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NFL Mock Draft
NFL Draft

2023 NFL Mock Draft: First-Round QBs Dwindling

  • Keith Sanchez
  • October 31, 2022
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We are halfway into the NFL season and three-quarters of the way done with the college football season. So there is now an opportunity to correctly project college players to teams in an NFL mock draft that looks closer to what the final draft spots will be. Since the beginning of the season, the QB position has been as polarizing as ever with many high-level performances but also many disappointing performances. Check out my latest NFL mock draft to not only see where I projected the top QBs to go, but where I put some of the top college players overall.

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Keith Sanchez 3.0

NFL Mock Draft

1. Detroit Lions

Bryce Young QB, Alabama

The Lions’ biggest problems have been defensively, but Detroit can’t pass up on the opportunity to draft a franchise quarterback. Bryce Young is an instinctual player that constantly showcased the ability to make plays when things aren’t there. He is a great pick for a Lions franchise that is looking for their new face of the franchise QB.

NFL Mock Draft

2. Houston Texans

Will Anderson Jr. EDGE, Alabama

The Texans simply need to continue to add talent. This Texans roster is in transition and they are trying to continue to add young pieces to this team. With this pick, they add arguably the best player in the draft in WIll Anderson Jr. Anderson Jr. would be the next player in a line of great defensive linemen to play for this franchise. He should give them a physical, dominant presence along their front.

NFL Mock Draft

3. Carolina Panthers

CJ Stroud QB, Ohio State

The Panthers already fired head coach Matt Rhule and are clearly at the very beginning of a rebuild. Also, they have already pressed the reset button by trading away both Robbie Anderson and Christian McCaffrey this season. The Panthers need a fresh face to be the face of the organization and that player is C.J. Stroud. Stroud is an accurate quarterback that has all of the physical tools needed to be a franchise-caliber quarterback. I think Stroud is the right pick here, but ultimately his success will be determined by who the Panthers decide to make the head coach next year.

NFL Mock Draft

4. Pittsburgh Steelers

Broderick Jones OT, Georgia

The Steelers can definitely use a receiver here, but they can no longer ignore the offensive line position. The Steelers select Broderick Jones, an offensive tackle that I believe will be an immediate upgrade to what the Steelers have on their roster right now. Jones has a much-needed physical temperament and should help change the mentality of an offensive line room that struggles to run block.

NFL Mock Draft

5. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jalen Carter IDL, Georgia

The Jaguars spent a good bit of money in the offseason addressing the offensive skill positions, and I believe they are content with the guys they have right now. Looking at the roster, the one position that needs to be upgraded is the interior of this defensive line. Jalen Carter has positional versatility and athletically should be a mismatch for many offensive linemen in the NFL. Carter paired with Travon Walker should be a good one-two punch for the Jaguars moving forward.

NFL Mock Draft

6. Las Vegas Raiders

Kelee Ringo CB, Georgia

It is safe to say that the Raiders have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL this year. Everyone focused on the addition of Davante Adams but forgot to analyze the rest of the roster and point out the talent-deficient positions. One of these positions is the cornerback position—in the AFC West, this is a bad problem to have. The Raiders address this issue and select Georgia CB Kelee Ringo.

NFL Mock Draft

7. Houston Texans (via CLE)

Quentin Johnston WR, TCU

With their first pick in this NFL mock draft, Houston selected a defensive cornerstone-caliber player. With this pick, the Texans decide to add to the offensive side of the ball with one of the more athletically impressive players in the draft, TCU WR Quentin Johnston. After a slow start, Johnston has turned up the production. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, he has the potential to become a dynamic player at the receiver position.

NFL Mock Draft

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Myles Murphy EDGE, Clemson

The edge rush position for the Buccaneers used to be a position of strength, but it has quickly become a positional need for this team. Tampa Bay continues to add to the front seven and selects Clemson Edge rusher Myles Murphy. Murphy has all of the tools that you could want in an edge rusher and should be able to step in immediately and contribute.

NFL Mock Draft

9. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO)

Gervon Dexter Sr. IDL, Florida

The Eagles being the only unbeaten team in the NFL and having the opportunity to pick this high is unbelievable. They have the opportunity to trade back and get more picks, but if they decide to keep the pick, they simply go with the best player available. Fletcher Cox is on his way out, and adding Gervon Dexter Sr. will give the Eagles a high-powered three-man rotation with him, Javon Hargrave, and Jordan Davis.

NFL Mock Draft

10. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN)

Bryan Bresee IDL, Clemson

A couple of weeks ago, everyone assumed the Seahawks were taking a QB with their first pick. But Geno Smith has been a pleasant surprise and QB does not appear to be the most pressing need for the Seahawks right now. So with this pick, Pete Carroll and the front office continue to build this front seven out and draft versatile interior defensive lineman Bryan Breese. Breese is position-versatile and has a high motor, two things that Carroll likes to have in his defensive front players.

