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2023 NFL mock draft 2.0: Bears don’t go QB in first round, but rival Packers do

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The off-season has arrived for more than half of the league, which means many fans will be turning their attention to the 2023 NFL Draft and preparations for it. There are a few quarterbacks who could go through in the first round, but a couple of defensemen have a great chance to start the celebrations with the first overall pick.

Here’s a draft layout for you that will no doubt be torn to shreds by the time the draft actually rolls.

Charles McDonald's 2023 NFL Draft 2 layout is here.  (Amber Matsumoto/Yahoo Sports)
The second 2023 NFL tryout from Charles McDonald is here. (Amber Matsumoto/Sportzshala Sports)

1 Chicago Bears

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Alabama EDGE Will Anderson Jr.

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The Bears will consider all options here, but turning down Justin Fields right now doesn’t make much sense. There can be nothing wrong with Will Anderson Jr. or Jalen Carter of Georgia, but Crimson Tide’s extreme rusher starts here. He has a chance to immediately become the dominant player in the NFL.

2. Houston Texans

Ohio QB CJ Stroud

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CJ Stroud may have cemented his QB1 status after his incredible run against Georgia in the college football playoffs. The Texans desperately need to find a stabilizing presence as a quarterback, and Stroud has all the tools to be that guy.

3. Arizona Cardinals

Georgia DL Jalen Carter

The Cardinals just have to pick who the Bears don’t pick. They could use Anderson or Carter, but here Carter gets into their hands. He is a dominant player in the position of necessity, easy selection.

4. Indianapolis Colts

Kentucky QB Will Lewis

That’s probably a little high for Lewis given what he accomplished last season, but the NFL will hold him in high esteem once the draft season actually gets underway. He has the physical advantages of being the long-term starter that the Colts desperately need.

5. Seattle Seahawks (via Denver Broncos)

Clemson EDGE Miles Murphy

The Seahawks can bolster their defensive line with a pick from the Russell Wilson trade. Miles Murphy is giving their defensive line another promising youngster to develop alongside the likes of Tarik Wulen and Jordin Brooks.

6. Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles Rams)

Alabama QB Bryce Young

Jared Goff has performed well enough as a Lions quarterback, but they need a little more to really enter the NFL’s elite. Bryce Young is small for a quarterback prospect, but he has all the skills that teams look for in a franchise quarterback.

Hello Detroit!  Bryce Young will appear in our latest 2023 NFL draft tryout.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Hello Detroit! Bryce Young will appear in our latest 2023 NFL draft tryout. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

7. Las Vegas Raiders

Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr.

With the top three quarterbacks on the board, the Raiders have one more place to improve their offense. Paris Johnson Jr has all the qualities to be a starter and can start right away with the right tackle.

8. Atlanta Falcons

Texas Tech Edge Tyree Wilson

No team has had fewer sacks than the Atlanta Falcons over the past two seasons. Their pass rush has been a problem for almost a decade, and it’s time to get serious about fixing it. Tyree Wilson is an extravagant jock who can play a couple of defensive positions, but he’ll make the cut in the NFL.

9. Carolina Panthers

Georgia CB Keli Ringo

The Panthers could have played quarterback with Anthony Richardson, but instead they took the top quarterback in Georgia’s Keli Ringo off the board. Ringo and Jaycee Horne will give the Panthers the ultimate cornerback duo to grow with over the next few years.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans Saints)

South Carolina CC Cam Smith

Philadelphia has this choice thanks to the Saints, and they can further bolster their defenses. James Bradbury and Darius Slay have been incredible in 2022, but they are both senior cornerbacks and it never hurts to have young talent in this position. Enter Cam Smith.

11. Tennessee Titans

Northwestern OT Piotr Skoronski

The Titans may use some insurance on the tackle, depending on what happens to Taylor Levan. They can cut him pretty easily and need a long-term left tackle to replace him at some point. Peter Skoronski could be that guy for them.

12. Houston Texans (via Cleveland Browns)

TCU WR Quentin Johnston

Brandin Cooks wants out of Houston, which means they’ll need a new top defenseman for their new quarterback. Quentin Johnson has had a quiet national title game like the rest of TCU, but he’s talented and would be a great fit for Stroud as the Texans create a supporting cast for him.

Quentin Johnston had an unforgettable night with TCU in the national championship game.  But pairing him up with CJ Stroud to launch his NFL career?  It doesn't sound so bad.  (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Quentin Johnston had an unforgettable night with TCU in the national championship game. But pairing him up with CJ Stroud to launch his NFL career? Doesn’t sound so bad. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

13. New York Jets

Alabama CB/S Brian Branch

The Jets might be tempted to take quarterback Anthony Richardson here, but they could opt for a veteran over another young passer who needs time to develop. So here’s Brian Branch, who can provide a lot of versatility as a slot and safety cornerback for head coach Robert Saleh.

