Time for FPC 2023 NFL Mock Draft 2.0, with quarterbacks and pass-rushers populating all of the top six picks.
In this FPC 2023 NFL Mock Draft 2.0, you will find some similarities to the first version by Braden Holecek. Namely, the FPC 2023 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 and this article both have the same Will Anderson as the first non-quarterback selected. The real question is how high? Find out below.
1. Carolina Panthers: QB CJ Stroud- Ohio State
There are two quarterback prospects in this class that have been on the radar for several seasons because of their consistent production. I would not be shocked in the Panthers traded up to the 1st overall spot for either one of them. By a slim margin, C.J. Stroud College is the one I consider to be the best quarterback prospect in the class. So he ends up in Carolina here.
2. Houston Texans: QB Bryce Young- Alabama
This version of the mock draft begins the exact same way as the initial article. Stroud to the Panthers then the Texans tab Bryce Young as their franchise signal caller. There is a slight difference between Stroud and Young. Stroud is just a bit taller and bigger, and his college competition percentage was just a bit higher. These are the reasons why Young slips to the 2nd overall pick for Houston.
3. Arizona Cardinals: EDGE Will Anderson – Alabama
As mentioned in the intro, Will Anderson Jr. is the first non-QB selected in this mock draft. However, unlike in version 1.0, where the Cardinals traded down from the 3rd overall pick, this time they stay put. Arizona adds Alabama’s Anderson to their pass-rush as an instant upgrade. This prospect is a true do it all edge rusher. Anderson can win with speed or with power, but also can be just as effective rushing from the outside, or using stunt moves to get inside.
4. Indianapolis Colts: QB Anthony Richardson- Florida
After last year’s draft with only one quarterback in the first two rounds, this mock has three signal-callers in the first four picks. Quite to change in quarterbacking quality. Speaking of change, this move signals quite the change in how Indianapolis has treated the position. During the four seasons since Andrew Luck retired, the Colts have used four different veterans to lead their offense. With little success to show for it, Indianapolis takes the opposite route and drafts a quarterback that could be a project. Anthony Richardson is athletically gifted, but may need time to adjust to the NFL game.
5. Seattle Seahawks: EDGE Tyree Wilson – Texas Tech
Picking inside the top five was not the Seahawks natural draft slot. As part of the mega trade made last offseason, Seattle received the Broncos’ 2023 1st, which turned out to be the 5th overall selection. With their current quarterback locked-up on a multi-year deal, the Seahawks turn to arguably the next most important aspect of winning football: getting opposing passers on the ground. Tyree Wilson is a relentless edge rusher who’s effort is matched only by his excellence. The type of player Seattle wants.
6. Detroit Lions: DT Jalen Carter – Georgia
We have seen the Lions take swings in the past. Just look at last season where they spent a top 15 pick on a wide receiver who ultimately caught one pass as a rookie. This organization is patient, but also willing to take chances on big talent. A perfect mix for a team to select Jalen Carter. The talented defensive lineman brings big-school pedigree along with an impressive physique. While he has off-the-field issues right now, on the field, Carter is a beast.
7. Las Vegas Raiders: OT Paris Johnson – Ohio State
In previous drafts, the Raiders have swung (and missed) on drafting offensive linemen projects. This time around, they select Paris Johnson Jr., arguably the best offensive tackle prospect in this class. Likely, Las Vegas is looking for an immediate upgrade at right tackle. But the Raiders also probably want to invest someone that could become their blind-side blocker of the future. Las Vegas gets their guy here in Johnson.
8. Atlanta Falcons: CB Christian Gonzalez – Oregon
The run on talented defensive backs starts here at the back-end of the top ten. The Falcons are first to take a cornerback in this mock going with Christian Gonzalez. In recent seasons, Atlanta addressed the secondary both during the draft and in free-agency and they continue to do so here. While it may not appear to be their most preassign need, cornerback depth is super important in today’s NFL.
9. Chicago Bears: CB Devon Witherspoon – Illinois
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This is the first pick that the Bears received from their trade-down with the Panthers. Some say that Chicago should thank former head coach Lovie Smith for winning his final game with the Texans, thus allowing the Bears to have the first pick in the first place. Well, Smith gives one more parting gift in the form of cornerback Devon Witherspoon that he helped develop at Illinois.
10. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Joey Porter – Penn State
The Eagles have struggled to find solid cornerback play during recent years. However, on their Super Bowl run during the 2022 season, Philadelphia had two excellent level defensive backs covering the perimeter of the secondary. They managed to extend the one pf those corners, but there may be some drama regarding the other. While any serious issues seemed to have passed, the Eagles may still feel the need to address the position in the draft, and they do it right here off the bat with Joey Porter Jr.
