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2023 NFL mock draft: Texans trade down with Las Vegas Raiders, Rounds 1-3 projections

We’re officially less than two weeks away from the start of the 2023 NFL Draft. It’s an exciting time, not only among NFL front offices and coaching staffs but also for the fans. Those glaring weaknesses jumping off the page when scouring rosters and depth charts will finally be addressed, with a fresh batch of incoming rookies featuring hidden gems and overlooked prospects.

No one knows who the NFL Rookie of the Year is or who will be a bust on draft weekend. They all sound like great additions at the time. While we know this is far from what actually happens, it’s still fun to dream about how new additions can make a large impact. That’s what makes each update in our 2023 NFL mock draft so fun.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft order

Let’s dive into our latest 2023 NFL mock draft.

2023 NFL mock draft: Raiders trade up for QB

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

NFL: Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Young’s height evidently isn’t a concern for the Carolina Panthers. If that’s the case, the only selection to make with the first pick is Young. He will walk into an excellent situation, learning from one of the best coaching staffs in the NFL and playing behind a good offensive line. If Young plays at the level everyone expects, the Panthers might win the NFC South in 2023. — Matt J

Related: Bryce Young scouting report

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

Syndication: USA TODAY
Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • TRADE: Las Vegas Raiders trade 7th, 38th overall picks and 2024 1st and 2nd to Houston Texans for 2nd and 188th overall picks

The Las Vegas Raiders like two quarterbacks atop the 2023 NFL Draft. If the Houston Texans don’t like C.J. Stroud, there’s an opportunity for Las Vegas. Stroud is ready to start Week 1, but there’s certainly a benefit to him spending the 2023 season working one-on-one with Josh McDaniels and mastering the offense. While this is a hefty price for the Raiders to play, franchise quarterbacks never come cheap. — Matt J

3. Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr, EDGE, Alabama

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Alabama
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

With a team already trading up ahead of Arizona, the best course of action now becomes to secure the top pass rusher. Will Anderson Jr. projects as an impact pass rusher who could average 10-12 sacks per season during his peak years. Arizona is desperate for disruptors on its defense and Anderson Jr. is perfect for Jonathan Gannon. — Matt J

4. Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

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

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay reportedly has a notable preference at quarterback and this follows the buzz around the league. Will Levis isn’t a top-10 prospect on our board, but he checks off all the boxes for the Colts’ scouting department. Levis might be better off sitting behind Gardner Minshew for a few games in 2023, but we’d expect him to ultimately earn the starting job in training camp. — Matt J

Related: Indianapolis Colts mock draft 2023

5. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN): Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia

Syndication: Online Athens

On talent alone, Jalen Carter deserves to be the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, a series of off-field issues and a concerning effort at Georgia’s Pro Day raised red flags. The Seattle Seahawks aren’t afraid of risk. Carter is exactly what they are missing on the defensive line and he’ll be one of the biggest reasons why Seattle’s defense would turn around in 2023. — Matt J

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order

6. Detroit Lions (via LAR): Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

NCAA Football: Florida at Texas A&M
Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions could trade up for quarterback Anthony Richardson and it would still be a wise decision. There is undeniable ‘bust’ potential with him, but he offers physical tools that even exceed Josh Allen. Combine Richardson’s physical skills with his prototypical size and a work ethic that draws rave reviews, you’ve got all the makings for an MVP-caliber quarterback. — Matt J

Related: Why the Detroit Lions must draft Anthony Richardson

7. Houston Texans*: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

Syndication: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • TRADE: Houston Texans trade 2nd and 188th overall picks to the Las Vegas Raiders for the 7th, 38th overall picks and 2024 1st and 2nd

The Houston Texans reportedly aren’t high on C.J. Stroud and could be prepared to either trade down or draft Will Anderson Jr if Young isn’t available. In this scenario, Houston moves down to gain future assets. At the seventh overall selection, the Texans add a desperately-needed edge rusher to their defense, providing head coach DeMeco Ryans with an excellent athlete who could develop into a double-digit sack force in the NFL. Plus, the Texans would now have three 2024 first-round picks in a draft class that NFL scouts love. — Matt J

8. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

NFL: Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons draft needs in 2023 start with an edge rusher, but there isn’t one worth taking in this spot. So, Atlanta grabs the top cornerback in the 2023 NFL Draft. Christian Gonzalez profiles as a No. 1 cornerback, bringing the mix of height, athleticism and fluidity that is found in only the best at his position. Pair him with A.J. Terrell and the Falcons’ improving defense might actually be a strength for the team next season. — Matt J

