We're here, finally. It's officially Draft Day and what better way to celebrate three of the most exciting days of the NFL offseason with one last mock draft (until our 2024 way-too-early mock draft comes out Monday ... we wish we were kidding). We've done way too many,and a " ."
We feel pretty good about some of the picks below but let's be honest: this is a crapshoot. It's what makes the whole process so much fun. And while you take all this in ahead of Thursday night's festivities, don't forget to check out "With the First Pick,'' the NFL Draft podcast we co-host with former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. We've come to you from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, the Super Bowl in Phoenix, the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, and took you along for our Pro Day Tour at Ohio State, Alabama, Kentucky and Florida -- where, it so happens, the top QBs worked out.
So, check out our archives, or just what we've done this week "one final mock draft," a look at some of our favorite players (including sleepers) in this class, and a live night-before-the-draft Q&A with viewers.
And remember to join us each night after the draft concludes for even more live coverage; you can watch us live on the NFL on CBS YouTube channel. And you can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.
One last thing: there are only 31 picks in the first round of this mock draft becauseof their first-round pick due to tampering.
OK, all together now, one last time ... let's get to it.
For more draft content, check out our latest prospect rankings and mock drafts, as well as our new weekly podcast, "With the First Pick," featuring former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. (Check out the latest episode below.)
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 1
Bryce Young QB
Alabama • 5'10" / 204 lbs
Young came in at 5-10 1/8 and weighed 204 pounds at the combine and didn't take part in the drills, but had a great pro day several weeks later. New coach Frank Reich has talked about the importance of size at the position but Young is the most NFL-ready quarterback on the board.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Will Anderson Jr. EDGE
Alabama • 6'4" / 243 lbs
Pass rusher Will Anderson is the safest pick in the draft and fills an obvious need for the Texans and their new coach, former 49ers defensive coordinator Demeco Ryans. QB would make sense here too, but word on the street is that Houston isn't nearly as high on CJ Stroud as Bryce Young.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Oregon • 6'2" / 205 lbs
The Cardinals will try to trade out of this pick but there's been talk in recent days that if they stay put they could grab Gonzalez. A Colorado transfer, he is a big-time athlete who is still growing into the position. He has the size, strength and speed -- he ran a 4.38 40 at the combine -- to line up against NFL wide receivers; he just needs to improve in run support.
Round 1 - Pick 4
C.J. Stroud QB
Ohio State • 6'3" / 218 lbs
C.J. Stroud had a great pro day and it further solidified his case as one of the two best QBs in this draft class. Stroud is our QB2, and his tape -- not to mention Indy's glaring need at the position -- merits him going here in the draft.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 5
Florida • 6'4" / 244 lbs
Richardson was pretty impressive at his pro day; he's built like a defensive end runs like a power back and can throw the football 80 yards and make it look easy. His athleticism and arm strength leave a lasting impression when you see him in person, as does the effortlessness with which he plays. But what he has in God-given ability, he lacks in experience, so his best landing spot at the next level will be to a team with a veteran quarterback who can man the reins for another year or two until he's ready to take the next step. Of those candidates, Seattle might be best positioned to get the most out of his talents -- and if managed properly, that next step could truly be special.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 6
Mock Trade from Las Vegas Raiders
Round 1 - Pick 7
Ohio State • 6'6" / 313 lbs
We've heard for a few weeks that the Steelers loved Paris Johnson Jr. and if they want him they're going to have to trade up. The Raiders have been looking to move down and Pittsburgh provides them that opportunity. Johnson had a solid career at Ohio State where he played left tackle in '22 and was the team's right guard in '21. For the Steelers, he'll likely be their Day 1 left tackle.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Ohio State • 6'0" / 197 lbs
The Falcons want to trade out of this pick and land either a cornerback or a wide receiver. In this mock, they can't move down ... so they take the best wide receiver anyway. Smith-Njigba, who barely saw the field during the 2022 season because of injuries, is still one of the top wideouts in the class. Before he shined at the Ohio St. pro day, it was easy to forget that JSN led the 2021 Buckeyes in receptions and that corps included first-rounders Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, and future first-rounder Marvin Harrison Jr.
