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Mock Draft

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Bucky Brooks 2023 NFL mock draft 4.0: Patriots nab Bijan Robinson; Texans take QB at No. 12

It's draft week! Finally. The waiting game is nearly over. But as we hurtle toward the real thing in Kansas City, Missouri, allow me to squeeze in one last attempt at predicting the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

NOTE: The NFL announced in August that the Miami Dolphins will forfeit their 2023 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick following an investigation into whether the team violated league policies pertaining to the integrity of the game.

Carolina Panthers
(from CHI)
Bryce Young
Alabama · QB · Junior

The diminutive gunslinger becomes the face of the franchise in Carolina.

Tyree Wilson
Texas Tech · Edge · Senior (RS)

The ultra-athletic edge defender gives first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans a high-end pass rusher to build around. 

Will Anderson Jr.
Alabama · Edge · Junior

As a polished QB hunter with outstanding tools and technique, Anderson is the disruptive presence the Cardinals need on the edge.

C.J. Stroud
Ohio State · QB · Sophomore (RS)

The former Buckeye steps into the QB1 role, giving the Colts the franchise quarterback they’ve been missing since Andrew Luck’s unexpected retirement. 

Seattle Seahawks
(from DEN)
Christian Gonzalez
Oregon · CB · Junior

Pete Carroll attempts to recreate the “Legion of Boom” with Gonzalez joining Tariq Woolen to give the Seahawks a pair of super-sized corners on the perimeter.

Detroit Lions
(from LAR)
Jalen Carter
Georgia · DT · Junior

The Lions pounce on the best defensive player in the draft to fortify the interior of a front that is physical and athletic from edge to edge.

Devon Witherspoon
Illinois · CB · Senior

The ultra-versatile Witherspoon perfectly fits into Patrick Graham’s hybrid defense. 

Lukas Van Ness
Iowa · Edge · Sophomore (RS)

The Dirty Birds desperately need a high-energy pass rusher with inside-outside position flexibility. Van Ness is a talented technician with a nonstop motor and an intriguing set of tools.

Chicago Bears
(from CAR)
Peter Skoronski
Northwestern · OT · Junior

Protecting Justin Fields is a top priority as the team continues to focus on surrounding its franchise quarterback with a better supporting cast in 2023.

Myles Murphy
Clemson · Edge · Junior

The Eagles do not mind investing in front-line personnel in the first round. Murphy adds another athletic pass rusher to a deep, talented rotation that wears opponents down over 60 minutes.

Paris Johnson Jr.
Ohio State · OT · Junior

Fixing the offensive line has to be a top priority for Mike Vrabel after watching the unit struggle a season ago.

Houston Texans
(from CLE)
Will Levis
Kentucky · QB · Senior (RS)

The Texans take a flier on a boom-or-bust quarterback prospect with intriguing physical tools and arm talent.

Green Bay Packers
(from NYJ)
Dalton Kincaid
Utah · TE · Senior

The Aaron Rodgers era is over. Adding a sure-handed pass catcher should help Jordan Love find his way as a first-time starter. Kincaid is a flex tight end with mismatch potential on the perimeter. 

Bijan Robinson
Texas · RB · Junior

Bill Belichick zigs while the rest of the league zags, taking a running back in the first round. Robinson gives the Patriots an elite RB1 in the backfield to anchor the offense and alleviate some pressure on Mac Jones to carry the unit. 

New York Jets
(from GB)
Broderick Jones
Georgia · OT · Sophomore (RS)

With Aaron Rodgers on his way to the Jets, the team needs to upgrade its offensive line to keep the four-time MVP upright and protected. 

Joey Porter Jr.
Penn State · CB · Junior (RS)

Ron Rivera’s previous success with Josh Norman could lead the veteran coach to add this long, rangy corner to the lineup. 

Darnell Wright
Tennessee · OT · Senior

Mike Tomlin’s desire to play bully ball could make Wright the perfect pick at this spot. The mammoth edge blocker (6-foot-5, 333 pounds) knocks defenders around at the point of attack.

Deonte Banks
Maryland · CB · Junior (RS)

The Lions continue to upgrade the defensive backfield with a speedy corner who provides size at the position. 

O'Cyrus Torrence
Florida · OG · Senior

Rebuilding the offensive line is a pressing need for the Buccaneers as they move past the Tom Brady era. Torrence is a rugged interior blocker with quick feet and a powerful punch.

Nolan Smith
Georgia · Edge · Senior

As Pete Carroll continues to remake the Seahawks' defense into a unit that mirrors his dominant group from the 2010s, Smith gives Seattle a versatile edge defender with the size, athleticism and range to fill the role once occupied by Bruce Irvin on the perimeter. 

Michael Mayer
Notre Dame · TE · Junior

Putting a big-bodied tight end with soft hands in the middle of the field will help Justin Herbert take advantage of the two-deep looks opponents are utilizing to slow down Mike Williams and Keenan Allen on the perimeter. 

Anthony Richardson
Florida · QB · Sophomore (RS)

Adding a developmental dual-threat quarterback with superstar potential gives Baltimore a solid insurance policy behind Lamar Jackson. If the former MVP signs a short-term deal or refuses to return to the team, the Ravens have an explosive option in the bullpen waiting to take over the squad. 

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens have agreed to terms on a five-year, $260 million extension, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on April 27.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Ohio State · WR · Junior

Putting a polished route runner opposite Justin Jefferson will enable Kirk Cousins to stay in attack mode at all times. JSN is a big-play specialist with the talent and skill to produce explosive plays from anywhere on the field.

Brian Branch
Alabama · DB · Junior

The Jaguars' defense needs a slot defender with the instincts and IQ to fill the hybrid linebacker/defensive back role in sub-packages. Branch is a natural fit as a versatile safety with extensive experience playing in the slot for the Crimson Tide. 

Zay Flowers
Boston College · WR · Senior

Surrounding "Danny Dimes" with explosive playmakers will enable the Giants offense to take the next step in Year 2 of the Brian Daboll era. 

Steve Avila
TCU · OG · Senior (RS)

Investing high picks in the offensive line has paid off significantly for the Cowboys over the years. A Day 1 starter at guard, Avila has the quick feet and strong hands to thrive in a balanced offense.

Jordan Addison
USC · WR · Junior

The silky-smooth pass catcher from USC would be a nice addition to a wide receiver corps that needs more "get open" specialists around Stefon Diggs. 

Anton Harrison
Oklahoma · OT · Junior

Upgrading the offensive line will help Joe Burrow thrive against the rugged defenses in the AFC North. Harrison is not a finished product, but his size, length and athleticism could make him an all-star down the road. His arrival, combined with Orlando Brown Jr.'s new big-money contract, would likely mean the end of Jonah Williams' tenure in Cincinnati.

New Orleans Saints
(from SF through MIA, DEN)
Calijah Kancey
Pittsburgh · DT · Junior (RS)

Putting an energetic defender beside Cam Jordan could help the Saints' defense spark a playoff run in 2023. Kancey is a relentless pass rusher with the first-step quickness and burst to create problems on passing downs.

Keion White
Georgia Tech · DL · Senior (RS)

The Eagles add a combo defender with inside-outside playmaking ability at the line of scrimmage. White can man multiple positions along the defensive front and should fit well within Philly's blue-collar pass-rush rotation.

Will McDonald IV
Iowa State · Edge · Senior (RS)

Adding more firepower to the defense will help coordinator Steve Spagnuolo pepper opponents with creative blitzes and pressures. McDonald is a productive sack artist with explosive speed, quickness and a nonstop motor. 

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