NFL

2023 NFL Mock Draft: QB picture remains in flux; Will Levis out of top 5; Texans, Panthers, Colts seek passers

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 194 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

2nd

POSITION RNK

1st

Bryce Young might be historically undersized by successful NFL QB standards, but we don’t care. He’s been that good for Alabama, dragging that team to victory just about every week. And he’s doing it with none of the playmakers who made life so much easier for Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones in previous years.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 243 lbs

Projected Team

Chicago

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

The Bears moved on from Robert Quinn before the trade deadline, so they’ll be in the market for an edge rusher in the offseason. They could also target an offensive lineman here to help Justin Fields, but Will Anderson Jr. is in the same pre-draft conversations as Chase Young and Nick Bosa when it comes to best non-QB players in a class.

Ohio State

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 218 lbs

Projected Team

Carolina

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

3rd

The Panthers have cycled through three QBs this season and here’s the only certainty: the ’23 starter currently isn’t on the roster. There’s a 100 percent chance that owner David Tepper finally addresses the position this offseason, and if Stroud is available, it’s easy to imagine him being the pick.

Penn State

• Soph

• 6’6″

/ 321 lbs

Projected Team

Pittsburgh

PROSPECT RNK

4th

POSITION RNK

1st

Fashanu won’t be 20 years old for a few more weeks and while we are hesitant to talk up underclassman because, well, there’s a lot of noise out there that can influence a player’s decision to head to the NFL, it’s hard to overlook the season he’s having. Fashanu is athletic, strong and consistent, all things you’d expect from a grizzled veteran, not a first-year starter. He’s only going to get better.

Georgia

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 300 lbs

Projected Team

Seattle

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Carter, who was arguably the best defender on a ’21 Georgia D that had five first-round picks, would fill a huge void in Seattle, where the defense has struggled getting after the quarterback.

Clemson

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 275 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

29th

POSITION RNK

4th

Murphy won’t be 21 until next spring and while we’d like to see him play with more consistency … he won’t be 21 until next spring. On top of that, when he’s on, he’s hard to stop, which makes him such an interesting prospect.

Northwestern

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 315 lbs

Projected Team

Arizona

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

2nd

Skoronski is solid and consistent, which are two of the best things you can say about an offensive lineman. The biggest issue he’ll face during the pre-draft process will be arm length and whether his NFL future is at tackle or guard. We think he can play tackle but wherever he ends up, he’ll make the Cardinals offensive line better.

Georgia

• Soph

• 6’2″

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

Jacksonville

PROSPECT RNK

19th

POSITION RNK

3rd

The Georgia-to-first-round pipeline continues. A year after five Bulldogs went in Round 1, expect a handful this time around too. Ringo is a long, physical corner who has matched up against some of the best players in the country.

Kentucky

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 232 lbs

Projected Team

Indianapolis

PROSPECT RNK

28th

POSITION RNK

4th

Since Andrew Luck’s retirement, the Colts have had little success turning to QBs nearing the end of their careers, and it’s safe to assume that owner Jim Irsay will be looking for the team’s next face of the franchise. Levis, who definitely looks the part, has been plagued by injuries and poor play all season. That said, NFL teams love how he projects to the next level but he’ll be a controversial talking point for the next six months.

Penn State

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 198 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

1st

Porter is the prototypical big, physical cornerback who looks like he belongs in the NFL. He can sometimes get a little too handsy downfield, but he checks many of the boxes of what team’s look for when drafting DBs.

Texas Tech

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 275 lbs

Projected Team

Las Vegas

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

1st

Wilson is a high-motor player who consistently finds his way into the backfield and the Raiders need to upgrade their pass rushers.

Ohio State

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 310 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

21st

POSITION RNK

3rd

Paris Johnson, who plays left tackle for the Buckeyes this season, also has experience on the interior; either way, he is a Day 1 starter on the outside.

Oregon

• Soph

• 6’2″

/ 201 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

43rd

POSITION RNK

6th

Gonzalez, a Colorado transfer, is a big-time athlete who is still growing into the position. He has the size, strength and speed to line up against NFL wide receivers; he just needs to improve in run support.

TCU

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

Green Bay

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Johnston’s an above-the-rim playmaker whose athleticism and contested-catch abilities reminds us of a more consistent Chase Claypool. The Packers have inexplicably shied away from WRs in the first round but it’s probably time to change that.

USC

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 175 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Addison isn’t a big target, but he’s one of the most dynamic players in the country who can line up anywhere. Plus, there’s room for a shifty, yards-after-the-catch machine given that the Falcons have used previous first-rounders on Drake London and Kyle Pitts. Now coach Arthur Smith needs to see what he has in Desmond Ridder, if Marcus Mariota isn’t going to be asked to push the ball down the field.

