Mike Anania's 2023 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
It is officially college football bowl season! This means many, many things. But, for those of us who know that its always draft season, we can now focus on those players that will be eligible to become the next big prospect for our favorite NFL teams. With 41 bowl games over the few weeks, it gives ample time to watch so many of the players most fans weren't able to see over the last 3+ months. Keep an eye on these players below, and many others, as NFL teams start jockeying for their draft position. Here is my first mock draft for the 2023 season.
Houston Texans - Biggest Needs: QB, WR, OL THE PICK: CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio St - There will be a heated debate over which QB should be the top pick in the 2023 draft. A lot of scouts like Alabama's Bryce Young, as they should, but it is Stroud that should be atop the Texans' draft board. He is a pocket passer first, with ample mobility. The arm talent is evident, capable of making every throw that is required at the next level.
2. Chicago Bears - Biggest Needs: WR, OL, DL THE PICK: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama - The top ranked player on my board, Anderson has simply been dominant in the SEC. He has everything you look for as an edge defender at the next level. He has the size, speed, strength, athleticism, and quickness to be an elite defender against both the pass and the run.
3. Seattle Seahawks (via Denver Broncos) - Biggest Needs: OL, EDGE, DL THE PICK: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia - Carter is a game-wrecker, plain and simple. His combination of size, strength, and quickness has proven to be nothing short of amazing. The best player on Georgia's defense should hear his name called very early on draft night.
4. Detroit Lions (via LA Rams) - Biggest Needs: QB, LB, CB THE PICK: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama - Jared Goff has played moderately well this year in Detroit, but the Lions would be wise to look for a potential star on offense. There are plenty of pieces on both sides of the ball in Detroit, but landing a franchise signal caller should be the top priority, if and when the opportunity presents itself.
5. Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans Saints) - Biggest Needs: OL, S, WR THE PICK: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU - The Eagles have one of the most complete rosters in the NFL and having a top 5 pick is pure insanity. Their "needs" are not dire, so they could very well trade down to accumulate more depth, or simply go with a luxury pick. In this scenario, they take Johnston, the playmaking WR who gives MVP candidate Jalen Hurts yet another weapon.
6. Carolina Panthers - Biggest Needs: QB, CB, DL THE PICK: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky - Levis is a bit of a polarizing prospect. He has all of the tangible traits you want in a franchise quarterback, big arm, quick release, mobility, and experience. However, he hasn't shown the consistency with his progressions and his anticipation. He can sometimes lock onto his first read too long, allowing help defenders to make up ground. If he can become a little more decisive and pull the trigger, Levis has the talent to become a very good NFL quarterback.