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NFL Draft: NFL Mock Draft 4.1 | No Trades | Texans Draft C.J. Stroud, Will Levis To The Colts

It has been a wild draft week, and we are now less than 24 hours away from the start of the 2023 NFL Draft. Last week it was all about the leaked S2 Cognition scores that started to tank C.J. Stroud's draft stock. We had another rumor this week that originated on Reddit, mentioning that Will Levis has informed friends and family he will be the top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Aaron Rodgers has been traded to the Packers. I hoped that mock 4.0 would be it, but I wanted to take one more crack at it.


First-Round NFL Mock Draft


1). Panthers: QB Bryce Young, Alabama

Previous Mock Picks: C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young

Industry Consensus: Bryce Young

The Final Analysis: The Panthers should have taken Justin Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft. In 2023, they aim to make up for that by trading the farm to draft QB1. The names that make the most sense outside of Bryce Young are C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson. But why not Will Levis? Levis is a developmental player with a high ceiling and is reportedly a brilliant person earning two degrees as a finance major while achieving a 4.0 the entire way. The only concern is that the Panthers need a bridge QB to allow Richardson to develop without needing to start as a rookie. Bryce Young is the only QB in this class expected to provide an immediate impact.


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

Previous Mock Picks: C.J. Stroud, Will Anderson Jr., Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson, Tyree Wilson, Trade Back

Industry Consensus: C.J. Stroud

The Final Analysis: At the top of the order, there are some elite defenders, and there are many in the draft community that believe the Texans will pass on a QB, pairing first-year head coach Demeco Ryans with an elite defensive lineman. If the Texans choose a QB, Will it be C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Will Levis, or Anthony Richardson? Some insiders believe the Texans and the Colts really like Will Levis more than C.J. Stroud, so assuming this is the case, I won't argue the fit because the Texans are in a complete rebuild. It will take a lot for them to be competitive, and whoever they draft this year will not have a massive impact as a rookie, even if it was Trevor Lawrence or Andrew Luck's generational talent.


3). Cardinals: Edge Will Anderson Jr., Alabama

Previous Mock Picks: Will Anderson Jr., Tyree Wilson, Trade Back

Industry Consensus: Will Anderson Jr.

The Final Analysis: Compared to Mock 4.0, the significant change is that the Texans take the freakish ceiling of Tyree Wilson, allowing Will Anderson to fall one more spot. The Cardinals appear to be losing the perceived value they once held at pick #3. For months the industry has debated who might try to trade up to pick 3 to get a QB. Now we hear that teams are less interested in trading up and will wait to see where the chips fall. A trade is still likely if a team like the Tennessee Titans loves one of the top 4 QB's. If the Cardinals remain in this spot, they should have their choice of Will Anderson, Jalen Carter, or Tyree Wilson.


4). Colts: QB Will Levis, Kentucky

Previous Mock Picks: Will Levis, Anthony Richardson, C.J. Stroud

Industry Consensus: Anthony Richardson

The Final Analysis: Could C.J. Stroud fall to them instead of Will Levis—so many smoke screens? In this particular addition, we follow the trends to see how it shakes out. Colts owner Jim Irsay recently tweeted that they do not have to take a QB if they do not like the options available. Still, it appears the options will be there if the Cardinals and the Texans opt not to trade back and the Texans choose a defender instead of a QB at pick #2. The difficult decision will come down to which of the three remaining QB's fit their new head coach the best. All of our mocks had teams trading in front of the Colts, leaving them with Will Levis, and if it comes down to it, Will Levis or Anthony Richardson can both be great options in a physical Shane Steichen offense.


5). Seahawks: IDL Jalen Carter, Georgia

Previous Mock Picks: Anthony Richardson, Will Levis, Will Anderson Jr., Jalen Carter

Industry Consensus: Christian Gonzalez

The Final Analysis: The Seahawks are a team that could take a QB, and we have mocked QB to the Seahawks in different scenarios. We like Anthony Richardson, who can sit behind Geno Smith or Will Levis. If C.J. Stroud falls, how do you pass on the rookie value? Regardless, the Seahawks will be in a good spot. They could trade back to a QB-needy team or take arguably the best defender in the draft.


