The NFL 2023 Draft

sg14

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Or it's a thing you do when a certain result is critical and what you've been doing to address it hasn't been successful. You know, keep trying to get it right.

How much you've spent on it so far is only relevant when evaluating how to improve your odds of success on the next attempt. Sunk costs are sunk. You have the cap room and assets you have to work with, and the future ahead of you, period. Solve the problem. If high end TE play is critical to your plans and you've failed, what do you need to do different to succeed?

Remember, Belichick is the guy who said that if football is like chess, the tight end is the queen.
So we have princesses?
 
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chevss454

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USC WR Jordan Addison is the latest to declare. He's immediately a top 5 WR in the draft and many draftniks have him #1.
 

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aloyouis

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This list of ten doesn't read like a list of future HOFers.
There are two gigantic types listed. Will the Pats want that type of OT considering their attempt to play more wide zone?

Who is the OC? Know that and know what they will be looking for.
 

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Flagg the Wanderer

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This list of ten doesn't read like a list of future HOFers.
There are two gigantic types listed. Will the Pats want that type of OT considering their attempt to play more wide zone?
The OTs in this class have gotten a lot of press. I think it's a deep class, but it's not top-heavy with an Orlando Pace or anything. I don't see anyone without obvious questions. Skoronski is short, has short arms, and doesn't yet have NFL play strength. Paris doesn't have the fluid athleticism you'd want to see. Etc.

I think there's a glut of strong OT prospects that I would generally value in the mid 1st to early 3rd, so the class overall is strong. Maybe 8 to as many as 14 or 15 if we're talking through the end of round 3. That's like one OT picked out of every 6 picks for the entire first two days!

This draft class kinda sucks on offense overall. TE and RB are strong. OT is deep. But it looks to me like a defensive draft.
 

aloyouis

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I can't see that, but I know some of you can and have, in the past, been so kind as to repost. I understand one or more developmental players was mocked to NE...
Here you go. Will be multiple posts.

The underclassman deadline has come and gone, so we now know the official pool of players available for the 2023 NFL Draft. We also have the official draft order for the first 23 selections. Picks 24 through 31 will come into focus throughout the playoffs (remember, the Dolphins forfeited their first-rounder, so there will be only 31 picks in Round 1 this year).


Normally, I hate projecting trades this early in the process, but the overwhelming odds say the Bears will trade out of the No. 1 spot. I’ve also added two more first-round trades as teams look to jump up for quarterbacks.


Mock 2.0:


Round 1


1.
Indianapolis Colts (via Chicago): Bryce Young, QB, Alabama


Projected trade: No. 1 for Nos. 4, 35 and a 2024 first-round pick


This trade makes sense for both sides. The Colts have a clear need at quarterback, with an owner and general manager who are motivated to get it right. Colts GM Chris Ballard, who was previously a scout in Chicago, is very familiar with Bears GM Ryan Poles — the two worked together for four years in the Chiefs’ front office. This would mark the third time over the last 25 years that the Colts held the No. 1 pick. It worked out well the other two times: Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck.


Bryce Young is a complete outlier from a size perspective and would be somewhat off-type for Ballard, but Young’s instincts, vision and accuracy as a passer are the traits worth betting on at the position. It won’t be a driving reason behind a trade up, but sniping Young ahead of division foe Houston would be an added benefit.

2. Houston Texans: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky


Obviously, this selection will be heavily influenced by the Texans’ new hire at head coach. It wouldn’t be a surprise, however, if Houston’s key decision-makers wind up with Will Levis atop their draft board. The Kentucky passer is built for the NFL game and checks numerous boxes with his size, mobility, arm strength, intelligence and competitive toughness.


Levis didn’t have the senior season many expected, with a new play caller and a subpar supporting cast compared to the previous year. Some evaluators will say those are excuses; others see it more as an explanation. Regardless, the traits — both physical and mental — are impressive and will lead several NFL teams to believe he is QB1 in this class.

