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  • Writer's pictureTony G.

2023 NFL Draft: Mock 1.0 - Picks 1-10 (Part One)

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

With the NFL Draft 6 weeks away, we figured what better way to publish our first public post here at JockEnvy, than by pushing out our first mock draft of the spring. We also decided that in each of our mocks, we will add in a few interesting points for the first round. Part one of this mock belongs to our EIC, Tony G. Let's jump right in!

1.) Chicago Bears – Will Anderson EDGE Alabama

Ryan Poles must decide which defender will anchor his defense for the next decade. Jalen Carter has been projected to go to Chicago since they committed to Justin Fields but the recent issues stemming from the accident that killed his former coach and teammate will be enough to make Poles think twice about bringing him to a city that won’t have appositive reinforcement for a kid with some steep character issues. Instead, they bring in Anderson who tallied 10 sacks for the Crimson Tide in 2022. Playing in the SEC translates well to playing in the NFL so Anderson should make an immediate impact on the Bears pathetic pass rush.

2.) Houston Texans – Bryce Young QB Alabama

Houston jumps at the most pro ready QB in the draft in Young. While undersized, Young’s intelligence and accuracy give him the ability to make elite throws at every level. The Texans have one of Young’s favorite college targets in John Metchie III, and if he can return from his leukemia diagnosis, should form a solid core with 2nd year RB Damien Pierce.

3.) Arizona Cardinals – Tyree Wilson EDGE Texas Tech

The Cardinals have a massive need for added pass rush and Wilson has been climbing draft boards in the past few weeks. A freakish athlete, Wilson has the characteristics that should project to him being a special talent in the NFL. With the well-known character issues surrounding star QB Kyler Murray, Arizona decides to keep the potential added drama away from the locker room and passes on the best prospect on the board in Jalen Carter.

4.) Indianapolis Colts – C.J. Stroud QB Ohio State

Indy resists the temptation to trade away their future, stays put at number 4, and is rewarded with it’s new franchise quarterback. Fresh off a stellar Junior season, Stroud will hope to duplicate the success of former Indy first round QBs Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. The Colts still have a lot of work to do to catch the division leading Jaguars, and by not mortgaging their future to move up to the top of the draft, Indy may be able to capitalize on being in a similar spot next year with another top 10 pick.

5.) Carolina Panthers (via Seattle) – Anthony Richardson QB Florida

Carolina makes the first big trade of the first round and leaps past QB needy Las Vegas and Atlanta to fill a massive void under center. Compared to Panthers former quarterback Cam Newton, Richardson brings a similar blend of size and strength to the position. Like Newton, Richardson can carry a team with his legs, but his arm may be better than Newton’s when he entered the league. Richardson makes the Panthers immediate playoff contenders in a weak NFC South.

6.) Detroit Lions – Jalen Carter DT Georgia

The Lions get lucky and have arguably the top prospect in the draft fall into their laps. After landing Aiden Hutchinson in last year’s draft, the Lions now have two young studs in what is shaping up to be an elite defense. Carter’s off-field issues were enough to knock him down the board a few picks, but his Pro Bowl level potential was too much for Detroit to pass on. The 6’3” stud should help a Lions defense that was ranked 29th against the run in 2022.

7.) Las Vegas Raiders – Christian Gonzalez CB Oregon

JUST WIN, BABY needs to take a backseat in the desert as HC Josh McDaniels needs to start worrying about long term success. Vegas has holes at nearly every position on the field and addresses one of them by taking the best CB in the draft. The Raiders will likely take a long look at QB Will Levis in this spot, but my free agency projection has them signing Jimmy Garappolo and waiting to address the position long term. In a division with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Russell Wilson, the Raiders continue to build a defense that will be able to keep them in games.

8.) Atlanta Falcons – Will Levis QB Kentucky

The Falcons took a chance on Desmond Ridder last season and although they won two of the final 4 games, were not overwhelmed with what he showed after the benching of Marcus Mariota. Levis has the best arm in the draft and, in my opinion, has the highest ceiling of any QB in this draft. Some teams were turned off by his decision making, but watching his highlights from 2021, most believe he can be coached through his issues. A Levis/London/Pitts trio adds another young core to a rebuilding NFC South that somehow boasts Derek Carr as the most elite passer in the division… Ouch.

9.) Seattle Seahawks (via Carolina) – Miles Murphy EDGE Clemson

Seattle re-signs Geno Smith in my Free Agency projections, allowing them to add to their already full bin of draft picks, thanks to the Denver Broncos, by trading back with the Carolina Panthers.The Seahawks use the first of those picks to add Murphy to a defense that finished top 10 in sacks a year ago. Murphy may not have the impact of fellow top 10 pass rushers Anderson and Wilson, but he should be a solid piece for the foreseeable future on a defense that borders on elite status once again.

10.) Philadelphia Eagles – Bijan Robinson RB Texas

Begin with a bold prediction, close it out with an outlandish pick. I have chosen to die on this hill, and I am not backing down. The Eagles have some holes to fill after their Super Bowl run and will be losing some defensive starters to free agency. The Eagles also have the luxury of having an extra pick, landing in the top 10. With Miles Sanders leaving in free agency, the Eagles capitalize by drafting the best RB prospect since Saquon Barkley. An elusive back with exceptional pass catching ability, Robinson can impact the game in the same way that Christian McCaffrey does. That is saying a lot and it may be too good of an opportunity for the Eagles to pass up. Trading down makes more sense, as Robinson could be available in the late teens. With teams like Washington, Tampa, Baltimore, and Buffalo sitting in front of the Eagles second round one pick, a sense of urgency could push Howie Roseman to make my bold prediction a reality and make Bijan an Eagle with the 10th overall pick.

One Bold Prediction: The Eagles taking Bijan at 10. RBs seem to be a dime a dozen in the NFL. I just see something magical in Robinson and, for a team that was a holding call away from a Super Bowl championship, swinging for the fences with an extra pick just seems to fit for me.

One Predictable Prediction: Any Patriots fan knows exactly what to expect at pick 14. A trade that takes us out of the first round. Belichick gonna Belichick.

One Hot Take: Will Levis is going to be special and will be the best QB from this draft by the end of his rookie deal. I said in 2018 (you are going to have to believe me or just ask Silbs on this one) that Josh Allen was going to be the best QB taken in that draft. People said he didn’t have enough competition in college. But I saw something in that kid that made me dream of a scenario where my Patriots ended up with him. I see many of the same qualities in Levis. His decision making seemed questionable last season but that can be fixed. Also, lost in a down 2022 season, the kid can run. At 6’3” and 232 lbs., his size and ability are comparable to Allen. This kid is going to be a STUD.

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