2023 NFL mock draft: Who's climbing up the board?




 

How in the world is the college football regular season already over?

Yeah, it's championship week in the college ranks now, which means this year's top prospects only have a few more chances to impress NFL scouts on film before they head into the predraft process.

We're also getting a clearer picture of what the top of next year's draft order might look like, with just six weeks remaining in the NFL regular season.

That being the case, here's an updated look at how the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL draft could shake out, using the latest updated order following Week 12 action:

*NOTE: The Miami Dolphins forfeited their first-round pick in next year's draft as a result of the NFL's investigation into tampering violations.

1. Houston Texans | Alabama QB Bryce Young

 

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Davis Mills just got benched, so it's a safe bet the Texans will be looking for his long-term replacement here. It's a tight race between Young and Ohio State's C.J. Stroud for this spot, but despite Young's lack of ideal size, his arm talent, athleticism, competitiveness and intangibles win out.

2. Chicago Bears | Alabama EDGE Will Anderson

 

(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Obviously, the Bears' prime objective in the offseason needs to be building around Justin Fields on offense, but that can be done in many different ways. In this scenario, their best bet is to take the top overall prospect in the draft, as Anderson immediately replaces the impact the defense lost when they traded away Robert Quinn.

3. Detroit Lions (LAR) | Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud

 

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Jared Goff isn't a problem or anything, but he's also not a long-term solution for the Lions. If they luck out and get a top-three pick from the Rams, this scenario would give them the perfect opportunity to land their quarterback of the future in Stroud.

4. Seattle Seahawks (from DEN) | Georgia DL Jalen Carter

 

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Russell Wilson deal just keeps looking better and better for the Seahawks, who are in line for a top-five pick (among others). If things play out like this, they'll be able to address one of their biggest needs here, with arguably the top overall prospect in the entire draft class.

5. Carolina Panthers | Florida QB Anthony Richardson

 

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Richardson's 2022 campaign got off to a rocky start, but last week was the first time he's thrown a pick in five games. He's got the kind of rare skill set that makes him the closest thing to Josh Allen that we'll see in this class, with similar boom/bust potential. The Bills are reaping the benefits of the boom, and a team like the Panthers could easily do the same.

6. Philadelphia Eagles (from NO) | Clemson EDGE Myles Murphy

 

(AP Photo/Stew Milne)

Another team that's reaping the benefits of a previous trade, the Eagles currently have the NFL's best record, and are still in line for a top-10 picks thanks to the Saints. Murphy's elite combination of size, athleticism and versatility would make him a great fit in this defense, and a bargain outside of the top five.

7. Arizona Cardinals | Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr.

 

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The defense needs plenty of help, too, but the prime objective for the Cardinals needs to be ensuring the success of Kyler Murray and the offense. That starts up front, where Johnson would bring a track record of success against top competition at both guard and tackle.

8. Green Bay Packers | Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski

 

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Recent history says the Packers prefer to spend their first-round picks on the other side of the ball, but they'd be wise to take this opportunity to bolster the offensive line. Skoronski might not have ideal tackle size, but no matter where he lines up, he'll get the job done at a high level.

9. Las Vegas Raiders | Clemson DL Bryan Bresee

 

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This defense needs help at every level, but building from the trenches out is usually the best way to go. After missing most of last year due to injury, Bresee has been a dominant force in 2022, delivering on the high expectations he brought as a top recruit.

10. Houston Texans (from CLE) | Texas Tech EDGE Tyree Wilson

 

(AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

After landing their franchise quarterback, the Texans need to address their desperate need for an impact player along the defensive front. Wilson's massive frame, impressive length, and rare athleticism could easily make him a top-10 pick, and he'd be a great fit in Lovie Smith's defense off the edge.

11. Jacksonville Jaguars | TCU WR Quentin Johnston

 

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Jags could go in a couple of different directions here, but they should err on the side of helping Trevor Lawrence whenever possible. That means taking this year's top pass-catcher off the board, and Johnston has an enticing combination of size, athleticism and ball skills to be an instant No. 1 target.