6). Lions: CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois

Previous Mock Picks: Jalen Carter, Myles Murphy, Tyree Wilson, Devon Witherspoon

Industry Consensus: Devon Witherspoon

The Final Analysis: The Lions are also in a fascinating spot. If a QB falls, they have a bridge QB in Jared Goff. Do you draft Anthony Richardson, or Will Levis, trade back, or stay and get the top DB in the class?


7). Raiders: CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon

Previous Mock Picks: Devon Witherspoon, Christian Gonzalez, Anthony Richardson, Bryan Bresee, Will Levis, Trade Up

Industry Consensus: Christian Gonzalez

The Final Analysis: We had Witherspoon in this spot in Mock 4.0. The Raiders might be quick to the podium if a QB falls to them. But they have so many other needs they could trade back and get solid value.


8). Falcons: QB Anthony Richardson, Florida

Previous Mock Picks: Tyree Wilson, Nolan Smith, Bijan Robinson

Industry Consensus: Bijan Robinson

The Final Analysis: Another team in the top 10 with a need at QB, and if one falls, we expect they will not hesitate to grab him, but if not, they can get a top defender.


9). Bears: RB Bijan Robinson, Texas

Previous Mock Picks: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Will Anderson Jr., Myles Murphy, Paris Johnson Jr., Bijan Robinson

Industry Consensus: Paris Johnson Jr.

The Final Analysis: The Bears traded back to pick #9 because they have what appears to be their franchise QB in place. They have several needs on both sides of the football, but how could you pass on the opportunity to have Bijan Robinson in the same backfield as Justin Fields? One of my basic arguments is that Justin Fields is great off of play-action, and having a legit elite RB next to him in the backfield will only open up the offense more. They can also go after one of the top available defenders or offensive line.


10). Eagles: OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State

Previous Mock Picks: Christian Gonzalez, Jalen Carter, Devon Witherspoon, Bijan Robinson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Lukas Van Ness

Industry Consensus: Lukas Van Ness

The Final Analysis: The Eagles have few needs but are aging at certain positions. Pairing the WR1 with Jalen Hurts would be phenomenal. The industry is low on the WR position in 2023, but only 3 or 4 round-one projections can provide an immediate impact, and Smith-Njigba would be perfect playing out of the slot in Philly.


11). Titans: QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee

Previous Mock Picks: Paris Johnson Jr., Will Levis, Darnell Wright

Industry Consensus: Will Levis

The Final Analysis: The Titans are losing OT Taylor Lewan to retirement, so replacing him is necessary. However, the Titans are among the teams rumored to be interested in moving up for a QB. If a QB falls, they might be tempted, or they can still try to move into the top 5 if they are motivated by a particular player.


12). Texans: Edge Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech

Previous Mock Picks: Quentin Johnston, Tyree Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Anthony Richardson

Industry Consensus: Jaxon Smith-Njigba

The Final Analysis: One of the least likely scenarios will be Anthony Richardson dropping out of the top 10. I cannot see this scenario being realistic, but some insiders are speculating that this could be the case, and if it is, you might see several teams trying to move up to get him. The same can be said about Will Levis. As for Richardson, the ceiling is too high not to risk it, and if he falls this far and the Texans pass on QB at pick #2 as some believe, they have to make this move. But what about Hendon Hooker? His stock is rising, and some are speculating he is the 3rd QB on a lot of draft boards.


13). Packers (via Jets) : OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern

Previous Mock Picks: Peter Skoronski, Broderick Jones

Industry Consensus: Broderick Jones

The Final Analysis: People are still waiting to see what will happen with the Aaron Rodgers situation. Will the Jets trade this pick to the Packers or not is less likely, but they might have no choice if they want to procure Aaron Rodgers. The Jets must add help on their OL if they retain this pick.


