9. CHI-Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern
After moving the first pick of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft for numerous top picks and a dynamic wide receiver, the Chicago Bears have a ton of options. They could trade down once more and acquire even more draft capital. Or, the could select a versatile offensive lineman who is as solid as they come, in Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski.
Bears general manager Ryan Poles was an offensive lineman himself, so watching his young quarterback, Justin Fields run for his life last year should have been incredibly worrisome. The team must protect their star quarterback, and even if they get a big-name left tackle like Orlando Brown Jr. in free agency, Skoronski can bump inside with the potential to be an All-Pro guard.
10. PHI-Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
The Philadelphia Eagles have so many impending free agents that it will be hard to pinpoint a position they are most likely to target early on in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Right now, with James Bradberry likely to move on and rumors swirling about Darius Slay’s future with the team, cornerback seems to be the best bet.
Christian Gonzalez is an athletic phenomenon, testing very well at the Combine and popping off the tape. He excels in zone coverage and making plays against the run, but has the length and physicality to hold up in man coverage as well. He is truly a top player in this draft and addresses what appears to be a huge need for the Eagles if they want to stay atop the NFC.
11. TEN-Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
After releasing veteran left tackle Taylor Lewan, the position is a truly glaring need for the Tennessee Titans. Lucky for them, at pick 11 in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, they have the chance to draft, potentially, the best left tackle in the class.
Paris Johnson Jr. is about as solid as they come. He did a phenomenal job of protecting C.J. Stroud’s blindside at Ohio State, and has the size and strength to dominate in the man run game that the Titans have utilized with great success with Derrick Henry.
The Titans appear to be in a pretty clear rebuild, so who knows what the future hold for Tennessee, but one piece every team needs in the NFL is a solid left tackle, and Johnson provides them that piece to build around.
12. HOU-Lukas Van Ness, DL, Iowa
This was the first pick of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft that I truly struggled with. After getting their quarterback, the Houston Texans could literally go in any direction at this point. With needs littered throughout their roster, Houston can truly take the best player available.
With his ascension up draft boards, many believe that could be Iowa defensive lineman, Lukas Van Ness. Van Ness is a physically dominant player, who thrives on the edge and can also be a force inside. With his size, strength and athleticism, he truly has the upside to fill the Nick Bosa role in DeMeco Ryans defense.