12. Pittsburgh Steelers | Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr.

 

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

This would just be too perfect, right? The Steelers have other needs they could address here, but the value points them to the corner spot, where they could take the son of their former star linebacker. Porter plays his position with the same confidence, physicality and competitiveness that made his dad a Pro Bowler.

13. Detroit Lions | Georgia CB Kelee Ringo

 

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Jeff Okudah is finally playing like a No. 3 overall pick, but the Lions could use an upgrade at the other corner spot. Ringo is big and athletic, with the length and ball skills to be a big-play machine at the next level, just like he's been for the Bulldogs.

14. Indianapolis Colts | Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.

 

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Kentucky's Will Levis is probably the pick most would expect here, but I'm still not sold on him as a first-round prospect. If the Colts want to go quarterback here (and they should), Penix should be the next one off the board. He's got all the traits of a franchise passer, and he's having a fantastic season for the Huskies.

15. Atlanta Falcons | Texas RB Bijan Robinson

 

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Arthur Smith clearly wants to keep running his offense the same way he did in Tennessee, so he's going to need a special running back to make it work. Cordarrelle Patterson turns 32 in March, so this might be the perfect spot for Robinson to come off the board.

16. Seattle Seahawks | Florida State EDGE Jared Verse

 

Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

After adding a dominant force for the interior of their defensive front, the Seahawks have a chance to do the same thing on the edge here. An athletic, well-rounded defender, Verse has made an immediate impact at FSU after transferring from Albany, leading the nation in tackles for loss.

17. Los Angeles Chargers | Georgia OT Broderick Jones

 

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Rashawn Slater is already one of the NFL's best left tackles, but the Chargers need a long-term upgrade on the right side to keep Justin Herbert protected. Jones has been impressive this season against top competition, and has all the traits to quickly develop into a quality starter at a premium position.

18. New England Patriots | USC WR Jordan Addison

 

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

This offense needs more playmakers, and this scenario gives the Pats a perfect opportunity to add one of the best in this class. He may not be the biggest receiver, but Addison is a smooth route-runner with reliable hands and explosive, big-play ability after the catch.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez

 

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting are both headed for free agency, so the Bucs could use another starting-caliber corner to pair with Carlton Davis III. Gonzalez has the size and length Todd Bowles loves at the position, along with the athleticism and ball skills to be an immediate playmaker.

20. Washington Commanders | South Carolina CB Cam Smith

 

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

This secondary needs a true shutdown artist to take over the No. 1 corner spot, and this gives Washington the perfect chance to do just that. Smith has the size, athleticism, physicality and ball skills to be that kind of player at the next level.

21. Baltimore Ravens | Alabama DB Brian Branch

 

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

This secondary needs help at both levels, so the Ravens would be wise to land a versatile defender who can line up all over the field. Branch can play outside, in the slot, or on the back end, and bring the same athleticism, instincts, and big-play ability to every spot.

22. New York Jets | Clemson LB Trenton Simpson

 

(AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

Offensive tackle is a big need, but in this scenario, there's better value on the other side of the ball. That won't be a problem for Robert Saleh, who would love to add a versatile, athletic weapon like Simpson, who can make big plays all over the field.

23. Cincinnati Bengals | Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer

 

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

There are some needs on defense the Bengals could address, but Mayer might be too much for them to pass up. As a pass-catcher, he would give Joe Burrow another dynamic weapon, and his blocking prowess would help make life easier for Joe Mixon and the ground game.

24. New York Giants | Washington WR Rome Odunze

 

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

If there's a worse receiver situation in the NFL right now, I'd love to see it. The Giants desperately need an infusion of talent here, and they've got some solid options in this scenario. Odunze should be getting way more first-round buzz than he currently is, and it won't be surprising if that changes between now and April.

25. Denver Broncos (from SF via MIA) | Georgia EDGE Nolan Smith

 

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Broncos are a prime trade-down candidate, as they look to recoup some of the picks they lost in the Russell Wilson deal. If they stay here, offensive tackle is the biggest need, but the board doesn't fall favorably in this scenario. There's more value on defense, where they can add an explosive pass rusher to help replace Bradley Chubb.

