2023 NFL Mock Draft v3: Picks from a Fantasy and Betting Perspective.
My final mock of the 2023 NFL draft season is here. Some people are even calling this the best mock draft they have ever seen, predicting all 31 picks will be correct. While that isn’t true, just let me have this one and enjoy it.
1. Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
- 6’0, 204lbs, 21 years old
- Rookie Rank: QB3, Superflex: 6th Overall
You can go ahead and put this in pen. While there are coaches in the building who want CJ Stroud, leadership has decided that Bryce Young will be the first overall pick.
Young is Dwain McFarland’s “best pure passer” and has all the tools to become a successful NFL quarterback.
I am down on him in fantasy as a rookie however, with a bad roster and a lack of rushing upside history is against him breaking out early.
Jersey swap courtesy of @Goaty_Szn on Twitter
2. Houston Texans: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
- 6’4, 229lbs, 23 years old
- Rookie Rank: QB4, Superflex: 9th Overall
In version two of my mock draft, I had Will Levis going second overall, which at the time was a hot take. Now he sits as the -140 favorite to be the second overall selection.
Levis is said to be the top quarterback remaining on both the Texans' draft board and their divisional rival, Indianapolis Colts’ board. They can’t pass on him for an edge and set the Colts up like that. The Texans must take a QB at 2.
While many will hate this pick, there is no denying Will Levis has raw talent.
3. Tennessee Titans (trade, via Cardinals): Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
- 6’4, 244lbs, 20 years old
- Rookie Rank: QB:1, Superflex: 2
The Cardinals have the worst roster in football and are set to tank in the future. There are no secrets that they want out of this position, and the rumor is that they are even willing to take a discounted price tag.
The Titans move up from pick 11 to block the Colts from getting the most athletic QB in combine history.
The Titans should be aggressive, with the rest of their division having young signal callers. The Jaguars have Trevor Lawrence, the Texans have Will Levis, and the Colts have a chance to walk away with a franchise signal caller next. They need to be aggressive.
The Titans currently sit as the favorites (+200) to be the team that selects Richardson.
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4. Indianapolis Colts: CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
- 6’3, 214lbs, 21 years old
- Rookie Rank: QB2, Superflex: 3rd overall
A few weeks ago Stroud was sitting as high as -400 to be the first overall selection, and now he is the fourth QB off the board in this mock.
If the Titans (or another team) are not aggressive in leap-frogging the Colts, Stroud could be in for a serious tumble.
Stroud sat at +3500 to be the fourth overall selection a few weeks ago. Now, he sits at +220, the second most likely selection after WIll Levis per the odds at DraftKings Sportsbook.
While the league may be shying away from Stroud, especially after his 18th percentile S2 cognitive test, I am still a big fan of his future.
His game against Georgia is the best film of any QB in the class.
Jersey swap courtesy of @theaustinisaac on Twitter
5. Seattle Seahawks: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
- 6’6, 271lbs, 22 years old
While I don’t understand the League's desire to push Will Anderson down the board, it looks more and more like that just might happen.
Anderson was once the -600 betting favorite to be the first defensive player drafted, now, Wilson takes that throne as the -140 favorite, while also sitting at -380 to go top 5.
6. Detroit Lions: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
- 6’3, 253lbs, 21 years old
Will Anderson’s current betting prop line is 3.5, and the over has been getting some serious steam, moving from -105 to -185 in the last 24 hours.
His odds of being the 6th overall selection have dropped from 20-1 to 8-1, and while Illinois CB Devon Witherspoon is the betting favorite, if Anderson is on the board, there is no way Detriot passes on him.
A Will Anderson and Aidan Hutchinson pass-rushing duo would give the Lions the most accomplished collegiate pass rushers in the last five years on their roster.
7. Las Vegas Raiders: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
- 5’11, 181lbs, 22 years old
If Will Anderson is off the board for the Lions, I expect that Witherspoon would not last til the 7th overall selection. Because Anderson was still on the board, the Raiders are able to get their top option.
You will have to pay heavy juice, but if you can find a Witherspoon Under 7.5 line out there it is a massive value, this should be his floor.
If you agree with me that Witherspoon will not last til the 7th overall selection, you can get his under 6.5 number at DraftKings Sportsbook for -115.
