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NFL Mock Draft
NFL Draft

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Weissman 1.0

  • Brentley Weissman
  • August 29, 2022
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The time has finally come! It’s time to release my first 2023 NFL Mock Draft.

While we are very, very early in the process, it’s fun to do this exercise after spending months this summer watching the class in depth and making these player/team fits. Of course, this NFL mock draft will look drastically different by the time next April rolls around, but this is how I see the 2023 NFL Draft unfolding should it happen today.

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Weissman 1.0

NFL Mock Draft

1. Houston Texans

Will Anderson Jr. EDGE, Alabama

Barring a massive change throughout the draft cycle, I highly doubt you’ll see any player other than Will Anderson Jr. in my top spot. This is a rare edge defender who literally has zero holes in his game. He is the size and length to cause issues for tackles who lack anchor and the speed, explosiveness, and bend to get around the edge with ease. His relentlessness and motor match his rare athletic gifts.

2. Atlanta Falcons

CJ Stroud QB, Ohio State

While the Falcons did select Desmond Ridder relatively early in last year’s draft, I expect them to still be in the market for their franchise QB of the future. The team finds their man here in Ohio State’s CJ Stroud.

Stroud is a playmaker who possesses very good accuracy and deep-ball arm strength. He got better after every game he played last season and with another strong year, he could cement his status as QB1.

3. Seattle Seahawks

Bryce Young QB, Alabama

Similar to the Falcons, the Seahawks are on the hunt for their new franchise quarterback and they find their man here in Bryce Young. The size concerns for Young are very real and because of that, he won’t be for everyone. But if you like quarterbacks who are highly accurate, have outstanding instincts and feel for the game, and are flat-out winners, then Young is your guy.

4. Chicago Bears

Peter Skoronski OT, Northwestern

This is a bit high for Peter Skoronski but the Bears are desperate for offensive line help. They simply cannot keep trotting out a terrible offensive line in front of a young quarterback like Justin Fields. Adding a player like Skoronski will go a long way in shoring up this unit.

5. New York Giants

Will Levis QB, Kentucky

This will probably be the last year of the Daniel Jones era in New York and the time for a change is needed. Enter Will Levis.

Levis is a very talented passer who has a big arm and throws with very good velocity. He is an athletic player who can make plays with his legs as well. While there are some things to clean up in terms of his decision-making and touch, the upside here is well worth the risk.

6. Carolina Panthers

Anthony Richardson QB, Florida

The biggest wildcard in the draft at this moment is Florida’s Anthony Richardson. Richardson has just a handful of starts to his name but the talent he displayed in that small sample size is undeniable. He is a big kid with outstanding arm strength and athleticism. If he has a strong year this year, he is a very real possibility to be the first quarterback off the board.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

Kayshon Boutte WR, LSU

The Jaguars did a masterful job this past offseason overhauling their defense by adding key veterans in free agency and a number of talented players through the draft. The team now must continue to build and add weapons around Trevor Lawrence in order to ensure he reaches his full potential.

Kayshon Boutte is an explosive playmaker who can win at all three levels of the field. He has legit vertical speed to win over the top and has exceptional separation quickness at the top of his routes.

8. Detroit Lions

Jalen Carter IDL, Georgia

There are many who believe that Jalen Carter is the second-best prospect in this class behind only Will Anderson Jr. For the Lions to sit and get him at pick No. 8 in this NFL mock draft is phenomenal value. Carter is an explosive and powerful interior defensive lineman who has the potential to be a game-wrecker. Putting Carter next to Aidan Hutchinson will give the Lions one of the better defensive lines in all of football.

9. New York Jets

Jaelyn Duncan OT, Maryland

New York has been hit hard with the injury bug this preseason and, unfortunately, they lost one of their starting tackles Mekhi Becton to a (likely) season-long injury. While Becton is still a young player, his inability to remain healthy has to give the Jets some hesitancy when it comes to committing to him long-term. The team buys themselves some insurance with the selection of Jaelyn Duncan, a talented pass protector with very good feet and a firm anchor.

10. Washington Commanders

Cam Smith CB, South Carolina

The Commanders’ cornerback depth chart is just above average and can certainly use some added reinforcements. Cam Smith is my favorite corner at this stage of the process and would be a home run pick for Washington. He is a big, long, and physical corner who also has the instincts and ball skills that teams covet.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers

Paris Johnson Jr. OT, Ohio State

Pittsburgh has done a nice job of adding an influx of young talent to their offense over the past few offseasons. They presumably have their franchise quarterback, running back, receiver, and tight end but have neglected to build up their offensive line. Starting tackles Chuks Okorafor and Dan Moore are massive question marks at this stage, so adding a player like Paris Johnson Jr., who is oozing with upside, makes a ton of sense.

