9. Chicago Bears: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
The Chicago Bears have to find a way to protect Justin Fields and not let things get out of hand like they have in previous seasons. Peter Skoronski is a “secure the steering” type of prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. He has great technique, power, and athleticism to potentially thrive at tackle and definitely thrive at guard. Find a spot for him to get your best five out there to protect Fields and support a very good running game.
10. Minnesota Vikings (via PHI): C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Vikings send picks 23, 119, and a 2024 2nd to Eagles for pick 10
The. Shakeup. Of. The. Draft. Here come the Minnesota Vikings in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, making a major move up to stop the slide of Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud. We’ve seen Kwesi Adofo-Mensah make major trades before, and this one is up rather than down. Stroud is now the future for the Vikings, who will likely let Kirk Cousins go after 2023. Stroud’s precision passing profile can thrive in a Kevin O’Connell offense.
11. Atlanta Falcons (via TEN): Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
The Atlanta Falcons put special stickers next to prospects from Georgia, and the great news is one is available to select in the first round. Nolan Smith is a crafty edge rusher at 238 pounds. He can win with speed, power, twitch, hand swipes at contact, and can offer impressive help in the run game. His ability to drop and play off the ball can make for some diabolical packages on defense for Atlanta.
12. Houston Texans: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
The Houston Texans do miss out on the top four quarterbacks in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, but Trey Lance could be the solution. Instead of reaching here, why not make cornerback a true strength heading into 2023? Derek Stingley and Christian Gonzalez could be a truly elite duo. Gonzalez has the ball skills, hip fluidity, and coverage versatility to be a dominant cover corner in the NFL.