Latest First-Round Mock Draft | Three Quarterbacks selected in Top 4 Picks
The Carolina Panthers are on the Clock.
The first overall pick has been traded for the first time since 2016. The Bears sent the selection to the Panthers, and in return receive a 2023 1st-round pick (9), a 2023 2nd-round pick, a 2024 1st-round pick, a 2025 2nd-round pick, and WR DJ Moore.
With a massive shake-up at the top of the draft, and free agency officially set to begin Wednesday, let’s take a look at the latest 1st-round mock draft.
CAROLINA PANTHERS: CJ Stroud – QB – Ohio State
The Carolina Panthers have been looking for their franchise QB since Cam Newton left. New owner David Tepper has been desperately looking to fill this need, and now they have the chance. The feeling is the Panthers have fallen in love with Stroud, and trading up to number one cements him as the next Panthers QB.
HOUSTON TEXANS: Bryce Young – QB – Alabama
After winning the last game of the season, the Texans lost out on the chance to draft first overall. Winning this game may not end up hurting them, as they’ll still be able to take the top QB prospect in the draft with the second overall pick. Although the NFL success of Alabama quarterbacks is less than average, Young looks poised to be in the conversation for the best of the bunch
ARIZONA CARDINALS: Will Anderson Jr. – EDGE – Alabama
Alabama continues to pump out top prospects year after year, and Will Anderson Jr. looks like another can’t-miss prospect. Racking up 37 sacks in his 3 years at Alabama, Anderson has a chance to fill some big shoes in Arizona, who are definitely in need of pass rush help after JJ Watt’s retirement.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Anthony Richardson – QB – Florida
Jim Irsay has been very vocal this offseason about finding the quarterback of the future, and they can find that in Anthony Richardson. Richardson put on a show in the combine, drawing comparisons to Cam Newton and Josh Allen. The Colts have needed a QB since Andrew Luck left, as they haven’t had that constant presence leading the team since his retirement.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Jalen Carter – DL – Georgia
Jalen Carter may be the most talented player in the entire draft, but some question marks around his recent arrest may end up costing the Georgia lineman a few draft spots. On the field, there are no question marks. He is still an incredibly talented player, and the Seahawks defense will improve drastically with Carter added.
DETROIT LIONS: Christian Gonzalez – CB – Oregon
With a slight resurgence of Jared Goff, the Lions can focus on improving their team defense. Gonzalez, who produced incredible combine numbers, is a very valuable player with the versatility to play multiple different defensive styles. He will be a great counterpart to the current number-one Lions corner, Jeff Okudah.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: Peter Skoronski – T – Northwestern
With Jimmy Garoppolo expected to sign with the Raiders in free agency, the Raiders can look elsewhere to improve the roster. Skoronski may be the best lineman prospect since Quenton Nelson, the Raiders can solidify an already good offensive line.
ATLANTA FALCONS: Tyree Wilson – EDGE – Texas Tech
The Atlanta Falcons had the second-fewest team sacks in the 2022-2023 season, so it seems natural for the Falcons to draft a top pass rusher and look to develop QB Desmond Ridder. Wilson is a physical beast, measuring in at 6′ 6”, 275 lbs, with a massive wingspan of 7′ 2”. His lengthiness is one of the best physical traits you can have as a pass rusher, making Wilson a top tier pass rushing prospect
CHICAGO BEARS: Lukas Van Ness – EDGE – Iowa
Chicago trading back from the first overall pick is something we don’t see every day. The Bears have multiple holes to fill, and picking up a great pass rusher is a perfect start. The Bears need to improve a sub-standard pass rush unit, which ranked last in team sacks. Van Ness can instantly provide a spark to a Bears team looking to fill many holes.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Devon Witherspoon – CB – Illinois
After a Super Bowl appearance in 2022, the Eagles are in a great position with the 10th overall pick from the Saints. Philadelphia has one of the best defensive units in football, and they add to that with Devon Witherspoon. With James Bradberry a free agent, the Eagles could look to replenish with some youth at the position, continuing to add skill players to a roster that is already one of the best in the NFL.
TENNESSEE TITANS: Will Levis – QB – Kentucky
The Titans, two years removed from being the top seed in the AFC, are on a crash course for a rebuild. With reports of Derrick Henry on the trade block, Ryan Tannehill might not be far behind in the QB carousel. Tennessee might look to get a head start on their next QB, as Levis is the last of the top QB’s off the board.
HOUSTON TEXANS: Jaxson Smith-Njigba – WR – Ohio State
Houston filled their QB need with the second overall pick, and they immediately get him some help with one of the top playmakers in the draft. Smith-Njiba, although injured in the 2022 season with Ohio State, will immediately be an impact player for the Texans, as they continue to add more pieces to their rebuild.
NEW YORK JETS: Paris Johnson Jr. – T – Ohio State
With Aaron Rodgers to the Jets feeling inevitable, the Jets are able to add linemen to help protect Rodgers. Johnson, a second-team all-Big Ten player in 2021, will help add to a Jets offensive line that allowed 42 sacks in the 2022-2023 season. Although Johnson is not expected to be great right out of the draft, he should develop into a very solid lineman very quickly.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Quentin Johnson – WR – TCU
The Patriots need help on offense. Mac Jones has made that very clear, from being vocal about needing a legit offensive coordinator, to the obvious talent deficiency at the receiver position. Quentin Johnson can come in and immediately make an impact, especially if he clicks with Mac Jones.