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


Since Kyler Murray isn’t going anywhere, Arizona’s new general manager and head coach will be hoping that quarterbacks come off the board with the first two selections, which would give the Cardinals the opportunity to draft the top non-QB.


An outstanding pass rusher and run defender, Will Anderson Jr., has a bendy, flexible frame with explosiveness in his upper half to attack from different positions. His junior season (10 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, one interception) didn’t quite live up to his remarkable sophomore year (17.5 sacks, 31 tackles for loss), but he still ranked top five in the nation in quarterback pressures. J.J. Watt’s retirement means that the Cardinals are losing one of the best pass rushers in NFL history, but adding Anderson would give the franchise a new defensive cornerstone for the future.


4. Chicago Bears (via Indianapolis): Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia


For the next few months, Bears fans will be debating between Anderson and Jalen Carter. In this scenario, the decision is made for them. Carter is young, which is evident in several areas of his game, but it is also clear how uniquely talented he is with his combination of body control and power. His block destruction and disruption are special.


For Bears fans screaming that the return in this trade scenario (this pick, No. 35 and a future first) isn’t enough, there would be added value in trading back with the Colts, as opposed to the Raiders (No. 7 overall), Panthers (No. 9 overall) or another team. The opportunity to stay within striking distance of the two “elite” defensive prospects in this draft should give the Colts a hypothetical advantage if the Bears have multiple offers to consider.

5. Carolina Panthers (via Seattle): C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State


Projected trade: No. 5 for Nos. 9, 93 and a 2024 first-round pick


Two years ago, the Panthers decided to pass on an Ohio State quarterback (Justin Fields). In this draft, they might be trading up for a different Buckeye. Regardless of Carolina’s head coach hire, we know ownership will heavily influence what the team does with this top-10 pick, and it is fair to assume David Tepper is tired of the quarterback carousel of veteran washouts.


With his accuracy and ability to read the field, C.J. Stroud can carve up defenses if given time to operate from the pocket. Although it came in a playoff-semifinal loss to Georgia, Stroud had a career performance in his final college game (348 yards passing, four touchdowns). On that tape, Stroud showed an improved comfort level when he was required to create outside of structure, which will only help him throughout the draft process.



6. Detroit Lions (via L.A. Rams): Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon


After Anderson and Carter, there is a clear drop-off to the next tier of non-quarterback prospects in this class.


Christian Gonzalez flashed enough at Colorado to earn the No. 9 spot on my summer top-50 board, and he lived up to that hype in his one season at Oregon. With his speed/length athletic profile and the Lions’ need at cornerback, Gonzalez (the brother-in-law of former Lions’ backup quarterback David Blough) should be on Detroit’s short list for its first of two Round 1 picks.


7. Las Vegas Raiders: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State


With Derek Carr on his way out the door, we know the Raiders will be doing their homework on this quarterback class. They might not be in a position to get their top-ranked guy, though.


The Raiders got better-than-expected play this season from right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor, but he is a free agent, and investing in the offensive line is never a bad way to go. Paris Johnson Jr. is a fluid big man with length and power and the gifts to recover when he misfires his punch.
 

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8. Atlanta Falcons: Peter Skoronski, OT/G, Northwestern


Originally, I had the Falcons keeping Georgia left tackle Broderick Jones in his home state with this pick, but Peter Skoronski would give Atlanta a little more flexibility on the offensive line. While his lack of length is a legitimate concern, Skoronski has outstanding tape due to his feet, technique and processing. Scouts believe he has five-position versatility, which would allow the Falcons to move him around and get their five best blockers on the field.


