The 2023 NFL Draft is upon us; with it, a palpable sense of anticipation fills the air. Hope springs eternal as fan bases everywhere dream of their teams selecting the perfect player. After a long and winding road to get here, we finally arrive at the moment we’ve all been waiting for. In the spirit of celebration, we present one more mock draft that seeks to cut through the rumors and conjecture to predict the draft’s first round.
The 2023 NFL Draft: A Journey Fulfilled with Optimism and Dreams
Assuming no last-minute surprises, the Carolina Panthers will select former Alabama quarterback Bryce Young as their new signal-caller. It is not uncommon for the number one pick to be known before the draft, but it provides a convenient starting point for our mock draft. We thank the Panthers for making our job more manageable.
The Houston Texans’ intentions with their second pick could be more precise, but we predict they will select Kentucky’s Will Levis, the second quarterback to be taken off the board. We expect all five quarterbacks in this year’s draft to be selected in the first 16 picks. C.J. Stroud of Ohio State will slide to the Tennessee Titans. At the same time, the San Antonio Commanders will take a gamble on Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, despite his recent recovery from a torn ACL. Nevertheless, teams are still interested in Hooker as a first-round pick.
Alabama’s Will Anderson is a highly coveted edge prospect, and it’s difficult to imagine him falling too far down the board. Since his first year, he has been considered a top draft pick and should make an immediate impact as a defender in the NFL. The Arizona Cardinals, in need of a defensive boost, will likely select Anderson to help new head coach Jonathan Gannon shore up the team’s defense. Tyree Wilson, Lukas Van Ness, and Nolan Smith round out the first-round edge prospects.
The flurry of quarterback and offensive lineman selections has pushed the wide receiver position down the draft board. As a result, we predict that Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Zay Flowers, and Jordan Addison will all come off the board in the final third of the first round. This year’s draft class does not feature a standout wide receiver, which may explain why these players are projected to fall further down the board.
What are the qualifications and criteria for selecting the predicted players in the mock draft?
In conclusion, this is our final mock draft before the actual draft begins. While the first pick is already known, the rest of the draft remains a mystery. This unpredictability promises to make for an exciting and memorable first round.