2023 NFL Mock Draft: First Round Projections After Dolphins Lose Pick

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C.J. Stroud, 2023 NFL Draft, 2023 NFL Mock Draft

C.J. Stroud, 2023 NFL Mock Draft. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

We’ve got an updated first-round 2023 NFL Mock Draft here after the first week of preseason, featuring just 31 picks after the Dolphins lost a first-rounder.

The NFL preseason is underway, which means we are just a few weeks from the games that count. Rookies have taken the field, and the reaction process and narrative forming has begun. Everyone is tuned in to watch the quarterbacks and receivers because of all the hype and storylines.

Speaking of those two positions, next year’s 2023 NFL Draft is poised to be much better at quarterback, and the wide receiver position will likely be deep until the end of time. With college football set to kick off in a couple weeks, it’s time to get more and more familiar with the prospects. So, an updated 2023 NFL Mock Draft is what we’ll do!

Obviously, the biggest news with the 2023 NFL Draft is the Miami Dolphins losing one of their two first-round selection due to the tanking controversy surrounding owner Stephen Ross, which involved a payment to intentionally lose games.

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Seahawks Get Their QB, Four Safeties In Round 1

So, from now until April, we’ve got just 31 picks in the first round. Let’s dive in and look at the potential first round prospects while focusing on potential holes in the future for NFL teams. Off we go!

Note: This mock draft was completed using the NFL Mock Draft Database simulator and their order.

1. Atlanta Falcons: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

The Atlanta Falcons got a look at both Desmond Ridder and Drake London in their game against the Lions. London only managed one catch before leaving with injury, and Ridder was able to lead a game-winning drive featuring a touchdown pass outside the pocket.

There’s a good chance he gets some run this year, especially late when they likely get eliminated from playoff contention. It’s hard to imagine a third-round rookie preventing the Falcons from taking a quarterback early, especially if they’re in the top three. In this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, they selected C.J. Stroud, who has the accuracy, poise, pocket maneuverability, and touch to be a difference maker at the most important position from day one.

2. Houston Texans: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

The Houston Texans have a similar evaluation to do with Davis Mills, and it’s possible they are in the same boat as Atlanta next offseason. Let’s say that Mills improves enough to pass on a quarterback. The next best thing is to select Will Anderson.

Anderson had a fantastic 2021 season, flashing the explosiveness, power, and football IQ to dominate on the edge. His 31 tackles for a loss and 17.5 sacks might not get replicated in 2022, but he’ll wreak havoc on the SEC once again. His run defense and go-to move as a pass rusher will be a huge help to a defense lacking an elite front seven player.

3. Seattle Seahawks: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

This would be a wild scenario. The Geno Smith-Drew Lock competition feels like one that doesn’t produce a long-term winner. Lock might offer a glimmer of hope at some point, but it won’t be enough to get back to a Super Bowl contender.

The Seahawks get a near-perfect replacement for Russell Wilson in Bryce Young in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Young has the gamer gene in him to make plays off schedule, and the arm talent to push the ball vertically and make accurate throws on the run. If he continues to improve from the pocket, he’ll be another undersized superstar at the position.

4. Chicago Bears: Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

The Chicago Bears need to build around Justin Fields better, both on the offensive line and at receiver. They could go either direction at four in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, but instead take advantage of the top tier defensive line talent. Jalen Carter has shades of both Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt, and could be better in both aspects of the game than both of them.

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