top of page

Draftman Rick's Mock Draft

2023 NFL Mock Draft – First Round – Final Version 4/27/23 4:25pm (And Grading Mocks)

Hi Draft Fans,

Here is how I see the 2023 NFL draft shaping up. Many of the picks at the top of the draft will be determined by what the Houston Texans do at pick number 2. They are not telling anyone. Even their own people are thinking in two different directions. Some say it will be a quarterback. Some say it will be a defensive player. We mock drafters are left to guess, and if we are wrong, the penalty will be severe! The other big guessing game involves where Bijan Robinson will be drafted.

We'll see how many of my first rounders actually go in the first round. Since Miami forfeited their pick for tampering with Tom Brady and Sean Payton, the first round only has 31 picks this year. I’ll be satisfied with 25, but my record is 29 out of 32. so here goes!​

1) Carolina - Bryce Young, QB, Alabama - Panthers likely have chosen Young over other QBs.

2) Houston - Will Anderson Jr., OLB, Alabama - If the Texans take a defensive player over quarterback C. J. Stroud, they are an even nuttier franchise than I thought, but it looks like they will.

3) Arizona - Tyree Wilson, DE, Texas Tech - Cardinals would like to trade down and still get Wilson.

4) Indianapolis - C. J. Stroud - Colts will pick a QB. I think he will be either Stroud or Will Levis.

5) Seattle - Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia - Carter was falling but not out of the top 10. No way.

6) Detroit – Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois – Lions have brought in a few cornerbacks, but they need a shutdown corner to lead the group.

7) Las Vegas – Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon - Currently, Raiders can't cover anybody.

8) Atlanta - Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas - Falcons need help on defense, but Arthur Smith was the offensive coordinator for the Titans with Derrick Henry and knows what a great RB can do.

9) Chicago - Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State - Bears need to protect Justin Fields, period.

10) Philadelphia - Nolan Smith, DE/OLB, Georgia - Eagles have a long history of drafting linemen in the first round.

11) Tennessee - Peter Skoronski, OT/G/C, Northwestern - Titans and Skoronski are both “meat and potatoes” kind of people.

12) Houston - Will Levis, QB, Kentucky - If the Texans don’t get a QB high in this draft, you can put a big red X by their 2023 season.

13) Green Bay - Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah - Packers lost TE Robert Tonyan to free agency.

14) New England - Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee - I think he is the best right tackle in the draft.

15) NY Jets - Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia - Aaron Rodgers is here and HATES to be rushed.

16) Washington - Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State – Forbes is so thin that he makes Twiggy look like an elephant, but he is a ball hawk who can score when he intercepts the ball.

17) Pittsburgh - Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State – LB and OT are needs, also.

18) Detroit - Lukas Van Ness, DE/DT, Iowa - Lions were thinking about Bijan Robinson, but if he’s gone, a defensive lineman to pair with Aidan Hutchinson would be a good idea.

19) Tampa Bay - Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson - Bucs need pass rushers and an OT.

20) Seattle - Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida - Richardson could be long gone by now. He could even go to the Seahawks with the fifth overall pick.

21) LA Chargers - Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College – Should be defense but seem WR crazy!

22) Baltimore - Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland - I think CB is the Ravens biggest need, and Banks played at nearby Maryland.

23) Minnesota - Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State - The Vikings need someone to take the pressure off of Justin Jefferson. I’m sure Smith-Njigba goes higher, but I couldn’t find a slot.

24) Jacksonville - Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma – Jags lost OT Jawaan Taylor to free agency, and OT Cam Robinson faces a performance enhancing drug suspension at the start of this year.

25) NY Giants - Jordan Addison, WR, Southern Cal - If a good WR falls, Giants badly need one.

26) Dallas - Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame - If Cowboys can figure out how to get Bijan Robinson, I think they will.

27) Buffalo – Brian Branch, CB/S, Alabama – Bills could also use an offensive lineman or WR.

28) Cincinnati - Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama - Bengals need to shore up the RB position.

29) New Orleans - Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU – Saints need defensive linemen and receivers.

30) Philadelphia - Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh - Super quick. Perfect for Eagles 4-3 defense.

31) Kansas City - Will McDonald IV, DE, Iowa State - Edge rusher, OT, WR and CB are options.          


Other first round possibilities…

Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee, Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State, Darnell Washington, TE, Georgia, Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State, O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida, John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, DE, Kansas State, Keion White, DE, Georgia Tech, Adetomiwa Adebawore, DT, Northwestern, Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson, Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan, Drew Sanders, ILB, Arkansas, Trenton Simpson, ILB, Clemson, Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia, Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina, DJ Turner II, CB, Michigan.

Anyone else would be somewhat of a reach.


