2023 NFL Mock Draft: Patriots trade down, land Ohio State WR in Round 1


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Perry’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft: Patriots trade down, snag WR in Round 1 initially appeared on NBC Sports activities Boston


League evaluators appear to have reached a consensus: This draft class is not loaded up on blue-chip expertise.

Which may be simply positive for groups selecting on the backside of the primary spherical. Their choices may not be all that totally different from a capability standpoint than these taken proper exterior the highest 10.

However for the Patriots? This yr? After they choose at No. 14 general? Not ideally suited. They might be simply out of vary of nabbing a participant from the highest tier. If they’re, you’ll be able to guess what Invoice Belichick will wish to do, expensive Patriots follower.

Yup. This may very well be a trade-down form of draft. And that is precisely what we’ve Belichick doing in our newest mock. Let’s get proper to the picks to see how issues shook out for them…

1. Indianapolis Colts (by way of Bears): Bryce Younger, QB, Alabama

The Colts are determined to land a quarterback they’ll construct round. Younger is that man, regardless of the issues about his dimension. This can be a no-brainer for Indy to maneuver up from No. 4 general if Chicago is procuring the decide.

2. Houston Texans: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

It will be fascinating to see how Nick Caserio handles this decide. He wants a quarterback. And Stroud is without doubt one of the most correct in this yr’s class. He is a legit pocket passer, which is what Caserio grew up valuing in New England. However the bodily instruments Anthony Richardson and Will Levis convey to the desk are additionally attractive … They will not final lengthy after Houston’s decide.

3. Arizona Cardinals: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

After back-to-back nationwide titles, Carter seems to be poised to hit the NFL and run roughshod over opposing offensive linemen. New Arizona GM Monti Ossenfort is aware of how priceless an inside disruptor could be. He’ll dash this decide to the rostrum.

4. Chicago Bears (by way of Colts): Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama

The Bears are going to roll with Justin Fields, so as a substitute of going with a quarterback, Chicago goes with a sure-thing pass-rusher who — even after a dip in manufacturing this yr — recorded a ridiculous 208 whole pressures during the last three seasons, per Professional Soccer Focus.

5. Seattle Seahawks (by way of Broncos): Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

At 6-foot-6 and 275 kilos with great size, Wilson is a bit more uncooked than Anderson. However his instruments are uncommon. Pete Carroll needs to be a really joyful man irrespective of which of the top-three defenders falls to Seattle.

6. Detroit Lions (by way of Rams): Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa

Van Ness is a relentless pass-rusher who might kick inside for groups that want somebody there in apparent passing conditions. He is about to have a monster mix, the NFL expects, and including him to a defensive entrance that already contains Aidan Hutchinson ought to imply huge issues for the followers in the Motor Metropolis.

7. Las Vegas Raiders: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Large human. Large arm. Powerful. Robust processor of knowledge. Josh McDaniels will recognize all of these traits. However Levis’ inconsistent efficiency in faculty must be one thing the Raiders kind by way of.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Gonzalez had 4 picks this yr, and he could also be the very best height-weight-speed prospect on the mix. He’ll mild it up in Indy this week. Add his positional worth to the equation and you’ve got a top-10 decide.

9. Carolina Panthers: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

In Richardson, the Panthers might really feel as if they’ve a crack on the subsequent Jalen Hurts. Solely Richardson is greater, sooner and has a stronger arm. He may have a yr to develop, however David Tepper lastly may need his franchise quarterback. Let the Cam Newton comps start!

10. Philadelphia Eagles (by way of Saints): Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Is that this slightly excessive for a participant who was a zero-star recruit popping out of highschool? Nope. That is how spectacular Witherspoon has been during the last two seasons. A culture-builder for coach Bret Bielema — an assistant in New England previous to taking the job at Illinois — you’ll be able to inform Witherspoon enjoys the physicality of the sport.

He additionally has great ball abilities, and former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Community has in contrast him to Asante Samuel.

2023 NFL Draft Highlights: DB Devon Witherspoon – Illinois


11. Tennessee Titans: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

This one would possibly sting in New England. Jones seems to be like a Patriots match. Is smart that Mike Vrabel would have an interest. Jones is simply coming off his first season as a beginning left deal with, however for those who’re searching for hard-to-find instruments, he is acquired ’em.

12. Houston Texans (by way of Browns): Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

It is taken some time. However, lastly, a receiver comes off the board. The free-agent crop is not dazzling, and neither is the top-end expertise depth in this yr’s draft. However Johnston actually has the power to go this early.

