1.01 Carolina Panthers - Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
The Panthers traded a boatload for the first overall pick. They
also traded early in the process, suggesting they know who they’re
going to take. I do believe it’d be a bit odd to trade up
here for Bryce Young or CJ Stroud since they’re generally
seen as somewhat similar to prospects. Richardson is the one of
the top three that is different, and he boasts the highest ceiling
of the group. For that reason, I’m penciling him in as the
first overall pick for the time being.
1.02 Houston Texans - Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Everyone has question marks about Young’s size, but it
isn’t likely to matter for this pick. He was an elite option
throughout his career at Alabama, and he has all of the skills
to find success in the NFL. The Texans feature another new coaching
staff, although they’re locked in for a few years this time.
They’re going to want to get “their guy” at
the most important position on the field, and Young is the top
quarterback option in this class.
1.03 Arizona Cardinals - Will Anderson, Edge, Alabama
The Cardinals need plenty of help on the defensive side of the
ball. Anderson is arguably the best prospect in this draft, and
edge rushers are generally coveted in the NFL. He’s likely
the safest prospect in the entire draft, but he also comes with
tremendous upside. He can immediately help the Cardinals’
defense, making him the obvious option with plenty of questions
surrounding Jalen Carter.
1.04 Indianapolis Colts - CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
The Colts have had a revolving door at quarterback for quite
some time, but they’ll have the chance to draft their future
here. They may reach on Will Levis, but I believe talent wins
out in this situation. Stroud found tremendous success at Ohio
State, and he’s flashed all of the makings of a solid NFL
quarterback. We know quarterbacks are over-drafted, so he doesn’t
necessarily have to be the best prospect available to be taken
The Seahawks locked up Geno Smith in the offseason, and they
have quite a bit of their offense figured out at this point. Instead,
they can shift their focus to their defense, which they will need
to fix if they want another shot at the playoffs. Wilson isn’t
as safe of a prospect as someone like Anderson, but he comes with
nearly as much upside. He has game-changing ability off of the
edge, and that’s one of the most coveted skills in the NFL.
1.06 Detroit Lions - Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
This is somewhat of an odd pick. The Lions could go in several
different directions, but I genuinely believe they feel comfortable
with Jared Goff as their quarterback at the moment. Instead, I
believe they’re going to draft a cornerback or edge rusher
here. There are several corners that could be the first off the
board with Myles Murphy being the only edge option to consider
here. Gonzalez has the potential to turn into a shadow CB1 in
the NFL, and that’s an elite option to pair across from
1.07 Las Vegas Raiders - Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
This is one of the most interesting picks in the NFL Draft. The
Raiders signed Jimmy Garoppolo to a large contract, but there’s
a potential out after the 2023 season. There might be some bias
in this pick since I’m not a huge believer in Garoppolo.
I’m also not a huge believer in Levis, but he comes with
tremendous arm strength, and we know quarterbacks are generally
selected early. He’s the fourth option before a tier break,
and the Raiders could grab the future of their franchise with
1.08 Atlanta Falcons - Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa
Van Ness didn’t start a single game in college, but that
isn’t going to matter here. He boasts elite tools, and there
are more questions about why Iowa didn’t start him rather
than his talent. Atlanta could use help in their secondary, but
getting a high-end edge rusher is a way to help that unit. They
featured one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL last season,
and Van Ness would immediately help them turn that around.
1.09 Chicago Bears - Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
This could be an ideal spot for the Bears. Carter would’ve
been an option at them if they kept the first overall pick, so
getting him here would be a major win. Some believe he’s
the most talented player in the NFL Draft, but he has a plethora
of off-field concerns. It isn’t likely that he falls all
that far because of his elite talent, and the Bears are a team
that could opt to take that shot on him. He can provide immediate
help and could turn out to be the steal of the draft in five years.
1.10 Philadelphia Eagles - Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia
The Eagles don’t have many needs throughout their roster.
We could see them going with RB Bijan Robinson, who will immediately
take their offense to the next level, but I don’t expect
that to happen this early. The Eagles have several outstanding
edge rushers that Smith can learn from early in his career. He’s
a freak athlete, and he has the potential to turn into one of
the league's premier edge rushers in a few seasons.
