Just like that, the regular season in college football is over and the Senior Bowl acceptances and underclassmen declarations are starting to roll in. That said, there are still seven weeks remaining in the NFL regular season with plenty still to sort out. What I love about our weekly NFL mock draft here at The Draft Network is that we get the chance to feel the dynamics of the ever-shifting landscape of the coming draft. I mean, this is already my fourth time examining the possibilities since the start of the season and I always love digging into my teammates’ mocks each week.
Without further ado, here’s a logical NFL mock draft scenario based on what we’ve learned to this point.
2023 NFL Mock Draft: Joe Marino 4.0
1. Houston Texans
Bryce Young QB, Alabama
The Texans are projected to own the No. 1 overall selection with a roster that has seemingly been littered with holes for the last several years. No hole is more glaring or more important to fill than quarterback and Bryce Young has the right makeup to be Houston’s guy. While there will be questions about his size, there is no question about his leadership, accuracy, and playmaking instincts. If Houston is going to get it turned around, they have to find the right direction at quarterback and Young gives them a chance to secure that guy.
2. Chicago Bears
Will Anderson Jr. EDGE, Alabama
But what about building around Justin Fields? Folks, the Bears have north of $100 million in cap space to accomplish that and they should prioritize finding veteran players to surround their developing young quarterback. In this scenario, adding Will Anderson Jr. is the smarter play instead of forcing an offensive player. Anderson Jr. is a blue-chip talent at a premium position of need in Chicago. He has a chance to become one of the NFL’s premier defensive playmakers. There will be an abundance of opportunities for Chicago to build around Fields that doesn’t involve the No. 2 overall pick.
3. Detroit Lions (via LAR)
Jalen Carter IDL, Georgia
The Lions have some exciting young defensive talent and adding a talent like Jalen Carter to go with the likes of Aidan Hutchinson and Alim McNeill would give the Lions one of most exciting young defensive lines in the league. Carter is a dynamic penetration-style player that has all the tools to be highly disruptive in the NFL
4. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN)
Tyree Wilson EDGE, Texas Tech
We know the Seahawks love toolsy prospects and Tyree Wilson is as toolsy as they come. Blessed with rare length and size, Wilson is a versatile defender that has been used up and down the defensive line in college and given opportunities to defend multiple gaps and shoot gaps. He fits the Seattle mold and is one of the highest-ceiling prospects in the class.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
Broderick Jones OT, Georgia
If the Steelers are going to maximize their opportunity to develop young skill players that were recently selected in the top two rounds in Kenny Pickett, Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, and George Pickens, finding more talent along the offensive line is a must. Broderick Jones has the makings of a top-tier NFL starter with his length, mobility. and power. Despite only starting for just a little more than a season at Georgia, Jones has shown high-level skill that has me excited about his potential at the next level.
6. Carolina Panthers
Will Levis QB, Kentucky
The Charlotte Observer recently reported that Panthers owner David Tepper wants Will Levis, so let’s live in a world where that is true. The need at quarterback couldn’t be more obvious for the Panthers and Levis is a tantalizing talent. While his play has been up and down at Kentucky, Levis is built like an action figure, has a cannon for a right arm, and is a talented runner. If he becomes more polished, he can be one of the league’s most dynamic playmakers at the quarterback position.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO)
Christian Gonzalez CB, Oregon
Shoutout to our guy Brentley Weissman for putting Christian Gonzalez on our radar this summer as a potential high pick. He’s delivered on that promise with an impressive season for the Ducks. A transfer from Colorado, Gonzalez took a step at Oregon, especially when it comes to ball production. Pairing him with Darius Slay and allowing James Bradberry to walk in free agency would be a good plan for the Philadelphia Eagles if they can pull it off.
8. Arizona Cardinals
Kelee Ringo CB, Georgia
There are so many directions the Cardinals can go with this pick but I keep coming back to cornerback as a primary need that represents good value in this NFL mock draft scenario. Kelee Ringo has it all in terms of size, length, and athleticism and he’s taken a notable step with his ability to make plays on the ball this season. If he puts it all together, Ringo can be special.
9. Las Vegas Raiders
Bryan Bresee IDL, Clemson
The Raiders’ defensive tackle room leaves much to be desired but that would change drastically with an addition like Bryan Bresee who can execute from a variety of alignments up front. He is a dynamic athlete with exceptional power and a relentless motor. Pairing him with Maxx Crosby would be a major win for a Raiders defense that needs help.
