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Takeaways from PFF’s Mike Renner’s Three Round 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Florida Quarterback Anthony Richardson is absolutely crushing interviews at the NFL Scouting Combine
Takeaways from PFF’s Mike Renner’s Three Round 2023 NFL Mock Draft

Breaking down the biggest takeaways from Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner’s Three Round 2023 NFL mock draft.

With just three weeks to go before draft night is upon us we are starting to get a clearer picture of how the draft will play out.

Of course it’s impossible to predict everything right in a mock draft, but it’s fun to envision potential scenarios and player-team fits.

One of my favorite draft exercises is looking at other mock drafts as it allows me to consider different scenarios and team-prospect fits that I hadn’t considered before.

Mike Renner is one of the best draft analysts in the business and his mock draft is something to put a lot of weight into.  Some of his projections and analysis present things to consider that I hadn’t thought about before and make me reconsider certain players’ draft stock.

To see every pick in Renner’s three round NFL mock draft go ahead and check it out on the link.  In this article I am going to be highlighting the key takeaways that I took from his mock draft.

Without further ado, let’s kick it off with my first takeaway.

Mike Renner Three Round NFL Mock Draft

4: Colts Select Anthony Richardson QB Florida

With Stroud and Young going first and second in this mock draft, the Colts land Anthony Richardson at fourth overall.  

Where Richardson goes is a big wild card and potential domino effect in this draft as with many quarterback needy teams someone could move up to third overall.  

If he’s still on the board for the Colts, Richardson would make perfect sense.  The Colts have time and time again swung and missed on veteran short-term solutions at quarterback, so it’s time for them to invest in a young quarterback.  

Richardson may have some development to do accuracy wise, but his ceiling is quite high and is someone newly hired head coach Shane Steichen can work well with.

9: Bears Select Darnell Wright OT Tennessee

Perhaps the most eye opening projection in this mock draft for me was Darnell Wright being the first offensive lineman off the board to the Bears.

Wright is a good player, so this isn’t to say this would necessarily be a bad pick.  Building the offensive line in front of Justin Fields is a priority for the Bears, but if they opt for an offensive lineman at nine I’d expect them to target Peter Skoronski or Paris Johnson Jr. who have been considered the top tackles in the class for a while.

12: Steelers Trade up to select Broderick Jones OT Georgia

With Skoronski going to the Eagles at 10th overall and Johnson Jr. going to the Titans at 11th overall, the Steelers move up to secure a tackle in this mock draft scenario.

Historically, the Steelers typically stand pat and don’t make trades on draft night, but they have done it before.  The 2019 draft where they traded up for Devin Bush comes to mind.  With a big need at tackle for the Steelers this is a plausible scenario for them to make a move up if the tackles start coming off the board.

13: Jets Select Calijah Kancey DT Pittsburgh

A big wild card in this draft will be where Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey comes off the board.  The value teams place on him will certainly be split.  Some teams will highly value his pass rushing ability, while others will be scared away by his lack of size.

In this scenario, Renner projects Kancey to go in the top 15 to the Jets at 13th overall.  At the end of the day, while the team fit may not be exactly right, I do think Kancey ends up coming off the board in the top 15-20 picks.  With how highly valued pass rushing is in today’s game, Kancey is too good to last longer than that on draft night.

14: Seahawks Trade up to select Jaxon Smith-Njigba WR Ohio State

In recent months there seems to be more analysts coming to the conclusion that Jaxon Smith-Njigba is WR1 in this class.  This is something I certainly agree with as I am high on the Ohio State wide receiver.

The Seahawks aren’t exactly a landing spot I have heavily considered for Smith-Njigba, but with Tyler Lockett being on the wrong side of 30 it’d make a lot of sense.  

Seattle does have many defensive needs, but in today’s game it’s paramount to have as many weapons as possible in the passing game and a trio of JSN, DK Metcalf, and Lockett would be amongst the league’s best.

20: Patriots Select Bijan Robinson RB Texas after trading down

Everyone can agree that Bijan Robinson is amongst the best players in this class Robinson, but the question is just how highly teams will value running backs?

This might be slightly high for a running back to come off the board, but Robinson is such a good player that it’s reasonable.

The surprising part to me is that Renner is projecting the Patriots to be the team to draft Robinson.  With Rhamondre Stevenson having a strong season, they don’t necessarily have a need at running back.  

However, the Patriots are a team that aren’t afraid to make unconventional moves with an example being Cole Strange in last year’s draft.  With that being said, if they like Robinson enough they certainly won’t shy away from doing it.

22: Rams Trade up to select Will Levis QB Kentucky

Another big wild card in this class is where Will Levis will come off the board.  Many mock drafts have Will Levis going in the top five, with fourth overall to the Colts being a popular destination for him.

Mid to late first round is a more reasonable spot for Levis to come off the board compared to other projections however.  While he does have a lot of potential and is good enough to go first round in this class, he’s too unpolished to spend a top five pick on.

In this scenario the Rams see Levis sliding down the board and move up to grab him.  This would be a great situation for both sides as Levis could develop under Matt Stafford and take over as the starter whenever the Rams decide to move on from the 35 year old quarterback.

33: Texans Select Brian Branch CB/S Alabama

Another example of a player that is considered a very good prospect, but could fall because of his position is Brian Branch.  He projects to develop into a very good slot corner in the NFL, but the question is how highly will the NFL value slot corners?

I’ve been projecting Branch to still go in the top 15 or 20, but perhaps Branch being a slot corner will hurt his draft stock more than I originally expected.

42: Packers Acquire Two Second Rounders in Aaron Rodgers trade and Select Hendon Hooker QB Tennessee

One of the biggest storylines to keep an eye on heading into the draft will be the Jets and Packers stalemate on Aaron Rodgers.  Both sides want to deal done, but that also means that neither side has much leverage to work with.

In this scenario the Jets are able to hang onto their first round pick at 13th overall and instead send the Packers two second rounders to acquire Rodgers.  With one of those picks the Packers take Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker.

Hooker going to the Packers would be a bit of a surprise, but we all know how unpredictable the draft is, so nothing can be ruled out.  

The Packers plan is to start former first round pick Jordan Love, but that doesn’t mean they won’t look at quarterbacks in this class.

Hooker is coming from an offense at Tennessee that is very hard to project quarterbacks to the NFL because he rarely ever was asked to make full field type reads.  Additionally, Hooker is 25 years old and coming off an ACL injury.

With that said I’m not particularly high on him, but he was an accurate passer at Tennessee and brings some rushing ability to the table.  So, while the early second round is a little high for him this would certainly be an exciting scenario to see play out.

51: Dolphins Select Jahmyr Gibbs RB Alabama

Jahmyr Gibbs is commonly looked at as RB2 behind Bijan Robinson in this class and a likely second round pick.  Gibbs brings home run speed and high-level receiving ability to the table.

Seeing him on the Dolphins offense alongside Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle would be one of the fastest skill groups the league has ever seen and would be very exciting to watch.

91: Bills Select Kayshon Boutte WR LSU

Seeing where Kayshon Boutte lands will be an interesting post day one storyline in this draft.  Boutte is a very talented receiver, who has unfortunately seen his draft stock fall after an underwhelming season and combine performance.

He has the makings of an excellent route runner in the NFL as his quickness and explosiveness are exceptional. He’s also very dynamic with the ball in his hands as his short area explosion, elusiveness, and burst make him very hard to take down in the open field. 

It’s unclear where Boutte will come off the board, but for a Bills team looking to add complementary weapons alongside Stefon Diggs to their offense, it would be a worthy gamble.


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