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Mock Draft

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Charles Davis 2023 NFL mock draft 2.0: Titans select Anthony Richardson; Ravens take Hendon Hooker

As the prospect-evaluation period winds down, it's time for me to take a second crack at projecting Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft (April 27-29 in Kansas City, Missouri). Trades will obviously be a major element of the real thing later this month, but just like in my first mock, I'm keeping everyone in their current draft slots.

NOTE: The NFL announced in August that the Miami Dolphins will forfeit their 2023 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick following an investigation into whether the team violated league policies pertaining to the integrity of the game.

Carolina Panthers
(via CHI)
Bryce Young
Alabama · QB · Junior

My esteemed colleague Bucky Brooks recently expressed a common sentiment in draft circles: From the outside looking in, the Panthers' decision feels like a coin flip between Young and Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud. Today, the coin lands in favor of the best quarterback in this year's class, at least in my humble opinion.

C.J. Stroud
Ohio State · QB · Sophomore (RS)

There's been recent discussion that Houston might look to draft a non-quarterback at No. 2 overall. While that could be true, I think the Texans should indeed use this pick to grab their new face of the franchise at the game's most important position.

Tyree Wilson
Texas Tech · Edge · Senior (RS)

The consensus is that the Cardinals are very open to trading down out of this spot. If they don't, here's a bit of a surprise, with the Texas Tech product becoming the first defensive player selected. New GM Monti Ossenfort eschews the "safer" edge pick (Will Anderson Jr.) for Wilson, whose stock is truly on the rise.

Will Levis
Kentucky · QB · Senior (RS)

In many mocks -- including my first go-around a few weeks ago -- the big-armed Levis falls out of the top 10. Witness the return! If this pairing comes to fruition, don't be surprised if Levis takes the first snap in Week 1, despite Indy's signing of Gardner Minshew in free agency.

Seattle Seahawks
(via DEN)
Will Anderson Jr.
Alabama · Edge · Junior

The top-rated edge rusher on many boards is warmly welcomed to the Emerald City -- and pointed straight at the QBs of the NFC West.

Detroit Lions
(via LAR)
Jalen Carter
Georgia · DT · Junior

Character concerns aside, the raw talent is undeniable. And the culture that the Lions have built in a short time under GM Brad Holmes and HC Dan Campbell makes Detroit a perfect landing spot for the former Bulldog.

Paris Johnson Jr.
Ohio State · OT · Junior

Johnson is smart, versatile and athletic. He steps right in as the Raiders' right tackle.

Devon Witherspoon
Illinois · CB · Senior

He's not the biggest, but he may be the fiercest CB prospect in the draft. His tape shows a steady progression in his career, and his impactful play will be valued by the Falcons, even after the recent acquisition of Jeff Okudah, who could depart Atlanta after one season if the team doesn't pick up his fifth-year option prior to the May 1 deadline.

Chicago Bears
(via CAR)
Peter Skoronski
Northwestern · OL · Junior

With the Bears putting their full faith in QB Justin Fields, it's up to GM Ryan Pace to continue surrounding him with talent. The local big-time prospect out of Northwestern fits the bill, whether he lines up at tackle or guard.

Lukas Van Ness
Iowa · Edge · Sophomore (RS)

The Eagles never skimp on acquiring players who can affect opposing quarterbacks. Van Ness is a forceful piece to add to Philly's D-line stable.

Anthony Richardson
Florida · QB · Sophomore (RS)

We've heard plenty of talk about the Titans potentially moving up in the draft. Here, they hang tight and land the gifted Gator QB. Best of all, he can develop behind current starter Ryan Tannehill.

Houston Texans
(via CLE)
Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Ohio State · WR · Junior

After grabbing C.J. Stroud at No. 2, the Texans nab JSN here, allowing the former Buckeyes to continue growing together.

Darnell Wright
Tennessee · OT · Senior

With GM Joe Douglas selecting the hulking right tackle out of Tennessee, versatile star Alijah Vera-Tucker's able to permanently move back inside. This roster, which came so close to producing a playoff bid in 2022, just keeps getting better.