14). Patriots: CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State

Previous Mock Picks: Broderick Jones, Quentin Johnston, Jordan Addison, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Devon Witherspoon, Zay Flowers, Joey Porter Jr.

Industry Consensus: Zay Flowers

The Final Analysis: The Patriots are a pre-draft speculative trade candidate, but the Patriots need to draft a WR, and we all know that Bill will find a way to pass on a WR for the best available DB or OL, and then he will shock the world and draft Stetson Bennett in the 2nd or 3rd round.


15). Jets (via Packers): OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee

Previous Mock Picks: Jordan Addison, Myles Murphy, Quentin Johnston, Nolan Smith, Broderick Jones

Industry Consensus: Nolan Smith

The Final Analysis: The Aaron Rodgers trade might determine the direction the Packers go with this pick. So it's difficult to determine the direction they are thinking about going. Drafting a WR in this spot to support Jordan Love in the post-Aaron Rodgers era could make sense; they could go with OL or an edge defender.


16). Commanders: OT Broderick Jones, Georgia

Previous Mock Picks: O'Cyrus Torrence, Broderick Jones, Joey Porter Jr.

Industry Consensus: Joey Porter Jr.

The Final Analysis: I have mocked OL to the Commanders. QB could be an option if one falls drastically, or they love Hendon Hooker. Don't rule out a potential trade into the top 10.


17). Steelers: CB Deonte Banks, Maryland

Previous Mock Picks: Kelee Ringo, Dawand Jones, Joey Porter Jr., Christian Gonzalez, Darnell Wright, Broderick Jones

Industry Consensus: Darnell Wright

The Final Analysis: They need OL; they could add a DB, and they have many options with essentially two first-round picks due to the Dolphin's pick forfeiture.


18). Lions: Edge Myles Murphy, Clemson

Previous Mock Picks: Cam Smith, Myles Murphy, Calijah Kancey

Industry Consensus: Calijah Kancey

The Final Analysis: The Lion's #6 overall pick will determine their direction at pick 18. In addition, the Lions lost Jameson Williams for an extended period ahead of the 2023 season because he allegedly used a sports betting app within Lion's facilities. Could the Lions be motivated to draft a WR?


19). Bucs: OT Anton Harrison, Oklahoma

Previous Mock Picks: Nolan Smith, Broderick Jones, Anton Harrison, Bryan Bresee, Hendon Hooker

Industry Consensus: Anton Harrison

The Final Analysis: The Bucs are one of several teams allegedly grading Hendon Hooker higher than the industry consensus. If he is available, why not take a shot? Hooker is already 25, so the perceived risk is that he might have already peaked to his ceiling.


20). Seahawks: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

Previous Mock Picks: Tuli Tuipulotu, Calijah Kancey, Joey Porter Jr., Myles Murphy

Industry Consensus: Myles Murphy

The Final Analysis: The Seahawks, like the Lions, have a top 10 pick to go along with a mid 1st round bonus pick that could be used to fill a need, or they could go with a luxury pick like a WR or maybe a QB like Will Levis or Anthony Richardson does fall significantly. Regardless, the Seahawks will have a lot of options.


21). Chargers: WR Zay Flowers, Boston College

Previous Mock Picks: Trenton Simpson, Zay Flowers, Jordan Addison, Kelee Ringo

Industry Consensus: Jordan Addison

The Final Analysis: The Chargers must replace an aging, often injury-plagued WR core. They could add a DB or an edge defender to build depth.


22). Ravens: CB Kelee Ringo, Georgia

Previous Mock Picks: Jalin Hyatt, Joey Porter Jr., Kelee Ringo, Zay Flowers, Deonte Banks

Industry Consensus: Deonte Banks

The Final Analysis: The Ravens added OBJ, so why not add more firepower to the offense in hopes that Lamar Jackson accepts whatever alleged deal the Ravens offered? Other options are DB and an edge rusher.


