The 2022 college football season is nearly at its end. With only bowl games and the College Football Playoff remaining, many fans have started gearing their attention toward the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft and mock draft articles.
Top prospects like CJ Stroud, Jalen Carter, and Quentin Johnston will be given a spotlight on the national scene as they play in front of new eyes in the CFP. This will also give NFL Draft scouts the chance to see what each guy looks like on the biggest stage. Others like Bryce Young, Myles Murphy, and Jordan Addison fell short of the playoffs and will miss the added exposure.
The pre-draft process has become almost as important as the tape, depending on who you ask. NFL teams getting the chance to work with these prospects at the Scouting Combine/Pro Days/All-Star Bowls is where they find out who these guys really are.
2023 NFL Draft: 3 QBs Go Top 5, Eagles Make A Trade, And Chiefs Take Surprise Player In Latest Mock Draft
The Senior Bowl is a week-long event that has bred stars every NFL Draft. It has gained even more popularity over the past decade, with several top prospects relishing the opportunity to put their talent on display against the best seniors in the country.
The NFL Draft Scouting Combine is less traditional, as the players run specific drills and workouts rather than play in a true practice setting. The Combine remains in Indianapolis in 2023, the same place it has resided since 1987.
This year’s class features some freaky athletes that should dazzle talent evaluators. The batch of quarterbacks and the fact that two generational defenders are in the 2023 NFL Draft makes for some exciting possibilities. Additionally, a few franchises own multiple first-round picks, which could result in some spectacular draft-day hauls.
The NFL Draft order in this article is determined by Tankathon and does not include the Monday Night Football result. With that being said, let’s get this mock draft started!
1. Houston Texans – Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
The Houston Texans still need to address other areas of the roster, but at No. 1 overall and lacking a signal-caller for the 2023 season, the pick is Alabama’s, Bryce Young. The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner carried the Crimson Tide more than any other quarterback has during the Nick Saban Era but will leave campus without a National Championship (as a starter).
Young is undersized, and that cannot be entirely ignored, but his ability to create with his legs and strong arm more than makes up for it. Similar to Kyler Murray, the offense will need to be tailored around Bryce Young to maximize his potential. They already have a strong foundation with Dameon Pierce, Nico Collins, and an ascending offensive line.
2. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN) – Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia
The Seattle Seahawks might be tempted to take a quarterback at No. 2 overall in this mock draft, but Jalen Carter would actually fill a much bigger need for the team. The Seahawks have some difference-makers in the secondary, but one glaring weakness of the defense is its inability to stop the run and generate pressure from the interior.
Well, Jalen Carter can do both of those at an All-Pro level from day one. Carter was the best player on the National Championship-winning Georgia Bulldogs last year and has the program positioned to win another in a month’s time. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound wrecking ball could be the guy to take the torch from Aaron Donald as the NFL’s premier interior lineman. He is that good.
3. Chicago Bears – Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
Will Anderson is the top player on my current 2023 NFL Draft Big Board, so getting him with the third overall pick would be categorized as a steal in my book. The Chicago Bears seemingly have found something with Justin Fields as a runner, and he has even shown glimpses of being an above-average passer in 2022.
Offensive line is the biggest need on the offense and should be prioritized this offseason, but no prospect on the offensive line grades close to Will Anderson. It helps that the Bears lack a consistent pass rusher after trading away Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn in the past year. Head coach Matt Eberflus gets a blue-chip prospect to build his defense around at No. 3 in the mock draft.
4. Detroit Lions (via LAR) – CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Don’t look now but the Detroit Lions are the hottest team in the NFL. Dan Campbell and Co. have won six of their last seven games, putting them firmly in playoff discussions. Thanks to the Matthew Stafford trade, the Lions will likely still have a top-five selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Jared Goff has shown an ability to win football games, but he is not the guy for the future. Instead, Detroit has Ohio State QB CJ Stroud fall right in their lap. Stroud is a precision passer that thrives inside of a clean pocket. Lucky for him, the Lions boast one of the best lines in the league and an arsenal of weapons that would make any quarterback jealous.