2023 NFL Draft: Texans Land Bryce Young, Seahawks Stack Defensive Line In Updated Mock Draft

Sep 24, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) leaves the field after defeating the Vanderbilt Commodores at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama won 55-3. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young (9) leaves the field after defeating the Vanderbilt Commodores at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama won 55-3. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /
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NFL Draft: Mock Draft No. 5 Pick Peter Skoronski
Oct 22, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Northwestern Wildcats offensive lineman Peter Skoronski (77) prepares to block against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

5. Pittsburgh Steelers – Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in an interesting position. They drafted Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and while he has not played well as a rookie, few believe the franchise will move off of him this coming offseason. Instead, in our updated mock draft, general manager Omar Kahn adds to an already strong roster.

Kelee Ringo or Joey Porter Jr. makes sense, given the massive need at cornerback, but if the team wants to maximize Pickett’s potential behind center, improving the offensive line is the way to do it. The young group is ascending but adding a player like Peter Skoronski could be the final piece of the puzzle to a respectable run game and improved pass protection.

Skoronski is a star for the Northwestern Wildcats. Much like his former teammate Rashawn Slater, Skoronski grades highly in every facet of being an offensive tackle — except arm length. The length matters when it comes to the average OT NFL Draft prospect, but Skoronski’s motor, play strength, and deceptive agility more than make up for less-than-ideal measurables. He boasts the potential to be a top-10 left tackle in the NFL.

6. Carolina Panthers – Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Will Levis has become the most polarizing quarterback of this NFL Draft cycle. He is the antithesis of Bryce Young. Unlike Young, Levis possesses picturesque size at quarterback. He is built to see over the offensive line and to be able to plow through tacklers as a runner. Additionally, Levis’ right arm looks like a bazooka when he launches a deep ball.

The cause for concern comes from a lack of consistency with his form and a tendency to make poor decisions. Levis is a smart guy, a fact highlighted by how proficiently he runs such an advanced offensive scheme. That being said, when he is forced to make plays out of structure, the mistakes begin piling up.

The Carolina Panthers need a steady hand at quarterback. Will Levis will remind fans of Cam Newton with his physical package. An intriguing option for the Panthers would be signing Liam Coen as their next head coach and reuniting him with Will Levis in Carolina. The two made magic together with Kentucky in 2021; maybe they can replicate that on Sundays if this mock draft comes to fruition.

7. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO) – Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

The Philadelphia Eagles are the third team in seven selections to be on the clock with a pick other than their own. It is honestly absurd. Thanks to a trade with the New Orleans Saints before the 2022 NFL Draft, the Eagles own New Orleans’ first-round pick outright in 2023. More than that, they also lay claim to a second-rounder from the Saints in 2024. You know what they say about the rich getting richer.

So, how should one of the best rosters approach a top-seven pick? Easy: take the best player available. Lucky for the Eagles, the best player available might actually be their biggest need on the roster. Darius Slay and James Bradberry form a strong duo at cornerback, but neither guy is getting any younger, and Bradberry is slated for free agency following the 2022 season.

Adding Georgia’s Kelee Ringo in this mock draft provides a short-term replacement for Bradberry, while also giving the Eagles a Slay successor. Ringo’s physical brand of football will mesh perfectly with Philly, and he will have a chance to rejoin former Georgia teammates Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean for the foreseeable future. This pairing makes too much sense not to happen.

8. Arizona Cardinals – Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

I can hear an argument for the front seven here, but the Arizona Cardinals have to put Kyler Murray in a better position to succeed. Sure, Murray is not perfect, but the situation he has been in since entering the league is a mess — to say the least.

To the front office’s credit, the pass-catcher group in Arizona is stacked. The problem is, the Cardinals do not give Murray enough time to find those pass-catchers. Additionally, the team fails to consistently establish the run game. Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. can help in both facets.

Johnson Jr. is playing the best football of his life after moving over to left tackle. He moves as well as anyone in this offensive line class, showing an ability to get to the second level as a run blocker and to anchor in as a pass protector. Johnson Jr. is still scratching the surface of the player he could be; protecting Kyler Murray’s blindside will make him a star.