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2023 NFL mock draft: Final 2023 NFL Draft predictions, Rounds 1-3 projections

This is the day we’ve all been waiting for. Our final 2023 NFL mock draft won’t be anywhere close to accurate. That’s just the nature of the beast.

How could anyone realistically have a pulse on how all 32 NFL teams will operate when given literally hundreds of options to choose from? It’s truly impossible. But we can’t help but be drawn to the drama of draft day anyway.

Where will C.J. Stroud be drafted? Which team selects Anthony Richardson? When will Bijan Robinson be drafted? How many quarterbacks will be drafted in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft?

These are just a few of the burning questions on our minds as we inch closer to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stepping to the podium to announce the Carolina Panthers are on the clock. While the three-day draft event is unpredictable, it’s still fascinating to try and predict which teams will be aggressive, and which teams may try and trade up or down to gather more draft capital.

Maybe you’re curious who your favorite team picks, or maybe you’re like many other football fanatics and are just here for the drama. Regardless of your excuse for tuning into the NFL draft, we’re all here for the same reason.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft order

With all of that in mind, let’s dive into our updated 2023 NFL mock draft with projections for Rounds 1-3. Picks are made by Matt Johnson and Andrew Buller-Russ.

2023 NFL mock draft: Texans, Titans land quarterbacks

1. Carolina Panthers (via CHI): Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Alabama
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Young is the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. It’s a relatively easy decision for the Carolina Panthers, taking the most pro-ready passer whose intellect, leadership, and work ethic are off the charts. Young will play behind a vastly-improved offensive line with a great defense supporting him and one of the best coaching staffs a young quarterback could ask for. — Matt J

Related: Bryce Young scouting report

2. Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

NCAA Football: Peach Bowl-Ohio State at Georgia
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t believe the smoke. Draft day will be very telling for C.J. Stroud. The Texans have been forward with their plans to upgrade at the QB position this offseason, and Stroud represents the best option who can quickly lead a pro-style offense. Stroud may have some sudden concerns, but the Texans can’t pass up on one of the best gunslingers in the class. — Andrew BR

Related: C.J. Stroud scouting report

3. Tennessee Titans*: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

NFL: Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • TRADE: Tennessee Titans trade the 11th and 41st overall picks along with 2024 1st and 3rd to the Arizona Cardinals for the 3rd overall pick

The Tennessee Titans are out on Malik Willis, and the new front office clearly isn’t committed. Ran Carthon was part of the San Francisco 49ers’ front office when they made the big move for Trey Lance. This time around, it should cost significantly less for him to take his own gamble. Anthony Richardson is the most physically-gifted quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft, with glowing reviews for his work ethic, and he’s far more advanced with his post-snap reads than some think. There will be growing pains in his rookie season, but Richardson’s upside is MVP-caliber, and you need that to compete in a division with Trevor Lawrence. — Matt J

Related: Anthony Richardson scouting report

4. Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Syndication: The Courier-Journal
Jeff Faughender/Courier Journal and USA Today Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

What’s the alternative, rolling with Gardner Minshew or Sam Ehlinger? Yeah, Shane Steichen’s plucking a QB, and the top remaining option is Kentucky’s Will Levis. He has a big arm and plenty of mobility, if the Colts can surround him with more offensive talent from a pass-catching perspective, the sky’s the limit for Levis. — Andrew BR

Related: Will Levis scouting report

5. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN): Will Anderson Jr, EDGE, Alabama

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Alabama
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

With four quarterbacks coming off the board to begin the 2023 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks get to choose from the top defensive prospects. Jalen Carter is No.1 in our prospect rankings, but Seattle might prefer the player who doesn’t have red flags tied to his work ethic. Will Anderson Jr is the best edge defender in this class, grading as a strong run defender and an excellent pass rusher. He’ll fit perfectly on Seattle’s defense, likely earning multiple Pro Bowl selections during his career and helping the Seahawks have a more well-rounded defense. — Matt J