11. Tennessee Titans: OT Peter Skoronski – Northwestern
With a team like the Titans, investing in the offensive line is so important. Their identity is the run game, and it is so important continuously address to the offensive front. Even after add some free agent offensive linemen, Tennessee uses the 11th overall pick to select tackle prospect Peter Skoronski. At the very least, the Titans need to fill almost all of their backup spots across the line. Skoronski would fit right, with a chance of piercing the starting line throughout his rookie season.
12. Houston Texans: WR Quentin Johnston – TCU
After taking their franchise quarterback with the 2nd overall selection, the Texans provide the young signal caller with a talented rookie receiver. That way Quentin Johnston would be able to develop alongside a fellow rookie who happens to be the quarterback. Right away, Johnston would provide some size to Houston’s receiving corps. Giving a young passer access to a big-bodied target should help this offense.
13. New York Jets: OT Broderick Jones – Georgia
Last year, the Jets had an incredible rookie class with four selections inside the top 40. In 2023, the team doesn’t have quite the same capital, but they can still add a solid offensive line prospect. Broderick Jones could start right away as the team’s right tackle. With the Jets free-agency period focused on getting a quarterback, there is likely no other way to add a player of Jones’ caliber outside the draft.
14. New England Patriots: EDGE Lukas Van Ness – Iowa
Looking at mock draft websites, Lukas Van Ness appears to be higher in consensus big board then he does in the mock drafts themselves. Meaning that draft experts like this prospect, but can’t seem to place him in a landing spot. What you have in Van Ness is a versatile edge rusher, that seems to confuse people. That has all the makings of a Patriots 1st-round selection. Someone not necessarily expected to be a top-half pick in the 1st round, but a player that can find a role on the New England defense.
15. Green Bay Packers: S Brian Branch – Alabama
Entering the 2022 season, the Packers had one of the better safety duos in the NFL. Now a year later, one is currently a free-agent, while the other only has one year left on his contract. So it’s time to replenish the room, and Green Bay does that right here in the 1st round with the first safety off the board. Now the one difference is that Brian Branch projects mostly as a free safety. Meanwhile, the Packers have loved switching around the safeties as to confuse opponents. The one bonus with Branch is that he can double as a nickel corner and cover from the slot when needed.
16. Washington Commanders: TE Michael Mayer – Notre Dame
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Timing is everything, even with the tight end position. This year’s group of rookie tight ends looks to be incredibly athletic, and poised to provide offensive production in the near future. The 2022 tight end rookie class actually impressed with several productive rookies in spite of the lack of 1st-roudn capital. I believe the NFL will overreact to all of that and we will see multiple tight ends selected on day one of the draft. In this mock, that starts with Michael Mayer going to the Commanders.
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17. Pittsburgh Steelers: EDGE Myles Murphy – Clemson
The Steelers already boast some impressive edge rushing talent. But we have also seen the pass-rush slow down when injuries hit key players. Whether Pittsburgh is selecting another starter, or simply addressing the group’s depth, I have them going with an edge rusher in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft 2.0. Myles Murphy fits the Steelers defensive scheme and has to talent to contend immediately as a rotational piece.
18. Detroit Lions: QB Will Levis – Kentucky
Well, the fall finally stops. While several mock drafts have Will Levis as a top five pick, I have him going slightly lower. Maybe I’m being influenced by how late the quarterbacks went last season. Either way, the Lions grab Levis with the second selection in the 1st round. In Detroit, the rookie quarterback would likely sit for the first year. However, with two 1st-round picks, the Lions can afford to have a eye towards the future. Especially after adding an impact defensive piece in the top ten.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba – Ohio State
The Buccaneers have two elite wide receivers who are both in (or towards the end of) the prime of their careers. But with not much behind them in the Tampa Bay pipeline (at least not elite assists) this seems like the best time to take another pass-catcher. Jaxon Smith-Njigba might be arguably the best wide receiver prospect in this class. Especially given how often the Buccaneers have played with a slot receiver, Smith-Njigba would fit right away on this offense. And considering this prospect’s pedigree, Tampa Bay may consider it a steal that he fell so far to them.
20. Seattle Seahawks: EDGE Nolan Smith – Georgia
That’s two edge rushers selected by the Seahawks in the 1st round. With the early pick they received via trade, Seattle went with a defensive end body-type of edge rusher. Now, selecting from their natural draft slot, the Seahawks take more of a linebacking pass-rusher in Nolan Smith. Both of these first-round picks address arguably the most important aspect of defensive football: pressuring the quarterback. And both of these picks fit Seattle’s 3-4 scheme.
21. Los Angeles Chargers: RB Bijan Robinson – Texas
Looking at this year’s running back class, Bijan Robinson stands alone at the top. Strictly from a Film Grades perspective, Robinson appears to be by far the best back in 2023 with his combination of technique and athleticism. Add in his college production, as well as athletic metrics, and it is my estimation that he Ranks as the only running back worthy of being taken in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. The Chargers take the elite prospect, and add a dynamic long-term piece for this offense.