1.11 Tennessee Titans - Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
The Titans are in the process of blowing up their roster, although
it doesn’t look like they’re ready to move on from
Ryan Tannehill. Johnson is a player that is ready to start from
day one, and the Titans are going to need that. He can be their
long-term option at left tackle for whoever is under center. Overall,
there are plenty of holes throughout this roster, but tackle may
be the biggest need.
1.12 Houston Texans - Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
The Texans hired DeMeco Ryans as a defensive-minded head coach.
Oddly enough, they grabbed their quarterback of the future with
their first pick. They can continue bolstering their offense with
one of the best linemen in the draft. Skoronski may not have the
arm length to play tackle in the NFL, but there have been crazier
developments in history. Houston is a great option for Skoronski
since they need help at tackle along with the interior offensive
line. If he doesn’t work at tackle, he can shift inside
1.13 New York Jets - Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
The Jets could potentially include this draft pick in a trade
for Aaron Rodgers. Until then, they’re going to be making
this pick in this mock draft. They desperately need help along
the offensive line, specifically tackle. Jones is a massive option
that could potentially play left or right tackle early in his
career. His ceiling is a dominant left-handed tackle, but he’s
going to need plenty of work to get there. He’s a high-upside
option in this draft.
1.14 New England Patriots - Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh
I considered Darnell Wright here for New England, but I opted
against that. They could potentially use an offensive tackle,
but they do need help on the interior defensive line. Kancey doesn’t
have great size for the position, but he’s extremely quick
with elite explosion. It isn’t appropriate to compare anyone
to Aaron Donald, but he could be in that type of mold. He’s
undersized but can win in the passing game and disrupt the run
game with his speed.
1.15 Green Bay Packers - Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
The Packers could still use help in their receiver room. They
still need to make a decision on Aaron Rodgers, but they’ll
need help on the outside regardless of who their quarterback is.
Smith-Njigba has dropped a bit because of injuries throughout
his season, but Green Bay shouldn’t overthink this one.
The wide receiver outplayed Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson at
Ohio State, and both of those players found success in the NFL
as a rookie. Smith-Njigba comes with more than enough upside to
warrant this pick.
1.16 Washington Commanders - Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
If Witherspoon had a slightly more filled-out frame, he would
likely be the first projected cornerback off the board. There’s
a very real possibility that he could make his way to the top
of the draft board for his position as he boasts elite talent.
He could potentially fill it out, though, and the Commanders need
help in their secondary.
1.17 Pittsburgh Steelers - Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
The Steelers are in need of a cornerback or offensive tackle.
The cornerback position is still loaded at this point in the draft,
while there aren’t truly any offensive tackles that deserve
this pick. I had Porter near the top 10 in my initial mock draft,
and he has the talent to be selected significantly higher than
this. It’s a loaded class at the position, which is the
only reason he’s falling this far. He has the potential
to be a shadow option in the NFL, and he’d get a warm welcome
from Pittsburgh fans.
1.18 Detroit Lions - Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson
The Lions drafted Aidan Hutchinson last year, and it’s
clear he’s going to be a great player in the NFL. They also
drafted a cornerback earlier in this draft to help fix their secondary.
The other way to fix their secondary is to get more pressure on
the opposing quarterback. Murphy was once seen as a top 10 pick,
but he seems to be sliding a bit. He would benefit from playing
with Hutchinson, and this could solidify Detroit’s defense
for the next 10 years.
1.19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
This is somewhat of an odd spot for the Buccaneers. Brian Branch
could potentially fit better in their defense, but Banks is shooting
up draft boards after his outstanding combine. Ultimately, this
is a bad roster, and it makes more sense to draft the better overall
prospect. That’s Banks, and he has the ability to become
a high-end cornerback in the NFL. There are plenty of holes here
for the Bucs, including quarterback, but Banks makes the most
sense at the moment.
The Seahawks gave Geno Smith a big contract in the offseason,
and it makes sense to give him more weapons. Washington isn’t
just a massive option in the passing game, but he will be able
to help at a high level in Seattle’s run game. With Washington’s
run-blocking prowess, he’s going to be a great option in
play action and a solid complement for DK Metcalf and company.
1.21 Los Angeles Chargers - Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Is this fantasy drafting? Maybe, but it also fully makes sense.