6. Detroit Lions (via LAR): Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

NCAA Football: SEC Football Championship-Louisiana State vs Georgia
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Carter, if it weren’t for quarterbacks and some off-field and work ethic concerns, would garner legitimate interest to be the No. 1 overall pick. But the Detroit Lions are trying to build a competitor, and they can’t afford not to take possibly the most talented defender in the class. Carter has game-wrecking potential. Paired with Aidan Hutchinson, the Lions could form one of the NFL’s best young, dynamic defensive line duos. — Andrew BR

Related: NFL reporter offers insight into Jalen Carter’s draft stock amid off-field concerns

7. Las Vegas Raiders: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

NCAA Football: Illinois at Minnesota
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Based on NFL Draft rumors, the Las Vegas Raiders are very unlikely to trade up for a quarterback if Stroud and Young are off the board. With the top quarterbacks gone in our final 2023 NFL mock draft, general manager Dave Ziegler turns to the defensive side. Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon can shut down No. 1 receivers, with the NFL comparisons to Jaire Alexander offering a glimpse into his potential. Not only does Witherspoon fill a huge void in a bad Raiders’. defense, he’ll likely come with a glowing endorsement from Josh McDaniels’ former colleague Bret Bielema and that will hold weight. — Matt J

Related: Las Vegas Raiders extremely high on Hendon Hooker, trade up possible

8. Atlanta Falcons: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Texas Christian at Georgia
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While we don’t know whether the Falcons have their QB1 yet, Desmond Ridder will get his chance to prove himself. There’s some thought to getting the young QB another weapon, but Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and a top-notch running game give Ridder a fighting chance. Instead, we’re looking at boosting the pass rush of a defense that ranked 23rd in scoring. Nobody on the Falcons had more than six sacks a year ago. That needs to change. Nolan Smith is an athletic freak who’s equally good as a pass rusher as he is in run defense. — Andrew BR

9. Chicago Bears (via CAR): Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern

NFL: Combine
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears can go in a number of directions here, especially along the offensive line. If they want a pure left tackle, Paris Johnson Jr. is an excellent fit. However, the Bears are extremely familiar with Peter Skoronski and his versatility could allow him to solve one of many needs on the offensive line. Familiarity and versatility make the difference here. — Matt J

Related: NFL offense rankings

10. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO): Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

NFL: Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One could argue that the Eagles don’t have a singular pressing need that prevents them from competing for the division title again. But Howie Roseman is always thinking two steps ahead. James Bradberry and Darius Slay are getting up there in age, and landing the next CB1 of the future is never a bad move. Gonzalez is big, fast, and has good enough feet to stick with any athlete at the next level. — Andrew BR

2023 NFL Draft predictions: Seahawks land WR, Jets take OT

11. Arizona Cardinals*: Paris Johnson Jr, OT, Ohio State

  • TRADE: Arizona Cardinals trade the 3rd overall pick to the Tennessee Titans for the 11th and 41st overall picks along with 2024 1st and 3rd

It’s the dream scenario for the Arizona Cardinals. They move out of the top-10 slots, acquiring the 41st overall pick and a 2024 first-round pick from a likely last-place team in the AFC South. Paris Johnson Jr is the best pure offensive tackle in the 2023 NFL Draft and he’ll be an anchor on the left side for a decade-plus. — Matt J

Related: 2024 NFL Draft picks by team

12. Houston Texans (via CLE): Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

The Texans didn’t flinch when it came to selecting Stroud, so why would they turn down the opportunity to pair the former Ohio State QB with one of his best weapons from the Buckeyes? Whether the Texans grab a QB or not, they need to bring in pass-catching talent, and Smith-Njigba is one of the most complete receivers in the class. It’s that simple. — Andrew BR

Related: Bold predictions for the 2023 NFL Draft

13. Green Bay Packers (via NYJ): Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

This would be a dream scenario for the Green Bay Packers. Tyree Wilson offers a much higher upside than Will Anderson Jr, in large parts thanks to his elite athleticism and length. While the former Texas Tech star wasn’t always consistent, his production is actually impressive for a prospect who needs to develop pass-rush moves and improve his get-off. Wilson is a top-10 talent in the 2023 class. — Matt J

