2023 NFL Mock Draft: Texans, Colts, Raiders All Get Franchise Quarterbacks
With Super Bowl LVII now behind us, every NFL team is fully focused on the offseason. Free agency decisions will come soon, as will the 2023 draft.
With five new head coaches in place and a ton of good quarterbacks available, this year's draft could be transformative for the league. What follows is our first 2023 NFL Mock Draft. For this first run-through we're doing a no-trades mock, so keep that in mind as we dive in.
1. Chicago Bears: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
There is about a 95 percent chance this pick is traded before April 27, but we're doing a no-trades mock so the Bears make their pick at No.1. Carter is the best player in the draft and he comes at a position of need for Chicago.
2. Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
The Texans get to pick their favorite quarterback from a loaded first round and take the former Heisman Trophy-winner to start their rebuild under DeMeco Ryans. Height could be a concern, but not if you ask Mina Kimes.
3. Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr., OLB, Alabama
Anderson was a beast at Alabama racking up 27.5 sacks over the past two seasons. He fills a massive need for the Cardinals who only had 36 sacks in 2022 and lost J.J. Watt to retirement.
4. Indianapolis Colts: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
The Colts are taking a quarterback in the first-round. The only question is where they'll be picking. The uber-productive Stroud falls to them at four here.
5. Seattle Seahawks (via Den): Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech
The Seahawks add some juice to their pass rush with Wilson, a 6-foot-6, 275-pound edge presence with a ton of upside.
6. Detroit Lions (via LAR): Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
The Lions must upgrade their secondary this offseason and here they can pick their favorite cornerback in the draft. I've got them taking Witherspoon, an elite cover corner with good size.
7. Las Vegas Raiders: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
The Raiders may trade for a veteran quarterback but as of now I expect them to draft one. Here they take Levis, a big kid with a big arm. He has turnover issues, but might have the highest upside in the class.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
With Kaleb McGary hitting free agency, the Falcons need to find another tackle to protect Desmond Ridder. They get the best in the draft here. A great value pick.
9. Carolina Panthers: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
The Panthers haven't had a true quarterback to build around since Cam Newton's prime. They hope Richardson can be that guy. He has exceptional size at 6-foot-4, 232 pounds, and boasts tremendous upside.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO): Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson
The Eagles arguably had the NFL's best defense in 2022 but they need to keep reloading. Bresee fills a need along the defensive line with Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham hitting free agency.
11. Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State
The Titans allowed 49 sacks in 2022 and Taylor Lewan is aging. Johnson is a fluid tackle who played both sides well at Ohio State.
12. Houston Texans (via CLE): Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson
The Texans got their quarterback, so it's time for a defensive star. Murphy's speed off the edge makes him dangerous and he'll be an immediate building block for DeMeco Ryans' defense.
13. New York Jets: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
The Jets need to find another tackle and Mekhi Becton hasn't stayed healthy. Whoever winds up at quarterback will need to stay upright, and Jones didn't allow a sack during Georgia's championship run this season.
14. New England Patriots: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
Corner has been a need for the Patriots since J.C. Jackson departed last offseason, it must be a priority in this draft. They could go a number of directions here but Gonzalez's versatility makes him attractive.
15. Green Bay Packers: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
With Allen Lazard and Robert Tonyan potentially leaving in free agency, whoever is at quarterback in Green Bay will need new weapons. Mayer is a matchup nightmare who dominated at Notre Dame.
16. Washington Commanders: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
Another team in need to an upgrade in the secondary (it'll be a theme in the first round), the Commanders land Porter, a physical corner with a knack for breaking up passes.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Yet another corner off the board, Ringo has elite length and top-end speed. He'll need time to develop but might have the most upside at his position in this class.
18. Detroit Lions: Lukas Van Ness, DE, Iowa
The Lions got a cornerback, now it's time to beef up the front. Van Ness has the makings of a very good edge rusher despite never actually starting a game at Iowa.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
The Bucs need help rushing the passer but the value off the edge isn't there at this spot. Their second need is another cover corner and Smith is the best available.
20. Seattle Seahawks: Brian Branch, S, Alabama
The Jamal Adams trade has been a complete bust. It's time to bring in some competition. Branch is versatile enough to line up in coverage and was the key to the back of Alabama's defense.
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor
The Chargers allowed an NFL-worst 5.4 yards per carry in 2022. Ika is a reach here but LA desperately needs to upgrade the interior of its defense.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
Baltimore's biggest need is on the perimeter. We expect Lamar Jackson to be back with the Ravens and he'll need targets. Johnston is a big (6-foot-4, 215 pounds), athletic playmaker who will be a downfield threat immediately.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
The Vikings could use help in the secondary and defensive line, but that value doesn't exist at this spot. Instead they'll get a partner for Justin Jefferson. Smith-Njigba was projected as a top receiver in this class before he battled a hamstring injury all season that forced him to miss all but three games.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
The Jaguars must keep adding weapons for Trevor Lawrence, and in Addison they get an instinctive route-runner with excellent hands. After transferring to USC he was on the way to another monster season when he suffered an ankle sprain.
25. New York Giants: O'Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida
The Giants should keep adding to the offensive line to help both Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley -- who we expect to be back in 2023. Torrence is the best interior lineman in the draft and is equally adept at run and pass blocking.
26. Dallas Cowboys: Keion White, DE, Georgia Tech
The Cowboys have needs at corner and receiver but those ranks have been depleted here. Instead they'll go with White, an athletic 6-foot-5, 280-pound edge rusher with unlimited upside.
27. Buffalo Bills: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Do the Bills need a running back? Nope, but this value is too much to pass up. Robinson is a top-15 player in this draft and would be a huge addition to any offense. He'd take a ton of pressure off Josh Allen.
28. Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
Tight end isn't the Bengals' biggest need (although they can definitely use help), but Kincaid is a stud who dominated the Pac-12 as a matchup nightmare in 2022 and would give Joe Burrow yet another weapon.
29. New Orleans Saints (via DEN/MIA/SF): Tui Tuipulotu, DE, USC
The Saints have needs along the defensive line and Tuipulotu would be an excellent fit. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive lineman is still super young (20 years old) but was an unanimous All-American after leading the nation with 13.5 sacks this season.
30. Philadelphia Eagles: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
It's past time for the Eagles to find a real go-to running back, Gibbs is the rare ball-carrier worth spending a first-round pick on. He's physical, has open-field speed and excellent vision.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
Keeping Patrick Mahomes upright should always be Priority No. 1 in Kansas City, so the Chiefs find another tackle here. We expect them to retain Orlando Brown Jr. but right tackle Andrew Wylie could be gone. Harrison only allowed two sacks in three collegiate seasons and has some versatility along the line.