Free agency has opened up, and most of the big-name free agents are off the market. Any opportunity to put more than a band aid on a position has passed as the top free agents have signed their contracts. In the first 2023 NFL mock draft at Last Word on Sports, the Houston Texans traded up to number one to take C.J. Stroud. Now the Carolina Panthers have jumped four or five quarterback needy teams and are on the clock.
Post Free Agency 2023 NFL Mock Draft
1 Carolina Panthers – CJ Stroud, QB
The Panthers mortgaged their future and get their guy in C.J. Stroud. After they watched Justin Fields slide past them in 2021, they don’t make the same mistake.
2 Houston Texans – Bryce Young, QB
While he may not top the quarterback rankings at Last Word on Sports, he tops a lot of analysts’ rankings and checks boxes for Houston.
3 Arizona Cardinals – Will Anderson Jr. EDGE
The top pass rusher on one of the top defenses in football, the Cardinals need to get a difference maker on the defense. Tyree Wilson is nipping at Anderson’s heels for the top edge rusher off the board.
Will Anderson NFL Draft Profile
4 Indianapolis Colts – Anthony Richardson QB
Look, the Colts already got their guy. After that monster signing in Gardner Minshew, the Colts take a high upside quarterback who can sit behind the best personality in football.
Anthony Richardson NFL Draft Profile
5 *TRADE* Tennessee Titans – Will Levis, QB
Despite taking Malik Willis last year, the Titans move up in a projected trade with Seattle. With this they take another swing at quarterback on the big armed Levis.
6 Detroit Lions – Tyree Wilson, EDGE
Good luck blocking Wilson and Aidan Hutchison. No further analysis required.
Tyree Wilson NFL Draft Profile
7 Las Vegas Raiders – Christian Gonzalez, CB
After missing out on the noteworthy quarterbacks, Jimmy Garoppolo gets some help on defense. Gonzalez is PFF’s CB1, an athletic freak and still has not had his first legal beer.
8 Atlanta Falcons – Bijan Robinson, RB
Drafting a running back this high is not ideal team building. But in Arthur Smith’s run heavy offense Bijan will shine. A high pick at RB in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
Bijan Robinson NFL Draft Profile
9 Chicago Bears – Paris Johnson, OT
The Bears may have won the off-season. A new WR1, a new bodyguard for Justin Fields, the future is bright in the windy city.
Paris Johnson NFL Draft Profile
10 Philadelphia Eagles, Jalen Carter, DL
The Carter slide had to stop somewhere, and the Eagles have become the kind of organization that can help this young man. Also, it would be hilarious to watch Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter on the field at the same time again.
Jalen Carter NFL Draft Profile
11 *TRADE* Seattle Seahawks – Myles Murphy, EDGE
After moving back in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, the Seahawks grab some much-needed defensive help. While Murphy may not be a blue-chip prospect, the Seahawks reach at a premium position.
12. Houston Texans – Peter Skowronski, OT
Most mocks have a wide receiver going here. Even with Tunsil’s new contract the Texans need Offensive Line help. Skowronski can fill in anywhere they need him and excel.
13. *TRADE* Green Bay Packers – Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR
If the Jets flip this pick for Aaron Rodgers, they will likely get a second-round pick in return. Regardless, the Packers add the best wide receiver in the class.
14. New England Patriots – Devon Witherspoon, CB
One of the top players, at one of the most important positions at 14. Unless Belichick takes a small school guard to shock everyone, this should be an easy pick.
15. Green Bay Packers – Broderick Jones, OT
The Packers add a tackle that could be the best in the NFL in 2024. Love hurts, but Jordan Love should stay upright.
16. Washington Commanders – Anton Harrison, OT
Nothing has changed from the first mock here. Washington protects Sam Howell.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Dawand Jones, OT
While the rest of the AFC North goes to the air, Pittsburgh grabs the best run blocker in the draft and establishes the run like it is 1965. Najee Harris has a new best friend.
Dawand Jones NFL Draft Profile
18. Detroit Lions – Darnell Washington, TE
The Lions grab the second-best run blocker in the draft. While the rest of their team is built with speed and to dominate with quickness, Washington adds a “don’t try to tackle me” factor this offense needs.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Lukas Van Ness, EDGE
The Buccaneers need to take a look in the mirror after Brady’s retirement. Van Ness has a sky-high ceiling and needs some time to develop while Tampa Bay prepares for 2024.
20. Seattle Seahawks – Jordan Addison, WR
Tyler Lockett isn’t getting any younger. Addison’s route running and separation in the slot will bolster this offense after they locked up Geno Smith long term.
21. Los Angeles Chargers – Quentin Johnston, WR
Big, strong, fast, jumps out of the gym and made Max Duggan look good. Quentin Johnston could be a fan favorite in L.A. in no time.
22. Baltimore Ravens – Zay Flowers, WR
While Rashod Bateman was touted as a separator, Flowers is more of a YAC monster. If Lamar Jackson is still wearing purple next year, this gives him a much needed weapon.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Jalin Hywatt, WR
The Vikings grab the last receiver with a round one grade. Defensive Coordinators will have nightmares trying to prepare for Justin Jefferson and Hyatt on the field together.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars – Darnell Wright, OT
Jawaan Taylor leaves, Darnell Wright enters. The Jaguars don’t miss a beat and keep building their offense.
25. New York Giants – Nolan Smith, EDGE
Smith set the NFL Combine on fire and could be used with the same versatility as Micah Parsons. While they miss out on pass catcher, Smith bolsters an already ascending defense.
26. Dallas Cowboys – Bryan Bresee, DT
The Cowboys biggest hole is RB, and Bijan is gone. Instead, they grab a potential game-wrecker on the inside.
27. Buffalo Bills – O’Cyrus Torrence, OG
No one gets excited about a guard in April. But once that snow hits in November in Buffalo, Torrence is going to be a snow plow.
28. Cincinatti Bengals – Michael Mayer, TE
The Bengals let Hayden Hurst walk and add a serious upgrade to the tight end room. Mayer gives off George Kittle vibes.
Michael Mayer NFL Draft Profile
29. New Orleans Saints – Calijah Kancey, DT
Kancey keeps rising up boards and the Aaron Donald comparison is too easy. A 2023 NFL Mock Draft after free agency without Kancey in the first round feels disingenuous.
30. Philadelphia Eagles – Brian Branch, S
Do you think they would let him wear number 20? There could be a new guy taking souls in Philly.
31. Kansas City Chiefs – Jahmyr Gibbs, RB
Did the Chiefs learn their lesson with Clyde Edwards-Helaire? Probably, but Gibbs is a pass catching weapon with 4.3 speed that Andy Reid could add to ring around the rosy time.