2023 NFL Mock Draft - RD1 Picks 17-32



17 Minnesota
Nolan Smith
Georgia
EDGE
Reach/Value:
+1
Height:
6'3"
Weight:
235
Nolan Smith NFL Draft photo
The Vikings under new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah have done a solid job in navigating free agency and the draft. They have done an admirable job sticking to their "competitive-rebuild". The team just completed their first minicamp and embarked on another on June 1st. Kevin O'Connell is installing his offense and the players are excited and realize they have a lot to learn. Adam Thielen said "It's the most learning I've ever had to do. Everything looks alike, acts alike, feels alike. The terminology makes sense. It's a lot, though. There's a ton." This is exciting news for Vikings fans to know that the players are truly happy and excited to perform.

Looking towards next year, the salary cap, and the depth chart, the team has to decide if they will give Danielle Hunter an extension. Also, Za'Darius Smith has $5.05M of his salary guaranteed on March 19, 2023. Smith will need to have a solid season in order for the team to stick with him. All signs point to that being the case. Edge rusher has very good value and it could very well be a position of need.

Our initial choice for the 2023 draft, Nolan Smith is 6'3" 234 pounds and has a 4.51 40-yard dash, a 4.15 shuttle, and a 39.6-inch vertical on record coming out of high school. He could possibly be a great addition to the Vikings pass rush attack.

Mark P, Vikings Analyst - DrafttekVikings@Gmail.com

Please visit our Vikings team page where you can see all the team's picks in the 7-round mock and more.
18 Miami
Robert Scott Jr.
Florida State
OT
Reach/Value:
-9
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
315
Robert Scott Jr. NFL Draft photo
Miami has a habit of doing (seemingly) great things in the offseason and then following that up with disappointment in the regular season. We've been fooled before, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be optimistic. The big question is, as it was last offseason, can Tua handle the pressure? Improving the Offensive Line, and minimizing the physical pressure on Tua, was the key emphasis of the last few months. The line should be better, but has enough been done? Terron Armstead arrives with injury concerns; but Connor Williams comes aboard as one of the most heavily penalized OG in the league in 2021.

A new offensive scheme, built on speed, should be fun to watch if nothing else. Opposing Defensive Coordinators will have sleepless nights working out how to stop Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The run game has been lacking in Miami for many years; a combination of Sony Michel, Chase Edmonds, and Raheem Mostert should inject some much-needed life in this area. The Phins have an impressive roster with the depth to bring numerous positional battles. However, the battle for the starting Right Tackle spot is the most intriguing and, undoubtedly, the most critical to the team's success in 2022.

- David Payne, Dolphins Analyst

Please visit our Dolphins Team Page where you can see all the team's picks in the 7-round mock and more.
19 Tennessee
Josh Downs
North Carolina
WR
Reach/Value:
+4
Height:
5'10"
Weight:
171
Josh Downs NFL Draft photo
Good news, the Titans took a big explosive receiver in the first round. Bad news, they got the pick by trading AJ Brown away. The Titans now have a younger, cheaper AJ Brown who is unproven.

Beyond Treylon Burks, Tennessee has a hopefully healthy Robert Woods. If Woods plays the entire season, the Titans may be fine at the WR position. Still, that's a big maybe, an aging Woods and an unproven (for now) Burks. Josh Downs is a special athlete at the WR position and as a return man.

He's a little smaller, but he's strong at short, medium and deep routes. His size may keep him from being the first receiver off the board, but he's in the conversation for most talented receiver in the draft. If the Tennessee Titans are able to take Downs they would have a legitimately dangerous offense. If Malik Willis ends up taking over for Ryan Tannehill, look out. It would also be nice to be able to take some carries off of Derrick Henry in order to try and lengthen his career.
20 Arizona
Emmanuel Forbes
Mississippi State
CB
Reach/Value:
+2
Height:
6'0"
Weight:
180
Emmanuel Forbes NFL Draft photo
Kyler Murray is back at the team facility for the first time since the end of last season. With a lot of questions up in the air about the quarterback's future with the franchise, this is a good first step to getting almost the whole team back to the field for the first game of the season.

Another player who will be absent from the team for a much more tragic reason will be cornerback Jeff Gladney, who passed away earlier in the week in a car crash at the age of 25. The Cardinals signed the second-year cornerback in March of this year to help fill the hole at CB that Arizona has been searching for, as shown by this mock draft's selection of Mississippi State's Emmanuel Forbes. With a great mix of size, speed and instincts with the ball in the air that earned him a first-round selection in 2020, Gladney was sure to compete for serious playing time for the 2022 season with the Cardinals' CB room as thin as any in the NFL right now.

