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The NFL Draft – You Dare Mock Me?

The 2023 NFL Draft is just days away, and it promises to be mock-nificant!

Bryce Young is three inches shorter than Baker Mayfield, Anthony Richardson is either the next Lamar Jackson or the next Malik Willis, and while the unwritten rule is to never draft a running back in the first round – somebody is going to draft Bijan Robinson in the first round.

A look at how the first dozen picks will go.

Credit via Alabama Athletics

1) Carolina Panthers – Bryce Young (QB/ALABAMA)
A lot has been said about drafting a quarterback as small as Bryce Young (5’10 and 195 lbs.), but it is hard to believe that a franchise would be willing to give up as many assets as it did to pick anyone else. Besides – My wife says that size doesn’t matter.

2) Indianapolis Colts (Via Trade with Houston) – CJ Stroud (QB/OHIO STATE)
The Colts are in desperate need of a quarterback and are really stuck here. If Houston stays at two and takes Stroud, it’s very possible a team trades with Arizona at the third spot to take Anthony Richardson, leaving Will Levis (QB/KENTUCKY) as their only viable option. The Colts must move up – or Sam Ehlinger could be starting again.

3) Washington Commanders (Via Trade with Arizona) – Anthony Richardson (QB/Florida)
Arizona was begging to move down, and multiple teams were looking to move up for the potential of Richardson. New ownership, and a quarterback room that only includes Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett, makes Richardson the future face of the program.

4) Houston Texans – (Via Trade with Indianapolis) Will Anderson Jr. (EDGE/ALABAMA)
Passing on CJ Stroud isn’t easy, but first year coach DeMeco Ryan is a former Defensive Player of the Year out of Alabama, the team needs a whole lot of work, and the Texans still have pick number twelve coming up.

Credit via Bleacher Report

5) Seattle Seahawks – Jalen Carter (DT/GEORGIA)
Trading down makes sense here, but in a draft that has very few impact players, Pete Carroll rolls the dice on Carter and his off-the-field issues – and gets him a bus pass.

6) Detroit Lions – Devon Witherspoon (CB/ILLINOIS)
The Lions could go a few directions here, but CB is a position of need, and for the first time in a long time, the team isn’t desperate.

7) Las Vegas Raiders – Peter Skoronski (OT/NORTHWESTERN)
Josh McDaniels knows that his job is dependent on keeping Jimmy Garoppolo healthy, and Skoronski is a solid pick at this spot. Besides, McDaniels still has plenty of picks to screw up later.

8) Atlanta Falcons – Tyree Wilson (EDGE/TEXAS TECH)
Arthur Smith does his own thing, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Bijan Robinson (RB/TEXAS) taken in this spot. But Wilson is a gift to the defense falling all the way to the eighth spot.

9) Chicago Bears – Paris Johnson Jr. (OT/OHIO STATE)
The Bears understand that they are in a rebuilding situation and need major help on the offensive line. Johnson Jr. will be a day one starter.

10) Philadelphia Eagles – Christian Gonzalez (CB/OREGON)
The Eagles need to look to the future as Jalen Hurts contract will likely mean the loss of high-priced talent in the next couple years. Philly fans will boo the pick, as they were hoping for Bijan Robinson, but Philly fans boo everything.

11) Tennessee Titans – Will Levis (QB/KENTUCKY)
It appears that Ryan Tannehill is on the way out, and Malik Willis was never on the way in. If the Titans can snag Levis without trading up, and just prior to Houston’s next pick, it’ll be the only Ten I see.

Credit via Pride of Detroit

12) Dallas Cowboys (Via Trade with Houston) – Bijan Robinson (RB/TEXAS)
With Houston out of quarterback options, Jerry Jones steals the headlines, excites the fan base, provides insurance for his only running back on a Franchise Tag, and grabs the biggest name inside or even outside the state of Texas.

To paraphrase Princess Buttercup from the movie Princess Bride – You mocked my mock draft once, (I had Malik Willis going to the Steelers with the 20th overall pick), never do it again! My creditability died that day!

But the Broncos only have five picks in this year’s draft, and nothing until round three.

So, it’s either a mock draft – or an article on the Broncos – after plenty of draft beers.

Images via sportingnews.com, alabamaathletics.com, bleacherreport.com, prideofDetroit.com

Alan Tapley The Athletic Supporter

Alan Tapley is an educator, author, and blogger who has lived just outside of Boulder for the last twenty years.  His published work includes two novels, two children’s books, a series of cartoons in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and multiple sports related articles. His love for family and the state of Colorado is only matched by one thing, his passion for sports.  The first baseball game he ever attended was at Wrigley Field, before there were lights.  At the final Bronco game at the old Mile High, he allegedly cut out a piece of his seat in the South stands.  But regardless of being here for the Avalanche’s last Stanley Cup, the Rockies only World Series appearance, and all the Broncos’ Super Bowl Victories, his wife never fails to remind him that he wasn’t at the University of Colorado in 1990, like she was.  The year the Buffs football team won the National Championship

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