From Carolina Panthers
Round 1 - Pick 9
From New Orleans Saints
Round 1 - Pick 10
Nolan Smith EDGE
Georgia • 6'2" / 238 lbs
Nolan Smith missed part of the 2022 season with a pectoral injury but he's an electric pass rusher when healthy. He's also a freakish athlete -- he ripped off a 4.39 40 at the combine (and was mad about running too slow!). That motor is all over his tape and he'd fill a need in Philly where he could learn from Haason Reddick, who was a similar size coming out of Temple and is now one of the most proficient pass rushers in the league.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Zay Flowers WR
Boston College • 5'9" / 182 lbs
We've heard for weeks that either Jaxon Smith-Njiba or Zay Flowers would be WR1 and the Titans go Flowers here. He was the offense at BC last season and he has some in-his-prime Antonio Brown to his game.
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 12
Northwestern • 6'4" / 313 lbs
Skoronski is solid and consistent, which are two of the best things you can say about an offensive lineman. The biggest issue he'll face during the pre-draft process will be arm length and whether his NFL future is at tackle or guard. But like he told us at the combine, there are plenty of NFL offensive tackles who have long arms and struggle too. That's not the final determinant of success.
From New York Jets
Round 1 - Pick 13
Georgia • 6'5" / 311 lbs
Paris Johnson Jr. will be ready to start in the NFL sooner than Jones, but Jones' upside is through the roof. The Packers are reportedly intrigued by Jones and he provides some short-term insurance behind David Bakhtiari.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Lukas Van Ness EDGE
Iowa • 6'5" / 272 lbs
At 6-5, 275, Van Ness certainly looks the part, and the expectation is that he can even put on 10-15 more pounds. He's just scratching the surface on his abilities -- he never started a game at Iowa -- and while it's generally a cliche in this case it's also true: Van Ness' best football is in front of him and he's already a really good player.
From Green Bay Packers
Round 1 - Pick 15
Notre Dame • 6'4" / 265 lbs
When the Jets traded down they knew they'd likely be missing out on an offensive tackle. They'll have to hope Duane Brown, Max Mitchell and Mekhi Becton will hold up and instead they get Aaron Rodgers the most complete tight end in the draft class.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Mississippi State • 6'0" / 180 lbs
Forbes might weigh 166 pounds but he's almost 6-foot-1, and more importantly, is the best ballhawking defensive back in the entire class. He had 14 interceptions his last three seasons, including a mind-boggling six pick-sixes.
Mock Trade from Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 17
Deonte Banks CB
Maryland • 6'2" / 205 lbs
Banks put together the type of season that not only will land him in the first-round, but he could end up being one of the first CBs off the board (it didn't happen in this mock but we won't be surprised if he goes higher on Thursday night). He's a fluid athlete who is also a big, physical corner who can match up with NFL wide receivers.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Myles Murphy EDGE
Clemson • 6'5" / 275 lbs
Murphy turned 21 in early January, and while we'd like to see him play with more consistency, his best football is in front of him, for sure. He has all the physical tools you look for in an elite edge defenders and it's easy to see him in a few years being dominant. And that, in large part, is what makes him such an interesting prospect.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Oklahoma • 6'5" / 315 lbs
There was some thought that Harrison might return to Oklahoma for an NIL deal that was too good to pass up but he's instead opted for the NFL. He's one of the top tackles in the class and in Tampa he'll fill a void on the left side of the offensive line.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Tyree Wilson EDGE
Texas Tech • 6'6" / 275 lbs
The more you watch of Wilson the more you love his game. Not only what he put on tape at Texas Tech but his upside 2-3 years down the road. He's long, has the frame to add weight if needed, and he's a dominant, high-motor pass rusher who can take over games. Some teams have real concerns about his foot injury but we've also heard that the Seahawks love him.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Utah • 6'4" / 240 lbs
Kincaid got the all-clear medically, and that means he has a good chance to find his way into Round 1. You're not drafting him to block anyone -- that's not his game -- but in LA he'll be yet another hard-to-gameplan-for playmaker catching passes from Justin Herbert.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Texas • 5'11" / 215 lbs
Bijan Robinson is a top-10 talent but we couldn't find a landing spot for him until the Ravens jumped at the chance to continue to improve the offense in the hopes that Lamar Jackson will make his way back to the building. Robinson is a Day 1 starter and immediately makes this unit more dynamic.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Penn State • 6'2" / 194 lbs
Porter is the prototypical big, physical cornerback who looks like he belongs in the NFL. He can sometimes get a little too handsy downfield, but he checks many of the boxes of what team's look for when drafting DBs.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Tennessee • 6'6" / 333 lbs
The Jags lost Jawaan Taylor in free agency and while Walker Little would seem to be next man up, the 2021 second-round pick wasn't able to beat out Taylor for the job last August. He fared well in fill-in duty at left tackle late last season but as Jacksonville looks to take the next step, protecting Trevor Lawrence is job No. 1. Wright, meanwhile, is a first-round talent all day long and don't be surprised if he's RT1 -- and maybe even one of the first offensive linemen off the board.