10. Houston Texans (via CLE)
Myles Murphy EDGE, Clemson
The Texans must prioritize utilizing their premium assets on premium talents at premium positions, which is the case here in this NFL mock draft with the investment in Myles Murphy. Murphy is a powerful and explosive edge rusher that can reduce rush angles, play through blocks, and really threaten the width of the pocket on a consistent basis. He would provide a much-needed building block for the Texans on their defensive line.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars
Olu Fashanu OT, Penn State
We know that Trent Baalke loves prospects with dynamic physical skill sets, even if they are in need of development. Olu Fashanu fits that description perfectly and provides the Jaguars with an option to replace Jawaan Taylor, whose contract is set to expire after the season. Fashanu is young (19) and supremely gifted when it comes to size, length, and movement skills. His ceiling is incredibly high.
12. Detroit Lions
Cam Smith CB, South Carolina
The Lions’ defense has displayed some growth of late but the cornerback position is one that needs an upgrade. Cam Smith is a versatile defender that can play zone and man coverage with impressive ball skills and a strong appetite to be physical and tackle. He would continue to add to the identity of players the Lions have been attracted to under Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell.
13. Green Bay Packers
Peter Skoronski OT, Northwestern
Peter Skoronski has been a dominant left tackle for Northwestern but he has appeal at all five positions along the offensive line—which helps the Packers get their best five on the field. After two years of significant injuries up front, Skoronski can be a long-term building block. He’s a true technician that plays within himself and executes with consistency.
14. Indianapolis Colts
C.J. Stroud QB, Ohio State
After featuring a different quarterback in each of the last five seasons, the Colts simply have to pull the trigger on a young quarterback. C.J. Stroud has enjoyed a productive career at Ohio State and provides the Colts with a chance to have a long-term solution at the most important position on the field.
15. Atlanta Falcons
Bijan Robinson RB, Texas
For Arthur Smith’s offense to be its best version, it requires a bellcow back and that’s exactly what the Atlanta Falcons get in Bijan Robinson. A true three-down playmaker, Robinson is among the five-best talents in this draft class, but positional value pushes him down the board.
16. Seattle Seahawks
John Michael Schmitz IOL, Minnesota
The Seahawks revamped their offensive tackle situation in last year’s draft but still have an opportunity to upgrade the interior. John Michael Schmitz has been a steady presence for Minnesota, where his power, range, technique, and size project him well to being an impact starter at the next level. He can shore up the middle of the Seahawks’ offensive line at center or guard.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
Michael Mayer TE, Notre Dame
I know the Chargers need some help on the interior defensive line, but there just isn’t good value in this NFL mock draft scenario at that position. There is value, however, at tight end where Michael Mayer could provide Justin Herbert with a legitimate threat in the middle of the field that can truly challenge the seam. It’s never a bad idea to add to the weaponry at Herbert’s disposal.
18. New England Patriots
Quentin Johnston WR, TCU
The Patriots can certainly afford to get more dynamic at wide receiver. The current top four options are all expiring contracts over the next two seasons, with Jakobi Meyers and Nelson Agholor coming off the books after this season and DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne expiring after 2023. That said, none of them offer the upside of Quentin Johnson, who has rare size, speed, and change of direction skills for a receiver of his stature.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jordan Addison WR, USC
There are some considerable unknowns when projecting the Buccaneers beyond this season, particularly at the quarterback position. While Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Russell Gage are all signed through 2023, the offense lacks a true field-stretcher that can create after the catch like Jordan Addison. He can be a long-term building block for the unit.
20. Washington Commanders
Joey Porter Jr. CB, Penn State
Things didn’t work out in Washington with William Jackson III, which leaves a void at cornerback. Stylistically, Joey Porter Jr. is a much better fit. His ability to play zone coverage meshes better with how the Commanders play defense. He is long, physical, athletic, and knows how to play the ball in the air. He can help boost an uneven Washington pass defense.
21. Baltimore Ravens
Isaiah Foskey EDGE, Notre Dame
Even in NFL mock drafts, the Ravens find a way to find great values and simply add good football players. Isaiah Foskey’s versatility and balanced skill set make him an exciting option for any defense. The all-time sack leader for Notre Dame, Foskey can play 5-technique with his hand in the dirt and win in space from a two-point stance. After relying on aging vets like Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Houston, a young trio of edge rushers that includes Foskey, Odafe Oweh, and David Ojabo makes for a dynamic group.