Related: Christian Gonzalez scouting report

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

NFL: Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears know Peter Skoronski better than just about any NFL team. A local product who dominated at Northwestern, it really shouldn’t matter if he’s an offensive tackle or left guard. Chicago needs a great offensive lineman and Skoronski is arguably the best in the 2023 NFL Draft class. Put him anywhere and Justin Fields will feel a lot safer in the pocket. — Matt J

Related: Chicago Bears mock draft 2023

10. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO): Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel
Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman loves building through the trenches, even if it’s already a strength of the team. Holding a top-10 pick is an opportunity for the reigning NFC champions to take a big swing. Darnell Wright, one of the only players who stonewalled Will Anderson Jr. in college, could develop into one of the best tackles in the NFL with the help of the Eagles’ coaching staff. — Matt J

Related: Philadelphia Eagles mock draft 2023

2023 NFL Draft mock: Jets, Patriots, Lions add to defense

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

If the Tennessee Titans are unable to move up for their quarterback of the future, they need to create a better supporting cast for the next face of the franchise. Paris Johnson Jr. isn’t as polished as Skoronski, but he offers a far higher upside as a pass-blocking left tackle. He will just be the first move toward overhauling this offense in the years ahead. — Matt J

Related: Tennessee Titans mock draft 2023

12. Houston Texans (via CLE): Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

There’s a strong argument to be made for the Houston Texans to draft a wide receiver, but Devon Witherspoon is a top-10 talent and Ryans is a defensive-minded coach. Witherspoon, who has drawn an NFL comparison to Jaire Alexander, would provide Houston with two No. 1 cornerbacks. Taking away top wide receivers makes life easier for the pass rush and with Wilson added, this could eventually be one of the best defenses in football. — Matt J

Related: NFL defense rankings 2023

13. New York Jets: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

With the New York Jets hanging on to the 13th pick and still expected to land Aaron Rodgers, they can now address a major need. Broderick Jones can spend the 2023 season at right tackle, providing Rodgers with the offensive line he needs to succeed. With time, Jones could become the next Andrew Thomas. — Matt J

Related: 2023 NFL power rankings

14. New England Patriots: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa

The New England Patriots have two excellent pass rushers, but Matthew Judon is aging and great defenses now have at least three quality disruptors. Lukas Van Ness fits the Patriots’ mold and if the development of Josh Uche is any indication, Van Ness would blossom in New England. – Matt J

15. Green Bay Packers: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

The Green Bay Packers haven’t spent a first-round pick on a wide receiver since they selected Javon Walker. With a change being made at quarterback, the Packers must put outstanding weapons around Jordan Love. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the best wide receiver in the 2023 NFL Draft and he’ll fit in perfectly as a go-to slot weapon for Love. — Matt J

Related: Green Bay Packers mock draft 2023

16. Washington Commanders: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

The Washington Commanders have more than enough talent in their front seven to dominate defensively, but the secondary needs a lot of work. Deonte Banks is one of the most athletic players in the 2023 NFL Draft and those physical tools allow him to shadow No. 1 receivers. Add him to the Commanders’ secondary and this will be a top-10 defense in 2023. — Matt J

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jordan Addison, WR, USC

While the Steelers’ needs are far greater along the offensive line, the idea of reuniting Jordan Addison with Kenny Pickett is too enticing to ignore. The Steelers may already have their No. 1 receiver with George Pickens, and Diontae Johnson is more than capable as a Pro Bowl receiver himself, but why not give their second-year QB an abundance of weapons? — Andrew Buller-Russ

Related: Pittsburgh Steelers’ seven-round mock draft

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

The Lions moved on from Jeff Okudah, the third overall pick from 2020, but it’s not because they’ve suddenly become flush with talent at cornerback. Instead, we believe it’s because the front office knows there is a great amount of depth in this year’s draft class. Joey Porter Jr. fits Dan Campbell’s mold of tough, hard-nosed players who aren’t afraid to do the dirty work necessary to become competitive. — ABR

Related: Detroit Lions mock draft: Dan Campbell’s squad strengthens the defense

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee

While the Buccaneers may have kicked the quarterback can down the road for another season by adding Baker Mayfield, chances are he’s no long-term solution. The same goes for Kyle Trask. Instead, seeing the opportunity to potentially grab the QB of the future with Hendon Hooker becomes too tantalizing to overlook. — ABR

20. Seattle Seahawks: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

After ranking 25th in points allowed, the Seahawks are overhauling their defense. Bobby Wagner’s back, Jalen Carter was our first pick, but now they need some more pass-rush help along the edge. While the Seahawks tied for the seventh-most sacks, their pressure rate indicated they were just average. Nolan Smith is far from average and should provide an immediate boost. — ABR

