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2023 NFL mock draft: Trades shake up post-Super Bowl NFL Draft projections

2023 NFL mock draft

The NFL season is coming to a close and with fans and all 32 teams focused on the offseason, it’s time for a 2023 NFL mock draft. The 2023 NFL Draft order is ready, setting the stage for a fascinating time of year full of trades, rumors and so much more.

Who will be the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft? Alabam quarterback Bryce Young seems like the favorite if the Chicago Bears trade the No. 1 pick, but it will be a defensive player if they stand pat. Beyond Chicago, there are endless possibilities for what could happen on draft night.

Let’s dive into our latest 2023 NFL mock draft, now featuring multiple trades.

2023 NFL mock draft: Quarterback trades bring big changes

1. Houston Texans*: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

NCAA Football: Austin Peay at Alabama
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
  • TRADE: Houston Texans trade the 2nd overall pick, 65th overall pick and a 2024 2nd to the Chicago Bears for 1st overall pick

The Houston Texans and Chicago Bears are perfect trade partners. Chicago wants to collect draft capital to build out its roster, all while staying in a position to draft one of the top defensive prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. This deal makes everyone happy. Bryce Young‘s size is a legitimate concern, but everything else about his game screams franchise quarterback. The Texans need a veteran-like presence running the offense and Young fits the bill.

Related: Houston Texans mock draft 2023

2. Chicago Bears*: Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Texas Christian at Georgia
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
  • TRADE: Chicago Bears trade the 1st pick for the 2nd pick, 65th pick and a 2024 2nd

The Chicago Bears could push Houston to include its 2023 second-round pick, but the 2024 NFL Draft class seems a lot more talent-rich than this class. After moving down one spot, the bears draft a 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive tackle who is a destructive force in the trenches. Not only will Jalen Carter shore up the middle of Chicago’s run defense, he will also help create much-needed interior penetration for a woeful pass rush. – MJ

Related: Chicago Bears mock draft 2023

3. Las Vegas Raiders*: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • TRADE: Las Vegas Raiders trade 7th, 70th overall picks and 2024 1st and 3rd round picks to Arizona Cardinals for 3rd overall pick

Trading for Aaron Rodgers is a short-term fix for a long-term problem. If the Las Vegas Raiders want stability at quarterback for years to come, C.J. Stroud is the answer. He can thrive in Josh McDaniels’ offense, especially with the weapons in place. He’ll start in Week 1 and challenge for Offensive Rookie of the Year. – MJ

4. Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Syndication: The Courier-Journal
Matt Stone/Louisville Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

When jobs are at stake, chances are taken. Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard must roll the dice on a quarterback and Will Levis’ physical tools are enticing. There are massive risks, given his inconsistent production in 2022 and fundamental issues that will diminish his immediate contributions. However, Levis’s upside is absurd and Ballard can’t pass him up. – MJ

Related: Indianapolis Colts mock draft 2023

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

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Albert Cesare / The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The dream scenario unfolds for the Seattle Seahawks in our 2023 NFL mock draft. Three quarterbacks coming off the board push Will Anderson Jr. into Seattle’s lap. One of the biggest issues with the Seahawks’ defense in 2022 was their pass rush. Anderson Jr. racked up 207 pressures in three seasons at Alabama (PFF) and he’d be a difference-maker in Seattle. – MJ

6. Detroit Lions (via LAR): Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

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Myles Murphy is one of the most athletic and productive (76 pressures since 2021) prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Detroit Lions will have a lot of options at No. 6 overall, but Murphy’s physical tools and repertoire of skills can blossom with the help of the Lions’ coaching staff. Put him on the same line as Aidan Hutchinson and you could have a top-15 defense in 2023. – MJ

7. Arizona Cardinals*: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days
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  • TRADE: Arizona Cardinals trade 3rd overall pick to Las Vegas Raiders for 7th, 70th overall picks and 2024 1st and 3rd round picks

If the Arizona Cardinals aren’t contending in 2023, because of the Kyler Murray injury, they might as well start building for 2024. Trading back a few spots provides Arizona with a 2024 first-round pick. Making this NFL mock draft scenario even better, Tyree Wilson (50 pressures in 2022) is 6-foot-6 with a massive wingspan, a prospect who can be molded into a great pass rusher. – MJ

8. Atlanta Falcons: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Maryland
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After watching the top edge rushers come off the board, the Atlanta Falcons fortify their offensive line. Peter Skorosnki’s shorter arms might add some risk to starting him at left tackle, but he would be an immediate starter at left guard and he’d make a positive impact immediately. – MJ