Related: Winners, losers from Green Bay Packers-New York Jets trade

14. New England Patriots: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

If the Patriots don’t use this pick to help turn around their offense, adding a partner in crime for Matthew Judon and Josh Uche in the pass rush department would be wise. Myles Murphy’s traits are off the charts. Had he been more consistent, we might be talking about a top-five pick. Murphy can continue developing a better attack plan under coach Belichick, but for now, he’s a rotational lineman with excellent upside. — Andrew BR

Related: Ranking the greatest undrafted players in NFL history

15. New York Jets (via GB): Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

The New York Jets finally landed Aaron Rodgers, now they have to protect the 39-year-old quarterback. It’s beyond evident that Rodgers’ athleticism is evaporating quickly. The Jets have to put the best in front of Rodgers and Broderick Jones is a pro-ready right tackle whose ceiling on the left side long-term is excellent. — Matt J

Related: NFL executives blast New York Jets for overpaying in Aaron Rodgers trade

16. Washington Commanders: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

If the Commanders are serious about rolling with their current QB depth chart, well Sam Howell‘s going to need more help. Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson are playmaking receivers, but adding a third weapon who can win in the red zone is a must. Michael Mayer is the most complete tight end in the class, and would provide an immediate boost to this offense. — Andrew BR

Related: Washington Commanders could load up on 2024 draft capital to target D.C. native Caleb Williams

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

The Pittsburgh Steelers could go cornerback, but it’s far more important to protect the franchise quarterback. While Oklahoma offensive tackle Anthony Harrison isn’t the cleanest prospect, in terms of technique, he took a pre-draft visit with Pittsburgh and would be a long-term upgrade on the left side.— Matt J

18. Detroit Lions: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Sure, the Lions added Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley in free agency, but they lost their potential CB1 of the future by trading Jeff Okudah, who fell well short of expectations. Now the Lions need to find their next top corner capable of striking fear into their opponents. Porter Jr. is excellent in press coverage and comes with a natural football IQ that should help him become a playmaker at the next level. — Andrew BR

Related: NFL teams that have never won a Super Bowl

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

NFL scouts have highlighted the red flags with Darnell Wright and they are significant. However, he stood out when matched up with Will Anderson Jr and later the Georgia Bulldogs offensive line. It speaks volumes about his potential as a pass blocker and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive line was a disaster last season. — Matt J

Related: Biggest NFL Draft busts ever

20. Seattle Seahawks: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

If the Seahawks hadn’t hit on Tariq Woolen in the fifth round last year, their cornerback situation would be a full-on crisis. Deonte Banks is another absolute freak who can run and jump with even the best receivers in the NFL. Suddenly with Will Anderson and Banks, the Seahawks would have a massive influx of talent to their defense. — Andrew BR

Related: Predicting NFL playoff bracket and Super Bowl 2024 winner

NFL mock draft 2023: Chargers, Ravens, Vikings transform offenses

21. Los Angeles Chargers: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

The Los Angeles Chargers take a top-five talent 21st overall, ignoring positional value and creating one of the best offenses in football. Bijan Robinson is an All-Pro talent, a player who won’t only create a dominant rushing attack but also provide another pass-catching weapon. Los Angeles can make it work with Austin Ekeler in 2023, too, making this the best 1-2 punch at running back in the NFL. — Matt J

Related: Bijan Robinson scouting report

22. Baltimore Ravens: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Odell Beckham Jr. is a great signing, but it does nothing for 2024. The Ravens still need to add to their group of pass-catchers. Who better for Jordan Addison to learn from than another 5-foot-11 receiver like OBJ? Addison’s not the biggest, but he’s a top-notch route runner who won’t struggle to create separation.— Andrew BR

Related: Jordan Addison draft profile: Scouting report, 40 time and NFL projection

23. Minnesota Vikings: Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee

The Minnesota Vikings have done extensive work on the 2023 quarterback class, with Hendon Hooker among their favorites. He’ll need to sit out a majority of the upcoming season, the result of an ACL tear in November. With that said, he brings a level of arm strength, athleticism, and intangibles that can make him the Vikings’ quarterback of the future. — Matt J