-Dylan Rudolph, Cardinals Analyst
21 Dallas
Brian Branch
Alabama
CB
Reach/Value:
-4
Height:
5'11"
Weight:
190
Brian Branch NFL Draft photo
The Cowboys current roster construction still has several holes, and plenty of positions that could join that conversation between now and next April. This offensive line is in the middle of a rebuild, and many of the additions in the trenches over the past few years have yet to prove they are long-term solutions. The secondary is also short on permanent answers for the future.

Come next spring, the Cowboys could also see positions like running back, tight end and defensive end become positions of need based on future free agents like Tony Pollard, Dalton Schultz and Dante Fowler. Throw in potential cap-casualties like Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith, and Will McClay and the Joneses may have plenty of holes to fill. Of course, whether those holes will be in Mike McCarthy's system or someone like Sean Payton's are another question entirely.

~Austin Smith, DraftTek Senior Analyst
22 Miami (Trade)
Noah Sewell
Oregon
ILB
Reach/Value:
+3
Height:
6'3"
Weight:
251
Noah Sewell NFL Draft photo
Miami has a habit of doing (seemingly) great things in the offseason and then following that up with disappointment in the regular season. We've been fooled before, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be optimistic. The big question is, as it was last offseason, can Tua handle the pressure? Improving the Offensive Line, and minimizing the physical pressure on Tua, was the key emphasis of the last few months. The line should be better, but has enough been done? Terron Armstead arrives with injury concerns; but Connor Williams comes aboard as one of the most heavily penalized OG in the league in 2021.

A new offensive scheme, built on speed, should be fun to watch if nothing else. Opposing Defensive Coordinators will have sleepless nights working out how to stop Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The run game has been lacking in Miami for many years; a combination of Sony Michel, Chase Edmonds, and Raheem Mostert should inject some much-needed life in this area. The Phins have an impressive roster with the depth to bring numerous positional battles. However, the battle for the starting Right Tackle spot is the most intriguing and, undoubtedly, the most critical to the team's success in 2022.

- David Payne, Dolphins Analyst

Please visit our Dolphins Team Page where you can see all the team's picks in the 7-round mock and more.
23 Seattle (Trade)
Parker Washington
Penn State
WR
Reach/Value:
+1
Height:
5'10
Weight:
207
Parker Washington NFL Draft photo
The disposition of DK Metcalf is in a state of flux at the time being. There's been much speculation in regards to trading Metcalf, who will command nicely over $20M per annum when his rookie deal runs out after the season.

If Metcalf is traded, the likelihood of drafting a WR is a strong possibility in the 2023 Draft. If the Seahawks bring DK back, the team still needs to bolster the WR room as 2021 RD2 pick Dwayne Eskridge has disappointed as a rookie, with just 10 catches on the season.
24 Philadelphia
Christopher Smith II
Georgia
S
Reach/Value:
-6
Height:
5'11"
Weight:
190
Christopher Smith II NFL Draft photo
One area Philadelphia was not able to address over the course of their impressive offseason, was at Safety. After being linked to several big-name free agents this offseason the Eagles ultimately decided they were comfortable moving forward with Anthony Harris and Marcus Epps as their presumptive starters in 2022. While there's some question about how Epps will handle promotion to a starting role; both Harris and Epps are scheduled to be free agents following the 2022 season.

While there is a positional value argument to be made against taking a Safety this high, the need and talent available could create a situation too good to pass up. Philly could reunite Georgia Safety Christopher Smith II with his college teammates Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean, giving the Eagles a former Bulldog at all three levels on defense.


25 Baltimore
Jordan Addison
USC
WR
Reach/Value:
-9
Height:
6'0"
Weight:
175
Jordan Addison NFL Draft photo
Lamar Jackson may not be at voluntary OTAs, but he says 'I'll be there' when the requirements are mandatory. The Ravens could do without a contract dispute involving their best player, but the situation isn't yet critical. Lamar will be under center in Week 1 against the Jets. In a strange twist of scheduling fate, The Ravens play the four AFC East teams in their first four games. Baltimore will hope to batter their early season opponents with a heavy dose of run; the backfield further bolstered by the signing of Mike Davis.

