One Day Away Mock

published on 4/26/2023

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Round 1

Picks 1-16
1. Panthers: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Unless you believe the story about Will Levis posting on Reddit that he told his family he’s going #1, 2021 Heisman winner Bryce Young is the most likely choice at #1 for the Panthers.

2. Texans: Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech

Although I’m not ruling out a QB here, I feel it’s less likely now. Tyree Wilson is thought by some to have a higher upside than Will Anderson, and he fits a longer, more athletic type DeMeco Ryans could prefer.

3. Cardinals: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State

Edge rusher Will Anderson has long been one of the favorites to be taken here, but recent rumors have Arizona connected to offensive linemen, namely Ohio State’s Paris Johnson. In an ideal world, the Cardinals would trade down, but I’m just not sure how much interest there is amongst other teams in trading up.

4. Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Colts great Peyton Manning has reportedly said positive things about Levis, and the Colts appear to be looking for a more NFL ready guy. If it’s not Levis, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud would likely be the selection

5. Seahawks: Will Anderson, DE, Alabama

QBs Anthony Richardson and C.J. Stroud will be considered, but I think the Seahawks would likely go with Anderson if he’s on the board.

6. Lions: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Detroit could also consider a QB, but they’re in more of a win now type of mode, so Witherspoon is the pick. If Anderson or Wilson drop here to 6, I feel they would pounce.

7. Raiders: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Vegas did sign Jimmy Garoppolo, but he can’t be counted on to stay healthy. Plus being able to snag C.J. Stroud without having to surrender any resources could be too good to pass up. A corner or lineman (offensive or defensive) would be my guess if the Raiders pass on a QB.

8. Texans: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Texans get: Picks 8 and 44
Falcons get: Picks 12, 33 and 104

Houston may not feel like a QB is worth it at 2, but maybe a small trade up such as this for one would be? Anthony Richardson has perhaps the highest ceiling amongst the QBs in this class, but could also have the lowest floor.

9. Bears: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

From everything I’ve heard, it sounds like this is Jalen Carter’s floor. With him still available, it’s an easy call for the Bears.

10. Eagles: Nolan Smith, OLB, Georgia

No Carter, no problem. Philly pivots to the next Georgia defender on the board in Nolan Smith, whose skill set and athletic profile have drawn him a few comparisons to Haason Reddick.

11. Steelers: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

Steelers get: Picks 11 and 41
Titans get: Picks 17, 32 and 120

A number of people feel this is too high for Broderick Jones, but there aren’t many true left tackles available, and despite only having a year of starting experience, Jones may have the highest ceiling among the top tackles in the draft. Pittsburgh really needs a left tackle and pay what I feel is a pretty reasonable trade up price.

12. Falcons: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Would I draft Bijan Robinson if I were Atlanta? No, but it would fit a best player available philosophy, and Arthur Smith comes from Tennessee where Derrick Henry was the cowbell offensively (and still is).

13. Packers: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

I’ll finally cave and give the Packers a receiver. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is considered by some to be the only true first round WR in the class. He outproduced Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson in 2021, no small feat.

14. Patriots: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Best player available selection for New England, who was surprised Christian Gonzalez was still on the board. The Oregon product has a rattle combination of size, speed, length and athleticism.

15. Jets: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

Rumor has it that the Jets could pick Smith-Njigba if he’s available. He’s gone, so they pivot to get Aaron Rodgers help up front with Darnell Wright, who comes in battle tested and with experience at left and right tackle.

17. Titans: Peter Skoronski, OT/G, Northwestern

Tennessee would rush to the podium if Stroud is available at 11, but in this scenario, I think they’d be okay passing on the position and be willing to trade down. Most teams are viewing Peter Skoronski as a guard, and that drops him a bit, but he could be an All-Pro there.

Picks 1-16