Welcome to the 2022 college football season, which is also the initial ramp-up period for the 2023 NFL Draft. Plenty will change in terms of what teams need and what the best prospects can offer, but it's time to check in again on how everything might go down (for now) on April 27 in Kansas City.
With the projection for the first-round order tied to Sporting News' latest NFL power rankings and upcoming preseason predictions, here's a second early on how the picks will play out from 1-31 with the Dolphins forfeiting their original selecti New York Giants clothes on:
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NFL Mock Draft 2023
1. Houston Texans
- Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama (6-4, 235 pounds)
Like Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney before him, Anderson is too explosive and physically freakish as a pass rusher to take a passer ahead of him. The Texans can think about QB with their additional first-rounder depending on what Davis Mills shows in Year 2 but to get a tr Clarks anscendent defender this high is smarter.
2. Seattle Seahawks
- C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State (6-3, 215 pounds)
The Seahawks have messed around with no real answers at quarterback, rookie, veteran bridge or otherwise after trading Russell Wilson. They need to target a franchise pocket passer who can make all the throws and lead their rebuild and Stroud would be the easy choice early.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State (6-0, 197 pounds)
The Jaguars invested big money in wide receiver help in Christian Kirk but they will need a true No. 1 for Trevor Lawrence in Year 3. Smith-Njigba already has the size, speed and quickness to be a No. 1 and will confirm that status with more bulk and more consistent route-running.
4. Atlanta Falcons
- Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson (6-5, 275 pounds)
The Falcons have might have snuck away with a franchise QB answer in Desmond Ridder so they should be focused on taking the best defensive player available. There's limited dropoff from Anderson to Murphy, another explosive producer in getting to the QB.
5. Carolina Panthers
- Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia (6-3, 310 pounds)
The Panthers have invested recent first-rounders on their front (see Derrick Brown and Brian Burns), but should they give Baker Mayfield a second year as starting QB for a possible new coaching staff, it would make sense to go back insider to support Brown at a weak spot.
6. Chicago Bears
- Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU (6-0, 196 pounds)
The Bears have Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet as key targets for Justin Fields in Year 2, but there's not much else in their receiving corps to help the talented downfield passer turn the corner. Boutte, if available whenever Chicago picks, would be a no-brainer to raise the big-play output as the latest big-time LSU gamebreaker.
7. New York Giants
- Bryce Young, QB, Alabama (6-0, 194 pounds)
Young has a unique but effective downfield delivery on top of going with his off-the-chart Bo Jackson s athleticism, smarts and leadership skills. This pick would indicate things don't work out well for Daniel Jones in his last shot at franchise QB.
8. Washington Commanders
- Eli Ricks, CB, Alabama (6-2, 196 pounds)
The Commanders have gotten good return from their defensive front seven when healthy but have failed to address the secondary well by going the free-agent route. Ricks is the necessary alpha cover corner to support Chase Young from the back end.
9. New York Jets
- Isaiah Foskey, EDGE, Notre Dame (6-4, 257 pounds)
The Jets have done well to revamp their secondary for Robert Saleh and do have Quinnen Williams up front, they are still in need of a Nick Bosa-like pass-rushing leader for the defense. Foskey should take a big step in 2022 to look like he can fit that role.
10. Detroit Lions
- Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson (6-5, 300 pounds)
The Lions need some run-stuffing and inside pass-rushing pop to better support Aidan Hutchinson in Year 2 and can afford to go more defense first with another first-rounder from the Rams with which to address QB.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (from Saints)
- Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson (6-3, 225 pounds)
The Eagles need to clean up the middle of their defense with reliable all-around playmaker with T.J. Edwards being a stopgap. Simpson is a ferocious upfield player who also does plenty in coverage.
12. Las Vegas Raiders
- Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia (6-0, 205 pounds)
Just like the Commanders with Ricks for Young, the Raiders need to be more respectable in the secondary to play off Maxx Tampa Bay Buccaneers clothes Crosby disrupting things off the edge. They also have limited reliable coverage in a division loaded with top receivers and QBs. Ringo can be the athletic shutdown and playmaking type Ray Lewis they need.
13. Houston Texans (from Brown Jerry Rice s)
- Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon (6-3, 250 pounds)
Whether Lovie Smith remains the coach or not, a 1-2 punch of Anderson and Sewell would be quiet a front seven dream, given the former's pass-rush juice outside and the latter's cleanup mentality everywhere on the field inside.
14. New England Patriots
- Henry To'oTo'o, LB, Alabama (6-2, 225 pounds)
The Patriots moved on from former Alabama star Dont'a Hightower, their long-time linebacking leader. To'oTo'o should have plenty of appeal in keeping up the defensive pipeline from Nick Sabana to Bill Belichick.
15. Arizona Cardinals
- Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina (6-0, 188 pounds)
The Cardinals have become pretty weak at corner minus Patrick Peterson of late as neither Byron Murphy nor Marco Wilson inspire as their current outside starters. Smith's size and speed give some promise as possibly their new Peterson.