12. New England Patriots

Jaxon Smith-Njigba WR, Ohio State

I honestly feel for Mac Jones. He is the type of quarterback who needs to be surrounded by strong talent and the Patriots have failed to do so at this point. They need a true No. 1 receiver and one falls to them here in this NFL mock draft.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba is an outstanding route-runner who flashes excellent separation quickness, understanding of leverage, and knows how to set up defenders. He may lack true vertical speed, but his ability to make defenders miss with the ball in his hands is outstanding and he is just a player who knows how to uncover and get open. He would provide Jones with a true weapon that he can rely on.

13. Houston Texans (via CLE)

Jordan Addison WR, USC

The Texans may very well have their quarterback of the future in Davis Mills. In order for him to live up to his potential, the team must continue to build around him. Houston’s receiving corps has some nice pieces with Nico Collins and Brandin Cooks, but beyond that it’s uninspiring. (Note: Jon Metchie III is a solid player who we are all rooting for to come back as he battles with cancer. Prayers to Metchie.)

Adding a player like Jordan Addison who can play both inside and outside, win vertically or in the quick game, and just provide a security blanket for Mills will help this offense a ton.

14. Arizona Cardinals

Eli Ricks CB, Alabama

Marco Wilson and Byron Murphy are nice players but beyond that, the Cardinals’ corner depth chart leaves a lot to be desired. Eli Ricks is an extremely talented player who boasts excellent length, fluidity, and ball skills. 2021 was a down year for him as he battled injury, but his 2020 film as a true freshman was outstanding. If he regains the 2020 form, he should be a very early pick.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO)

Myles Murphy EDGE, Clemson

As of right now, this is the steal of the draft. I have Myles Murphy as my No. 4 overall player as a guy I believe will have an instant impact as a pass rusher. He is long, explosive, and very powerful. There is still some work to be done with his hands and pass-rush plan, but his athletic upside is off the charts.

16. Tennessee Titans

Michael Mayer TE, Notre Dame

The Titans are a hard team to draft for. I feel like they’d be wise to address offensive line, but there are no players I like at this spot. They could look at linebacker, but they haven’t shown to prioritize that position.

Instead, I’ll give them Michael Mayer, the draft’s clear-cut No. 1 tight end. Mayer is an outstanding route-runner who is a beast after the catch. Adding Mayer to an offense that consists of Derrick Henry and Treylon Burks would be a lot of fun

17. Minnesota Vikings

Isaiah Foskey EDGE, Notre Dame

Minnesota has a solid edge rush duo with Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith, but could certainly use some additional help behind those two—and Smith isn’t getting any younger. Notre Dame’s Isaiah Foskey is an explosive edge rusher who has a knack for getting to the quarterback. He is still developing his hands and counters, but when he puts it all together, watch out.

18. Las Vegas Raiders

Kelee Ringo CB, Georgia

This is a tough spot for Las Vegas. They need offensive tackle help in the worst way but they missed the boat with the draft’s top three tackles all going before pick No. 12. Instead of drafting for need and overdrafting a player—something they have done routinely in the past—they opt to stick to their board and take the best player available.

Keele Ringo has a ton of fans in the draft community and could very well go in the top 10. Ringo is a long and explosive corner who has outstanding straight-line speed and ball skills. He has the physical gifts to develop into a true lockdown corner.

19. Indianapolis Colts

Tyree Wilson EDGE, Texas Tech

Indianapolis is a sneaky team for a quarterback at this spot but I didn’t want to force a Tanner McKee or a Tyler Van Dyke here—I do acknowledge that it is possible. Instead, I’ll give them a very talented edge rusher in Tyree Wilson.

Wilson’s ability to convert speed to power is rare and his length and explosiveness cause a ton of issues for opposing tackles. With Yannick Ngakoue on an expiring deal, adding Wilson to play alongside Kwity Paye is a good move.

20. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN)

Bryan Bresee IDL, Clemson

Seattle’s roster is ugly. I mean, there are no other words to describe it. I like a few of their young pieces in Charles Cross, the receivers, and Ken Walker III, but outside of that they need talent upgrades everywhere. In this spot it makes sense to draft one of the class’ most talented players in Bryan Bresee.

Bresee is an interesting player as he is playing out of position at Clemson, primarily aligning at nose. If he’s allowed to play more as a penetrating 3-tech, watch out. His blend of power, explosiveness, and length will allow him to be a mismatch against guards inside.

21. Dallas Cowboys

Nolan Smith EDGE, Georgia

The Cowboys struck gold when they drafted Micah Parsons in 2021. The do-it-all linebacker proved that he can excel as an edge defender or as a stand-up off-ball linebacker—his versatility greatly helped the Dallas defense. That being said, the team is still in search of a pass rusher opposite Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence. After they failed to re-sign Randy Gregory, the need has grown. Nolan Smith is a bit undersized, but he is twitchy, powerful, and is as violent as they come.