Related: NFL teams ‘blown away’ by Hendon Hooker

24. Jacksonville Jaguars: O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida

With Trevor Lawrence locked in as the franchise cornerstone, the Jaguars need to beef up the trenches. At 6-foot-5, 330 pounds, O’Cyrus Torrence fits the bill. He’s a Day One starter who will immediately push the pile in the ground game and won’t be moved off his spot as a pass protector either. — Andrew BR

Related: NFL QB Rankings: Examining the top-20 quarterbacks in the NFL today

25. Kansas City Chiefs*: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

  • TRADE: Kansas City Chiefs trade 31st overall pick and 95th overall pick to the New York Giants for the 25th overall pick

The Kansas City Chiefs certainly don’t have to trade up, they aren’t in a desperate position. However, the front office realizes Travis Kelce is closer to retirement and they must find explosive playmakers for Patrick Mahomes. Quentin Johnston is an excellent fit in the offense and if he hits his ceiling, Kansas City has a standout No. 1 receiver. — Matt J

Related: Kansas City Chiefs mock draft 2023

26. Dallas Cowboys: Calijah Kancey, DL, Pittsburgh

While the Cowboys already finished with the fourth-most sacks in the NFL a season ago, they don’t have an interior menace like Calijah Kancey. Pairing Kancey with Micah Parsons would simply be unfair. If Kancey can be effective from the interior, with Parsons dominant off the edge, Trevon Diggs can continue benefiting from QBs making mistakes under pressure. — Andrew BR

Related: Super Bowl odds: Every team’s championship futures for 2023 NFL season

27. Buffalo Bills: Brian Branch, DB, Alabama

There was a temptation to give the Buffalo Bills an offensive weapon or lineman, committing to more help for Josh Allen. In this scenario, though, Buffalo goes with the best player available. Brian Branch is one of the most versatile defensive backs in the 2023 NFL Draft, he can play safety or nickel in Buffalo’s defense and that’s an important chess piece for Sean McDermott. — Matt J

28. Cincinnati Bengals: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa

The Bengals need more help at the cornerback position, but finding a way to generate more pressure can be just as impactful for this defense. Van Ness has double-digit sack potential, but he may not be ready to play all three downs. With Sam Hubbard still penciled in as the starter, Van Ness will have time to grow into more than just a sack specialist. — Andrew BR

Related: NFL MVP odds 2023-24: Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow lead the pack

29. New Orleans Saints (via SF): Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State

Cameron Jordan is in the final year of his contract, Marcus Davenport is gone and Payton Turner hasn’t lived up to his draft status. It leaves the New Orleans Saints in a spot where they need pass-rushing help now and especially in the future. Will McDonald is an excellent athlete and while he needs to both build muscle mass and improve his technique, the 6-foot-4 edge rusher can develop nicely as a situational pass rusher and eventually become a starter. — Matt J

Related: NFL stadium rankings

30. Philadelphia Eagles: Adetomiwa Adebawore, EDGE, Northwestern

We’ve seen how well the Eagles rotate their defensive linemen, but one of their staples, Brandon Graham, is getting long in the tooth. This pick is all about upside. Adebawore could be one of the most explosive pass-rushers in football, thanks to his quickness. With Josh Sweat and Derek Barnett on board, too, Adebawore will have a great group of mentors to learn from. — Andrew BR

Related: Philadelphia Eagles GM ‘absolutely loves’ Adetomiwa Adebawore in 2023 NFL Draft

31. New York Giants*: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

  • TRADE: New York Giants trade 25th overall pick to the Kansas City Chiefs for the 31st and 95th overall picks

After trading down and picking up a top-100 pick, the New York Giants still inject more juice into their offense. Zay Flowers doesn’t offer the prototypical height (5-foot-9), but he’s a clean route runner and lightning-quick on the field. Considering the Giants don’t take a lot of vertical shots, having another moveable weapon like Flowers can help Daniel Jones take another step forward as a quarterback.

