Expert Analysis


9 min read

2023 NFL Mock Draft 1.1: QBs, Defenders Dominate Top of Round 1

There are only two weeks left in the season and eight teams have been eliminated from playoff contention. Those teams should already be turning their attention to the 2023 NFL Draft, which boasts some strong talent across the board. The Texans are closing in on the draft's first pick. Will they select their next franchise quarterback? Or will they look to add a top-end defender like Jalen Carter or Will Anderson?

Check out our latest mock draft (1.2).

Let's get into the selections, but a few notes first:

  • The draft order was determined by current standings and using the league’s strength-of-schedule tiebreaker.
  • Asterisk denotes underclassmen who have yet to declare their intentions to enter the draft early.
  • This year’s first round only has 31 picks because the Miami Dolphins forfeited their selection for tampering with Tom Brady.

The 33rd Team 2023 Mock Draft 1.1

1. Houston Texans: Bryce Young*, QB, Alabama

In desperate need of a quarterback, the Texans hope they are never picking at No. 1 again. Young, who fits the bill as a franchise quarterback, would be a good fit in the AFC South and in the city of Houston.

2. Chicago Bears: Will Anderson*, EDGE, Alabama

The Bears take the best edge rusher in the draft. Many draft experts liked Anderson's tape better in 2021, but the Bears still take a shot at a critical position on defense.

3. Seattle Seahawks (From Denver): Jalen Carter*, DT, Georgia

Carter gives Seattle some beef inside to try to handle the opponent's run game. This player could be a force from the inside. The Seahawks see him as a top-tier player up front.

4. Arizona Cardinals: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

Wilson is a versatile rusher who can play both inside and outside. The Cardinals need to get pressure on the quarterback and disrupt them upfront.

5. Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

The Colts try to land their new franchise quarterback and find him in Levis, who is moving up draft boards around the league and will certainly be a coveted player come April.

6. Atlanta Falcons: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

People love Murphy's movement skills and many scouts think he can be a better pro than college player. Expect him to test well at the combine and his pro day.

7. Detroit Lions (From LA Rams): Brian Bresee, IDL, Clemson

Bresee plays with outstanding strength and violent hands. The Lions need help in the interior, and he would give them a talented player to pair with Aidan Hutchinson.

8. Carolina Panthers: C.J. Stroud*, QB, Ohio State

The Panthers have some pieces, but they need stability at quarterback after going through eight of them in the last four years. The big question is who will be the next head coach to direct the team?

9. Las Vegas Raiders: Paris Johnson*, OT, Ohio State

With significant length and outstanding athletic ability, Johnson would be a nice fit in the Raiders' offense and would give them a building block for the future.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (From New Orleans): Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

Ringo is versatile and talented, and the Eagles could get creative with how they use him. He is dripping with explosiveness, Ringo would be an interesting player to work with in Philly.

11. Houston Texans (From Cleveland): Quentin Johnston*, WR, TCU

The Texans get a weapon for their new quarterback. Johnston is very talented, big and long. He and Young can grow together.

12. Seattle Seahawks: Andre Carter, EDGE, Army

This is a talented but raw player with outstanding physical tools for the position. He needs some grooming, but he is tough, smart and a good worker. Seattle would be happy he is still on the board.

13. Tennessee Titans: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Addison's savviness and reliable play will allow him to quickly adapt to the pro game. He should contribute right away for the Titans, giving them a player at a position of need.

14. New England Patriots: Peter Skoronski*, OT, Northwestern

Skoronski would be a perfect fit for New England to slug it out in the AFC East. He is tough, smart and can even play inside.

15. New York Jets: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

It is time for a new quarterback in New York and the Jets take a chance on a raw but talented passer. Richardson needs some work, but he has a very high upside with his arm and legs.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

The Steelers stay in the family and pick Porter Jr. In today's NFL, you can never have enough corners. Porter Jr. fits the Steelers perfectly.

17. Green Bay Packers: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

Hyatt gives the Packers a deep threat who can go vertical. He can play inside or outside and will give this offense a boost and take the pressure off of the other playmakers. Imagine him and Christian Watson on the field together. Aaron Rodgers probably can.

18. Detroit Lions: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

The Lions need big help on defense and Gonzalez has good speed and size. This player has all of the tools to be a top-level corner.

19. Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Evan Engram is having a big year but is a free agent. The Jaguars could choose not to spend the money and instead draft Engram's replacement.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina

Downs does not have great size, but he is explosive and can make plays at all levels. He would be a nice complement for the Bucs' offense.

21. Washington Commanders: Devin Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Scouts love the way Witherspoon plays and his football intelligence. He will make a difference for the Commanders' defense with his instincts.

22. Miami Dolphins: Forfeited

The Miami Dolphins forfeit the 22nd pick in this year's NFL Draft.

23. New York Giants: Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee

The Giants take the best player available on their board. Tillman, who has outstanding size and is not easy to cover, gives the Giants a big target for Daniel Jones if New York decides to bring him back in 2023.

24. Los Angeles Chargers: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Robinson is too good to pass up here. He only falls due to the devaluation of running backs. He creates a complimentary player to Austin Ekeler and gives them a top-level one-two punch.

25. Baltimore Ravens: Jahmyr Gibbs*, RB, Alabama

The Ravens can get creative in the passing game with Gibbs. He and J.K. Dobbins would be a lethal 1-2 punch for the Ravens. 

26. Denver Broncos (From San Francisco): Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

Offensive coordinators love having two tight ends, which gives you so many ways to open up your offense and dictate personnel groupings. Although similar to Greg Dulcich, Kincaid in 12 personnel will cause fits for defenses.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

The Cowboys pick the next best player on their board and strengthen their defense with this pick. Simpson is a bit different than what they have, but that is okay; he will make a difference.

28. Cincinnati Bengals: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

Eli Apple is a free agent and the Bengals could be in the market for the next-best corner on the board. This is a bit of a luxury pick.

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Broderick Jones*, OT, Georgia

The Chiefs need to protect Patrick Mahomes, and Jones will allow them to do that. Jones could go higher and not be available, but if he is the Chiefs will feel good about this pick for several years.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

The Vikings need to get younger in the secondary. This is a good pick to make them better on the back end.

31. Buffalo Bills: Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M

Jordan Poyer is a free agent and Micah Hyde has been injured. Both are getting older and in their 30s. This is a smart pick for a team looking to the future.

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Jared Verse*, EDGE, Florida State

The Eagles love rushers and feel as if they can never have enough. They will roll them in and out and always will work to disrupt the quarterback.