Cody Carpentier’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

by Cody Carpentier · NFL Draft

Welcome to my 2023 NFL Mock Draft 2.0! As NFL Conference Championship Weekend nears, there are four teams currently waiting in the balance on draft position. Kansas City, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, but none of their fanbases are even thinking about the draft.. their eyes are deadset on the Phoenix sunlight, beaming in from the West! Before I make the trek south to Mobile, Alabama with The Podfather, Alex Dunlap, and The Trashman, and across the country to see Dario in Phoenix for Super Bowl week, I am dropping in to bring you the second iteration of my 2023 NFL Mock Draft Series. As in 2022, the Mock Draft Series will add one round per iteration with Mock 8.0 coming the night before the 2023 NFL Draft, Live from Kansas City.

This mock is built on research done across media in an attempt to hit on the 31 players that are expected to be drafted in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft. Picks will change, players will progress and regress and Teams will trade between now and April, but we will continue to build. If you enjoy it, feel free to share and leave a comment on Twitter @CarpentierNFL.

Be sure to subscribe to for Behind the Scenes footage from Mobile, Phoenix, Indianapolis, and more while I travel through the process. Exclusive opportunities to Mock Draft with me, and ‘Unfiltered’ backstage episodes!

Round 1 (Pick 1-32)

No. 1 – Indianapolis Colts (TRADE) – Will Levis, QB – Kentucky

Nobody wants to project a trade in their Mock Draft, it just feels gross trying to assume what is going to happen in this context. But few teams are in panic mode like the Indianapolis Colts are. I really think the move to trade up should be for Will Levis, but the writing seems to be on the wall for Indy to grab the guy that is the most pro-ready with the one thing Bryce Young is missing, NFL Size. It’s between C.J. Stroud and Sir Will Levis. According to multiple sources, Colts GM Chris Ballard has a size chart for drafting all positions, and the threshold at Quarterback is 6’3″ and around 210 lbs.

No. 2 – Houston Texans – Bryce Young, QB – Alabama

The Houston Texans could benefit from waiting one more season at Quarterback, but I’m not sure the front office can take a 4th consecutive season with less than 5-wins. As they take the best Year 1 Talent at Quarterback in the class and move on.

No. 3 – Arizona Cardinals – Will Anderson Jr, EDGE – Alabama

Losing J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones hurts, and only adds to the lengthy need for pass rushing in Arizona. They get the clear best class, and once thought of as the lock 1.01.

No. 4 – Chicago Bears (TRADE)Jalen Carter, DL – Georgia

It feels like about a 6% chance that Chicago actually makes the pick at no. 1 overall, Houston is a clear QB-needy team and whoever falls in love with “Their Guy” over the next eight weeks will likely make the move up with Chicago. Jalen Carter, however, is the pick for Chicago, if they are able to stay in the Top 5.

No. 5 – Seattle Seahawks(via DEN) – Tyree Wilson, EDGE – Texas Tech

Shoutout to Russell Wilson for rebuilding the Seahawks’ defense, one draft at a time. Seattle has used Eight draft picks between Round 1 and 3, on the Defensive Line since 2012.

No. 6 – Detroit Lions(via LAR) – C.J. Stroud, QB – Ohio State

Detroit holds pick no. 18 as well in the 1st round, and that allows them to navigate however they wish within the first round. Moving up or down from 6. Stroud or Anderson falling to 6 looks like it’s more and more likely to happen. Jared Goff has carries a $62.2 million dollar cap hit, with $10 million in dead cap in 2023, and $5 million in 2024. Goff is not the long-term answer, despite the team telling us they “like” him. Drafting Stroud will allow him to TAKE the job from Goff down the stretch of the season as Detroit has the talent to push for the NFC North Division Title.

No. 7 – Las Vegas Raiders – Paris Johnson, OT – Ohio State

Since dismantling the Offensive Line in 2021, Las Vegas has struggled to fit pieces back in place. Paris Johnson is a step in the right direction, even if he isn’t the best Offensive Lineman in the class. But when have the Raiders ever selected the right offensive lineman?

No. 8 – Atlanta Falcons – Joey Porter Jr,  CB – Penn State

Atlanta needs depth and power at the cornerback position, they entered the season with a strong duo, and with injury and age, the room faded quickly. Joey Porter, Devon Witherspoon, or Cam Smith would fit great opposite of A.J. Terrell.

No. 9 – Carolina Panthers – Quentin Johnston, WR – TCU

Quentin Johnston is a stud, but lacks some lower half thickness and agility – the rumored 4.40 speed doesn’t quite show up on tape but the athleticism is apparent, and if he jumps out of the building in Indianapolis, teams will be scrapping for the build. He is the only Wide Receiver in the Top 6, over 6’0 tall. Carolina will look to Free Agency for Quarterback, and the draft for weapons to pair with Chuba Hubbard and D.J. Moore.