NFL Mock Draft

11. Arizona Cardinals

Joey Porter Jr. CB, Penn State

The Cardinals need to stop drafting players based on positional projections and draft a player who comes in ready to play a specific position. Joey Porter Jr. has an NFL bloodline and has shown to be a highly competitive player. Adding Porter Jr. to this position group will be an immediate upgrade and hopefully he can bring a mentality that will help change the defensive culture of this franchise.

NFL Mock Draft

12. Chicago Bears

Jaxon Smith-Njigba WR, Ohio State

The Bears’ offensive woes are an offensive talent problem not a Justin Fields problem—I don’t want to hear about how Fields may not be the QB of the future for Chicago. They need to dedicate this draft to upgrading this offense. In this NFL mock draft, they take Fields’ former teammate Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Smith-Njigba has playmaking ability and gives Fields a reliable, familiar weapon to throw to.

NFL Mock Draft

13. Detroit Lions (via LAR)

Henry To’o To’o LB, Alabama

With their first pick in this NFL mock draft, they got their offensive leader. Now, they draft their defensive leader. The Lions’ LB corps needs to be upgraded. By drafting Henry To’o To’o, they are able to fill both voids form a positional perspective and a leadership perspective. To’o To’o is a sideline-to-sideline player that can consistently make plays.

NFL Mock Draft

14. Green Bay Packers

Jordan Addison WR, USC

Finally! This year has been a reality check for the Packers organization—from the quarterback to the head coach to the general manager—that they need to have a more talented receiver group if they want to contend in the NFC. The Packers finally take a first-round receiver and select Jordan Addison. Addison is a crisp route-runner and can consistently catch the ball, two things that Aaron Rodgers is missing right now.

NFL Mock Draft

15. Indianapolis Colts

Will Levis QB, Kentucky

The Colts finally have to do what they’ve been avoiding for the past half-decade, draft a QB in the first round. The veteran quarterback well has run dry and it’s time to make a pick. In this NFL mock draft, the Colts go after a quarterback with all of the tools you want in a QB and that’s Will Levis. Levis has a strong arm and is mobile, so he allows the play-caller to put together some creative offensive plays. The Colts have consistently gone after pocket passer quarterbacks but I think it’s time now to get a QB that has some athletic upside.

NFL Mock Draft

16. New England Patriots

Tyree Wilson EDGE, Texas Tech

I think the Patriots seriously consider taking a wide receiver here, but Bill Belichick is still stuck on his philosophy of playing good defense with a solid running game. The Patriots add to this defensive front by drafting Texas Tech defensive lineman Tyree Wilson. Wilson has the positional versatility to play multiple spots in multiple fronts, exactly what Belichick likes in a defensive lineman.

NFL Mock Draft

17. Washington Commanders

Trenton Simpson LB, Clemson

For as many resources as the Commanders have put into the defensive front, they have completely ignored the back end of this defense. Trenton Simpson is a Swiss army knife that can play all over the field. Although Simpson is classified as a linebacker, he has the athletic ability that makes you feel comfortable putting him in one-on-one matchups with offensive skill positions.

NFL Mock Draft

18. Cincinnati Bengals

Cam Smith CB, South Carolina

The Bengals are showing that they can be a consistently competitive team in the AFC, led by this offensive unit. But in order to consistently knock off the top offensive teams in the AFC they are going to have to get better defensively. And they do that by adding to this secondary. Cam Smith is an athletic player who can play both man and zone.

NFL Mock Draft

19. Atlanta Falcons

Bijan Robinson RB, Texas

The Falcons have been one of the surprise teams in the NFL, winning some games that no one expected them to. Arthur Smith is showing how creative he can be offensively while still showcasing the run game. Right now, the Falcons are taking a running back by committee approach, but with this pick, they decided to just upgrade the room completely and draft one of the most talented players in the draft, Bijan Robinson. Robinson is a complete back and will thrive in a system like this.

NFL Mock Draft

20. Miami Dolphins (via SF)

Michael Mayer TE, Notre Dame

The Dolphins have all the speed they need on the outside to dictate coverage over the top with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Now it’s time to add someone that controls the middle of the field. With this selection, the Dolphins decide to draft Notre Dame playmaking TE Michael Mayer. Mike McDaniel spent time in San Francisco with George Kittle so he understands the importance of the TE position and will know how to scheme Mayer open.

NFL Mock Draft

21. Los Angeles Chargers

Darnell Washington TE, Georgia

The Chargers have one of the best rosters on paper in the NFL, so there aren’t too many holes that need to be filled. Offensively, Los Angeles has two standout receivers, but they haven’t had a big, physical presence at tight end since the days of Antonio Gates. Darnell Washington is 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds and should instantly become a reliable target in the middle of the field—along with his plus-level blocking as a TE.

