Reddy’s NFL Mock Draft 2.0

April 9, 2023, 6:09 p.m.
  1. Carolina Panthers (via CHI): CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Since Carolina’s new quarterbacks coach Josh McCown just about gave the pick away at Stroud’s pro day, this pick has been a foregone conclusion. The Panthers finally land their long-term solution at quarterback.

  1. Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

A new era of Texans football begins with two former Crimson Tide stars at the helm: new head coach DeMeco Ryans and Heisman-winning quarterback Bryce Young. While its receiving corps leaves much to be desired, Houston boasts an underrated offensive line and recently added tight end Dalton Schultz and guard Shaq Mason in free agency. The addition of Bryce Young brings hope back to football fans in Houston.

  1. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida


New Tennessee GM Ran Carthon was director of player personnel in San Francisco when the 49ers traded up to take Trey Lance with the third overall pick in 2021 to back up and (hopefully) eventually replace Jimmy Garoppolo; Carthon understands the urgency of having a franchise quarterback in order to compete in the AFC. Richardson is teeming with talent but is inexperienced; he will spend time developing as a passer behind Ryan Tannehill but will be a menacing threat in the backfield alongside Derrick Henry in wildcat formations until then.

  1. Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

This historic run on quarterbacks ends with the athletic and strong-armed Will Levis, who has prototypical NFL dimensions and throwing talent. The Colts end their recent run of signing veteran quarterbacks at the ends of their careers and land their franchise guy.

  1. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN): Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

Seattle GM John Schneider has been well-known to prioritize traits, and none fits the bill better than Texas Tech defensive end Tyree Wilson. Wilson’s arm length and height land at 96th and 95th percentile among edge defenders all-time, and he will fit perfectly in Pete Carroll’s defense alongside big free agent additions Dre’mont Jones and Jarran Reed. 

  1. Detroit Lions (via LAR): Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

This would be a dream scenario for the Lions, who land one of the most celebrated defensive players in the history of college football. A two-time Nagurski Trophy award winner and SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Anderson racked up 34.5 sacks and 58.5 tackles for loss in just three seasons for the Crimson Tide, and he plugs right in at a position of need for an ascending Detroit defense.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

There are great players to pick here to address Vegas’ needs across receiver, guard, tackle, cornerback and more, but the team’s needs along the offensive line are the most dire. Johnson Jr. has versatility to play across the offensive line and will likely plug in at right guard for the Raiders. He is still early in his development and has all the physical traits to become a future All-Pro tackle in a few years.

  1. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

The Falcons did an excellent job filling in holes on their roster during free agency, so they have the opportunity here to take the best player available. That player is the 6-foot-1, 197-pound Gonzalez, who boasts remarkable fluidity and movement skills for his size. He will pair up with AJ Terrell to immediately give Atlanta one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFC.

  1. Chicago Bears (via CAR): Jalen Carter, IDL, Georgia

The dominant defensive tackle’s fall ends in Chicago as the Bears add arguably the best player in the class to their defense despite trading back from the No. 1 overall spot. If Carter can stay on the field and get past the off-field issues that have emerged over the past few months, this pick will end up being the steal of the draft.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO): Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa

GM Howie Roseman focuses on building through the trenches, and he continues doing so here. Van Ness revitalizes an aging defensive end rotation and helps ensure that the Eagles pass rush remains a strength in the coming years.

  1. Arizona Cardinals: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois


The Cardinals’ roster needs talent in a bad way and recoup some assets by trading down here. Here, they add Devon Witherspoon, a talented and feisty cornerback who will add juice to a struggling defense. Witherspoon is an excellent man cover corner but is also one of the best tacklers in this class with an aggressive and intense play style that will bring energy to Arizona.

  1. Houston Texans (via CLE): Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

JSN was the best receiver on an Ohio State offense in 2021 that also had Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, two wideouts who have already had stellar starts in the NFL. He pairs up with new franchise signal caller Bryce Young to round out a revamped Texans offense ready to compete in the AFC South.

  1. New York Jets: Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah

Kincaid has vaulted up draft boards over the past few months. The Las Vegas native has natural receiving ability and excellent fluidity for his size. Whoever the Jets’ quarterback is next season, they will benefit massively from Kincaid’s best-in-class ball skills and route-running. 

  1. Washington Commanders: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State


The Commanders jump up to land the long and talented Porter Jr. here with the 14th pick, trading up with the Patriots. Porter Jr. is a natural press man corner; his 6-foot-2, 193-pound frame gives him all the tools necessary to develop into a future No. 1 corner at the next level. 

  1. Green Bay Packers: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

The Packers currently only have five receivers on their roster, and you have likely only heard of two of them. Johnston gives them a big-body target to stress the secondaries of NFC North defenses alongside deep-threat Christian Watson.

  1. New England Patriots: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson


The Patriots give Matthew Judon a running mate in the super-athletic Murphy, a 6-foot-5 and 268-pound defensive end who ran a stunning 4.51 40-yard dash at the Clemson pro day last week. Murphy’s physical gifts will be too tempting for Bill Belichick to pass up. 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

The Steelers stay put and manage to land arguably the best player at their biggest position of need in offensive tackle Peter Skoronski. He offers the versatility to play on either side of the line and even to play inside at guard, and immediately boosts the protection in front of the Steelers’ young signal caller Kenny Pickett.