Related: NFL salary cap tracker 2023

9. Carolina Panthers: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Syndication: USA TODAY

The Carolina Panthers are an ideal landing spot for Anthony Richardson. He won’t be ready to start in 2023, but it’s hard to imagine a better teacher for him as a rookie than Frank Reich. Carolina can let him develop next season, using a bridge quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo or Jacoby Brissett to provide stability for the offense. If this works out, Richardson will be the best quarterback from the 2023 NFL Draft because his raw skills are off the charts. – MJ

10. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO): Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

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

The Philadelphia Eagles defense is staring down the likelihood of losing several impact players in free agency. If James Bradberry is leaving, Philadelphia can replace him with the best cornerback prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. Devon Witherspoon allowed just 22 catches on 63 targets thrown his way (PFF) and his tenacity at the position makes him a natural fit in Philadelphia. – MJ

NFL mock draft 2023: Defenders, receivers fly off the board

11. Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson Jr, OT, Ohio State

The Tennessee Titans need to start rebuilding their offense and the best way to take the first step, when a quarterback isn’t available, is by adding a left tackle. With Taylor Lewan headed out the door, the Titans replace him with a standout in pass protection, who will address a weakness that hampered this unit for two years. – MJ

Related: NFL stadium rankings

12. Houston Texans (via CLE): Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

After pushing the top pass-catcher to Houston in previous editions of our 2023 NFL mock draft, it’s now about taking the best player available. Bryan Breseee is a top-10 prospect with the potential to be one of the five best players from this draft class. Look at what made DeMeco Ryans’ defense successful, winning in the trenches. – MJ

13. Green Bay Packers*: Brian Branch, S, Alabama

  • TRADE: Green Bay Packers trade Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets for 13th overall pick, conditional 2025 third-round pick

It’s arguably the biggest trade of our 2023 NFL mock draft, with Aaron Rodgers headed to the New York Jets. The conditional third-round pick becomes a second if Rodgers commits to playing in 2024 and the Jets make the playoffs. As for Green Bay’s side of the deal, Brian Branch is easily the best safety in the 2023 NFL Draft, providing the Packers’ secondary with an eraser who can take away big plays and feels comfortable making stops short of the sticks. – MJ

Related: 2023 NFL Draft rumors

14. New England Patriots: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

The New England Patriots could go in a number of directions, but grabbing a No.1 cornerback seems like the type of move for Bill Belichick. Christian Gonzalez brings the prototypical size (6-foot-2), athleticism and instincts for the position. Coming off a breakout season, he could thrive as a rookie in the Patriots’ scheme with Belichick coaching him up. – MJ

Related: Best tight ends of all time

15. Green Bay Packers: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

The Green Bay Packers have their 1-2 receiver duo with Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, but more is needed. While Michael Mayer might not be an elite athlete like the All-Pro tight ends of today, the stylistic comparisons to Jason Witten hint at the impact he would have in Green Bay. Plus, tight ends are always a nice security blanket for young quarterbacks (Jordan Love). – MJ

16. Washington Commanders: O’Cyrus Torrence, iOL, Florida

This isn’t an ideal scenario for the Washington Commanders. However, Sam Howell needs a strong offensive line to have any shot at success in 2023. O’Cyrus Torrence is easily the best interior offensive line prospect and his physicality in the run game fits perfectly with what the Commanders want to do next season.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

Are you kidding me? It doesn’t get any better than this for Steelers fans. Selecting the son of a four-time Pro Bowl linebacker, who was also a fan favorite, Mike Tomlin gets a hard-nosed, physical cornerback who can help set the tone for his secondary. – ABR

Related: Top 20 NFL head coaches of all time

18. Los Angeles Chargers*: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

  • TRADE: Los Angeles Chargers trade 21st overall pick plus 85th pick to Detroit Lions for 18th pick plus 183rd

Seeing perhaps the most talented receiver in the draft class slip down the board, GM Tom Telesco sees an opportunity and strikes. Johnston gives Justin Herbert that explosive athlete who can both burn defenders and win 50-50 balls downfield. – ABR

Related: 5 young NFL QBs destined to win the Super Bowl

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

Now that Tom Brady has retired, it feels like the Buccaneers have too many needs to fill in one offseason. With no obvious QB choice on the board, the Bucs turn to Cam Smith, who can likely step in as an immediate starter with both Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean set for free agency. – ABR

Related: Top NFL free agents of 2023: From 1-250, led by Lamar Jackson and Saquon Barkley

20. Seattle Seahawks: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

Still looking to replace Bobby Wagner’s production (no easy task), the Seahawks select Trenton Simpson, who has sideline-to-sideline speed. Simpson’s athleticism should allow him to fly to the ball in pursuit of tackles or hold his own when asked to cover backs and tight ends, giving coach Pete Carroll another freak on defense. – ABR