NFL Mock Draft

22. Seattle Seahawks

Jordan Battle SAF, Alabama

If the Seahawks want to continue to rebuild the Legion of Boom, they need to continue to invest in this defense. The Seahawks did a good job of drafting corners last year and have seen a good return on their investments in corners Tariq Woolen and Kobe Bryant. With this pick, they address the aging safety position and draft Alabama’s Jordan Battle. Battle is a rangy player that can play close to the line of scrimmage and has sufficient ball skills.

NFL Mock Draft

23. New York Jets

Paris Johnson Jr. OT, Ohio State

Last year, the Jets had the opportunity to draft an offensive lineman but decided not to and trusted that Mekhi Becton would be available for them. Unfortunately, Becton injured himself in training camp and the Jets were left scrambling to find an OT. I think this year they get it right and draft an offensive tackle. Paris Johnson Jr. is a good athlete that has all the tools you want in a bedside protector. Johnson Jr. shows to be a good athlete for the tackle position and should fit in well with this scheme.

NFL Mock Draft

24. Baltimore Ravens

Christian Gonzalez CB, Oregon

The Ravens need help defensively. This secondary looks aged and they consistently have injury problems. The Ravens add some more youth to the cornerback room and draft CB Christian Gonzalez. Gonzalez is a long corner that has the speed to run vertically with receivers down the field While all the attention is on Lamar Jackson, Baltimore will always be known as a defensive organization.

NFL Mock Draft

25. Kansas City Chiefs

Isaiah Foskey EDGE, Notre Dame

The Chiefs are doing a good job of rebuilding this roster and building a more balanced team offensively and defensively. I think the Chiefs feel confident in the pieces they have put around Patrick Mahomes offensively and decide to add another young player to the defensive side of the ball. Going with Isaiah Foskey here gives the Chiefs yet another young edge rusher to add to the rotation. The Chiefs know they can score points, but they need to continue to build a defense that can stop the other explosive offenses in the AFC.

NFL Mock Draft

26. Dallas Cowboys

Brian Branch SAF, Alabama

The Cowboys’ defense is showing to be one of the better units in the NFL—to be honest, they are simply playing past their talent level, which is a great thing. However, they should still continue to add to this defense, the secondary in particular. Dallas should draft safety Brian Branch, a versatile defense that can play nickel or either of the safety position. He’s also a great tackler near the line of scrimmage.

NFL Mock Draft

27. New York Giants

Hendon Hooker QB, Tennessee

Not many people expected the Giants to be off to this kind of start and to be picking this late in the draft. So they aren’t giving to have the opportunity to draft one of the perceived top quarterbacks in this draft. However, I think the Giants still go after a QB and decided to take Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker. Hooker is big, athletic, and has a strong arm to get the ball deep down the field. I think this is a great match for Brian Daboll because he can use Hooker’s athleticism to the fullest extent in his offense.

NFL Mock Draft

28. Tennessee Titans

Kayshon Boutte WR, LSU

After the departure of A.J. Brown, it appears that the Titans are missing an explosive element to their offense. Treylon Burks will be good in due time, but they need a guy that is a threat to take a play the distance and that’s exactly what Kayshon Boutte is. Boutte should be a great complement to Burks. If Malik Willis and Boutte get on the same page, this could instantly turn into one of the more explosive offenses in the NFL in the future.

NFL Mock Draft

29. Minnesota Vikings

Peter Skoronski OT, Northwestern

The Vikings are looking to finally take over the NFC North and stake their claim as the best team in the division. Kirk Cousins has played at a consistently good level in this system but this offensive line still needs improvement. Peter Skoronski is a great fit here in this NFL mock draft because he has positional versatility and can fill whatever void the Vikings feel is necessary.

NFL Mock Draft

30. Buffalo Bills

Christopher Smith SAF, Georgia

The Bills don’t have very many holes on their team, but they do have some upcoming contract situations with the back end of their secondary. Three safeties historically have been key pieces of their defense and they may lose one in the offseason, so they have to have a viable replacement. Christopher Smith is a rangy player that can play FS but also walk down in the box and be an effective tackler near the line of scrimmage.

NFL Mock Draft

31. Philadelphia Eagles

Jahmyr Gibbs RB, Alabama

The RB position may be the Eagles’ most inconsistent position. The Eagles, as of now, have a solid rotation of running backs but still need a true game-changer. Jahmyr Gibbs has shown to be a true all-purpose back catching balls out of the backfield and also taking true handoffs and rushing for 100-plus yards. The addition of Gibbs to this offensive scheme will make the Eagles even more unpredictable and give them a dynamic player in the backfield.

 

What did you think of the third edition of Keith Sanchez’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.

Written By

Keith Sanchez