As the 2022 NFL regular season nears its conclusion, many fans are looking ahead to 2023 NFL mock drafts to identify potential targets for their team. The 2023 NFL Draft order is beginning to take shape, which provides a clearer picture of how things could unfold.
Many will be familiar with some of the top 2023 NFL Draft prospects, including quarterbacks Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud. While potential faces of franchises get a majority of the attention, there is a lot of great talent on both sides of the ball.
Whether your team needs a top playmaker to provide more explosive plays for its offense, a top offensive lineman to protect the franchise quarterback, or a future Pro Bowl defender, there are enticing options to choose from this year.
Related: 2023 NFL Draft QB rankings
Let’s dive into our latest 2023 NFL mock draft before Week 17.
1. Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
The Houston Texans will lead off just about every 2023 NFL mock draft with Bryce Young as the No. 1 pick. He was the best passer in college football the last two years, showing excellent arm strength, great touch and the ability to make plays on the move. It’s not an ideal place for Young, because the Texans are in a massive rebuild, but they can feel safe knowing he’ll be a top-12 quarterback in his prime and there is enough upside for him to be even better.
Related: Best Bryce Young landing spots
2. Chicago Bears: Will Anderson Jr, EDGE, Alabama
Will Anderson Jr. might not help quarterback Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears offense take a step forward in 2023, but he could become an elite pass rusher. The 6-foot-4 edge defender racked up more than 100 pressures with 27.5 sacks over the last two seasons. Pressure creates turnovers and that leads to better scoring opportunities for Fields.
3. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN): Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia
The Seattle Seahawks should be elated if they have a top-three pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. It means getting either Anderson Jr. or Jalen Carter. In this instance, they land the 6-foot-3 and 300-pound defensive tackle who can literally pick up quarterbacks with one arm. This is exactly who you want shoring up a weak interior defense.
4. Arizona Cardinals: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
The Arizona Cardinals must change a lot of the things surrounding quarterback Kyler Murray. It starts with a new head coach, but the front office would also be wise to upgrade the offensive line. Peter Skoronski, the best pass blocker in the 2023 NFL Draft, can play guard as a rookie before moving to either tackle spot in 2024.
5. Indianapolis Colts: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Plenty of 2023 NFL mock drafts will give Will Levis to the Indianapolis Colts, betting on the quarterback with the highest upside. Quite frankly, Indianapolis doesn’t have the time to hope Levis develops. C.J. Stroud is ready to start right now and he wins from the pocket, progressing through reads and displaying excellent accuracy. Put him in an offense with Jonathan Taylor, Alec Pierce and Michael Pittman Jr, you’ll have an AFC South contender in 2023.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
The Atlanta Falcons draft needs are a long list, so it becomes as the choice because he’s the best player available. A 6-foot-5 defensive lineman with elite measurables and athleticism, he already looks like a future multi-time Pro Bowl selection if he hits his ceiling. Even if he falls just short, this is a 10-year starter in the NFL.
7. Detroit Lions (via LAR): Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Will Levis to the Detroit Lions is perfect for both sides. Levis gets to spend the 2023 season learning from Jared Goff, picking up on the intangibles and study habits that have made Goff a quality NFL starter despite standard skills. When Levis is ready, he steps into a lineup with an outstanding offensive line with playmakers around him. That is the exact situation that can unleash his All-Pro upside.
Related: NFL power rankings
8. Carolina Panthers: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Our 2023 NFL mock draft is the worst-case scenario for the Carolina Panthers. With all three quarterbacks worthy of a top-10 pick off the board, the Panthers must look elsewhere. Kelee Ringo would partner on the outside with Jaycee Horn, providing Carolina with two physical No. 1 cornerbacks who would help shape one of the best pass defenses in football.