26. Tennessee Titans | Georgia TE Darnell Washington

 

Syndication: Online Athens

This offense could use another dynamic weapon in the passing game, and though there are plenty of worthy wide receiver candidates to choose from, Washington's rare blend of size and athleticism might be too much to pass up at the tight end spot.

27. Dallas Cowboys | Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon

 

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Trevon Diggs is obviously one of the best corners in the game right now, but the Cowboys need an upgrade on the other side of the field. Witherspoon has been one of the most dominant cover men in the country this season, and would be an immediate improvement opposite Diggs.

28. Buffalo Bills | Florida OL O'Cyrus Torrence

 

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

This pick has to be something to help Josh Allen, whether that's along the offensive line, or at wide receiver. There are plenty of pass-catching options to pick from, but a dominant interior lineman might be harder to find, so Torrence gets the nod to help protect Allen, and improve the ground game.

29. Minnesota Vikings | Tennessee WR Jalin Hyatt

 

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel

Adam Thielen isn't getting any younger, and the Vikings should find a younger understudy to eventually take over as Justin Jefferson's running mate at receiver. Hyatt has put up huge numbers in a breakout campaign, and deserves first-round billing.

30. Kansas City Chiefs | Ohio State OT Dawand Jones

 

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs still haven't solved their issues at right tackle, and if they head into the draft with the same situation they have currently, this pick needs to be where they find the solution. Jones is a massive blocker with tons of experience and success on the right side.

31. Philadelphia Eagles | Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs

 

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel

I've been mocking this pick for a while now, and I don't think I'll stop anytime soon. This offense is already one of the most dominant and entertaining in the league, so adding a versatile weapon like Gibbs would just make it downright unfair.

32. Houston Texans | SMU WR Rashee Rice

 

(AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)

33. Pittsburgh Steelers (from CHI) | Baylor DL Siaki Ika

 

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

34. Seattle Seahawks (from DEN) | Utah CB Clark Phillips III

 

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

35. Los Angeles Rams | LSU EDGE BJ Ojulari

 

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

36. New Orleans Saints | Kentucky QB Will Levis

 

Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

37. Arizona Cardinals | Mississippi State CB Emmanuel Forbes

 

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

38. Green Bay Packers | Iowa DL Lukas Van Ness

 

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

39. Carolina Panthers | LSU WR Kayshon Boutte

 

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

40. Cleveland Browns | Notre Dame EDGE Isaiah Foskey

 

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

41. Jacksonville Jaguars | Michigan DL Mazi Smith

 

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

42. Pittsburgh Steelers | Oklahoma OT Anton Harrison

 

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

43. Detroit Lions | Texas A&M S Antonio Johnson

 

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

44. Las Vegas Raiders | Syracuse CB Garrett Williams

 

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

45. Indianapolis Colts | USC OL Andrew Voorhees

 

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

46. Atlanta Falcons | Army EDGE Andre Carter II

 

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

47. Los Angeles Chargers | Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

 

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

48. New England Patriots | Florida DL Gervon Dexter

 

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

49. Seattle Seahawks | North Carolina WR Josh Downs

 

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Oregon LB Noah Sewell

 

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

51. Washington Commanders | Maryland OT Jaelyn Duncan

 

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

52. New York Jets | Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker

 

(Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)

53. Cincinnati Bengals | Notre Dame S Brandon Joseph

 

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

54. New York Giants | Arkansas LB Drew Sanders

 

(AP Photo/Michael Woods)

55. Chicago Bears (from BAL) | BYU OT Blake Freeland

 

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

56. Tennessee Titans | Ohio State OL Luke Wypler

 

(Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images)

57. Carolina Panthers (from SF) | Alabama LB Henry To'o To'o

 

Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

58. Buffalo Bills | Alabama S Jordan Battle

 

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

59. Dallas Cowboys | Wisconsin DL Keeanu Benton

 

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

60. Miami Dolphins | Minnesota OL John Michael Schmitz

 

(AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

61. Detroit Lions (from MIN) | South Dakota State TE Tucker Kraft

 

Syndication: Argus Leader

62. Kansas City Chiefs | Auburn EDGE Derick Hall

 

(Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

63. Philadelphia Eagles | Missouri CB Kris Abrams-Draine

 

(Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images)

Story originally appeared on Draft Wire

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