9. Seattle Seahawks (via Carolina): Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech


If you watched the Seahawks wilt in the second half of their wild-card matchup against the 49ers, you know that their defense needs help. At 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds with almost 36-inch arms, Tyree Wilson is a big, powerful athlete who can be disruptive from various alignments along the defensive line.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans): Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State


With James Bradberry likely to get paid elsewhere this offseason, the Eagles will be looking to address the cornerback position. Joey Porter Jr., the son of a former Pro Bowler, is a long and physical (sometimes, too physical) athlete with the cover skills that might land him in the top 10.


11. Tennessee Titans: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia


Depending on what the Titans do in free agency, this could be a very offensive line-focused draft. Nine years ago, the franchise used the No. 11 pick on a promising left tackle named Taylor Lewan, who became a Pro Bowler. With Lewan looming as a potential offseason cut, history could repeat itself here and land Jones in Tennessee.




12. Houston Texans (from Cleveland): Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson


The Texans drafted their quarterback earlier and now they address the defensive line. After his Freshman All-America season in 2020, Bryan Bresee totaled just 27 tackles over the past two years as he battled injuries and personal tragedy. But, as long as the medicals check out, he is an explosive player worthy of a spot in the top half of Round 1.


13. New York Jets: Brian Branch, S, Alabama


One of the best defensive players in the draft, Brian Branch was the linchpin of Nick Saban’s defense in Tuscaloosa, and his versatility as a nickel or safety will translate well to the pro game. Although he doesn’t have ideal size, Branch is outstanding in coverage and a strong tackler.




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


Smooth, strong and long, Myles Murphy has a lot of the traits that would appeal to Bill Belichick. Given his expected testing numbers at the scouting combine, Murphy will create buzz throughout the process, even though his rush plan and setup are still in the development phase.


15. Detroit Lions (via Green Bay): Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida


Projected trade: No. 15 for Nos. 18 and 48


In last year’s first round, the Lions made a major trade with a division foe to move up for a high-upside offensive star (Jameson Williams). They could do it again this year and invest in their future at the quarterback position.


Thanks to his size, athleticism and arm, Anthony Richardson is a total freak show with a high ceiling, but he’s still figuring out how to be a consistent passer. Jared Goff’s presence would let Detroit develop Richardson at his own pace.
 

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16. Washington Commanders: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina


The Commanders’ cornerback play was frustratingly inconsistent this season, so there should be changes coming. Although he’s not quite on the same level as his former college teammate, Jaycee Horn, Cam Smith is stylistically similar with his length, light-footed movements and aggressive approach.


17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois


Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is going to love Devon Witherspoon. No, Witherspoon doesn’t have ideal size (under 6-0 and 185 pounds), but the Pensacola, Fla., native plays with the fiery demeanor and physicality of a much bigger player. His mentality plus his controlled movements and coverage anticipation will make him an NFL starter from day one.


18. Green Bay Packers (via Detroit): Lukas Van Ness, DL, Iowa


This feels like a very Packers pick, right? Lukas Van Ness was not even a starter for the Hawkeyes and might not have the most impressive collegiate resume. With his explosive power and upside, though, the Iowa product has the toolsy profile that Green Bay covets on the defensive line.


19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas


With Lavonte David’s future in Tampa Bay uncertain, the Buccaneers might need to replace one of the best defensive players in franchise history. A former five-star recruit at Alabama, Drew Sanders is coming off a breakout season (103 tackles and 9.5 sacks) and boasts the athletic range and instincts that could make him the first linebacker drafted.


20. Seattle Seahawks: Jordan Addison, WR, USC


If the Seahawks invest in Geno Smith for the short term, surrounding him with more talent would be an understandable strategy. The first receiver drafted here, Jordan Addison has inconsistent play strength, but he is a twitchy athlete with the crafty routes and play speed to work all three levels of the field.
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame


The Chargers need to make changes this offseason, and it will be interesting to see what buttons they push. Something the organization should be trying to do every year is upgrade on offense around their talented quarterback, Justin Herbert. Michael Mayer is a physical blocker and will be one of the best contested-catch tight ends in the NFL the moment he is drafted.