22. Philadelphia Eagles

Bijan Robinson RB, Texas

Ok, THIS is the steal of this NFL mock draft. I have Bijan Robinson as my second-best player in the class behind only Will Anderson Jr. Robinson is the best running back prospect since Saquon Barkley and projects as an instant playmaker who can help a team on the ground and through the air. He falls because teams are afraid of drafting running backs high but his talent alone belongs in the top five of the draft.

23. Cincinnati Bengals

Noah Sewell LB, Oregon

Cincinnati has sneakily built a defense that is tough as nails. Players like Trey Hendrickson, Jessie Bates III, Dax Hill, and Chidobe Awuzie are all absolute dogs and bring a physical temperament to the roster. All they are missing is a true difference-maker in the second level of their defense and it just so happens one falls to their laps.

Noah Sewell is a big-bodied linebacker who plays downhill and is excellent at defeating blocks. His ability to play physical against the run while also having the athletic ability to play in space and cover will allow him to be a difference-maker on all three downs.

24. Baltimore Ravens

Quentin Johnston WR, TCU

It feels like the Ravens have needed a No. 1 receiver for the past decade. Maybe they do have their guy in Rashod Bateman, but only time will tell. Even if Bateman takes that next step, he will still need a running mate.

TCU’s Quentin Johnston is the perfect player to pair next to Bateman as he is a big-bodied pass-catcher who excels on vertical routes down the field as well as in contested situations. With Johnston winning over the top and Bateman doing his work in the shallow and intermediate areas of the field, the Ravens will finally have a dangerous receiver duo.

25. Miami Dolphins (via SF)

Jahmyr Gibbs RB, Alabama

The Dolphins have about 10 running backs it seems but none of them are as dynamic as Jahmyr Gibbs. The Georgia Tech transfer is electric with the ball in his hands and can truly score any time he touches the football. Adding a weapon like Gibbs to an offense that already has Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle almost seems unfair.

26. Green Bay Packers

Antonio Johnson SAF, Texas A&M

Green Bay is going all in on creating a stonewall defense to help take the burden from Aaron Rodgers as he enters the twilight of his career. They addressed the first and second levels of their defense this past year and now look to add some young talent to their secondary.

Antonio Johnson is a versatile defender who has proven to be able to excel deep in coverage but also be a playmaker as a run defender in the box.

27. Los Angeles Chargers

Arik Gilbert TE, Georgia

The Chargers have done a fantastic job at giving Justin Herbert the surroundings it takes to succeed. They have invested at receiver, running back, and offensive line and because of that, Herbert has been one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. The one position where they are average on offense is at tight end, where they lack a clear-cut No. 1 option.

Arik Gilbert is as talented of a tight end prospect as you’ll see. He has very good size and rare athleticism. He moves like a receiver and has excellent hands and ball skills. Adding a talent like this to the Chargers’ offense would be insane.

28. Detroit Lions (via LAR)

Trenton Simpson LB, Clemson

Detroit’s defense is full of butt-kickers: Aidan Hutchinson, Jalen Carter, and now Trent Simpson. Talk about alpha.

Simpson is a long and explosive second-level defender who excels playing in space. He is a swiss army knife and can affect the game as a blitzer and in coverage. The Lions’ defense would have the makings of a scary unit.

29. Kansas City Chiefs

Christian Gonzalez CB, Oregon

I was tempted to go receiver here but there wasn’t one I liked enough to sneak in the first round. Instead, I’ll give the Chiefs a high-upside corner to pair next to fellow Pac-12 corner Trent McDuffie.

Christian Gonzalez is a long and athletic corner who is sticky in coverage and has very good instincts. Together, he and McDuffie would be a very fun corner duo.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Andrew Vorhees IOL, USC

The number of injuries Tampa Bay’s offensive line suffered this preseason is insane. Their depth will surely be tested and perhaps their backups play well this season and prove to be long-term starters. In the event they don’t, it’s wise they add more beef upfront.

Andrew Vorhees is a mauler inside at guard and brings that physical temperament to the game that the Buccaneers love.

31. Buffalo Bills

Jordan Battle SAF, Alabama

Buffalo is a team that seemingly has no holes. They are loaded at just about every position and it’s tough to envision a rookie making an impact on this roster. Because of that, I am forced to look toward the future and where a need may arise for this NFL mock draft. Jordan Poyer is on an expiring contract. Should he leave, safety will become a need.

Jordan Battle is an experienced player who is excellent in both pass coverage and against the run. Battle’s instincts, toughness, and versatility are enough to get Sean McDermott excited.

 

What did you think of the first version of Brentley Weissman’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.

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Brentley Weissman