Sam Prestipino’s NFL Mock Draft 2.0


Sam Prestipino

Quarterback, Will Levis, projected to go to the Carolina Panthers

With the NFL season concluding with the Chiefs on top, it’s time to revisit this year’s highly anticipated NFL Draft. Here is my first full mock draft of the offseason. We will throw in trades to make the mock more realistic and use the updated Pro Football Focus rankings to grade each player.


  1. Chicago 

The Bears need help at every position outside of quarterback. Using this first pick to solidify their future on defense wouldn’t be a bad idea.

The Pick: Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama (PFF Rank 4)


      2. Houston

The Texans will sweat out the offseason as nobody would trade up for the number one pick, allowing them to take their guy at pick two meaning that two Bama boys will hear their names called back to back.

The Pick: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama (PFF Rank 1)


      3. Carolina via Arizona

The Panthers will make a big move in this draft and trade up to pick three to select their quarterback of the future.

The Pick: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky (PFF Rank 3)


      4. Indianapolis

The Colts were looking to trade with both the Bears and Cardinals to try to pick either Young or Levis; however, they’ll be just fine with taking C.J. Stroud at four.

The Pick: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State (PFF Rank 5)


       5. Seattle via Denver

The Russell Wilson trade pays out in spades for the Seahawks as they end up making the playoffs and getting a top five draft choice. What makes it even better for the birds is that there was a bid for quarterbacks in front of them, leaving arguably the best defensive player in the draft sitting in their lap at pick five.

The Pick: Jalen Carter, DL, Georgia (PFF Rank 2)


      6. Detroit via Los Angeles (N)

Similarly to Seattle, trading away their star quarterback paid out major dividends for the Lions. Nearly making the playoffs and sitting with the switch overall pick is a great spot to be in for this young Detroit team. Detroit needs help in the secondary, meaning the first DB is taken off the board at six, and this will be the third player selected in the top six picks that attended the University of Alabama.

The Pick: Brian Branch, S, Alabama (PFF Rank 10)


      7. Las Vegas

We’re going to say that the Raiders go ahead and win the Aaron Rodger sweepstakes, meaning they don’t go QB in round one. What they will need are an offensive line and defensive help. At seven there will be plenty of defensive studs to choose from.

The Pick: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson (PFF Rank 6)


       8. Atlanta

In this mock we’re going to say that the Falcons don’t pursue a quarterback in free agency, meaning that they might make a move on one at pick eight. The thing is that they need help at virtually every other position. 

The Pick: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech (PFF Rank 7)


       9. Arizona via Carolina

After trading back with Carolina the Cardinals have gained significant draft capital including pick number nine. Expect Arizona to select the first offensive lineman of the draft. 

The Pick: Paris Johnson, OT, Ohio State (PFF Rank 9)


      10. Philadelphia via New Orleans 

In part of a trade package at last year’s draft, the Saints traded their 2023 first-round pick to the Eagles. The defending NFC champions will look to bolster their stacked roster with a top-10 pick.

The Pick: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois (PFF Rank: 12)


       11. Tennessee 

The Titans have reached a crossroads. The future of the team rests on this offseason which means that their first-round pick is of the utmost importance. There are a couple of ways the Titans could go here, but I think they’ll take the best player available with this pick.

The Pick: Bryan Breese, DL, Clemson (PFF Rank: 8)


       12. Houston via Cleveland 

The Deshaun Watson trade isn’t looking very good now for Cleveland, as they end up with the league’s 12th-worst record and without a first-round pick. It looks like Houston will look to shore up the offensive line with their second first-round selection.

The Pick: O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida (PFF Rank: 27)


        13. New York (A)

I will go ahead and assume that Carr inks a deal that brings him to New York, so the Jets don’t go quarterback at pick 13. Instead, they thank the Lord that nobody took one of the most underrated offensive line prospects in the draft before they could get him at 13.

The Pick: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern (PFF Rank: 13)


         14. New England

The Patriots will look to finally get it right at receiver with their first-round pick in 2023. The first one goes off the board here.

The Pick: Quentin Johnson, WR, TCU (PFF Rank: 15)


          15. Green Bay

The Packers will look to get Jordan Love some weapons this off-season. This will start with them selecting a polished tight end with their first-round pick.

The Pick: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame (PFF Rank: 17)


          16. Washington

With the proper handling, the Commanders are in a spot to be competitive very soon. A young roster highlighted by the great receiver and defensive line weapons is missing one thing, a QB1. We know Carson Wentz isn’t the guy, and Taylor Heinicke was a good story but isn’t the guy either. The only other quarterback on the roster was a mid-round pick they made last year in Sam Howell, who the verdict is still out on. I think the Commanders make a major splash at pick 16 by taking the most physically gifted quarterback in a draft since Cam Newton.