Kyle Fuller has joined a secondary that struggled due to crucial injuries in 2021. Fuller isn't the player he was, but he's a valuable backup should injuries strike again. The defense should perform well in 2022; in no small part because of the talent added in the draft. However, the question remains whether this unit is good enough to subdue the high-powered offenses of the AFC. This is still a team on the verge of being a true contender rather than being expectant champs.

- David Payne, DraftTek Senior Analyst

Please visit our Ravens Team Page where you can see all the team's picks in the 7-round mock and more.
26 Green Bay
Zach Harrison
Ohio State
EDGE
Reach/Value:
+2
Height:
6'6"
Weight:
272
Zach Harrison NFL Draft photo
The Packers' depleted receiving corps may be the only thing (on paper) that can hold Green Bay back from their Super Bowl aspirations. With the departures of Davante Adams, MVS, and EQ St. Brown, Green Bay lost 42% of their target share, 46% of their receiving yards, and 36% of their TD production from the passing game. Sammy Watkins, the only veteran addition this offseason, hasn't eclipsed 700 yards since 2015. Meanwhile, promising rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs may face a steep learning curve as they adjust to the NFL.


If the Packers didn't break their drought of drafting a WR in RD1 last season, it's unlikely to happen in 2023. OLB Coach Jason Rebrovich ideally wants a four-man rotation, and GM Brian Gutekunst has showed a willingness to invest heavily in the EDGE position. With short-term depth a concern and a long-term need behind Preston Smith, Ohio State's Zach Harrison fits the Packers' mold in terms of size, athleticism, pedigree, and program.

- James Siebers, Packers Analyst (Twitter@jsieb_)
27 Cincinnati
Michael Mayer
Notre Dame
TE
Reach/Value:
+7
Height:
6'5"
Weight:
251
Michael Mayer NFL Draft photo
The Bengals went into the offseason looking to shore up their moribund offensive line, which they did in grand fashion, adding a raft of free agents (Alex Kappa, Ted Karras, La'el Collins). The team entered the 2022 Draft looking to get a jumpstart on what looks to be a wave of free agent defections in 2023, with both starting safeties looking for new employers, along with corners Eli Apple and Tre Flowers. The Draft added Dax Hill, Cam Taylor-Britt and Tycen Anderson to the fray, but the whole unit still looks weak for 2022, and even weaker for 2023.

There was an expectation that the Bengals would add a tight end in the draft, but did nothing more than add Hayden Hurst to the team on a 1-year deal.

With 4 CBs already off the boards, the Bengals will be looking hard at Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer, a guy who's already better than other stars at the position for the Irish, including Tyler Eifert, Cole Kmet and Kyle Rudolph. Nice company!
28 LA Chargers
Trenton Simpson
Clemson
OLB
Reach/Value:
+5
Height:
6'3"
Weight:
230
Trenton Simpson NFL Draft photo
The Chargers head into 2022 in an enviable position, boasting a rising superstar at QB, a rebuilt offensive line and Khalil Mack heading a batch of reinforcements for last year's leaky defense. They have a bright young mind for a head coach and a top GM pulling the strings. So yeah, they better win now. They enjoy the league's sixth best odds of winning it all, and are favored to make the playoffs.



The AFC West figures to be an absolute dogfight, but the Chargers are loaded up and ready for it.

When they do restock, they love athletic, versatile defenders they can plug into various alignments. Trenton Simmons of Clemson is a pass rushing linebacker with all kinds of promise. After seven sacks and 11 QB hits last season, he's even had the words "Micah Parsons" uttered in his general direction. We'll see about all that, but the former five-star recruit figures to be landing in the late first-round territory we expect if things go well for the Bolts this year.

-Jud Branam, Chargers Analyst

Check out the Chargers' full draft class at the Team Draft Page
29 Kansas City
B.J. Ojulari
LSU
EDGE
Reach/Value:
+0
Height:
6'3"
Weight:
244
B.J. Ojulari NFL Draft photo
In February, after the loss to the Bengals, Chiefs GM Brett Veach vowed to fix the defensive line. Since that announcement, he has added only two pieces: Edge George Karlaftis in RD1 and free agent DT Taylor Stallworth, a solid depth player on his third team.

Melvin Ingram and Jarran Reed, meanwhile, moved on. The Chiefs could also save $21.8M by cutting Frank Clark before June 1. (They won't, but 2023 is another story.) In next year's draft, the Chiefs will expend at least two high draft picks on the defensive front.