  1. Detroit Lions: Caljiah Kancey, IDL, Pittsburgh

There is no denying the clear similarities between the two players as draft prospects. Both were named ACC Defensive Player of the Year as defensive tackles at Pittsburgh. Both are undersized for the position — Kancey measured in at 6-foot-1, 281 pounds and Donald was 6-feet and three-quarters, 285 pounds. Lions GM Brad Holmes was director of college scouting for the then St. Louis Rams when the team drafted Aaron Donald with their second first-round pick back in 2014; if anyone will be bold enough to take a first-round flier on Kancey, it will be Detroit.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

Wright put out some of the best tape in the class against vaunted SEC pass-rushers like Will Anderson Jr. this past season. He is a plug-and-play tackle who will lock down the right side of the Bucs’ offensive line for years to come opposite Tristan Wirfs, with whom the Bucs have already had conversations about switching from right to left tackle.

  1. Baltimore Ravens: Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland


The Ravens sidestep other cornerback-needy teams in Jacksonville, New York and LA to grab the last remaining first-round-caliber corner on the board in Maryland’s Deonte Banks. Banks blew up the combine and has a prototypical NFL build; he lines up opposite Marlon Humphrey to give Baltimore a pair of shutdown cornerbacks in the AFC North.

  1. Los Angeles Chargers: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

The Chargers give their quarterback the best deep threat in the draft in Tennessee’s Jalin Hyatt, whose elite speed helped him score 15 touchdowns last season along with 1267 yards. The 2022 Biletnikoff Award winner will pair up with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams to give Justin Herbert the weapons he needs to keep up with the loaded offenses of the AFC West.

  1. Seattle Seahawks: John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota


Schmitz is a perfect fit for Seattle’s zone-run-heavy offense and will be the centerpiece of an offensive line that the Seahawks have completely overhauled through via the draft over the past two offseasons. The Golden Gopher has been a model of consistency throughout his career and will be the Seahawks’ next Max Unger, holding down the interior offensive line for years to come.

  1. Minnesota Vikings: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia

I would be very surprised if the star of the combine falls this far come draft day. Smith could play as a stand-up outside rusher for the Vikings or in coverage, adding to a rotation of chess pieces for new DC Brian Flores to move around his 3-4 defense and add stress to offensive lines in the NFC North.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

Jones has the build to play at either guard or tackle and could start at left guard for the Jaguars or compete with Walker Little for the team’s right tackle spot. 

  1. New York Giants: Brian Branch, S/CB, Alabama

Branch would instantly upgrade a Giants secondary that lost Julian Love to the Seahawks in free agency and is still in need of help at slot corner. Branch would have gone much higher if he had not run poorly at the combine but still boasts high football IQ and dominant tackling ability — he has only missed four tackles on 174 career attempts.

  1. Dallas Cowboys: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Mayer has been compared to future Hall of Famer Jason Witten — it feels right to send him to Witten’s old stomping grounds. The Cowboys lost Dalton Schultz in free agency and get an upgrade in Mayer who dominated as both an inline blocker and pass catcher at Notre Dame, racking up 2099 yards and 18 touchdowns over his college career for the Fighting Irish.

  1. Buffalo Bills: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa

Campbell is one of my favorite players in the draft — one of the most polished linebackers to come out of college in years. He has reportedly been training with former Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, who dominated for years under then Panthers defensive coordinator and now Bills head coach Sean McDermott. McDermott adds a new stud centerpiece of his defense with Kuechly’s stamp of approval, replacing free agency loss Tremaine Edmunds. 

  1. Miami Dolphins: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas


Adding Bijan Robinson would give the Dolphins the NFL’s undisputed top offense on paper. Extra juice in the run game takes pressure off of Tua and forces opposing defenses to choose between stacking the box to defend the run or playing off to defend Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill — an impossible choice. Meanwhile, with a well-rounded roster thanks to strong moves in free agency, the Bengals drop back into the second round where they remain poised to take one of the many available prospects in a deep tight end class.

  1. New Orleans Saints (via DEN): Mazi Smith, IDL, Michigan

Smith is a monster of a defensive tackle and fills in a position of dire need for the Saints. No player put up more reps on the bench press at the combine than the Michigan man, whose best football should be ahead of him as he enters the pros.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles: DJ Turner, CB, Michigan

A freaky athlete with a competitive attitude, Turner will join a cornerback room full of aging veterans and wait in the wings to start in a year or two. He ran a blazing 4.26 at the combine — the best of all participants in 2023 — and translates that into excellent makeup speed and mirror-and-match abilities in coverage.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State

Jones is a developmental right tackle with imposing measurables — his 89-inch wingspan broke the Senior Bowl record earlier this offseason. He did not allow a single sack or quarterback hit last season en route to Ohio State’s Peach Bowl berth; this 1.3% pressure rate was the lowest among all FBS tackles per Pro Football Focus. Jones competes with Lucas Niang for the Chiefs’ right tackle spot after the departure of Andrew Wylie during free agency.

Contact Shan Reddy at rsreddy ‘at’

Shan Reddy '22 is The Daily's Financial Officer, Business Team Director and a desk editor for the sports section covering Stanford football and tennis. Contact him at sreddy 'at'

Login or create an account