22. Baltimore Ravens: WR Jordan Addison – USC
If not for his smaller frame, Jordan Addison might be considered the best wide receiver in the 2023 class. However, because he is listed under 180 pounds, Addison may fall to the end of the 1st round. Considering their needs at the wide receiver position, I doubt the Ravens will pass up the opportunity to draft him. Baltimore could use more elite talent both on the perimeter and in the slot and Addison would help the team in either function. The Ravens are lacking a true deep threat, a role Addison could likely play for this team.
23. Minnesota Vikings: CB Deonte Banks – Maryland
In this 2023 NFL Mock Draft 2.0, there are several runs on cornerbacks. Here is another, as the Vikings select Deonte Banks, making him the fourth cornerback taken so far. Minnesota just hired and new defensive coordinator, and the front office can assist him by adding talent to the secondary. Banks could get a shot right away to help the Vikings defense as they look to regain their former glory.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars: CB Kelee Ringo – Georgia
Speaking of former glory, the Jaguars had a magical run to the AFC Championship Game back in 2017. That season, Jacksonville employed to elite level cornerbacks. So adding a 1st round pick to that room could certainly help the team’s defensive backfield. The Jaguars are coming off a resurgent 2022 season, which included a playoff victory. Drafting a two-time national champion like Kelee Ringo can help maintain that winning culture in the locker room. Ringo is actually the 4th Georgia player selected in this mock.
25. New York Giants: OG O’Cyrus Torrence – Florida
What used to be a major problem has now begun to turn around. The Giants offensive line used to be one of the worst in the league, but now there is a foundation there which allowed the team to access the playoffs last year. In recent drafts, the Giants used multiple top ten picks in order to shore up the tackles. Now that both edge protectors are established, it’s time to turn the attention inside. O’Cyrus Torrence may be the best best interior offensive lineman prospect, and the Giants take him here has a potential starting offensive guard.
26. Dallas Cowboys: DE Bryan Bresee – Clemson
The offensive coordinator change, and the recent comments made by the Cowboys head coach, indicate that the team wants to rely more on the ground game. But that also means a solid defense and that all starts up front. As a 3-4 defensive end who can also play defensive tackle, Bryan Bresee already fits Dallas’ defensive scheme. The Cowboys have typically invested highly in the trenches, so I would not surprise to see them take a defensive lineman at the end of the 1st round.
27. Buffalo Bills: WR Zay Flowers – Boston College
As we get towards the end of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft 2.0, this is where I really see teams “reaching” for pass-catchers. Sitting at the end of the 1st round, the Bills don’t have many holes to fill on their roster. Considering how highly valued wide receivers are, it would make sense for Buffalo to add to that positional group. There appears to be a clear top tier of three wide receivers in this class. Who will be the forth selected? In this mock, I have Zay Flowers going to the Bills.
28. Cincinnati Bengals: TE Dalton Kincaid – Utah
This is a pick where best available talent meets team need. Like the team they beat in the playoffs (who were mentioned in the previous paragraph), the Bengals do not have a lot of holes on their roster. However, after losing their starting tight end in free agency, Cincinnati suddenly needs to add to that group. In what is considered to be a strong tight end class, we get our second 1st round pick of this mock at that position. Dalton Kincaid could come in and contribute from day one, thanks in part to the elite quarterback he would be inheriting with the Bengals.
29. New Orleans Saints: DT Calijah Kancey – Pittsburgh
With this pick, Calijah Kancey would only be the second pure defensive tackle taken in this mock draft. Compare that to six edge rushers selected, which makes sense considering the importance that the league places on outside pass-rushers. For a team like the Saints that are cap strapped and short on picks, getting a talented player Clancy fall to them is a gift. After putting what cap space they had towards a quarterback, it makes sense to use their first draft pick on the defensive front.
30. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Jalin Hyatt – Tennessee
Considering that this is the Eagles’ second selection of the 2023 NFL Mock Draft 2.0, they can afford to “reach” on an elite trait. Jalin Hyatt sure has speed. While Philadelphia employs two upper level NFL wide receivers, neither has quite the burner ability that Hyatt does. The rookie could add a new dimension to this Eagles offense. While he might struggle to gain as a many targets as other 1st-round picks, Hyatt’s affect on the defense could open things up for everyone else. His speed to take the top off of a defense, might be just to put Philadelphia over the top.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: OT Anton Harrison – Oklahoma
The Chiefs lost both of their starting offensive tackles in free agency. One high-priced replacement was already brought in, but suddenly there is a need for another edge protector in Kansas City. With the big three tackles already taken in this mock, the Chiefs end up with Anton Harrison. While he may not have same elite upside as the three offensive tackles selected in the top 13 of this draft, Harrison could come and start day one along that Kansas City line. Considering that they have the best quarterback in the NFL, the Chiefs would be wise to continue to invest in his protection.
Thank you for reading FPC 2023 NFL Mock Draft 2.0. Be sure to check out all of the great NFL Draft content available on Full Press Coverage. Including future full-first round Mock Drafts.
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