22. New York Jets
Henry To’o To’o LB, Alabama
The Jets have displayed incredible growth on defense this season and the unit could take another step by improving C.J. Mosley’s running mate while also securing his eventual replacement at linebacker. Robert Saleh’s defenses in San Francisco featured a dynamic duo on the second level in Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw that is yet to be replicated with the Jets. Henry To’o To’o is a do-everything linebacker that can cover, play downhill, blitz, and play through contact with sideline-to-sideline range.
23. Cincinnati Bengals
Paris Johnson Jr. OT, Ohio State
For all of the efforts to improve the offensive line last season, I am underwhelmed with the performance of both Bengals’ offensive tackles, Jonah Williams and La’el Collins. After starting his career at guard, Paris Johnson Jr. has proven himself at tackle for Ohio State. His presence could allow the Bengals to move on from Williams, who has surrendered 19 sacks over the last two seasons, at left tackle or move him to the interior.
24. New York Giants
Anthony Richardson QB, Florida
We’ll know soon enough, but there are some rumblings out there that Anthony Richardson is going to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft—let’s live in a world where that is true. While he’s far from a polished quarterback, Richardson has every desirable trait necessary to be a unicorn at the position. The last time Brian Daboll had one of those it worked out quite well.
25. Denver Broncos (via SF)
Brian Branch SAF, Alabama
Kareem Jackson is nearly 35 and set to be an expiring contact, and while Caden Sterns could be the answer opposite of Justin Simmons, the versatility of Brian Branch enables him to fill a variety of roles in the secondary. He could also project as the successor to K’Waun Williams in the slot. In a world where NFL defenses live in sub, a presence like Branch presents considerable schematic options with his ability to win from deep alignments, the slot, in the box, or as an overhang defender.
26. Tennessee Titans
Jalin Hyatt WR, Tennessee
Under Mike Vrabel, the Titans have proven to have a winning formula, but a lack of dynamic weapons in the passing game has made for some challenging outings throwing the football. Enter Jalin Hyatt, who has elite speed and vertical receiving skills that can truly open up the offense with his ability to stretch the field. He’s the perfect complement to go with the skill set that Treylon Burks offers.
27. Dallas Cowboys
Gervon Dexter Sr. IDL, Florida
What worries me about the Cowboys when measuring them up against the other upper-echelon teams in the NFC is run defense and having to deal with dynamic rushing offenses like the 49ers and Eagles in the postseason. The Cowboys can shore up the interior of the defense with a stout run defender like Gervon Dexter Sr., who also features the athletic profile necessary to make an impact rushing the passer.
28. Buffalo Bills
O’Cyrus Torrence IOL, Florida
With Rodger Saffold aging and on an expiring contract, the Bills will likely be in the market for a new starting guard in the offseason and with limited resources, the answer could come in the draft. O’Cyrus Torrence would provide the Bills with a big-bodied mauler in the run game that could consistently create displacement. And for a 340-pound lineman, Torrence has surprising movement skills to go with a powerful anchor to protect the depth of the pocket in front of Josh Allen.
29. Miami Dolphins
30. Minnesota Vikings
Clark Phillips III CB, Utah
Clark Phillips III has proven to be an impact defender for Utah that routinely takes away the football. He’s a lean corner, but he’s an elite competitor and highly-respected leader in the Utes’ program. Phillips III has top coverage instincts with the fluid hips and quick feet needed to mirror and match receivers in man coverage. He would add another building block for a Minnesota pass defense that has proven to be highly inconsistent.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
Jaelyn Duncan OT, Maryland
Whether it’s replacing an expiring contract at left tackle in Orlando Brown or looking to find better stability at right tackle, the Kansas City Chiefs could look to the draft for a long-term answer at either spot. While Jaelyn Duncan has some technical improvements necessary, his blend of length, mass, movement skills, length, and power gives him the makeup of a quality NFL starter if he develops. The AFC West is loaded with edge rushers, so making sure Patrick Mahomes has a quality group in front of him should always be a priority in Kansas City.
32. Philadelphia Eagles
Jared Verse EDGE, Florida State
After dominating at Albany, Jared Verse transferred to Florida State and proved to be a problem for Power Five offenses to deal with. He is a fluid and explosive pass rusher that would help the Eagles get younger on the defensive line with a potential impact playmaker on a cost-controlled rookie contract.
NFL Mock Draft: Round 2
33. Houston Texans
Andrew Vorhees IOL, USC
The Texans have four first-round picks invested in their offensive line but the interior is simply not good enough. With the No. 1 pick spent on Bryce Young, they must keep investing.
