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2023 NFL Mock Draft: Burroughs Edition 1.0

Will Anderson Jr.

(Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Will Anderson Jr.
(Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

2023 NFL Mock Draft: Burroughs Edition 1.0

It is NEVER too early for an NFL mock draft, am I right? I mean, big-time folks usually release a mock just days after the current year’s draft for goodness’ sake. So, it got me thinking, why not release my version 1.0 mock draft? We are 10 weeks into the NFL season, meaning enter the back stretch of the season, it seems as good a time as any to get the mock draft simulator fired up.

Here are some rules I want to lay down before we begin:

  • There will be no trades in my mocks. While I do enjoy reading people’s mocks which do involve trades, my brain can’t function at a high enough level to do so.
  • The order of the teams will obviously change a few times before my final edition.
  • Yes, there will be video releases as we go on, but for the start, we are just sticking to the article.

No. 1) Houston Texans: Will Anderson Jr. (EDGE, Alabama)

Our first pick of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft is a bit of a shocker.

Yes, I am well aware that the Texans have a glaring need at quarterback. But if you have been following along with the college football season, the top guys in C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young are slightly regressing from their prior seasons, thus leaving Houston with a big-time decision to make. Do they pull the trigger on one of these guys, hoping they turn it around, or do they select the No. 1 player in the class? In this mock, they do the latter.

No. 2) Las Vegas Raiders: Jalen Carter (DT, Georgia)

Before the season began, I gave quite the hot take about these Las Vegas Raiders. It is safe to say that this has been a disastrous season for the team, leaving them with the second overall pick in the draft. While most Raiders fans would have them select a quarterback, I believe that they need to fix this defense at all costs — plus, next year’s crop of quarterbacks is shaping up to be quite nice as well. So if the defense does improve and Derek Carr just isn’t the guy, you can replace him next year. In the simplest terms, Carter is a game-wrecker, and someone you simply can not pass up on.

No. 3) Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young (QB, Alabama)

Talk about a dream scenario for the Panthers, my goodness. Never in their wildest dreams could they have seen the top signal caller in the class dropping to them at three. The quarterback situation in Carolina is a mess right now, and Young would have a chance to come in and be the day-one starter for this team. Young is the piece they can build around for years to come in a division that, right now, is kind of up for the taking in the near future.

No. 4) Philadelphia Eagles: Myles Murphy (EDGE, Clemson)

This is an ideal trade-down spot with Stroud still on the board, but as I mentioned before, there is no trading in this mock. The Eagles have a clear need at pass rusher, and Murphy is so young that he can grow into that game wrecker the Eagles are needing. He will be 21 next year, which means he isn’t even scratching his potential yet as an EDGE rusher. This is a great long-term investment for the Eagles.

No. 5) Jacksonville Jaguars: Kelee Ringo (CB, Georgia)

While I do believe this might be a tad high for Ringo, I do believe he is one of, if not the best, cornerbacks in the class, and Jacksonville has a clear need at the position. Ringo is a long, athletic corner who has gone up against some of the best receivers in the country. I expect the Bulldogs to produce another outstanding class as they did a season ago.

No. 6) Chicago Bears: Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR, Ohio State)

The Chicago Bears could go one of two directions here. With the emergence of Justin Fields as a runner, they could select a tackle and help sure up that offensive line. However, I think this is a little high for any of these tackles, so instead, they go with the second direction and finally draft Fields some help — who just so happens to be the best receiver in the country. There is depth at tackle in this class, so look for them to grab some help in the later rounds.

No. 7) Seattle Seahawks: C.J. Stroud (QB, Ohio State)

The slide finally stops in Seattle. The Seahawks absolutely crushed their draft last year, compounded with their fleece of the Denver Broncos in the Russell Wilson trade, they are set up for long-term success. I like Geno Smith. I love the story. But with a guy like Stroud there at pick seven, you have your guy to sit and learn behind Geno and take the reigns of the team in a few years. This is a dream scenario for both team and player, I believe.

No. 8) Detroit Lions: Bryan Bresee (DT, Clemson)

The Lions would be furious that Stroud was right there for the taking, and they get sniped out of the pick. However, they get a great consolation prize in Bresee. He has freakish athleticism and gets off blocks with ease at times. Bresee is mostly there for run support, which the Lions desperately need as they are ranked 31st in the NFL.