The Pick: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida (PFF Rank: 11)


          17. Pittsburgh

The Steelers know what needs to be done in the offseason for them to get back to being contenders. They need to upgrade their secondary and offensive line. Assuming that they buy big in offensive line free agency, Pittsburgh will take the corner they like best at 17.

The Pick: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State (PFF Rank: 26)


          18. Detroit 

The Lions will also look to upgrade their secondary midway through the first round. They do so by adding a big-time star out of South Carolina.

The Pick: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina (PFF Rank: 25)


         19. Tampa Bay

I am going to predict that the Buccaneers look to free agency to find Brady’s replacement. With a pretty good roster, it would be unwise to try to start over with a rookie. They’ll look to give their defense some help with their first-round pick.

The Pick: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson (PFF Rank: 29)


         20. Seattle 

Throughout this section of the draft, there will be a lot of teams “reaching” on guys that they like. This is simply because they don’t have a need for the position of these higher-graded players. This is the case with the Seahawks. Look for them to pick up help in the secondary at pick 20.

The Pick: Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M, (PFF Rank: 30)


         21. Pittsburgh via Los Angeles (A)

In this mock draft, I’m projecting that Pittsburgh trades for the 21st pick in order to get a jump on their rivals in Baltimore who pick the 22nd. They also manage to hang onto the 32nd overall pick in the process, giving up their other second-round pick and next year’s first-rounder. They will do this in order to pick a receiver ahead of the Ravens. They want to solidify a big-time receiving trio in Pittsburgh and they do it by bringing in Kenny Pickett’s favorite college target.

The Pick: Jordan Addison, WR, Pittsburgh (PFF Rank: 23)


        22. Baltimore

The Ravens are just fine with Pittsburgh trading for pick 21 to take Jordan Addison. They’ve had their guy in mind since the combine and are excited to bring in a superstar at pick-22. There will be debates for years to come about the 2023 receiving class for sure after what has transpired here.

The Pick: Jaxon Smith-Njiba, WR, Ohio State (PFF Rank: 20) 


         23. Minnesota 

The Vikings are in dire need of help in the secondary after the unit was picked apart by Daniel Jones in the playoffs. Taking the best available corner is the no-brainer pick here.

The Pick: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon (PFF Rank: 14)


         24. Dallas via Jacksonville

Similarly to Pittsburgh and Baltimore, the Cowboys look to trade up in front of the Giants to steal a receiver off of the board in what will end up being a draft night that gets a “30 for 30” made about it.

The Pick: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College (PFF Rank: 19)


           25. New York (N)

Unlike Baltimore, the Giants are now in a frenzy. The player they wanted was just stolen by their rivals. The G-men are forced to quickly pivot and possibly reach on a standout Tar Heel.

The Pick: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina (PFF Rank: 38)


           26. Jacksonville via Dallas

Knowing that there would be a receiver bidding war going on ahead of them, the Jaguars were completely fine with moving back two slots to pick the player they were going to pick anyway. Plus they gain some draft capital from Dallas.

The Pick: Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma (PFF Rank: 21)


             27. Buffalo

The Bills are also at an organizational crossroads. This is a massive selection for the future of their franchise. I project that they use this pick to beef up that defensive line.

The Pick: Siaki Ika, DL, Baylor (PFF Rank: 33)


              28. Cincinnati

The Bengals are looking for the missing piece to win them a championship. They hope to find it at pick 28 by adding to their offensive line.

The Pick: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia (PFF Rank: 24)


              29. Cleveland via New Orleans via Denver via San Francisco

A pick that was flipped a million times lands on Cleveland in my projected trade. The Browns who didn’t own a first-round pick due to the trade for Deshaun Watson now look to upgrade their pass rush late in the first round.

The Pick: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa (PFF Rank: 16)


              30. Philadelphia

After getting help in the secondary early in the draft, the defending NFC champs decide to move on from Miles Sanders in the offseason to make room for a superstar that they’ll pick up late in the first round.

The Pick: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (PFF Rank: 18)


               31. Kansas City

With edge rushers being somewhat overlooked thus far in the draft, the champs decide to take the best available player with the final pick of the first round with a slam dunk sitting in their lap.

The Pick: Nolan Smith, EDGE, Georgia (PFF Rank: 22)


With my first full mock draft, I saw an opportunity to explore an avenue where divisional rivals battled it out for playmakers in the most realistic way possible. Expect to see something a little different with my next mock which will be released sometime next month.