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8. Philadelphia Eagles(trade, via Falcons): Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
- 6’3, 314lbs, 21 years old
The Eagles get aggressive, jumping the Bears for a player in Jalen Carter, who is the number one overall player on a lot of big boards.
The Bears' interest in Carter isn't a well-kept secret, and the Eagles will need to get aggressive to land their guy.
Re-uniting Carter with former Georgia Bulldog teammate, Jarrad Davis makes for a nasty interior rush.
If the Eagles are unable to move up and Carter is off the board, I would expect Peter Skoronski to be their pick at 10th overall.
9. Chicago Bears: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
- 6’5, 333lbs, 21 years old
I have consistently been hearing that the Bears' selection will come down to Jalen Carter or Darnell Wright and the betting market reflects that.
Wright and Carter are co-favorites to be the 9th overall selection at +300, a steep crash in price from when Wright was +1000 just a week ago.
With Carter off the board, Wright is the easy selection for the Bears, who desperately need to add protection for Justin Fields.
10. Atlanta Falcons(trade, via Eagles): Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
- 5’11, 215lbs, 21 years old
- Rookie Rank: RB1, Superflex: 1st overall
The Falcons sit as +200 favorites to be the landing spot of a generational, blue-chip prospect in Bijan Robinson.
While I have given Robinson to the Falcons in both of my previous mock drafts, the ability to pay a premium price tag, for a non-premium position, becomes easier to swallow when you add draft capital in a trade back.
Ultimately I think the Falcons walk away with either Robinson or Nolan Smith as their top selection.
Jersey swap courtesy of @TheDraftNetwork on Twitter
11. Arizona Cardinals (via trade with Tennessee Titans): Christian Gonzalez, Cornerback
- 6’1, 197lbs, 20 years old
I don’t think there is a more desperate team to move down than the Cardinals. They are going nowhere fast - with one of the worst rosters in football, and very few talented players at premium positions.
They are said to be extremely high on Tyree Wilson and Christian Gonzalez out of Oregon.
I believe if they stay put at three Wilson will be the pick, but with him long gone, they add Gonzalez. He is only 20 years old and has one of the highest ceilings of any player in the draft, spotting a 9.95 RAS score.
12. Houston Texans: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
- 6’2, 238lbs, 22 years old
While I personally would take Jaxon Smith-Njigba to give my young QB a weapon to work with from day one, it feels less and less likely to happen by the day.
Smith-Njigba currently sits as a -340 favorite to go pick 13 or later. The consistent story that the media continues to push is that receivers are going to later than people expect. Every single WR with a betting line (JSN, Zay Flowers, Jordan Addison, and Quenton Johnston) have had their betting odds move against them.
Nolan Smith’s betting line has moved up from 13.5 to 10.5 and I expect the Texans to be his floor. New head coach Demeco Ryans is desperate for pass-rushing help and with a QB at the top of the draft, he gets the former number-one overall high school recruit as a consolation prize.
13. New York Jets: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
- 6’4, 313lbs, 21 years old
The one consistent knock on Skoronski is his 4th percentile arms may force him to play guard instead of tackle. Other than that, he is thought of as one of the cleanest prospects in the draft.
With needs at both tackle and guard, Skorosnki’s versatility is a massive value add to the Jets here at pick 13.
The Jets have moved from -200 to -300 on FanDuel for their first pick to be an offensive lineman, and unless all the top options are off the board, I fully expect that to be a winning bet.
14. New England Patriots: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
- 6’6, 313lbs, 21 years old
There have been rumblings that Bill Belichick is fed up with QB Mac Jones after complaining to college coaches about Matt Patricia. Belichick has yet to name Jones the official starter, and Patriots players have been vocal about the lack of support Jones has received.
The Patriots even brought in Will Levis last minute for an official visit and could be a sleeper team to make a move for the second overall pick. Giving Nick Caserio the QB he drafted in New England in Jones, along with draft capital to hit the reset button on QB.
While it would make for a very exciting draft night, it does not come to fruition in this scenario, where instead, the Patriots land Paris Johnson Jr, one of the prospects with the highest ceilings in the entire class.
15. Green Bay Packers: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
- 6’0, 196lbs, 21 years old
- Rookie Rank: WR:1, Superflex: 5
If Smith-Njigba is available at pick 15, the Packers should sprint to the podium. His elite ability to work the middle of the field would pair perfectly with the vertical ability of Christian Watson.
