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NFL Mock Draft 2023: Edition 4

Anthony Richardson, Florida
 1. Carolina Panthers

C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Carolina's decision to move up to No. 1 created shockwaves throughout the Draft and with a few weeks until the event, there isn't a clear top selection. They'll almost certainly go quarterback, but as many as four names could be in serious contention. C.J. Stroud seems to be getting the most buzz right now and checks all the boxes physically. Patience will have to be preached here, as he goes from one of the best receiver corps in college football history to an awfully bad group in Charlotte.

2. Houston Texans

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

No reason to overthink this if you're Houston here. They've had their eyes on Bryce Young for some time now, and I regard him as the top signal-caller in this Draft. The height problems just don't really bother me very much. It hasn't been a serious detriment to talented quarterbacks in the past and anybody who has seen Young play knows he's ready for the bright lights of the NFL.

3. Arizona Cardinals

Will Anderson Jr., LB, Alabama

Arizona may have the best draft position of any team in the first round. They can either sit here and draft the best defender available this cycle, or trade down to a QB-needy team. It wouldn't be shocking if the Cardinals to indeed move down but if not, Anderson is one heck of a consolation prize. He was un-blockable throughout his time in Tuscaloosa, and should translate to the next level.

4. Indianapolis Colts

Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

The Colts are among a number of teams linked to Lamar Jackson but could instead invest their first-rounder into a quarterback. The team has gone too long using bridge quarterbacks since Andrew Luck's retirement and it's time to start thinking in the long-term. I'm not personally a fan of Anthony Richardson, but this feels like the range for him at this juncture.

5. Seattle Seahawks

Tyree Wilson, DE/LB, Texas Tech

Few players have improved their NFL Draft stock quite as much as Tyree Wilson has these past several months. He had a strong season with Texas Tech, but his pre-Draft process has been tremendous, likely cementing him as a Top 10 selection. Seattle is going to have a tough time passing up a long, powerful athlete like him at a need position.

6. Detroit Lions

Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

Legal troubles and an underwhelming showing throughout the pre-Draft process has increased the likelihood of a short slide for Jalen Carter, but the former Georgia Bulldog looks like he could land around the Top 5. It's hard for NFL teams to resist a player who absolutely dominated in the collegiate ranks and projects even better to the pros.

7. Las Vegas Raiders

Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Sure, the Raiders brought on Jimmy Garoppolo, but I still suspect they could be in the market for a quarterback in this Draft. Even if "Jimmy G" is able to regain his old form, he's 31 years old and hasn't been a true game-changer at any point in his career. Will Levis is a polarizing prospect, but one who a team like Las Vegas could take a flier on.

8. Atlanta Falcons

Lukas Van Ness, DE, Iowa

Lukas Van Ness was a productive player during his time in Iowa City, but strong performances in the pre-Draft process have vaulted him into Top 10 consideration. NFL teams are excited about his versatility and athleticism and it's fair to think there may still be untapped potential here, as he only played two seasons with the Hawkeyes. Atlanta has a long-standing need up front, and adds a dynamic pass rusher at this spot.

9. Chicago Bears

Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern

This feels like a match made in heaven. After moving down, the Bears get an opportunity to not only strengthen their offensive line, but also add a Northwestern alum and Chicago native. Peter Skoronski can help out just about everywhere along the line and provides a long-term foundation for the group that will be blocking for Justin Fields for years to come.

10. Philadelphia Eagles

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

It feels like Christian Gonzalez is starting to separate himself from the rest of the pack in a fairly strong corner class. He was very productive during his time with both Colorado and Oregon and has the tools to be a shutdown defensive back for a long time. Philadelphia is aging at this position, so it feels right for them to go with Gonzalez with the selection they acquired from New Orleans.

11. Tennessee Titans

Paris Johnson, OL, Ohio State

Addressing their offensive line should be of primary concern for the Titans, and they're in a good spot to land a high-upside prospect here. Paris Johnson is a Day One starting tackle, but he also played some on the interior in college and could realistically slide inside if needed. He was an instant contributor at Ohio State and held his own against some of the most fearsome pass rushers in the Big Ten.

12. Houston Texans

Jordan Addison, WR, USC

The Texans got their franchise quarterback in Bryce Young earlier on, now it's time to add a dynamic weapon on the perimeter. There isn't a clear top receiver in this class, but several that could compete to be the top off the board. My money is on Jordan Addison, the 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner, who can terrorize opposing defenses over the top.

13. New York Jets

Broderick Jones, OL, Georgia

The Aaron Rodgers saga continues in New York. Although it appears he will indeed be a Jet this fall, things still seem awfully strange as the team looks ahead to the Draft. No matter what happens, bolstering the O-Line is a smart move for the Jets and Broderick Jones makes plenty of sense. Yet another Georgia product, Jones can play either tackle or guard at a high level.

14. New England Patriots

Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

New England's cornerback room is thin and aging, a recipe for disaster in an AFC East that suddenly features plenty of great quarterbacks. They would love if Christian Gonzalez were still available, but Joey Porter Jr. is well worth a Top 15 selection. The Penn State product had a dominant 2022 and has ideal NFL size for his position.

15. Green Bay Packers

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

It appears as though we will finally have a new QB under center in Green Bay this fall, as the Jordan Love era begins. Yet, the same issues that crippled the conclusion of the Rodgers era persist, namely at wide receiver. Green Bay has been willing to address other position groups first, but Jaxon Smith-Njigba is among the best available here, and may be too tempting to pass up.