Quentin Johnston Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

No. 10 – Philadelphia Eagles(via NO) – Cam Smith, CB – South Carolina

On the Clock, with two draft picks in Round 1 yet again. If Roseman can’t strike on a Defensive Lineman, he will always consider a trade down, OR grab the best Cornerback on the board to pair with the best/oldest duo in the NFL, Darius Slay(32), and James Bradberry(29.4). Looking down the line, Slay has void years in 2024, and 2025 that carries a cap hit of $18.015 million. The Eagles’ 2024 cap is currently slated to be well over $250 million.

No. 11 –Tennessee Titans – Peter Skoronski, OT – Northwestern

No. 12 – Houston Texans(via CLE) – Myles Murphy, EDGE – Clemson

After selecting Bryce Young at No. 2 overall, the Texans are back on the clock thanks to the Deshaun Watson trade of 2022. The Texans can go in any direction, from Wide Receiver to bolster the Offense and give Young another weapon, or a Cornerback to join the 2022 Top-10 Pick, Derek Stingley.

No. 13 – New York Jets – Christian Gonzalez, CB – Oregon

If this pick isn’t traded for Aaron Rodgers in the next 6 weeks, I’d be shocked! Nonetheless, New York could benefit by adding depth on the Offensive Line or Cornerback opposite of Sauce Gardner.

No. 14 – New England Patriots – Devon Witherspoon, CB – Illinois

No. 15 – Green Bay Packers – Jordan Addison, WR – USC

The Packers have a clear need for weapons, after spending 12 of 17 draft picks in Rounds 1 and 2 on the Defense since 2015, the Packers attempted to trade up for Christian Watson into Round 1 of the 2022 Draft. In 2023, they finally address it and they do it early.

No. 16 – Washington Commanders – Nolan Smith, EDGE – Georgia

The team that arguably needs Cornerback help the most, finds themselves at the end of a run that saw 4 cornerbacks go over a span of 8 selections. Instead, they take LB/EDGE rusher Nolan Smith from Georgia to play alongside Chase Young and Montez Sweat. Young has played 5 games over the last two seasons.

No. 17 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Broderick Jones, OT – Georgia

Tackle, Guard, Tackle, Guard, Tackle, Guard… Whichever direction Pittsburgh tries to cure during Free Agency, they will grab the other in Round 1 of the board falls this way. Broderick Jones and O’Cyrus Torrence are the top options on the board.

No. 18 – Detroit Lions – Calijah Kancey, DT – Pittsburgh

Back on the clock, this time with their own pick after almost making the playoffs in Week 18. Grabbing C.J. Stroud inside the Top 10 allows Detroit to move back from 18, they also have pick no. 48 and 55 in Round 2. But for Mock Draft purposes we won’t set up a trade. Instead, General Manager Brad Holmes strikes again from the same place he found Aaron Donald back in 2013, Pittsburgh. Kancey is 6’0 280lbs, with an NFL motor, and first-team All-American awards from eight different publications.

No. 19 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Anthony Richardson, QB – Florida

No. 20 – Seattle Seahawks – Trenton Simpson, LB – Clemson

Cody Barton is a free agent, and Simpson would slot in right next to Jordyn Brooks, the Seahawks’ leading tackler from 2022.

No. 21 – *Forfeited by the Miami Dolphins*

No. 22 – Los Angeles Chargers – Bryan Bresee, DT – Clemson

No. 23 – Baltimore Ravens – Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR – Ohio State

Rashod Bateman will return from injury in 2023, he only played in the slot on 10.1% of snaps. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Devin Duvernay, and Rashod Bateman are incredible improvements from where the Ravens finished in 2022, with DeSean Jackson, Sammy Watkins, and James Proche.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

No. 24 – Minnesota Vikings – Kelee Ringo, CB – Georgia

Ringo was once considered a Top 10-15 pick and has since fallen. Cameron Dantzler has yet to return to Rookie form, and Patrick Peterson will be 33 when the 2023 season begins.

No. 25 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Luke Musgrave, TE – Oregon State

The first Tight End off of the board is not the “M’F Mackey” as Evan Silva would say. It’s not the 6’8″ Darnell Washington. It’s Luke Musgrave, the hyper-athlete from Oregon State. Musgrave will be in Mobile next week for the Senior Bowl and that will only be the beginning of Musgraves’s growth through the draft process. You may not start to see him consistently mocked in Round 1 until he tears the roof off of Lucas Oil Stadium in March.

No. 26 – New York Giants – Drew Sanders, LB – Arkansas

Dallas will be eyeing the Denton, Texas native, as they need help at Linebacker. Jaylon Smith bounced back towards the end of 2022, and Jarrad Davis was signed down the stretch – Linebacker is the clear BIG need for New York on Defense.

