We are officially done with one week of NFL preseason football and it’s already evident to some fans that 2022 will not be their year to be true contenders. For those fans who are trying to figure out how to improve their team already, the 2022 NFL Draft is already on their radar—and so are NFL mock drafts.
For those looking to continue to build their team, check out my early 2022 NFL mock draft, as I think there will be some surprising names in some surprising places. Please note the draft order is based on BetOnline’s current Super Bowl odds.
2023 NFL Mock Draft: Sanchez 1.0
1. Houston Texans
Will Anderson Jr. EDGE, Alabama
The Texans appear to be content with Davis Mills and developing him as their franchise quarterback. So with that being said, I believe the Texans turn their attention away from quarterback and to improving their roster overall. And what’s the best way to improve your roster? Drafting Will Anderson Jr.
Anderson profiles to be an immediate impact player, and by some people has been the best player in college football since he stepped foot on the field. This should be an immediate upgrade for the Texans at the edge position and Anderson gives them a roster cornerstone piece to build around.
2. Atlanta Falcons
Jalen Carter IDL, Georgia
The Falcons are still in the midst of a roster overhaul where they just simply need to draft great football players. Last draft, they picked up Drake London to pair up with Kyle Pitts on the offensive side of the ball. This year, I think they turn their attention toward the defense and draft Jalen Carter.
Carter is a dominant interior defensive lineman that may have been the best player on an all-time great defense. Carter will be an immediate impact player and give this defense an identity of toughness—something it’s been missing for a long time.
3. Chicago Bears
Jaxon Smith-Njigba WR, Ohio State
This is simple: Justin Fields needs help. This past draft, the Bears spent their high picks on defensive players instead of getting Fields offensive help and it’s showing. Fields has the duty of trying to operate one of the worst offensive units in the NFL this season. In this NFL mock draft, I think the Bears change their strategy and get Fields some help. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is also a Buckeye which should help him and Fields build chemistry and should finally give the young QB a viable option at wide receiver.
4. Carolina Panthers
Myles Murphy EDGE, Clemson
It hasn’t been announced yet, but all signs point toward Baker Mayfield being the starter for the Panthers this year and moving forward. I think he will perform well this year and solidify himself as the quarterback of the future for Carolina. So the Panthers don’t need a quarterback at this position and can simply draft the best player available.
Myles Murphy is a versatile edge rusher that has high upside. The edge position opposite of Brian Burns seems to be up for grabs and Murphy can fill this position and give the Panthers one of the best one-two punches at the edge rusher position.
5. New York Giants
Bryce Young QB, Alabama
This is the moment everyone has been waiting for. The Giants draft the replacement for Daniel Jones and officially turn the page. New York has tons of offensive weapons with Kadarius Toney, Saquon Barkley, and Wan’Dale Robinson. The Giants simply need a distributor of the football.
Bryce Young has shown to be the most accurate passer of the football in college, which is needed with the style of offensive weapons that the Giants have. I expect Young to step into this offense and immediately get it to operate effectively.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars
Kayshon Boutte WR, LSU
The Jaguars spent a lot of money in the offseason on the receiver position, but the question is, did they throw good money at bad players? Players like Christian Kirk have to prove themselves to be reliable receiving options. I believe the Jaguars decide to add another weapon to the room and go with the explosive playmaker out of LSU, Kayshon Boutte. Boutte is going to give the Jaguars a young trio of Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, and Boutte.
7. Detroit Lions
Will Levis QB, Kentucky
The Lions have managed to make themselves the talk of the NFL with their exciting, passionate culture on Hard Knocks. It is quickly evident that they have a type of player that they are interested in and they go out and get him. Last draft, they took their defensive leader for the future, Aidan Hutchinson. This year, they draft their offensive leader of the future in Kentucky QB Will Levis.
Levis is a big-arm, dual-threat quarterback who has tremendous upside. But what will most attract the Lions’ staff to Levis is the way he plays the game. Levis lays his body on the line every play and does whatever he has to do for the good of the team. This style seems to be exactly what the Lions staff is looking for.
8. Seattle Seahawks
Andrew Vorhees OL, USC
Running the football is one of Pete Carroll’s key principles as a coach, and to do that he needs the offensive linemen to get the job done. Andrew Vorhees which gives the Seahawks a real opportunity to run the ball. Vorhees is a physical interior offensive lineman that loves to move defenders off the ball.
9. Washington Commanders
Anthony Richardson QB, Florida
Quietly, the Commanders have one of the better rosters in football. But they will never garner any respect because they don’t have the quarterback position solidified. They are the third team attempting to go through the Carson Wentz experiment but I don’t see it working out. I think the Commanders will finally decide to spend some high draft capital on a quarterback.
