User avatar
RealGM Articles
Lead Assistant
Posts: 4,758
And1: 45
Joined: Mar 20, 2013

 

Post#1 » by RealGM Articles » Fri Feb 17, 2023 8:57 pm

It’s time for the first real offseason mock draft. This one goes out two rounds and also covers the teams that don’t pick until the third.

Note that these picks are what I think the team might do in the situation. These projections do not reflect the choices I would make in the same scenarios.

  1. Chicago Bears: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama. I suspect the Bears will wind up trading this pick to a QB-needy team. They could still select Anderson if they move down to No. 4 or No. 5 and instantly upgrade a defense where a rookie safety led the team in sacks in 2022.

  2. Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama. Young’s outstanding college career makes him too appealing to bypass for a franchise in dire need of a new identity, his size (or lack thereof) be damned.

  3. Arizona Cardinals: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech. Freakishly long and productively strong, Wilson takes over the J.J. Watt/Chandler Jones spot in Arizona as the Cardinals continue to collect young defensive talent.

  4. Indianapolis Colts: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State. Owner Jim Irsay has already made it clear the Colts are taking a QB, but which one? Stroud fits nicely in the offense new head coach Shane Steichen orchestrated in Philadelphia.

  5. Seattle Seahawks: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky. Levis seems straight out of what head coach Pete Carroll would order from central casting for a quarterback. I can’t shake that hunch that’s stuck in my head since October. Any of the top 3 CBs makes a ton of sense here too.

  6. Detroit Lions: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia. The Lions need a centerpiece to their bright young defense and Carter makes for a potentially dominant one. Carter’s high-end talent trumps the lower position value for Detroit, where the young defense is emerging nicely.

  7. Las Vegas Raiders: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern. This is presuming the Raiders solve their QB vacancy in free agency. Skoronski is deftly skilled and often dominant at tackle, though he might have to kick inside with his lack of length. Not a problem for the Raiders.

  8. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon. Gonzalez has rare athletic traits and put them to pretty strong use at both Colorado and Oregon. Not necessarily the Falcons’ biggest need, but sometimes talent wins out. No team can have too many good CBs.

  9. Carolina Panthers: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida. Richardson showed both tremendous ability and terrible inexperience in his one season as the Gators starter. It will be hard for NFL team to resist the physical tools, especially a team led by a former NFL QB who got fired last year because his old team couldn’t get the QB right.

  10. Philadelphia Eagles: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois. Scrappy, confident and hard-hitting, Witherspoon is a nice fit for an Eagles secondary that faces losing key pieces in free agency.

  11. Tennessee Titans: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State. Johnson offers great quickness for his length and can pay either OT spot. It’s not a deep OT class, which means teams like Tennessee in need might have to reach a little for a player commonly projected some 5-10 picks later like Johnson (or Broderick Jones).

  12. Houston Texans: Keion White, EDGE, Georgia Tech. After landing the QB early, it’s easy to see new head coach Demeco Ryans building up an attacking, physical defense in the mold he once showed as a Texans LB. White is under the radar but has more complete game tape and less schematic help to get it than any of the remaining EDGEs here.

  13. New York Jets: John-Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota. Watching Schmitz\\\'s combination of power and athleticism during Senior Bowl week called to mind Alex Mack. The Jets snatch up the best IOL and build up a fearsome front to help whomever (Aaron Rodgers? Ryan Tannehill?) might be playing QB in 2023.

  14. New England Patriots: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State. Long, physical and relentless in man coverage, it’s easy to see the appeal of Porter to the Patriots. He’s an island CB if he can learn to stop holding and play by the NFL’s illegal contact rules.

  15. Green Bay Packers: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson. Murphy is a stout EDGE who can manhandle the run on his way to getting after the QB. He’s got the Packers draft profile of length and coachable potential, if not all that technically developed right away.

  16. Washington Commanders: Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas. Sanders is more of a defensive chess piece than just an off-ball LB. His ability to play so many different roles right away should strongly appeal to coach Ron Rivera, especially with the top CBs gone and no QB option here.

  17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia. The Steelers have swung and missed (made contact but not hit is better phrasing) so many times with later OL picks. This time around they swing earlier on Jones, whose physicality and intensity fit the Steel City nicely.

  18. Detroit Lions: Brian Branch, S, Alabama. The slot DB role has been a serious problem for the Lions for years. Branch steps right in as a slot safety who can cover and also upgrade the off-tackle and QB run defense, which was the single biggest problem for Detroit’s D in 2022.

