In the fifth version of our 2023 NFL Mock Draft, it is quite the QB-heavy start to April’s NFL Draft, but that isn’t a huge surprise. With big names like Bryce Young and CJ Stroud both likely off the board within the first two selections, this is going to be quite the wild draft to follow.

Previous 2023 NFL Mock Drafts: 4.0 | 3.0 | 2.0 | 1.0

For our discussion of the biggest NFL Draft regrets of all time, listen below:

No. 1 – Carolina Panthers (from CHI): CJ Stroud (QB, Ohio State)

You don’t move all the way up to first overall and not know exactly who you are taking. However, the Carolina Panthers have so far done a good job of keeping it a secret.

With their selection likely between Stroud and Young, Frank Reich and his staff are in a great position to reset the franchise and get them back on track, with many signs pointing toward adding Stroud to an offense that underwent a facelift this offseason.

No. 2 – Houston Texans: Bryce Young (QB, Alabama)

‘Thanks to Lovie Smith, the Houston Texans managed to win themselves out of the first overall pick, but getting a generational QB in Young at second overall is a fantastic consolation prize.

Pairing Young with Robert Woods and Dameon Pierce would give him an average supporting cast to start his career, but DeMeco Ryans looks to have his team headed in the right direction for the first time in a long time.

No. 3 – Seattle Seahawks (TRADE with AZ): Anthony Richardson (QB, Florida)

By having two first-round selections at their disposal, the Seattle Seahawks are able to move up and down the board as needed to draft the guys they want … and Anthony Richardson is the guy they want.

Needing to jump the Indianapolis Colts to make sure they get their guy, the Seahawks trade in division with the Arizona Cardinals, a rarity but a move that absolutely can happen. While this would require paying a pretty hefty fee to move up two selections, the Seahawks should be more than happy to grab their QB of the future, even with Geno Smith as the starter.

No. 4 – Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis (QB, Kentucky)

There is a potential that the Indianapolis Colts, who have been tied to drafting a QB in most mock drafts, decide to punt on the QB position after losing out on the top three guys in this class. But there are plenty of signs pointing toward their interest in Kentucky’s Will Levis, and they take him here.

No. 5 – Arizona Cardinals (TRADE with SEA): Will Anderson (LB, Alabama)

The Arizona Cardinals are in football purgatory, and even a top-five draft pick won’t be enough to change their misfortunes. As Kyler Murray recovers from his torn ACL and DeAndre Hopkins awaits the news of his trade, Arizona would be smart to take the highest bidder and move down to draft the best player available.

Will Anderson definitely fits the bill as this year’s best defensive prospect, and to get that sort of talent at fifth overall (while picking up extra draft capital) would be great for the Cardinals moving forward.

No. 6 – Detroit Lions (from LAR): Tyree Wilson (EDGE, Texas Tech)

Still benefiting from the Matthew Stafford trade, the Detroit Lions are in a great position in the 2023 NFL Draft, seeing as how the top of the draft likely will be QB-centric. With a ton of non-QB talent falling right to them, their sixth overall selection of Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson adds a solid pass rusher to Dan Campbell’s defense.

No. 7 – Tennessee Titans (TRADE with LV): Paris Johnson Jr. (OL, Ohio State)

There are plenty of trade rumors floating around involving the Tennessee Titans and moving up for a QB, but instead, they move up and select the best offensive lineman in the draft in Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.

Malik Willis may not be their future franchise QB, but he deserves a shot at the job — once they move on from Ryan Tannehill. Adding a bona fide blindside protector in Johnson would be a big help for the quarterback and Derrick Henry.

No. 8 – Atlanta Falcons: Myles Murphy (DE, Clemson)

Cornerback is a popular mock draft selection for the Atlanta Falcons in April, and it would not be surprising to see them select the first CB. However, it is incredibly tough to pass up on one of the best DE prospects in the draft in Myles Murphy.

Murphy and Brian Bresee, both from Clemson and both DL, are vying to be first-round selections, and Murphy certainly is worthy of a top-eight selection.

No. 9 – Chicago Bears (from CAR): Jalen Carter (DT, Georgia)

Here ends the fall of Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter, who was once seen as the clear-cut best defensive prospect in the draft. Off-field concerns mixed with conditioning issues unearthed in his Pro Day lowered the league’s interest in him, but the Chicago Bears would love to add a top defensive talent for their defensive line.

No. 10 – Philadelphia Eagles (from NO): Peter Skoronski (OL, Northwestern)

The Super Bowl runner-up Philadelphia Eagles have two first-rounders this year, with their first coming via the New Orleans Saints. In a position to basically add any sort of young talent, they decide here to add the second-best OT in the draft in Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski.

