Well, the most turbulent NFL draft class that my 18-year-old mind can remember has come and gone. Now, it’s time for 2023. While last year’s draft class was a wild ride for quarterbacks, at least we have a solid QB1 this year right? RIGHT? Well not exactly, let’s get into this way too early 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
2023 NFL Mock Draft rules
All picks are in order of how they look on paper to me. All picks traded in real life are with the team that currently owns them, and I will be making no trades.
Just a reminder, this is a WAY TOO EARLY 2023 NFL Mock Draft, I could go 0/32.
Pick 1: Texans – Will Anderson EDGE
I’m sorry Texans’ fans, no QB here. You guys are getting Will Anderson, a once-in-a-generation player. Just for reference, Will Anderson was called “the next guy” by Nick Saban his first day on campus. Anderson’s unique athletic ability combined with his incredible pass rush IQ let him lead the SEC in sacks — as a true freshman during the Covid year against only SEC competition.
Pick 2: Lions – Bryce Young QB
Next, The Lions go for the “Burrow-to-Chase” type connection. The 2022 Heisman gets reunited with his favorite target, who just happens to be this year’s pick for the Lions. Jameson Williams and Young get to be back together in the NFL. Yes, C.J. Stroud could be the better pick this year. However, Young just makes too much sense.
Pick 3: Jaguars – Jaxon Smith-Njigba WR
In my opinion, as of right now Jaxon Smith-Njigba is better coming out than his other two Ohio State counterparts. Now, this is a “Way Too Early 2023 NFL Mock Draft” so everything could change, but JSN had top ten tape as a sophomore. So just take that as you will.
Pick 4: Giants – C.J Stroud QB
Yeah, the Daniel Jones project failed. Joe Schoen gets his guy to build with in C.J Stroud. Stroud and Young will be battling for QB1 all year long. With the concerns over Young’s height, Stroud could very well be QB1. However in this world, the Giants get lucky and get Stroud at 4.
Pick 5: Panthers – B.J. Ojulari EDGE
The Panthers let Matt Corral have the keys late in the year after Darnold struggles, and he played them right out of the top 3. So, they go with the 6’3″ EDGE from LSU B.J. Ojulari. Ojulari will test really well come NFL Combine time, which will land him in this top 5 slot.
Pick 6: Falcons – Bryan Bresee IDL
I see the Falcons playing their way out of a QB. Unless they go Spencer Rattler, Phil Jurkovec or Hendon Hooker, which I don’t see at 6 as of right now — especially after drafting Ridder. Bryan Bresee is a monster. He is 6’5″ 300 lbs and has a very deep bag of tricks to use when pass rushing. Bresee is a bonafide NFL starter.
Pick 7: Jets – Jalen Carter IDL
Oh, would you look at that, UGA has another stud defensive lineman. In all seriousness, Jalen Carter is better than Jordan Davis in my opinion. He is quicker off the line and a better pass rusher than Davis. Carter is going to prove his worth this season, being the leading man in UGA’s new defensive line.
Pick 8: Seahawks – Spencer Rattler QB
A lot of people aren’t going to like this one — including my own co-host. Oh well. Spencer Rattler comes all the way back from the depth of despair and makes himself the blue chip guy he was before last season. Spencer has all the weapons in the world at South Carolina: Josh Vann, Corey Rucker, Antwane Wells and that’s not including a killer TE room. Look out for Rattler this year.
Pick 9: Bears – Paris Johnson Jr. OT
This offensive line class feels very weak compared to Evan Neal, Charles Cross and Ikem Ekwonu. Nonetheless, Paris Johnson is still really good. He isn’t any of those three guys in my opinion, but he is a great option for the Bears because well, protect Fields PLEASE.
Pick 10: Steelers – Kelee Ringo CB
I had a really hard time with this one. Mostly because I couldn’t pick between Eli Ricks and Kelee Ringo. As Mitch Wolfe said “Steelers first round picks are normally 1) Underclassmen 2) Power 5 kids 3) Insane athletes.” Well these two are all three of these things. I went Ringo. The crazy athletic UGA corner might actually get some targets this year, since quarterbacks might actually have time to throw the ball this year.
Pick 11: Commanders – Brandon Joseph S
I’m going to be 100% honest, I feel bad mocking Brandon Joseph here with how teams valued Kyle Hamilton. However, I don’t think Joseph will test the way Hamilton did, which could catapult him up to 11. The Northwestern transfer is going to be vital to Notre Dame’s defense this year.
Pick 12: Vikings – Myles Murphy IDL
It’s shades of 2019 in Clemson with two defensive lineman in the first round. Myles Murphy is just another one of those guys who on tape was a first rounder last year. Coming back? Oh yeah, that definitely should move him up into this range.
Pick 13: Raiders – Bjian Robinson RB
A FIRST ROUND RUNNING BACK?!? Well, Josh Jacobs probably won’t be in Vegas after this year, as the Raiders turned down his 5th-year option. So, replace him with a guy who can do it all. Watch Bijan Robinson and find me a legitimate hole in his game.
Pick 14: Eagles – Eli Ricks CB
After leaving LSU for Alabama, there is a big year coming for the physical corner. Ricks is a guy who I firmly believe in. He may end up as CB1 by the time the draft rolls around. The reason Ricks isn’t CB1 in this mock just because of the fit with the Steelers and Ringo.
