It's finally draft day! And if you think you know what's going to happen, you don't (especially not this year). The 2023 NFL Draft is set to be chaotic and unpredictable, and in less than 12 hours, this mock will be obsolete.
So let's just get to the picks.
Note: There are only 31 picks in the first round of this mock draft because the Dolphins were stripped of their first-round pick due to tampering.
For more draft content, check out our latest prospect rankings and mock drafts, as well as our NFL Draft podcast, "With the First Pick," featuring former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. (Check out the latest episode below.)
Round 1 - Pick 2
Tyree Wilson EDGE
Texas Tech • 6'6" / 275 lbs
Quarterback makes the most sense, but with the Texans not in love with one of these players, they go in a different direction. Of the edge rushers, Houston sides with the upside of Tyree Wilson over the stability of Will Anderson Jr.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Will Anderson Jr. EDGE
Alabama • 6'4" / 243 lbs
Trades inside the top 10 rarely happen on draft night. If the Cardinals were going to find a trade partner, it would have happened weeks ago. Now, maybe that changes if the Texans don't take a quarterback and a team loves C.J. Stroud, but not in this scenario. As for the debate between Will Anderson Jr. and Paris Johnson Jr., Kyler Murray has lobbied for Cardinals to draft a first-round lineman before and they instead went in a different direction. That's the case again here, with Arizona taking perhaps the safest player in this class.
Round 1 - Pick 4
C.J. Stroud QB
Ohio State • 6'3" / 218 lbs
There's been a lot of buzz about Will Levis to Indianapolis for a while now, but it was only recently that reports came out about the Texans not wanting to take a QB at No. 2. That leads to C.J. Stroud being available here, and Indianapolis scoops him up to suit up against Houston twice a year in the AFC South.
From Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 5
Jalen Carter DL
Georgia • 6'3" / 314 lbs
Pete Carroll, 71, isn't getting any younger, so he's is full win-now mode. Having a QB sit behind Geno Smith certainly doesn't fit that philosophy, so the Seahawks continue bolstering their defense by taking Jalen Carter.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Florida • 6'4" / 244 lbs
I don't get why Lions fans are so attached to Jared Goff, but they are. Goff will keep them competitive with that supporting cast, no doubt, but Anthony Richardson has a carry-by-team-to-the-Super Bowl ceiling. Detroit doesn't anticipate picking in the top six anytime soon, so it makes a massive move that could end up paying off big time.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Texas • 5'11" / 215 lbs
I looked for a trade partner, but then just decided that Arthur Smith would love a dynamic three-down running back in his offense. The Falcons have bigger needs, but Bijan Robinson is by far the best player available at this point.
Mock Trade from Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 9
Ohio State • 6'6" / 313 lbs
Kevin Colbert rarely made first-round trades across more than two decades in the Steelers front office. New GM Omar Khan's tenure begins a lot differently, with Pittsburgh moving up eight spots to land a new left tackle for Kenny Pickett. Paris Johnson Jr. is looked at by many as the best tackle in this class.
Mock Trade from Tennessee Titans
Round 1 - Pick 11
From Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 12
Oregon • 6'2" / 205 lbs
If I told you the Texans would end up with Tyree Wilson and Christian Gonzalez in the first round, you were have laughed at me. But such is the chaos of the pre-draft process, one where a team in dire need of a franchise QB passes the top four prospects and no one is surprised.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Ohio State • 6'0" / 197 lbs
Ahead of Aaron Rodgers' first year as starting QB in 2008, the Packers got him Jordy Nelson with the 36th overall pick and Jermichael Finley in Round 3. Green Bay sets up Jordan Love even better, adding Jaxon Smith-Njigba to a talented young receiving corps.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Mock Trade from Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 17
Lukas Van Ness EDGE
Iowa • 6'5" / 272 lbs
The Bears need to protect Justin Fields, but they also need a lot of things, which is why trading back despite having the opportunity to take Paris Johnson Jr. still makes sense. And the big, explosive Lukas Van Ness is a great consolation prize.
Mock Trade from Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 20
Round 1 - Pick 26
Round 1 - Pick 30