No. 9) Houston Texans: Jordan Addison (WR, USC)

With the Texans not going quarterback at one, you might question why they would choose to go receiver here with their second first-round pick. That would be valid, but when you have the chance to grab a guy like Addison, you do it. The Pittsburgh transfer has been lighting it up with Caleb Williams out there in Southern California, and he is your future WR1 when you grab your QB next year — maybe even Williams.

No. 10) Pittsburgh Steelers: Peter Skoronski (OT, Northwestern)

The offense is set for the future. Now, the Steelers must invest in the offensive line at all costs. Bringing in my OT1 in Skoronski will go a long way in doing just that. The one knock on Skoronski will be his arm length, but he has experience at tackle and guard, which if you’ve been following this site and myself for the last few years, you know I love guys who can play both positions. He is as consistent as they come, which is something the Steelers need on that offensive line.

No. 11) Detroit Lions: Will Levis (QB, Kentucky)

With the second of their first-round picks, the Lions do pull the trigger on their future franchise quarterback in Levis. Levis reminds me a lot of Mac Jones, both of which I don’t believe should’ve been first-round picks but they will be. He has a better arm, moves better outside the pocket, and is more built like an NFL QB. His offensive line at Kentucky is doing him no favors, but he has also been playing poorly as well this season. However, I think he has the potential to be something and the Lions see that as well.

No. 12) Atlanta Falcons: Quentin Johnston (WR, TCU)

This also feels like a trade-down spot, because I don’t love the prospects on the board here for Atlanta. However, the trade of Calvin Ridley to Jacksonville does open up a hole at receiver. I know Falcons fans should be skeptical of this because they were high on Kyle Pitts and he just isn’t producing at all because of the offensive scheme and they might do the same thing to Johnston. Atlanta has to realize soon that Marcus Mariota isn’t the answer, and when they do decide on Desmond Ridder or another signal caller, they will have plenty of options.

No. 13) Arizona Cardinals: Broderick Jones (OT, Georgia)

Outside of Skoronski, there might not be an offensive tackle prospect I love more than Jones. He is a mauler in the run game, using his quick feet and great punch to move up to the second level quickly. He also is very good in pass protection. With a guy like Kyler Murray under center, it would be wise to start investing in that offensive line. There are off to a great start with Jones.

No. 14) Green Bay Packers: Kayshon Boutte (WR, LSU)

At some point, the Green Bay Packers HAVE to get Aaron Rodgers some help early in the draft, and for the first time since 2002, the Packers draft a receiver in the first round. Boutte struggled to start the year but has been warming up in recent weeks for an LSU team that will be playing for an SEC Championship this year. Green Bay already has their big-body receiver of the future in Christian Watson, Boutte will slide right into this offense in the slot.

No. 15) Indianapolis Colts: BJ Ojulari (EDGE, LSU)

At the halfway point of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft — yes, halfway because there are only 31 picks in the first round this year — I met a crossroads. Again, no trades in this mock but I couldn’t land on a player for the Colts. They need receiver help, don’t love anyone at this spot. Don’t like quarterback either here. They do have a need at pass rusher, so let’s slide them the best on the board.

No. 16) Washington Commanders: Cam Smith (CB, South Carolina)

I do quite enjoy some Smith. He excels in zone coverage but also has closing speed while in man-to-man coverage. The Commanders have some offensive holes to fill, but how the board fell to them, Smith makes a ton of sense to continue to build a great defense.

No. 17) Los Angeles Chargers: Michael Mayer (TE, Notre Dame)

A very popular pick among mocks that I have read in research for my own 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Listen, this Chargers team should be so good offensively, but there must be something in the water out there in Los Angeles because everywhere you look this team is banged up. They have a clear need at tight end, it just so happens the best in the class is sitting right there for them. They also do need IDL help, but that can be found in later rounds.

No. 18) Cincinnati Bengals: Paris Johnson Jr. (OT, Ohio State)

Another falling prospect sees their slide end. The biggest hole on this Bengals team for a few years now has been the offensive line. They have to protect their franchise quarterback, Joe Burrow. Up to this point in his career, they have done a poor job of doing so. Bringing in a tackle like Johnson is a start to keeping their guy upright and in the pocket.

No. 19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Anthony Richardson (QB, Florida)

It all makes sense. You keep the Gator in-state, just down the road a little ways. Listen, Tom Brady can’t play forever … right? He has to retire at some point. Richardson reminds me a lot of Josh Allen, if you give Richardson some time behind the GOAT, he just might develop into your next franchise quarterback.