Likely in place to eventually become Lane Johnson’s replacement, Skoronski should see the field in his rookie year, and his tape from Northwestern absolutely will make you understand why.

No. 11 – Las Vegas Raiders (TRADE with TEN): Devon Witherspoon (CB, Illinois)

Also tied to drafting a QB, the Las Vegas Raiders instead move down in a deal with the Titans and pick up a few more draft picks, as well as one of the best CBs in the draft in Devon Witherspoon.

Fighting with Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez to be the first cornerback off the board, Witherspoon would immediately jump into a Las Vegas secondary that needs a lot of talent added to it.

No. 12 – Houston Texans (from CLE): Lukas Van Ness (EDGE, Iowa)

Ideally, the Texans would be the team to pair their QB with Jaxon Smith-Njiba and select the first WR of the NFL Draft, but instead, they decide to give Ryans a new pass rusher in Lukas Van Ness.

The Iowa product has flown up draft boards over the past few months, and he looks to have solidified himself as a mid-first-round prospect and a player the Texans should look into drafting.

No. 13 – New York Jets: Broderick Jones (OT, Georgia)

As the Aaron Rodgers saga draws on even longer, the New York Jets should be drafting with protecting their likely new QB in mind, so the offensive line is a must. Georgia’s Broderick Jones has entered the top-three grouping of offensive linemen this draft cycle, and with both Paris Johnson and Peter Skoronski both off the board, Jones is the best OL available.

No. 14 – New England Patriots: Christian Gonzalez (CB, Oregon)

Bill Belichick is always a wild card when it comes to the NFL Draft — just look at last year’s Cole Strange selection in the first round. But this year might be different, especially since his seat may be getting a bit warm.

Selecting Christian Gonzalez would help make a strong defense even better, as Gonzalez’s physical play style is a great fit on the boundary for the secondary.

No. 15 – Green Bay Packers: Nolan Smith (EDGE, Georgia)

General manager Brian Gutekunst's admiration for the Georgia Bulldogs' defense is quite obvious, seeing as how he grabbed both Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt from it in last year’s first round. It’s quite possible he goes back to that unit again.

This year, he goes back to the well and selects edge rusher Nolan Smith, forming a fantastic 1-2 pairing opposite Rashan Gary when both players are healthy. Giving Joe Barry yet another weapon in his arsenal would mean no reason for this unit to not live up to its expectations, something it somewhat failed to do last season.

No. 16 – Washington Commanders: Brian Branch (S, Alabama)

The Washington Commanders have a solid defense and a suspect offense, so it only makes sense for them to add another piece to their defense in safety Brian Branch. With solid coverage skills and a nose for the football, Branch would be a great back-end addition to the Washington secondary.

No. 17 – Pittsburgh Steelers: Joey Porter Jr. (CB, Penn State)

There has not been enough made about how Joey Porter’s son, Joey Porter Jr., is a logical choice to become a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Following in his dad’s footsteps would be nothing short of awesome, but the younger Porter would also be a solid addition to a secondary that needs some young talent injected into it.

No. 18 – Detroit Lions: Jaxon Smith-Njiba (WR, Ohio State)

It feels very, very wrong to not have had a wide receiver go off the board yet in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, but with their second pick of the first round, the Lions are more than happy to end that streak. Jaxon Smith-Njiba teaming up with Jameson Williams is a fantastic 1-2 pairing that is on a great timeline age-wise for where the Lions are hoping to be.

This team has done everything right so far, including having a defensive-focused free agency, and tackling their offensive depth is a great way for Brad Holmes to continue to win the offseason.

No. 19 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bryan Bresee (DL, Clemson)

Quarterback and offensive line are probably the two biggest areas of need for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but adding more talent to their defensive line in Bryan Bresee makes sense too.

With how the NFC South currently is shaping up, the Buccaneers still should be seen as the favorite, so making a move for their future instead of their present is exactly how Jason Licht should continue to operate.

No. 20 – Dallas Cowboys (TRADE with SEA): Bijan Robinson (RB, Texas)

You probably knew this was coming: the Dallas Cowboys drafting with their hearts and not their heads, selecting running back Bijan Robinson after a trade up in this 2o23 NFL Mock Draft.

Granted, Robinson is a big-time stud who is one of the most complete RBs drafted in the last five-plus years, but Dallas has much bigger issues they need to address (WR being one of them). Going after the shiny object has gotten them in trouble before, and this move could produce the same outcome.

No. 21 – Los Angeles Chargers: Quentin Johnston (WR, TCU)

With the Austin Ekeler trade situation still ongoing, the Los Angeles Chargers need to be careful that their contention window doesn’t close sooner than it should. Ekeler noted he wouldn't be opposed to playing another year with the Charger and then hitting free agency, so snagging Quentin Johnson here would be fun.