22. Baltimore Ravens: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia


This pick is reminiscent of when the Ravens drafted Marlon Humphrey in the mid-first round in 2017. Like Humphrey, Kelee Ringo has above-average size, speed and the compete skills to immediately match up with NFL receivers. But his route anticipation and awareness are still immature, which is why not all NFL teams view him as a first-round lock.



23. Minnesota Vikings: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland


Between now and the draft, I’m sure we will hear plenty of quarterback talk surrounding the Vikings. But they also need help on defense, obviously, including in the secondary. A cover-and-clobber corner, Deonte Banks has rangy speed and ball skills. Several NFL teams have second-round grades on the Maryland corner, but others believe he can crack the first round.


24. Jacksonville Jaguars: Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia


Back in the 2006 NFL Draft, the Jaguars drafted a big combo tight end late in the first round: Marcedes Lewis, who’d go on to be a Pro Bowler in Jacksonville. Darnell Washington is even bigger than Lewis and has better upside as both a pass catcher and blocker. His unique skill set will mean he’s valued differently by every offense, but it would be fun to see how he could blossom within the Jaguars’ offensive ecosystem.



25. New York Giants: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU


The Giants have gotten better-than-expected play from wide receivers like Isaiah Hodgins this season, but the position remains an area of need. Quentin Johnston is an intriguing evaluation because he has outstanding physical traits, like size (6-4, 215), speed (4.4 40-yard dash) and springs in his legs. He also tracks the ball naturally, although he will have focus drops and his route running is a work in progress. Johnston has the talent to warrant top-20 consideration, but he isn’t a lock to go that high.
 

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26. Dallas Cowboys: Siaki Ika, NT, Baylor


History tells us this won’t be the pick — the Cowboys haven’t drafted a defensive tackle in the top 50 since Russell Maryland at No. 1 in 1991. However, the Cowboys are committed to upgrading their defense and Ika would give them a boulder in the middle of the line. At 355 pounds, Ika is a hard guy to move at the point of attack, but he also has the short-area quickness to be disruptive.


27. Cincinnati Bengals: Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State


The third tight end off the board in this mock, Luke Musgrave would be much more well-known had he not missed most of his senior year with an injury. At 6-foot-6, 250 pounds with 4.5 speed, he is an impressive athlete for the position and has strength and body fluidity as both a blocker and receiver. Adding a weapon like this to the Bengals offense would create fireworks.


28. Denver Broncos (via San Francisco): O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida


How many returning starters will the Broncos have on their offensive line next season? Changes are coming. O’Cyrus Torrence is a large, physical guard with vice grips for hands and the drive power to create movement in the run game. He could be a starter in Denver from day one.



29. Buffalo Bills: Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M


Whether you ask him to play free, strong or nickel safety, Antonio Johnson has the talent to fill any of those roles at a high level. He competes with a physical nature to defeat blocks and make plays near the line of scrimmage, but he also offers the range and balance to cover in space.


30. Kansas City Chiefs: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State


With the MVP of the league at quarterback, the Chiefs might not feel compelled to use first-round capital on a wide receiver. If the “right” pass catcher is there, though, it might change their thinking. Even though he isn’t the top-10 pick some seem to think, Jaxon Smith-Njigba already runs routes like a pro and has the ball skills that will translate well to the NFL game.

31. Philadelphia Eagles: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

The last time the Eagles drafted a running back in the first round, Ron Jaworski was Philadelphia’s starting quarterback. But Bijan Robinson is one of the best talents in this draft class and would be a bargain with the final pick of Round 1. The Texas running back has no business falling this far. There just aren’t too many clear landing spots within the top 30 picks.
 

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Round 2


32. Pittsburgh Steelers (via Chicago):
Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson


Giving up Chase Claypool for an ultra-athletic linebacker like Trenton Simpson? I think the Steelers would be happy with that outcome.