14. New England Patriots

Georgia OT Broderick Jones

Broderick Jones can bring some stability to the Patriots’ attacking situation. He is a stubborn run blocker who can fit in any New England grab point.

15. Green Bay Packers

Florida QB Anthony Richardson

The Packers have to sort out their situation again after the murder of Aaron Rodgers. Keeping Jordan Love could create a tough cap situation for them, so they could restart their rookie quarterback contract hours. Richardson is in the top 1 percent in physicality, but he needs time before he becomes the face of the franchise. Sitting behind Rogers might be good for him.

16. Washington Commanders

Clemson D.L. Brian Breeze

As Daron Payne is about to hit agent freedom, here’s another first-round quarterback to potentially replace him. Breeze would fit in well with Commander’s defensive line, which already has a lot of talent.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

Oklahoma OT Anton Harrison

Kenny Pickett and Naji Harris need help up front. Anton Harrison is a talented offensive player with enough athleticism to turn into a beast for the Steelers.

18. Detroit Lions

Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr.

The Lions got their quarterback and, thankfully, strong support from a young quarterback. They can now turn their attention to a defense that has been among the worst in the league, adding Joey Porter Jr as a cornerback.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Notre Dame EDGE Isaiah Fosky

There aren’t really any quarterbacks left here, so the Pirates can step up their power on the edge with Notre Dame’s Isaiah Foskey. Fosky and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka could offer the Buccaneers two solutions for the rim rusher.

20. Seattle Seahawks

Ohio State WR Jackson Smith-Njigba

Tyler Lockett won’t play forever, and the Seahawks can use a talented third receiver to make their offense really popular anyway. Jackson Smith-Njigba hasn’t played much this season with Ohio State due to a hamstring injury, but he’s still considered one of the best wide receivers in the upcoming draft.

Jackson Smith-Njigba hasn't played much this season, but he could be Ohio State's last wide receiver to make it big in the NFL.  (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jackson Smith-Njigba hasn’t played much this season, but he could be Ohio State’s last wide receiver to make it big in the NFL. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

21. Jacksonville Jaguars

Utah CB Clark Phillips

After spending the first overall pick on quarterback last year, here’s a cornerback to help stabilize the back of Jacksonville’s defense. Clark Phillips has a “click and close” option to play a slot for the Jaguars if they need it.

22. New York Giants

USC WR Jordan Addison

Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka steered the Giants offense in the right direction, but they still could use a wide receiver. Jordan Addison is a talented, experienced wide receiver who could jump straight into playing for the Giants.

23. Baltimore Ravens

Florida G. O’Cyrus Torrens

Lamar Jackson’s future at the Ravens is up in the air, but they still need to improve some of their offense. Here they select Florida’s O’Cyrus Torrance to give Tyler Linderbaum a long-term interior partner.

24. Los Angeles Chargers

Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer

It would be tempting to up the run defense here, but the Chargers have a gift in Michael Mayer. Justin Herbert could use a solid weapon in the tight end and got it here.

25. Dallas Cowboys

Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez

The Cowboys need to find someone to play Trevon Diggs, and Christian Gonzalez has the height and height that Dan Quinn likes in prospective cornerbacks — assuming he’s still coaching with Dallas next season. .

26. Cincinnati Bengals

Clemson LB Trenton Simpson

Cincinnati doesn’t have many needs, so you have the opportunity to go even faster on defense with the addition of Trenton Simpson. Simpson and Germaine Pratt would complement each other perfectly.

27. Minnesota Vikings

Michigan D.L. Maisie Smith

Mazi Smith may not be bullying that much in the first round right now, but he’s a great athlete for his size and should take off on the board after the NFL unifies. Smith did List of freaks by Bruce Feldman before the start of the season and looks set to be the next jock freak Michigan will field in the NFL from their defensive line.

28. Denver Broncos (via San Francisco 49ers)


A pass rusher paired with Randy Gregory next season will give the Broncos perhaps the most complete defense in the NFL.

29. Buffalo Bills

Texas RB Bijan Robinson

Another year, another runner ridiculed by the bills. However, Bizhan Robinson is probably one of the 10 most talented players in the entire draft. The only reason it falls here is because of the positional value.

Bijan Robinson in Buffalo?  It would be nice.  (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Bijan Robinson in Buffalo? It would be nice. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

30. Kansas City Chiefs

North Carolina WR Josh Downes

The Chiefs need another talented, cheaper wide receiver contract. Josh Downes can provide that along with Toney Kadarius as the Chiefs continue to figure out what their future looks like in this position.

31. Philadelphia Eagles

Arkansas LB Drew Sanders

Midfielder for…


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