Keenan Allen is not getting any younger and Mike Williams is not getting any healthier, so the Chargers need a bona fide vertical threat. Johnston is a tall option for Justin Herbert to target, and he would take some pressure off everyone else in the route-running department.

No. 22 – Baltimore Ravens: Deonte Banks (CB, Maryland)

Speed sells in the NFL, and Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks has plenty left over. Even though WR is the biggest need for the Ravens to address this offseason, a prospect with the speed and coverage abilities that Banks possesses doesn’t come around often.

No. 23 – Minnesota Vikings: Calijah Kancey (DT, Pittsburgh)

Drafting a lineman is a pretty safe bet for the Minnesota Vikings, and Calijah Kancey looks to re-establish Pitt as a DL pipeline to the NFL that Aaron Donald helped start.

With questions at WR2, the future at QB, and CB, the Vikings decide to go an unexpected way in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft and select Kancey, who has earned himself a first-round grade.


Franz Christian Irorita ·

No. 24 – Jacksonville Jaguars: Felix Anudike-Uzomah (EDGE, Kansas State)

The Jacksonville Jaguars and drafting a defensive lineman go together like peanut butter and jelly, and this year’s NFL Draft is no different. Kansas State’s Felix Anudike-Uzomah looks to be climbing into the last 10 picks of the first round, and his style of rushing the passer makes him a good fit for Jacksonville in this mock draft.

No. 25 – New York Giants: Zay Flowers (WR, Boston College)

The New York Giants are in an interesting place. Drafting much later than usual but still needing some help, they decide that Zay Flowers is far too good to pass up and add their future WR1 to the team. Daniel Jones finally would have a bona fide vertical threat to target, allowing the likes of Darius Slayton and Parris Campbell to work underneath.

No. 26 – Seattle Seahawks (TRADE with DAL): Anton Harrison (OT, Oklahoma)

Having made probably the most surprising move in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft by moving up to select Anthony Richardson, the Seahawks are back on the clock after having moved down from the 20th selection in a deal with Dallas.

Wanting to help protect Geno Smith now and Anthony Richardson later, they select Oklahoma tackle Anton Harrison, who has future stud bookend tackle written all over his draft profile.

No. 27 – Buffalo Bills: Dawand Jones (T, Ohio State)

The Buffalo Bills, outside of the Cowboys, are the likeliest landing spot for Bijan Robinson in April’s NFL Draft, but they did already add Damien Harris to complement James Cook.

Instead of adding a skill player to the offense, the Bills decide to add protection for Josh Allen, selecting one of the largest and most athletic players in the draft in offensive tackle Dawand Jones from Ohio State.

No. 28 – Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Mayer (TE, Notre Dame)

What do you get a team like the Cincinnati Bengals that has two stud wideouts and a star QB? You get them the best tight end in the draft: Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer.

With the ability to be a strong blocker and a superb pass catcher, Mayer is a fantastic option for Joe Burrow. While this screams luxury pick, not having Hayden Hurst on this team anymore leaves a big-time role for Mayer to jump into.

No. 29 – Los Angeles Rams (TRADE with NO): Hendon Hooker (QB, Tennessee)

If the betting line for total QBs drafted in the first round is set at 4.5, hammer the over, because Hendon Hooker would easily be QB3 in this year’s NFL Draft if he was healthy. Questions still surround Matthew Stafford and his health, and the current roster for the Los Angeles Rams is far too good to struggle for long, which means getting Hooker and his fifth-year option is imperative for the Rams.

The Rams jump up from pick No. 36 in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft in a deal with the Saints, which nets New Orleans a few extra selections for their troubles.

No. 30 – Philadelphia Eagles: Will McDonald IV (EDGE, Iowa State)

With their second pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Eagles can go in whatever direction they want. Sticking in the trenches seems like a thing that Howie Roseman would do, so they do it here.

Having taken Peter Skoronski earlier, they flip to the defensive side of the ball and add edge rusher Will McDonald IV from Iowa State. A strong pass rusher with a high motor, McDonald is a steal at this point of the draft, and he could very well be the best sleeper in this first round.

No. 31 – Kansas City Chiefs: Jordan Addison (WR, USC)

To round out the first round of our 2023 NFL Mock Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs are on the clock. Needing to find some more offensive firepower, especially after the departure of both JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman, you can pencil in USC’s Jordan Addison.

While a WR is a likely choice for Kansas City, Addison is one of the best left on the board. Addison would be the fourth wideout off the board in the first round (after JSN, Johnston, and Flowers), but his ceiling could put him in the mix closer to the top after his rookie year is complete.