23). Vikings: CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State

Previous Mock Picks: Joey Porter Jr., Emannuel Forbes, Hendon Hooker, Quentin Johnston, Kelee Ringo

Industry Consensus: Quentin Johnston

The Final Analysis: There has been speculation that the Vikings could be a team looking to move up to draft a QB. They have a lot of other needs, but they are in a suitable position to move up and draft a QB, or if one falls to them, they could pull the trigger with Kirk Cousins on the roster as a bridge to the future.


24). Jaguars: S/NB Brian Branch, Alabama

Previous Mock Picks: Kayshon Boutte, O'Cyrus Torrence, Anton Harrison, Steve Avilla

Industry Consensus: Brian Branch

The Final Analysis: Jags need interior OL help and help in their defensive secondary.


25). Giants: Edge Nolan Smith, Georgia

Previous Mock Picks: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Brian Branch, Jalin Hyatt, Zay Flowers, John Michael Schmitz,

Industry Consensus: John Michael Schmitz

The Final Analysis: The Giants possess decent draft capital. They have needs at WR and safety, but with Saquon Barkley mentioning he might not sign the franchise tag, could the Giants be in the market to draft Jahmyr Gibbs? They could go WR or OL. We have also mocked DB.


26). Cowboys: IDL Bryan Bresee, Clemson

Previous Mock Picks: Anton Harrison, Michael Mayer, Trenton Simpson, Mazi Smith, Dalton Kincaid, Dawand Jones

Industry Consensus: John Michael Schmitz

The Final Analysis: The Cowboys will probably throw a 1st round curveball. They are consistently the most challenging team to mock even when they have obvious needs, but in this mock, we fill their need on the OL.


27). Bills: LB Jack Campbell, Iowa

Previous Mock Picks: Andrew Vorhees, Nolan Smith, Brian Branch, O'Cyrus Torrence, Quentin Johnston

Industry Consensus: O'Cyrus Torrence

The Final Analysis: With a need at LB, the Bills can fill that in the 2nd round and draft the best available WR left on the board to solidify its receiver core. There is some first-round buzz for LB Jack Campbell or Drew Sanders, but that's too early to draft a LB, or is it? Jack Campbell has elite physical traits and athleticism.


28). Bengals: RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama

Previous Mock Picks: Brian Branch, Anton Harrison, Jahmyr Gibbs, Michael Mayer

Industry Consensus: Michael Mayer

The Final Analysis: I have been obsessed with the idea of Jahmyr Gibbs in Cincinnati. With the Bengals' front office not likely committing to Joe Mixon, why not grab the speed of Jahmyr Gibbs to pair with Burrow and Chase? Or, they can go with the versatile TE from Utah.


29). Saints: IDL Calijah Kancey, Pitt

Previous Mock Picks: Keion White, Lukas Van Ness, Mazi Smith, Deonte Banks

Industry Consensus: Mazi Smith

The Final Analysis: The Saints could go many different ways here depending on the availability at certain positions. We go with DB this time around.


30). Eagles: IDL Mazi Smith, Michigan

Previous Mock Picks: Siaki Ika, Cam Smith, Steve Avilla, John Michael Schmitz, Bryan Bresee

Industry Consensus: Bryan Bresee

The Final Analysis: The Eagles apparently dislike RB's. Or do they? Why not add another dynamic playmaker with Jalen Hurts in the same backfield? Gibbs is one of a handful of instant-impact players in this year's class.


31). Chiefs: WR Jordan Addison, USC

Previous Mock Picks: Luke Musgrave, Keion White, Lukas Van Ness, Dawand Jones, Quentin Johnston

Industry Consensus: Dawand Jones

The Final Analysis: The Chiefs could get one of the top WR's in the draft. Quentin Johnston has the upside to be the top WR in this class if he is drafted into the right scenario. In this scenario, he falls far enough to land in the hands of Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes.


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