Way Too Early 2023 NFL Mock Draft
Listen, I didn’t create the draft order and I’m not going to change it anyway so get over it. My favorite team isn’t projected to win the Super Bowl here either.
Let’s have some fun and take a WAY too early look at the 2023 NFL Draft.
1. Texans: CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
With the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select CJ Stroud, quarterback, Ohio State. Maybe a bit of a surprise that 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, Bryce Young, isn’t the pick, but I feel both Stroud and Young are very close and Stroud has the bigger arm from what I saw in 2021.
2. Lions: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Bryce Young lived up to the hype coming into Alabama and walked away with the 2021 Heisman Trophy. Pairing Jameson Williams and Bryce Young again in the NFL could be electric!
3. Jets: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
The Jets had a fantastic 2022 draft but their young roster is still going to experience some growing pains. But Jets fans can be happy with landing Will Anderson - one of the most talented pass rushers I’ve seen. Anderson is in the category of Chase Young and Myles Garrett. Anderson is a little undersized but he still plays with great strength.
4. Falcons: Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia
Eventually the Falcons will lose Grady Jarrett and a nice replacement for him is Jalen Carter. Carter was the odd man out on the Georgia defense in 2021 but he’ll be a standout in 2022! Carter has the burst and strength to create pressure from the interior.
5. Jaguars: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
The Jaguars addressed some defensive issues on Day 1 of the 2022 draft but now they need to get Trevor Lawrence some help. Please help Trevor Lawrence. Please do not Andrew Luck him! Jaxon Smith-Njigba will shine in 2022 as the Buckeyes WR1 and another year with QB Cj Stroud.
6. Panthers: Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami
One of these days the Panthers will take a quarterback. Maybe it will be 2023? Tyler Van Dyke is going to be a way too early favorite and he definitely has the potential and arm to be QB3 in this class but there is no shortage of contenders.
7. Giants: Phil Jurkovec, QB, Boston College
The Giants declined to pick up Daniel Jones’ 5th year option and will most likely join the large group of teams trying to get a QB in 2023. Jurkovec was a draft crush of mine in 2022 but a wrist injury really hurt his draft stock. With a healthy season Jurkovec will be back in the top of the draft for these needy teams.
8. Seahawks: Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama
The former LSU star corner is the new Alabama star corner. Ricks has fluid feet and the ability to mirror the best SEC receivers - now he’ll get to do it in the NFC West.
9. Bears: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
I kept waiting for the Bears to take a receiver but apparently they are waiting for Boutte in 2023. Boutte has a similar build to former LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase and could go in the top 10 like him too. Having better quarterback play in 2022 will be huge for LSU and Boutte.
10. Steelers: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson
The Steelers got their future quarterback with Kenny Pickett and now they can get back to their old ways of taking kick ass defensive players. Bresee is a perfect fit in the Steelers 3-4 and an ideal replacement for Cam Heyward - when he decides to retire.
11. Commanders: Paris Johnson Jr, OT, Ohio State
Tackle may be weak in 2023 but for now Paris Johnson is the projected OT1. Johnson hasn’t burst onto the scene yet because he has been playing guard with veterans in front of him at tackle. When he gets his chance he could explode in 2023.
12. Eagles: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
Much like Bryan Bresee in Pittsburgh, Myles Murphy is a perfect fit and replacement - but this time for Brandon Graham. Philly added Jordan Davis to their interior but they still need a difference-making pass rusher.
13. Raiders: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Kelee Ringo is going to contend for CB1 against Eli Ricks and it could be a situation like 2022 where there are two great corners available early. Ringo missed his freshman season with an injury but recovered nicely and showed why he was a big time recruit.
14. Vikings: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
Speaking of Georgia and big time recruits! Nolan Smith is another great pass rusher, but a tad undersized. Smith hasn’t had his breakout performance yet, but it could happen in 2022.
15. Eagles (NO): Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
The Eagles are on the board again and they very well could package their two 2023 first round picks to move up for a quarterback. For now we’re going to assume they still like Jalen Hurts and want to build around him. Robinson is a short Najee Harris and can do everything! He runs with power, elusiveness and has great hands. Robinson is a rare first round grade at running back.