— Matt J

2023 NFL mock draft: Day 2 projections

Following the conclusion of Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft, Sportsnaut will release an NFL mock draft for Day 2 on Thursday night.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft picks by team

NFL mock draft: Round 2

  • 32. Pittsburgh Steelers (via CHI): Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
  • 33. Houston Texans: John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
  • 34. Arizona Cardinals: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
  • 35. Indianapolis Colts: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
  • 36. Los Angeles Rams: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State
  • 37. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN): Steve Avila, iOL, TCU
  • 38. Las Vegas Raiders: DJ Turner, CB, Michigan
  • 39. Carolina Panthers: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
  • 40. New Orleans Saints: Luke Wypler, C, Ohio State
  • 41. Arizona Cardinals (via TEN)*: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson
  • 42. Green Bay Packers (via NYJ: Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
  • 43. New York Jets: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
  • 44. Atlanta Falcons: Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
  • 45. Green Bay Packers: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
  • 46. New England Patriots: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
  • 47. Washington Commanders: Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami (FL)
  • 48. Detroit Lions: Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee
  • 49. Pittsburgh Steelers: Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas
  • 50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mazi Smith, DL, Michigan
  • 51. Miami Dolphins: Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
  • 52. Seattle Seahawks: Keion White, EDGE, Georgia Tech
  • 53. Chicago Bears (via BAL): Cody Mauch, OT, North Dakota State
  • 54. Los Angeles Chargers: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
  • 55. Detroit Lions (via MIN): Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
  • 56. Jacksonville Jaguars: BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
  • 57. New York Giants: Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
  • 58. Dallas Cowboys: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
  • 59. Buffalo Bills: Keeanu Benton, DL, Wisconsin
  • 60. Cincinnati Bengals: Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
  • 61. Chicago Bears (via SF):Tuli Tuipulotu, EDGE, USC
  • 62. Philadelphia Eagles: Nathaniel Dell, WR, Houston
  • 63. Kansas City Chiefs: Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse

The Miami Dolphins forfeited their first-round pick due to tampering violations.

NFL mock draft 2023: Round 3

  • 64. Chicago Bears: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
  • 65. Houston Texans: Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M
  • 66. Arizona Cardinals: Julius Brentz, CB, Kansas State
  • 67. Denver Broncos (via IND): Joe Tippman, C, Wisconsin
  • 68. Denver Broncos: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU
  • 69. Los Angeles Rams: Daiyan Henley, LB, Washington State
  • 70. Las Vegas Raiders: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
  • 71. New Orleans Saints: Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina
  • 72, Tennessee Titans: Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
  • 73. Houston Texans (via CLE): Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
  • 74. Cleveland Browns (via NYJ): Sydney Brown, S, Illinois
  • 75. Atlanta Falcons: Michael Wilson, WR, Stanford
  • 76. New England Patriots (via CAR): Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford
  • 77. Los Angeles Rams (via NE): Nick Herbig, LB/EDGE, Wisconsin
  • 78 Green Bay Packers: Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss
  • 79. Indianapolis Colts (via WAS): Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
  • 80. Pittsburgh Steelers: Derick Hall, EDGE, Auburn
  • 81. Detroit Lions: Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane
  • 82. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State
  • 83. Seattle Seahawks: Anthony Johnson Jr, S, Iowa State
  • 84. Miami Dolphins: Chandler Zavala, OL, North Carolina State
  • 85. Los Angeles Chargers: DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas
  • 86. Baltimore Ravens: Cory Trice, CB, Purdue
  • 87. Minnesota Vikings: Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse
  • 88. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jartavius Martin, CB, Illinois
  • 89. New York Giants: A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest
  • 90. Dallas Cowboys: Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn
  • 91. Buffalo Bills: Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati
  • 92. Cincinnati Bengals: Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan
  • 93. Carolina Panthers (via SF): Byron Young, EDGE, Tennessee
  • 94. Philadelphia Eagles: Kobie Turner, DL, Wake Forest
  • 95. New York Giants (via KC)*: Dorian. Wiliams, LB, Tulane
  • 96. Arizona Cardinals: Karl Brooks, EDGE, Bowling Green
  • 97. Washington Commanders: Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas
  • 98. Cleveland Browns: Siaki Ika, DL, Baylor
  • 99. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Saldiveri, OT, Old Dominion
  • 100. Las Vegas Raiders: Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
  • 101. San Francisco 49ers: Riley Moss, CB, Iowa
  • 102. San Francisco 49ers: Jammie Robinson, S, Florida State

Related: Highest paid NFL players in 2023: NFL salaries by position, highest-paid NFL stars