9. Las Vegas Raiders: Paris Johnson Jr, OT, Ohio State
No matter who is the Las Vegas Raiders quarterback in 2023, they must improve the offensive line. Jermaine Eluemunor has held up nicely at right tackle, but he’s a free agent in 2023 and you can’t bet on him replicating this success. Paris Johnson Jr. is a Week 1 starter who can start at right tackle or kick back inside to guard, which he played in 2021. Las Vegas must protect its leader.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO): Bryan Bresee, DL, Clemson
The Philadelphia Eagles took an all-in approach this season and it paid off, but they know it also means addressing the defensive line in 2023. Bryan Bresee, the former five-star recruit, is one of the most versatile defensive prospects in this draft class. He didn’t quite reach his ceiling at Clemson, but the Eagles’ coaching staff could turn his size and explosiveness into a mobile defensive weapon at the line of scrimmage.
Related: Super Bowl odds
11. Houston Texans (via CLE): Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
After kicking off our 2023 NFL mock draft with their franchise quarterback, Houston now lands a No. 1 receiver for Bryce Young. Quentin Johnston is truly one of the most remarkable playmakers in the open field that we’ve seen in years. Put him deep, work him over the middle, or get him the football on quick throws. No matter what, Johnston will be a YAC monster if the ball is on target.
12. Seattle Seahawks: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
We’re not done rebuilding the Seattle Seahawks’ defense. Entering Week 17 ranked 24th in pressure rate and 25th in sacks is unacceptable for a team with such young, quality cornerbacks. Tyree Wilson and his 7-foot wingspan would pair sweetly with Jalen Carter. As multiple blockers try to match Carter’s size, Wilson’s freak athleticism and length will allow him to feast on an island against an offensive tackle.
13. Tennessee Titans: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
The Tennessee Titans’ offense needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. We’ll start with Jordan Addison, one of the top wide receivers in the 2023 NFL Draft who excels as getting open. If Malik Willis is the Titans’ starting quarterback, he needs pass-catchers who can become a target early and Addison fits the bill.
Related: NFL GM candidates 2023
14. New England Patriots: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Bill Belichick must do something to help Mac Jones. If you’re going to run a bland offense that every defensive coordinator can predict what’s coming, you need game-changing weapons. Zay Flowers starred at Boston College, overcoming pedestrian quarterback play thanks to his own ability to get wide-open.
15. New York Jets: O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida
While some consideration is given to drafting Anthony Richardson, that’s just too much of a gamble after missing on Zach Wilson. The New York Jets are well-built defensively and they have impact players at the skill positions. So, O’Cyrus Torrence plugs up the one hole on the offensive line and creates the perfect environment for a quarterback to thrive.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
The Pittsburgh Steelers must start dedicating serious resources to keeping a clean pocket around Kenny Pickett. Broderick Jones also fits in for a team that builds its identity around physicality and starting by running right into a defense. Jones is a better run blocker than pass protector right now, but he could become adept at both with the help of Pittsburgh’s coaches.
Related: NFL offense rankings
17. Green Bay Packers: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
The Green Bay Packers have their 1-2 receiver tandem with Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, but more is necessary. Robert Tonyan used to be a safety valve for Aaron Rodgers, but that’s just no longer the case. 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.