33. Houston Texans: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
34. Arizona Cardinals: Clark Phillips III, CB,
Utah
35. Chicago Bears (via Indianapolis):
BJ Ojulari, Edge, LSU
36.
Los Angeles Rams: Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia
37. Seattle Seahawks (via Denver):
Gervon Dexter Sr., DT, Florida
38. Las Vegas Raiders:
Zach Harrison, Edge, Ohio State
39. Carolina Panthers:
Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama


Carolina general manager Scott Fitterer said the Panthers will hunt “explosive-type” players in the draft and Gibbs is exactly that, both as a runner and receiver.


40. New Orleans Saints: Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State
41. Tennessee Titans:
Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
42.
Cleveland Browns: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan


Would Mazi Smith be the best defensive tackle on the Browns roster the moment he’s drafted? It’s no mystery that is a position of need for Cleveland.


43. New York Jets: Cody Mauch, OL, North Dakota State
44. Atlanta Falcons:
Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati
45. Green Bay Packers:
Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
46. New England Patriots:
Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
47. Washington Commanders: Anton Harrison, OT,
Oklahoma
48. Green Bay Packers (via Detroit):
A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest
49. Pittsburgh Steelers:
Matthew Bergeron, OT/G, Syracuse
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Kyu Blu Kelly, CB, Stanford


Tampa Bay drafted Brian Kelly at No. 45 in 1998, and he helped the franchise win a Super Bowl. The Bucs could try to repeat history 25 years later with Kelly’s son, Kyu Blu.


51. Miami Dolphins: Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M
52. Seattle Seahawks:
Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
53. Chicago Bears (via Baltimore):
Cedric Tillman, WR, Tennessee
54. Los Angeles Chargers:
Jaelyn Duncan, OT/G, Maryland
55. Detroit Lions (via Minnesota):
Isaiah Foskey, Edge, Notre Dame
56. Jacksonville Jaguars:
Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin
57. New York Giants:
Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
58. Dallas Cowboys:
DJ Turner, CB, Michigan


Neither of Dallas’ Day 2 cornerbacks from the 2021 draft (Kelvin Joseph, Nahshon Wright) have been dependable. It is time to reinvest in the position.
 

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59. Cincinnati Bengals: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
60. Carolina Panthers (via San Francisco):
Keion White, DL, Georgia Tech
61. Buffalo Bills:
Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
62. Kansas City Chiefs:
Mike Morris, Edge, Michigan
63. Philadelphia Eagles:
Derick Hall, Edge, Auburn


With three picks in the first two rounds, Eagles GM Howie Roseman is going to draft at least one pass rusher, right? Here, Derick Hall goes from War Eagle to Philadelphia Eagle.
 

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The OTs in this class have gotten a lot of press. I think it's a deep class, but it's not top-heavy with an Orlando Pace or anything. I don't see anyone without obvious questions. Skoronski is short, has short arms, and doesn't yet have NFL play strength. Paris doesn't have the fluid athleticism you'd want to see. Etc.

I think there's a glut of strong OT prospects that I would generally value in the mid 1st to early 3rd, so the class overall is strong. Maybe 8 to as many as 14 or 15 if we're talking through the end of round 3. That's like one OT picked out of every 6 picks for the entire first two days!

This draft class kinda sucks on offense overall. TE and RB are strong. OT is deep. But it looks to me like a defensive draft.

The draft should line up then for the Pats to add OT in the draft and then go heavy on defense: CB1, MLB, FS, DT
There are also several free agents that might make sense too, as you have noted.
The Patriots’ free cap isn’t as big as some people think; after re-signing some key players (Meyers) they have to very choiceful in FA
 
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chevss454

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Positionally (I don't know anything about the players) if that is how the board falls, I would think CB then OT would be much better for this team.

I'm thinking WR1 or CB1 at 14 and OT in the 2nd round since OT is a deep group this year.
 
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