Other storylines impacting the Chiefs 2023 draft:

~KCBudMan, Chiefs Analyst
30 Tampa Bay
Antonio Johnson
Texas A&M
CB
Reach/Value:
-7
Height:
6'3"
Weight:
200
Antonio Johnson NFL Draft photo
This feels like the end of the line for the GOAT. Brady's $375M deal with Fox Sports gives him something to invest himself into following his stellar NFL career.

Do the Bucs have enough talent to compete for one more run for the roses? The team certainly has talent on both side of the ball. Assuming Gronk is brought back, the GM Jason Licht and the boys have done a masterful job in spackling together a star-filled roster of capable talent for this one more go-round.

Say what you will about Licht, but drafting talent for the secondary is definitely a strong suit. He's regularly turned Day 2 picks into not just starters, but stars. 2022 RD5 pick Zyon McCollum is the latest project, a small-school (Sam Houston State) project with all the measurables and athletic talent you could ask for. If McCollum is the diamond that Licht thinks he can be, this pick can veer toward another position. But for now, CB makes a lot of sense with Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel dean hitting the streets of free agency.
31 Detroit (Trade)
Quentin Johnston
TCU
WR
Reach/Value:
-8
Height:
6'3"
Weight:
201
Quentin Johnston NFL Draft photo
They've scored major value on Amon-Ra St. Brown, signed DJ Chark and boldly drafted Jameson Williams, so the Lions' receiving corps has been mostly overhauled. But it still lacks one key element of the modern pass attack: A big, physical downfield battler. TCU's Quentin Johnston is 6-4, figures to top 200 pounds by Combine time and has a knack for winning contested catches and breaking tackles.


Johnston, who has been compared to Lions legend Herman Moore, has many admirers in the draftnik community. The Lions may need some post-title slippage from the Rams to get this pick from the Stafford trade into his range.

--Jud Branam, Lions Analyst
32 Buffalo
Malachi Moore
Alabama
S
Reach/Value:
-3
Height:
6'0"
Weight:
190
Malachi Moore NFL Draft photo
The Buffalo Bills are Super Bowl favorites. For the first time in 30 years, the Bills are expected to compete for a ring on an annual basis. While this is incredibly exciting for one of the most loyal and fervid fanbases in the NFL, it also adds immense pressure to the mix. Gone are the 'blue-collar' 'up-and-coming' labels, and found is the 'juggernaut' stamp. The Bills' over/under on win totals is set at a league-high 11.5, and I think most people would comfortably take the over. As always, Buffalo's season will be defined by health, and if a certain #17 can stay healthy and continue to play MVP football, this team could finally solve their Kansas City problem.

An already-talented-and league-best-defense added Kaiir Elam and Von Miller to the fold while Josh Allen received a few new weapons at his disposal and quietly added some nice pieces along the offensive line. If he and new OC Ken Dorsey mix well (remember, Josh Allen endorsed Dorsey), this offense should be among the best in the league. As I said before the still gut-wrenching loss to the Chiefs, having a top-5 defense and a top-5 offense led by a top - quarterback will lead to some pretty lofty goals. Will 2022 be the season the Bills finally bring the Lombardi to Buffalo?

-Kennedy Paynter, Senior Draft Analyst (@Kennedy_Paynter on Twitter)

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O/A Rank Pac 12 Conference
Top-30 Players
Psn
19 Noah Sewell
Oregon
ILB
32 Clark Phillips III
Utah
CBN
34 Jordan Addison
USC
WR
51 Andrew Vorhees
USC
OG
61 Jaxson Kirkland
Washington
OT
62 Kyu Blu Kelly
Stanford
CB
71 Zach Charbonnet
UCLA
RB
76 Edefuan Ulofoshio
Washington
ILB
92 Zion Tupuola-Fetui
Washington
EDGE
109 Merlin Robertson
Arizona State
ILB
116 Jermayne Lole
Arizona State
DL3T
126 Dalton Kincaid
Utah
TE
166 Tavion Thomas
Utah
RB
167 Alex Forsyth
Oregon
OC
173 Tui Tuipulotu
USC
EDGE
178 Brant Kuithe
Utah
TE
194 Azizi Hearn
UCLA
CB
202 Avery Roberts
Oregon State
ILB
255 Jaydon Grant
Oregon State
S
296 T.J. Bass
Oregon
OT
297 Benjamin Yurosek
Stanford
TE
302 Xazavian Valladay
Arizona State
RB
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