May God always be your number 1 draft pick!
Draftman Rick

                                                                           Grading the Mock Draft Experts (2023)

Hope you are having a good day. Each year, I like to compare how my first round mock draft stacked up with the experts in the field. Anybody can SAY they are good at mock drafts. I like proof! I have reviewed lots of mock drafts from the experts who get paid to do this stuff. I include familiar names and those who might not be so familiar but have excellent track records. These mock drafts are almost all from websites or newspapers where you would expect to find the best of the best, so you will recognize many of the names. Two popular ways exist to grade a draft. You can grade it by seeing how many players you name to go in the first round who actually go in the first round, or you can see how many you pick to the correct team. Adding the two together seems like a fair way of scoring it. All of these appear to be final versions of each person's mock draft.

* Also, check out which grades mock drafts for the last five years from some of the best experts in the field and others who are just getting started. You have to have a well-established website to be considered. Maybe I'll get there some day. They score players going in the first round as one point (fair enough) and players to the correct team as two points (seems too heavy considering trades can royally mess that up). Anyway, my 5-year mock draft record would rank 9th of the 68 experts who have 5-year records using their scoring method and tied for 10th out of 171 experts for this year.

Here are the results, including where I fit in if scoring one point for going in the first round and one point for the correct team. For the first time, I’m tied for 1st out of 23 mock drafters. Here are the scores. The date of the mock drafts is assumed to be the day of the draft unless otherwise known and listed.

Note: Only 31 picks were in the first round this year due to the Dolphins forfeiting their pick for tampering with Tom Brady and Sean Payton.

***Draftman Rick 27 + 7 = 34***

Brendan Donahue Sharp Football Analysis 26 + 8 = 34

Daniel Jeremiah NFL Network and (4/26/23) 25 + 9 = 34

Lou Pickney 25 + 9 = 34

Forrest N. Long The Huddle Report 27 + 6 = 33

Jason Boris Times News Lehighton,PA 26 + 7 = 33

Shane Hallam 26 + 6 = 32

Lance Zierlein NFL Network and 25 + 7 = 32

Albert Breer Sports Illustrated 28 + 3 = 31

Todd McShay ESPN Draft Analyst 26 + 5 = 31

Mel Kiper ESPN Draft Analyst 27 + 3 = 30

Robby Esch The Huddle Report 26 + 4 = 30

Dane Brugler The Athletic 25 + 5 = 30

Jason McIntyre FOX Sports 25 + 5 = 30

Kevin Hanson Sports Illustrated 26 + 3 = 29

Rob Rang 24 + 5 = 29

Peter Schrager NFL Network and 25 + 3 = 28

Jason La Confora Ran in Washington Post (4/26/23) 24 + 4 = 28

Michael Renner Last day at Pro Football Focus (4/21/23) 24 + 4 = 28

Nate Davis USA Today 24 + 3 = 27

Sam Farmer LA Times 23 + 4 = 27

Peter King (4/24/23) 23 + 3 = 26

Bucky Brooks NFL Network and (4/25/23) 24 + 1 = 25

I used to consider Nolan Nawrocki to be the king of mock drafts. Nolan learned from the deceased all-time draft master of Pro Football Weekly, Joel Buschbaem. Nawrocki was hired as a scout by the Raiders in 2019 then let go in 2022 and has since drifted into the ether. Rick Gosselin and Michael Abromowitz were awesome but have stopped putting out a mock draft. So, who’s the new king of mock drafts? I’d say it’s Jason Boris of the Times News in Lehighton, PA. According to the Huddle Report, who scores lots of mock drafts, Jason is number 5 and climbing for his 5-year average. Jason is incredibly insightful.

May God always be your number 1 draft pick!
Draftman Rick

                                                                           Grading the Mock Draft Experts - Previous Years



Forrest N. Long The Huddle Report 28 + 10 = 38

***Draftman Rick 29 + 8 = 37***

Dane Brugler The Athletic 27 + 10 = 37

Shane Hallam 30 + 6 = 36

Albert Breer Sports Illustrated (4/26/22) 27 + 9 = 36

Peter Schrager NFL Network and 29 + 6 = 35

Sam Farmer LA Times (4/27/22) 29 + 6 = 35

Lance Zierlein NFL Network and 28 + 7 = 35

Todd McShay ESPN Draft Analyst 29 + 5 = 34

Mel Kiper ESPN Draft Analyst 28 + 6 = 34

Lou Pickney (4/27/22) 27 + 7 = 34

Robby Esch The Huddle Report 27 + 7 = 34

Jason McIntyre FOX Sports (4/27/22) 26 + 8 = 34

Michael Renner Pro Football Focus (4/27/22) 27 + 6 = 33

Daniel Jeremiah NFL Network and (4/27/22) 26 + 7 = 33

Jason Boris Times News Lehighton,PA 26 + 7 = 33

Nate Davis USA Today 26 + 6 = 32

Peter King (4/25/22) 26 + 6 = 32

Mark Maske Washington Post (4/26/22) 25 + 7 = 32

Kevin Hanson Sports Illustrated 28 + 3 = 31

Greg DePalma (4/27/22) 26 + 5 = 31

Rob Rang (4/27/22) 26 + 4 = 30

Bucky Brooks NFL Network and (4/26/22) 25 + 4 = 29

May God always be your number 1 draft pick!
Draftman Rick

bottom of page