Last update: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.
Next update: Occasionally. Follow me @walterfootball
The order of this 2023 NFL Mock Draft is random. First-round picks from the 2021 NFL Mock Draft
and 2022 NFL Mock Draft
have been factored into the picks.
Because these prospects are entering college, I had our Senior College Football Recruiting Analyst Corey Long write the blurbs on each player. You can check out our College Football Recruiting Rankings
via this link.
NFL Draft Recent Links:
Go to 2020 NFL Mock Draft | Go to 2021 NFL Mock Draft
*** 2023 NFL MOCK DRAFT updated Feb. 17. This mock draft will be updated occasionally. Follow @walterfootball for NFL Draft updates. ***
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Daviyon Nixon, DT
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Ventrell Miller, LB
The Buccaneers may win another Super Bowl with Tom Brady, but he'll turn 46 after the 2023 NFL Draft. He may not be playing by then. Or, he could be somewhere else. The Buccaneers might be in a position to need a franchise quarterback.
Stroud spent the 2020 season as an understudy to Justin Fields, as he was being prepared to take over Ryan Day's offense in 2021. Whereas Fields is more of a pure dual-threat quarterback, Stroud is more of passer who can use his feet to make plays outside the pocket. Stroud became one of the most coveted quarterbacks in the 2020 recruiting class behind arm strength and accuracy that should rate out on the elite level. He will throw some of the smoothest passes in college football and can comfortable make all the throws needed to be great in the NFL.
As a reminder, this and all player blurbs are by Corey Long. Go here for Corey's College Football Recruiting Commits.
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Carolina Panthers: D.J. Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Micah Parsons, LB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Logan Brown, OT
The Panthers have shown interest in upgrading Teddy Bridgewater, but they may not be able to do that until the 2022 or 2023 offseason.
Uiagalelei spent the 2020 season backing up Trevor Lawrence, but looked great in a start against Notre Dame. Uiagalelei and Lawrence have similar skill sets. Both are big athletes, Uiagelelei's body type will remind you of Cam Newton. Both Uiagalelei and Lawrence are passers who will make you pay if you underestimate their ability to make plays with their feet. Overall, Uiagalelei is probably the best pure passer in the 2020 recruiting class. He arguably had the strongest arm of any top quarterback in the class and his timing and anticipation is second to none. He should be able to keep the train rolling at Clemson for another couple of seasons.
Detroit Lions: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Ja'Marr Chase, WR
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Tyler Shough, QB; Jalen Green, CB
The Lions lost several members of their defensive front this offseason. They'll eventually have to find replacements.
Bresee was the near unanimous No. 1 player in the class of 2020 regardless of position. He had a great freshman year, recording 33 tackles, six TFLs and four sacks. He started 10 games.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Will Anderson, DE/OLB, Alabama
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Jalen Mayfield, OT
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Master Teague, RB
Bud Dupree is likely to depart this offseason, so the Steelers will need a new edge rusher across from T.J. Watt.
Fellow Alabama freshman Drew Sanders was projected in this spot. Instead, Will Anderson was the one who made an instant impact for the Tide. Anderson generated 10.5 TFL and seven sacks in his first collegiate season.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Murphy, DE/DT, Clemson
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Trevor Lawrence, QB; Trevon Moehrig, S
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Wanya Morris, OT
It's going to be impossible to replace Calais Campbell, but the Jaguars have to try to do it somehow.
We were looking at Tyler Davis as Clemson's next great defensive lineman, but Myles Murphy stood out as a freshman instead. The future is very bright for Murphy, who notched 11.5 TFL and four sacks in his first year with the Tigers.
Washington Redskins: Turner Corcoran, OT, Nebraska
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Patrick Surtain II, CB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Jadon Haselwood, WR
The Redskins have a stout offensive line, save for their left tackle situation. That must be upgraded soon.
Corcoran reminds me a lot of the old Nebraska linemen I used to see when I was a younger in the 80s and 90s. He's long and lean off the hoof and has quick feet and lateral movement. He's played all five positions on the line in high school, and he became the first true freshman to start at left tackle for Nebraska. Corcoran has the goods to be a top 5-10 pick in the NFL Draft.
Tennessee Titans: Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Zaven Collins, DE/OLB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Evan Neal, G/OT
The Titans traded Jurrell Casey, so they'll need to replace him eventually.
If Gervon Dexter keeps his head on straight, he'll be the best defensive linemen to come through Florida since Kevin Carter. Of all the defensive tackles in the 2020 recruiting classes, Dexter is the most unique combination of size and athleticism. He runs a reported 4.86 in the 40 and overwhelmed some decent competition in high school.
When he's on his game, Dexter is freak on the field with explosive moves. The main complaint with Dexter is that he'll take a lot of plays off. That trait is usually something that follows a player through college. It might keep Dexter out of the top 10 of the 2023 Draft, but he's a first-round talent. He's looked great so far for Florida with 19 tackles, 1.5 TFL and an interception in reserve reps.
Cincinnati Bengals: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Penei Sewell, OT
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE/OLB
I imagine the Bengals will fix their horrible linebacking corps prior to the 2023 NFL Draft, but you never know...
Trenton Simpson was projected to be another main cog of what should be a terrific defense at Clemson in the 2022 season. He made an instant impact as a freshman, however, with 28 tackles, 6.5 TFL and four sacks. Simpson can play on the edge and at outside linebacker. He can even play some safety because of his exceptional length.
