Aside from the day(s) of fantasy draft(s), the opening night of the NFL Draft – and NFL Draft weekend – has a Christmas morning feel to it for football fans. In the words of Rafiki before Simba becomes king: it is time. Players will go higher and lower than we anticipated, trades will be made that we didn’t expect (for this exercise, I kept the current draft order as is), fans will boo Roger Goodell and teams will take too long to send in their picks. Without further ado, here is what I’m sure will turn into a completely inaccurate iteration of this year’s draft that will change daily and hourly.
Zach Greubel 2023 NFL Mock Draft (No Trades)
- Carolina Panthers: QB Bryce Young, Alabama – The heavy favorite to be selected first Thursday night.
- Houston Texans: QB Will Levis, Kentucky – Potential first trade of the night. This slot will set up the rest of the draft.
- Cardinals EDGE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech – Gaining steam to be the first defensive player chosen. Arizona has a lot of needs; a trade-down would make sense.
- Colts: QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio St. – New head coach Shane Steichen and company have their choice of Stroud and Anthony Richardson if they’re set on a quarterback.
- Seahawks: EDGE Will Anderson, Alabama – Seattle skips quarterback for now with arguably the best talent in the 2023 class.
- Lions: DT Jalen Carter, Georgia – Carter could fall, but Detroit’s defense is perennially terrible.
- Raiders: CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois – An athletic freak and the CB1 in this draft class.
- Falcons: EDGE Nolan Smith, Georgia – Atlanta supposedly really likes Smith. How could you not after his production at Georgia and the Combine?
- Bears: OL Peter Skoronski, Northwestern – Could play tackle or guard.
- Eagles: RB Bijan Robinson, Texas – Bijan makes Philly’s offense the most well-rounded in the league after Miles Sanders’ departure.
- Titans: QB Anthony Richardson, Florida – The Titans could also go wide receiver here.
- Texans: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio St. – Best wide receiver in the draft. Can turn around an offense if he stays healthy.
- Packers: TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah – It’s between Kincaid and Notre Dame standout Michael Mayer for first tight end drafted in a stacked class.
- Patriots: OT Paris Johnson, Ohio St. – Could be a slight steal for the Patriots.
- Jets: OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee – Mekhi Becton has disappointed and the Jets need to protect Aaron Rodgers at all costs.
- Commanders CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon – Gonzalez would be the steal of the draft to this point.
- Steelers: CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State – Joey Porter in Pittsburgh. Sounds familiar.
- Lions: TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame – Mayer can do it all as a tight end. Could easily be the first at his position drafted on Thursday night.
- Bucs: OT Broderick Jones, Georgia – Tampa is evidently set on Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask, so they make their next move to bolster the offensive line.
- Seahawks: QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee – Geno Smith finally broke out, but he turns 32 this year.
- Chargers: WR Jordan Addison, Southern California – Addison gives Justin Herbert a young, dynamic playmaker.
- Ravens: CB Deonte Banks, Maryland – Banks doesn’t even have to move out of Maryland.
- Vikings: CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi St. – The next of at least a handful of corners who could hear their name called Thursday night.
- Jaguars: EDGE Lukas Van Ness, Iowa – Van Ness shouldn’t have dropped this far. He’s the new steal of the draft as Jacksonville takes the best player available.
- Giants: DB Brian Branch, Alabama – A versatile defensive back joins an underrated defense.
- Cowboys: RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama – Fantasy managers rejoice as Dallas chooses their new complement to Tony Pollard.
- Bills: OL O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida – Wide receiver is in play, but Torrence helps Josh Allen keep his jersey a little less dirty.
- Bengals: TE Luke Musgrave, Oregon St. – An elite blocker who can help protect Joe Burrow and adds insurance to the Irv Smith acquisition.
- Saints: EDGE Myles Murphy, Clemson – Murphy is another draft-day steal who somehow fell into the Saints’ lap.
- Eagles: EDGE Will McDonald, Iowa St. – The Eagles take the position they passed on with the 10th pick.
- Chiefs: WR Zay Flowers, Boston College – Flowers rounds out the first round as Patrick Mahomes’ next play-making deep threat.
Other first-round considerations in no particular order:
DT Adetomiwa Adebawore – Northwestern, OT Anton Harrison – Oklahoma, WR Quentin Johnston – Texas Christian, DT Calijah Kancey – Pittsburgh, OL Joe Tippmann – Wisconsin, DT Bryan Bresee – Clemson, WR Jalin Hyatt – Tennessee, OL John Michael Schmitz – Minnesota, WR Josh Downs – North Carolina,
Zach hails from the bustling metropolis of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Three things Zach enjoys are football, food and water. Three things Zach doesn’t enjoy are kale, mushrooms and the company of those who enjoy either (except hobbits). Zach is a life-long Broncos fan and has been playing fantasy football longer than he hasn’t. He had top-five finishes in FantasyPros’ 2016 NFL DFAC competition and the 2016 SFB480.