Robinson is an outstanding running back prospect, and there’s
a very real chance he’s selected drastically higher. The
NFL doesn’t care about running backs early in the draft,
though, so he could also fall. Austin Ekeler asked for a trade,
and the Chargers haven’t found anyone to fill his shoes.
If they do opt to trade him, they could immediately replace him
with Robinson, who should immediately be one of the best backs
in the NFL.
1.22 Baltimore Ravens - Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
The Ravens franchise feels like it’s on fire at the moment.
It looks like Lamar Jackson isn’t going anywhere, and the
Ravens essentially talked down on their wide receivers. They did
say that they weren’t going to stop trying to find a WR1,
and Johnston is the type of player that comes with that upside.
He has everything you look for in a top receiver, and he can take
some of the pressure off Mark Andrews and the other pass catchers.
1.23 Minnesota Vikings - Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Adam Thielen signed with the Panthers earlier in the offseason,
and the Vikings are going to have to come out of this draft with
a new wide receiver. Some believe Flowers is the best of the bunch,
as he comes with elite route running. He’d see plenty of
single coverage with Justin Jefferson on the other side, and he
could immediately help the Minnesota offense in 2023.
1.24 Jacksonville Jaguars - Brian Branch, CB, Alabama
The Jaguars need help in their secondary, and Branch is a hybrid
option that can play cornerback, specifically in the slot, or
safety. He’s solid in coverage, and he’s outstanding
in run support for his position. He’s an NFL-ready player
that can rush the passer as well. Branch is the type of player
that will help Jacksonville potentially make a deeper playoff
1.25 New York Giants - O’Cyrus Torrence, iOL, Florida
It’ll be difficult for the Giants to pass on a wide receiver
here, but they could do that if Torrence falls a bit. He’s
an extremely solid interior offensive linemen, and he would immediately
help from day one. They gave Daniel Jones a big contract in the
offseason, and it seems as if they may have a potential plan with
signing multiple wide receivers and trading for Darren Waller.
Instead of a receiver, they can help keep Jones upright with this
1.26 Dallas Cowboys - Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Mayer is seen as the best tight end prospect in a loaded class.
He’s a player that can do it all, and he’s likely
the most polished tight end in this draft. With Bijan Robinson
off the board, the Cowboys could opt to help their offense in
a different way. Mayer is a solid blocker, and he’ll immediately
contribute in the passing game.
1.27 Buffalo Bills - Jordan Addison, WR, USC
There’s a very real chance that Addison is the best receiver
in this draft. It’s all about who you prefer as a team.
The Bills gave Gabriel Davis a chance last season, and he struggled
with injuries. It isn’t out of the question that they could
add Addison as their second option behind Stefon Diggs. I’m
a bit worried that Addison isn’t exactly the type of player
that will take the top off of a defense, and he may need a bit
more volume to find consistent success. Regardless, it’s
easy to be excited about someone with his talent in this Buffalo
Kincaid is flying up the draft boards because of his receiving
potential. He flashed as a route runner with tremendous hands
during his time at Utah. He isn’t the best blocker, but
he can make a few blocks in the right position. The Bengals could
use help at tight end, and he’d add another high-end receiving
option for Joe Burrow.
1.29 New Orleans Saints - Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
The Saints still have a need at wide receiver, although there
are rumors that they’re trying to work out a deal with Michael Thomas. Regardless, they’re relying heavily on Chris Olave,
who’s proven he can play in the NFL. Hyatt boasts elite
speed, and he’s a sure-handed player. If he added a bit
of weight to his frame, he could be the first receiver taken off
of the board. He’d make an outstanding pair with Olave for
new quarterback Derek Carr.
1.30 Philadelphia Eagles - Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
If the Eagles go with an edge rusher early in the draft, they
could potentially take a cornerback at this spot. Smith has good
coverage instincts, and he can learn from some of the top corners
in the NFL in Philadelphia. This isn’t a position of immediate
need for the Eagles and their overall roster will allow them to
go a few different ways, but cornerback is likely on their radar.
1.31 Kansas City Chiefs - Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
The Chiefs need help at offensive tackle. Wright is massive,
and will likely stay on the right side where the Chiefs have a
hole to fill. He’s a relatively safe option at this point
in the draft and could immediately help keep Patrick Mahomes on