His check numbers needs to be excellent, and the Patriots with Caserio in the constructing all the time valued high-level athleticism at this place. C.J. Stroud has his associate in crime for the following 5 years.

13. New York Jets: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

Skoronski seems to be like he has the chops to pass-protect successfully from Day 1 on the left aspect. That is the place he spent his profession in the Large 10, and it is the place he excelled in opposition to top-flight pass-rushers like Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo final yr. In line with PFF, he allowed simply six pressures on 474 pass-blocking snaps in his closing season, together with only one in opposition to Ohio State.

14. Los Angeles Chargers (by way of Patriots): Jordan Addison, WR, USC

  • Chargers obtain: Patriots’ No. 14, No. 107 and No. 143 picks

  • Patriots obtain: Chargers’ No. 21 and No. 53 picks

The Patriots simply watched two of the highest deal with choices and the highest “X” receiver in this yr’s class fly off the board in the course of the earlier three picks. Time to regulate.

There’s nonetheless loads of expertise out there, even when it might not be blue-chip caliber. Clemson edge defender Myles Murphy is round. Similar goes for Alabama security Brian Department, USC receiver Jordan Addison, Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson, Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Boston Faculty receiver Zay Flowers, Clemson defensive deal with Bryan Bresee and Utah tight finish Dalton Kincaid.

That assortment of gamers remaining on the board might make Invoice Belichick really feel comfy that he’ll land a participant he likes at a place of want seven picks later at No. 21. He sends two of his three fourth-rounders to the Chargers as properly, selecting up an additional second-rounder in the deal.

Now Belichick has a first-rounder at No. 21 and two seconds (No. 46 and 53) so as to add actual items to his roster for 2023 and past.

15. Inexperienced Bay Packers: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

Not a nasty possibility for Jordan Love over the center of the sphere. (That’s, if Aaron Rodgers finally ends up elsewhere this offseason.) Kincaid is not a physically-imposing specimen at 240 kilos, however he has glorious fingers and the form of athleticism that can give defensive coordinators complications.

16. Washington Commanders: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State

Only a mountain of a person who some consider will find yourself measuring at 6-foot-7, Johnson fills a significant want for Ron Rivera’s membership right here. Johnson simply must have a greater understanding of the best way to play the place, however he has the power to play a number of spots alongside the offensive line in Washington.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

Wright is also a mountain of a person who simply appears like a Steelers lineman based mostly on his taking part in fashion. No nonsense. Bodily. He made Will Anderson appear like simply one other man final season, and he was the most effective blockers at this yr’s Senior Bowl. Basic Pittsburgh decide.

18. Detroit Lions: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh

Dan Campbell is having some enjoyable now. He is assembling a pack of knee-biters to play alongside his defensive entrance. Kancey is undersized however wildly fast and can give some of us flashbacks to a different Pitt D-lineman who was undersized however a menace as a pass-rusher: Aaron Donald.

Kancey is not going to be one of many all-time greats, however he does not must be to provide the Lions the form of juice they’re searching for in the trenches. Cannot double everybody.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

One other huge ol’ edge defender right here. Murphy is in that traditional mould of true hand-in-the-dirt pass-rushers at 6-foot.5, 275 kilos. He is a well-rounded participant who might succeed in nearly any activity requested of him, and it is no secret the Bucs can use all of the expertise they’ll get.

They might be on the verge of stripping their roster of veteran gamers who price an excessive amount of. Protected alternative right here for a participant who fell additional than anticipated.

20. Seattle Seahawks: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

The Seahawks, just like the Lions, additionally know the place this draft class is most stacked: proper alongside the defensive position. Right here they get the following neatest thing to Jalen Carter in this yr’s draft. Quickness. Size. Energy.

Breese has all the instruments essential to turn into an inside disruptor on the subsequent stage. He and Tyree Wilson paired collectively will likely be a formidable duo for NFL West offensive linemen.

22. New England Patriots*: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

2023 NFL Draft Highlights: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR – Ohio St.


This former five-star highschool recruit lit up the Large 10 as a sophomore alongside future first-rounders Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. He had 1,606 yards and 9 scores in comparison with 1,058 and 12 for Wilson and 936 and 13 for Olave.

Smith-Njigba (6-feet, 200 kilos) feasted with Wilson and Olave off the sphere at instances that season, however he was additionally known as the very best athlete of the three by Wilson whereas they had been teammates.