Jersey swap courtesy of @HoggNFL on Twitter
- Ja’Marr Chase: 94th percentile
- CeeDee Lamb: 93rd percentile
- DeVonta Smith: 93rd percentile
- Rashod Bateman: 90th percentile
- Jaylen Waddle: 89th percentile
- Jerry Jeudy: 89th percentile
- Marquise Brown: 89th percentile
A bonus for the Packers would be a victory in the petty wars they have had with Aaron Rodgers over the last two years. He was desperate for them to add weapons, and if the first pick they make after they trade him is a top WR prospect, that would be icing on the cake for leadership.
It is worth taking a stab at +800 on DraftKings Sportsbook that Smith-Njigba ends up a Packer.
16. Washington Commanders: Joey Porter Jr, CB, Penn State
- 6’2, 193lbs, 22 years old
With an over-under of 16.5, Washington at pick 16 is the range Porter can expect to hear his name called.
The son of NFL all-pro pass rusher, Joey Porter Jr. only allowed one play to go for 15+ yards against him in 2023 per PFF.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia
- 6’5, 311lbs, 21 years old
The Steelers should be ecstatic that they are able to submit their card with Broderick Jones’ name on it.
Jones is someone who NFL teams are said to be higher on than media, whose range is anywhere between 9-17. With his over of 13.5 has been catching a lot of steam in the past week. Moving from +200 to -160 to go after pick 14 this feels like the right spot to slot him.
18. Detroit Lions: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
- 6-4, 249lbs, 21 years old
- TE Ranking: 2, Superflex Ranking: 25
To the entire fantasy world's chagrin, last year's first-round pick Jameson Williams was suspended for the first six games of the season. While that should not force the Lions to take a WR this early, it could force their hand on Tight End.
The Lions have the worst tight end room in the NFL with Brock Wright their current projected starter.
Mayer is a former five-star recruit, who has dominated college football for three straight years, and is one of the highest-floor prospects in the class.
While his competition for first tight end off the board, Dalton Kincaid, maybe a better receiver than Mayer, he boasts nowhere near the blocking ability.
Michael Mayer just feels like a kneecap biter that Dan Campbell is going to love.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson
- 6-4, 268lbs, 21 years old
Murphy’s current draft prop line is set at 18.5, so his under just misses here.
The former freshman All-American and top-five overall recruit, Murphy brings premium position value to a team in need of more pass rushers.
20. Seattle Seahawks: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa
- 6-4, 272lbs, 21 years old
Just like last year when the Seahawks double-dipped on tackles in the draft, they do it again this year with pass rushers.
Van Ness is a player who has one of the widest ranges of outcomes on draft night. I would not be shocked if he goes in the top 10 or if he becomes a fringe first-round pick.
Van Ness dominated with his strength in college, consistently relying on his bull rush, Van Ness will need to add finesse to his game at the next level. His 80th percentile 3-cone time suggests he has the athleticism to do just that.
Miami Dolphins - Pick Forfeited
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
- 5-11, 173lbs, 21 years old
- Rookie Rank: WR: 3, Superflex Rank: 8
While Jordan Addison’s frail frame will concern some, a former Biletnikoff winner, Addison dominated college football like few others in this class.
Addison has a draft prop of 22.5 and rewards under backers by becoming the second WR of the board. Daniel Jeremiah has mentioned that there are plenty of teams with Addison as their top WR and this feels like the right range he hears his name called.
Jersey swap courtesy of @SportsSwapz on Twitter
Addison is the only receiver projected to go in round one that the Chargers brought in for a visit.
With an 87th percentile score in our Super WR Rookie Model Addison gives Justin Herbert someone he can rely on from day one, who can become the eventual replacement for Keenan Allen.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
- 6-0, 197lbs, 21 years old
A freak athlete, with elite top-end speed, Banks should not have to wait too long on draft day to hear his name called.
The Ravens have major holes at both receiver and corner, but with the addition of Odell Beckham and Lamar Jackson telling the team he wants DeAndre Hopkins as well, they may focus on the other side of the ball.
23. Kansas City Chiefs (via trade with Minnesota Vikings): Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
- 5-9, 182lbs, 22 years old
- Rookie Rank: WR: 4, Superflex Rank: 10
The Chiefs need to add more firepower for Patrick Mahomes and are said to be extremely high on Zay Flowers.