Christian Gonzalez
Oregon · CB · Junior

Smooth, easy mover who flows effortlessly alongside receivers. Gonzalez helps shore up the back end of the Patriots' defense.

Dalton Kincaid
Utah · TE · Senior

With Jordan Love on the verge of taking the reins, Green Bay needs another steady target in the passing game. Kincaid has the ability to make an immediate impact on Sundays.

Joey Porter Jr.
Penn State · CB · Junior (RS)

Tough, physical, gritty -- these are adjectives DC Jack Del Rio loves. Porter joins a defense that has the makings of a very good unit.

Nolan Smith
Georgia · Edge · Senior

Alex Highsmith just enjoyed a breakout year for the Steelers with 14.5 sacks, but he's in the final year of his rookie deal. Edge rushers are the motor that drives Pittsburgh's defense.

Bijan Robinson
Texas · RB · Junior

I have to believe the best running back in this year's class will be considered multiple times in the first half of Round 1. He makes it to the Lions at No. 18 here, giving the Motor City two of the top five overall prospects on my colleague Daniel Jeremiah's big board.

Broderick Jones
Georgia · OT · Sophomore (RS)

The Bucs must restock their offensive line. With longtime LT Donovan Smith no longer wearing pewter, Tampa Bay immediately inserts Jones on the blind side, leaving Pro Bowler Tristan Wirfs at right tackle.

Deonte Banks
Maryland · CB · Junior (RS)

Not only can he fly, but he makes plays on the ball, too. He could pair nicely with last year's rookie sensation, Tariq Woolen, giving the Seahawks two true ballhawks on the perimeter.

Jordan Addison
USC · WR · Junior

The Chargers have a gifted quarterback in Justin Herbert who can push the ball downfield with every throw. Addison will help him do just that.

Hendon Hooker
Tennessee · QB · Senior (RS)

Eric DeCosta recently told us all that Baltimore could very well select a QB in this year's draft. I'm taking the general manager at his word, as the Ravens hedge their bets with the uncertainty surrounding Lamar Jackson. If the team does not go QB here, a big receiver like TCU’s Quentin Johnston would be a nice addition.

Calijah Kancey
Pittsburgh · DT · Junior (RS)

The Vikings select the quick interior lineman and hope that he develops into a disruptor like Hall of Fame DT John Randle. New defensive coordinator Brian Flores will help the Pitt product.

Myles Murphy
Clemson · Edge · Junior

More pressure off the edge for a defense that tied for 25th in sacks last season. Incumbent pass rushers Josh Allen and Travon Walker get a big-bodied running mate.

Zay Flowers
Boston College · WR · Senior

"Help Daniel Jones!" scream the Big Blue faithful. GM Joe Schoen listens, and HC Brian Daboll applauds.

Michael Mayer
Notre Dame · TE · Junior

After the departure of Dalton Schultz, the Cowboys find a new tight end for Dak Prescott to target. Mayer will more than hold his own in the run game, too.

Brian Branch
Alabama · DB · Junior

The alarm bells rang after Branch ran an underwhelming 4.58-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. But the Bills see a stud on tape who makes plays from multiple positions. He's in line to fortify what could be the last run of "The Hyde and Poyer Show" in Buffalo.

Emmanuel Forbes
Mississippi State · CB · Junior

Yes, he weighs around 170 pounds. That is a concern. But he takes the ball away (14 interceptions at Mississippi State, including an NCAA-record six pick-sixes) and is a more-than-willing tackler. Forbes fits in well with DC Lou Anarumo's philosophy and scheme.

New Orleans Saints
(via SF through MIA, DEN)
Mazi Smith
Michigan · DT · Junior (RS)

The ultra-athletic Smith immediately becomes part of the DT rotation in New Orleans.

Jalin Hyatt
Tennessee · WR · Junior

GM Howie Roseman brings in some big-time speed to serve as WR3 behind A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. If there's a surprise and a second running back goes in the first round, Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs could be a fit for Philadelphia.

Felix Anudike-Uzomah
Kansas State · Edge · Junior

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo could use a pass-rushing complement to 2022 first-rounder George Karlaftis. Anudike-Uzomah helps replace Frank Clark.

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