16. Washington Commanders – Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
The drop finally ends for Will Levis. Seemingly every season, at least one quarterback falls farther than expected. In this mock draft, Levis drew the short stick.
As an NFL prospect, Levis has room to grow, but the upside is clear to see. The Commanders have floated the idea of starting Sam Howell, but if the Kentucky signal-caller is still available at No. 16, River Boat Ron should take the shot.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
Perhaps the most impressive performer at the NFL Combine was Georgia’s, Nolan Smith. Smith ran faster than most players in attendance — regardless of position. He meshes perfectly with TJ Watt and could form the most fearsome pass-rushing duo in the league.
18. Detroit Lions – Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
The Lions started fixing the defense earlier in the mock draft; now it is time for a building block in the middle. Alim McNeill is an above-average nose tackle, and drafting Bryan Bresee will make life easier for everyone. The Clemson star creates pressure from the interior and takes attention away from the edge rushers, freeing them up for more sacks and pressures.
19. Tampa Bay Bucs – Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
The Bucs released starting left tackle Donovan Smith this week, opening up a gargantuan hole on the left side of the offensive line. Broderick Jones is raw, but he is capable of starting as a rookie. He’s an elite run blocker and still ascending in pass protection.
20. Seattle Seahawks – Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern
I’ve said a few times that “so and so” had arguably the best NFL Combine performance, but for my money, nobody changed their narrative more than Adetomiwa Adebawore. The Northwestern defender ran a sub-4.5 40-yard dash at 280+ pounds.
Even Albert Einstein would say that feat is physically impossible. Adebawore’s best football is still ahead, and he has “Seattle Seahawks” written all over him. Pete Carroll continues assembling the Legion of Boom Part Two by adding a player that can collapse pockets regularly.
21. Los Angeles Chargers – Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
While Jaxon Smith-Njigba is not the blazer that Chargers fans are pining for, he is a terrific fit nonetheless. A player as agile as JSN will continue creating after the catch in the NFL and is the optimal replacement for Keenan Allen — whether that is in 2023 or beyond. One of my favorite prospect-team pairings in this mock draft.
22. Baltimore Ravens – Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
Lamar Jackson’s future with Baltimore is in question, but regardless of who plays quarterback in 2023, another receiver is required. Quentin Johnston is a big play specialist that can win downfield and with the ball in his hands. Johnston-Bateman-Andrews makes for a tantalizing trio of pass catchers.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
The Vikings have Andrew Booth Jr. and Cameron Dantzler, but Minnesota cannot keep counting on Patrick Peterson to beat Father Time. Emmanuel Forbes boasts the best ball skills in the class and possesses the moxie necessary to hold up on an island. He is an immediate shot in the arm to the secondary.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars – Brian Branch, DB, Alabama
The Jaguars might look to the offensive line here, but with Brian Branch making it to No. 24 in this mock draft, the front office should waste little time sending in the card. Branch is an elite slot defender and displays the range to play deep as a safety.