Last update: Friday, May 14, 2020.
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 May 14. 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 5/12): Travis Etienne, RB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): George Karlaftis, DE
The Buccaneers may win a Super Bowl with Tom Brady in the next year or two, 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 will spend the 2020 season as an understudy to Justin Fields before being expected to take over Ryan Day's offense in 2021. Whereas Fields, a likely high first-round pick in his own right, 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 Rankings.
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Atlanta Falcons: D.J. Uiagalelei, QB, Clemson
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): LaBryan Ray, DT
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Master Teague, RB
Matt Ryan will be nearing 40 when the 2023 NFL Draft occurs, so the Falcons could be in the market for a quarterback at this juncture.
Uiagalelei will spend the 2020 season backing up future first-round pick Trevor Lawrence. 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 5/12): Justyn Ross, WR
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE/OLB
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, and I believe he can be the first No. 1 high school to become the No. 1 overall draft pick since Jadeveon Clowney. Bresee had 30 tackles for loss and 15 sacks as a senior at Damascus (Maryland) High School. Any questions about Bresee's worthiness were answered in the All-American Bowl where he put on a show in front of a nationally televised audience.
They just don't make them like Bresee very often. He's fast enough (reported 4.81 in the 40) to play on the edge if he wanted to play at 275-280 pounds. And an interior rusher, he dominated. Offensive linemen can't handle his first step or his quick hands. He's a dynamic pass rusher, but plays the run with discipline and honesty.
Arizona Cardinals: Drew Sanders, DE/OLB, Alabama
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): Israel Mukuamu, CB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Charles Cross, OT
The Cardinals have needed a talented pass rusher across from Chandler Jones for quite some time. Hopefully it doesn't take until 2023 to find one.
Drew Sanders was originally committed to Oklahoma, but flipped to Alabama because they projected him as an outside linebacker and pass rusher instead of a tight end. One of the top rated athletes in the 2020 recruiting class, Sanders mostly played on the offensive side of the ball as quarterback, tight end and wide receiver, so he's going to be coming into college football very raw.
So why is he a potential first-round prospect? Speed and athleticism. Sanders runs a reported 4.65 in the 40-yard dash and under 11 seconds in the 100. If he can get around the edge with that sort of speed, we're looking at potentially the next Chase Young or Nick Bosa. If Sanders is good he'll be a first-round pick, if he's is an All-SEC, All-American type of performer, he'll be a top-10 pick.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyler Davis, DT, Clemson
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): Trevor Lawrence, QB; Walker Little, OT
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Evan Neal, OT
It's going to be impossible to replace Calais Campbell, but the Jaguars have to try to do it somehow.
If projections are accurate, Clemson will have the best defensive line in the country in the 2021 and 2022 seasons (if not beyond). Davis could very well be a candidate for the 2022 Draft, but Clemson has had luck keeping their top guys for a full four years. Davis made 13 starts in 2019 - most for a true freshman defensive lineman in school history.
Davis had 51 tackles, nine for loss and 5.5 sacks from the interior and proved to be up of the challenge during the 2019 College Football Playoff, getting a sack against LSU. Pro Football Focus said Davis was the best run-defending true freshman interior defensive lineman in the country. Both Davis and Bresee could be top 10 picks in the 2023 Draft.
Houston Texans: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): None
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Luke Matthews, C/G
Bill O'Brien may trade this pick for Rex Burkhead. If not, perhaps he'll finally obtain the cornerback help his team has needed ever since A.J. Bouye departed.
A big big athlete at cornerback and he'll likely get even bigger and considerably stronger in a college weight room program. Ringo's length and size are great, but it's his ability to run that puts him at the top of the list. His reported 4.47 in the 40-yard dash and 10.54 in the 100 meters is a difference maker on a 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame.
Ringo's size and speed make him a pain for larger receivers used to having their way physically with cornerbacks. He's a monster in man coverage and likes to play close to his man and stick. Ringo has plus level ball skills as well. The physicality and athleticism is going to put Ringo over the top in this class of cornerbacks.
New York Jets: Turner Corcoran, OT, Nebraska
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): Patrick Surtain II, CB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Owen Pappoe, LB
The Jets obtained two new tackles this offseason. Both are high-upside players with low floors, so it's possible that one of them won't succeed in the NFL.
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 I could easily see him as a guy able to backup multiple positions as a freshman before settling into a starting tackle spot as a sophomore and junior. He might wait until 2024 to come out, but Corcoran has the goods to be a top 5-10 pick in the NFL Draft.
Corcoran was rated as the No.1 high school recruit out of Kansas (Lawrence Free State HS) in the 2020 recruit class.