16. Washington Commanders

Brian Branch, DB, Alabama

Dak Prescott and Daniel Jones may both receive their fair share of hate, but the reality is that the NFC East boasts three good quarterbacks (and well, Sam Howell). If the Commanders want to compete, they need to upgrade their secondary. Enter Brian Branch, a rangy defensive back who can be a valuable asset at either corner or safety.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

Kenny Pickett showed flashes during his rookie campaign, but the goal for Pittsburgh this offseason should be surrounding him with help. That not only includes their receiver corps, but their offensive line group, too. Darnell Wright was a longtime contributor at Tennessee and the bulldozing tackle will be a welcome addition in the mid-first.

18. Detroit Lions

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Detroit got rid of T..J. Hockenson midseason, but I suspect they're still looking to find a difference-maker at the position. They could potentially upgrade in the long-term by securing Michael Mayer, a tight end who checks all the boxes. Mayer has soft, receiver hands and route running abilities, but he's also proven his worth as a blocker while at Notre Dame.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Bijan Robinson is one of the most fascinating prospects in this Draft. There shouldn't be much question that he's RB1 at this point, but he could go anywhere from the Top 5 to the second round. I'll hedge my bets somewhere in the middle with Tampa, who has greater needs but are unlikely to be able to pass up on Robinson. Even though the Bucs did recently sign Chase Edmonds, they lack a true difference-maker in this backfield.

20. Seattle Seahawks

Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Seattle has to love this draft position at this spot. They've already added a disruptor in Tyree Wilson and could add another one with Myles Murphy, invest this selection in another position, or trade down. I love the idea of them adding an explosive receiver like Quentin Johnston, who is way too good to slide out of the Top 20.

21. Los Angeles Chargers

Myles Murphy, DL, Clemson

Do the Chargers invest in their offense and add a weapon for Justin Herbert here? Or, do they address their defensive holes on the line and in the secondary? Considering that Myles Murphy is one of the best available at 21, I'm going with D-Line. You'll see mocks with Murphy going as high as the Top 5, so this could be a real steal for LA.

22. Baltimore Ravens

Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

The Lamar Jackson situation clouds over everything in Baltimore, but the receiver corps needs help anyways. Rashod Bateman has shown flashes but has battled through injuries, and the Ravens lack difference-makers beyond him. Jalin Hyatt can certainly change that, a talented wide out who is a big play waiting to happen.

23. Minnesota Vikings

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Hiring Brian Flores as coordinator will help shore up Minnesota's miserable defense, but reinforcements are still needed. Devon Witherspoon is one of my favorite prospects in this Draft; a tad undersized, but full of potential after a stellar career at Illinois.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars

Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

A strong Combine has elevated Deonte Banks into a first-round lock, and this feels like about the range where he'll land. Jacksonville had the worst pass defense in the NFL a season ago and need all the help they can get, with Banks offering plenty of speed and athleticism.

25. New York Giants

Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Daniel Jones has had to make do with an underwhelming receiver corps over the first several seasons of his career. It's about time the G-Men seriously invest in the position by snagging Zay Flowers out of Boston College. Even in an offense that had an anemic aerial attack, Flowers was extremely productive and is one of the shiftiest receivers you'll find at this level.

26. Dallas Cowboys

Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia

Dalton Schultz is now in Houston, and Dallas needed to upgrade their pass-catchers anyway. Dalton Kincaid would be a fine addition here, but I envision the Cowboys taking a shot at Georgia's Darnell Washington instead. He never quite put it together over an extended period of time in Athens, but it's rare you see a player with his combination of size and athleticism. If somebody can figure out how to use him correctly, he could be one of the steals of the Draft.

27. Buffalo Bills

Nolan Smith, DE/LB, Georgia

Yet another Georgia Bulldog off the board, as the Bills add end/outside linebacker Nolan Smith. Buffalo has long leaned on the best player available approach and Smith could easily go much higher than this spot. Although the Bulldogs still won a National Title, his absence down the stretch was still evident.

28. Cincinnati Bengals

O'Cyrus Torrence, OL, Florida

Cincinnati has spent plenty of money to shore up their offensive line and protect Joe Burrow, but it remains a group that could use some young blood. O'Cyrus Torrence is arguably the best interior offensive linemen in this cycle and would offer great value at the bottom of the first round.

29. New Orleans Saints

Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

Formerly the nation's top recruit, Bryan Bresee battled injuries and unfortunate off-the-field problems. Yet, he was still awfully productive when he was on the field at Clemson and has all the physical tools an NFL team would want. New Orleans was hit hard by defections on the D-Line this free agency, so this feels right.

30. Philadelphia Eagles

Calijah Kancey, DL, Pittsburgh

The reigning NFC Champion Eagles already addressed their needs in the defensive backfield by adding Christian Gonzalez, so something tells me they'll work to upgrade one of their lines of scrimmage with their second first-rounder. They can stay inside the state of Pennsylvania and add a disruptive force in Calijah Kancey, an active presence in the heart of the D-Line.

31. Kansas City Chiefs

Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

Losing Orlando Brown stings and although Kansas City spent a bunch of money to bring in Jawaan Taylor, you can never have too many quality blockers in this league. Anton Harrison had a long and productive career in Norman and although his upside may not be as high as other linemen in this Draft, he's worthy of a late flier here.

* Miami's 2023 first-rounder forfeited

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