16. Dolphins: BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
BJ Ojulari is the brother of New York Giants Azeez Ojulari and the two have a very similar play style. BJ has the potential to get his name called on Day 1 and fits with teams looking for a 3-4 pass rusher.
17. Patriots: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry are very good tight ends in the NFL but they aren’t Michael Mayer. “Baby Gronk” can now take over the throne in New England.
18. Cardinals: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
If the Cardinals ever stop taking receivers and tight ends they may look at other positions. Left tackle fits the offensive narrative at least and fills a potential hole - while protecting Kyler Murray.
19. Titans: Jordan Addison, WR, Pitt
I don’t love going back-to-back receiver but the Titans still need help in a VERY young receiver room. Bringing in Addison is a complimentary pick to Treylon Burks. Ryan Tannehill may not be the quarterback for much longer in Nashville but at least the Titans have some weapons for who is next.
20. Colts: Malachi Moore, CB, Alabama
The Colts can never have too many quality defensive backs and they add another utility knife out of Alabama. Moore has played multiple positions and will fit right in with Indy.
21. Texans (CLE): Dontay Demus Jr., WR, Maryland
Even though they selected John Metchie in round 2, Dontay Demus is too good to pass up. At 6’4, 215 pounds, Demus can be the big man in the room but also has the big play ability.
22. Ravens: Arik Gilbert, TE, Georgia
The Ravens love tight ends but could also use size on the outside. Gilbert can handle both roles in the Baltimore offense. While his primary position will probably be tight end at Georgia, he has toyed around with switching to receiver. Regardless, he’s a great athlete with great size.
23. Bengals: Tony Grimes, CB, North Carolina
The Bengals addressed safety but they continue to add athletes in the secondary. Grimes is another talented corner in the 2023 draft.
24. Chargers: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
Trenton Simpson is an interesting study. At 6’3, 225 pounds he plays a lot off the edge but could also be the Isaiah Simmons type. The Chargers love “tweeners” like Simpson and will find many
25. Cowboys: Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
Jerry Jones can’t help himself with this one. He grabs another Oklahoma receiver to go with CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. Mims makes his return to Texas where he is the Texas high school state record holder for receiving yards in a career (5,485) and in a season (2,629)
26. Seahawks (DEN): Quarterback
I’m going to cheat on this one but the reality is no one knows who the top quarterbacks will be.
So, I’m going to give a couple options for guys that could be in this range.
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina: athlete but from a small school
DJ Uiagaelei, Clemson: very disappointing season last year but could be QB1, 2 or 3.
Will Levis, Kentucky: A lot of buzz from NFL scouts. Reminds me of a bigger Baker Mayfield
Jake Haener, Fresno State: Smaller but a lot of production. Zach Wilson type.
27. Dolphins (SF): Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
I can’t even put into words how badly I want a good running back in Mike McDaniel’s system. Gibbs was great at Georgia Tech and he’s going to be a beast at Alabama too.
28. Lions (LAR): Zion Nelson, OT, Miami
The Lions 2022 and 2023 draft is playing out very nicely. With Decker getting older, the Lions can use their second pick to get his replacement.
29. Packers: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
Green Bay went defense heavy and they will continue to do so here. Clark is a phenomenal athlete and has started every game he’s played for Utah.
30. Chiefs: Robert Beal, EDGE, Georgia
The Chiefs go with another edge rusher in 2023 but they need something opposite Karlaftis and Beal’s speed rush will fit perfectly in Kansas City.
31. Bucs: Jalen Catalon, S, Arkansas
Tampa can pair Catalon with Winfield Jr and immediately have one of the best safety duos in the NFL. Catalan is a big hitter and great leader.
32. Bills: Justin Rogers, DL, Kentucky
The Bills get a big body at nose. Maybe not the sexiest pick, but Rogers is great against the run and can help edge rushers get to the QB. And Buffalo doesn’t have a lot of needs.