Murray: A first attempt at mock draft

By Tim Murray  ( 

April 26, 2023 01:15 AM

After years of following the draft, I have decided to take my first swipe at a mock draft. Trades are impossible to predict so I only included one but I mentioned a handful of other possibilities. The buzz is strong on Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker to be a first-round pick and I think the Las Vegas Raiders could be a team that trades back into the first round to grab him. However, I did not include Hooker in my mock draft thus there are under 4.5 quarterbacks in the first.

Here goes nothing on my first crack at mock draft.

1. Carolina Panthers - Alabama QB Bryce Young

This is pretty simple. Bryce Young has become the massive betting favorite and I believe Carolina has settled on Bryce Young being the #1 pick.

2. Houston Texans - Alabama Edge Will Anderson

The NFL Draft begins this year at #2. When it was becoming clear that the Texans were going to pass on a quarterback with Bryce Young going #1, my initial thought was Will Anderson. My opinion swayed back and forth. I still think it might be 50-50 of Anderson or Tyree Wilson but after thinking about how the Texans passed on Sauce Gardner for Derek Stingley last year at #3, I expect Houston to go the safer route. 

Original Pick on 4/26: Texas Tech Edge Tyree Wilson

3. Indianapolis Colts (mock trade with Arizona) - Kentucky QB Will Levis

The Arizona Cardinals have made it known that they would like to trade out of this pick. I do not want to get ‘too cute’ with trades but I have the Colts moving up one spot and keeping other teams away (Las Vegas, Tennessee) from the #3 spot. Levis has been linked to the Colts for the past couple of weeks and I think they grab Levis here over Ohio St. QB CJ Stroud and Florida QB Anthony Richardson.

4. Arizona Cardinals (mock trade with Indianapolis) - Ohio St. T Paris Johnson

This would be a bit of a surprise but Draft analyst Tony Pauline said on Twitter “several people now telling me the Cardinals could stay at three and take Paris Johnson themselves.” Johnson is thought to be the top tackle in the NFL Draft and Kyler Murray has reportedly been lobbying for Johnson.

5. Seattle Seahawks - Texas Tech Edge Tyree Wilson

A number of people expect the Seattle Seahawks to select Jalen Carter at #5 but Robert Staton was adamant on VSiN Primetime that Carter will not be the pick. If Will Anderson was available, I think the Seahawks would draft him here. I believe the Seahawks are intrigued by Florida QB Anthony Richardson as well. Come Thursday night, I expect the Seahawks to entertain trades (Philadelphia, Tennessee) at #5 but I will give them Tyree Wilson here. Wilson’s injury history could lead to a bit of a drop.

Original Pick on 4/26: Alabama Edge Will Anderson 

6. Detroit Lions - Georgia DT Jalen Carter

Peter Schrager of the NFL Network said that he learned over the weekend that Jalen Carter would not drop out of the top six picks. There are some rumors swirling that the Eagles could look to trade up to grab Carter, I’ll agree with Schrager and say that Carter will be gone here. 

7. Las Vegas Raiders - Illinois CB Devon Weatherspoon

The Raiders could have a chance to grab Ohio St QB CJ Stroud in this spot but I believe the buzz is real that the Raiders are targeting Weatherspoon with this pick and he will be the first defensive back off the board.

8. Atlanta Falcons - Texas RB Bijan Robinson

This would be a bit of a surprise but Falcons head coach Arthur Smith needs to give QB Desmond Ridder all the weapons he can use. I could see the Falcons traded back with the Titans at 11 and still grabbing Robinson before Houston at #12. 

9. Chicago Bears - Georgia T Broderick Jones

The Bears have been linked to both Paris Johnson & Jalen Carter but in this scenario, both of those players are gone. Jones seems to fit for the Bears more than Skoronski. 

10. Philadelphia Eagles - Georgia Edge Nolan Smith

11. Tennessee Titans - Ohio St QB CJ Stroud

This seems a bit low for Stroud. The Titans do not have a lot of draft capital but I think Tennessee trading up to grab Stroud would make some sense. 

12. Houston Texans - Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez

13. Green Bay Packers - Ohio St WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

The Packers did not use one first round pick on a pass catcher while Aaron Rodgers was in town. With Rodgers in New York, Green Bay will help out its new quarterback Jordan Love here.

14. New England Patriots - Northwestern G Peter Skoronski

15. New York Jets - Tennessee T Darnell Wright

16. Washington Commanders - Mississippi St CB Emmanuel Forbes

17. Pittsburgh Steelers - Maryland CB Deonte Banks

18. Detroit Lions - Iowa Edge Luke Van Ness

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Oklahoma T Anton Harrison

20. Seattle Seahawks - Florida QB Anthony Richardson

I do not expect Anthony Richardson to drop all the way to #20 but ESPN’s Todd McShay said earlier this week, “I have a strong sense Seattle won’t leave Round 1 without a quarterback.” Seattle has the draft capital to trade up to get Richardson.

21. Los Angeles Chargers - USC WR Jordan Addison

22. Baltimore Ravens - Clemson Edge Myles Murphy

23. Minnesota Vikings - Boston College WR Zay Flowers

24. Jacksonville Jaguars - Alabama DB Brian Branch

25. New York Giants - Penn St DB Joey Porter Jr

26. Dallas Cowboys - Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer

27. Buffalo Bills - Michigan DT Mazi Smith

28. Cincinnati Bengals - Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs

29. New Orleans Saints - Utah TE Dalton Kincaid

30. Philadelphia Eagles - Florida G O’Cyrus Torrence

31. Kansas City Chiefs - Iowa St Edge Will McDonald

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