Smith-Njigba’s check numbers will likely be fascinating coming off an injury-riddled 2022. He does not appear like the identical form of speedster that Wilson or Olave is. However he is a superb route-runner who’s a bear to convey down after the catch.

Even when he’s restricted to being a slot receiver on the subsequent stage — as he was in 2021 when he posted these gaudy numbers — that carries enormous worth in the Invoice O’Brien offense that can return to New England this yr. Mac Jones might use a high-volume goal who gives “layup” throws on a constant foundation. Particularly if Jakobi Meyers finally ends up departing by way of free company.

*Miami forfeited the No. 21 general choice as punishment for tampering with Tom Brady.

23. Baltimore Ravens: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston Faculty

2023 NFL Draft Highlights: WR Zay Flowers – Boston Faculty


Regardless of who’s behind heart, normal supervisor Eric DeCosta goes to have to offer John Harbaugh’s offense with extra weaponry past Mark Andrews. Drafting Rashod Bateman early a few seasons in the past was a very good begin. Cannot cease there.

Flowers might do wonders for Baltimore as a dynamic athlete from the slot. Flowers would have been a smaller-but-faster slot possibility for the Patriots in the event that they needed to go that route at No. 21.

24. Minnesota Vikings: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

There are few higher corners in this class for brand spanking new Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores. Porter is lengthy and likes to be aggressive on the line of scrimmage.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brian Department, DB, Alabama

This is one other Prototypical Patriot. Department performed the “star” place in Nick Saban’s protection as a slot defender extraordinaire. May he play security? May he play exterior? Nobody would get a greater reference or a more true evaluation than Belichick. Particularly with Devin McCourty doubtlessly shifting on, Department can be an enchanting decide.

As a substitute, he finally ends up in Jacksonville, the place they want secondary assist badly.

26. New York Giants: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Mayer has the power to be a foundational participant in any offense. Is he the world’s biggest athlete on the place? Most likely not. However he has fingers. And run-after-the-catch means. Brian Daboll, former Patriots tight ends coach, will approve.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

Campbell might flip some heads in Indy this week. At 6-foot-5 and 250 kilos, Campbell is without doubt one of the most instinctive and clever linebackers in this class. However he is additionally an eye-opening athlete.

Dallas could also be intrigued by Campbell’s processing means and see a much bigger model of one other supercomputer Large 10 linebacker from again in the day: Sean Lee.

28. Buffalo Payments: O’Cyrus Torrence, OL, Florida

Josh Allen might use slightly assist. Perhaps it is in the receiving corps, however there’s time in later rounds so as to add there. Getting Torrence would supply coach Sean McDermott with a direct starter alongside the inside. Allen can perform as his personal greatest safety, however the extra he can work from the pocket unencumbered, the higher off he’ll be.

29. Cincinnati Bengals: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

The Bengals maybe ought to look to solidify their offensive line earlier than including a working again. Particularly since they nonetheless have Joe Mixon. However this appears like a wise play.

No. 1: Robinson is without doubt one of the greatest backs to come back out of the draft in latest years. The one causes he is lasted this lengthy is as a result of the place is not valued the way in which it was once. No. 2: Mixon has two years left on his cope with base salaries of $ 9.4 million and $ 9.7 million.

In the event that they wish to avoid wasting dough to maintain Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins collectively … Mixon will likely be a casualty quickly. They will save over $ 7 million on the cap by buying and selling him this offseason. One thing to think about. And so they’d be upgrading on the place.

30. New Orleans Saints (by way of 49ers): Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland

Lengthy. Robust. Athletic. Banks has each instrument that head coach Dennis Allen might need. He simply wants slightly polish. He’ll get it in New Orleans, the place they love to speculate in the secondary.

31. Philadelphia Eagles: Keion White, EDGE, Georgia Tech

Not many edge gamers measure in at 6-foot-5 and 280 kilos today. Philly, which likes to rotate in its pass-rushers, will work out a method to maximize White’s items on early downs after which in passing conditions.

32. Kansas Metropolis Chiefs: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

Discuss two ends of the spectrum relating to pass-rushers. Smith is mild at 6-foot-3 and 235 kilos. However he is explosiveness personified and will assist get the very best out of famous person defensive lineman Chris Jones by drawing eyeballs out to the sting reverse final yr’s first-rounder, George Karlaftis.

This transfer would possibly enable Kansas Metropolis to maneuver on from Frank Clark, whose base wage rockets from $ 3.73 million final yr to $ 20.5 million this yr.

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