  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas. What better way to retool after Tom Brady than dedicating to the run with the best all-around RB prospect in recent years? Slotting Robinson is next to impossible with a ridiculously deep RB class in both the draft and free agency, but he’s (probably) too elite of a prospect to fall past this range.

  20. Seattle Seahawks: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson. Bresee is another player that’s hard to slot because his game tape got worse in each year of college, thanks in part to injuries. The athleticism that made him the top HS recruit not too long ago is still there, and that’s something Seattle can try to salvage.

  21. Miami Dolphins--forfeited due to tampering with Tom Brady

  22. Los Angeles Chargers: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia. Smith is a big projection after playing under 200 snaps in two of his last three years at Georgia. But he was a major catalyst as a pass rusher and finisher despite being smaller than ideal. The Chargers need youthful finishers and catalysts, so let’s put those hands together.

  23. Baltimore Ravens: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU. Obviously, much depends on what happens with Lamar Jackson at QB. Whomever is playing QB in Baltimore needs vastly better weaponry to work with, and Johnston offers much-needed size and downfield playmaking ability.

  24. Minnesota Vikings: Jordan Addison, WR, USC. This projection follows the line of thinking that you improve your defense by getting even better at offense, a la PHI, MIA and LV lately. Addison is a dynamic playmaker with great attention to detail and fits in the age parameter to suit what their GM typically wants.

  25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh. Really undersized (6-foot, 280 pounds) upfield attack DT from Pittsburgh. Of course Kancey will be compared to Aaron Donald. He’s not Donald in terms of strength or snarl, but he’s consistently disruptive and can work with how the Jaguars defense like to play.

  26. New York Giants: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State. An outstanding route runner with sticky hands and a big-play mentality, “JSN” falls a bit due to an injury issue in 2022. He’s a great fit for a WR-needy Giants offense.

  27. Dallas Cowboys: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame. Not the Cowboys’ biggest need, but Mayer is a supremely talented all-around TE. Dallas must upgrade the receiving options and Mayer does that, especially in the red zone. That works.

  28. Buffalo Bills: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland. One of the best and most scheme-versatile cover men in the class, Banks has impact talent--albeit with some inconsistency. The Bills should love his athleticism and “my ball” mentality.

  29. Cincinnati Bengals: Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia. Washington is a potential OT convert with his 6-foot-7, 270-plus pound frame and outstanding blocking technique. But he’s also a giant target of a soft-handed receiver who is an absolute load to tackle. The Bengals can utilize both skills.

  30. New Orleans Saints: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama. Gibbs offers vision, elusiveness and receiving skills out of the backfield. NFL-ready game. I had Antonio Johnson here initially.

  31. Philadelphia Eagles: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa. Big-time athletic projection for a player who didn’t even start at Iowa, but Van Ness has outstanding power, length and positional versatility to grow into an impact talent. The Eagles need to keep reloading the defense.

  32. Kansas City Chiefs: Darnell Wright, OL, Tennessee. Wright can start right away at guard or right tackle. The 2022 version of Wright kicks total ass; there’s no better way to say it. Before that, Wright was an inconsistent disappointment. Senior Bowl week helped validate the massive improvement. The Chiefs can bet on their infrastructure to keep Wright kicking ass at their position of (potential) biggest need.

Second Round

  1. Steelers: Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor
  2. Texans: O’Cyrus Torrence, OL, Florida
  3. Cardinals: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State
  4. Colts: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
  5. Rams: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
  6. Seahawks: Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
  7. Raiders: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan
  8. Panthers: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
  9. Saints: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
  10. Titans: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
  11. Browns: Will McDonald, EDGE, Iowa State
  12. Jets: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
  13. Falcons: Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
  14. Packers: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
  15. Patriots: Steve Avila, OL, TCU
  16. Commanders: Cody Mauch, OL, North Dakota State
  17. Lions: Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama
  18. Steelers: Sydney Brown, S, Illinois
  19. Buccaneers: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
  20. Dolphins: B.J. Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
  21. Seahawks: Tuli Tuipulotu, DL, USC
  22. Bears: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State
  23. Chargers: Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami FL
  24. Lions: Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
  25. Jaguars: Joe Tippman, IOL, Wisconsin
  26. Giants: Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse
  27. Cowboys: Clark Phillips, CB, Utah
  28. Bills: Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin
  29. Bengals: Daiyan Henley, LB, Washington State
  30. Panthers: Derick Hall, EDGE, Auburn
  31. Eagles: Jammie Robinson, S, Florida State
  32. Chiefs: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

Teams that don’t pick until the third round…

Denver Broncos at 68: Cooper Beebe, OL, Kansas State

San Francisco 49ers at 102 (projected comp pick): Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State

Return to Articles Discussion