Way Too Early 2023 Mock Draft: Chase Petersen
By Chase Petersen
The 2022 NFL Draft has concluded, and you know what that means? It’s 2023 NFL Draft season! So I’ll kick it off, as many do, with a WAY too early 2023 Mock Draft. This class is absolutely loaded at multiple positions, and unlike this year’s class, it’s loaded with high end talent. As of today there are some very deep position groups at the top – and I hope as the season plays out, they only get deeper:
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
This kid would have, undoubtedly, been the #1 Pick in this class. He may be the most dominant pass rusher I’ve ever scouted, and I was of course around for Chase Young.
2. Detroit Lions
Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
The Lions passed on QB in 2022, so they get their franchise guy of the future in the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner. Young and Jameo Williams get paired back up, and me as a Vikings’ fan would be shaking in my boots.
3. Houston Texans
CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
Another team that may be in need of some QB help. Stroud was super productive last year, but his tape left a bit to be desired from me. His weapons, although he lost two first rounders and a third rounder, shouldn’t drop off too much, so he should have another very productive season.
4. New York Jets
Jalen Carter, IDL, Georgia
Carter was the best player on UGA’s defense last year, and they had 5 first round picks. Carter will turn into what the Jets hoped and prayed Quinnen Williams would become.
5. New York Giants
Will Levis, QB, Kentucky
Probably my favorite QB in this class as of today. The arm talent is limitless, and my guess is the Giants will be in the QB market next year.
6. Carolina Panthers
Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State
The Panthers took OL at 6 this year, and here they do it again. If the plan is to give Matt Corral a shot to be the guy, they need to build up his surroundings, and quickly.
7. Chicago Bears
Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia
Another guy that I liked more than Travon Walker, but that’s beside the point. Smith is a bit undersized, but has tons of juice. The Bears are another roster that needs help just about everywhere, and they hope this isn’t Leonard Floyd 2.0.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland
The Falcons selected Drake London and Desmon Ridder, so now they get them some protection. With a franchise LT, TE, WR1, and a young QB, this Falcons offense is on the way up, and fast.
9. Seattle Seahawks (via Denver)
DJ Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson
They didn’t address QB in this draft, so they’re going to have to next year. DJ will have some competition this year in the form of Cade Klubnik, so he’ll need to perform like the top 10 player we all thought he’d be, just to keep his job.
10. Seattle Seahawks
Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
A team that’s always in the hunt for secondary help, finds it here in the ultra-talented, former 5 star player, Kelee Ringo. Ringo has a chance to come out as the CB1 if he plays as well as he can next season.
11. Washington Commanders
Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Mayer is the prototypical TE that every team wants. He is a fantastic pass catcher, has the perfect size for the position, and can block. Someone is going to take this kid very high next year.
12. Minnesota Vikings
Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
My WR1 in this class battled an injury last year, but before that was lighting teams up left and right. Here he gets to play next to his LSU brother in Justin Jefferson. The Vikings didn’t address WR until the 6th round this year, so hopefully they address it quickly next.
13. Houston Texans (via Cleveland)
Jaxson Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
A small WR run here, the Texans reunite the OSU boys much like the Dolphins and Bengals have done in the past. JSN lined up only in the slot last year, so I’m not as high on him as others, but his production does speak for itself.
14. Baltimore Ravens
Bryan Breese, IDL, Clemson
The Ravens always manage to get a high that could arguably go 10 picks higher. Breese is a monster in the Clemson defense, and a big season this year could have him in top 5 pick conversations next spring.
15. Miami Dolphins
Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
A team that continues to load up on explosive weapons, this time out of the backfield. Bijan is easily the best RB in college football, and even though I don’t believe in first round RBs, watch Bijan in the slot. He’s not just a RB, he’s a weapon.
16. Indianapolis Colts
Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama
The Colts get the LSU transfer CB who is another name who, if they have a big season, could have an argument as the CB1. Ricks was built in a lab to play CB, so I expect such things to happen.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
Jordan Addison, WR, Pitt (or is it USC?)
