A Way-Too-Early 2023 NFL Mock Draft

By Patrick Hayes   May 12, 2022 

A Way-Too-Early 2023 NFL Mock Draft

A way-too-early 2023 NFL Mock Draft


At about this time last year, former Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler was widely hyped as a potential No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Instead, Rattler had a disappointing season for the Sooners. Rather than preparing for last month’s NFL Draft, he was trying to put his Oklahoma experience behind him and getting ready to try and revive his college career at the University of South Carolina.

The point of that story? May is way too early to be thinking ahead to the next NFL Draft. But this is the internet, so we’re going to do it anyway.

While it is way too soon to tell which teams will be in play for the top picks next season, we do have some idea of who the top college football prospects could be. Here is our way too premature look at the top 10 draft picks next season.

  1. C.J. Stroud, quarterback, Ohio State: The 2022 NFL Draft was weak at the quarterback position. Pitt’s Kenny Pickett was selected by the Steelers 20th overall, and he was the only quarterback selected in round one. There will be no such issue in 2023, and Stroud led a high-powered OSU offense last season. He will be a Heisman Trophy contender, have the Buckeyes competing for a National Championship, and his mix of passing and running abilities make him a solid bet to be the top pick.           
  2. Bryce Young, quarterback, Alabama: Young, who won the Heisman in 2022, will likely be Stroud’s top competition for the No. 1 pick. If Young joins Archie Griffin as the only two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy next season, that might be enough to nudge him ahead of Stroud as the top prospect available in the draft.                                                                                                                                                             
  3. Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama: Perhaps the only position in the NFL currently in the conversation with quarterback for most impactful on the field is fast defensive linemen who pressure the quarterback. Players who fit that mold went No. 1 and No. 2 in the 2022 draft, in fact. Anderson could get Heisman consideration himself next season, and definitely has the talent to overtake the star quarterbacks among next year’s prospects. If a team like Jacksonville, which already has a quarterback of the future, ends up with the No. 1 pick again, Anderson could definitely hear his name called first.                               
  4. Jalen Carter, defensive line, Georgia: The Bulldogs undoubtedly produce elite NFL prospects, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. That includes this year’s No. 1 pick, Travon Walker. There are already scouts who believe Carter could be a better prospect than Walker, so expect him to move into the No. 1 pick conversation.                                                                                                                           
  5. Will Levis, quarterback, Kentucky: Levis might not be as big of a star in the college ranks as Stroud or Young, but as an NFL prospect, he’ll be in the conversation with them for the top quarterback in next year’s draft. Levis is big and has a strong arm, but much like Josh Allen, is in the mold of bigger quarterbacks who are also fast and athletic and can run the ball.                                                                     
  6. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, wide receiver, Ohio State: In 2022, six wide receivers were taken within the first 20 picks of the draft. Two of them were Smith-Njigba’s teammates at OSU, and he was actually more productive than both. Expect him or Pitt’s Jordan Addison to be in competition for the first wide receiver taken in 2023.                                                                                                                                                        
  7. Noah Sewell, linebacker, Oregon: Sewell’s older brother Penei was the seventh overall pick in 2021, and Noah’s ability to be a major playmaker all over the field defensively should put him in next year’s top 10 as well. Sewell is a great tackler, can rush the passer, and is also fast enough to help in coverage.  
  8. Michael Mayer, tight end, Notre Dame: One of the top NFL rookies from the 2021 draft class was Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts, who the team selected in the top 10. Star tight ends make like easier for quarterbacks, so a tight end like Mayer who has been called “Baby Gronk” would definitely be worth a top 10 pick.                                                                                                                                                             
  9. Bryan Bresee, defensive line, Clemson: Bresee is coming off of an ACL injury, but he was the No. 1 recruit in the nation in 2020, so he’s still an elite interior line prospect. Assuming he’s fully recovered from his injury, expect his combination of size and athleticism to make him an early selection in 2023.       
  10. Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson: Murphy’s had 11 sacks in two years at Clemson and was a freshman All-American his first season. He’s a fast, prototypical pass rusher and he’s long been projected as a probably high draft pick.

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