Brett Whitefield's Final 2023 NFL Mock Draft


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Brett Whitefield's Final 2023 NFL Mock Draft

This is the fourth and final 2023 NFL Mock Draft in my mock draft series (1.0, 2.0, 3.0).

So the 2023 NFL Draft is finally here. I won’t bore you with some long intro as everyone is tired of them and just ready to get on with the fun.

Below you will find my one and only predictive mock draft. To create this mock, I have considered team needs, rumors, my own sources, and any information I can get my hands on.

Don't forget my 2023 NFL Draft Prospect Guide is FREE TO READ, complete with full evaluations, prospect rankings, prospect scores, dynasty fantasy rankings from our staff, and more. > > I also wrote up some of my favorite under-the-radar prospects in a My Guys article.

Brett Whitefield’s Mock Draft 4.0

1) Carolina Panthers (VIA CHI): Bryce Young, QB, Alabama (Whitefield Big Board Rank: 3)

The Panthers get their franchise QB of the future, which feels like the only pick we really know for sure.

2) Houston Texans: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech (Big Board: 5)

Houston gets a stud to start the defensive rebuild.

3) Arizona Cardinals: Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama (Big Board: 4)

The Cardinals can’t trade out, despite shopping the pick, and go with the highest guy on their board. They get the best pure pass-rusher in the class and start the defensive rebuild on new defensive-minded head coach Jonathan Gannon.

4) Indianapolis Colts: CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio Stat (Big Board: 8)

The Colts get a prototypical pocket passer with some untapped rushing upside — no more veteran carousel for them.

5) Seattle Seahawks: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida (Big Board: 2)

Other than Detroit, Seattle might be the best landing spot for Richardson, as the Seahawks offer a nice incubation opportunity. They have good weapons, a defined culture, and a veteran coaching staff.

6) Detroit Lions: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois (Big Board: 7)

A pick for the culture. Witherspoon is everything the Lions want in a player. To boot, they fill a massive long-term need as well, with only one CB signed beyond 2023.

7) Las Vegas Raiders: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State (Big Board: 12)

The Raiders get a versatile move piece for an offensive line that desperately needs a talent injection.

8) Atlanta Falcons: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (Big Board: 6)

Falcons coach Arthur Smith seems to be the one guy in the league who is always willing to chase unicorns. Well, he finds one here in Robinson, who will give the Falcons a ridiculous trio of skill players in Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and now Bijan.

9) Chicago Bears: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa (Big Board: 40)

The Bears could go a number of ways I considered OL, which they need more than anything, but ultimately think they opt to add some talent to a horrendous defense.

10) Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Carter, IDL, Georgia (Big Board: 1)

In reality, I could see a trade-up to get Carter for the Eagles, but didn’t want to get cute with it. Somehow, some way, I think they come away with Carter on Thursday — landing them the #1 player on my board.

11) Tennessee Titans: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern (Big Board: 9)

The Titans get a polished offensive lineman who can play anywhere they need him to, but Skoronski should first get a shot at LT for the departed Taylor Lewan.

12) Houston Texans: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State (Big Board: 11)

It turns out the Texans don’t like the quarterbacks in this draft and opt for two building blocks. Here they grab their future WR1 and, with the anticipated return of John Metchie, they suddenly have a good pass-catching unit.

13) Green Bay (Via NYJ): Brian Branch, DB, Alabama (Big Board: 21)

I have racked my brain trying to figure out if the Packers actually wanted to leapfrog the Patriots for someone specific, or if the pick swap with the Jets was simply a “because I feel like it” moment. Here I am operating under the impression that it was intentional … and Branch is the most Bill Belichick player in this draft. Ergo (shout out Joe Dolan), Branch is the Packers pick here. This is a Packer team that has drafted 10 defensive backs in the first two rounds since 2014, and has a decision to make with Darnell Savage.

14) New England Patriots: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky (Big Board: 22)

Slotting Levis in this draft is insanely difficult. I am buying into the smoke here, as the Patriots look to move on from Mac Jones. Maybe Jones finishes the weekend in Houston?