16. Tennessee Titans
- Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame (6-4, 251 pounds)
The Titans brought in Austin Hooper for one year to help fill the void of their receiving corps behind new wideouts. They should want to bump up the blocking and pass-catching big-time for either Ryan Tannehill or Malik Willis in 2023.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
- Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern (6-4, 315 pounds)
The Steelers remain weak at offensive tackle with Dan Moore Jr. starting on the left side. They need to much better protect franchise passer Kenny Pickett with smooth, smart and agile blocking and Skoronski would work well, like Philadelphia Eagles jersey former Northwestern standout Rashawn Slater for Justin Herbert and the Chargers.
18. Seattle Seahawks (from Broncos)
- Jordan Addison, WR, USC (6-0, 175 pounds)
Should the Seahawks draft Stroud as their franchise QB, they should continue upgrading their receiving corps to support DK Metcalf given Tyler Lockett is facing a potential fade soon with 30 looming. At worst, Addison and Metcalf would roll together well on the outside with Lockett kicking it up in the slot again.
19. Minnesota Vikings
- Quentin Johnson, WR, TCU (6-4, 215 pounds)
The Vikings also need to think about wideout next year to better complement Justin Jefferson outside as aging Adam Thielen is fading into a limited red zone threat. Johnson has the size-speed profile to play off Jefferson's all-around domination.
20. Philadelphia Eagles
- Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (6-0, 215 pounds)
The Eagles are souring on Miles Sanders and although they do love young Kenneth Gainwell, this situation could develop much like the Jets with drafting Breece Hall after Michael Carter. Robinson can be the workhorse playing well off Jalen Hurts and also can help as an outlet receiver.
21. Indianapolis Colts
- Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia (6-3, 235 pounds)
The Colts have Kwity Paye and DeForest Buckner anchoring their front but could some more pass-rush pop. Smith is the latest standout Bulldogs disruptor destined for the first round.
22. Dallas Cowboys
- B.J. Ojulari, EDGE, LSU (6-3, 245 pounds)
The Cowboys have Demarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons power their pass rush most but also could use a versatile and often explosive piece to move around from the SEC. They get in Ojulari, the brother of the Giants' Azeez.
23. Cincinnati Bengals
- Brandon Joseph, S, Notre Dame (6-1, 192 pounds)
The Bengals have come to terms with the fact they won't be able to afford to keep Jessie Bates beyond the franchise tag in 2022. They need to save their resources for key contracts ahead for Tee Higgins, Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase. So it makes sense, like the Ravens did in their own division, landing a premier playmaker at the position from down the road in South Bend.
24. Detroit Lions (from Rams)
- Will Levi Cleveland Browns clothes s, QB, Kentucky (6-3, 232 pounds)
The Lions cannot ignore QB for two consecutive drafts and must find their true long-term franchise replacement for Jared Goff. They have the offensive line and deep weaponry to make Levis, a transfer from Penn State, feel comfortable right away getting the ball out quickly and delivering it downfield.
25. Baltimore Ravens
- Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland (6-6, 320 pounds)
The Ravens can look around the corner to College Park for a big developmental tackle who could replace oft-injured Ronnie Stanley soon opposite new right tackle Morgan Moses. Duncan's size, power and quickness make sense in their scheme.
26. Miami Dolphins (from 49ers)
- Jalen Catalon, S, Arkansas (5-10, 201 pounds)
The Dolphins are great at one safety with young star Jevon Holland but need help Minnesota Vikings shirt at the other spot to be more impactful upfield against run and pass. Catalon and Holland can be a dynamic duo for years.
27. Buffalo Bills
- Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State (6-6, 310 pounds)
The Bills also should think about a developmental tackle behind Dion Dawkins and new right tackle David Quessenberry was signed to only a one-year deal. Johnson is a natural pass protector who can blossom into a nasty run blocker, too.
28. Kansas City Chiefs
- Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma (5-11, 184 pounds)
The Chiefs have some veteran wideout concerns with rookie Skyy Moore having the most promise in the post Shop All Back To School -Tyreek Hill world of Patrick Mahomes. Mims has some Hill-like qualities with his big-play ability to be a tough-to-cover target.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami (6-4, 225 pounds)
Kyle Trask doesn't feel like the true successor to Tom Brady, at least not yet. Van Dyke has the arm, athleticism and accuracy assets to make a Kenny Pickett like rise into the higher first round to challenge Stroud and Young, but for now, he's worthy of joining them and Levis in the first round.
30. Los Angeles Chargers
- Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU (5-9, 180 pounds)
The Chargers can get nostalgic for Hall of Fame running back LaDainian's nephew while also filling a key need. Michael Davis is a disappointing outside corner opposite J.C. Jackson and they should look to transition Asante Samuel Jr. there, which would open the door to add an ace slot cover man.
31. Green Bay Packers
- Zion Nelson, OT, Miami (6-5, 316 pounds)
The Packers, much like the Ravens and Bills, are fine at tackle for now with David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins, but given Bakhtiari's wear as he will become 30 soon, they need to develop someone who can start soon. At the worst, Nelson can stand out enough to have Green Bay think about sliding Jenkins inside.