The Chargers beefed up the OL this year, so let’s load up JHerbo’s weapons next year. They get a past Biletnikoff award winner, who’s only knock is going to be that he’s small.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans)
Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
At some point Philly needs to find some Linebackers, and they do it here with Noah Sewell, a human missile on the football field. Philly fans would love Sewell’s style, because he loves to hit people hard.
19. Philadelphia Eagles
Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame
I thought the Eagles might address EDGE this year, but instead got big beef up front in Jordan Davis. Here they get Foskey, and if Jalen Hurts turns out to be the guy, this team could find themselves as Super Bowl contenders, and soon.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Zion Nelson, OT, Miami
This year the Steelers got their QB, the year before they got their RB, next year they find their LT. Piece by piece the Steelers are building up this offense, and if it ever catches up to the defense, Pittsburgh might find themselves in another Super Bowl.
21. New England Patriots
Malachi Moore, S, Alabama
Malachi Moore is one of my favorite players in this upcoming class. He’s a bit slight, but his ball skills are top tier. He definitely needs to bulk up a little bit to help him in the run game.
22. Las Vegas Raiders
Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama
Another RB? This RB class is loaded, and Jahmyr Gibbs is about to prove he belongs in the conversation for the best RB in this class, on the grandest stage of them all this year.
23. Arizona Cardinals
Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
I love Marvin Mims, and it sucks that he goes to OU. It will be interesting to see how he performs without a top flight QB prospect, and a new OC. If he balls out like I think he can, he could possibly creep up into the WR1 conversation.
24. Dallas Cowboys
Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
Battle is a guy that could have come out this year, but decided to come back and create one of the most loaded Bama teams in recent history. This makes their 5th 1st rounder in this mock, and I left 2-3 guys out later that realistically could find themselves in the first round as well.
25. Buffalo Bills
Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
The Bills continue to plug up their defense with this selection. They know that as long as Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs are there on offense, they’re going to be solid on that side of the ball. Simpson is a little small, but is already a stud for Clemson.
26. Tennessee Titans
BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
The Titans are a team that has heavily invested in the pass rusher position over the last few years, and they should still seek upgrades. Ojulari is a long EDGE prospect with pretty good production.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
Tom Brady can’t play forever, so eventually they’ll need to invest in the QB position. Hooker impressed me a bit at Virginia Tech, and fully broke out last year in the SEC. If he improves on last season, Hooker will find himself in not only first round conversations, but Heisman trophy conversations as well.
28. Green Bay Packers
Jalen Catalon, S, Arkansas
Catalon is a small, but hard hitting safety that could have come out this year and competed for the S2 spot. Here he lands in GB who will need some safety help in the near future.
29. Miami Dolphins (via San Francisco)
Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
The Dolphins OL will probably continue to be a problem, and they already have an abundance of weapons after selecting Bijan Robinson. They need to find someone that can keep them all clean.
30. Kansas City Chiefs
Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State
An offensive line bookended by Orlando Brown and Dawand Jones would be frightening. Jones is listed at 6’8” 359 pounds. I imagine they would be the first two players off the bus every single game.
31. Cincinnati Bengals
Jahleel Billingsley, TE, Texas
This is a bit of a projection, but I expect him to have a big year with Quinn Ewers, and he is a super athletic pass catcher. He’s way too skinny to play TE in the NFL right now, so hopefully the Texas S&C staff can beef him up a bit.
32. Detroit Lions (via LA Rams)
Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame
This safety class is shaping up to be the most loaded in recent history. I currently have four first round safeties, and you never know who is going to break out during the season. Joseph has great ball skills as well, and is going to fill in very nicely for Kyle Hamilton.
From just outside Kansas City Missouri, Chase has been obsessed with the NFL Draft for as long as he can remember. An avid Minnesota Vikings and Texas Longhorns fan, connect with Chase on Twitter @SportsTalkCenter