the interior, which is exactly what Carter is. This pick would also put less stress on Derrick Brown to get after the quarterback and allow him to be an elite run-defender. Carter is the best defensive tackle prospect in recent memory and is an A+ pick at seven.

8. Chicago Bears: OT, Anton Harrison, Oklahoma

If the Bears want Justin Fields to succeed, they will have to address the offensive line, particularly a left tackle. Harrison checks every box a team will look for in a blindside protector. He has good foot quickness, balance and can mirror pass rushers with ease. Harrison is a plug-and-play starter, which is what the Bears desperately need. Harrison will start in the league for a long time and has pro bowl upside.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers: DE, BJ Ojulari, LSU

The Steelers could take their defense to the next level by adding Ojulari. He is a perfect scheme fit and would be a great pair with TJ Watt. The Steelers don't have a high-level pass rusher on the other side of Watt, and Ojulari could provide that. He has the best bend and ankle flexion in the draft to go along with great length. As he continues to add play strength, Ojulari could develop into one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.

10. New York Giants: C, Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia

The Giants just added tackle Evan Neal to solidify their right tackle spot, but the Giants still have a significant hole at center. Van Pran has the frame, athleticism and upside to be a perennial All-Pro. What he did as a first-year starter in the SEC last season rarely happens. His football IQ and understanding of the position are already at an NFL level.

11. Minnesota Vikings: DE, Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Washington

If the Vikings want to get back to the playoffs, they will need to bolster their pass rush corps. If it weren't for an Achilles tear that limited Tupuola-Fetui last season, he would have already been a first-round pick. Tupuola-Fetui has an elite first step, is a loose athlete and can convert speed to power. Expect Tupuola-Fetui to compete to be an All-American next season and shoot back up draft boards.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: DT, Bryan Bresee, Clemson

The number one recruit coming out of high school, Bresee is a gifted defensive tackle. He looks like he was built in the lab and is just scratching the surface. Putting him in the middle of Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones would give the Raiders one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, which is needed in the toughest division in football.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO): CB, Garrett Williams, Syracuse

The Eagles need to add a long-term answer at their cornerback-one spot. Williams is the best cornerback in the draft and is a similar prospect to Jaire Alexander coming out of Louisville. His instincts and feel for the game are off the charts. Williams has great change of direction and long speed to handle any type of receiver. If there is going to be a shutdown cornerback in this class, Williams is that guy.

14. Washington Commanders: S, Jordan Battle, Alabama

The Commanders have very few holes on their roster but could look to add an impact safety to play with Kam Curl. Battle has the frame and foot speed to cover tight ends. His understanding of the game will be a huge selling point for teams, as he is always one step ahead of the offense. The Commanders love taking Alabama players, and by picking Battle, they'd have an argument to be the best defense in the NFL.

15. Miami Dolphins: DE, Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame

The Dolphins could lose Andrew Van Ginkel in free agency next season, which would create a hole opposite Jaelan Phillips. It was surprising when Foskey decided to return to school, but he should move into the top-20 conversation with another productive season. Foskey has very few weaknesses in his game, and it wouldn't be shocking to see him end up in the top ten by the end of the season.

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16. New England Patriots: LB, Jestin Jacobs, Iowa

Expect Jacobs to get mocked to the Patriots a lot, as he is a perfect fit for their defense. Jacobs is a high-level athlete with the potential to be one of the best cover linebackers in the NFL. He has great range and length that will allow him to cover a lot of the field, and he has untapped potential as a pass rusher. If the ceiling hits, Jacobs has the chance to be one of the best linebackers in the NFL.

17. Tennessee Titans: S, JL Skinner, Boise State

The Titans are another team that could go best player available here. Skinner is a six-foot-four safety with really good speed. His range could allow him to play some single-high safety, but Skinner will be a versatile chess piece for whoever drafts him. He can play at all three levels and will only improve with experience. Seventeen can be high for a safety, but Skinner has traits to be that highly coveted.

18. Houston Texans: TE, Michael Mayer, Notre Dame

The Titans went Levis with their first pick and will need to continue to add weapons to a very pedestrian offense. Mayer is a good tight-end prospect and a safe pick at 18. He can block and is a reliable pass catcher. Mayer is the kind of tight end prospect who could end up being a top-five player at the position early in his career.

19. Philadelphia Eagles: WR, AT Perry, Wake Forest

Even with AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith, the Eagles could look to add to their receiving corps. Perry is the missing piece to their group, as he is a true X who can be a big-time deep threat. Perry builds up speed downfield and has great hands to pluck the ball out of the air. This would be a luxury pick but give the Eagles the best group of weapons in the NFL.