Related: Rumors persist that Seattle Seahawks will land specific can’t-miss talent at 5 in NFL Draft

NFL mock draft 2023: Playoff contenders strengthen cores

21. Los Angeles Chargers: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Continuing to address the defense is very tempting. But we can’t leave Quentin Johnston on the board. Not only is the 6-foot-3 receiver a big target, he’s also plenty capable of creating separation, giving Justin Herbert a young weapon for the future. — ABR

Related: Los Angeles Chargers mock draft 2023: Building a stronger foundation

22. Baltimore Ravens: Calijah Kancey, DL, Pittsburgh

Odell Beckham Jr.’s arrival is huge for Baltimore. It no longer means they’re forced to take a receiver early on. While OBJ’s only on a one-year deal, the Ravens can address this future need later. This offers a chance to provide a spark to the defense with a player like Pitt’s Calijah Kancey. The athletic defensive lineman shouldn’t have any trouble giving AFC North QBs nightmares. — ABR

Related: Baltimore Ravens seven-round mock draft

23. Minnesota Vikings: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Dalvin Cook’s future in Minnesota remains uncertain. Understandably, they don’t just want to release their 4x Pro Bowl running back. However, if another dangerous weapon like Bijan Robinson became available, why not hand Cook his walking papers? He’d be a lot more affordable and would allow the Vikings to ‘reset’ at the least durable position in football. — ABR

Related: Minnesota Vikings mock draft: Rebuilding the Brian Flores-led defense

24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brian Branch, S, Alabama

The Jaguars took a big leap last season, and their offense should continue to improve, thanks to Trevor Lawrence and the addition of Calvin Ridley. The same goes for the defense, which has a lot of youth in the front seven. But adding a versatile S/CB like Brian Branch could be the missing piece for a secondary without a star player. — ABR

25. New York Giants: John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota

We saw the G-Men invest in their young QB with a massive contract extension for Daniel Jones. How about buying Danny Dimes more time in the pocket? As it stands, Big Blue’s interior offensive line is bottom-rate, but John Michael Schmitz will be a Day 1 starter, helping anchor their rushing attack. — ABR

Related: Three players New York Giants should target after Day 1 of NFL Draft

26. Dallas Cowboys: Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson

Predicting what the Dallas Cowboys do in the draft is anyone’s guess. But we do know they place a high value on dominating the trenches. Only we haven’t seen that on defense as of late. As dominant as Micah Parsons is off the edge, Bryan Bresee can give Dallas a game-wrecker who does his damage from the interior instead. — ABR

Related: Dallas Cowboys mock draft 2023: Finding immediate contributors early

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

If Zay Flowers were two or three taller, the 5-foot-9 receiver would easily be a top-15 pick. With his speed, distinguished route tree, and ability to make defenders miss, Flowers is still a strong bet to go in the first round. Adding the shifty Flowers to a receiving corps that features Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis just might be the move needed to put the Bills over the top. — ABR

Related: Buffalo Bills reportedly want to trade up in Round 1, identifying 3 potential targets

28. Cincinnati Bengals: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

It seems inevitable at this point. If the Cincinnati Bengals want to get back to the Super Bowl, they’ll need more playmakers in the secondary. Losing Jessie Bates won’t help, but drafting a talent like Emmanuel Forbes will. He racked up six interceptions in 2022 and profiles as a ball-hawking No. 1 corner. — ABR

Related: Cincinnati Bengals mock draft: Assembling a Super Bowl champion

29. New Orleans Saints: Mazi Smith, DL, Michigan

Despite having the sixth-most sacks last season, the Saints had the NFL’s fourth-lowest pressure rate. Making matters worse, New Orleans also allowed the ninth-most rushing yards. Needless to say, they need better production from their front seven. Michigan’s Mazi Smith is one of the strongest prospects in this draft class, yet he’s also athletic. He should make life much easier for Cameron Jordan and Co. — ABR

Related: New Orleans Saints mock draft: Building for the now and later

30. Philadelphia Eagles: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Landing with the Philadelphia Eagles is perfect for Myles Murphy. There’s no questioning his size or strength, but the 21-year-old could use more coaching to help develop a more versatile mix of pass-rush moves. Being able to learn behind Pro Bowl sack specialists in Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat, Murphy can become a star. — ABR

Related: Philadelphia Eagles targeting top 2023 NFL Draft prospect

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

You can never have too much protection for Patrick Mahomes. After replacing Orlando Brown Jr. with Jawaan Taylor at left tackle, the Chiefs’ line seems set. Except at right tackle, where Lucas Niang has never proven to be reliable. Oklahoma’s Anton Harrison needs to bulk up, but his feet make him a plus-pass protector capable of playing either side. — ABR