Pick 15: Eagles – Nolan Smith EDGE
Nolan Smith could be the best player on UGA’s defense, but he falls here to 15 due to some off-the-field problems. Smith was driving with a suspended license and he got caught speeding. Other than that? Smith is going to be a star for UGA and will make an NFL team very happy one day.
Pick 16: Dolphins – Jahmyr Gibbs RB
Jahmyr Gibbs joins the likes of Derrick Henry and Najee Harris as a stud running back from Alabama who is going to make a huge difference in the NFL. He, much like Robinson who went three picks prior, is a complete back. Runs with power, speed, and has great hands.
Pick 17: Patriots – Michael Mayer TE
You want honesty? I took Michael Mayer here because it FEELS like a Bill Belichick pick. Mayer is good, don’t get me wrong, but he shouldn’t go this high. He is a good blocker and a good pass catcher, however he isn’t a unicorn like Pitts so I don’t see him going this high unless someone takes a big shot on him.
Pick 18: Cardinals – Trenton Simpson LB
The Cardinals used their first rounder this year on Hollywood Brown. So in 2023, look for them to add to an aging defense. Trenton Simpson is a perfect fit next to Isaiah Simmons. Simpson is aggressive, but has a great football IQ and good enough vision to be able to make sure he doesn’t over commit.
Pick 19: Titans – Kayshon Boutte WR
Imagine losing AJ Brown, replacing him with Treylon Burks, then adding a guy who was crowned as the next great LSU WR as a true freshman. Kayshon Boutte is that guy. I wrote more about Boutte a few months ago, so be sure to check that out for more info on him.
Pick 20: Colts – Jordan Addison WR
The run on wide receivers begins. Kenny Pickett and now maybe Caleb Williams? The number 1 target for those guys gets shipped out to Indy. Addison entered the transfer portal after spring ball and is likely headed to SoCal. Addison has great hands and uses his body really well in the air.
Pick 21: Texans – Marvin Mims WR
I think Marvin Mims will have a down year after losing his coach and two quarterbacks, but the talent is 100% there for the 5′ 11″, 177 lbs Oklahoma wide receiver. Mims is fast, a good route runner , and has great hands. Mims will be a good fit for Mills — if he is, in fact, the guy in Houston.
Pick 22: Ravens – Noah Sewell LB
It feels like the Ravens never stop picking up good defenders. So, I’m just going to put Noah Sewell here. Paired up with Patrick Queen, the Ravens somehow get even scarier. Sewell and his teammate Justin Flowe could easily shoot up draft boards.
Pick 23: Bengals – Byron Young IDL
The other “B. Young” from Alabama is Byron, and he is going to make waves for the Tide this year. Now, Young waited behind Christian Barmore and Phidarian Mathis, he is the next up in a long line of Alabama defensive lineman to become a difference maker. Young is strong, and it mostly comes from his explosiveness.
Pick 24: Chargers – Joey Porter Jr. CB
With Chris Harris getting older and already having J.C. Jackson and Samuel… replace the pricey Harris with Joey Porter Jr. Now you have the best young core of defensive backs in the game. Porter is very fluid in his movements and always does a good job with his hands.
Pick 25: Cowboys – Henry To’oto’o LB
Henry To’oto’o was a monster at Tennessee, had a very good year at Alabama, and chose to come back after losing the National Championship. Henry T’s biggest issue is over-commitment. He can be too aggressive and can get caught in the wrong hole, which is his downfall.
Pick 26: Seahawks – Christian Mahogany IOL
I am expecting a huge year from Boston College’s Christian Mahogany. He has to fix his feet just a bit, however, I am a firm believer in his hands and size combo. If your team needs a late first O-line this is the guy.
Pick 27: Dolphins – Isaiah Foskey IDL
After two weak interior defensive line classes, Isaiah Foskey is the fifth (and not final) IDL to come off the board. Foskey is an anchor for Notre Dame and is going to work his way into the first round come next April. The big man clogs up gaps quickly with an explosive first step.
Pick 28: Lions – Zion Tupuola-Fetui EDGE
An ABSOLUTE BEAST, Zion Tupuola-Fetui is an physical specimen. However, everyone has doubts with PAC12 pass rushers, and with little production someone will have to bet on talent. I think putting Aidan Hutchinson with Tupuola-Fetui would allow Tupuola-Fetui to grow into his role.
Pick 29: Packers – Garrett Williams CB
I would love to put Garrett Williams next to Jaire Alexander for the Packers. It is a match made in heaven, honestly. Williams is another guy who hasn’t produced much, mostly because people don’t throw at him.
Pick 30: Chiefs – Justin Eboigbe IDL
The final interior defensive lineman goes. Justin Eboigbe is another guy who you have to bet on upside with. He won’t produce much with Young, Anderson, Dallas Turner, and more on that Bama D-line . The Chiefs are in a good enough spot where they can bet on traits.
Pick 31: Bucs – Phil Jurkovec QB
THE HEIR APPARENT TO THE GOAT. Okay, let’s get serious… if Phil Jurkovec doesn’t get hurt he is probably QB1 in this past year’s draft class. He gets the short end of the stick by having to wait a year, where he is now QB4. However, he probably lands in the best spot any rookie could ask for.
Pick 32: Bills – Derick Hall EDGE
The Bills can bet on the athletic ability of Derick Hall. So far in his college career, he has been super rough around the edges. In this mock, the Bills win it all and still land an amazing athlete at the 32nd pick.
If you enjoyed this be sure to stay updated with all these players all year long on The Scouts Take. This has been my way too early 2023 NFL mock draft.