No. 27 – Dallas Cowboys –  Dawand Jones, OT – Ohio State

The largest human in the 2023 NFL Draft, Jones should measure around 6’8″ and tilt the scales north of 350lbs. Dallas has dealt with injuries year after year, and age is starting to catch up as well.

No. 28 – Buffalo Bills – Antonio Johnson, S – Texas A&M

Jordan Poyer enters free agency in 2023, and after spending three picks in the first three rounds since 2019 on running back. The Bills have almost blown through their Super Bowl window from a Cap standpoint. It’s time now to make some of the hard decisions, cut veterans, and buckle down on later-round picks.

No. 29 – Cincinnati Bengals – Anton Harrison, OT – Oklahoma

If the Bengals focus on continuing to bolster the Offensive Line and keep Joey Franchise on his feet, they will be in a few more Super Bowls.

No. 30 – Denver Broncos(via SF) – O’Cyrus Torrence, OL – Florida

Will Dalton Risner return the Denver in 2023?

No. 31 – Kansas City Chiefs – Josh Downs, WR – North Carolina

Josh Downs and Zay Flowers are a spider meme in this NFL Draft process, the difference is Flowers is a year older, Downs has dealt with Injuries, but he is a STUD!

No. 32 – Philadelphia Eagles – Mazi Smith, DT – Michigan

Jordan Davis and Mazi Smith… Whoa!

Round 2 (Pick 33-64)

No. 33 – Pittsburgh Steelers(via CHI) – Zay Flowers, WR – Boston College

No. 34 – Houston Texans – Jalin Hyatt, WR – Tennessee

No. 35 – Arizona Cardinals – Clark Phillips, CB – Utah

No. 36 – Chicago Bears(via IND) – Kayshon Boutte, WR – LSU

No. 37 – Los Angeles Rams – B.J. Ojulari, EDGE – LSU

No. 38 – Seattle Seahawks(via DEN) – Julius Brents, CB – Kansas State

No. 39 – Las Vegas Raiders – Bijan Robinson, RB – Texas

No. 40 – Carolina Panthers – Lukas Van Ness, DL – Iowa

No. 41 – New Orleans Saints – Emmanuel Forbes, CB – Mississippi State

No. 42 – Tennessee Titans – Brian Branch, S – Alabama

No. 43 – Cleveland Browns – Isaiah Foskey, EDGE – Notre Dame

No. 44 – New York Jets – Andre Carter, EDGE – Army

No. 45 – Atlanta Falcons – Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE – Kansas State

No. 46 – Green Bay Packers – Michael Mayer, TE – Notre Dame

No. 47 – New England Patriots – Cedric Tillman, WR – Tennessee

No. 48 – Washington Commanders – Eli Ricks, CB – Alabama

No. 49 – Detroit Lions – Tyrique Stevenson, CB – Miami(FL)

Detroit Lions cornerbacks coach Shaun Dion Hamilton will be coaching the American Team’s defensive backs in Mobile for the Senior Bowl. Look for them to target one of the cornerbacks to add in round two.

No. 50 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Deonte Banks, CB – Maryland

No. 51 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Siaki Ika, DL – Baylor

No. 52 – Miami Dolphins – Jahmyr Gibbs, RB – Alabama

No. 53 – Seattle Seahawks – Will McDonald, EDGE – Iowa State

No. 54 – Chicago Bears(via BAL) – Cody Mauch, OT – North Dakota State

No. 55 – Los Angeles Chargers – Rashee Rice, WR – SMU

No. 56 – Detroit Lions(via MIN) – Dalton Kincaid, TE – Utah

No. 57 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Jaelyn Duncan, OT – Maryland

No. 58 – New York Giants – Xavier Hutchinson, WR – Iowa State

No. 59 – Dallas Cowboys – D.J. Turner, CB – Michigan

No. 60 – Buffalo Bills – Trey Palmer, WR – Nebraska

No. 61 – Cincinnati Bengals – Tucker Kraft, TE – South Dakota State

No. 62 – Carolina Panthers(via SF) – Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB – TCU

No. 63 – Kansas City Chiefs – Mike Morris, DL – Michigan

No. 64 – Philadelphia Eagles – Devon Achane, RB – Texas A&M

Look for more Mock Drafts in the Dynasty Deluxe section under NFL Mock Draft Index. Aside from NFL Mock Draft Data, you can find 2023 Rookie Mock Draft ADP (SuperFlex and 1QB) as well as Dynasty Mock Draft ADP (SuperFlex and 1QB), a Dynasty League Trade Finder App, Rankings, Trade Analyzer, and the Brand New Dynasty Dominator Reloaded.

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