Simpson has top-level pass rush skills, he had 20 sacks as a senior at Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte, N.C., and should be used heavily as a blitzer. Simpson has the skill set to contribute at all three levels of defense and that's going to make him a heavily coveted prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Philadelphia Eagles: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Kyle Pitts, TE
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Kedon Slovis, QB
The Eagles screwed up by passing on Justin Jefferson in favor of Jalen Reagor. Perhaps they'll make amends with another LSU receiver.
Kayshon Boutte reminds me a lot of a taller version of Steve Smith. He's just a dog on the field - a fierce competitor who will do anything to win. You combine that mentality with amazing athletic gifts and he's a guy that has first-round potential by the 2023 NFL Draft. Boutte did well in his freshman year, catching 45 passes for 735 yards and five touchdowns. He had a 300-yard game against Ole Miss.
Atlanta Falcons: Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Zach Wilson, QB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Nolan Smith, DE
The Falcons could add another stud to their linebacking corps to complement Deion Jones.
Noah Sewell is one of the most unique high school recruits I've ever seen. Just looking at his size (6-2, 224), it was easy to project him as a interior defensive lineman in college, but then I watched him play in the All-American Bowl and he does things in space that guys 265-270 shouldn't be able to do. Sewell was the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.
Las Vegas Raiders: Grant Gunnell, QB, Memphis
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Kwity Paye, DE/DT
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Christian Harris, LB
Jon Gruden grows frustrated with his quarterbacks, so it's likely that he'll eventually give up on Derek Carr.
Grant Gunnell set state records in Texas High School football throwing for 16,108 yards and 195 touchdowns during his time at St. Pius X High School in Houston. Gunnell was expected to sit in his first year at Arizona, but managed to appear in eight games with three starts and threw 1,239 yards and nine touchdowns with just one interception. He has since transferred to Memphis.
Gunnell is most effective in the pocket and can absolutely pick defenses apart when he has the time. However, he also has moments where he can scramble a little bit and make some throws on the run. He should be the starter at Arizona for the next three years.
Indianapolis Colts: Arik Gilbert, TE, Florida
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Jaycee Horn, CB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Zion Nelson, OT
The Colts have been rumored to be interest in Zach Ertz, so perhaps they'll target a talented tight end in the first round soon.
Arik Gilbert was the No. 1 rated tight end in the 2020 recruiting class and one of the highest-rated tight ends in the history of recruiting rankings. He was originally projected to make on the defensive side of the ball, but Gilbert spent his last two years in high school becoming a dominant presence at tight end. He caught 102 passes for 1.736 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior and has almost 250 catches in his career. Gilbert's senior year was good enough to name him Gatorade's Player of the Year in Georgia.
Beyond the elite size and athletic has great scheme versatility because he's good enough blocking to be inline and he's fast enough to line up wide as a receiver. There's little doubt that if Gilbert stays healthy, he might be a top 10 pick.
New England Patriots: Jermaine Burton, WR, Georgia
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Gregory Rousseau, DE
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Justyn Ross, WR
The Patriots' receiving situation is so dire that they may spend this pick on another player at the position.
Jermaine Burton is a versatile receiver who flashes greatness where you put him on the field. Burton checks off all the boxes when projecting hands, big-play ability, route running, etc.
Arizona Cardinals: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Jaelen Phillips, DE
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Brenton Cox, DE/OLB
D.J. Humphries will be entering free agency a month prior to the 2023 NFL Draft. The Cardinals could be looking for a new left tackle if they don't trust Humphries to stay healthy.
Paris Johnson was considered the No. 1 offensive linemen in the 2020 recruiting class almost across the board. He played at one of the top high school football programs in the Midwest (Cincinnati St. Xavier) and was rated as the top high school prospect in the state of Ohio. Johnson looks like your favorite team's left tackle of the future. He's got elite length and he's a phenomenal athlete that can get out in front of the play and clear the path. Johnson looks like a future first-round pick and the next great offensive lineman at Ohio State.
Cleveland Browns: David Bell, WR, Purdue
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Carlos Basham, DE/DT
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Bubba Bolden, S
It's unlikely that Odell Beckham Jr. will still be on the roster by the time the 2023 NFL Draft arrives.
I hesitate to put David Bell here because I do believe he'll leave school after his junior season and declare for the 2022 Draft, especially after his huge 2020 campaign. However, if he doesn't, I have a good feeling that the 2019 Big Ten Freshman of the Year will end up in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
New York Jets: Donell Harris, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/16): Justin Fields, QB; Najee Harris, RB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 2/12): Derek Stingley, CB; Kyle Hamilton, S
The Jets have whiffed on pass rushers in the first round, but they have to hit on one eventually, right?
Donell Harris is long and lean right now but envision him three years down the road with 40 pounds of muscle added to his frame and he's become out of the most dynamic, versatile pass rushers in the nation. If there's a way to get to the quarterback, Harris has the moves in his repertoire. He had 40 sacks in two seasons at Gulliver Prep School in Miami, Florida.
Harris is probably going to be better suited for teams that spend more time in three-man fronts so he can be a stand-up rusher. Harris projects to be a double-digit sack guy in college and a top 20 pick if he pans out.
Go to 2023 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 17-32
Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I've received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwidth.
Go to 2020 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie Campbell | Go to 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie Campbell
NFL Picks - Sept. 19
2022 NFL Mock Draft - Sept. 15
NFL Power Rankings - Sept. 14
Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 8
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