34. Pittsburgh Steelers (via CHI)
Devon Witherspoon CB, Illinois
Devon Witherspoon is a physical, fluid, and competitive corner that has terrific ball skills that can elevate the Steelers’ pass defense.
35. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN)
Jaxon Smith-Njigba WR, Ohio State
The Seahawks have quickly become a fun team to watch. They’d be even more fun with another legitimate receiver for 11 personnel packages.
36. Los Angeles Rams
Derick Hall EDGE, Auburn
The Rams’ roster is in shambles and the future outlook is concerning. With the limited resources available, premium positions must be prioritized. Derick Hall is a versatile defensive lineman that can provide L.A. with a meaningful young player—something they currently lack.
37. New Orleans Saints
Darnell Washington TE, Georgia
Darnell Washington brings the size and athleticism needed to win in the middle of the field and down the seam and he’s a tremendous blocker. A skill set like his can help improve the Saints’ offense.
38. Arizona Cardinals
Tuli Tuipulotu IDL, USC
Tuli Tuipulotu is a dynamic power rusher that can win off the edge and reduce inside. For a struggling Cardinals defense, a presence like Tuipulotu makes them better against the run and pass.
39. Green Bay Packers
Nolan Smith LB, Georgia
Nolan Smith is an elite run defender with exciting tools to develop as a pass rusher. The Packers have to figure out how to stop the run and Smith is textbook in how he sets the edge, competes for his gap, and takes on blocks.
40. Carolina Panthers
Rashee Rice WR, SMU
The Panthers need a No. 2 wide receiver, especially after investing their first-rounder on a quarterback in this NFL mock draft scenario. Rashee Rice is a do-everything talent that can win after the catch and down the field. He has terrific size, ball skills, body control, and competitive toughness.
41. Cleveland Browns
Mazi Smith IDL, Michigan
The Browns’ defensive tackle situation is poor with several young players that simply haven’t developed—leading to a poor run defense and lack of interior push on passing downs. Mazi Smith can step in and immediately make the Browns more stout against the run and he is capable of challenging the depth of the pocket on passing downs.
42. Jacksonville Jaguars
Josh Downs WR, North Carolina
Adding a dynamic talent like Josh Downs to this Jaguars receiving corps is an exciting idea with his ability to create after the catch and win down the field, which should open up even more for Christian Kirk and Zay Jones while allowing Marvin Jones to walk in free agency.
43. Pittsburgh Steelers
Trenton Simpson LB, Clemson
The decline of Myles Jack and Devin Bush has been really real. Trenton Simpson is a versatile linebacker that thrives in space and can give the Steelers a new defender on the second level to build around.
44. Detroit Lions
Jahmyr Gibbs RB, Alabama
Whether it has been injuries or performance, D’Andre Swift has proven to be an inconsistent and even unreliable player that enters a contract year in 2023. Meanwhile, Jamaal Williams has become the lead back in Detroit in a surprisingly excellent offense under coordinator Ben Johnson. Jahmyr Gibbs is a dynamic talent that offers exceptional receiving skill and home-run ability to give the Lions a dynamic talent to add to the offense and position them to move on from Swift.
45. Las Vegas Raiders
Henry Bainivalu IOL, Washington
While Dylan Parham has a chance to be a long-term fixture on the interior of the Raiders’ offensive line, there isn’t anything else to be excited about. That changes with Henry Bainivalu, a pure technician with great size and movement skills.
46. Indianapolis Colts
Anton Harrison OT, Oklahoma
Left tackle continues to be an issue for the Colts since Anthony Costanzo’s retirement. Anton Harrison has the length and athleticism needed to become a quality starter in the NFL.
47. Atlanta Falcons
Kayshon Boutte WR, LSU
Drake London, Kyle Pitts, Bijan Robinson, and now Kayshon Boutte makes for an exciting arsenal of young weapons in Atlanta that will allow whoever is playing quarterback to have a chance to be successful.
48. Los Angeles Chargers
Keeanu Benton NT, Wisconsin
The Chargers can’t stop the run, so adding a massive run-stopping defensive tackle in Keanu Benton is logical.
49. New England Patriots
Noah Sewell LB, Oregon
The Patriots love big, burly linebackers that can play downhill and that’s what they get in Noah Sewell. He can develop into their next physical presence on the second level.
50. Seattle Seahawks
Brandon Dorlus IDL, Oregon
Brandon Dorlus provides long arms, heavy hands, and versatility to add another piece to the defensive line.