Ohio State

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 200 lbs

Smith-Njigba has been battling injuries all season but that shouldn’t take away from his game-changing talents when he’s healthy. The Giants are a different team under Brian Daboll, but they’re still in search of a No. 1 wide receiver after the Kadarius Toney experiment lasted just over a season.

Florida

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 347 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK
POSITION RNK

Torrence transferred from Louisiana and didn’t miss a beat. He’s been dominant for Florida and is a plug-and-play player at the next level.

Ohio State

• Sr

• 6’8″

/ 359 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Jets

PROSPECT RNK

18th

POSITION RNK

2nd

This Jets team feels a lot like the 2010 version, which had a second-year QB and relied on a good running game and a dominating defense. With injuries to the team’s two recent first-round O-linemen, maybe the team targets this unit again in ’23. Jones is a behemoth of a man who is a right tackle-only at the next level, but he’s a dominant run blocker who has made huge strides in pass protection in 2022.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 193 lbs

Projected Team

New England

PROSPECT RNK

33rd

POSITION RNK

5th

Branch isn’t the first name you hear about when the conversation turns to Alabama’s defense, but maybe he should be. He’s a sure tackler, can blitz off the edge, and is solid in coverage, and if Nick Saban trusts him, that’s all you need to know about his NFL prospects.

Florida State

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 248 lbs

Projected Team

Seattle

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

1st

Verse, an Albany transfer, has been electric in ’22, even when overcoming a knee injury. At full health, he’s a real problem, and the Seahawks, for as good as they have been on offense, have struggled to pressure the quarterback.

Notre Dame

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 265 lbs

Mayer is more Gronk than Kelce, but that’s not a bad thing. And in Los Angeles, he’ll get plenty of opportunities with Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Josh Palmer.

LSU

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Tennessee

PROSPECT RNK

68th

POSITION RNK

11th

Boutte had a slow start to the season but has been warming up in recent weeks — right along with the LSU offense. He’s not in the same conversation as former Tigers Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase (duh) but he’s been an impact player in ’20 and ’21, and his numbers have improved over the course of the ’22 campaign.

Maryland

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 320 lbs

Projected Team

Cincinnati

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

1st

The Bengals made a point to fix their offensive line through free agency last offseason and the results have been mixed so far. Duncan flashes special talent at times, and if the Bengals can get him to buy in, he’ll quickly upgrade a unit that has struggled in the Joe Burrow era.

Florida

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 232 lbs

Projected Team

Tampa Bay

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

4th

Does Tom Brady finally retire after the season? Even if he does, Kyle Trask can run the offense in ’23 and then Anthony Richardson could take over the starting job. Richardson could end up returning to Florida, but whatever happens, he’s one of the most exciting prospects in this class. Yes, he’s short on experience, but his physical tools are rare.

South Carolina

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 188 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK
POSITION RNK

You wouldn’t have known it to watch Patrick Peterson recently, but he’s 32 and on a one-year deal. Cam Smith is a first-round talent who can be a Day 1 contributor.

Tennessee

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

Baltimore

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

1st

Hyatt wasn’t in the first-round conversation heading into the season but he’s a great example of a player taking advantage of his opportunities, thanks in large part to Hendon Hooker’s Heisman Trophy campaign. Hyatt is a bona fide deep threat who consistently stacks defensive backs who have been helpless to do much about it all season.

Arkansas

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 233 lbs

Projected Team

Dallas

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Sanders is a former five-star who transferred from Alabama after the 2021 season and all he’s done is show out for the Razorbacks. He was an edge rusher for the Crimson Tide but he lines up all over the defense for Arkansas and he’s been a one-man wrecking crew when he’s on the field.

Georgia

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 310 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

30th

POSITION RNK

5th

Garett Bolles is out for the season with an injury, and the Broncos offensive line hasn’t been good. Jones is coming off a strong ’22 campaign for the Bulldogs, where he has faced some of the best defensive players in the country every day at practice for the past two years.

Alabama

• Jr

• 5’11”

/ 200 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The Eagles haven’t taken a RB in the first round since 1986 (!), but we said the same thing about Andy Reid and RBs right until the moment he selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire a few years ago. And while CEH may not be the best example of why Philly might consider a back here, Gibbs has drawn comparisons to Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara as both a runner and a receiver. He could essentially be yet another weapon for Jalen Hurts in this offense.

LSU

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 250 lbs

Projected Team

Kansas City

PROSPECT RNK

81st

POSITION RNK

3rd

Ojulari, whose brother played at Georgia and plays for the Giants, has had a solid campaign for the Tigers, and he has many of the same explosive qualities that made his brother so hard to block for the Bulldogs. Ojulari could end up being better than Azeez, and that’s saying something.

Texas A&M

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Buffalo

PROSPECT RNK

27th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Johnson flies around the field like he’s shot out of a cannon, looks to run through the ball carrier at the line of scrimmage, and is a wrap-up tackler in space. He can line up in deep centerfield or near the line of scrimmage and that versatility makes him one of the best defensive backs in this class.



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