17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
Should the Pittsburgh Steelers attack offensive tackle here? Absolutely, but defense feels more likely in the first round for them. Even with the top four corners off the board, the Steelers go that direction in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Cam Smith tested well in Indy at the combine, and his 2021 film shows a player with skills in man an zone and the ball production to boot. Smith can form a great duo with Patrick Peterson and learn a ton from him.
18. Detroit Lions: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
After landing Carter with their first pick in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, the Detroit Lions again go to the defensive line well. Hutchinson is their rush end, and Lukas Van Ness has the power to become their edge setter. He’s got work to do as a pass rusher, as his plan is extremely limited. Technique must improve, but his immense upside is worth it.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
It’s an easy pick for the Buccaneers in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Todd Bowles loves having edge rushers to get creative with his fronts, and Nolan Smith can win around the arc and win with power at 238 pounds. He has high character marks and could maybe even make the move to off-ball linebacker, as the Bucs have a need there too.
20. New England Patriots (via SEA): Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
After losing out on Porter, who would’ve been a phenomenal fit, and the top three tackles, the Patriots do what they do best and move down in the draft. It works out very well, and the Pats get capital and land Darnell Wright here. Wright is a phenomenal pass protector, with the ability to anchor, mirror, and reset his hands to maintain leverage. Let the Patriots work on his skills as a run blocker and trust that he’ll keep whoever plays QB clean.