Daniel Jeremiah 2023 NFL mock draft 4.0: Texans pick 2-3 after trade; Zay Flowers goes 11th overall

With the 2023 NFL Draft set to kick off on Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri, at 8 p.m. ET, here's my final projection for Round 1.

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
(from CHI)
Bryce Young
Alabama · QB · Junior

This is the pick that made the most sense to me ever since Carolina traded up to No. 1. I think Young is the best quarterback in this year’s class.

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

There is a lot of information swirling around this pick, but I keep coming back to common sense. Houston needs a quarterback, and Stroud’s the best one available at No 2.

Will Anderson Jr.
Alabama · Edge · Junior


It’s no secret that Arizona wants to trade out of No. 3, and it’s no secret that Houston is seriously considering an edge rusher with the second pick. Both teams get what they want in this scenario. Houston now has a pillar on each side of the ball.

Will Levis
Kentucky · QB · Senior (RS)

There’s a lot of smoke connecting Levis to the Colts. They stay patient and get their quarterback.

Seattle Seahawks
(from DEN)
Jalen Carter
Georgia · DT · Junior

Half of the league sources I talk to think Carter will be the pick here, while the other half has told me there’s no chance he’ll be Seattle’s selection at No. 5. I don’t know what to believe, but he would be a great fit in Pete Carroll’s defense.

Detroit Lions
(from LAR)
Devon Witherspoon
Illinois · CB · Senior

One of my favorite players in the draft, Witherspoon’s style of play fits beautifully with the culture Dan Campbell has built. He’s feisty and tough.

Christian Gonzalez
Oregon · CB · Junior

The Raiders could go offensive line here, but the secondary needs help as well. In a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, I’ll go with the cornerback.

Bijan Robinson
Texas · RB · Junior

I love Robinson. It’s tough to figure out where to place him, but he’s a top-10 player in this draft. Kyle Pitts, Drake London and now Robinson -- second-year QB Desmond Ridder certainly won't lack for options.

Chicago Bears
(from CAR)
Tyree Wilson
Texas Tech · Edge · Senior (RS)

Wilson could easily go No. 2 overall to the Texans. He slips a bit, and the Bears hit a home run at No. 9.

Nolan Smith
Georgia · Edge · Senior

The Eagles invested in Georgia defenders last year, drafting Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean. They come back for another former Bulldog in Smith.

Zay Flowers
Boston College · WR · Senior

Seeing Flowers go this early would be a little bit of a surprise, but Tennessee’s offense is desperate for some speed and playmaking ability. Flowers fits that description.

Arizona Cardinals
(from CLE through HOU)
Paris Johnson Jr.
Ohio State · OT · Junior


There’s a lot of buzz that the Cardinals could take Johnson at No. 3 overall if they stay put. They still get him at No. 12 in this scenario. He’s a plug-and-play starter for a team that gets some extra bites at the apple after trading down.

Green Bay Packers
(from NYJ)
Dalton Kincaid
Utah · TE · Senior

Green Bay could weigh Kincaid versus Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba here. I think Kincaid is a perfect fit in this offense, and the Packers could circle back for a receiver later, which has generally been their preferred approach at the position. They haven’t picked a WR in Round 1 since 2002.

Lukas Van Ness
Iowa · Edge · Sophomore (RS)

Some players just feel like New England Patriots. Van Ness is one of them. Smart, physical and tough.

New York Jets
(from GB)
Peter Skoronski
Northwestern · IOL · Junior

My comparison for Skoronski was Jets guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. Both guys have the ability to play inside or outside. They would play next to each other one way or another with the Jets.

Emmanuel Forbes
Mississippi State · CB · Junior

The Ron Rivera-led Commanders appreciate ballhawking cornerbacks, and Forbes is the best ballhawk in this draft. He’ll make plays on the ball in zone coverage for Washington.

Broderick Jones
Georgia · OT · Sophomore (RS)

Jones falls into the Steelers’ lap as they continue to remake their offensive line to protect Kenny Pickett.

Calijah Kancey
Pittsburgh · DT · Junior (RS)

Detroit doubles up on defense after taking a cornerback at No. 6. With Kancey added to the mix, the Lions will have one of the best young defensive lines in the NFL.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Ohio State · WR · Junior

Smith-Njigba could be a top-10 pick or he could slide to this spot. The Bucs need to get younger and add more weapons offensively. He’d be a great addition.

Anthony Richardson
Florida · QB· Sophomore (RS)

I think Richardson could be in play at No. 5 for Seattle. He’d be a no-brainer pick for the Seahawks if he’s still available at No. 20. He can learn under Geno Smith before taking over as QB1.

Michael Mayer
Notre Dame · TE· Junior

The Chargers could look at CB or DL here, but Mayer would give Justin Herbert a similar player to Hunter Henry, whom they’ve missed since he left for New England after Herbert’s rookie year.

Deonte Banks
Maryland · CB · Junior (RS)

Baltimore doesn’t have to travel far to find its next cornerback. The Ravens have always valued the position. Banks’ speed and toughness is a good match for them.

Jordan Addison
USC · WR · Junior

The Vikings love versatile receivers who are also great route-runners. That’s a good way to describe Addison, who would take over the role Adam Thielen played.

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

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jaguars drafted an offensive lineman here, but with Porter sliding down, he’s too good to pass up.

Brian Branch
Alabama · CB · Junior

Branch is one of the more versatile players in this class, and Wink Martindale’s defense is built on having versatile pieces.

Luke Musgrave
Oregon State · TE · Senior

Dallas still has talent at tight end even after losing Dalton Schultz in free agency, but Musgrave gives them some major playmaking ability.

Quentin Johnston
TCU · WR · Junior

The Bills invest in another weapon for Josh Allen with Gabe Davis in the final year of his contract. Johnston gives Buffalo some size that Allen can target in the red zone.

Keeanu Benton
Wisconsin · DT · Senior

I could see the Bengals going with a defensive lineman or Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs here. I have them taking Benton to strengthen the front line.

New Orleans Saints
(from SF through MIA, DEN)
Myles Murphy
Clemson · Edge · Junior

I wouldn’t rule out Hendon Hooker going to New Orleans if he’s still available. But in this case, the team fills a need off the edge and lets the Derek Carr era begin without a first-round rookie passer in the fold.

Jahmyr Gibbs
Alabama · RB · Junior

I haven’t given up on my dream of Philadelphia taking Bijan Robinson if he’s available at No. 10, but this is not a bad consolation prize. Gibbs has been gaining a lot of steam late in the process, and I’ll be surprised if he’s not a first-round pick.

Darnell Wright
Tennessee · OT · Senior

The Chiefs have a need at tackle, and the board falls their way. Wright is one of the top players at the position in this year’s draft.

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