Rory Daniels Mock Draft 2023

Just one mock draft for me this year and I’m keeping it short! I always like to get one in the books before the big day, but you have better analysts’ opinions to read than mine. You know the players, you know the drill, here’s my best guess. Enjoy….

Panthers, Carolina Panthers 2020

1. Carolina Panthers

2022 Record: 7-10

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

This is all but in the books. The NFL was able to string out the drama for a while as the Panthers flirted with CJ Stoud, but Young should be the first name off the board on Thursday.

Texans, Houston Texans 2020

2. Houston Texans

2022 Record: 3-13-1

Will Anderson, Edge, Alabama

Young or bust for the Texans, seems to be the general vibe. Therefore, DeMeco Ryans gets the top defensive player who just happens to be an Alabama alum.

Titans, Tennessee Titans 2020

3. *TRADE* Tennessee Titans

2022 Record: 7-10

CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State

My one and only trade. Trades are so difficult to predict I have limited myself to one that would make a lot of sense. Stroud dropping to pick 3, offers a glimmer of hope to those outside the top 5. We know the Titans have bounced around the idea of trading Tannehill and he certainly won’t last more than a year. Stroud is a high-end, long-term solution.

Colts, Indianapolis Colts 2020

4. Indianapolis Colts

2022 Record: 4-12-1

Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

I would take Anthony Richardson, I wouldn’t be surprised if Indy takes Levis. The Manning’s apparently love him and Chris Ballard has his back against the wall. He has to find a QB urgently, to me this route is a big gamble.

Seahawks, Seattle Seahawks 2020

5. Seattle Seahawks

2022 Record: 9-8

Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

Pete Carroll has enough self-belief to think he can tame any player so why not grab one of the few blue chip guys in the class despite off-field concerns. Carter could be dominant if he adapts to the NFL.

Lions, Detroit Lions 2020

6. Detroit Lions

2022 Record: 9-8

Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

The idea that Devon Witherspoon more closely matches the ethos of the Lions shouldn’t mean they ignore the better player at the position. Gonzalez is smooth and athletic. He’s also the brother-in-law of former Lions backup QB David Blough,perhaps a bit of insider knowledge for Dan Campbell and the boys.

Raiders, Las Vegas Raiders

7. Las Vegas Raiders

2022 Record: 6-11

Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Perfect spot for the Raiders and Richardson. Las Vegas sits tight and watches the athletic freak Richardson fall into their lap. One year behind Jimmy G and then it’s lift off.

Falcons, Atlanta Falcons 2020

8. Atlanta Falcons

2022 Record: 7-10

Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Someone will be unable to resist Bijan Robinson. Arthur Smith knows he can build an offense around a running back and it takes the pressure off Desmond Ridder. It should allow Ridder a few less men in coverage as oppositions stack the box.

Bears, Chicago Bears 2020

9. Chicago Bears

2022 Record: 3-14

Tyree Wilson, Edge, Texas Tech

The Bears have little to speak of at edge rusher. Yes, everybody is talking about the offensive line but why not get the value of a falling Wilson. His injury history might see a small drop that Chicago can take advantage of.

Eagles, Philadelphia Eagles 2020

10. Philadelphia Eagles

2022 Record: 14-3

Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

So many describe this as a luxury pick for the Eagles but Roseman won’t waste it. Despite Slay and Bradberry being the starters, Witherspoon can be groomed to be the corner of the future. His size means he can also stand in as the nickel should he be needed.

Cardinals, Arizona Cardinals 2020

11. Arizona Cardinals (from Tennessee)

2022 Record: 4-13

Paris Johnson Jr, OT, Ohio State

The Cardinals have needs all over. It makes trading down an easier pill to swallow. They get Paris Johnson to help protect Kyler Murray. He can start on either side at tackle and even play inside early on if needed.

Texans, Houston Texans 2020

12. Houston Texans

2022 Record: 3-13-1

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

If the Texans are really ignoring QB then let’s load up the talent ready to drop in an elite guy next year. Smith-Njigba can join up with with Nico Collins and John Metchie, giving the next signal-caller up a nice welcome to the NFL.

Packers, Green Bay Packers

13. Green Bay Packers

2022 Record: 7-10

Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa

The Rodgers trade lands Green Bay in prime offensive tackle range. But, when did the Packers ever do what we expect? They add a hulking defensive end in Van Ness, who has inside/outside versatility. He can pair with, or replace, Rashan Gary depending on if the Packers want to spend big on their current starting edge rusher.

Patriots, New England Patriots

14. New England Patriots

2022 Record: 8-9

Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

The Patriots can do better than let Riley Reiff protect Mac Jones’ right side. If they are to make a go of Jones at QB then at least get him some help. Skoronski can start at right tackle but ultimately I see him as one of the league’s top offensive guards.

Jets, New York Jets

15. New York Jets

2022 Record: 8-9

Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

Nobody does a mock where Jones doesn’t go to the Jets do they? Move on from Benton and let the young, athletic beast that Jones is, step in.