51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Zach Harrison EDGE, Ohio State
The more I watch the Buccaneers on defense, the more I think they need to improve the 5-tech role where the likes of Anthony Nelson and Carl Nassib get considerable playing time. Zach Harrison provides Tampa Bay with a much more dynamic skill set in terms of athleticism, while still offering the size, length, and power needed to fill the role.
52. Washington Commanders
Cody Mauch IOL, North Dakota State
Injuries to the middle of the Commanders’ offensive line have presented some challenges this season and it’s certainly an upgradable area of the roster. Cody Mauch is an athletic technician that has tremendous range.
53. New York Jets
Luke Wypler OC, Ohio State
Luke Wypler has been a standout over the last two seasons for the Buckeyes, where his technique, balance, and movement skills all shine. With Connor McGovern on an expiring contract, the Jets could look to the draft for his replacement and do just that in this NFL mock draft.
54. Cincinnati Bengals
Tucker Kraft TE, South Dakota State
The Bengals are facing a daunting list of expiring contracts that includes Jessie Bates III, Von Bell, Hayden Hurst, and Germaine Pratt and it may be difficult to retain them all. For this NFL mock draft scenario, let’s live in a world where Hurst walks in free agency and leaves a void at tight end. Tucker Kraft is a dynamic playmaker that thrives after the catch and has the athleticism needed to be a mismatch.
55. New York Giants
Cedric Tillman WR, Tennessee
It’s no secret that the Giants need help at wide receiver. Cedric Tillman provides the Giants with a big-bodied target with exceptional ball skills and surprising route-running skills for a receiver of his stature. He’s an alpha.
56. Chicago Bears (via BAL)
Xavier Hutchinson WR, Iowa State
Xavier Hutchinson’s blend of size, physicality, ball skills, route-running and, athleticism are missing in the weapons currently surrounding Justin Fields.
57. Tennessee Titans
Darnell Wright OT, Tennessee
The Titans’ offensive line is likely to look quite different next season with decisions to make on the likes of Taylor Lewan, Aaron Brewer, and Nate Davis. I expect them to make an early-round selection on the offensive line and Darnell Wright has proven to be a standout starter on the high-octane Volunteers offense with impressive performances against top pass rushers—not to mention he’s a mauler in the run game.
58. Carolina Panthers (via SF)
Lukas Van Ness EDGE, Iowa
There’s a lot to like about the Panthers’ defense, but Brian Burns needs a running mate. Lukas Van Ness is a powerful and explosive rusher that has the ability to compress the pocket and is a standout run defender.
59. Buffalo Bills
Antonio Johnson SAF, Texas A&M
The Bills are set to face a number of expiring contracts with Jordan Poyer being one of them. Antonio Johnson is a standout tackler with outstanding instincts that can add much-needed youth to the safety position in Buffalo.
60. Dallas Cowboys
Daiyan Henley LB, Washington State
Daiyan Henley is a fast and physical linebacker that has thrived in space. He would add even more speed to the Cowboys’ defense while elevating the coverage ability on the second level.
61. Miami Dolphins
Kyu Blu Kelly CB, Stanford
The Dolphins have missed Byron Jones this season, who is working back from an Achilles injury. Xavien Howard has a lengthy injury himself and is set to enter his age-30 season. Adding some youth the cornerback room makes sense for Miami.
62. Detroit Lions (via MIN)
Dalton Kincaid TE, Utah
I wouldn’t be surprised if Dalton Kincaid ends up being the most dynamic receiving tight end in the class when we look back in a few years. He resets the money at tight end for Detroit after moving on from T.J. Hockenson and gives one of the brightest young offensive minds in the league (Ben Johnson) another weapon to mix into his scheme.
63. Kansas City Chiefs
Siaki Ika NT, Baylor
With Derrick Nnadi contract set to expire, the Chiefs could be in the market for a nose tackle. Siaki Ika is a massive man with surprising athleticism for his size that can provide the Chiefs with their latest second-round steal.
64. Philadelphia Eagles
Sean Tucker RB, Syracuse
Miles Sanders is an expiring contract and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him walk while the Eagles continue to have minimal cap space committed to the running back position. Sean Tucker provides a rare blend of size, power, and explosiveness. Him running behind the elite Eagles offensive line is a nightmare for opponents.
What did you think of the fourth edition of Joe Marino’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft? Let us know what you think about this or any of our NFL Mock Drafts on Twitter and Instagram and stay tuned next week for the next edition of TDN’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft series.
- Feb 07, 2023
- Feb 07, 2023