18. Detroit Lions: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
Needing to stop the bleeding for the NFL’s worst defense, the Lions are happy to land Joey Porter Jr. with their second pick of the first round. He’s 6-foot-2, plays with the type of physicality that coach Dan Campbell loves, and will get his hands on plenty of passes at the next level. – Andrew Buller-Russ
19. Jacksonville Jaguars: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
Hoping Shaquill Griffin could become the team’s shutdown cornerback hasn’t worked out. He’s out for the season, leading to Tyson Campbell stepping up, but he’s just one player. The Jacksonville Jaguars need to add talent at the position, and Cam Smith is one of the best at his position. Smith has good speed and quick feet, allowing him to be sticky in coverage. He’d be a day-one starter in Duval. – ABR
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense is a shell of its former self in 2022, with the NFL’s worst rushing attack. Playing musical chairs along the offensive line hasn’t helped, but they also don’t have a game-breaking weapon in the backfield. Third-round rookie Rachaad White has been their best runner, but Bijan Robinson would give the Bucs a potential top-five running back to get Tampa Bay’s offense sailing again. – ABR
21. Washington Commanders: Brian Branch, CB, Alabama
There isn’t a top quarterback prospect available here unless the Washington Commanders want to gamble on Anthony Richardson, which is intriguing. But they also need more defensive playmakers in their secondary. Brian Branch is a fun chess piece that Ron Rivera will love to have. He plays cornerback but could just as easily handle playing safety as Branch is a very sound tackler. – ABR
22. New York Giants: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
In desperate need of providing pass-catching targets for Daniel Jones or whoever’s under center for the New York Giants in 2023, they land one of the top YAC receivers in the draft class. Jaxon Smith-Njigba didn’t enjoy as big of a final season as many expected, but he proved his game-breaking run-after-catch ability as a sophomore. He’ll immediately become the WR1 in the Big Apple. – ABR
23. Los Angeles Chargers: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
Continuing to build in the trenches is extremely tempting, but we cannot pass on the opportunity to give Justin Herbert a young, blazing-fast wide receiver either. Jalin Hyatt showed just how electric he can be, scoring 15 touchdowns in his junior season. He had five games with 138 or more receiving yards last year alone. With Mike Williams turning 29 and Keenan Allen turning 31, the Chargers get their long-term receiver to continue growing with Herbert. – ABR
24. Baltimore Ravens: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
A case could be made to select a receiver here, but the Baltimore Ravens need to get more consistent play out of their cornerbacks too. Marcus Peters and Kyle Fuller are both set for free agency, leaving Marlon Humphrey as the lone starting option. Christian Gonzalez has great ball skills and is superb in coverage. He’ll help form a playmaking secondary alongside Kyle Hamilton for the foreseeable future. – ABR
25. Denver Broncos (via SF): Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
It doesn’t seem fair for Nolan Smith to still be available here. He entered the year as a potential top-five pick but ultimately tore his pectoral muscle and could only suit up in eight games. But he’s shown plenty on tape to be a first-round pick still. He was highly productive on a star-studded Georgia defense and will now look to do the same with the Denver Broncos. – ABR
26. Dallas Cowboys: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
The Dallas Cowboys may already have a defense with playmakers such as ballhawk Trevon Diggs and a sack artist in Micah Parsons, but they could use another coverage linebacker. Adding Trenton Simpson would only free up Parsons to chase after quarterbacks more often. But Simpson himself is a great tackler, superb in coverage, and brings the punch as a hitter. He’s the complete package at middle linebacker. – ABR
27. Cincinnati Bengals: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
Joe Burrow appears to have more than enough on offense to continue carrying the Cincinnati Bengals to the playoffs, now it’s time to build up the defense. At 5-foot-10, Clark Phillips is one of those smaller cornerbacks who may profile best in the slot, but he may be the best nickel corner in the draft. – ABR
28. Kansas City Chiefs: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
Keeping Patrick Mahomes upright should be the primary goal for the Kansas City Chiefs, and franchise left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. is set for free agency, but even if he’s retained, Andrew Wylie is replaceable on the right side. He’s allowed eight sacks this season. Why not give another Oklahoma Sooner a shot with Anton Harrison? He allowed just one sack this season and just four in his entire college career. – ABR
29. Minnesota Vikings: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith are starting to get to the quarterback more often, but it never hurts to add another pure pass rusher who can rotate in to provide a breather late in games. Jared Verse can eventually become the full-time starter, but he’s the type of freak who could produce in a part-time role right away. – ABR
30. Buffalo Bills: Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor
The Buffalo Bills have done well to rebuild their defensive line in recent years, but players like Siaki Ika don’t grow on trees. He’s a mountain at 6-foot-4, 358 pounds, and would be the future at the position, ending the DaQuan Jones, Jordan Phillips rotation in the long term. He may be large, but Ika is quite athletic for his size, leading to some Vita Vea comparisons.
31. Philadephia Eagles: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
The Philadelphia Eagles already have one of the best rushing attacks in football, but Miles Sanders is set for free agency, and they may see Jahmyr Gibbs as an opportunity to add even more speed to the roster. He’s also younger, cheaper, and would form a dangerous duo with Jalen Hurts. – ABR