No. 20) Denver Broncos: Olumuyiwa Fashanu (OT, Penn State)

A fast-rising prospect in this year’s class finds his way into the top 20 of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. Fashanu is turning 20 years old soon, which means that he has all the time in the world to develop into the starting right tackle Denver has been needing for well over five years. Fashanu is athletic, strong and at times really shows a mean streak. All things this awful Denver offensive line needs.

No. 21) New England Patriots: Noah Sewell (LB, Oregon)

The New England Patriots drafted pretty well defensively last year, but one glaring hole on this defense is linebacker. Something they have sorely lacked for years now is speed at the position, insert Sewell. Arguably the best linebacker in the class, Sewell has good speed on the edge and a great spin move to get after the quarterback. He can also drop into coverage and is an above average/good zone defender.

No. 22) Seattle Seahawks: Jalin Hyatt (WR, Tennessee)

The defense is set in Seattle, as I mentioned before. With the offensive line taking shape already, why not get the newly drafted Stroud another weapon outside? Hyatt was not on anyone radars coming into the year, but his incredible play this year for the Volunteers has him mocking in the first round in a lot of mocks, including this one.

No. 23) New York Jets: O’Cyrus Torrence (OG, Florida)

If there was a stud tackle prospect here on the board, I would be all for the Jets taking them. With questions swirling around Mekhi Becton‘s future with the Jets, it would be easy to find a replacement in the draft. But, the Jets still go offensive line here to beef up the interior for this rushing attack. This is another team that is nearly set on defense, I believe it would do them wonders to invest on the interior of the offensive line.

No. 24) Buffalo Bills: Bijan Robinson (RB, Texas)

Rumors were swirling around the trade deadline that the Bills were looking to make a splash at running back. They did make a move for Nyheim Hines at the deadline, but it still feels like an area of opportunity for this team. Landing the best running back in the country would surely catapult them back up to the top of Super Bowl favorites in 2023.

No. 25) Baltimore Ravens: Antonio Johnson (CB/S, Texas A&M)

Johnson is as boom or bust as it gets in the first round of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft. He makes plays in coverage with reckless abandon, is a sure tackler in the open field, and his versatility to play both corner and safety make him valuable. However, he does not possess great speed, and he has been burned multiple ties this year due to a lack of play recognition.

No. 26) Tennessee Titans: Isaiah Foskey (EDGE, Notre Dame)

Another boom or bust type player, Foskey is strong and has very violent hands. He has good bend getting around tackles as well. Pairing him next to a healthy Harold Landry would make a formidable pass rush. His down side, however, is he plays far too upright. He also doesn’t have the best change of direction, so if he gets going one way, he’s a freight train.

No. 27) Dallas Cowboys: Joey Porter Jr. (CB, Penn State)

It’s time the Dallas Cowboys get a legit No. 1 corner. I don’t get the love for Trevon Diggs at all — he gets burned far too easily. That won’t be an issue with Porter. If Porter can be a little less handsy down the field, he can easily come in and win the starting job away from Diggs. He is built for the NFL and plays like he’s a vet.

No. 28) New York Giants: Clark Phillips III (CB, Utah)

The New York Giants have a massive question to answer this offseason at quarterback. Daniel Jones is winning, but still not playing up to the potential folks saw in him when they drafted him when they did. While it might be tempting to take a quarterback here for the G-Men, securing a solid secondary should take priority.

No. 29) Minnesota Vikings: Trenton Simpson (LB, Clemson)

The ultimate swiss army knife. Simpson can line up on the edge, can drop back into coverage and even has experience playing safety at Clemson. He is a sideline to sideline player who brings youth and speed to a Viking linebacker room that is slowly getting up there in age. Simpson and Brian Asamoah will be a nice linebacker corps for years to come.

No. 30) Kansas City Chiefs: Eli Ricks (CB, Alabama)

It seems like the Kansas City Chiefs have needed help in their secondary for a while now. Last year, they took a flier on Trent McDuffie, this year they take another flier on Ricks. On paper, Ricks is one of the most skilled DBs in this years class. Excellent cover corner, great hips, and full of confidence to go and make a big play. But he reminds me a lot of Trevon Diggs because of how many massive plays he is prone to giving up.

No. 31) Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Battle (S, Alabama)

We round out this 2023 NFL Mock Draft with the second first-round pick for the Eagles, who are doubling up on defense. The Eagels have a pair of shutdown corners in Darius Slay and James Bradberry. Adding a range safety like Battle over the top is the makings of a no fly zone out in Philadelphia.


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