15) New York Jets (Via GB): Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (Big Board: 18)

The Jets get arguably the best CB in the draft for the second consecutive year. Gonzalez makes the secondary scary.

16) Washington Commanders: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland (Big Board: 24)

Banks has arguably the highest ceiling of any CB in the class. The Commanders love swinging on the upside here.

17) Pittsburgh Steelers: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee (Big Board: 10)

I wouldn’t be shocked if Wright bled black and gold. On film, he looks like the epitome of a “Steelers Guy,” and the Steelers should be elated to get him at 17.

18) Detroit Lions: Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern (Big Board: 41)

This is probably the most difficult pick in the entire round. Here, the Lions opt for some DL help, and they bet on the traits with Adebawore. GM Brad Holmes is possibly a trade back candidate here, but I wanted to keep the mock simple.

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma (Big Board: 45)

I don’t love filling slots simply for need, but Harrison just seems like a Round 1 guy this year, and the Buccaneers desperately need someone to man LT for them.

20) Seattle Seahawks: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia (Big Board: 24)

The Seahawks keep adding to their pass-rush as they look to revamp their biggest hole on defense. Smith, with the newly acquired Dre’Mont Jones, should go a long way in this regard.

21) Los Angeles Chargers: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College (Big Board: 26)

I thought about Jordan Addison, given his connection to the staff, but ultimately the Chargers opt to go with the better fit in Flowers, who will give them more of the big-play potential this offense needs.

22) Baltimore Ravens: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State (Big Board: 20)

The Ravens look to get younger at corner, and we know how much they value defensive backs.

23) Minnesota Vikings: Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee (Big Board: 23)

The fifth quarterback to come off the board. I was the first person to ever mock Hooker in the first round, and I am sticking with it here. The Vikings get their QB of the future and will save some serious money when Kirk Cousins' contract expires.

24) Jacksonville Jaguars: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia (Big Board: 14)

The Jaguars can save some money at LT after this coming season if they move on from Cam Robinson. We know GM Trent Baalke is a “traits” guy and will be elated to have a player like Jones fall into his lap here in the mid-20s.

25) New York Giants: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson (Big Board: 15)

It seems like the Giants prefer the day-2 receivers this year. Otherwise, I would consider one here. I think they want to continue to get better at rushing the passer, and Murphy gives them length, power, and athleticism on the outside.

26) Dallas Cowboys: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame (Big Board: 30)

It’s sort of a luxury pick here for the Cowboys, but it also makes a ton of sense for them. Mayer can control the middle of the field and give Dak Prescott some easy chain-moving throws to keep this offense in rhythm.

27) Buffalo Bills: Will McDonald IV, EDGE, Iowa State (Big Board: 32)

McDonald might, in fact, go higher than this, but he is a really difficult guy to slot in this class. Buffalo would love to get their hands on a pure pass rusher like McDonald. Their defense got significantly worse last year when Von Miller was hurt.

28) Cincinnati Bengals: Calijah Kancey, IDL, Pittsburgh (Big Board: 18)

The Bengals might be the one team in the league that doesn’t care about physical traits much. That is the sort of team it will require to get Kancey in the first round. If he doesn’t go 18 to Detroit, I think there is a good chance he goes here.

29) New Orleans Saints: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama (Big Board: 27)

Gibbs gives the Saints some serious juice on offense. With Alvin Kamara’s status in limbo, Gibbs can step right in and affect the pass game in a similar way.

30) Philadelphia Eagles: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State (Big Board: 38)

The Eagles get a long-term solution at cornerback. While he is a little light in the pants, Forbes is a great athlete with insane ball skills and is a natural mover.

31) Kansas City Chiefs: Jordan Addison, WR, USC (Big Board: 15)

Chiefs get their WR1 of the future in Addison, who should thrive in this offense as a pure separator. Patrick Mahomes loves guys he can trust, and Addison is the most detail oriented, technically proficient route runner in the class.

Brett Whitefield is an experienced professional in football analytics, with more than a decade in the business. He has held several key positions with some of the top companies in the industry, including as a process manager at Pro Football Focus (PFF), where he spent more than seven years. Brett has also worked with and consulted for multiple NFL teams and Power-5 NCAA football programs.