Top 5 Mock NFL Draft


It is officially Draft Week! Despite the NFL draft taking place this upcoming Thursday, there is still so much uncertainty regarding how it will unfold. Using film, rumors, and my gut feeling, let me attempt to predict how the first five picks will play out.


Carolina Panthers #1:

Bryce Young - Football - University of Alabama Athletics

Photo Cred: Alabama Athletics

Bryce Young is the consensus #1 pick. He sits at -2000 to be selected first overall. Young won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore, becoming the first Crimson Tide quarterback to win the award. He continued his success this past season, throwing for 3325 yards and 32 touchdowns while only being intercepted five times. Young is instinctive when it comes to avoiding the rush. He plays like he has eyes in the back of his head and displays an elite ability to get the pass off, even under pressure.

Bryce Young - Football - University of Alabama Athletics

Photo Cred: Alabama Athletics

He’s poised in the pocket; Young knows when to escape and make a play on the run and when to stay put and continue through his progressions. Despite the concerns regarding height, his skill and maturity outweigh the risks. The Alabama product has drawn comparisons to Russell Wilson, and rightfully so. His creativity and ability to make something out of nothing; cannot be taught. The Panthers will take Young and solve the quarterback issues that have plagued them since Cam Newton.


Indianapolis Colts #2 (Trade with Texans):

Will Levis' NFL Draft odds soar after Reddit post links Panthers to QB - NBC Sports Boston

Photo Cred: NBC Sports

The Texans must take a quarterback. It looked that way until recent reports suggested that Houston could look to add a defensive player and hope for Caleb Williams or Drake Maye next year. Despite these reports, I still expect the Texans to take a quarterback. Many expect that to be C.J. Stroud, the talented Ohio State quarterback. However, Houston favors Kentucky’s, Will Levis. Indianapolis likes him more and will be willing to give the Texans an enticing package to move up to #2 and take the Kentucky quarterback (more to come on why Indy moves up). And there is a lot to like about Levis. He stands at 6’4”, and weighs 230 pounds, has the body type NFL front offices dream of.

What's behind Patriots' interest in Will Levis? Albert Breer shares insight - NBC Sports Boston

Photo Cred: NBC Sports

He has a cannon for an arm, the Kentucky quarterback claims he can throw it 80 yards. A worry for many quarterbacks with rocket arms is often their accuracy and slow release. This is not the case for Levis, who has an elite quick release and consistently hits his receivers in stride. Levis had some shortcomings in his senior season, throwing ten interceptions compared to 19 touchdowns. Some of this is attributed to his slow and sometimes poor decision-making, but his poor supporting cast is more responsible for his struggles. I expect whoever selects at #2 to take Levis and let their coaching staff help turn him into a superstar.


Arizona Cardinals #3:

Will Anderson Jr: Why the Alabama star is the best player at the 2023 NFL Draft | NFL News | Sky Sports

Photo Cred: Sky Sports

The Arizona Cardinals do not need a quarterback. Arizona saw Chandler Jones and Hassan Reddick leave last offseason, and J.J. Watt retire this offseason. Drafting Anderson will secure a pass rusher they desperately need. Anderson’s strength at the point of attack and closing speed make him a dominant force. As a sophomore, Anderson recorded 17.5 sacks, a mark good enough for 4th all-time.

Will Anderson Jr. - Football - University of Alabama Athletics

Photo Cred: Alabama Athletics

His sack numbers took a step back this season, but this is not the fault of Anderson but rather the result of most teams double-teaming him. If the Cardinals select at #3, I expect it to be Anderson. However, with high demand for quarterbacks, Arizona could receive a compelling enough offer that compels them to trade down.


Houston Texans #4 (Trade with Colts):

ESPN's Dan Orlovsky: Ohio State Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud Is NFL Draft's 'Best Pure Passer of the Football' - Sports Illustrated Ohio State Buckeyes News, Analysis and More

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The Colts are in a tricky position sitting at #4. Regardless of what happens ahead of them, they will be able to select one of the top four quarterbacks. If the Colts do not see much separating Young, Levis, Stroud, and Richardson, they will be more than happy to stay at #4 and let one of them fall into their lap. However, if Indianapolis significantly prefers one of them, they could try and trade up to #2. As mentioned, I think Will Levis is the guy Indy desires. If Indy believes one of the top three teams will select Levis, I expect them to trade up. If Levis is not in the top three, expect the Colts to take him here at four.

Raiders Trade for C.J. Stroud in Edholm's NFL Mock Draft After Aaron Rodgers Deal | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

Photo Cred: Bleacher Report

At #4, I think Houston will select Stroud as their franchise quarterback. At 6’3 and 218 pounds, Stroud is a prototypical pocket passer with smarts and feel for the game. Stroud is a rhythm passer who gets the ball out quickly, making split-second decisions. He has good zip and ball placement. He demonstrated elite touch down the seam and on post-corner and flag routes. Stroud is undoubtedly the best pocket passer in this draft; his accuracy is on par with most starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Stroud will be able to play and provide the Texans with stable QB play for the first time in a long time.


Seattle Seahawks #5:

NFL draft odds: After the Will Anderson Jr. hype, will Tyree Wilson go ahead of him?

Photo Cred: Yahoo Sports

By the time Seattle is on the clock, likely three quarterbacks will be off the board. The Seahawks saw Geno Smith breakout last season and offered him an extension. It’s unlikely they select a quarterback here. Seattle will receive offers from teams hoping to move up, but I expect them to stay put and select defensive end from Texas Tech, Tyree Wilson. Wilson has the ideal size for a defensive end in the NFL, standing at around 6’5 and weighing approximately 270 pounds.

Tyree Wilson: College football stats, highlights, records |

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He has an athletic build, long arms, and a good wingspan that he uses effectively to disrupt passing lanes and make plays. Wilson has shown versatility in multiple positions along the defensive line. He has lined up as a traditional defensive end in a 4-3 scheme and an edge rusher in a 3-4. He’s highlighted his ability to adapt to different defensive systems and excel in multiple roles. Seattle’s weakness last year was their front seven, and adding Wilson will help improve the defense.

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