Related: NFL QB Rankings: Discover our top 20 NFL quarterback rankings

21. Detroit Lions*: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

  • TRADE: Detroit Lions trade 18th overall pick plus 183rd pick to Los Angeles Chargers for 21st pick plus 85th

The Lions trade down and still land a cornerback who can help improve a unit that allowed the second-most yards per pass attempt in 2022. While he slips a bit here, Kelee Ringo was long viewed as a potential top-10 pick during his days with the Georgia Bulldogs. The physical specimen boasts a ridiculous amount of speed and could be one of those risers during the NFL Scouting Combine. – ABR

Related: NFL teams that have never won a Super Bowl

22. Baltimore Ravens: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

This is all about supplying Lamar Jackson with enough weapons to try and keep him healthy and effective for years to come. By adding a playmaker receiver like Smith-Njigba, the Ravens would have a much better chance of keeping defenses honest. – ABR

Related: 5 detailed Lamar Jackson trade scenarios from the Baltimore Ravens

23. Minnesota Vikings: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

With Dalvin Cook trade rumors flying, perhaps the Vikings choose now to find his replacement. While backups Alexander Mattison and Kene Nwangwu have flashed talent, there’s been nothing to suggest either are ready to overtake and possibly even improve over Cook. But Bijan Robinson? He’d bring an immediate spark to the offense and would help get both younger and cheaper at the position. – ABR

Related: Brian Flores accepts Minnesota Vikings’ defensive coordinator position: What it means for 2023

24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M

It’s hard to pass up on a freak athlete like the 6-foot-3 Antonio Johnson. Whether he plays more safety or corner at the next level, it doesn’t matter, as the Jaguars can use help in both areas. Not only is Johnson athletic, but he also is physical at the point of attack, making him useful when stopping the run or in press coverage. – ABR

Related: Predicting NFL playoff bracket and Super Bowl 2023 winner

25. New York Giants: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

Looking to maximize Daniel Jones‘ potential, the Giants land Jordan Addison, who boasts athletic traits that help him create separation while also excelling at gaining yards after the catch. He’d be a great fit for Brian Daboll’s offense. – ABR

Related: 4 wide receivers New York Giants should target in NFL free agency

26. Dallas Cowboys: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah

While the Cowboys already have one playmaker at cornerback with Trevon Diggs, he can’t be in two places at once. Like Diggs, Clark Phillips III has displayed impressive ball skills that helped him intercept a total of nine passes in three seasons at Utah. At 5-10, Phillips is a smaller corner, but his competitive fire helps him play much larger than his listed size would indicate. – ABR

Related: Micah Parsons calls out NFL training staffs for pushing athletes to play through injuries

27. Buffalo Bills: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Some might say the Bills have plenty of weapons, while others would suggest Josh Allen could use another weapon aside from Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis. Zay Flowers can fill that role, adding much-needed speed to Buffalo’s offense. We wouldn’t be surprised if Flowers runs a 4.3-second 40-yard dash. – ABR

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

28. Cincinnati Bengals: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

There is nothing more important for the Bengals’ franchise than protecting Joe Burrow. Jonah Williams hasn’t held up his end of the bargain on Burrow’s blindside, and Broderick Jones is still growing into the role, but his mean streak likely helps him figure things out sooner than later. – ABR

Related: Cincinnati Bengals insider: Joe Mixon, La’el Collins potential 2023 cap casualties

29. New Orleans Saints: Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor

Despite just missing the playoffs, the Saints are a team with plenty of needs. Amazingly, the Saints boasted the ninth-lowest scoring defense despite ranking 24th in rushing yards allowed. Now, their starting defensive tackles are both set for free agency, which only paves the way for Siaki Ika to be a day-one starter at the nose. At 6-foot-4, 350 pounds, Ika is known for clogging running lanes and drawing double teams. – ABR

Related: 5 NFL quarterback signings we’d love to see in free agency

30. Philadelphia Eagles: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa

There’s a good chance Lukas Van Ness goes much higher than the last pick in the first round, but there’s also a possibility the raw edge rusher slips in the pre-draft process. Van Ness wasn’t wildly productive at Iowa, but scouts like his pass-rush profile as a player who has played both inside and on the edge. – ABR

Related: 5 best Philadelphia Eagles teams of all-time

31. Kansas City Chiefs: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma

Patrick Mahomes’ current blindside protector is set for free agency, and instead of paying Orlando Brown Jr. an eight-figure salary, the team could opt to save valuable cap space at the position. If so, Anton Harrison would represent a fine replacement. He’s much more athletic and may be able to help the Chiefs in the run game as well, demolishing would-be tacklers at the second level. – ABR

Related: 5 best Kansas City Chiefs teams of all-time

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

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