With him falling more than some might expect, the Chiefs move up nine spots with a Vikings team that only has five total draft picks and a lot of holes to fill.
The versatility Flowers provides would be a dream pairing with Andy Reid who would take advantage of Flowers’ speed and run-after-catch ability.
Flowers would skyrocket up draft boards and become every analyst's favorite sleeper.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brian Branch, CB/S, Alabama
- 5-11, 190lbs, 21 years old
One rumor I continue to hear is that if Branch is on the board at 24, expect him to be the pick for the Jaguars.
The versatile safety can also play nickel corner. Unfortunately, he will likely be announced as a corner on draft day, as it's his listed position on NFL.com, otherwise, I would be all over Jaguars first-pick safety at 25-1 odds.
25. New York Giants: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
- 6’2, 208lbs, 21 years old
- Rookie Rank: WR:2, Superflex: 7
The Giants are in desperate need of an X receiver, and they get the only one who is a first-round talent.
Johnston to the Giants is one of my possible fits for any player and team. Not only does he fill a major void, but he would fit in perfectly with the offense.
Often bigger receivers are vertical threats but struggle after the catch. Johnston isn’t just good after the catch, he is one of the best run-after-catch bigger receivers in the last few drafts.
With Daniel Jones having a pedestrian 6-yard aDot, Johnston will need to use that skillset early and often in New York.
26. Dallas Cowboys: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
- 6-3, 246lbs, 23 years old
- Rookie Rank: TE: 1, Superflex Ranking: 16
Jerry Jones has never had any patience, but now he is 80 years old, he is going to be all in on winning now, so Kincaid being an older prospect may not be as negative to the Cowboys as other teams.
Dalton Kincaid is the draft's most dynamic receiver at TE, and would head to a Cowboys tight end room that is desperate for an injection of talent.
The Cowboys currently sit at +200 to take a tight end - the shortest odds of any position
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27. Buffalo Bills: Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas
- 6-4, 235lbs, 21 years old
A major part of the Buffalo Bills' defensive success is the rangy play of linebackers Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds.
Edmunds got a monster contract from Chicago and is now a Bear. Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders is a near clone of Edmunds and would fill the void on day one.
28. Cincinnati Bengals: Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia
- 6-6, 264lbs, 21 years old
- Rookie Rank: TE: 3, Superflex Ranking: 25
The Bengals need to keep Joe Burrow upright and continue to add to his playmakers for him, and Darnell Washington can do both.
A former five-star recruit, Washington is a monster of a man whose 96th percentile speed score is seen on film after the catch.
Jersey swap courtesy of @TheDraftNetwork on Twitter
Last season Washington averaged 7.6 yards after the catch per reception, the second-best metric of the class.
He doesn’t have the production you look for in the first round, but his upside is undeniable, which is why he sits at +100 to go in round one.
29. New Orleans Saints: Calijah Kancey, DL, Pittsburgh
- 6-0, 281lbs, 21 years old
Kancey is an undersized, athletic freak, who will draw comparisons to Aaron Donald because of the school he is from, but there is no denying his 99th-percentile speed score.
With 14.5 sacks in the last two seasons, Kancey is not just an athlete, but he produced as well. The Saints ranked 26th in PFF pass-rush grade as a unit, they need this injection of talent.
30. Philadelphia Eagles: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
- 6-0, 166lbs, 22 years old
This is the first mock draft I have done with Emmanuel Forbes making the first round cut. Typically 166lb corners aren’t first-round picks, but there is no denying the steam he has been getting in the betting market.
Currently sitting at -400 to go in the first round, Forbes gives the Eagles another SEC player to reload on defense with.
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31. Minnesota Vikings (via trade with Kansas City Chiefs): Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
- 6-0, 176lbs, 21 years old
- Rookie Rank: WR: 5, Superflex Rank: 11
The Vikings lost Adam Thielen this offseason, and while KJ Osborn had a couple of stellar games in 2022, they need more to support Justin Jefferson with a running mate on the other side.
Hyatt has elite speed and big play ability that if teams force help to Jefferson and TJ Hockenson, they will have to pay with Hyatt running by defenders.
Speed is undoubtedly one of Hyatt's strong suits, as evident in his exceptional test scores and the fact that over a quarter of his targets came on passes of 20-plus yards down the field.