20. Baltimore Ravens: RB, Bijan Robinson, Texas

If Bijan Robinson is still available at 20, the Ravens will have to think long and hard about passing on one of the best running back prospects of the past decade. Robinson will be a Heisman contender this fall, and with that kind of season, he could be long gone by 20. It would be almost impossible to gameplan the combination of Robinson and Lamar Jackson in the Ravens backfield.

21. Arizona Cardinals: DE, Myles Murphy, Clemson

The Cardinals have struggled in the first round as of late, so taking a safe defensive end like Murphy would be the smart decision. Outside of JJ Watt, who is in the last year of his contract, the Cardinals don't have much in the pass rush department. The Cardinals are desperate for pass-rush help, and Murphy would fill that void.

22. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN): DE, Princely Umanmielen, Florida

One of the biggest sleepers in the country, Umanmielen could be the next sleeper pass rusher to rise to first-round status. In limited playing time last season, Umanmielen flashed immense potential. He has a good first step, can win the outside track, and has enough power to win in many ways. The Seahawks have some solid pass rushers but no one who moves the needle. Umanmielen could be that guy if he has a breakout season for Florida this fall.

23. Los Angeles Chargers: DT, Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin

The Chargers had one of the worst run-stopping units in the NFL last season. They added a couple of pieces, but no one that will fix their problem. Benton can be a game-changer in that regard. He has the best power of any defensive tackle in the draft. He can bull rush interior offensive linemen and penetrate the pocket too. This would be a great pick for a team looking to compete for a Super Bowl.

24. Miami Dolphins (Via SF): OT, Paris Johnson, Ohio State

As of now, Johnson is a projection as he hasn't played left tackle at the collegiate level. By the end of the season, though, he could end up going much higher than 24. The Dolphins' offensive line has been abysmal for the past few seasons, and they could add a versatile player like Johnson. If he has success at left tackle this season, he'll be able to play four spots for the Dolphins as early as his rookie season.

25. Indianapolis Colts: CB, Cam Hart, Notre Dame

The Colts need to address their cornerback room in next year's draft, and Hart is a perfect fit for Gus Bradley's defense. He is a converted wide receiver who has excellent length and ball skills. Over the course of his first year as a starter, Hart improved drastically last year. The arrow is pointing up with Hart, and he is everything the Colts look for at the position.

26. Dallas Cowboys: OG, Layden Robinson, Texas A&M

If the Cowboys want to return to their status as the best offensive line in football, they'll need to continue to address it early on in the draft. Robinson is the best guard in college football and already has the frame of an NFL player. For a player of his size, Robinson is a good athlete and moves well laterally. Tyron Smith might be a cap casualty, which would allow the Cowboys to move Tyler Smith to tackle and insert Layden into the open guard spot.

27. Cincinnati Bengals: TE, Josh Whyle Cincinnati 

The one missing piece on the Bengals' offense is a tight end. Whyle is a mismatch weapon who should test well at the combine. He would add another dimension to an already explosive Bengals offense and give them too many weapons to stop.

28. Detroit Lions (via LAR): LB, Trenton Simpson, Clemson

Detroit has struggled to find talent at linebacker, and Simpson would be a good upside pick at the end of the first round. He is a great blitzer who should run a really good 40-yard dash. For a team looking to find playmakers on defense, Detroit could use a player like Simpson.

29. Green Bay Packers: OT, Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse

The Packers' offensive line has dealt with several injuries along the offensive line, so it could be smart to bring in Bergeron, who would provide immediate versatility. He is a pro-ready lineman who has greatly improved on film throughout his career. The Packers could also groom Bergeron to be their starting left tackle for when David Bakhtiari decides to retire.

30. Kansas City Chiefs: WR, Kayshon Boutte, LSU

After adding Skyy Moore in the second round, the Chiefs have less of a need at receiver, but they still don't have a number one target. Boutte is still raw and has a ways to go, but the Chiefs can bet on his upside late in the first round.

31. Buffalo Bills: OG, Zak Zinter, Michigan

The Bills need help along their interior, and Zinter will provide that. Last season, he was the best offensive lineman on the Joe Moore-winning Michigan offensive line. Zinter has very good foot quickness and is an easy mover in space. What stands out most is Zinter's overall understanding of the game. He picks up blitzes and stunts with ease. His power profile was impressive and should only grow with more experience. Zinter is a potential All-American for next season and will be a day one starter at the next level.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB, Kelee Ringo, Georgia

After paying Carlton Davis, the Bucs will likely let their other outside cornerback Jamel Dean walk in free agency. Ringo was a five-star recruit who played well at Georgia in his first season as a starter. Tampa Bay has done a great job of replenishing their secondary, and Ringo would be another solid addition to one of the better groups in the league.


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