Tennessee Titans: Gervon Dexter, DT, Florida
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): Jaylen Waddle, WR
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Kenyon Green, G
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. He had 18 sacks as a senior at Lake Wales (Florida) High School. 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.
Los Angeles Chargers: Sav'ell Smalls, OLB, Washington
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): Sam Cosmi, OT
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Christian Harris, LB
Melvin Ingram is entering free agency soon, so the Chargers may need a new edge rusher to pair with Joey Bosa.
Ask five different people and you'll get five different opinions of where Smalls' best fit is on a football field. I think he can get to the quarterback as a stand-up guy off the edge or with his hand in the ground. He's got the best first step of any prospect in the 2020 recruiting class.
Smalls has also played linebacker and tight end, so he's got a lot of additional skills that will make him one of the most versatile players in college football and a very attractive draft choice for a team rebuilding on defense and looking for a centerpiece.
New York Giants: Rakim Jarrett, WR, Maryland
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): Shaun Wade, CB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Zach Harrison, DE
The Giants may want to find a true No. 1 receiver for Daniel Jones at some point.
The 2020 recruiting class was very deep at wide receiver, but Rakim Jarrett seems to be a cut above the others for me in terms what he can do on the field. He's got scheme versatility to be a big slot receiver or work on the outside. Jarrett is a strong athlete, good luck trying to jam him. He can make the big plays and the routine catches. Jarrett has great hands and is very competitive.
Jarrett averaged almost 22 yards per catch as a senior at St. John's Collegiate High School in Washington, D.C. Depending on Jarrett's quarterback situation he might not have the most gaudy numbers in college, but he's going to be the Terrapins top playmaker and a good bet as an early draft pick.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Demorie Tate, CB, Florida State
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): Jamie Newman, QB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Baylor Cupp, TE
Joe Haden is likely to be gone by the time the 2023 NFL Draft arrives, so the Steelers will need a new cornerback.
Demorie Tate was one of the fastest rising players in the 2020 class, he went from player rated around the top 150-200 to a player that was consensus top 50 in the nation. Against the stiffest competition at The Opening and the Under Armor All-America Game, Tate showed that he was arguably the best cover corner in the class.
Tate has plus-level ball skills and his ability to read plays allows him to excel in zone coverage, while his size and speed is a plus in man coverage. The Seminoles have been down in the past couple of years with disappointing prospects in the secondary. Tate, however, looks like he'll be a boom and a future first-round pick.
Indianapolis Colts: Trey Wedig, OT, Wisconsin
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): Josh Jobe, CB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Kedon Slovis, QB
There's been some chatter about Anthony Castonzo retiring soon, so the Colts may have to find a new left tackle by the 2023 NFL Draft.
Trey Wedig had one of best 20-yard shuttles of any offensive linemen in the 2020 recruiting class, which shows the foot quickness, lateral movement and his ability to play low. He is a hulk in the weight room and is built from the lower body up with a massive frame. Put it all together and he will flatten defenders, especially in the run game.
If there's any knock on Wedig it's that his pass blocking is underdeveloped as he heads into his first year at Wisconsin. I believe he has the tools to become a quality pass blocker as well and a candidate for the first round of the 2023 Draft as a junior.
New England Patriots: Jermaine Burton, WR, Georgia
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): Trey Lance, QB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Christopher Hinton, DT
The Patriots will know if N'Keal Harry is a bust or not by the 2023 NFL Draft. If he is, they may spend this pick on a receiver.
I could see a battle brewing between Jermaine Burton, Rakim Jarrett and Keyshon Boutte for the first wide receiver to go off the 2023 draft board. Whereas Jarrett brings some impressive size and strength, Burton is a little more of a speedster. Another 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.
Burton played for Calabasas (California) High. He is originally from Atlanta and started his high school career at Hapeville Charter School in Atlanta. Burton is expected to see action as a freshman and line up in multiple receiver sets behind sophomores George Pickens and Dominick Blaylock.
Las Vegas Raiders: Grant Gunnell, QB, Arizona
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): Dylan Moses, LB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Logan Brown, OT
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.
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.
Carolina Panthers: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): Justin Fields, QB
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Derek Stingley, CB
The Panthers have some major offensive line problems they'll need to address soon.
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.
Washington Redskins: Arik Gilbert, TE, LSU
2021 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/12): Penei Sewell, OT
2022 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 5/13): Sam Howell, QB
It was odd that the Redskins didn't address tight end in the 2020 NFL Draft. They'll have to find an intermediate threat for Dwayne Haskins at some point.
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.
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 - Oct. 30
2021 NFL Mock Draft - Oct. 28
NFL Power Rankings - Oct. 27
Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 9
2022 NFL Mock Draft - May 13
2020 College Football Recruiting Rankings - April 14
2020 NBA Mock Draft - Sept. 27
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