Mock Trade from New York Giants
Round 1 - Pick 25
Will Levis QB
Kentucky • 6'4" / 229 lbs
We were at Levis' pro day and he's built like a linebacker -- and watching him throw the ball in person is something to behold -- you can actually hear the passes whistle. But questions remain about his ability to layer the ball to all three levels, as well as some inconsistencies when rolls to his left. There's a real chance he falls on draft night but this could be an opportunity for a team to move back up and grab him -- and that fifth-year option. Plus, Ryan Tannehill is 35 and entering the last year of his contract, and it doesn't appear that Malik Willis is in the team's long-term plans.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Pittsburgh • 6'1" / 281 lbs
Kancey was just about unblockable at times during the 2022 season for the Panthers and his 6-foot-1, 281-pound frame will (unfairly, perhaps) draw comparisons to Aaron Donald. The biggest physical difference, however, is that while Donald had 32 5/8-inch arms, Kancey's arm length came in at a shade under 31 inches, and that's a major concern when going up against NFL offensive lineman who have 33-34-inch arms. That said, turn on the tape and show us where arm length is an issue for Kancey, who wins consistently with twitch, speed and power.
Round 1 - Pick 27
USC • 5'11" / 175 lbs
Addison isn't a big target, but he's one of the most dynamic players in the country who can line up anywhere. He "only" managed a 4.49 40 at the combine but the tape is the tape -- and it consistently showed that he was regularly the best player on the field who can win at all three levels, playing either outside or in the slot.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Kansas State • 6'3" / 198 lbs
The Bengals lost safeties Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates in free agency but 2022 first-rounder Dax Hill and new signing Nick Scott will get first crack at the jobs. Meanwhile, cornerback remains a question; Chidobe Awuzie is the team's best corner but he's coming off a midseason ACL injury. Cam Taylor-Britt had an impressive rookie campaign, but after that, however, there isn't much depth outside. Brents is 6-foot-3, ran a 4.53 40 at the combine and had among the best 3-cone and short-shuttle times too. He's long, fast, physical and plays with an edge and the Lions come out of the first round bolstering two of the three levels on defense.
From San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 29
Keion White EDGE
Georgia Tech • 6'5" / 290 lbs
White was another player who had a great week at the Senior Bowl, and NFL teams love his size (6-foot-4, 280 pounds) and his motor. He consistently wins at the line of scrimmage and is good against both the run and getting after the quarterback. He may eventually end up going early on Day 2 but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him slip into the first round. The Saints had him in for a 30 visit and he fills an obvious need in New Orleans.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Alabama • 6'0" / 203 lbs
Brian Branch is special; he can play in the slot, near the line of scrimmage or deep centerfield. And if Nick Saban trusted him at Alabama, that's all you need to know about his NFL prospects. He ran a 4.58 at the combine but he plays much faster than that.
Round 1 - Pick 31
TCU • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Johnston's an above-the-rim playmaker whose athleticism and contested-catch abilities make him in the running for WR1. The team landed slot receiver Skyy Moore last season and now they get Patrick Mahomes a big downfield target in Johnston.