Related: Kansas City Chiefs could trade up in Round 1 of NFL Draft for a ‘marquee player’

NFL mock draft: Round 2

  • 32. Pittsburgh Steelers (via CHI): Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
  • 33. Houston Texans: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State
  • 34. Arizona Cardinals: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
  • 35. Indianapolis Colts: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida
  • 36. Los Angeles Rams: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State
  • 37. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN): Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
  • 38. Las Vegas Raiders: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
  • 39. Carolina Panthers: BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
  • 40. New Orleans Saints: Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas
  • 41. Tennessee Titans: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
  • 42. New York Jets: Luke Wypler, C, Ohio State
  • 43. New York Jets: Daiyan Henley, LB, Washington State
  • 44. Atlanta Falcons: Adetomiwa Adebawore, EDGE, Northwestern
  • 45. Green Bay Packers: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
  • 46. New England Patriots: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
  • 47. Washington Commanders: Steve Avila, OG, TCU
  • 48. Detroit Lions: Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
  • 49. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
  • 50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tyrique Stevenson CB, Miami (FL)
  • 51. Miami Dolphins: Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
  • 52. Seattle Seahawks: Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State
  • 53. Chicago Bears (via BAL): Andre Carter II, EDGE, Army
  • 54. Los Angeles Chargers: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
  • 55. Detroit Lions (via MIN): Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor
  • 56. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tuli Tuipulotu, DL, USC
  • 57. New York Giants: Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
  • 58. Dallas Cowboys: Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
  • 59. Buffalo Bills: Cody Mauch, OT, North Dakota State
  • 60. Cincinnati Bengals: Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
  • 61. Chicago Bears (via SF): Joe Tippman, C, Wisconsin
  • 62. Philadelphia Eagles: Nathaniel Dell, WR, Houston
  • 63. Kansas City Chiefs: Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse

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

NFL mock draft 2023: Round 3

  • 64. Chicago Bears: Keeanu Benton, DL, Wisconsin
  • 65. Houston Texans: Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
  • 66. Arizona Cardinals: Michael Wilson, WR, Stanford
  • 67. Denver Broncos (via IND): Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson
  • 68. Denver Broncos: Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
  • 69. Los Angeles Rams: Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M
  • 70. Las Vegas Raiders: DJ Turner, CB, Michigan
  • 71. New Orleans Saints: Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford
  • 72, Tennessee Titans: Chandler Zavala, OG, North Carolina State
  • 73. Houston Texans (via CLE): Moro Ojomo, DT, Texas
  • 74. Cleveland Browns (via NYJ): Nick Herbig, EDGE, Wisconsin
  • 75. Atlanta Falcons: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
  • 76. New England Patriots (via CAR): Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
  • 77. Los Angeles Rams (via NE): Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
  • 78 Green Bay Packers: Jammie Robinson, S, Florida State
  • 79. Indianapolis Colts (via WAS): Sydney Brown, S, Illinois
  • 80. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kobie Turner, DL, Wake Forest
  • 81. Detroit Lions: Karl Brooks, EDGE, Bowling Green
  • 82. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Wanya Morris, OT, Oklahoma
  • 83. Seattle Seahawks: Juice Scruggs, C, Penn State
  • 84. Miami Dolphins: Kendre Miller, RB, TCU
  • 85. Los Angeles Chargers: Derick Hall, EDGE, Auburn
  • 86. Baltimore Ravens: Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee
  • 87. Minnesota Vikings: Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama
  • 88. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State
  • 89. New York Giants: Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
  • 90. Dallas Cowboys: Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan
  • 91. Buffalo Bills: Anthony Johnson Jr., S, Iowa State
  • 92. Cincinnati Bengals: Isaiah McGuire, EDGE, Missouri
  • 93. Carolina Panthers (via SF): A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest
  • 94. Philadelphia Eagles: Jaylon Jones, CB, Texas A&M
  • 95. Kansas City Chiefs: K.J. Henry, EDGE, Clemson
  • 96. Arizona Cardinals: Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
  • 97. Washington Commanders: Dorian Williams, LB, Tulane
  • 98. Cleveland Browns: Gervon Dexter Jr., DL, Florida
  • 99. San Francisco 49ers: Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina
  • 100. Las Vegas Raiders: Zacch Pickens, DL, South Carolina
  • 101. San Francisco 49ers: Tyler Steen, OT, Alabama
  • 102. San Francisco 49ers: Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma

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