16. Washington Commanders

2022 Record: 8-8-1

Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

The Commanders have a buffet selection of speedsters out wide, we give Sam Howell an athletic, big body receiver to attack the seams.

Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers 2020

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

2022 Record: 9-8

Joey Porter Jr, CB, Penn State

Ok, it’s boring to put Porter on his dad’s former team but he is aggressive and talented. Everything the Steelers need, plus he has to be fired up to carry on the legacy in the Steel City.

Lions, Detroit Lions 2020

18. Detroit Lions

2022 Record: 9-8

Nolan Smith, Edge, Georgia

The Lions get mocked an edge rusher at 6 a lot. Here we wait until 18 and pair an ultra twitchy, speed rusher with the more solid power defensive end, Aidan Hutchinson. Plus, you can’t get a higher character guy than Smith in this class.

Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2020

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2022 Record: 8-9

Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

The Bucs offensive line has been decimated recently. It’s time to build it back up and Wright is the plug-and-play right tackle to go across from Tristen Wirfs.

Seahawks, Seattle Seahawks 2020

20. Seattle Seahawks

2022 Record: 9-8

Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

The Seahawks nailed their secondary picks last year, how about completing the group with Maryland’s Deonte Banks. Him, Woolen and Coby Bryant in the slot would be difficult for any offense to beat.

Los Angeles Chargers 2020

21. Los Angeles Chargers

2022 Record: 10-7

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Justin Herbert gets an extra weapon and chain-mover in Michael Mayer. A healthy Mike Williams and Keenen Allen could mean Mayer can feast in single coverage.

Baltimore Ravens

22. Baltimore Ravens

2022 Record: 10-7

Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

Bresee is hard-nosed and physical. He had a difficult year but he is an easy fit in the AFC North. The Ravens need to get their defensive front back to being nasty. Bresee is a stepping stone to that.

Vikings, Minnesota Vikings

23. Minnesota Vikings

2022 Record: 13-4

Jordan Addison, WR, USC

I actually think the Vikings have a decent roster now and can afford to add an offensive weapon considering the depth of the corners this year. Guarding Addison and Justin Jefferson will take some doing.

Jaguars, Jacksonville Jaguars 2020

24. Jacksonville Jaguars

2022 Record: 9-8

Brian Branch, S, Alabama

The Jags rebuilt their identity and Branch fits what they are doing. Versatile enough to move around the formation, strong in the tackle, solid in coverage. The best teams at this point in the draft feast on taking best player available, for me, this pick fits that mantra.

Giants, New York Giants 2020

25. New York Giants

2022 Record: 9-7-1

Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Isaiah Hodgins was pretty useful last year, but do we trust him to be WR1 in New York? Quentin Johnston is one of the few decently sized receivers in this class and would be a big target for Daniel Jones.

Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys 2020

26. Dallas Cowboys

2022 Record: 12-5

Myles Murphy, Edge, Clemson

Both top tight ends are off the board. So the Cowboys will be forced to look elsewhere. Myles Murphy didn’t realise his full potential at Clemson but under the tutelage of DeMarcus Lawrence, perhaps he converts his athletic traits to production.

Bills, Buffalo Bills 2020

27. Buffalo Bills

2022 Record: 13-3

Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas

If you need a linebacker to start, get one early. I only have faith in two of the current class to be immediate starters. Drew Sanders has the sideline-to-sideline range and the added bonus of a pass-rushing background. He can step in to replace Tremaine Edmunds.

Cincinnati Bengals 2020

28. Cincinnati Bengals

2022 Record: 12-4

Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State

The Bengals love a cornerback in the first round. Forbes may be skinny but you can’t question his ball skills. He survived in the SEC so why not in the NFL. He offers insurance to Chidobe Awuzie coming off injury and heading into a contract year.

Saints, New Orleans Saints 2020

29. New Orleans Saints

2022 Record: 7-10

BJ Ojulari, Edge, LSU

It’s unfair to expect Cam Jordan to produce at such a continually high level. The Saints stick local and get BJ Ojulari, not as fluid as his brother, but he showed plenty of improvement this year.

Eagles, Philadelphia Eagles 2020

30. Philadelphia Eagles

2022 Record: 14-3

Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh

The Eagles have big men in the middle of their defense. Jordan Davis and Fletcher Cox project to be a dominant duo. How about adding some pass-rushing spice in Kancey. This is the pick the Eagles should gamble with not number 10. Kancey’s size is worrying but his burst is elite. Roll the dice Howie.

Chiefs, Kansas City Chiefs 2020

31. Kansas City Chiefs

2022 Record: 14-3

Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Yes Mahomes can make this offense work with whoever you stick at wide receiver. The man just won a Super Bowl after his team traded their number 1 target. That said, Zay Flowers sticks out on my board like a sore thumb. Elite speed and smooth route running should fit nicely in this Chiefs offense.

Rory-Joe Daniels

CFB Contributor