Anthony Richardson is a dual-threat playmaker that may have the strongest arm in the entire draft. Inserting Richardson into this offense finally gives the Commanders an opportunity to be dynamic.
10. New York Jets
Paris Johnson Jr. OT, Ohio State
The Jets had every opportunity to draft an offensive tackle last year but skipped out on that opportunity to draft a CB and receiver in the top 10. Fast forward a couple months later and one of their starting offensive tackles is out for the year with a knee injury and their second-year quarterback is going to have to have knee surgery due to an injury in the first preseason game. I don’t think that this can get any clearer for the Jets: draft an offensive lineman to protect your quarterback!!
Paris Johnson Jr. is a plus-level athlete and has the ability to be a high-level pass protector. Zach Wilson having the peace of mind that his backside is covered should help him out in his progression as a player.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers
Eli Ricks CB, Alabama
Last year, the Steelers did a good job of addressing their offensive issues. This year, I think they address the defensive side of the ball and draft CB Elias Ricks.
Ricks is an instinctive corner that has great ball skills. Ricks has scheme versatility and has a chance to step in on day one and be the No. 1 corner on the team. The Steelers’ front seven is solid but they need to finally fix this secondary, primarily the cornerback position.
12. New England Patriots
Bryan Bresee IDL, Clemson
Bill Belichick has shown that he is going to stick to his principles of running the football and stopping the run. Bryan Breese is a plus-level athlete that has flashed dominance as a player. Breese has the potential to be dominant and gives Belichick another chess piece to use along this Patriots defensive front.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO)
Bijan Robinson RB, Texas
The Eagles add another playmaker whose talent is just undeniable in Bijan Robinson. Miles Sanders has shown that he can be a productive back but he is the definition of inconsistency. If the Eagles are going to continue to operate as one of the best rushing offenses in the NFL, they need a reliable running back.
Robinson’s skill set is flat-out special. In this offense, he should be able to put up great numbers.
14. Tennessee Titans
Jermaine Burton WR, Alabama
While the Titans’ offense is good enough for them to be productive due to their run game, I believe that they are in transition and want to incorporate more explosive plays via the passing game. Drafting Jermaine Burton in the first round will be their second year in a row going with a receiver, but the thought of Malik Willis with Treylon Burks and Burton is too good to pass up.
15. Arizona Cardinals
Kelee Ringo CB, Georgia
The Cardinals have been in the headlines this offseason for all the wrong reasons. Nonetheless, they’ve locked up their head coach and quarterback for the next couple of years, so their offense should be in a good spot for the foreseeable future. But defensively they need to continue to improve.
The corner position is a major position of need for this team, so with this pick, they draft Georgia cornerback Kelee Ringo. Ringo has prototypical measurements and athleticism and should be a much-needed upgrade at the corner position.
16. Minnesota Vikings
Peter Skoronski OT, Northwestern
Offensively, the Vikings have weapons all over the field, but they still need to improve their offensive line. With this pick, they draft offensive tackle Peter Skoronski. Skoronski is a great value pick here for his ability to play tackle and possibly one of the guard positions. Skoronski should immediately upgrade any position that he fills.
17. Las Vegas Raiders
Gervon Dexter IDL, Florida
The Raiders have star power all over the field with Derek Carr, Davante Adams, and Chandler Jones. But one position that has continued to be a major hole on this roster is defensive tackle. Taking Gervon Dexter at this position helps fill a hole that has been a major concern for the Raiders.
18. Houston Texans (via CLE)
Jordan Battle SAF, Alabama
The Texans value players from the SEC who have experience playing at the highest level. They stay consistent and go back to grab another defensive player from the Alabama program, Jordan Battle. Battle is versatile safety that has shown to be a great tackler and also has production in pass coverage. Pairing him up with last year’s pick at safety, Jalen Pitre, gives the Texans a dynamic one-two punch at the safety position.
19. Indianapolis Colts
Jordan Addison WR, USC
Michael Pittman Jr. has been a solid player for the Colts, but they still need a dynamic playmaker that can threaten defenses vertically. Jordan Addison is a wide receiver who can immediately step in and become that vertical threat that this offense has missed since prime T.Y. Hilton.
20. Philadelphia Eagles
CJ Stroud QB, Ohio State
While I think the Eagles like Jalen Hurts, I still believe that the thought of “we can get better” is still lingering in management’s mind. With this pick, they don’t have to reach but they draft a quarterback that has shown to be a better passer of the football, which will challenge Hurts.