GREEN BAY PACKERS: Dalton Kincaid – TE – Utah
It would be very fitting for the Packers to draft an offensive player in the first round, especially if Rodgers ends up getting traded to the Jets. The Packers need to surround whoever their QB next season is with more offensive talent, and Dalton Kincaid fits exactly what the Packers need. Marcedes Lewis is just not the answer.
WASHINGTON COMMANDERS: O’Cyrus Torrence – G – Florida
One of the biggest holes in the Commanders roster is the guard position. Torrence had a wonderful college career, finishing his career without allowing a sack. As the Commanders prepare for Sam Howell to take over, getting a significant upgrade in pass protection would be a great move.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Broderick Jones – T – Georgia
Broderick Jones is coming off back-to-back seasons protecting Stetson Bennett to two National Championships. The Steelers are more than likely going to look for pass protection for Kenny Pickett, so Jones may be a prime candidate for that role. Having given up only 2 sacks in college, he’s poised to be a stout lineman for years.
DETROIT LIONS: Calijah Kancey: DL – Pittsburgh
Kancey has a chance to be one of the steals of the draft. Drawing comparisons to Aaron Donald, the Lions would be salivating to get Kancey lined up with last year’s rookie Aidan Hutchinson. Although undersized, Kancey has proven to have some of the most potential in the class this year.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Brian Branch – S – Alabama
Navigating the post-Brady era may prove to be difficult for the Buccs. Unless they make a bold trade up to a top spot, all the top QB prospects will be gone by now. Brian Branch out of Alabama may not have tested great in the combine, but he is absolutely one of the best DBs in this year’s draft, and the Buccaneers may look to take the best available.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Joey Porter Jr. – CB – Penn State
Joey Porter Jr. is a player that has jumped around big board rankings. He has the high-end talent to be a solid player, but he has a tendency to have flags drawn on him. The Seahawks, after getting one of the best players of the draft, look to solidify the defense with a top corner.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: Anton Harrison – T – Oklahoma
As good as the Chargers were last season, Justin Herbert was one of the most sacked QBs in the league last season. Harrison is a player who showed significant improvement in the last couple of years, and while he still has a lot of developing to do, his potential is very high.
BALTIMORE RAVENS: Myles Murphy – EDGE – Clemson
With incredible strength and quick hands, Murphy is a wonderful edge rusher. At only 21 years old, he has all the physical tools already to be a force in the NFL. While his consistency may be in question, there’s no doubt he has the potential to be a top pass rusher in a few years
MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Deonte Banks – CB – Maryland
Deonte Banks is coming off a great season, putting him firmly in the first-round conversation. He cemented that label with a 4.35 40. Standing at 6’ 2”, Banks has the size and agility to be a solid corner. Minnesota, whose pass defense was one of the worst in the league, will instantly have a new starting CB in Banks
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Bryan Bresee – DL – Clemson
At 6’ 5”, 300 lbs, Bryan Bresee shows incredible athleticism. His quickness and strength at the position are at the top of the draft class for tackles. Although he has shown some injury issues in the past couple of years, he still has significant upside. Jacksonville is in a spot to refine the roster and continue making a run for playoffs, and Bresee can be a big key.
NEW YORK GIANTS: Jordan Addison – WR – USC
The Giants made it into the playoffs with a receiving core that is less than average at best. With Richie James and Saquon Barkley leading the way in receptions, the Giants may look to add a playmaker at receiver. Addison didn’t have his best season after transferring from Pitt, but he is still one of the most talented route runners out there.
DALLAS COWBOYS: Zay Flowers – WR – Boston College
A year removed from trading Amari Cooper, the Cowboys found themselves in need of receiver production last season. While CeeDee Lamb is their top target, Dallas needs a weapon to play across from him. Flowers, despite the small size, is a very versatile receiver, with the ability to line up and score from anywhere on the field.
BUFFALO BILLS: Bijon Robinson – HB – Texas
Bijon Robinson is the best running back in this year’s draft class. With incredible speed, size, and strength, Robinson could solve the Buffalo Bills problem at running back. Buffalo can look to upgrade an already lethal offense with a true number-one back.
CINCINNATI BENGALS: Nolan Smith – EDGE – Georgia
The Bengals pass rush was not the best in 2022, ranking among the worst in total team sacks. Smith, albeit undersized, has a chance to join a Bengals team not needing much to get back to the Super Bowl. If Smith can put on some weight and work on his craft, he can provide a significant jolt to a lethargic Bengals pass rush.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Emmanuel Forbes – CB Mississippi State
With Derek Carr now steering the ship in New Orleans, the Saints may have become the favorite to win the NFC South. Recording only 7 interceptions in the 2022-2023 season, Forbes can become an important piece to a defense that needs a few more tweaks before they are ready to make a real run.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Josh Downs – WR – North Carolina
The 1-2 punch of AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith is a combo the Eagles rode all the way to the Super Bowl last season. With a team that boasts the best offensive and defensive lines in football, upgrading with a playmaker will make Philadelphia the uncontested number 1 team in the NFC.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Mazi Smith – DL – Michigan
As good as Chris Jones is, he needs a player to compliment him. In the scheme Kansas City runs, Smith would be a top-tier counterpart to a potential hall-of-fame player. There are very few teams who don’t have to worry about who they add as playmakers, and Kansas City is one of them, winning with a new core of receivers in 2022. The Chiefs can look to add depth and skill to other roles, and Mazi Smith would be a wonderful addition.