C.J. Stroud can push the ball down the field and if he can do what he has done thus far at Ohio State in the NFL, he can take this offense to the next level.
21. Dallas Cowboys
Quentin Johnston WR, TCU
The wide receiver group for the Cowboys went from one of the best in the NFL to one of the weaker groups in less than a year. In order for this offense to operate at a top level, they need more playmakers. Quentin Johnston is a big-bodied receiver that can go up over defenders to catch the ball or he can simply run past them. Johnston paired with CeeDee Lamb should put Dallas back toward the top of receiver groups in the NFL.
22. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN)
Tyree Wilson EDGE, Texas Tech
Under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks were at their best when they can run the football and play good defense. Last draft, they made investments in the running game. In this NFL mock draft, they take one of the more physically dominant defensive linemen, Tyree Wilson. Wilson is great at setting the edge and has positional versatility traits Carroll likes to see in his defensive linemen.
23. Cincinnati Bengals
Cam Smith CB, South Carolina
The Bengals made a commitment to improving their offensive line to help out their franchise quarterback Joe Burrow. But with the AFC being so loaded with top offenses, the Bengals need to not only score points but also try to limit other teams as well. Their corner position is the biggest question mark on this team and needs to be fixed. Cam Smith is a high-level competitor that shows the ability to be a lockdown corner.
24. Miami Dolphins (via SF)
Jahmyr Gibbs RB, Alabama
The Dolphins continue to add speed and versatility to their offense. Jahmyr Gibbs is an explosive runner of the football that has the opportunity to rip off some big-time runs in this Mike McDaniel offense. Gibbs also has value as a high-level pass-catching running back. With Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle on the outside, Gibbs should have a lot of opportunities to put together some big-time runs. With this addition, this offense immediately becomes one of the more dangerous in the NFL.
25. Baltimore Ravens
Kyu Blu Kelly CB, Stanford
The Ravens are coming off of an injury-riddled season and the position group that suffered the most was cornerback. The Ravens tried to address the position this past offseason but I believe that getting younger is a must. Kyu Blu Kelly is a competitive corner that plays the game with that Baltimore toughness and should fit right in from a culture perspective.
26. Green Bay Packers
Xavier Hutchinson WR, Iowa State
The Packers finally take a receiver in the first round! Xavier Hutchinson shows to be a complete receiver. He has the speed to run past defenders, a great catch radius, and appears to be an exceptional route-runner. That’s exactly what the Packers need.
27. Los Angeles Chargers
Henry To’o To’o LB, Alabama
A couple of years ago, the Chargers tried to fill this hole with Kenneth Murray. For multiple reasons, this fit just isn’t working out. In this NFL mock draft, they try to address it again with Alabama LB Henry To’o To’o.
To’o To’o is a great athlete in space, but more importantly, he’s very instinctual in the run game and has the potential to be a disruptive defender in the middle of the defense.
28. Detroit Lions (via LAR)
Noah Sewell LB, Oregon
This pick does two things. First, it fills a position of need that has been below par since Dan Campbell has been there. Second, it also brings on another culture fit.
Noah Sewell is a special player that plays the game with a lot of passion. I believe that Sewell can immediately elevate a position room that has been mediocre at best for the Lions for many years.
29. Kansas City Chiefs
Isaiah Foskey EDGE, Notre Dame
If there’s one thing the Chiefs showed us last draft, it’s that they are a self-aware team. They knew their defense needed to get more physical and they drafted players that bring more physicality. This year they realize that they also need more edge rush help. By drafting Isaiah Foskey, they now have a player with the potential to be a double-digit per year sack guy, year in and year out.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Michael Mayer TE, Notre Dame
The future of Tom Brady past this year is unknown. But past the Brady era, the Buccaneers want to stay in contention for a Super Bowl. They continue to do this by adding good players to the roster.
With this pick, they add one of the best overall players in the entire draft in tight end Michael Mayer. Mayer is a complete tight end as both a run blocker and a pass-catcher. At this pick, he is the biggest steal of the first round of this NFL mock draft.
31. Buffalo Bills
Trenton Simpson LB, Clemson
The Bills and Tremaine Edmunds are headed for some intense contract talks—and these talks don’t always end well. Drafting Trenton Simpson with this pick gives the Bills some flexibility to completely move on from Edmunds and replace him with a player with a similar skill set.
What did you think of the first version of Keith Sanchez’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft? Let us know what you think on Twitter and Instagram. and stay tuned next week for the next edition of TDN’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft series.